The rise of the on-screen penis.

There is not nearly as much pressure to apply the rigid content-rating systems that most TV and films have traditionally been subjected to (male frontal nudity has often meant an automatic R-rating, FYI; the same treatment has not been historically applied to the female body).

In Australia, most TV shows and films — whether we watch them on a streaming platform, in the cinema or on DVD — are guided by the Australian Classification rating system, and nudity is also classed on whether there is “some” sexual nudity or not. So while a movie might be deemed fine for a teenager over 15 years old to watch, there still are some “themes that require a mature outlook”. (Read: Maybe a little nudity but definitely no intimacy scenes.

However, a stricter classification would be placed on a film in which a naked man was acting out a sex scene.

But even with all this in mind, the world seems to have changed its tune in recent years. We’ve seen literal (and/or prosthetic) penis’ in many shows and films, including Sex and The City, Scenes From a Marriage, The White Lotus, Euphoria, Girls, Shameless, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Pam & Tommy and, most recently, Saltburn and Poor Things. 

What’s interesting is that this rise in nudity has come in a post-#metoo, post-Harvey Weinstein world — something that is perhaps in part thanks to actor Emily Meade, who in 2018 asked for an “intimacy coordinator” for her sex scenes in The Deuce. From that point forward, HBO announced a policy that required someone in this role to be on the set of all original series or films featuring adult content, improving transparency and safety for all.