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October 4, 2015

TV says marital sex is boring

by Brad Trechak, posted Aug 6th 2008 1:21PM
Sex And The CityAccording to a study conducted by the Parents Television Council, marital sex is portrayed as boring on television while extra-marital sex is portrayed as "glamorous" and "exciting". The study then goes on to say that those portrayals are wrong, if not downright inaccurate.

"Everybody is having sex on TV except for married couples," PTC president Tim Winter said.

Perhaps television could satisfy the PTC's claims if married couples are shown having wild, animal sex on prime-time. They also seem to forgot that in certain states, gay couples can marry. If gay, married couples are having sex on prime-time television, would that alleviate the concerns of the PTC? I suspect not.

I find any study by the PTC to be somewhat suspect (I recall their rather skewed attack against pro-wrestling a few years ago). While their obvious agenda is to protect children from smut, I believe that their more subtle and honest agenda is to create a social pyramid with the PTC on top.

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I loath, loath, loath the PTC, and it kills me to agree with them. But on this they're right. It's bugged me for a while how marriage is portrayed on TV (not all the time, but enough to be incredibly annoying). It's especially ridiculous because so many couples move in together before they're married (both in real life and on TV) but apparently marriage changes your personality completely and you suddenly are incapable of interacting with your significant other the exact same way you did two days ago before you signed a piece of paper. I'm not saying marriage doesn't change anything at all, but the way it's portrayed on TV sometimes, you would think getting married meant getting a personality transplant.

August 07 2008 at 10:32 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Ashley Boyd

Monica and Chandler still had lots of sex after marriage.
Red and Kitty were always horny on That 70's Show.
And Mike and Susan, Bree and Orson and Gabrielle and Carlos are always doing it on Desperate Housewives.

Yes marriage = death of sex is a bit of a cliched joke but...thats marriage anyway yes? :p

August 06 2008 at 6:28 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Mark G

please file this under "No Shit, Sherlock"

August 06 2008 at 6:12 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Trust me, neither AFA or PTC are getting any $$$ from me. In fact, I have no problem with Swingtown or Tell Me You Love Me being on the air. I have a problem with Hollywood creating asexual married couples when that's not the norm. I would agree that in today's TV environment, there just aren't a lot of TV shows that depict any kind of normal married couple (Bill Engvall Show) versus even a few years ago (HI, Raymond, Yes, Dear, King of Queens). Most of TV today consists of reality, procedurals, Lost-clones and sitcoms about singles. Maybe the new 90210 parents can give us a positive view of a married couple. Who knows?

(afterthought - I've never watched it, but how does Desperate Housewives do showing couples engaged in 'married sex?' Maybe there's more out there than I'm seeing)

August 06 2008 at 4:56 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
BC McKinney

Ironically, they should really like "Swingtown", since that is actually more about the married couples than swinging, or "Tell Me You Love Me", which was all about married people trying to have better sex--even the elderly therapist and her husband. But they even came out and said they don't want to see more married people having sex on TV, they want to see less of the other.

Political stances aside, the PTC's methodology in these studies has questionable validity. Their definitions of what constitutes a "depiction" of sex are suspect, e. g. Another big problem is not correcting for the populations that they're sampling--a lot of shows don't have married people as protagonists, therefore they're not going to be depicting marital sex. And there are lots of shows that don't depict sex at all--are they "good" examples by not showing sex, or "bad" examples by not showing married people having good sex?

Like the American Family Association's boycotts of various companies for "promoting" gay lifestyles, these studies are generally designed to generate publicity for the organization (and contributions from their supporters). And look--it was successful.

August 06 2008 at 4:06 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

HOW seldom (what is up with my typing today?)

August 06 2008 at 3:33 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Putting aside your views about PTC, you would be hard pressed to dispute their claim. Compare SatC, Friends, or Two and a Half Men with Everybody Loves Raymond or George Lopez. You don't have to go back too far to see married couples who had sex - Home Improvement, Cosby, and, my favorite example, Happy Days (w/ the Cunninghams getting 'frisky.')

Your remark about showing married couples having wild, animal sex on prime-time is absurd. But TV (and movies) miss the mark on married sex. There are plenty of married couples who experience an enjoyable sex life and too often all we see are the singles or cheaters on TV and movies enjoying sex. Fact is, married people have more sex and enjoy sex more than single people.

Again, whatever your political views, get over yourself. This is why people are so cynical of radical conservative and radical liberal groups, of people who can't agree with a group on anything just because they disagree with them on 99% of the other issues. I can agree with anyone (from PETA to PTC) when they have truth on their side, no matter who seldom that may be.

August 06 2008 at 3:26 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to jaems's comment

no matter home seldom that may be.

August 06 2008 at 3:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I am all for free speech but that still doesn't mean I'd jump for joy if the PTC members celebrated a birthday on a boat and the boat sank.

If there's a bigger group of morons in America I'd love to meet them.

August 06 2008 at 2:36 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Firefly aside (Obviously I love it, but it was not a mainstream show, it's canceled and it had no ratings when it was on so it really doesn't matter how married sex was portrayed)...the PTC is right. The old saw is the standard. How many sitcoms and dramas and dramadies rely on the "sex stops when you get married" joke/scenario?

I'll tell you; ALL OF THEM. And it's ridiculous.

Maybe the better angle on this post wasn't to waste it attacking the PTC (however justified) but rather to actually examine the issue? Or am I expecting too much again?

August 06 2008 at 2:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Two words: Fire. Fly.

August 06 2008 at 1:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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