Sexual Health in Pop Culture

By Olivia George

Dallas Buyers Club
Matthew McConaughey gives the performance of his career as an AIDS patient involved in the smuggling of unapproved pharmaceutical drugs into Texas. Jared Leto and Jennifer Garner also excel. A must-see.

1

Hollyoaks’ Ste first British soap character to be diagnosed as HIV positive
The programme is working with the Terrence Higgins Trust to develop a storyline in which the gay character comes to terms with HIV.

2

Madame Bovary
Married woman enjoys extramarital sex in a horse and carriage in the 1800s. Quel scandale!

3

Dystopian scifi lit condemns promiscuity
Aldous Huxley shocks with the cultivated sexual promiscuity of his Brave New World in 1931. 18 years later, George Orwell writes of the Anti-Sex League in his Big Brother state in 1984.

4

Jeff Koons
Modern art or promiscuity-promoting pornography? (This is significantly tamer than many of his pieces)

5

Keats’ La Belle Dame Sans Merci
Some have interpreted this classic ballad to refer to the femme fatale or “poison woman”, a myth partly derived from devastation caused by syphilis.

6

Michael Douglas opens up about the cause of his throat cancer
In 2003, the film star claimed that his throat cancer had been caused by the human papilloma (HPV) virus, transmitted during oral sex. Indeed, in recent years a rising number of head, neck and anal cancers have been tied to the virus. Douglas has now been cancer free for 2 years.

7

Friends: Joey Tribbiani regrets modeling job
Two lessons: always check before you put your face on something and always use protection.

8

Several series later…Ross Geller learns the hard way that condoms are only 97% effective
Fortunately it all works out and he, Rachel and daughter Emma live happily ever after. Joey however once again learns a valuable lesson about contraception.

9

SATC did STDs
Miranda, Charlotte and Samantha all had STD scares at least once and the show even provided some educational nuggets. For example, after being diagnosed with chlamydia, Miranda explained to her partner Steve that he had to get tested even though he didn’t have any symptoms.
I couldn’t help but wonder… why did Carrie escape STD-scare free?!

10

And last but not least…
Will there be a Fifty Shades of Grey effect?

What with Ann Summers reporting a surge in the sales of BDSM accessories, can A&E expect a surge in bedroom accidents?!

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