Miley Cyrus

Miley Cyrus (Photo credit: rwoan)

I admit I was curious about Miley Cyrus‘ performance at the MTV Awards, so I watched the video. To me, that was the least sexy event I have seen on television. Unlike other animals, human beings surround sexuality with an aura of mystery and wonder–that seems to be a part of human nature. In the past, before premarital sex became common, the lure of the wedding night was eagerly anticipated by engaged couples. The contemporary world has removed the mystery from sex and therefore removed the sexiness from sex. I have never been impressed by the obviousness of the sexual movements by Madonna, by Lady Gaga, by Miley Cyrus, or by many performers in rap videos.

Can anyone watch the movie Casablanca without feeling romantic? Did it need an explicit sex scene to make it “sexy” enough. To me, Casablanca is one of the sexiest movies out there. In the movies of the 1930s up to the early 1960s, there was a great deal under the surface–sexual innuendo that only adults could understand. The kiss anticipates what the viewer knows will come, but does not see. Mystery leaves room for the viewer’s imagination. If I watch a 1950s-era movie that leads to the kiss sealing the love between a man and a woman, that kiss is incredibly sexy. Oftentimes in these old films, the expectation is that the lovers will marry, initiating them into the mysteries of sexuality and the greater mystery of bringing new life into the world and in adjusting and loving another person in such an intimate way. Today sex is reduced to technique, to selfish desire for one’s own pleasure, to wanting a “good performance” from one’s partner without any love at all. Human beings are reduced to mechanisms, machines who perform the sexual task as efficiently as a well-run corporation.

Miley Cyrus and her ilk mark the end stage of a process that began long ago as marriage disintegrated as an institution and the hook-up culture came into play. Ms. Cyrus probably has no idea how stomach-turning her performance is to people who have not lost the ability to blush.

Keep sex a thing of wonder, a unique and intimate expression of love. Do not buy into the cheapness unrestrained performances bring to sexuality. We are more than machines. We are more than animals who operates sexually by instinct. We are human beings with complex feelings that surround the sexual act. It is time we stopped stripping (literally, it seems) the mystery from sex, to stop making sex unsexy.