Minx, Euphoria, And Just Like That…welcome to the golden age of full frontal male nudity on TV
The curious thing about most established lines of society is that the world does not end when they are inevitably crossed. Take full-face male nudity on television, which for decades was considered an apocalyptic risk. It turns out that we are now in the golden age of the penis on television. No blurry hints, no brief flashes when a character gets out of bed – the male appendage has its moment on our screens. Many moments.
In fact, the favorite sequence is penis overload (additional note: what’s the collective name for penis?). In Stan’s terrific 1970s comedy Naughty, budding feminist editor Joyce (Ophelia Lovibond) gets funding for her magazine from a soft-core pornographer who’s holding a casting call for the launch issue’s centerfold. As the first hope unpacks, we get a montage of Polaroid penises and their proud wearers. Men smile, twirl or even twirl their member. The staff, like the public, begins to evaluate.
“No sausage is the same, baby,” Joyce says of one of her seasoned colleagues. “There are shorts, flatties, longs, fatties.” Television also learns the same lesson. sex and the city to restart And just like that… once had supporting player Harry Goldenblatt (Evan Handler) revealing himself for Charlotte (Kristin Davis), while Irish actor Paul Mescal added to the no-frills romantic carnage of normal people with a post-coital photo of his penis.
But no matter how many penises are shown, even with the famous gym shower from Netflix sex/life lead the way – it would be impossible to reconcile the decades of female nudity on television. The scales were beyond lopsided, with the strip club as the ubiquitous setting and The iron Throne using sex workers as a vehicle for storytelling so often in the early seasons that the term “sexposure” had to be coined.
Female breasts and pubic hair were used primarily as a means of visual pleasure for male viewers, even in some instances of sexual violence (Game of thrones again). There isn’t the same gratuitous impulse when it comes to female viewers and full-frontal male nudity. For the most part, the shows work their penis shots into the narrative, even when there’s overload like in Naughty. Whether it’s due to restraint or a double standard, women still don’t have a casual eye.
With male characters, penis strokes are often used to convey a difficult psychological state. On HBO Euphoria – can you believe it took so long to mention it? – the infamous locker room footage had high school football star Nate (Jacob Elordi), whose sexual development began watching his father’s tapes of random sexual encounters, feeling overwhelmed by the collective nudity of his teammates. Thirty or so penises surround the oversized teen as if enveloped.