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    Default Is sex always fanservice?

    So, I hope the mods won't read the title and shut this down right away...

    Since it came kind of up in another thread and I have a hard time thinking about it I thought I'd make it a thread and see where it is going.

    So, can any of you, dear Playgrounders, recall an instance where you encountered a sex scene in a (not porn) media and it came across at organic, part of the story and not something to attract an audience or cause a scandal or something?

    I'm sure there must be a few instances and I guess for some of them it's up to personal preference...

    e.g. while not entirely organic the sex scenes in the ASOIAF books are... okay mostly while obviously the series added a few for other reasons. Or the sex scene in the first episode of Breaking Bad (well, kind of) didn't feel that much like "look, we have sex scenes!" but something that actually served a purpose.


    edit: Too (hopefully) avoid confusing about what I'm looking for:

    When is sex portrayed as a normal activity between two people? Not as fan service, or rape, or to be disturbing or not as a plot point if it is just a plot point. Because sex is a normal part of people's relationships but media often don't show it as just said. Or tend to do it much more rarely than to use it for some other purpose.
    Last edited by Kato; 2012-12-22 at 04:05 AM.
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    Default Re: Is sex alway fanservice?

    When it's discreet or when it's used to establish something about a character (like Khal Drogo and Danny's first night together, unfortunately changed in the HBO series), it's not really fanservice.
    It only tends to happen in books, though.

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    Default Re: Is sex alway fanservice?

    I'd have to say that almost all of the sexual content of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo was disturbing and not at all a case of fan service. Also, I really wish I'd had some warning what I was getting into when I agreed to watch it.
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    Default Re: Is sex alway fanservice?

    There are any number of films, especially foreign films where it serves to drive the plot and is often times unpleasant. In cases like The Dreamers or Water Lillies the sex is a plot point and nothing more.
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    Default Re: Is sex alway fanservice?

    Another example is in Yahtzee's Chzo Mythos series. The sex scene in 6 Days a Sacrifice was, by word of author, at least intended as anti-fanservice:
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yahtzee
    "Fact is, this is me trying to do something disturbing without realising that I'm the only one it disturbs. I've come to develop a weird aversion to sex. I've never been really sold on it. It's possible I have some hangups from a few things from my past, but these days I'm pretty much celibate (and it's not for want of female (or even male) attention, thank you very much, I mean, I own a bar, for christ's sake). I don't think it's immoral, or anything. I just find it a bit gross. This may be linked to the fact that I hate kids and the thought of having any of my own makes me want to stick a gun in my mouth. The sex scene was intended to be grotesque, not in any way titillating. It's about characters succumbing to something animalistic as they lose their grip on reality. It's an expression of Janine's descent into madness (consider how she's behaving immediately afterwards), and another torture device to pile onto Theo. In case it's not been obvious enough so far, the theme of 6 Days is the Blessed Agonies, and how a comparatively short period of experiencing them is enough to turn Theo, the ultimate everyman, into something to Chzo's liking. And the sex thing is part of it. It's just plain physically painful but he's doing it because it's what Janine wants, and she's completely and utterly doomed.* But I understand that most people don't see sex the same way I do, so the intention might have been lost. I defend the concept, but not so much the execution."
    *At the time, Theo has a broken leg and arm, multiple cracked ribs, and a nasty head injury, none of which have been properly set or anesthetized. Janine dies less than a day later, which is attributed in-game to her having sex with Theo.
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    Default Re: Is sex alway fanservice?

    if the question is "is <insert here> always <insert here>"
    the answer is almost always "no it is not"

    exceptions are logic and mathematics of course and some other very rare cases ^^
    Last edited by Emmerask; 2012-12-17 at 03:22 AM.

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    Default Re: Is sex alway fanservice?

    Walking Dead:
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    There is one "sex" scene coming up that I hope they change... I don't watch it but just remembering it makes me want to puke... SPOILER:
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    After running to the other "town" the black girl get's raped... I still have about 30 comics lying around on my pc... haven't touched them for about a year now.


