Tuesday, November 02, 2021

TV: How difficult is it in 2021 to do a special about sex?

How hard is it to do a special talking about sex in 2021? NETFLIX makes it seem a lot harder than it should be.


SEX UNZIPPED is a new NETFLIX special, not to be confused with FX's IMPEACHMENT which is about a historical unzipped sex act. This one is hosted by rapper Saweetie who really makes the show with her personality. In fact, she and the puppets she interacts with deserve a better show. For example?

For one thing, it could acknowledge non-binary persons. For another?

How about a special that's body positive?

Now we're sure the women, the talking heads that pop up, who share on the special feel that they are body positive and they are -- if it's their body. But . . .

THE CAMBRIDGE DICTIONARY defines body positivity as:

the fact of feeling good about your body and the way it looks:
Body positivity is rooted in loving your body and gaining self-confidence.

So why are you shaming someone else's body?

That's what the women -- with the exception of Dr. Ruth -- do, the ones who show up to share.

That nasty penis, for example, we're told, should be pulled out and washed at the sink every time a guy washes his hand. And ears. Oh, if the ears aren't taken care of, then you know the guy's not taking care of other things. And . . .

What a bunch of bitches.

If that seems harsh, get real or watch the special. The vagina, we're told, does not even need soap and water. This is what the same women who rag on men's bodies insist in the special. One of them goes so far as to insist that the vagina is a self-cleaning oven and needs nothing introduced to it.

She seems high on her own fumes, doesn't she?

THE HEALTHY tells us that the groin is one of ten parts that men and women are not cleaning enough:


Take care of those private parts -- they tend to get warm and have folds and creases, so they can harbor harmful bacteria that can lead to ingrown hairs, funky odors, and infections. Always use a gentle soap because the skin around your genitals can be quite sensitive, Dr. Glatter advises, and use a washcloth for a more thorough and effective cleansing. Cleansing the area once a day should be enough, but if you exercise, it’s a good idea to shower immediately afterward to prevent sweat from drying, which can lead to irritation, he says.

In fact, the most often provided advice on washing from medical doctors is:

You really only need to wash three parts of your body with soap daily: your armpits, groin, and feet. The rest of you? A simple rinse with water is all you need.

The vagina, sorry, does fall under the groin, the vulva does fall under that area.

And more apologies but REPHRESH spoke to two experts who begged to differ with the claim of a self-cleaning oven. We'll note one:


Dr. Lauren Streicher, Associate Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Northwestern University's medical school and author of the newly published book "Love Sex Again: A Gynecologist Finally Fixes The Issues That Are Sabotaging Your Sex Life"
"There is a misconception that the vagina is always self-cleaning, and that women who have vaginal issues must be doing something wrong. Not true. The normal vaginal pH balance of 4.3 can be easily disrupted by everyday occurrences like menstruation, intercourse and normal hormone fluctuations," says Dr. Streicher. "In other words, the 'self-cleaning' mechanism for some women is not adequate to withstand pH elevations, so feminine odor and other issues can result - even when women are doing everything right."
"We need to stop stigmatizing this problem," Dr. Streicher explains. "While most women's bodies can tolerate episodes of pH elevation, in some women even a slight imbalance can tip the scales, causing a funny odor or other vaginal issues. It's normal - it happens - you take care of it. It's nobody's fault."
Dr. Streicher explained there are some things women should avoid and things that they can do to maintain their vaginal health. Dr. Streicher warns, "Maintaining healthy pH and a good balance of beneficial lactobacillus is the key. This is the body's natural 'self-cleaning' mechanism."

We do get the issue involved. We read Nora Ephron's classic essay on vaginal sprays ("Dealing with the, uh, problem"). We agree that women have been made to feel unclean.

Our point is, why would we do the same to men?

Make no mistake, women are doing that to men.

From a roundtable this site did back in February:

Isaiah: And let's include Whitney Cummings on that.

Ann: Good, I'm glad you're bringing this up.

Isaiah: Body shaming is wrong. Whitney has taken it upon herself to weigh in on the odor of men's testicles -- not out of concern, mind you, but to make a buck. I know because my 11-year-old nephew had a freak out over it. Does he smell? He was freaking out and we were all like, "Where did you get this notion?"

Ann: And it was Whitney Cummings -- truly more trouble than she's worth. Could you imagine the outrage if a male comic was going on about how women stink down there and then pushing a spray for them to buy and telling them that they didn't know how bad they smelled because their noses didn't reach down there?

Trina: Okay, I'm offended. For a woman to do that who presents as pro-woman is appalling. We know how women were shamed by Big Business to sell products like sprays for 'down there.' Nora Ephron wrote a famous essay about that b.s. So for Whitney Cummings to be embracing that? I just don't get that. It actually angers me. And I'm not anti-Whitney Cummings. I know she made some awful remarks about Roseanne but I also know she's tried to enlarge her view and is also trying to reach out to everyone. So I appreciate that effort but this is just stupidity and we should all be rejecting it as consumers, as citizens, as spokespersons.

Elaine: I am appalled by how so many people will whore themselves out in the name of Big Business. I will always applaud Lily Tomlin for refusing big money if it would mean whoring her character Ernestine out. We need more Lilys.

Whitney Cummings attacks the male body a great deal. She has a whole routine about how ugly the testicles supposedly are and how they should wear make up. We thought that was her stand up persona and weren't overly concerned about it. And we even noted her podcast over at THE COMMON ILLS. But we stopped that when we found out that she was body shaming.

As women who grew up being fed the message of unclean, what kind of humans would we be if we took part in doing that to men?

Now some of the talking heads in the special might have thought they were being cute and funny? We didn't find it to be that way. And if we need to be body positive for one, we need to be that way for all. Meaning that if you are shaming men, men have every right to shame you. Sorry, we believe in equality, not supremacy. Replacing a patriarchy with a matriarchy was never our ideal of perfection. (And, yes, we've read Merlin Stone's WHEN GOD WAS A WOMAN -- read it and recommend it -- and are aware of earlier times.)

It shouldn't be hard to do a special on sex but NETFLIX -- despite having Sweetie and some wonderful puppets as well as Dr. Ruth -- manages to mangle it and does so by including people more concerned with shaming one group than with advancing all.




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