So what do smart girls want?
Unfortunately, a lot of girls, smart ones included, have little clue. But that isn’t a surprise; not a lot of stock has been put into what women really want (sexually speaking) in mainstream media…or even porn. Sure, there was the sexual revolution…but that just put the message out there that having sex was healthy and fun. And yes, there’s been The Joy of Sex and Dr. Ruth and romance novels out the wazoo (which is a whole weird culture that I didn’t think I understood until now – but I’ll get to that in a moment). But there hasn’t been a completely open sexual movement encouraging women to find out what makes them hot, what makes them sweat, what makes them come. We have to diligently select from hundreds of outlets. And sometimes, we don’t even know where to start.
Let’s create a profile for an average American girl – so I can evidence just how tough it can be for a woman to find herself as a sexual being. We’ll call her Mona…
Mona is born into a middle class family. She doesn’t have “daddy issues” and she isn’t being sexually abused. She’s a normal kid. Sometime in her early preteens (or maybe even before), she stumbles upon masturbation (I know this tends to happen earlier for boys – which makes sense…come on – it’s right there…all the time). In her teens she experiments with sexual activity, and finally, with the “right boy”, she gives in. It probably isn’t good (seriously, they’re teenagers…he’s over-eager and she has no idea how to enjoy this). It doesn’t get better for quite some time, because she can’t figure out how to transfer her ability to get off on her own to involving another person in the process. She’s young, self-conscious, and probably unwilling to explain to a horny teenage boy what it is she really needs to reach climax. Let’s face it, he probably doesn’t care (even though he’s told her he loves her to get in her pants). She knows this. So, she keeps it to herself, trying to figure out what she’s doing wrong – after all, it seems to be working for him. Some years later, in college, she gets a little more confident. She starts asking for what she wants, reading up on it, watching porn. She has meaningful relationships with men who really want to please her. And yet, she still doesn’t quite have the words for it. Why? Because, even though there IS a language for female sexuality, it is hard to find in mainstream media. So it’s no damn wonder, when Mona gets married and has 3 kids that her sex life starts to break down and she turns to romance novels to feed her disappointed and neglected sexual appetite. And the problem with these novels is that they are poison. They do as bad a disservice to sex as does most porn. It’s so unreal that the reader or viewer gets a warped sense of what sex should be or can be. Mona doesn’t have to throw in the towel, though. There are great women doing great things to help all of us reach our sexual potential…and have fun getting there.
Mona’s story is similar to mine. With a few differences. I figured out what worked for me fairly young. And I started reading about it at a young age, too. I think it started with Anne Rice. I read the Vampire Chronicles and, in my voracious serial devouring of everything she ever published, came across Belinda. Then came The Sleeping Beauty series. My teenage eyes were opened wide. I’m pretty sure I read all three books in a matter of a few days, with little sleep. Nearly 800 pages of bondage and sex and an education I could not have garnered from the pages of My Body My Self. This was followed by the diaries of Anais Nin (whom I ironically found about by reading The Bridges of Madison County). Then came the early play with boys. Almost always a disappointment. All done for the amusement and satisfaction of the boy. Of course, I suppose if I’d been a more aggressive girl, I could’ve gotten what I wanted. Problem was, that while I recognized what turned me on when I saw it or read it, I couldn’t name it. I had no definition. No classification system. And I hadn’t given myself permission to explore. That also isn’t surprising, given what society does to young girls who are starting to come to terms with their sexuality. Times have NOT changed. Boys who play with sex are “normal”…heroic even. Girls who play with sex are “promiscuous little sluts”. So, we hide it. We try to figure things out without anyone ever knowing.
By the time I got to college and watched real porn for the first time (I had a great boyfriend who braved the adult section at the video store because I was too chicken, and came home with – I will never forget this title as long as I live – Revenge of the Pussysuckers from Mars). There is so much wrong with this that I don’t even know where to start. It was laughable. We couldn’t even finish it. The guys were greasy and overweight, the girls were quite obviously brainless and desperate. But what would have changed if I’d had the guts to go in and pick the porn for myself? I’d never seen it before, so I had know idea what I was shopping for. Didn’t know my own tastes in the genre. I know I wouldn’t have picked anything involved “pussysuckers” in the title. But, what would I have chosen?
Even now, I struggle to find decent porn. The outside always seems to look so much more enticing than the inside. While I am far from an expert, I know at least a little about what I do and don’t like. I’m drawn in by a cover. If the cover of the box involves giant dicks coming all over eager young female faces, I’m out. If it boasts a bevy of big butts spread wide and fake smiles, I’m not interested. If the cover is sexy, artistic, looks like a little money went into the production, I might read the back. Then it comes down to the story line. If it’s cheesy, forget it. If the girls are too skinny, don’t bother me. The best ones (and I’m not saying they’re great by any means) I’ve found so far have been produced by Wicked Pictures and Playgirl. Although, I’ll say the people usually look better on the box that they do in the films…and for the most part, porn actors are not theater majors…they are there to fuck – which, while I like to watch sex as much as the next horny MILF, I’d prefer the people I watch to be a few notches above dim-witted. And the more real the people look, the better. The more fun they appear to be having, the more I’m likely to have fun watching it. I want to see people really enjoying themselves, not faking it. And I can tell. Bi, couples, foursomes…it doesn’t matter. Sex can be beautiful and arousing no matter who is involved. Porn should be able to capture that, not desecrate it or cheapen it. Even “dirty” sex can be artful. The constant close-ups on a girl’s gaping vagina does not make me hot. Watching a girl give a 12 hour blow job, also does not turn me on.
So, at least, at this point in my life I have some growing clue about what I like and don’t like about pornographic material (print or film). I’m a smart girl. College educated with a professional career. So, I can say with some authority that one thing is certain: smart girls want sex…smart sex. Which means we want smart porn.
So where does one find the entrance to the rabbit hole? Here’s a starting point: Violet Blue.
In the introduction of her book, The Smart Girl’s Guide to Porn, she says, “Porn, like Hollywood’s reality TV, is often sexual disinformation: many sex acts are hot to watch but likely the sexual equivalent of Jackass and you shouldn’t try them at home.”
This gal has done a lot of research for the rest of us smart girls who are too busy with jobs and families to spend hours a day searching for porn we can really sink our teeth into.
Her website is a plethora of great information – including links and books from other authors.
Hey, it’s a starting point. Even smart girls need a little guidance sometimes.
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