Voyeurism is a form of participation


The title of this post comes from a line in a film I just saw for the first time, “Shortbus“. I had heard about it years ago, and had always meant to see it, but for some reason never did until very recently. The film is all about sex, with the actors and extras participating in un-simulated sex acts all though the movie. And yet, the film wasn’t about sex at all, it was about the human condition, especially as it relates to longing, fitting in, finding meaning and connection with the rest of the world. Although uneven in parts, I would still rank it as one of the most engaging films I have ever seen. It is the best example on film I have ever seen presenting sexual activity as the natural part of the world that it is, unified and central to our life stories. Most regular films (and porn for that matter) act as if sex is in one world and the rest of human activity is in another. “Shortbus” refuses to engage with this binary opposition, and presents us the sweetest themes about the variability of human experience, and the acceptance and connection to others we all strive for.