<em>With less than a month until </em>Game of Thrones<em> returns to ruin our lives for its fourth season, in this week’s guest column Jessica Needham discusses the GoT question that people REALLY want answered.</em> And on the sixth day did George R.R. Martin descend from his throne of sorrow in New Mexico, flanked by his disciples David Benioff and DB Weiss to end the masses’ long-suffering wait. Glory be to George, for we finally have our fourth season! Now before we start freaking out over the Red Viper, or the body pile that will no doubt be piling up within the next 10 weeks, let’s face what a lot of us are <em>really</em> wondering: whose tits do we get to see next? I, as someone who plays for both the bears and the maidens fair, do objectively enjoy the amount of female nudity gracing the screens as much as the next person … but maybe it’s worth taking a step back and looking at just what all the nudity means. If we look at the past three seasons there’s no way anyone could deny that <em>Game of Thrones </em>is extremely heavy in its female nudity. But just to look all scientific I will pull out the pseudo-science of content analysis. I embarked on an epic quest to figure out just how much the female nudity stacked up against the male nudity. I subjected myself to what was to become the most grueling test I had yet to face in my academic career. Out of 37 sex scenes (and feel free to argue any of this with me over email) there were 15 instances of full female frontal, 33 sets of tits, 18 exposed man pecs, and only two measly full male frontal shots during the sexual scenes. Now this isn’t including the infamous Hodor scene, nor some of the other female breast shots. Because really, it starts getting complex when you see Dany’s boobs in one shot that’s in a sex scene and the next where they are exposed for the sake of tits. But aha! We have stumbled upon one of the key reasons female nudity is so damn high. Oh sweet, heterosexual, female viewers … to HBO, you do not exist. Without getting too deep into it and pulling out jargon like “male gaze” and “fetishized scopophilia,” HBO uses female sexuality as a pretty thing to decorate scenes and deliver really heavy dialogue (the Ros and Littlefinger fingers scene, anyone?). The term for this is “sexposition,” coined by blogger Myles McNutt where nudity is used as a story telling device. Pretty much, we get Dany’s tits<em> just</em> on the water line of her tub so we (theoretically) actually give a crap about what Daario Naharis is saying to her. That’s all fine and dandy and yeah, it does keep our attention if only for shock value, but why is it only ever women? Why don’t we have Daario slowly getting undressed while talking and climbing into Daenerys’ bath? Because this is a paid subscription, that’s why. Society tells us from half-naked women in advertising to pay-per-view webcam girls that when we pay for something, we deserve to get what we want. And what society wants are women sexually placed below men. Hell, if Daario got naked we maybe would actually — gasp — objectify men! <em>Game of Thrones</em> assumes the majority of its viewers are men and that they wouldn’t want to pay to see that, nor would it keep their attention. So we ladies are pretty much fed table scraps of Hodor dong and weird half-naked Theon torture scenes to keep us quiet instead. Now, all of this is more nuanced and there are certainly shades of grey. We get a bit of less explicit sexposition between Renly and Loras and often sex can be used to convey relationships between characters. Being a super popular show, though, comes with a certain level of responsibility, and while removing all nudity would not help the problem — and certainly would make the show a little less interesting — there needs to be a change in how females are visually depicted in <em>Game of Thrones</em>. The numbers do not lie, and if HBO is going to show us boobs, they better at least deliver some quality dong as well. So go forth tenants of R’hllor, the Drowned God, and both the Old Gods and the new. Enjoy the new season (as I will be while wearing my Tyrell shirt) but be sure to keep in mind that even when you escape into fantasy, misogyny will find you no matter where you hide.