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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Sex: I'm Over It

It's ok Mum. I'm not talking about my own sex life. (*Collective sigh of relief*) No siree. It's not about me. It's about the sex life (or lack thereof) of others, on radio or tv for all to hear and see.

I like listening to the radio. I really do. I like to hear the latest music and I also like the radio on in the car occasionally when I'm driving the kids around. It's relaxing. It can drown out the constant chatter and screaming from the back seat sometimes. And often, parents really need that diversion. We really, really do. But these days, it often comes at a price.

My radio of choice is 2DayFM. I like to hear all the latest songs. I'm still pretty hip in that regard (I think so anyway). But I know I can't listen to the morning show with Kyle & Jackie O because there's too much crudeness and talk about sex that my kids are just too young to hear. And, you know, I've come to accept that. I know the hours that the show's on, and so I avoid listening to it unless the kids aren't around.

But then I'll be driving to the shops with my kids in the back of the car, with the radio on - outside of the hours the morning show is on - and suddenly an advertisement for premature ejaculation comes on. What's up with that? I'm talking 10am in the morning here! I wanna hear ads about breakfast running until 11am at MacDonald's or that there's a sale on at Esprit. Not about men who have a problem with their...pee-pee. You know, I really don't want to have to explain to my boys (7, 5 & 2) what premature ejaculation is. Can you blame me?

The Advanced Medical Institute had an ad on radio which went like this:

“This commercial lasts about 30 seconds, unfortunately so do some of us blokes. If premature ejaculation is putting an end to your special cuddles, or you’re having problems keeping it up longer, it might be worth sticking something up your nose. Nasal delivery technology can turn (a woman’s sighs are heard) “ugh” into “Aaaahhhh”, so you’ll feel like one of the boys again. So call AMI for nasal delivery technology on 1800 40 60 60.”

Not quite the intro for explaining sex to my kids I was looking for.

TV's not much better. I thought the Ellen Degeneres Show was a pretty ok thing to have on during lunch with the 2yr old hanging about. It's pretty tame. There's no swearing, and the content is pretty child-friendly. There's some great dancing and, you know, it's quite family-friendly for the most part. But then whilst watching one afternoon, and during an ad break, I saw the word SEX light up across the monitor on a bright, yellow background (from memory) in BIG letters. Fortunately, it was when my big boys were at school, and my 2yr old was in bed (and besides, he can't read), but it's more than possible one of them could have caught it. It's hard enough getting my boys to stop saying things like "poo-poo" and "bum" and "penis" without throwing SEX and premature ejaculation ads in to the mix.

Then one day during the middle of the year, I was driving my boys to a weekend away with a bunch of their mates and other school parents, when I noticed a HUGE billboard with the words: WANT LONGER LASTING SEX? written across it. A billboard of my own popped up in my mind. It kind of went like...WHAT THE...? The radio was off, there was no tv to be seen, and you can't blame me for thinking the most exciting thing we'd see in the country was a herd of cows or a bunch of sheep hanging out in the neighbouring fields, and yet there's this LARGE, obvious, BRIGHT YELLOW sign with SEX SEX SEX written across it! (Ok, it wasn't written multiple times - that would probably make people feel even worse about their, ahem, issues if that happened, but it was still very, very obvious.) In desperation, I pointed out the windows of the car in the opposite direction and said, "Oh! Boys! Look at that! It's...a...house with a, um, red roof." My 7yr old replied, "So? What's so great about that, Mum?" to which my 5yr old said, "Yeah Mum. What's so great about that?" and they both went back to whatever it was they were doing, which I HOPE wasn't reading the big yellow billboard.

Then, with all the controversy over Kyle Sandilands being dumped as a judge on Australian Idol because of his involvement in the rape scandal on his morning show with Jackie O (read about that here), one would think that Australian Idol would be child friendly enough for young kids to watch. Oh, but NO. How wrong were we? We let the boys watch some of the earlier episodes when the auditioning process was taking place, and we had to shut it down. There were SO many inappropriate things for them to see. It made me wonder why they bothered to dump Kyle at all if they had hoped for a more 'family-oriented show'?

