Wednesday, March 10, 2010

It's not female ejaculate. It's Urine.

So watersports are not my thing. I don't find the idea repulsive or morally objectionable, and if a lover wanted to pee on me I'd have only a few caveats--specifically rules against pre-sex dehydration and/or asparagus.

But what bothers me is the pretense, in porn anyway, that girl-pee is the same thing as female ejaculate.

If it turns you on that girls pee, that's great. If it turns you on that some girls ejaculate something, sometimes, that's great too. If you like the idea of girls becoming incontinent during orgasm... fine. But I am tired of wankers leaving their good sense and their brains at the door. Can we just admit that the studio-tanned, waxed-pussied, fake-titted barbie being carelessly pumped with the purple dildo is not ejaculating? That she's just peeing on cue? She's not enjoying herself, and even if she was she would not likely express her pleasure by voiding a full liter of urine straight up into the air.

I'm all in favor of the willing suspention of disbelief. But please, fellow wankers, could we please get some self respect and a clue?

It's not 'female ejaculate.' It's pee.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

porn vs. playstation

The adult entertainment industry’s elder statesman, Ron Jeremy, was recently at a consumer electronics conference, where he got some press for saying that violent video games were more dangerous for children than is pornography.

Is it a contest? I mean, is the ethical goal of the pornographer to be less morally corrosive than some other cultural phenomenon? It’s a bit like the soft-drink industry saying, Well, high-fructose corn-syrup isn’t as bad for kids as crack. Maybe it’s true, but so what?

Part of Mr. Jeremy’s point is that The Porn Industry—as if there was a cohesive entity deserving that title—makes efforts to keep children from seeing explicitly sexual material, which is a noble goal. But to the extent that consumers and parents are thus relieved of their responsibilities, it is not going to have much effect on the worst of what children see.

Comparing porn to computer games is perhaps not completely pointless in the electronics-trade-show context, but is otherwise pretty pointless to individuals making personal and political decisions. What kind of pornography, and how much of it, is being compared to how many weekly hours of which video games? Are we comparing immersive, ten-hour sessions of Grand Theft Auto IV, to faux-goth, soft-core porn with pale tattooed girls? Or are we comparing a few weekly hours of Age of Empires IV, to the experience of an introverted adolescent virgin whose whole sexual experience is limited, for years, to long daily exposures to streaming video from such wholesome erotic websites as Deep-Throat Gaggers, Eyeball Cum, and Degraded Teens?

Porn can be unethically made, can be unhealthy in content, and can be both abusive and abused. Pornography is just another entertainment genre that can be good or bad, responsible or irresponsible. Face it, Porn Fans: There is a lot of virulently hostile and misogynistic porn out there, which occupies a troublingly large fraction of the sexually explicit bandwidth. If Mr. Jeremy’s discourse is part of a larger trend to drag pornography out of the shadows, and treat it like any other business, then it’s a positive thing. But to the extent that he is distracting makers and consumers from their individual responsibilities to make ethical decisions, his role is counter-productive.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Us and Them

I gained a bit of retroactive respect for Nikita Krushchev when I heard that his entire entourage, from his advisors to his driver, ate the same food at the same table. At least he seems to have been an authentic egalitarian. Marxism for him was not just a convenient pose to sustain his privileged status in a totalitarian state. His behavior suggests rather that, in his idealist vision, individuals have different roles, but they are all human... all essentially the same, with the same rights and needs.

I don't know how I stumbled on Marks Cum Blog [sic], but what struck me about it was this: Nearly every posting of themed photos (in the linked posting, it's intermammary intercourse) includes some pictures of the blogger and/or his sexual partner. I appreciate the way this act subverts, or simply ignores, the presumed relationships of power, and the one-way nature of voyeurism, between the subject and object of the sexual gaze in pornography. By recognizing his own potential--and that of his beloved--to be eroticized and objectified, he is also tacitly but unambiguously acknowedging the humanity of the on-camera talent in the sexually explicit images he posts. He is saying, in effect, They are not really different than Us.

This doesn't mean that "Mark" or the viewers of his blog are responsible or ethical porn consumers, at least not yet. I assume the photos he posts are as likely as any to use exploited talent, for example. But his effort
(probably unconscious, but very real and honest) to dissolve the Fourth Wall of pornography is an important step.

People who share their sexuality on camera have lives, and have rights. They want security and comfort, and they search for love and meaningful connection with the people they care about.

