It's a great way to do exposition in a movie. Boobs, boobs, boobs, here's the point of this scene, see ya! Jack:
As noted, that's how they do it on Game of Thrones
Sexposition is the practice of combining plot exposition
with sex scenes, in order to tell the viewer about things they need to know to understand the plotline in a way that will hold their attention slightly better than just two characters talking. It's used generally on US cable channels (particularly HBO
), which can get away with more nudity than other networks and want to make the most of it.
The term "sexposition" is a fairly new one. It was coined in 2011 by TV critic Miles McNutt
to describe the numerous such scenes on Game of Thrones
, which features a number of characters who are or frequently use prostitutes and has become known for taking the sexposition techniques to new heights. It has, however, been retroactively applied to older shows including The Sopranos
Sometimes this works too well.
The viewer is drawn towards the scene but misses all the exposition.
This can lead to the show being Best Known for the Fanservice
. Sexposition may be supplied by a character undergoing Coitus Uninterruptus
Compare I Have Boobs, You Must Obey!
when a female character uses her ... assets to persuade another character, and Sex Sells
, which is where sexy imagery is used as an eye-grabber for advertising.
Has nothing to do with sex positions.
Seriously, get your head out of the gutter
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- Used for several years with a "State of the Union Undress" where an attractive female PETA member would strip while talking about animal rights — and then it cuts to horrific shots of animals being abused.
- As well as their ad campaign featuring photos of nude celebrities with the caption, "I'd rather go naked than wear fur!"
Anime and Manga
- Ninja Scroll has an important strategy meeting which the authority figure coldly attends while in the middle of a Coitus Uninterruptus.
- Mnemosyne used something similar. In one episode where Rie Kugimiya's character Mimi had an orgy with a group of other immmortals, there was a voiceover that discussed their battle plans against the antagonist Apos.
- In GUN×SWORD Fasalina made love to Michael Garret as she explained The Claw's plans of world destruction to him.
- Bleach: When Ichigo is training to master his inner Hollow, the conversation is intercut with dialogue about a young perverted woman's Porn Stash.
- In an episode of Naruto, the title character is teaching Konohamaru the basics of the Rasengan. Which are 1) Rotation (Konohamaru imagined a half-naked girl pole dancing), 2) Power (it comes as a dangerously sexy woman), and 3) Compression ("compress it all into an ultimate sexy pose!") And then Naruto gets startled at what Konohamaru's thinking. Makes sense since the latter expects the former to teach a super-perverted technique as he thinks it's "usual" for him to do.
- In Kill la Kill, Ryuko's Stealth Mentor and resident Mr. Fanservice Aikuro seems to enjoy suggestively taking his clothes off while telling her about Life Fibers.
- In the later episodes of Revolutionary Girl Utena, Akio, Touga and Saionji have a tendency to discuss plot and characterization developments while writhing around shirtless on beds and Akio's car. Considering how much of Utena's plot is cloaked in metaphor and the romantic lives of the parties involved, this is pretty obviously pillow talk.
- Kuroshitsuji: In the Noah's Ark Circus arc, Sebastian seduces Beast and she reveals to him about her "father"… while he's fingering her.
Film — Live-Action
- In Shakespeare in Love, an early scene with the theatre manager has him discussing the staging of the play while having energetic sex with a prostitute; as with many instances of Sexposition, this one overlaps with Coitus Uninterruptus.
- James Bond: In a meta sense, the title sequences from From Russia with Love onwards put the credits for the cast and crew next to* various attractive women, and usually even show scenes from or symbolic images related to the films' plots projected or digitally added onto the attractive female bodies.
- In Joss Whedon's film version of Much Ado About Nothing, Don John's minion Conrad is turned into a woman, and his lover, specifically so that his "plain-dealing villain" speech could be turned into this for visual interest.
- The Devils Advocate: While Al Pacino and Keanu Reeves' characters have their final dialogue, Al sends in a attractive woman who undresses herself in order to seduce Keanu. He refuses her and their dialogue continues, while she just keeps standing there completely nude, apparently to give the audience something to stare at while all this talking goes on.
- As mentioned above, the Trope Namer is Game of Thrones, via a reviewer. It later got picked up by the show's creators. A lot of the show's exposition takes place in brothels or during private visits in the early seasons. Why they divulge so many secrets and plot relevant info to their whores and one night stands is anyone's guess:
- Littlefinger is training Ros and another new prostitute in how to fake passion with a client; in doing so he not only provides exposition on his background and motivations, but his instructions on how to convince a client he's the best lover in Westeros also mirror how he fools others into thinking he's been swayed to their side.
- This trope is actually exploited in one episode in season three. Littlefinger sends one of his male prostitutes/spies to seduce Loras Tyrell, in order to get him to divulge his family's plan to have Loras marry Sansa. Thanks to Littlefinger's intervention, poor Sansa ends up married to Tyrion instead.
- Prince Viserys opens up about his background and Targaryen history to Doreah while screwing her in a tub.
- Theon Greyjoy reveals his misguided expectations about his homecoming during a romp with a captain's daughter.
- In Penn & Teller: Bullshit!, they not only did this regularly, they lampshaded it, pointing out that the only reason for having naked women in this scene was so that you'd sit and listen to a boring explanation of this week's topic.
- The Sci Fi Channel Earthsea miniseries had King Tygath and Kossil expositing their plot to take over the temple on Atuan and release the Nameless Ones as Kossil stripped to join Tygath in bed.
- A common scene in Spartacus: Blood and Sand. Batiatus and Lucretia would often discuss their various schemes while abusing half naked house slaves.
- In Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, there's actually a mechanic where you can press a button to stare at EVA's breasts while she exposits.
- Deadpool: In order to lead Deadpool into another area that will give them room to work with, Cable also explains that there's also a big-breasted woman who claims to be his biggest fan. There is none, and when he thinks that there is, he's actually groping Cable.
- Variation: In the Team Fortress 2 comic "A Fate Worse Than Chess" Saxton Hale explains something he dubbed "Explosition" where you have to make the exposition more interesting. He proceeds to make a video where he describes the current situation to the Mercenaries while wrestling with a Yeti.
- This is the idea behind Naked News. Attractive women strip down while reading the news of the day. It also had a Spear Counterpart using attractive men from 2001-2007.
- While the term is a new one, the idea is not. This concept often operated as a censor decoy. In most countries, censor boards are under instructions to ensure that their cutting does not effect the flow of the story. This way, the censor had to either permit the scene in question or have to explain to his superiors why exactly was there a sudden plot hole in the movie as approved.
- More Genre Savvy censors averted this by asking for a detailed scripts before allowing shooting. This was not possible for foreign films. US made films often use this to ensure they get in to the now very lucrative Middle East and South Asian market.