General Question

gottamakeart's avatar

Male Nudity in art, film, etc.

Asked by gottamakeart (1323points) July 10th, 2009

Never mind the censors, I want to know what the public thinks, If an art show, movie, or cable program has some kind of content warning (i.e.: TV-MA, N, R, NC-17, etc) and male full-frontal happens to be there, did it just ruin it for you and you were terribly offended, or since there was a fair enough warning, you are able to just take it in stride? It seems as if the male body is still Taboo even now in the 21st Century.

Your opinions please.

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37 Answers

Phobia's avatar

Taboo? No, I think its more along the fact that the majority of the people DON’T want to see that…

Les's avatar

Nudity in general I have no problem with. I’d prefer nudity over excessive violence any day.

Saturated_Brain's avatar

Depends on the sexuality, gender and horniness-level of the person involved I say.

And presence of family/friends too (those bothersome people)

jfos's avatar

I don’t think nudity should be discriminated against. We were born nude. If anything should be “rated”, it should be clothing, not lack thereof. Sexual content is different, and maybe children shouldn’t be exposed to that until they are teenagers… But as far as seeing a naked man/woman/boy/girl, that should not be taboo.

calvinette's avatar

It is insulting to warn specifically about male nudity. Nudity is nudity, whatever. If people can’t handle it, then they’re just too immature to be watching that movie.

If I had noticed a warning about “male nudity” before watching “Room With A View,” it would have ruined the whole scene at the pond. When George Emerson, Mr. Beebe, and Freddy spontaneously and joyfully go skinny-dipping, it is hilarious, wonderful, surprising and most of all INNOCENT. Any kind of prudish warning would have thrown it out of the context of what it was: a totally transcendental experience, a commune with nature—which was the most interesting theme of the movie, in my opinion.

Mamradpivo's avatar

I don’t mind it. I enjoy seeing female full frontal nudity, it would be hypocritical to get worked up about seeing an actor’s junk.

Saturated_Brain's avatar

@jfos Have to disagree there. Nudity is taboo because people are nude usually only in their most intimate and private moments (like when having sex). Thus, whenever nudity is shown in the media, it’s usually during those moments. Even if it’s not, the viewers might consciously or unconsciously link it to those moments.

Furthermore, there’s nothing more arousing than bare skin. We know that. And so, seeing anybody nude is more often than not bound to get some type of reaction down there.

So perhaps to expose something like that on TV might make people wonder when their favourite channel suddenly started to host porn.


As for male nudity, funnily enough, when I was younger I came up with the theory that it’s because it’s so easy to spot it when guys are aroused (as compared to females). Don’t want to see something naughty on TV do we?

Furthermore, it could also be because in all the centuries of art we’ve had, it’s always been the females who’ve been the nudes (Venus anyone?). Hardly ever males (although there are a few very famous exceptions). It could be some socially ingrained sexism that females can be exposed while males can’t too..

Gargh I’m throwing up so many possible reasons. Somebody stop me!

CMaz's avatar

All nudity is art, the human body is a beautiful thing. But when bodily fluids start flying around, I draw the line. That includes the injection of raw sexuality.

lillycoyote's avatar

Bring it on!

calvinette's avatar

@Saturated_Brain , there’s nothing more arousing than bare skin? Really? I can think of a few things in movies, TV, etc. more arousing than simply seeing a naked body in front of me.

Saturated_Brain's avatar

@calvinette Of course not just naked. It must be naked and positioned oh so nicely on the bed with the correct lighting and perhaps the just-right amount of covering by sheets.

Hmm… Maybe it could also be the anticipation of bare skin which is just as tantalising as bare skin itself

I feel like a perv

Phobia's avatar

Ok, so I said majority, but it seems to be just me. You can call it an insecurity of my own body or whatever you wish, but seeing another man’s junk does ruin things for me. It doesn’t offend me, its just not something I want to see. Also, if you watch something rated MA, then you can’t really complain about what you’ve seen.

CMaz's avatar

I am not big on seeing another mans junk either.
Another womans junk, I am all for it.

Phobia's avatar

@ChazMaz at least I don’t feel so alone now =P

calvinette's avatar

OK, the question was about giving fair warning that a piece of art contains male nudity, and my argument was that such a specific warning about male nudity takes away from the art and puts it into a context which may not have been intended.

Are we really worried about whether some form of nudity might cause arousal? Is that why we warn about nudity in movies? I thought it was meant to give parents guidance about what they’re letting their kids watch (or giving the prudes the chance to leave the room). If a person is too young to understand the use of nudity in general, it doesn’t matter if it’s male or female. When we get specific about what kind of nudity is coming, then the stigma switch goes on in our brain and we’re waiting for it… and to my mind, it takes away the element of surprise and spontaneity in the experience of art.

What I meant about some things being more arousing than naked skin, I wasn’t talking about lighting or the effective use of bedsheets. I was talking about things that spark the imagination, e.g., a certain kind of glance, a creative double-entendre, the way a person speaks, moves, sings, the way one character might brush the stray hair away from another’s face, sharing a piece of chocolate. Any one of those things in a movie, TV show, art piece, might spark excitement in a viewer—should we warn about sexiness, too?

Bobbilynn's avatar

Lurve male nudity!

CMaz's avatar

Art is subjective. And because of that you do need to be considerate of people that might not have the same view as yourself.

Unless part of the message you wish to convey with your art is confusion and disorientation.
But, if that is part of the message a discerning art critic will see it with a warning sign or not posted out front.

