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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 4. What’s Same-Sex Sex Like? Popular Imagination of Gay and Lesbian Sexuality


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Popular Imagination of Gay and Lesbian Sexuality

Two men have just had sex, voracious and insatiable, and a romance between them is beginning to blossom. They walk, shoulder to shoulder, in a San Francisco park, sharing the stories of their first homosexual experiences. One of them was 14 when he developed a crush on a handsome Mormon missionary, always clad in a crisp white shirts and with perfect hair, who visited weekly to try to convert his family: “I wanted to have sex with him so bad. I gave him a blowjob in my bedroom, while my mother was cooking dinner downstairs … He’d come over every week until my mom caught on.” The other man was 15—a chubby geek with a girlfriend—returning from a computer camp with a classmate who was “a real stud” with a “hairy chest.” Then, it just happened: “We’re sitting on the bus, talking about computer stuff. There’s a big blanket over us, and at one point, he takes my hand and puts it on his enormous penis.” The story ends with the “stud” ejaculating in his classmate’s hand. Both the narrator and the listener agree that this is hot.

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