Private decisions, public results07/04/2011 # 08:23 # Impressing - entertainment and lifestyle # 44 Comments
Imagine this: you are indulging in a passionate kiss and as the heat urges you to pull your zip down or un-hook your bra, a powerful voice warns: “You are about to enter a sexual network filled with lies, deceit, half-truths and uncertainty with people you have no idea about – not even the one you are about to sleep with”.
I guarantee that you would have both shoes on, ran to the nearest church and contemplated a life of abstinence or celibacy. Besides being the most discussed status update on Facebook every Tuesday night from 20:30, Intersexions has proven to have had a lasting effect on its viewers.
From the very first episode, people were left at the edge of their seats as the credits indicated an untimely end after a mere 30 minutes. There is no other programme that has revolutionized “the talk about the birds and the bees” more than this one. HIV/AIDS, unprotected sex and effective condom usage are topics no longer met with rolling eyes and fake yawns by the youth – which have been reported to be the majority carriers of the prevalent disease.
“It is not about who you have slept with. It is who your partners have slept with” is the chilling opening line that forces you into a dark moment of introspection of your sexual history. As if that line was not haunting enough, paranoia sets in as our prejudices about who ‘looks’ like they are infected are wiped out, as the actual source of the viral network stems from a ‘happily’ married lawyer instead of the promiscuous pimp DJ Mo. So yes, HIV does not only belong to the illiterate and impoverished but the intellectual elites as well.
Considering the contentious drama and non-linear plot used, the writers would have been forgiven in focusing too much on the riveting storyline and neglecting the facts. This adds to its excellence as the educative function about sex and HIV/AIDS was constantly maintained.
Intersexions is a fusion of thought-provoking content, brilliant acting and a memorable didactic script. Previous educational programmes and campaigns like Soul City, Love Life and It Begins With You achieved their goal in introducing the sex talk in our homes, taxi chats and odd midnight chill sessions but the relevance and ground-breaking effect that Intersexions has had is unprecedented and unmatched.
Sex is no longer about how many panties prince-charming has let slip along with Cinderella’s dignity nor about Snow White bedding all the seven dwarves in search of true love. Sex has become a private decision to be deeply contemplated because its results will be publicly exposed. All of a sudden my mother’s random rantings about ‘safe sex’ and desperate pleas to take care of myself now resonate deeply with me.
Democracry has glorified individuality and that is appreciated but the spirit of ubuntu beckons us to remember: “I am who I am because you are” which highlights the powerful link that connects us to each other. We have a social responsibility to think further than ourselves and realise that today’s one-night stand or tiresome excuse about “we trust each other” could very well send you knocking at death’s door or joining endless queues at government clincs waiting to fill your next ARV prescription – for the rest of your life!
Here’s to petitioning for the next season of Intersexions.