1990s

Although certain politicians and even scientists will suggest otherwise, most agree our basic human desire for sex remains pretty unchanged. Over the centuries we’ve acknowledged that ladies like it just as much as the men folk, both sexes can be completely uninterested, and there’s also the possibility that same sex lovers getting down and dirty isn’t, in fact, dirty. Every new generation accepts something as tame that the previous generation thinks taboo. My mother finds the practice of bondage troubling, but the idea is ordinary to me. Whereas I don’t quite understand her fascination with the word “slutpuppy” because that’s just ooky. I’m not saying one generation is better than the other, I’m more curious about how we got to the place we are. I am pretty in tune with the going-ons of Gwen, so I have no problem pinpointing a lot of my sexual identity development happening simultaneously with the films and TV that I watched in the 90s. Thinking back, the 90s stand out to me as a hodgepodge decade when it came to sex in film. We had the renewal of romantic melodramas as a reaction to the social commentary-filled erotic thrillers of the 80s, the depiction of realistic sex in comedies, and the rise in popularity of rape culture. Of course all these themes wouldn’t have been possible without the decades before them, but something happened in the 90s that made sex seem pleasurable through love, humor, and invasion.

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When I look back at the films of my youth one thing remains constant—I love a 90s slacker. Tall, long-haired, ripped up jeans and cardigans falling disheveled off their shoulders. These are the men I always kept in the back of my mind as I entered the dating world. However, it wasn’t until a friend pointed it out that I realized I had such a 90s slacker fixation. To me, the characters Ethan Hawke, Christian Bale, and Rory Cochrane played in early to mid 90s films embodied everything sensual and perfect about being an adult. Especially their rejection of the adult world as it was. As I aged, I started to notice other benefits to these men. They were creative, romantic, adventurous, smoked (which always makes you sexy, no?), and most of all magnetic to everyone around them. Reality Bites’ main bad-boy Troy Dyer (Hawke) was the ultimate artist. He painted, wrote music, and left every woman swooning after him. His detachment from his best friend Lelaina (Winona Ryder) only intensified her need for him, and encouraged their eventual coitus. It wasn’t that he tried hard to get the girl, he just couldn’t keep them from coming at him. Who cared if he couldn’t hold down a job, or pay his share of the rent? Troy was always a charmer capable of surviving, and with him went my heart.

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The 90s are no longer safe. Unless they are. It took me a while to do the calculation, but apparently people born in 1990 turned 20 this year, and that means that Hollywood has suddenly realized there’s an entire decade’s worth of material that’s ostensibly retro enough to hammer into our theaters. It’s been a long time coming, but if the report that Disney wants to put live-action Gargoyles on the big screen is truly an adaptation of the Mouse’s very own cartoon show of the same name, then 1990 has been breached, and the entire decade is now vulnerable to remakes, a creepy live-action Duck Tales, and possibly a “Blossom” film. Luckily, there are scarce details (beyond Disney molding this in the same glossy-to-hide-the-lack-of-substance way they’re doing all action adventure these days) so it might be a newer concept or it might see Goliath, Hudson, Broadway and the whole crew resurrected for feature length. [Heat Vision]

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published: 11.26.2014
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published: 11.26.2014
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published: 11.21.2014
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published: 11.21.2014
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