thread: 2013-08-01 : A Guide to the Sauna for Shy Americans

On 2013-08-01, jbuchert wrote:

As a Finn, I enjoyed this guide to the sauna and I'm glad you enjoyed your visit as well!

I wanted to latch onto something you wrote.

"But it?s not true. What they?ve really sexualized and fetishized is near-nudity, implied nudity, the anticipation of nudity, non-consensual nudity, glimpsed nudity, coy nudity. It?s easy to see this: frank nudity, the universal human nudity with which we are all born and all die, is not the stuff of a vodka billboard or a tits-and-swords HBO drama. Nudity tells different stories in non-sexual circumstances than it tells in sexual ones."

It's too bad you haven't seen how a lot of Finnish cinema/tv handles nudity and sex scenes. It's all about that "frank nudity" mode of storytelling, for sure.

Yet it really amazes me when you speak about the sexualization and fetishization in entertainment and popular culture. I mean, yes, there is a difference in how HBO (for example) does it where it goes towards gratuitousness... but somehow it doesn't bother me, unless it is very tacky. Even then it isn't the sex or nudity that bothers me, but the poor storytelling.

I'm left wondering if the issue isn't in the gratuitous displays of sex and nudity, but in the attitudes prevailing in the culture that consumes it and chooses to become ashamed of it. That indeed the problem in the situation was born before the gratuitous scene was conceived, so to speak.

On second thought, I'm a tad reluctant to press "submit" now, because that might sound like I'm saying one culture is better than the other and I'm aware how that's a supposed faux pax on the Internet (and in certain parts of Planet Earth), but I'll just let it hang out there regardless.


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