Favorite quotes from this chapter:
“Like Hollywood stars, porn stars are overblown caricatures of contemporary culture’s ideals and inhabit a tiny end of the gene pool. The actors are all very limber, and can withstand extended periods of sex in difficult positions under hot lights. They shave their balls, wax their asses, and sometimes wear makeup on virtually every inch of their bodies…and still perform.”
“…I think that precisely because it’s so far away from reality, most of the industry’s purported “ideal” that stars embody isn’t what actually turns most of us on.” (Maybe this is why so many women have so much trouble finding porn we like; I think most women want to see real people having real sex in real places with real expectations.)
The point of this chapter? The concern over viewer self-esteem as a result of watching porn.
I guess I can see how some people might have body issues while watching porn. I don’t. I watch porn for a particular reason…as an arousal aide. I like to look at attractive people. I like to watch attractive people fuck. I like to have sex while I watch them. I’m not worrying about how I look while I’m doing this. I’m completely aware that the people in porn are chosen for their bodily features. Duh. That’s why the girls have big boobs and skinny waists and the guys have big cocks. The only faces that matter are the women’s, because they’ll be the focus of the cum shots and the orgasm close-ups. Most directors don’t seem real concerned with what’s going on with the guys (funny double-standard there). It usually appears that the females are the ones being objectified, but I’d say it’s just as apparent for the males. All they seem good for in porn is having a big dick. But wait…isn’t that what porn is about…objectification of others? So, I guess that makes me unconcerned about sexism in porn. Hmm…
The second point of this chapter – the concern that a viewer might see something offensive.
Blue reports, “It’s unsettling to feel aroused by images we find offensive on one level or another. If you’re ashamed of sex, you’re likely to feel embarrassed by the explicit imagery in porn. Sexual surprise, offense, and shock manifest in several guises: embarrassment, shame, anger, depression, self-hatred–and confusingly, arousal.” Sex is one of those things that, because we have so little control over it, can be scary. Our genitals respond, sometimes without our permission, to all kinds of things. For example, maybe you notice a twinge when a hot chick walks by, but you aren’t gay and don’t consider yourself bi-sexual. Will this confuse you? Embarrass you? Interest you? Our bodies and brains are not always “moral” or “ethical”. They run on auto-pilot and are controlled by our pleasure centers. The body’s goal is to feel good. Adrenaline, dopamine, chemical electricity. Our bodies, especially our sexual hot spots, are not at all concerned with our values. They just want. I think for people who have no clue what they want or fantasize about, oftentimes women, porn can be a gateway to understanding. Even if you find it offensive, if your body reacts to it, there’s a learning experience available. What is it about the visual imagery that gets your motor running?
The third point of this chapter – the concern that porn degrades women.
I’ve heard this argument before. And I think it’s silly. Porn is a job. The people in these films, magazines, and photos choose to be there. They are paid for it; sometimes quite well. And just because they are put in situations that might be degrading in the opinion of the viewer does not mean that the actors feel the same way. There are all kinds of people and all kinds of sex. As long as the participants are consenting adults who aren’t hurting anybody else with their activities, there’s nothing wrong with it. Women who take pride in their bodies, sexuality, and sexual abilities are not weak. I’d venture to say they are strong. They don’t perpetuate sexism, either. Besides, as I said above…men are treated similarly in porn – as objects…or better yet, carriers for big penises.
The fourth point of this chapter – the concern that porn has certain features that are unpalatable to some.
The facial cum shot (one of my pet peeves), anal sex, girl/girl action, fake orgasms, genital close-ups, unsafe sex. All I (or Blue) can say is…get your remote. Fast forward through the stuff you don’t like to get to the stuff you do.
In fact, I think I’ll get my remote ready right now.