Archive for January, 2009

Greta Christina on why the spanking scene in Weeds was so hot

January 6, 2009

Somehow, I missed this last year when Greta Christina wrote it for Blowfish. Do be sure to read the whole thing, it’s great. She’s such a brilliant thinker about sex.

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.