Once an awareness of these simple truths is present, it is more likely that the porn consumer will make choices that preserve and protect the integrity and well being of those people, whose work in pornography we enjoy.

Having said all that, I do wish this Mark guy would learn to spell.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

A challenge to "Ethical Porn Consumers" from

Here’s a link to a posting from the blog, Broadsheet. Broadsheet is the latest incarnation of Mothers Who Think, a column from a previous decade that never really worked, but that just won't die. Salon has long struggled to find its voice for gender issues, but always ends up, on the whole, with a whiney vibe, in a privileged, coastal and fundamentally conventional feminist-mom kind of way. This is despite women who write elsewhere for—Stephanie Zacharek, Heather Havrileski, Cintra Wilson, Camille Paglia—who simply by being themselves do more as human beings and as women every day, than the conventional bobo wisdom and tepid snark of Broadsheet will ever achieve.

The author is writing about condom use and HIV testing in the porn industry. What I appreciated about the linked post was this:

That brings me right back to the same conclusion I came to before: It's all about the audience. For those ethical porn consumers out there -- and I'm convinced they do exist, despite past reader comments to the contrary -- it's possible to vote with your dollars. (Of course, much of what gets traction online is pirated material or free teasers for for-pay content, in which case the consumer vote is less direct.) The best middle ground solution I've come across is one suggested by Adult Industry Medical Health Care Foundation founder Sharon Mitchell shortly after the 2004 outbreak: Why not promote a "seal of approval" that advertises a porno's ethical production values? The gold standard might be requiring rigorous two-week testing and actively defending workers' right to perform with or without a condom. It would be a disclaimer of sorts -- essentially, "no porn stars were harmed in the making of this movie."

I would favor more HIV testing, although not a legal obligation to use condoms at all times. But that’s not the point.

The point is this: The author is not calling for laws or interdiction, but expressing a faith that consumers of pornography can come to intelligent, thoughtful decisions, can be responsible and ethical. And she’s issuing a challenge that they indeed be responsible and ethical. And that’s where I agree the the author, and on a subject more fundamental than the topic of the Broadsheet entry: Treating porn like any other consumer product (rather than further judging and marginalizing it and its fans) is more likely to improve the conditions of its direct and indirect victims, than is any further campaign of censorship, persecution, and exclusion from the mainstream of culture and of law.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

a definition for pornography

What is pornography?

Pornography is a form of expression, in any medium, which is both produced and consumed with the sole purpose of creating, in the consumer, a specific neurochemical reaction.

This is my definition, and as a definition is inherently arbitrary. But I think it’s a pretty good and useful one.

A few comments:

1) Note that it is all about intention. I cannot claim that, for example, Manet’s Olympia is pornography, just because I have jerked off to it. I can, however, claim that sexually explicit, 18th century Japanese wood-block prints are art. This is true even if the artist’s intention was essentially pornographic, if my interest as a viewer is not dominated by the sexual content and its effect on me.

I admit of course that the creator’s intention is more important in defining pornography, but feel that the viewer’s/reader’s intention must also be respected. It is possible for a work of 100% pornographic intention to be seen as art, by somebody somewhere.

2) Note also that my definition allows for non-sexual pornography. I would classify much of the output of Hollywood as Violence Porn, Fear Porn, Crying Porn. A straight-to-video Jean-Claude VanDamme film is not as a general rule art, nor is it trying to be.

3) I am not judging porn. Why *not* create expressive works designed to provoke (for example) sexual arousal, or visceral horror, or deep weepy sadness? My only ethical or societal concerns are about the long-term exposure to too much of some kind of emotionally manipulative entertainment: Too much violence porn *will* make people more violent. Etc. As I have mentioned elsewhere: Too much of certain kinds of porn can warp perceptions of human beings and sexuality.

Pornography: I’ve defined it.

Consume with mindfulness and moderation.

Monday, November 24, 2008

barbie-on-barbie action

The cock has a big (sometimes very big) place in straight hardcore porn, even for consumers that might otherwise be homophobic. But there is also an entirely penis-free genre of explicit pornography conceived and produced for the hetero male: “Lesbian Porn.”

A misnomer, of course.

It’s impossible to say that *no* actual lesbians enjoy watching impoverished Czech girls lick one another’s assholes for money. Nor can one be sure that *none* of the impoverished Czech girls concerned get off on sex with other women. But on the whole, typical girl-on-girl porn (skinny barbies in high-heels, make-up, and lingerie; stuffing colorful toys up one another and pouting, etc.) is made by and for straight men.

