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pop culture sexuality

Over the last couple of years, the world has seen some interesting trends and top stories cropping up from a variety of sources; the most unexpected political candidacy ever yielded the internet craze of "cat Trumping" (in which a person fashions a makeshift Trump-style hairpiece from a clump of cat fur, then places it on said cat's head) and Kylie Jenner's plump, sensual lips led to dozens of absolutely tragic mouth-suction disasters, as detailed by young Viners and YouTubers whose oversized, cartoonish results mesmerized us all. But, as always seems to be the case, some of the most striking and controversial pieces of pop culture in recent memory have been strongly linked to sex. Because, well... SEX!

Twerkable Tunes

It's not really surprising to anyone that music continues to talk about sex pretty much constantly. At this point, a good chunk of the Billboard top 100 hits (if not the majority) have music videos that are essentially softcore porn. The video for Nicki Minaj's "Anaconda," which was inspired by and samples heavily from Sir Mix-a-Lot's classic "Baby Got Back," was pretty much a big ol' booty-poppin', lap-dancin' party with a lot of glistening, oily bodies doing the kind of twerking and winding that causes earthquakes. The only thing that was missing was somebody actually "tossing a salad," ifyouknowwhatImean. And you know what? It was a great video.

Fifty Shades of Smut

The last couple of years also saw one of the most publicly-discussed bits of smutty writing to be published since 'Lady Chatterley's Lover.' While it's generally been panned by those of us whose standards for literature don't include things that started as 'Twilight' fan-fiction (full disclosure: I think it's awful), the 'Fifty Shades of Grey' trilogy by E.L. James absolutely exploded after its first book was published in 2011, making all of us very uncomfortable when we found out our moms and grandmas were reading it.

 

 

The 'Fifty Shades' phenomenon brought kink to the foreground of pop culture in new ways, bringing closet freaks out of the woodwork and into the public space. When the first movie was released, offices were filled with middle-aged women giggling and tittering and making plans to take half days to see it together. It was awkward.

Despite the positives of making BDSM just a little less taboo in modern-day America, the series isn't without controversy; many feel that the book does not illustrate proper consent or safe BDSM practices, and that some passages even outright suggest rape. Whatever the reality of the work, one thing's for sure: it made a whole lot of people horny, and made E.L. James a whole lot of money.

Caitlyn Jenner & Trans Rights in General

Before you start with the angry comment about how being transgender is about being oneself and not purely about sex, let me say that I am absolutely, 100% with you on that. Caitlyn's incredible journey from fading Olympian and Kardashian stepdad to out-and-proud trans woman has been about cracking open decades of repression and being totally real in a world that's often cruel and insulting to those dealing with gender dysphoria. With that said, it's also true that a large portion of society has decided to completely ignore that part and think solely about her genitals, her sex life and the apparent sexual-depravity that they imagine must be involved.

While the rights of cis-gendered gay and lesbian Americans are finally starting to become stronger, Caitlyn and her fellow trans folk are at the center of the next great battle for equality. Meanwhile, Bob and Marsha Dingbat are worried about people being in the "wrong" bathroom. Because whenever a person has to pee, it's actually about sex. Yep. And unisex bathrooms are basically just orgy rooms for depraved, genderless rebels. It all makes total sense.

Look, sexuality is great and all, and we're all fascinated by the different facets of it. But maybe if we view people as people and stop worrying at all hours of the day about each other's junk (what kind we have, what we're doing with the stuff, whether we were born with it, etc.), life could be a whole lot better. I mean, I just don't have the time to think about your crotch at this point. It's 2016. I have things to do.

juniper

Story by Juniper

Juniper is always ready with an opinion -- regardless of what the conversation entails. Want to talk about the latest sex-related blunder that everyone saw on network tv last night? Wondering about that outfit you thought about buying during your last visit to your neighborhood sex shop? Juniper is right there...