Please note: This piece discusses my personal sexuality -- specifically, my personal tastes in erotica -- in quite a bit of detail. Family members and others who don't want to read that stuff are advised to skip this one. This piece was originally published on the Blowfish Blog.
On Watching the Same Ten-Second TV Spank Scene... Over and Over and Over by Greta Christina
It seemed vaguely ridiculous at the time.
It seems even more ridiculous now.
Why -- in a world where I have almost infinite pornographic material at my fingertips -- would I find a ten-second spanking scene in a cable TV comedy series so erotically compelling? Why would I rewind and re-watch it a half a dozen times... and then fetch my vibrator, and watch it a dozen times more?
What is it about sex scenes in non- porno movies and TV shows, novels and comic books, that makes them hot? Not necessarily better than porn; but different, and different in a way that makes them special and exciting?
I'd like to say it's how unexpected it is. You rent or download a spanking video, you expect to see a spanking. It's fun, it's hot, but it's a bit anticlimactic. But you're watching a regular old TV show -- okay, on Showtime, but still -- and you see a spanking? (Or a lap-dance, or blowjob, or whatever it is that floats your boat?) That's a bit of a shock. And the shock of having one of your erotic buttons pushed out of nowhere can jolt you out of your TV- watching haze, and wake up your libido like a slap in the face.
Sure. Sometimes that's true.
But in this case, it would be a filthy lie. The spanking I'm talking about had been heavily foreshadowed in the previous week's episode. Heck, it had been highlighted in the "And now, scenes from next week's episode" clips. I didn't see the spanking come out of nowhere. I'd been waiting for it all week. With bated breath, and a twitchy hand on the remote.
So that's not it.
It's not the authentic feel you get from good acting, either. Usually when I rave about porn, it's the authenticity that I rave about: the feeling that the performers have genuine enthusiasm and passion about what they're doing. But that's almost the exact opposite of what I saw here. In a spanking video, there's a pretty decent chance that the people you're watching are really getting off on it. In "Weeds," these are highly- skilled, professional television actors... and while they did an excellent job convincing me of the characters' passions, I have no idea how the actors themselves felt about it. That's what makes them, you know, actors.
And I'd like to say that it was exceptional porn. Exceptionally erotic, exceptionally well-made. Something.
But honestly, it wasn't. The scene was fine by spanking porn standards -- it was certainly better- filmed and better- acted than most -- but it wasn't wildly extraordinary. And the actual spanking only lasted ten seconds... which is a pretty major downside for porn. The very fact that I had to rewind and re-watch it a dozen times was something of a hassle. It did lend a certain sleazy, drooling- pervert charm to the proceedings (especially when I was watching on frame- by- frame slow- forward); but it's hard to keep a sustained arc of sexual arousal when you're hitting "Rewind" every ten seconds. And while it was a good, hard ten- second spanking, from a purely porny standpoint it wasn't all that and a bag of chips.
See for yourself. If you Google "Weeds Nancy Botwin spanking," or go to YouTube and search on those words, you can see what I'm talking about. You can watch it here, if they haven't taken it down already. But unless you've been watching the show and care about the characters already, it probably won't seem all that interesting.
And that, I think, is the key.
That is what the ten-second spanking scene on "Weeds" has to offer that the overwhelming majority of porn doesn't:
Caring about the characters.
You can get some of that in written porn, if you know who the good writers are. But for reasons that surpass my understanding, from a purely porny standpoint I'm a much bigger fan of video than I am of fiction. And alas, the overwhelming majority of porn videos completely suck at engaging you with the characters, giving you a sense of what all this sex means to them, getting you to give a damn about them.
But I already care about the characters on "Weeds." I've been watching "Weeds" for close to three years now, and it's an unusually smart and well- written TV show. So compared to any porno vid I'm going to watch, it already has a three- year head start... not to mention the considerable advantage that a well-paid writing staff will give you.
No, not a friend exactly. I don't think the characters I watch on TV are my friends. But a reasonably close acquaintance. A friend of a friend. Someone I know a lot about and have come to care about from a distance.
And I think this is part of why people get so excited about sex scenes or kink scenes in non-porno TV and movies. (Apart from the celebrity fetish, of course; but that's not my thing, so I can't say much about it.) It's not like porn, where nine times out of ten you sit through a stupidly- written, woodenly- acted pool- boy seduction scene that's both unconvincing and unsurprising before you get to the "good stuff." The spanking in "Weeds" had all the complex intensity and emotional depth that my own sex fantasies have... with the added treat of not being made up in my own head, and therefore being at least a little surprising and new.
And that's something I've only gotten from a handful of porno vids.