Sexual content in television has become more explicit as time has progressed, from an era where married couples slept in separate beds and women were not allowed to display their naval. To a period now where portraying subjects such as: masturbation, multiple sex partners, orgasms, gay dating, and S &M is just a weeknight line up for televised syndication.
In class we watched three different sitcoms, Seinfeld (1992); Will & Grace (2000); and Sex & the City (2000). Each episode bestowed a sense of humor upon different sexual topics. Seinfeld: The Contest, focused on the issue of masturbation and who out of the four friends could withhold the longest. This episode was interesting because it took into account the female character as one of the participants in the bet, something risqué for it’s time, that would not have been depicted five years prior. This episode was an indicator that the times were changing, and women just as much as men had sexual desires. Elaine looses the bet because her sexual desires for John F. Kennedy Jr. were too strong. Overall this episode did display sexual content, however, the writers did an excellent job of making some of the sexual content subliminal and sarcastic so that if a younger viewer were to watch this episode some of the sexual innuendoes would be missed.
For Will & Grace: Love Plus One, the sexual content was more obviously displayed in the language and physical interaction between the characters and love interest. The episode had two plot lines, one dealt with Grace’s turmoil about engaging in a threesome with an Ex-boyfriend and his new girlfriend. The other plot line focused on Jack’s inability to talk to a “hot” gay customer at Banana Republic, and in desperation enlists the help from Will in order to get the guy. The sexual content was mild and presented in a humorous way. Both, Sinfeld and Will & Grace did a poor job of depicting what sexual experiences for young adults are really like, they did what many TV shows do, which is glamorize and lightly touch base on sexual topics instead of discuss the serious impacts these sexual endeavors can have on a person, especially a young person life. For younger viewers watching these shows they might get the impression that sex is a light hearted subject and few