I made the movie because I wanted people to talk about sex in the open. I grew up in a conservative Catholic family, and I am aware that people who grow up in sexually oppressive environments are the people who ask questions later in life. It is a natural progression. I am working things out, and some of our actors also came from conservative backgrounds and were trying to work their way out of that. I think that the people who are most afraid of this film are probably the ones who should see it the most, because I have been told that by the end of the movie the sex was the last thing a lot of people were thinking about. I always saw it as being a pretty softhearted, old-fashioned film that had sex, and I think sex is the funniest thing in the world.I especially hate the labels that people place on me after only a first glance or listening to a single comment. I try to avoid labelling people, even when all evidence points to a single label, until I get to know the person. And I hope that people would do the same with me. But sometimes people label prematurely, and that upsets me.
John Cameron Mitchell, director of the movie Shortbus
I read an article in the Westender a while back about the movie Shortbus, which was being shown at the Vancouver International Film Festival. Sook Yin Lee, one of the main actors in the movie, talked about how they were trying to bring sex mainstream, push the boundaries of sex in film, and get rid of the taboos that exist. I wondered what was coming to our world. Pushign the boundaries? Why did the boundaries need to be pushed? They were going too far with the premise of the movie, but then again, the world was already like that.
So what do you think so far? Have you labeled me yet?
So I got to talking with a friend about sex. He talked about how he talked about it all the time, especially with girls. I avoided the topic altogether. He asked why I treated sex as such a taboo thing.
You know the biggest problem I have with people? They often make shortsighted conclusions because they think it seems so obvious. They don't take the time to look underneath the layers of the mind. In my mind, I got pretty upset with him. I explained to him that what he just said was wrong.
Sex is not a taboo thing for me. I do have accountability partners to keep me from things like porn, I do want to avoid premarital sex, and I don't believe in having sex with different partners, from one relationship to the next. Now, exactly HOW does that equate to me treating sex as a taboo? If you conclude that as well, I'm sorry, you're also an idiot. A short-sighted, naive, shallow idiot.
I avoid all of these things because I want to reserve my sex for a future life partner with whom I have exchanged vows for a lifetime of love, care, and dedication. My friend commented that people just treated sex as another everyday thing anyway, nothing special. There's no reason to put that much weight into it.
But THAT IS WHY I want to dedicate sex to a single person who I will love and cherish forever. BECAUSE it's not so special anymore. BECAUSE people treat it as just an everyday thing that you can share with anyone. People treat sex that way because today's mentality is that sex is not worth keeping sacred. And movies like Shortbus just make sex less sacred. Less special. More of a hobby thing than a love thing.
I WANT sex to be sacred. I WANT it to be special. I DON'T want to share it with just ANYBODY who may come or go in my life. That in turn DOES NOT mean that I think of sex as a taboo. What it DOES MEAN is that I view sex as extremely special and I DO NOT want to throw it around lightly. I DON'T want to come to see it as simply something fun to do when I get horny.
So then people ask me, well, if you save it for just marriage, how will you know whether or not it's good?
You know what, out of all the people I talk with, quality of sex is an indicator of your relationship. If you graph it out, the quality of your relationship would be your independent variable, while quality of sex would be your dependent variable. I have yet for someone to tell me something different on that count. As well, everything I've seen the so-called experts say (both Christian and non-Christian) also corroborates this theory. So if this theory is true, you know what then? If your sex life suffers, it's probably because you suck at having a good relationship with your mate.
I've learned several times over that talking about sex in the way the world does usually doesn't do anything to improve my vision of what I want it to be. So I'm going to stop and not talk about it anymore with people, unless they want to know why I'm treating it like a taboo. Then I'll rip into them for coming to that conclusion.
Please, people. Let's not label me as old-fashioned, prude, or shy just because I don't like talking about sex. Sex is not a taboo for me. Rather, it's sacred. The thought of it is so special to me that I will not anymore indulge in the pornographic conversations that people seem to enjoy so much. I will owe any future mate at least that much going forward, and I hope that she will have the same perspective for me. If you don't get it, there is nothing I can do for you.