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valdemar

While I haven't seen the movie, the 'normalising' of sex-as-fun is unremarkable in the British media. S&M doesn't feature a lot on TV but where it does it is seen as harmless or even charming. More interesting (perhaps)is the approach to gay/lesbian/bisexual fun - Doctor Who and its spin-off, Torchwood, have been banging this drum fairly loudly.

Doctor Who, an early evening 'family show', quite definitely aimed at kids, often has gay characters and knowing 'wink wink' references. In the first season the Doctor pointed out to his 'modern' companion that, in the future, being bisexual will be normal.

Oddly, there has not been the usual right-wing tabloid outcry about this, perhaps because the show is a bit of a cultural icon. Or maybe we really have made progress.

Eclectic

I've seen it before in British TV. It's been a long time, so I'm really scraping my memory here, but it was a regular show about an antique dealer (or maybe he was an appraiser) who gets wrapped up in interesting crimes on a regular basis (thefts, inheritance disputes, forgery, and smuggling, mostly), which, in one episode I saw, happened to interrupt a minor character visiting a dominatrix.

It may have been a minor plot point; I think perhaps the minor character was a suspect who hadn't provided an alibi, and this was explaining why he hadn't provided one, but I was thinking that the writers wanted an interrupting-intimate-moment scene without flashing nude bits around.

So they had a white-haired gentleman in underwear and leather cuffs scuttling out the back door, and pretty much being ignored. This was referenced once in passing, at the end of the show "You should see where he gets his sense of discipline."

So the main character saw and noticed, but had an actual crime to investigate and wasn't going to get sidetracked.

I was quite pleased. It's not serious or alarming, just funny.

valdemar

Eclectic - sounds like Lovejoy, which starred Ian MacShane, now famed for Deadwood. I'm sure there are lots of other examples. The S&M kink is generally perceived as amusing. It's interesting to ponder what form of legal sexual activity would be seen as beyond the pale on UK TV. The racial barrier was pretty much smashed in the Eighties, and the gay/lesbian taboo was gone by the mid-Nineties. Big age gaps between partners are still a bit iffy, though.

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