    According to a "friend" of a "friend" of mine the Rome series featured this quite well.

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    Default Re: Is sex alway fanservice?

    Quote Originally Posted by Emmerask View Post
    if the question is "is <insert here> always <insert here>"
    the answer is almost always "no it is not"

    exceptions are logic and mathematics of course and some other very rare cases ^^
    As someone once said (or something like), if an old scientist says something is possible, it likely is. If an old scientist says something is impossible, it likely is not.
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    Default Re: Is sex alway fanservice?

    Okay, I guess I need to narrow down my question a bit more: (I'll do an edit to the opening post)

    When is sex portrayed as a normal activity between two people? Not as fan service, or rape, or to be disturbing or not as a plot point if it is just a plot point. Because sex is a normal part of people's relationships but media often don't show it as just said. Or tend to do it much more rarely than to use it for some other purpose.
    Last edited by Kato; 2012-12-17 at 05:13 AM.
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    Default Re: Is sex alway fanservice?

    No, sex isn't always fanservice. Nevertheless, all sex is fanservice for somebody.
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    Default Re: Is sex alway fanservice?

    You could argue about sex in Torchwood. I don't think it technically counts as fanservice since it isn't contrived solely to have favorite characters bumping uglies, but then again Captain Jack is a fan cult unto himself, so him bumping uglies with anyone is probably fanservice for someone.

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    Default Re: Is sex alway fanservice?

    In a certain sense, isn't everything in entertainment fanservice -- i.e. something meant to please those watching, reading, or otherwise consuming said entertainment?
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    Default Re: Is sex alway fanservice?

    Sex is a part of people's lives, yes, but so is going to the bathroom and brushing your teeth. Things don't happen in faction (or shouldn't happen) in fiction just because they do in real life, it needs to have a point. Otherwise, you shouldn't be showing it. Knowing a couple has had sex might tell you something about their relationship, but you don't need to show it for it to work.
    When a sex scene does nothing but show sex, yeah, it's fanservice.

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    Default Re: Is sex alway fanservice?

    Quote Originally Posted by Krazzman View Post
    Spartacus, at least the episodes I saw with my GF were pretty ok-ish.
    Then I guess you saw different ones than I did. Different episodes treat it differently though.
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    Default Re: Is sex alway fanservice?

    Hanako's sex scene in Katawa Shoujo came across like part of a story to me, and wasn't very fanservice.

    Then again I might not be the best person to judge this by.

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    Default Re: Is sex alway fanservice?

    Most sex on television or movies tends to be highly sanitized. The overwhelming sentiment is that sex is always casual and inconsequential. I don't think pregnancies and STDs are necessary for a realistic portrayal, just a reasonable facsimile of emotional consequences or possibly bodies which aren't perfect -- like most of us have.

    If I were to give two example, Breaking Bad and the Simpsons would be the two which immediately spring to mind.

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    Default Re: Is sex alway fanservice?

    I'm going to go ahead and say the scene in Zion between Neo and Trinity in The Matrix: Reloaded.

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    I've heard that scene described in a mtter of ways, with particular note to the cuts back and forth between Neo and Trin and the rave scene elsewhere in Zion. The Rave Scene represents how in this scary, new world, public and communal expressions of joy and compassion are accepted. In contrast, Neo and Trinity are doing something that's morally wrong, favoring one person above everyone else, an act that would be less serious if Neo wasn't in such a place of importance within the series. This scene is later reflected when Neo meets the Architect, and each monitor on the wall shows how he reacts differently to each response by the Architect himself, except for the final choice between saving Trinity of saving Zion. His dangerous attachment to Trinity, aside from the human race as a whole, leads into The Matrix: Revolutions, and effectively shows us that Neo, this supposed 'savior', isn't ready to give everything for the human race, a task that he accepts in Revolutions when Trinity dies after crashing the Logos into the machine city.
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    Default Re: Is sex alway fanservice?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bulldog Psion View Post
    In a certain sense, isn't everything in entertainment fanservice -- i.e. something meant to please those watching, reading, or otherwise consuming said entertainment?
    Not to me. In my opinion, fanservice is something done for no reason other than the titillation of the viewers. Something like an attractive female character on a tv show always wearing low cut blouses and constantly being bent over so we get to see massive cleavage. That usually serves no purpose in a story, (unless its being done as a seduction scene or something) and is done purely to give viewers something hot to look at. Buddy at a computer? She is bent forward into the camera to look at the monitor. Talking to someone at a desk? She is bent forward with her elbows on the desk while they chat. Something is on the ground? She bends at the waist to look at it instead of at the knees. Anything that could be used to show off cleavage is done.
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    Default Re: Is sex alway fanservice?

