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Since When Is “Sex” A Bad Word?

July 31, 2010 Society 1 Comment

When it’s on the radio, apparently. As a Canadian citizen, I have the ability to enjoy music on the radio. 91.7 The Bounce pipes in the American Top 40 on weekends, hosted by the ever-irritating Ryan Seacrest. One of the recent hits that’s been on the AT40, as well as frequently played on The Bounce during the week, is Jerimih’s Birthday Sex. It’s a catchy tune, and the phrase “birthday sex” is repeated many times in the song. It is not edited during regular play on The Bounce, but on the AT40, “sex” is replaced by a “shhh”.

I wasn’t aware that sex was a word to be equated with the worst of the worst. It is now one of those words that nobody dares to play during daytime television and anywhere on the radio. It’s among the ranks of fuck, shit, cunt, cock and the like. At least on Canadian stations, they still play hell, damn and sometimes even an ass slips through. And since so many songs give rather graphic descriptions of sexual acts that don’t get censored, and different words for the act are allowed, why is the kibosh being put on “sex”? Especially from a nation that is drenched in sexual imagery, anyway?
Listening to 102.3 Now! Radio, in one of Hedley’s big hits, Cha-Ching, the word “lesbians” is censored. This really boggles my mind. To me, that seems like blatant discrimination.

Maybe it’s just my Canadian liberalism clouding my judgment. After all, Jay-Z’s new song, I Just Wanna Love U, contains the lyrics “gimme that funk, that sweet, that nasty, that gushy stuff”. And it doesn’t take a lot of effort to think of what that is most likely referring to. Yet that line is never censored. For all the sex, drugs and violence that are depicted on TV, condom and male enhancement supplements advertised on the radio, you’d think they’d ease up at least on regular, everyday English words.

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