After years of teasing, TV has finally begun whipping out the D at a rate that could almost make American audiences think they were in just about any other country. Vulture reports that nine shows contained at least one instance of full-frontal male nudity this year, suggesting that our nation’s long-awaited equalization of televised breasts and dicks will could potentially happen before Donald Trump is reelected for a second term.
This fall, Chris Zylka and Christopher Eccleston stripped down in different episodes of HBO’s The Leftovers. Ben Daniels used his bare penis in an act of aggression on Flesh and Bone. Outlander’s Tobias Menzies didn’t bother with a “modesty pouch.” Sense8, Shameless, Togetherness, The Affair, Black Sails, and Penny Dreadful all featured men who bared it all.
But even though the Ds have begun escaping the confines of their underwear’s weary elastic, Vulture points out that there is still a disconnect between the sexualized female nudity of shows like Game of Thrones, and artsy fartsy penis flopping of shows like The Leftovers. “The small uptick hardly a corrective to exploitative female nudity,” they write.
“Heh heh. Small uptick,” I laugh.
Offering one explanation for TV’s hesitance to show the D, Nancy Pimental, executive producer of the long-running and dick-filled series Shameless, said:
“We feel protective of the guy — is he going to get erect? It’s a big exposure,” she explains. “With women, you’re really just seeing boobs and pubic hair. You’re not getting all in there unless it’s porn. With a guy, it’s game on.” Penises “are kind of sacred.”
As a man, I can confidently say they are not. And, fortunately for all of us who want more HDDTV, I’m not alone:
“There is a tremendous amount of female nudity out there in popular culture,” [Damon] Lindelof says, “and it doesn’t make any sense that there isn’t enough male nudity.” [Mark] Duplass takes it further: “If I’m asking Amanda Peet and Melanie Lynskey to be naked, I better be damn willing to do it myself.”
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