"New Moon" Offers Up More Abstinence Porn

"New Moon" Offers Up More Abstinence Porn

"New Moon" Offers Up More Abstinence Porn

The XX Factor
What Women Really Think
Nov. 19 2009 11:38 AM

"New Moon" Offers Up More Abstinence Porn

I'm too hardened against the oft-written-about abstinence message of the Twilight series to allow myself to easily bask in the generally enjoyable gushiness of the movies (gushiness here of course being emotional, not blood-based). New Moon was no exception. The latest installment of the Twilight saga offered plenty of gorgeous panoramas, heavy breathing, and romantic tension so thick and cushy it would feel like red velvet drapes if one could reach out and touch it. Early on in the movie, Edward realizes he has to leave Bella for her own safety, and Jacob, her soon-to-be-werewolf friend, is all too eager to take his place. A romantic triangle ensues, even with Edward gone, because he appears to Bella in visions whenever she puts herself in danger’s way (OMGZ! He obviously still loves her, guys!) In an effort not to spoil it, I won’t divulge more plot specifics, except to say that the abstinence message is as strong as ever. True to the book, Edward comes back and finally offers Bella a bite, but not until, you know, he puts a ring on it.

The abstinence message, of course, isn’t really the problem. (Though, personally, the thought of two teens tying the knot without checking out the other’s goods makes me besotted with anxiety.) It’s the nature of their sexual denial that’s problematic. Bella is repeatedly throwing herself at Edward, pleading with him to make her a vampire, and it’s only his admirable willpower that prevents him from feasting on her neck. To do so would hurt her. In the Twilight world, going all the way is an act of purely male pleasure and when it does happen it will be because Edward enters a fit of blood lust and attacks. There is no reciprocity in the sex act, and no possibility for female pleasure. No wonder Edward abstains out of love for Bella-to take her would be to destroy her. A particularly barf-worthy conception of sex, no?

Make no mistake: New Moon is wholly pornographic-emotionally so. Had the sound system been broken and a stand-by orchestra ready on command, the film would have screened like a two-hour-long De Beers diamond commercial. But even the high-pitched emotional tenor of the movie didn’t satisfy my inner romantic. The substance just isn’t there: Bella and Edward are so obsessed with the can’t-have-each-other trope; it’s all they can talk about. And all they do talk about. Ever. I’m afraid that once they bite the bullet, or the neck, so to speak, they’ll both be totally bored. ("How 'bout those Knicks, Bella?") Just as Alice, Edward's sister, has unprovoked visions of the future, I kept flashing to a scene of a barefoot and impregnated Bella, playing solitaire under a tree for the rest of eternity. Because really, once the immortal soul problem has been remedied, the movie has given us no evidence these two will have anything in common. And isn’t that how most high-school marriages end?