- Porn is not a monolithic entity.
- Porn is as problematic as every other fucked of type of media out there aimed primarily at men, because society is fucked up.
- Images of people fucking are not the problem, the problem is that it’s marketed solely to men, with very little material aimed at women and everybody else, and that the content is often misogynistic.
- I repeat it is possible to make non-sexist porn. Non-sexist porn exists.
- The fact that some pornography is problematic is not an argument against all pornography any more than Two and a Half Men is an argument against all television.
I hate Adult Shops geared toward women that boast that they are a Porn Free Environment. This backhandedly shames every woman who IS visual and DOES enjoy porn of all shapes and sizes.
Please, give other options, porn that is well rounded and offers different points of view, different kinds of bodies and caters to many a kink, but DON’T make the assumption that your negative view of porn makes all porn inherently evil.
Don’t alienate the many people out there who enjoy porn and want an alternative to mainstream ideals of porn.
Porn is about male fantasy. The fantasy is that women like everything you do to them, as man.
So how does this translate into real life? Women spend a lot of time and energy trying to please men. We learn early on that we are being looked at – that we are to be looked at. That we are performers. It took years before I actually started enjoying sex. YEARS. I think what I enjoyed most about sex, when I was younger, was the feeling of being desired. The actual sex part was super boring for the first while.
We learn, as girls and women, that the performance is more important than the actual feeling."
Say you’re an average, all-American girl, born in 1987. That makes you 18 in 2005. At age five, you watched skinny women shake their asses around in the “Baby Got Back” video, which played on MTV approximately every 15 minutes during the summer of 1992. You and your little friends copied those moves and your parents thought it was so darn cute that they got out the camcorder.
At age eleven, the Spice Girls were your idols. They showed that you could achieve Girl Power by looking hot, staying skinny, and showing lots of leg. You thought Ginger Spice was the hottest, and pleaded to dye your hair red. When you got to 7th grade, you were sexually harassed by your classmates, something you shared with 83% of the female student population (Harris Interactive Poll, 2001). See, your breasts had developed rather quickly, and boys dared each other to sneak up behind you and grab them. Sometimes they succeeded, but the teachers never saw. Other girls did, and spread rumors about what a slut you were. For a while you had no friends, and you developed a quiet eating disorder. You never had a sex ed. class, because your state’s Department of Education didn’t require it. By 8th grade graduation, you heard that all the popular girls were giving blow jobs after school. Their boyfriends expected this after two weeks of going out.
High school was a little better. Luckily, you never got date-raped, but your best friend did. She didn’t do anything about it, though, because everyone knew she’d had a major crush on the rapist. Meanwhile, IM was the hot new thing, and you were busy chatting away and fending off requests to send sexy photos of yourself to the pervy guys in the chat rooms. You lost your virginity at a party in 10th grade but never spoke to the guy afterwards. You heard later that he’d assessed you as “fat thighs, great tits.” Your guy friends were all bragging about jerking off to porn, and you quickly realized that you had to act like that was no big deal. That’s what all the other girls did.
By 11th grade all the girls were wearing the Playboy bunny chokers and Porn Star shirts and shorts with “Naughty” written across the ass. Guys who dated a lot of girls called themselves “pimps,” and you and your friends went through a phase when you called each other “whore,” as a term of affection. One of the most popular guy’s dads had promised to hire him a stripper for his 18th birthday party, according to the latest rumor. You watched girls get drunk at parties and make out with each other while the guys cheered and took photos. You saw American Pie and The Girl Next Door and countless reality TV shows where women paraded around in hot pants and thong swimsuits and even wedding gowns, competing for fabulous prizes and/or husbands. Senior year, a new Hooters restaurant opened on the highway near your school and became the cool new hangout. Sometimes you ended up there with friends after the game, and your Uncle Jim hosted his 45th birthday party there.
But then you turned 18 and graduated. Your family can’t really afford college for you, and your grades were never that stellar anyway. So you do some neighborhood babysitting, and some lifeguarding at the lake, and try to imagine your next move. This girl you know says she’s going to audition at the Glass Slipper strip club on Route 39 – “always hiring new dancers!” – and invites you to come with. Your summer boyfriend thinks it’s a really hot idea.