    I can think of three cases when sex scenes aren't intended as fanservice: when they happen discreetely and offscreen, when they're intended to squick you out, and when they're used comedically and are too funny be to arousing.

    There are also instances of sex being intended as fanservice but failing to deliver, for one reason or another. Way too common.

    Quote Originally Posted by Morithias View Post
    Hanako's sex scene in Katawa Shoujo came across like part of a story to me, and wasn't very fanservice.
    Magical condom out of nowhere!

    (I almost feel bad making fun of Hanako's route because of how many feels it gave me. Almost.)
    Last edited by Tengu_temp; 2012-12-17 at 07:51 AM.

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    Default Re: Is sex alway fanservice?

    Black Swan. Most -if not all - of the sex scenes are quite squicky or disturbing in hindsight, but also extremely relevant as additional windows into the protagonist's psyche.
    Well, of course, I suppose some are too turned on by the idea of
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    the two main actresses making out
    to mind the implications. Squicky fanservice is always straight fanservice for someone else.


    EDIT: oh, yeah, another Katawa Shoujo (though this may be an even more subjective example that the others):
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    You have the possibility, in Shizune's route, to cheat on her with Misha. Who is not actually attracted to you, but to her best friend, which causes her great anguish. She only asks to have sex with you because she's in a very dark state of mind. And you're aware of that when the option presents itself.
    IMHO, it's even less sexy than Hanako's scene. It's just depressing and messed up should you accept.
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    Default Re: Is sex alway fanservice?

    Quote Originally Posted by Morithias View Post
    Hanako's sex scene in Katawa Shoujo came across like part of a story to me, and wasn't very fanservice.

    Then again I might not be the best person to judge this by.
    Yeah, no fanservice in a porn game. At all.

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    Default Re: Is sex alway fanservice?

    Given that it takes literally hours to reach any of the sex scenes and they last a few minutes each, I'd say that playing Katawa Shoujo for the sake of porn is going to leave you disappointed. Not to mention that several of them are deeply uncomfortable because of when they happen and what role they have in the story. Rin's first one springs to mind.

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    Default Re: Is sex alway fanservice?

    Quote Originally Posted by Terraoblivion View Post
    Given that it takes literally hours to reach any of the sex scenes and they last a few minutes each, I'd say that playing Katawa Shoujo for the sake of porn is going to leave you disappointed. Not to mention that several of them are deeply uncomfortable because of when they happen and what role they have in the story. Rin's first one springs to mind.
    That's true to the whole genre of dating sims. That's the point of those games, even. That's why it's a game instead of another media, you have to do stuff to get there. It doesn't change the fact that it is a porn game.

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    Default Re: Is sex alway fanservice?

    Okay, in order to answer this we're going to first have to define what "porn" is. Is the fact it has sex period make it porn? Does it have to be shown on screen? Etc?

    I wouldn't call Katawa Shojou porn personally. It has far too little emphasize on sex. Then again I might not be the best person to ask, since I can name multiple scenes in Sengoku Rance that weren't played for fanservice (Kou's raping, Kenshin's murder, Leith's capture by the demon army). All of which were played like torture scenes and made so we hated the villains.

    But yeah, Katawa Shojou porn? I don't think so. Not unless I'm allowed to call the statue of David porn.

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    Default Re: Is sex alway fanservice?

