Pornography: Please, try harder.
21/10/2012 § Leave a comment
When I was 18 or so, I thought that watching porn was possibly the best thing ever. My friends and I would pile on a couch and watch things like “Teen Girl Power” &c. After all, sex is sexy. Women are sexy. Women who do porn are powerful via their sexiness right? … Right?
Well, not always.
The probs with porn is the ways in which women become the object of men’s sexual desire, rather than women being capable of desire in their own right. Big-breasted, small-waisted, innocent, voracious, cougs (oh, cougs), women being sexy and having sex in ways that are sanctioned by men. Women deviously controlling men by the pants (because women don’t have real power). Shots that pan gynecologically close to a woman’s vagina, that forsake the whole of the people making the porn for the sake of in-depth presentations of testicular physics, the dissection of the body… Women who attempt to look interested in one another while they pantomime lesbian sex with four-inch fingernails. You know, going gay for the male gaze. These are not unproblematic things. That’s not even counting that I can’t live up to their libidinousness. For that matter, it’s not counting that awkward moment when the person you’re intimate with tries something they “learned in a porno.”
But who cares, right? Women aren’t watching porn. Well…
Some of us ARE watching. Some of us know that women are sexual, and some of us are women who consume sexual media. The centrality of female pleasure is sexy. Watching two whole people having (flushed, sweaty) sex is better than watching a penis ram into a vagina. Women are capable of being sexual, of having desires, and people having sex are (hopefully) interested in fulfilling those desires for each other, rather than attempting to show the myriad ways in which women need penises to survive.
Get your rocks off conscientiously, with the centrality of mutual pleasure.