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Have NSFW Videos Lost Their Swag?

30 July 2013 | 1:08 pm | Kris Swales

"Timberlake’s recent clip for 'Tunnel Vision' is the most obvious case of titillation for titilation’s sake since Rihanna deep throated a banana."

There was once a time when NSFW music videos were something of an event.

Young boys would gather around their televisions in the early hours to see if Italian starlet Sabrina's Boys (Summertime Love) had once again made the lower reaches of the RAGE Top 50 countdown. Not for the song (which hasn't aged anywhere near as gracefully as its singer), but for the film clip nip slip that had us dreaming of party time at the Berlusconi mansion before we could possibly imagine what such a thing entailed.

Parents would call young children in from outside, eager to school young children in “how Mummy fed you” to the strains of its catchy Eurobeat and Italo synth leads.

Groups representing outraged moral minorities would express their moral outrage, no matter how minor the amount of areola on display.

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Now? Now, NSFW videos roll across the Internet like juggernauts of “look at me! Look at me!” with such monotonous regularity that even the moral minority have burnt their placards, perhaps deciding to turn their attention to other more pressing moral crusades. (May I suggest the ridiculousness of sending asylum seekers to a country that Smartraveller advises Australians to “Exercise a high degree of caution” when entering? Thanks, I'm here every fortnight.)

Some of these NSFW videos are okay. Some of them are ordinary. Most get one click so you can sight some boobs (which, let's be honest here, is all that most of these clips have going for them) and get on with your work. Because of course you clicked it at work – you even own a wallet that says “BAD MOTHER FUCKER”, don't you?

Timberlake's recent clip for Tunnel Vision is the most obvious case of titillation for titilation's sake since Rihanna deep throated a banana. Oh, JT, so your face being projected on some gyrating nubiles is deeply symbolic of your voyeuristic desire for their love? How about you cut this arty bullshit and get real by jerking off in a tree while peering into your love's bedroom window through binoculars, then get hauled off to the police station where you're beaten to within an inch of your life because it was the commissioner's freshman daughter that you were perving on, then endure five years of brutal gang rapes in prison, before escaping into a life on the streets where you feed your drug addiction by digging through sharps bins for needles with a few spare drops of liquid, which you inject into your tear ducts as you sing the heart-rending final chorus straight down the lens?

Where JT fails is by attempting to shoehorn NSFW norksploitation into his artistic manifesto, when nudity has about as much to do with his image as a Tony Abbott policy document does with anything that isn't a unicorn.

NSFW vids can make a lasting impact, though, if they're deployed in a way that suits the music they're matching.

Like the literally in-your-face cocks, boobs and pubic hair that sits perfectly with the off-kilter grit of Our Mountain's IV Horses.

Or the piss-funny Cocaine by LA skate punks FIDLAR, in which Parks and Recreation's Nick Offerman straps on the most impressive prosthetic since Mark Wahlberg and his diggler covered The Touch.

Or the Keyser Soze-esque twist in the tail of The Prodigy's Smack My Bitch Up. (And speaking of moral minorities, when you start searching for this song title on YouTube the auto-fill displays “Smack My Bi Up”. Thank you, Google Inc, for protecting our children from this evil, oppressive word while allegedly selling our dirty little adult secrets to the NSA).

Or the perfect storm of artist, song and strip joint that is Mötley Crüe's Girls, Girls, Girls.

Or the innocent charm of a nudist merrily biking his way around Brisbane to the yearning strains of Violent Soho's In The Aisle.

The latter of which perhaps proves that NSFW videos haven't lost their swag after all.

So if you're struggling for ideas, NSFW directors of the world, feel free to hit me up. That JT treatment was an off-the-cuff freestyle, so just imagine what I could concoct with two bottles of Laphroaig, a 12-inch of Boys (Summertime Love) and a budget?