Porn, Pop Culture, and the Perception of Innocence

By  |  4 Comments

 

Brazzers. What does that mean?

The first time I saw this word was on a photo – circulated on Facebook – of Shaquille O’Neal, lifting Trinidad and Tobago’s Prime Minister, Kamla Persad-Bissessar, high in the air to shoot a basketball hoop. For a moment, I felt sort of lame. Loads of people seemed to catch the meaning instantly, but I wasn’t in on the joke. Then I saw one or two other people asking that same question on the comment thread. Okay…it wasn’t just me then.

I messaged someone who had shared the pic. “Help meh…what does brazzers mean?”

“Brazzers is ‘the world’s best porn site’ according to [some people],” he said. “The logo is well known by certain folk. The fact that you don’t know this reflects well on you.”

My initial feeling of “Karel you real lame” immediately turned to “Karel you should wear your innocence (and ignorance) as a badge of honour”. While writing this article, I googled it. I didn’t click (because God forbid I’m bombarded by pop ups that won’t stop). Google’s preview description made it clear. Brazzers doesn’t just offer porn…it offers “HD porn”.

Now that I’ve educated you about “the world’s best porn site”, let me get to the crux of the matter. Those few minutes that I didn’t know what Brazzers meant made me wonder if I was really not that much in the know. Then it reminded me of all the times I’ve been lost for certain sexual innuendoes and sayings, while everyone else immediately laughed at the joke. Does that make me innocent? No.

It’s all about perception.

But, to some people, not knowing certain sayings or not talking about certain things makes you seem innocent. It’s all about perception. For example, once, this guy who’d call me, as part of the whole getting-to-know-you process, asked me if I was a virgin.

“Bwahahahahahaha. Why would you ask that?” was my response.

“Karel you don’t party. You don’t drink. And you don’t cuss.”

So that makes me seem more like a Mary than a Karel?

Then I asked a friend if I come across like that. She said, “Yeah, you have a sweet air about you. Maybe it’s the long hair and curls.”

Another close male friend said yes too.

“It’s not that you behave uppity,” he said. “You always laughing and joking and you’re fun. But you doh talk no setta nastiness Karel, even when I talking it.”

I don’t see this totally as a narrow-minded view, but more of a reflection of how society thinks.

Are you really that different if you don’t make dirty jokes?

Learning about Brazzers, and the innocent tag I get, made me wonder, what do people perceive as innocence in this modern age? Is there a place for innocence in today’s society? Are you really that different if you don’t make dirty jokes?

Crime-associated definition aside, the Oxford Dictionary defines innocent as “having little experience of life, especially of sex”. I don’t consider myself innocent (not that I have a résumé boasting of exploits). Not knowing “the world’s best porn site”, or making dirty jokes is more a matter of naiveté than innocence. Being naïve just means that you haven’t experienced something or don’t know about it. Still, for some people, there is a thin line between that and just being naïve/sheltered.

Some of us just don’t automatically see a sexual overtone to something someone says. And, because pop culture makes us think that almost everyone should be in on the joke/slang/inference, we – the sometimes naïve – feel lame, or get labelled as goody two shoes or innocent, in a general sense. Doh mind that that same naïve person may be quite the saucy one in certain scenarios.

Pop culture makes us feel that anyone who doesn’t know certain things, or acts in a certain way is an anomaly. So some of us try to fit in by being in the know. In most cases, that comes down to knowing the latest gossip about celebrities, knowing the latest songs, and getting certain jokes – sexual or not.

My friend Kevin said: “What I find is that some people tend to compensate for their rude thoughts by attacking your perceived lack of knowledge on the subject…they try to normalize their smuttiness by insinuating that it’s rare to not know of certain things.”

Note that this isn’t about uppity. It’s just that pop culture puts ideas in our head. It creates mental and social habits for us…about how we think and act. And sexual knowledge is sometimes part of the recipe for being cool.

Think about it. Where did you first learn to make dirty jokes, or learned that there were books or websites with nude photos of people to stir your loins? From schoolmates and neighbourhood friends? Where did they get those ideas from? And where did the people they got those ideas from get their ideas from? Other people. The TV. The radio. And, now…the Internet. Which brings me full circle to learning about Brazzers via a meme on Facebook.

In a time where we can easily find many a vice on the Internet, how does this affect naiveté? It may seem as if I’m overthinking things here, but it makes me wonder because I watch my young nieces and nephews and wonder how long their innocence and naiveté will last.

My eldest niece is 11, and is about to enter secondary school. Primary school by itself is an education. I wonder what she’ll meet at school. And we all know that prestige/not prestige, same-sex/co-ed, all school environments are a prime spot for one’s social and sexual learning cycle. I wonder how long her naiveté will last, especially since she and her peers have access to more information than we had at their age.

Maybe she’ll be like me, who, although I was exposed to certain things at school, and other social circles, as I grew up, still somehow managed to remain clueless about some things…and not just because mommy and daddy sheltered me from certain influences.

I embrace my naiveté. I like to think that the fact that people sometimes perceive me as being innocent because of my mostly non-sexual conversations, which still entertain them, is a testament to my wit and personality.

Popular culture will always dictate how many of us think. But what some of us perceive as innocence is often naiveté in its simplest form. And I think that mixing the naïve with the not-so-naïve makes for interesting conversations.

Karel Mc Intosh

Karel Mc Intosh is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Outlish Magazine. She's also the Lead Communications Trainer at Livewired Group, where she conducts workshops in business writing, social media, and other communications areas. A real online junkie, when she isn't surfing the Internet, she's thinking about surfing the Internet. Find out more about her here or tweet her @outlishmagazine.

4 Comments

  1. Reuben Briggs

    July 10, 2012 at 7:03 pm

    nice article Karel! very nice

  2. OUTLISH Magazine

    July 10, 2012 at 8:44 pm

    Thanks Reuben Briggs. When J Did blessing Outlish wid a post? ;) lol

  3. brazzers

    January 24, 2013 at 10:17 pm

    this article was very dissapointing

  4. Fly Away

    January 31, 2013 at 2:37 pm

    even brazzers is naiveté I read that it comes from an arabian immigrant who misspelled the word brother to brazzers and about sexuality I think tv brainwashed people with stupid idea that makes them think it’s good idea but as eminem said I don’t give a damn about what you think

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>