Titillation, what we want to see vs what we think we see, the things we fantasize over, make laws against; we spend an incredible amount of time and energy in this country worrying over our nakedness or the possibility of it. We’re still getting our panties in a bunch over seeing scantily clad women in videos, tittering behind our hands, hearing about celebrity sexual escapades, and flocking to a museum with the promise of seeing a few naked models (I never would have even thought to go if not for the buzz over all the flesh). Our Puritan ethic runs deep; we are still the bashful boy-of-a-country when it comes to this stuff. We will warn and legislate against sex in our media well before we do violence, as if shooting someone in a movie is any les offense (or realistic) to an audience’s everyday experience then two people doing the nasty.
Was it the fact that we spied Janet Jackson’s famous nipple at the infamous Super Bowl halftime that caused the uproar, or the mere fact that we saw an actual nipple? On any good day we will see plenty of breast, booty, etc. flesh plastered across VH1, our computer screens or even late-night cable. Why does a body part become that much more dangerous when we see nipple or ass-crack? We can watch any number of video vixens bounce and jiggle a great expanse of boob, but as long as their areola/nipple is covered all is well with the world. We see ever-shorter skirts on our newscasters, watch as booty is all but bared in skinny low-riding jeans, but as long as no actual dent of derrière is revealed all is ok?