Part of this is easy to explain: It’s fun to watch other people get naked and be sexual, whatever the genders and permutations. And sadly most straight male consumers don’t care what the on-screen talent actually wants in love or in life. But girl/girl porn, for certain men, has a special appeal. I suspect there are multiple, distinct, and overlapping reasons for this.

Girls going at it, as a subject, provides an emotional safety to the voyeur who wants to watch people have sex, but who would be freaked out by the presence of a naked man. Homophobia is probably part of it. But it is no doubt also due to insecurities not related to orientation. In other words, it may be better for some hard-core porn to be entirely voyeuristic, with no one on camera with whom the viewer can identify, compare himself, or mentally compete.

More benign is the simple fact that, to us more-or-less straight guys, women are just so darn pretty to look at. A tangle of female limbs... all that womanly flesh... a confusion of yummy mucus membranes. It is awfully nice. For this reason, much multiple-girl porn doesn’t really make any pretense that the women are pleasing another sexually; their various embraces and writhings are plainly just a composition of a basically hetero-erotic nature: female bodies and a male gaze. I personally can appreciate the erotic charge of a big hard cock, on its own or in the process of pressing into some lovely orifice. But there is a special energy to the female body, to its aesthetics. This is subjective of course, and I take it to be the very definition of male heterosexuality. Obviously, I am no homophobe... but female skin! A female bottom! Two female bottoms! It’s undeniably special.

As an extension of this: There are certain sexual activities that I love to both *do* and love to *watch*. I love putting my penis in a woman’s mouth, *and* I love watching another man put his penis in a woman’s mouth. But while I enjoy licking vaginas, assholes, and toes, I don’t get very much pleasure seeing a man doing these things. On the other hand, watching girls suck one another’s vaginas, toes, bottoms... Yes, I do enjoy that. As much as I find *cocks* attractive, and female *assholes* attractive... I find a man’s bristly jaw in the foreground of an analingus shot less so. I hope and sincerely believe that this is not residual homophobia, but I admit that I cannot be entirely sure. All I can say is this: That same bristly-jawed man is (under the right circumstances) welcome--encouraged even--to jerk off onto my face. But I don’t want to see pictures of men coming on one another’s faces. I don’t find it repulsive, just not very interesting... like watching a fetishist have sex with a pair of cotton underpants. It’s not gross; it’s just... I dunno... boring.

In conclusion... uh, I’m not sure I have a conclusion. I guess 1) I hope that those men who choose girl-girl porn because of homophobic fear can get past that. The anxiety-generating charge on the penis for them might transform, into something they can enjoy rather than fear. And 2) I wish we could find something else to call multiple-women porn other than “Lesbian porn,” which is just a stupid name for it.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Fake Tits

Can we please agree that fake tits are just awful awful awful? I don’t mean this as an expression of male guilt, of socially-conscious solidarity with women concerned about body image, objectification, etc. I don’t say this to prove my PC sensitive-guy bona-fides. I say this as a cock-in-hand porn consumer who finds the pneumatic breasts on skinny, studio-tanned, porn-stars to be sad, unattractive, erection-deflating, creepy, unnecessary. Please stop. Flat chests are fine. I can love flat chested girls. I can masturbate to pictures of flat-chested girls. Big mooshy breasts are fine too. Large perky breasts are great, when they are naturally so. But please, young women: Don’t think that anyone deserving of your attention likes those fake rigid unfeeling hemispheres packed under that taut skin. And I won’t even discuss the monstrous distended beachball-boobs, for which the surgeons should go in chains to re-education camps.

Maybe fake-tit revulsion does have a political component, even for me. I like to believe, or at least pretend, that the porn-people on camera are happy to be there, enjoying the sex and enjoying being watched. Hence my preference for amateur (or amateur-looking) porn. But part of enjoying sex means being comfortable with The Body in general, and one’s own body in particular. Anorexia and cosmetic surgery suggest, to me, a high likelihood of neurotic body-image problems. The impulse within such a woman to be a porn actress may not come from libido or exhibitionism, but from a confused impulse to win attention by effacing her own true nature, giving her body sexually to others in various ways.

In brief: I have a hard time imagining that a skinny, fake-tan, fake-tit, no-body-hair, porn-starlet is actually getting off, at all, on the sexual experience of being naked on camera, but is rather losing a battle with body-insecurity, in a very public place.

Obviously this does not apply to re-constructive surgery... although that too should be entirely optional.

Wherever it comes from, it’s a buzz-kill: Please stop with the bad fake tits.