Thursday, January 16, 2014

Sex As a Game

With sex being an ever present money-making commodity in the world of advertising, it should be no surprise to anyone that it is the subject matter for much of our pop music. Korea is not different from much of the West in the way we use sex to sell our products.

With the way sex is constantly in our face, it leaves little room for being indifferent to what is happening. And as expected, reactions to this relatively new use of sex are varied. Some people like the breakdown of our sensitivity to things sexual, dispelling the aura of the sacred traditionally attached to sexuality. Some dislike what is happening to our culture: turning sex into an object apart from its legitimate role in life, making  sex into a game that can be enjoyed anytime and anyplace, without any qualms. It's surprising that, whatever school you belong to, more awareness of the results of the the way we think is not examined more closely, for it is not difficult to see the consequences of the choices we are making.
In a recent diocesan bulletin, a lecturer and researcher in the field of the culture of life writes about the importance of a person's growth in character and the ethical view of life. He introduces us to Park Jin-young, a popular singer and songwriter, and the president of JYP Entertainment, one of the biggest entertainment conglomerates  in Korea. He is famous or infamous, depending on which school you belong to, in popularizing the notion that sex is a game. He speaks freely about making sex pleasurable. The writer wants us to question whether those who are adults see sex as a game to be enjoyed without conditions.

The notion that sex is a game is reinforced, unknowingly, he says, by those who have enjoyed a great deal of pornography. The values of those who watch porn, he says, are similar to the values motivating the makers of porno: bodily pleasure. Those who have given the subject some deep thought know that this is not one of our noblest pursuits.

How is it that Park has come to see sex as a game and seeks  to spread this thinking to the world? Taking the words that he expressed in an interview, the writer shows why this thinking became possible. As a child in middle school, the world was dark, the singer said. He drank a lot, smoked and got to know the opposite sex. We played kissing games during that period, he confided; there was nothing he  didn't hear or say, and no subjects  that he didn't allow himself to enjoy. 

This way of thinking during his youth continued to grow into what he considers mature adult sexuality. It is part of what he creates in his songs, he says, part of the "cultural masterpieces" that he offers the world, to children and teenagers, without in anyway being aware of the harm being done. And the mass media, by its unquestioning, silent approval, is spreading the harm throughout society. Without our realizing what is happening, says the writer, Park has become our number one teacher on sexuality. This distorted picture of sexuality, with the power of mass media behind it, has infiltrated all of society. And being so extensive, there can be little awareness of the long-term results. 
He concludes the article by saying that whatever makes money in our free society, no matter how unacceptable it may be to many within that society, is going to be allowed. To counter this trend, he would like us to become more aware of the power of mass media and its responsibility to society and, perhaps more importantly, to be more aware and upset at the distorted views of life that are being expressed, often simply because they can, by their outrageous sensationalizing, create money for their purveyors. 

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