The answer depends on what genre we’re talking about.In the fantasy genre,sex is more prevalent than in sci fi,according to a recent survey by the film website Den of Geek.Respondents said it was more likely for a fantasy movie to feature sex than a sci-fi movie.In sci-fi movies,violence and action take center stage more often than sex.
In general,studios tend to shy away from depicting sex in any genre,primarily due to fear of controversy or censorship.For example,the release of Fifty Shades of Grey in 2015 provoked some backlash,leading many filmmakers to be more careful with their depiction of sexual content in movies.This is especially the case with movies directed toward younger audiences.
Still,sex is a common theme in sci fi and fantasy movies,though it may be presented in a more subtle way.Some famous examples include Ghost in the Shell,where the heroine has a passionate moment with another character,or Total Recall,where the protagonist’s sexual encounters with a woman are used to help move the plot along.These types of scenes occur fairly often in sci fi and fantasy movies,though they may not be as explicit as scenes from some other genres.
Another aspect to consider is character development.Filmmakers often insert sexual elements into a movie to further explore the characters’ inner lives and relationships.For instance,Annihilation features an intimate scene between its two protagonists and this helps to drive the plot as well as deepening their characters.
The prevalence of sex in sci fi and fantasy movies also boils down to simple economics.Studios know that sex draws audiences,who may be more likely to turn out for a movie if it features at least a few suggestive scenes.For instance,the Twilight books,in which the protagonists share a number of intimate moments,were huge box office successes.
Sci Fi vs Fantasy Movies
When discussing the prevalence of sex in complex sci-fi and fantasy movies,it is important to look at the differences between these two genres.1In most fantasy movies,the sex is integral to the plot,as it is often used to emphasize the characters’ relationships and/or to illustrate thematic elements.In sci fi movies,however,sex is more often used as a secondary element.
For instance,sci-fi movies tend to focus more on action and violence,and may include a few moments of sexual tension here and there.Avatar,for example,contains a handful of scenes with sexual undertones,but such scenes are mostly there to advance the plot and reinforce the characters’ arcs.
Representation of Women
It is also worth noting that when sex is present in sci fi and fantasy movies,it tends to be presented in a certain way.Studies have shown that female characters are often portrayed as objects of desire or sexual gratification rather than fully developed characters.
Moreover,many sci fi and fantasy movies rely on “male gaze”,in which the camera lingers on female characters as if they were props,rather than actual people.Female characters are often presented in skimpy clothing and heavy makeup,which reinforces the notion that they exist solely for the pleasure of the male characters.
However,there are some exceptions to this.For instance,The Hunger Games and Mad Max: Fury Road feature strong female characters who are not merely objects of sexual desire.These movies suggest that when filmmakers strive for more thoughtful depictions of sex and gender in sci fi and fantasy movies,they can achieve better results.
Given the controversy that sex in sci fi and fantasy movies can stir up,it is not surprising that many filmmakers opt to scale back the sexual content in their movies.For example,the 2018 movie,Mortal Engines,was heavily censored in China due to its sexual content,which was perceived as too explicit for younger viewers.
Many filmmakers also choose to avoid controversial scenes or situations altogether.For instance,the recent Marvel movie,Black Panther,has been praised for its progressive stance on issues of race and gender,but some viewers criticized it for its lack of same-sex relationships.
These decisions are often made out of fear of censorship and controversy.Still,by censoring potentially “inappropriate” content,filmmakers can also be depriving audiences of potentially meaningful stories.
The language used in sci fi and fantasy movies can also be telling.Many of these movies feature a wealth of sexual innuendo,which helps viewers to explore the protagonists’ inner thoughts and feelings.
In some cases,the sexual language may be more explicit than in other genres.For example,the 2009 movie,District 9,contains a number of explicit references to sex.Such scenes are often used to establish the characters’ motivations or personalities,rather than merely titillate viewers.
The way in which sex is portrayed in sci fi and fantasy movies thus speaks to its importance within the genre.By looking at the prevalence,language and representation of sex in these movies,we can get a better understanding of how filmmakers approach the subject and where the genre is heading in the future.
One of the main arguments against mixing sex and sci fi and fantasy movies is that such stories can glamorize and normalize behavior that is morally questionable.Some argue that depicting sex in these movies could lead viewers—especially younger ones—to accept questionable behavior in real life.
However,there is a growing consensus among researchers that if handled properly,sex in sci fi and fantasy movies can be used to explore important moral questions and issues.The 2017 movie,Blade Runner 2049,for instance,used explicit scenes to tackle the idea of what it means to be human.The movie was praised for its thoughtful exploration of this complex theme.
Impact on Larger Culture
Finally,it is worth noting that the prevalence of sex in sci fi and fantasy movies has had an influence on popular culture.Movies such as Star Wars and Star Trek have managed to popularize certain types of erotic imagery,which have since become commonplace in mainstream media.
Moreover,gaming franchises such as Fallout and Mass Effect have also helped to normalize the concept of mature themes and relationships in sci fi and fantasy stories.As a result,sex has become an accepted part of sci fi and fantasy movies—one that is often used to explore characters’ motivations or to illustrate thematic elements.
Overall,it is clear that sex is a major element in many sci fi and fantasy movies.The prevalence of sex in such movies varies greatly,from simple insinuations to lengthy,explicit scenes.It is also worth noting that these movies often present sex as a natural part of life,which can help to normalize it in wider culture.At the same time,filmmakers should be careful not to use sex merely as a tool to titillate viewers.By treating the subject with respect,they can create stories that explore important moral issues and help to shape popular culture.