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…

…hawt…

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.

Love me, Love my body

28/06/2012 § Leave a comment

A dear friend signaled to me that she would’ve  liked to hear more in my last post re: my stance on bodies and real selves. I was having a terrible time articulating it yesterday, but here we go.

What set me off yesterday is a recent spate of people on facebook posting things suggesting that we should love women for their real selves, not their bodies. The problem that I come to is this: I have a hard time making a distinction between the body I inhabit and the person that I am. They are not discrete entities, and to suggest that my body is somehow different from my real self also suggests that my body is impermanent, and my thoughts/personality are set in stone. I am changeable, as is my body. Over time, I can lose weight, gain weight, lose functionality, increase/decrease in dexterousness &c. I will age, I will change. Likewise,  I will change over time with respect to my personality and ways of thinking. It would be very Foreverware, and kind of disturbing if I didn’t. When I decided to marry Quin, one of the things that impacted that decision is our willingness/flexibility to love each other as we change, to discover new things about each other, and to remain in a partnership, always learning new things about one another.

I have plenty of issues with my body (admittedly, I have just as many, if not more, hangups about my mental state/personality). For example, I am fat. I know I am fat. It bothers me when people suggest that I’m not fat, because I have eyes and mirrors. I have hangups about my fatness that come into play regularly. Quin loves me, not in spite of my fatness, nor because of it (that goes into its own weird territory, in my experience). He just appreciates me, my thoughts, my personality, and my body, for all things I can do, or that we can do together, regardless of how that changes in the future. My body is integrated into my real self, as changeable as everything else about me.

Jenny Saville gets it. Why Don’t you?

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