You say you need to think about it.
All of your ideas about love and sexuality have been shaped by a lifetime of semi-sleazy, exploitative experiences. But you think of them as normal, just like you think porn is a natural part of everyone’s life. You’ve never been raped, but you’ve grown up in a rape culture. Time and again, it’s been clearly demonstrated that you, and all womankind, are really only useful for one thing. Luckily, this one thing happens to be what men will pay you top dollar for. And right now, you’re unemployed.
If you decide to become a stripper, are you really choosing freely? Or are you simply taking the next logical step in your American-girl socialization process, a track fashioned by the marketers, magazine editors, and movie producers, upon which you were placed as a young child?
Did you ever really have a choice? We think not."
One Angry Girl answers the FAQs — HOW CAN YOU TELL WOMEN NOT TO BE IN PORN? ISN’T IT THEIR CHOICE TO DO WHATEVER THEY WANT WITH THEIR BODIES?
I don’t don’t really know where I stand on this issue yet, but I found this passage really eye-opening to the ways women and girls are shaped to perform sexuality. (via nessfraserloves)
^ Agree. I am not anti-porn, but the porn industry has some serious issues, and this passage is really interesting.
Watching porn is bad in a relationship because you should cherish the person you are with. That’s it. :)
Learn how to fall in love. It may come on handy someday.
With that logic, watching a romantic movie is bad in a relationship because you should cherish the person you are with.
And forget about romance novels.
Actually, stop looking at other people altogether.
Because obviously looking at another couple diminishes the love you have for your own partner.
Yes, I know there are copious problems with the porn industry, but this post comes across as arrogant and imposing.
Learning to have sex from watching porn is about as effective as learning to drive from watching car chase movies. And unfortunately, that’s what our sex education system forces people to do. Rather than helping people learn how to make authentic sexual choices, communicate with a partner, set boundaries or identify their needs, desires, and goals, we withhold information and then shame them for making mistakes. Is it any wonder that people are trying to learn how to have sex from porn?
Porn isn’t any more of a fantasy than a romantic comedy or an action movie is. But until we give people more accurate ideas about sex, there’s no way to balance it out. And to critique porn for doing something that every other genre of entertainment does seems a bit silly to me. After all, there’s no reason to have higher expectations for porn than we do for action movies.
Porn can be great, but fuck, if it is the entirety of your sexual knowledge, there are some serious implications. I read a story in “Living Dolls” by Natasha Walter where this guy was raised in an all-boys school, didn’t have any sisters, and watched porn from a young age. He knew nothing about women except from porn. So one day he went to a party and asked a girl if he could touch her boob, and was surprised when she was shocked by the question.
Also, the fact that boys are expected to watch porn and girls aren’t leads to some complicated situations in the bedroom with heterosexual couples. The guy is ready for the hardcore stuff, but the girl has really only read a page of “kissy-sexy-time-now-fade-to-black…” in some romance novel (I am aware I am using extreme examples). How is the girl supposed to react to the suggestion of fisting when she doesn’t even know where her own clitoris is??
~my rant for the day~
For this generation, coming of age in the digital age means pioneering in a world where pornography has become mobile and mainstream, privates are public, and extreme is the norm.. Sexy Baby. a documentary.
This actually brought on a few tears for me, as a mother.
How can a person not be disgusted by this culture? I understand sexuality. Its importance is far deeper than this culture allows it to be. But what this culture does is place a mono-view of sexuality, sex, and femininity as the central and defining doctrine, normalizes it and simultaneously disenfranchises all outlying variation. The result is a culture of self-loathing.
Wow. This was a punch in the face of RELEVANCE. Those 12-year-olds, “Woah, ew, she definitely needed labia surgery!” My little sister is twelve.
Sometimes this culture, this society… it just makes me want to break down in tears.
I want to see this documentary. (Actually I really don’t, but you know what I mean.)