Licking the Salt from the Biscuit of Life - Sex and selling

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May 29th, 2008


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06:43 pm - Sex and selling
I was watching an entirely junk piece of telly recently. In it, a young teenage girl had to make the difficult intellectual decision whether to go into glamour modelling or not. Oh, and while we're at it, there's a euphenism for you. Because lying spread-eagled and icy-nipped in an improbable position so men can get their jollies off to it at a later date - why yes, certainly my definition of glamorous.

Anyway, the most interesting part of the documentary was at the end. The girl hadn't seem to grasped that once she stepped into the world of 'glamour' modelling she could never go back to the 'commercial' modelling she'd already been doing. And she'd been a pretty successful child model so far, buying herself a horse, a car, clothes, and lots else. She naturally assumed, as many others would, that doing the topless shoots, going that step further and selling out would bring even more money. But nuh huh. As the glamour models she talked to told her, there wasn't much chance of her making a living at it out of the many trying to do so. After all, there's thousands of girls on the net who'll take their clothes off for nothing. So how are you going to compete with that? The key, they told her, in being successful, was not in baring all but in keeping herself exclusive.

I find these same kind of assumptions when I tell people about my writing. "What do you write about?" they say. "Well," I say, wondering how to put it, how much they can take. "There's a lot of sex in it..." And sooner or later they're telling me I should try to sell my stories. That sex sells, and there must surely be a market. They wonder why I'm sounding so reluctant.

I'm not quite sure either. Perhaps because I din't include the sex in my stories so that I could sell it. That sexual exchange was not a commodity. I meant it as a gift.

(Indulge your wild theories here)

Comments:


[User Picture]
From:[info]the_obscure
Date:May 29th, 2008 09:13 pm (UTC)
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Also, not ALL sex sells, which is what some people don't get.

And more often than not, quality will not sell, sex or no sex.
[User Picture]
From:[info]accio_arse
Date:June 1st, 2008 06:27 pm (UTC)
(Link)
And more often than not, quality will not sell, sex or no sex.

You're completely right! I still don't quite understand this.

When you're younger, you have this belief (more likely hope) that the good stuff somehow always rises to the top, if you just keep trying. And that's perpetuated every time someone jealous and bitter sees someone else get rejected, because that's when they always say - "Well, if they were so good, how come they weren't successful?" I've heard that one so often. And okay, so sometimes it's true. But more often it's not. It's just luck.

All you have to do is look at the crap that IS successful to see there's something strange going on.

And I also tend to hear, "Well, all those people who are successful, they must be doing something right!" Yeah, sure, of course they are. But it's a complicated story. They could be good at the finance, or the networking, or the self-promotion. It doesn't mean they're necessarily good at producing good quality stuff. It doesn't mean you should be trying to ape them there.

This also goes for fanfic, even when all financial constraints are removed. You'd think it was different, but no. We've all discovered hidden masterpieces that seem destined to remain so. And on the other hand seen some really badly written, yet inexplicably popular guff.

Of course, I should allow for differences in taste, but when a fic is not even spellchecked, there are no paragraphs, the main character's appearance keeps changing, and you can barely tell who's doing what to who and when.... that's bad writing.

Ha ha, a long winded reply.

Short version: yes, I agree.

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