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Too Hot to Handle: Influx of NSFW Videos Raises Questions, Temperatures

on November 20, 2009, 4:00pm

Every once in awhile a video will pop up that will be NSFW (Not Safe For Work) in hopes of raising eyebrows and being risqué for the sake of being risqué (check out the latest Rammstein video for that). It’ll get the blogs talking and cause some media-friendly commotion, all before ultimately disappearing quietly into the night. Well, no longer as this phenomenon is slowly working its way into the mainstream. Get ready to get dirty, because CoS is about to get NSFW.

As a disclaimer, if you’re reading this at work, you shouldn’t. Unless you know, you’re the boss, or have no fear about what the naked flesh could do for your status as an employee. Either way, this is going to be an adult discussion, right?

Let’s be honest, it’s clear where the appeal is. Nakedness is fantastic. We should all love our bodies and most of us don’t. It’s this crazy modern world we live in, with those crazy expectations.

Case in point, The Flaming Lips’ video for “Watching the Planets”. We know Wayne Coyne is his own individual, so this sort of experience is sort of expected of him. Then, there’s Girls XXX-rated version of “Lust for Life”. Here you have just people being naked, living life by the day, worry free and accepting their faults. Finally, although not technically a music video, Yeasayer just released an interactive loading video where you can pan around and watch as naked people run around as you wait for your download of the band’s new single, “Ambling Alp”, to finish.

These videos seem to be living in the moment, and the stripped down nature of the participants reflect their comfort with who they are. It is as if this is all daily routine. While we may all feel progressive, sex tends to be a hot topic. Be it about body types (remember the hoopla Ralph Lauren received for phtoshopping a model into a wasp, American Apparel’s disastrous ad campaigns or horrifying job practices?) or relationships, sex is always on our minds.

So what gives? Is nudity the last boundary? Is it a direct call to arms to let loose, to not care so much about our own manufactured desires for identity and self-purpose? Or is it all a scam, where the notion of nudity is exploited and the suits are pandering to us about “freedom”?

It seems strange that this rise in nudity in music videos comes when the usefulness of said videos have been called into question. Maybe it’s just a coincidence, maybe it is honesty. Either way, don’t expect this to go away any time soon.

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