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Mediated Eros

Sexual Scripts Within and Across Cultures

Miglena M. Sternadori

This book makes a unique contribution to the field of media studies by analyzing the perpetuation of sexual scripts through news articles, films, TV shows, lifestyle magazines, advertisements, and other forms of popular mediated culture. Focusing on cultural differences between North America and Europe, the book catalogues and contextualizes common sexual scripts by looking at the ways in which people have or do not have sex, eroticize each other’s bodies, penetrate each other’s bodies, and give meaning to all these activities.
Other such analyses have explored whether, when, and why people decide to have sex, and so on. This book instead focuses on how the sexual interaction itself is culturally scripted to occur – what sequence of events takes place after a couple have decided to have sex. While the first half of the book catalogues sexual scripts in a general way, based on geography and sexual orientation, the second half is framed around sexual discourses associated with some degree of shame and social stigmatization. The book ends by addressing the hegemonic perpetuation of mediated sexual scripts across cultures and the role of sexuality in fourth-wave feminism.
Mediated Eros is suitable as the primary or secondary text in seminars on media, culture, and sexuality, and would also be of interest to journalists and freelance writers whose work explores the sociocultural construction of sex and the sexual self.


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Chapter 5: Not Loud Enough, Too Loud: Gender and Heterosexuality Construction in Sex Advice


· 5 · not loud enough, too loud Gender and Heterosexuality Construction in Sex Advice I have fantastic sex with a new partner and I have orgasms every time, but he says I make too much noise. He says I sound like I’m being murdered and it’s “distract- ing” … I have been using a pillow over my head, but I find it suffocating. Is there any underlying psychological issue that might affect the level of noise one makes? (Connolly, 2012a) My boyfriend is always telling me he wants me to make more noise when we’re hav- ing sex, but I’m not that comfortable with it. I keep telling him how amazing he is in bed, so why does he care so much? (“Why does my boyfriend,” 2007) In spite—or perhaps because—of the increased acceptance of casual sex in the West, widespread uncertainty prevails about what performances are “normal” and expected in the sexual realm. The above two questions from anonymous readers sent to sex-advice columnists, the first appearing in The Guardian and the second in the U.S. edition of Cosmopolitan magazine, are a testimony to the sexual insecurities experienced by many, especially heterosexual women who often find themselves questioning their sexual “normalcy” as a result of comments or demands made by their partners. Doubts about what constitutes appropriate sexual behavior are in part reflective of the long-standing invisibility and private nature of sexuality, which—literature tells us—has been a source of anxiety for centuries. Once 124 mediated eros upon...

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