Over Sexed Don Draper – an interesting take on fornication in secular media

When secular sources get it right – Mad Men

Mad Men – a television show on AMC taking place in the 1960s that features Don Draper, an ad executive.

I’ve not watched every single “Mad Men” episode ever made, but I’ve watched the last two seasons, and seen several repeats from earlier seasons.

One thing that stands out is that Don Draper is a total horn dog. He’s been married twice – his character is currently on wife 2, Meagan.

Draper cheats constantly on his wives (at least the second one – or at least it seems the cheating is constant), and after divorcing wife 1, I think he had a few one night stands – I recall one scene where he had sex with his secretary in his apartment on his couch.

Typically, Hollywood and secular television glorify extra-marital sex, but not this show.

Perhaps there are men who watch Mad Men and secretly wish they could be Don Draper. They shouldn’t envy Draper.

I was reading an interesting review of Mad Men (it may have been this one: “Review of Mad Men ‘The Doorway’”), and the reviewer made the observation that Don is sleeping around with all these women because he’s using them to try to figure out who he is. The man is lacking a self-identity. I agree.

Not only does Don have no idea who he is, and he’s in his early 40s, but the guy seems deeply depressed (though maybe not in the clinical sense), very lost, hollow, and his life – even with all the money and the big, corner office- also seems empty and pointless.

Despite having frequent sex with many different partners, many of whom are very attractive ladies, Draper is a depressed and depressing man. All the sex has not brought him fulfillment, peace of mind, or joy. I don’t remember seeing him smile at all on this show, or maybe just once or twice.

I also like seeing that this married man, this fictional character, is shown engaging in adultery, because it acknowledges what 99% of preachers don’t want to admit: married people are not above sexual sin. It’s not only singles that have sex outside of marriage but marrieds who do as well.

From a review and discussion of a more recent episode of Mad Men:

    It is January of 1968 and everything seems up for grabs. Vietnam is in the background, and America seems on the verge of retreat. ”Liberation” is in the air. As the episode opens we learn that the hottest ticket in town is for the musical “Hair”: full frontal nudity has come to Broadway and the sexual overtures at Pete and Trudy’s dinner party are more open and direct that we have seen before in Mad Men as host and hostess are simultaneously hit upon by guests. There seems to be some sense of a link between the decline of sexual mores and the decline of America in the world, a link best articulated in fiction by Updike’s Rabbit quartet. The angst of Rabbit Angstrom is certainly reflected in the angst of Don Draper.

    Draper has become a richer character this season (a point for the artistic value of extended serial television with its capacity for evolution and nuance). He is still sleeping around, but no longer with joy and with what seems to be more serious moral concerns. In words, he says his relationships can be compartmentalized. But in body language, we see him slumped to the floor outside his apartment, deep in distress.

And (source):

    Sunday night’s second episode of season 6 had a strong theme of regrettable sex and adultery on many levels.

    The night of sexual regret opened up strong, when we were confronted by sleazy Herb from Jaguar, with whom Joan made the ultimate sacrifice and paid a hefty price of her dignity to help win as a client for Sterling Cooper Draper Price. Though, the minute she hit him (literally) below the belt with the line, “And I know there’s a part of you you haven’t seen in years,” we felt just a little bit better about the torrid affair.

    In addition to Joan’s regrettable foray with Herb, Pete has a regrettable affair with a neighbor for which he gets caught by wife, Trudy (the always-fabulous Alison Brie); Megan suffers a miscarriage from a pregnancy, which she had mixed feelings about anyway; Don’s lover seems to be suffering from guilt from their affair, and we learn that all of Don’s troubles began in a den of regrettable sex and adultery: a brothel. Turns out that the awkward teen Don was brought up in a hot bed of sin.

Related post, this blog:

What Christians Can Learn from The Walking Dead Re: Family, Singleness, and Marriage

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