We now return to the subject of “Sextech,” a delicate/clickbait subject which we were originally going to broach a few weeks ago when real-world horror intervened.
People, with Cindy Gallop, the author of this piece particularly, have been trying to make Sextech a “thing,” the way adtech is a “thing,” for years, without a whole lot of luck. At least in the mainstream. Under the covers, along Google searches, on the other hand, Sextech seems to be doing quite well, thank you very much.
Gallop’s a smart and savvy speaker and writer, one of advertising biz’s top female talents back in the day, and apparently great, fun company despite the schoolmarmish severity of the professional profile picture. You don’t want to pick a fight with her. So let’s just say that we think her heart is in the right place, but we’re not entirely sure that her conclusions about human sexuality and technology are the answer to the complex divergence between how much everybody digs sex and how many hangups they have over it.
The quintessential example of this is the website she’s created to combat the expanding tentacles on Internet porn, MakeLoveNotPorn.com (We can’t provide a live link from where I’m writing this becuase the site is blocked, which gives you a pretty good idea of its content). Gallop’s solution to pornography, which undeniably objectifies women (and, to a lesser extent, men) and has shown escalating levels of violence and degradation as people are numbed by what they’ve seen previously, is for EVERYBODY to upload videos of themselves having sex.
This strikes us as a trivialization and commodification of what should be, at its highest level of experience, a sacred act, and even at the other end of the spectrum, a private one. Perhaps this is a logical perspective from someone who prospered in advertising, where pretty much everything and everyone is for sale, but for the general public one would hope it would be the equivalent of sharing sessions with their psychiatrist just to show, hey, everybody’s got problems. Some things, some private and personal things should just remain our own.
We’re not even sure we agree with Gallop’s central premise, that “Society [has a] conflicted attitude toward sex – we all enjoy it but we don’t talk about it.” Again, this seems like an odd statement coming from someone who worked in the ad business, where nearly everything is sold through sex or fear.
Sex seems to permeate nearly every element of popular culture today, and the problem doesn’t seem so much to be people needing to talk about it more, but talking about more healthily. Too much talk about sex falls into the adolescent wink-nudge-cackle humor of “Family Feud” or “Two Broke Girls” or the latest Seth Rogen “comedy.”
So that’s the half we don’t agree with Gallop on. Where we do agree is that the cultural stigma around sex for much of the country -- the attraction/discomfort which instigates the goofy, lowest-common-denominator gag response in most of the media -- can be helped by Sextech.
Gallop points to a number of innovative ideas, which we won’t go into here, some of which we think are a positive step forward, others not so much so. But at least it’s trying.
We recommend reading Gallop’s piece, even as we only meet her halfway on the subject matter. There is no doubt pornography and sexual repression are a weight upon the human condition, and should be addressed for humanity to reach self-actualization. We’re just not sure she’s on-the-money about how to solve it. But then again, we’re not the ones be asked to speak at Cannes, either.