But the straw that broke the camel's back occurred a couple of nights ago. It was just after 6.30pm and The Simpsons had finished. The boys had just finished their bath and the tv was still on. And on came an advertisement for...wait for it...SEXPO! I could see my 7yr old watching the advertisement intently, and I ran around looking for the tv remote and promptly switched it off before (I hoped) any damage would be done. I held my breath, waiting for the obvious questions to follow and, thankfully, they didn't. Phew. After complaining to Hubby about it, he advised he'd seen the very same ad on tv at 2.30pm that same afternoon! (I also heard the ad on the radio this morning at the ripe old hour of 10.30am. It promised attendees could see displays of pole dancing, erotic dancing and naked surfing. This ad was followed straight after by yet ANOTHER ad about premature ejaculation. Woo hoo! Double whammy!!!)

I mean, YES, when I was breastfeeding, and up very, very late at night or in the wee hours of the morning, it wasn't unusual to see other women's breasts flashing across the tv screen. Except theirs didn't have a baby attached to them like mine did, and I wasn't wearing big diamond earrings and necklaces whilst my girls were out. But, I expected that. Apart from my bub, who was too interested in my goods to even consider glancing at the tv, there was no chance of a small child being exposed to another lady's "boobies" (as my boys would put it) at that time of night.

But 2.30pm and 6.30pm? Come on!

Hubby attempted to contact the Advertising Standards Board yesterday, and was asked to fill in a questionnaire online (6 questions followed regarding content, time of day etc of the advertisement in question) and once completed, and after Hubby clicked SUBMIT (or whatever - I wasn't there, ok?) it came back and said that because of the time of day that he had entered, the query should in fact be referred to the station on which the advertisement appeared. So in other words, the ASB couldn't care less. It's not their problem.

Anyway, this isn't over. Not by a long shot. I'm planning on writing a letter of complaint to Channel 10. They seem to be the main culprits as far as I can tell. Who knows where it'll get me. But it's a start. No point burying my head in the sand and all that. Right? Right.

I'll keep you posted. In the meantime...I would recommend that when the kids are around, don't watch tv, don't listen to the radio, and don't drive in the country if you don't want to see the word SEX splattered across a tv screen or a billboard, or hear it blurted out loud! That shouldn't be a problem. Should it?

Until next time...


Ami said...

I couldn't agree more Jodie. I go home for lunch most days and can not believe the amount of 'Want longer lasting sex' ad's I see while watching a half hour of Ellen. And yes that company AMI, stole the spelling of name. Quite unfortunate!!

I guess I never thought to take it further as I don't have any kiddies running around the house, but good on you for taking it further.

I seem to remember some complaints here in Newcastle about one of those 'SEX Billboards' and they had to change the wording to SMS TRY, instead of SEX.

Clearly the ABS was usless, but as I work in advertising and media placement I can understand why they said to contact the station direct due to time of day, as stations are the one's who book where the ad's go. Having said that the ABS could have contacted them with the complaint and investigated it themselves.

Don't know how much help I could be, but if you need any station contacts let me know and I'll see if I can find the best person for you to contact.

Sorry, long comment! But Great Post! x

Nomie said...

Here in Melb they have changed those billboards to say something along the lines of WANT TO MAKE LOVE FOR LONGER? I always hear it with a John Black/Roman voice from Days f our Lives... but yes, when those billboards screamed SEX al over the place it was a bit disconcerting, especially with 2 kids than can read!
And even when I'm up watching trashy TV at night, I really don't want to see soft porn...
Good luck with the complaint, keep us up to date on how it goes.

Jodie at Mummy Mayhem said...

THanks Ami! I may well have to call on you at some stage. Will definitely keep you posted! And thanks for confirming about the station being responsible.

Jodie at Mummy Mayhem said...

Will do!