    Quote Originally Posted by ThiagoMartell View Post
    Yeah, no fanservice in a porn game. At all.
    Have you played it?

    Cause it seems a bit odd to call a game in which the erotic scenes are actually optional (as in, you can just turn them off when you start) a porn game. >.> Not to mention that they're only a small part of the content, or would you call every random movie that has a sex scene in it porn as well?

    Edit; I'm also a bit hesitant to call VN's games, cause like KS features less than 10 choices to make in most arcs. I've always seen them as stories with a bit of reader input. (Comparable to those choose your own adventure books maybe? Though those have a higher input / story ratio.)
    Last edited by Astrella; 2012-12-17 at 09:25 AM.
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    Default Re: Is sex alway fanservice?

    Quote Originally Posted by Astrella View Post
    Have you played it?

    Cause it seems a bit odd to call a game in which the erotic scenes are actually optional (as in, you can just turn them off when you start) a porn game. >.> Not to mention that they're only a small part of the content, or would you call every random movie that has a sex scene in it porn as well?

    Edit; I'm also a bit hesitant to call VN's games, cause like KS features less than 10 choices to make in most arcs. I've always seen them as stories with a bit of reader input. (Comparable to those choose your own adventure books maybe? Though those have a higher input / story ratio.)
    Yeah SMALL is the right word. Like I stated with my statue of David example, it's literally just a naked guy. Without any form of context of the scene, if one were to look at it, it's just a statue of naked guy.

    It's similar to dismissing H-games as "just fanservice" without any context of the scenes.

    Kawata Shojou has maybe, 1 or 2; 3 minute scenes per girl? Out of hours of story and gameplay.
    Last edited by Morithias; 2012-12-17 at 09:34 AM.

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    Default Re: Is sex alway fanservice?

    Quote Originally Posted by Emmerask View Post
    if the question is "is <insert here> always <insert here>"
    the answer is almost always "no it is not"

    exceptions are logic and mathematics of course and some other very rare cases ^^

    Do I have an exceptionally dirty mind when I chuckled at the use of "insert here" in a thread about sex scenes?

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    Default Re: Is sex alway fanservice?

    The statue of David is not explicit sex.
    "H-games" are per definition porn, because hentai is porn, damn it.
    I'm not even saying it's bad because it's porn, I'm just saying it's porn.
    My Lovely Ghost Kana is porn. It's also a beautiful story. The sex scenes are complete fanservice, though. They are unnecessary for the main plot, at least as explicit as they are. Some of them even feel out of place. The story would be even better without those gratuitous sex scenes.
    I haven't played Katawa Shoujo and I never will because it offends my sensibilities in many ways (starting from the very rude title).
    Last edited by ThiagoMartell; 2012-12-17 at 10:37 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ThiagoMartell View Post

    1. The status of David is not explicit sex.
    2. "H-games" are per definition porn, because hentai is porn, damn it.
    I'm not even saying it's bad because it's porn, I'm just saying it's porn.
    My Lovely Ghost Kana is porn. It's also a beautiful story. The sex scenes are complete fanservice, though. They are unnecessary for the main plot, at least as explicit as they are. Some of them even feel out of place. The story would be even better without those gratuitous sex scenes.
    3. I haven't played Katawa Shoujo and I never will because it offends my sensibilities in many ways (starting from the very rude title).
    1. It's a statue of a naked guy. What does something need to have more than one person to be sex now? Doing solo is no longer sexual?

    2. Again, define porn. Don't just call it porn. DEFINE IT. Give me a definition that can be measured. Not just "I know it when I see it." I want numbers, examples, SCIENCE, "damn it".

    3. So basically you're judging something you've never read based on your biases. There are so many things wrong with that. But most of my arguments to show how stupid it is, involve religion and would get me warnings.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ThiagoMartell View Post
    I haven't played Katawa Shoujo and I never will because it offends my sensibilities in many ways (starting from the very rude title).
    I was really weary about it initially too because of the title but it actually is pretty well thought out and makes you think about autonomy and treating people as independent human beings and not their disability.
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