I recently saw a show on BBCAmerica called Jonathan Creek. It wasn’t particularly impressive or anything, but it did contain one item of interest: a rather average-looking man who’s married to a media sex star. He drools while watching her videos (which qualify as stylized soft porn, a la Madonna), but has lost sexual interest in his flesh and blood wife.
He mentions at one point that the media construct of his wife is a “male fantasy” put together by technicians and cosmetologists to make videos that are practically soft porn – that no real woman could be that fantasy on a daily basis. And yet, he preferred an untouchable fantasy to a touchable wife. And then he had an affair with another woman.
I’m afraid this is a glimpse of things to come. The usual justification for feeding men wildly sexual female objectification on screen is that men are naturally turned on by visuals, so it’s harmless fun. But just as repeated images of violence can desensitize people to the impact of real life violence, repeated images of objectification can desensitize people to the impact of real life human beings, and the potential of actual relationships with them.