Date: July 01 2012
IT'S TIME for another conversation about the state of sex in the American media.
Today, let's discuss three subjects - John Travolta, Jenny McCarthy, and the ''Octomom'', Nadya Suleman.
Just in case you're not glued to the tabloid magazines - Travolta had another man sue him for sexual misconduct, McCarthy has posed for Playboy for the sixth time, and Suleman - the woman who had eight babies about the time my twins were born (three years ago), for a total of 14, has made an ''adult'' film. My eyes are starting to bleed just thinking about that.
Travolta first. I can't make any sweeping statements about his sexuality, or the current issue regarding a cruise ship employee suggesting inappropriate conduct, because I'm sure he reads canberratimes.com.au, and will probably sue me. So let me speak generally. Given where we are as a society today, it saddens me that someone, let's say a successful actor in his 50s, can't fully embrace his sexuality publicly. I know for a long time coming out of the closet would've killed a career - but once you're in your 50s, those leading man days are pretty much dead, so the old excuse doesn't fly. All that's left is the notion of a repressed man, unable to live a life he would most likely choose. I'm sad for anyone in that situation, especially when I truly believe our culture, as crazy and hypocritical as it is, would still embrace an ageing star, and go and see his movies.
Speaking of crazy, let's talk Suleman. First, she has six kids. Then, she delivers seven babies at once, despite having no money, or sanity. Now, after various promises to stay out of the media, she's emerged with her own adult video. From what I can tell there isn't a man involved, but I confess I haven't seen the finished product - and please don't make me watch it. What does Nadya's appearance at the sexual fringes say about our culture?
Well, her adult video says she's not desperate for cash. She's desperate for attention. But I guess having eight babies at once kinda gave away that dysfunction. Nowadays, the quickest way to get our attention is getting your gear off. Oh for the days when you had to jump 30 buses in a flaming Kingswood to really catch our eye.
An expert at gear removal is McCarthy - who was revealed during the week (pun intended) as a Playboy cover girl for the sixth time - now as a 39-year-old. Really? 39? Come on. I used to respect McCarthy, until she claimed her son's autism was caused by vaccinations. Theoretically it's great that ''older'' women can still be admired. But here's my question. This is her sixth time being nude in Playboy. Sixth. Which means unless she's grown an extra something, it's safe to say we've seen it all before, when it was perkier. So why, Playboy, why?
America's relationship with sex still befuddles me. But at least Octomom's video has given the CIA a new torture device.
Tim is a writer, TV producer and proud former Canberra resident who has lived in Los Angeles since 1997. Twitter @timschildberger
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