Euphoria, Sex Education, The Sex Lives of College Girls, Gossip Girl, Never Have I Ever. These are some of Gen Z’s most beloved shows of the last few years. They also have a very prominent subject matter in common: sex. Characters talking about, thinking about, and having sex, at varying levels of intensity and intimacy. What does it mean for these shows, often centering young people and their participation in hookup culture, to be at the forefront of young adult entertainment? And how do we feel after we watch?
The lines between major-broadcast television and soft-core porn have become increasingly blurred in recent years. According to the Parents Television Council, instances of full-frontal nudity on television went up 6,300% between the years 2011 and 2012. 2011 happens to be the year HBO’s Game of Thrones premiered, which notably featured nudity and sex scenes in infamous frequency. Since then, shows that have dominated viewing charts have featured more and more skin, sex, and scandal. Even with Parental Control software offered through cable providers and streaming services, this type of content has never been more accessible. It is reported that Euphoria’s major audience includes viewers as young as 12 years old.
The comprehensive impact of this material and its abundance is not cut and dry. You might watch a sex scene that reflects an experience you have, and feel seen. You might watch a familiar conversation between two characters, and feel comforted. You could also watch a character, who is supposed to be your age, engaging in something you’ve never done before, and feel isolated.
That’s where FEAST comes in. When the post-binge blues set in and you’re left with questions and curiosities that no amount of cast interviews on Youtube can soothe, turn to our community of like-minded individuals and get clarity. Follow along on the Forum for in-depth discussions, sage wisdom, and empowering stories. Ask questions, share experiences, and feel a little less alone. You’re the main character now.