The Null Device

Ca plane pour moi

An ironilicious archive of "social hygiene" posters, on topics such as sexual self-control and the perils of "self-pollution". (via bOING bOING)

(After seeing it, I found this page, linking to one particular image, which made me wonder whether Plastic Bertrand's "Ca Plane Pour Moi" was actually about masturbation, much as "Turning Japanese" (another Saturday-night-at-the-Rob-Roy favourite) was. But I digress.)

Though are "social hygiene" posters really a quaint relic of a bygone era? There should be some good examples coming out of the Bush/Ashcroft Era's abstinence-only sex-education programmes, probably designed to look like something off MTV or a girls' fashion magazine.

There are 7 comments on "Ca plane pour moi":

Posted by: Hobbes http:// Tue Oct 21 01:46:20 2003

I find most of these substantially less offensive than posters and billboards I have seen recently around the states. Sometimes I wonder if we will ever outgrow the puritan legacy.

Posted by: acb Tue Oct 21 02:55:08 2003

Funny; I was actually thinking whilst reading them whether the ideas there (in particular, the notion of diverting sexual energy into other pursuits) are any less sensible than our society's obsession with sex (in particular, things like the Maslow hierarchy of needs placing sex alongside oxygen and water as a basic human need).

Posted by: Hobbes http:// Tue Oct 21 05:13:29 2003

Hm. I tried to argue that point with my Women's Studies prof about that one... She just mentioned in an offhand way as "well obviously we need to recognize sex as a basic human need," which in addition to being false is rather insulting to those who are celibate (by choice or otherwise).

However, while it is rather absurd, that is (in the US) a tiny minority opinion and a somewhat understandable reacton to the traditional vilification of sex as dirty and sinful.

Posted by: acb Tue Oct 21 06:23:54 2003

So, are celibates not really alive, or are they merely not fully human, sort of like the Replicants in Blade Runner or something?

Posted by: Graham Tue Oct 21 08:54:49 2003

Weird bipolar attitudes to sex are nothing new.

Posted by: acb Tue Oct 21 13:22:46 2003

It's telling that both extremes of the argument share one thing: putting a lot of importance on sex. It is either the root of all social ills or a basic human right.

(Come to think of it, that could make a good pickup line. "Hey babe, do you believe in human rights? Then let's go back to my place and exercise the right to a healthy, active sex life." Or maybe not.)

Posted by: dj Wed Oct 22 01:07:36 2003

our society puts a lot of importance on sex, and it is involved in many social interactions and institutions beyond the bedroom. if you stop immersing yourself in this constant sexual patina, you probably have a more balanced view of it.