Saturated_Brain's avatar

You may disagree with me, but art or not, @calvinette, nudity (male or not) can very easily turn sexual even if the model/director/photographer didn’t intend it that way. We get warnings about nudity only because people tend to react this way towards it.

But I say that if you’ve been warned about it, then you shouldn’t be offended. After all,you stayed on after knowing about the ratings.

aprilsimnel's avatar

I’m fine with male nudity. If an actor does get aroused during a scene where it shows and that works with the scene, then there it is. Just throwing in sex for the sake of it without context bothers me more than actual nudity or anything like that.

CMaz's avatar

And actors do get aroused. That is why it is not unusual that an actor and actress, working on a movie together will hook up, from time to time.

calvinette's avatar

I didn’t say I disagreed with warnings about nudity in general. I just wouldn’t want it to be specifically stated as male nudity, as it somehow implies it’s a bigger deal to show male nudity. It’s the double-standard I don’t like, and the fact that it could attach a certain stigma, when in fact the artist has good reason to use a naked man.

Saturated_Brain's avatar

@calvinette Sure.. But does this double-standard really exist?

calvinette's avatar

I think that’s what the questioner wanted to know, if we would or would not appreciate that kind of specific warning. I said I would not and that I would find it insulting, especially in the case of the movie I cited and others like it. I assumed by the original question that this is hypothetical.

casheroo's avatar

All I know is, there needs to be more peen on screen.

Saturated_Brain's avatar

@calvinette Nah I don’t think that’s what he meant. If you read his question carefully there was no mention of ratings specifically for male nudity. Simply nudity. I’d be insulted too if there were ratings based on gender.

methinks we’ve gone off-topic

CMaz's avatar

Personally, as far as print and movies go. Sex and sexual actions have no place or are need in any GOOD visual art. Excluding fine art.

He is hot, she is beautiful (sexy). I do not need a 5 min. scene of them sucking face and copping a feel to get the message that they like one another.

gottamakeart's avatar

@calvinette first, i’d like to say I appreciate your enthusiasm for responding,

also,just wanted to clarify something: the “warning” if any, would not specify male or female. I was trying to get a better understanding of why exposure of flesh tends to be mainly female bodies, and is this because of society itself or a select few (censors, etc.) deciding FOR us.

also, personal individual opinions on this topic, however brief, are most welcome, wether I agree or not.

Saturated_Brain's avatar

@gottamakeart I am wondering though… Why do you ask? Are you planning to do photograph male nudes?

PupnTaco's avatar

Doesn’t bother me and it seems movies are loosening up about it. I’m all for balance.

gottamakeart's avatar

@Saturated_Brain mainly I think censoreship is stupid, I wouldn’t mind working with a male model clearly, if i’m basically defending the use of the male form in media. AND I have posed semi-nude for a photographer friend so full exposure for me is a possibility,

no hyprocrite here. basically already been there.

jamielynn2328's avatar

I remember when Dennis Franz showed his bare butt in NYPD Blue, and people had a negative opinion. I know when this happened, nudity on prime time network channels was taboo, but I know that the show had shown female nudity before and it wasn’t as big of a deal. I definitely believe that there is double standard. Full frontal male nudity shows the penis, which is a definite sexual organ. A woman’s vagina can’t really be seen in a full frontal, so maybe that is the difference.

To me nudity is nudity. There should be a warning so we know what we are getting ourselves into, but after that no one should be offended.

dalepetrie's avatar

I’m all into information so people can know. Personally, I’m not a fan of “ratings” because they are arbitrary. A bloody, violent mess can get a PG-13, and 5 seconds of a woman’s nipple can get an R rating in the theater. I think maybe a coding system or just a listing of the content of a program to describe the potentially questionable content in a way that people could discern what they were getting into would be great. Kind of like those descriptive letters they put after the rating these days (sometimes) but maybe more robust…do away with the first set of letters altogether.

As for male nudity and my personal aesthetics, I have no problem with depictions of male or female nudity…I would have no problem with showing hardcore porn with penetration on prime time TV if there were a specific way to label it and to lock it out so the young eyes couldn’t see it if you didn’t want them to. But being a straight male, I personally don’t need to see a guy’s dick or ass…it doesn’t “offend” me, but I don’t find the male form aesthetically pleasing in any way. That, along with surgery, are two things which when I see them on TV, I’m more likely than not to turn away, just out of a personal desire not to have to look at it. But, I’m not offended by it and I think Americans and the American censors are WAY too uptight about nudity, both male and female, and perhaps not careful enough about desensitizing kids to violence.

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

We need to get over our fear of the human form.
I’ve spent a lot of time in life drawing classes so I’ve seen all sorts of bodies of all sorts of varieties. It’s just not that big of a deal.

A lot of people were really put off by that movie “The Watchmen” because of this.
I was put off by the film because it was a weak adaptation of the glorious book

aprilsimnel's avatar

Really? People were put off by a blue naked man? And probably one who was a fantastic representative of the male form? Sheesh. People’re loony.

gottamakeart's avatar

@aprilsimnel…....and somehow the shiny skin-tight spandex, rubber , or whatever (speedos over tights?) is just fine. Loony indeed.

rlr718's avatar

Everyone seems to assosicate the showing of a penis (GASP) in a movie or show as sexual. everyone presumes it will be hard too…thats called porn. Nudity otherwise shouldn’t ruin something warnings or not unless the people watching it are prude.

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