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Pr0n! - Tactical Ninja

Sep. 22nd, 2010

12:29 pm - Pr0n!

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Is the porn industry hijacking our sexuality?

As I read this article, my mind ran a gamut of feelings. By the end I was going "What is this woman on?"


Disclaimer: I've never worked in porn so I don't know what the conditions are. What I have done is lived a life that includes porn for quite a long time. There are others here, older than me, who have probably done more of this. I am aware that my taste in porn will colour my choice of porn - I'm not about to choose something that has SLUTSHAMERS WITH CHAINSAWS or RAPEFEST 09 plastered across the front, right?

However, I remember, and have watched, Debbie Does Dallas, and since that very first foray into the world of porn, I've watched quite a wide variety of titles, including same-sex porn, kinky porn and some porn that folks might consider violent. I watch porn now too. And I take issue with this woman's view that it's only men who watch porn, that watching porn since the advent of the internet has somehow turned men into objectifying assholes, and that (wait for it) men who watch porn want women to behave like the porn movies in bed.

Because, you know, if you have a penis you can't possibly tell the difference between fantasy and reality. It bothers me a lot that this woman's argument is based in the idea that the existence of porn causes men to treat women like X and women to believe they have to behave like X in bed. She even quotes studies. And this is fine - there's a good chance that someone who formed their idea of sex based on Catlickers might have some strange ideas about how sex should go.

However, I didn't form my idea of sex based on Catlickers, and I went into it having some strange ideas about how sex should go too. And you know what? Those ideas didn't come from the porn industry, they came from people around me telling me this was how sex was for girls, this is what you should do, and this is what he should do, and NOT MUCH OF IT WAS TRUE. The movies we watch (mainstream ones) do not give us any better idea of how sex should go than porn does, and in general, people watch way more mainstream movies than they do porn. Don't believe me? Go watch any romance aimed at teenagers, skip to the sex scene and tell me how realistic it is compared with your experience of sex. *cough*Twilight*cough*

So we figure it out for ourselves. And the vast majority of us figure out that porn is porn, it's fun, it plays to our fantasies but we get that our realities are not porn movies and we are not porn stars. And the tiny few of us who don't grasp this probably already had problems before they saw porn, you know?

So while I do buy that watching porn might influence one's view of sex, I do not buy that porn is changing our sexuality, or that porn is suddenly more violent or degrading than it was back in the day.

The other thing that bothers me about this woman's argument is that while she touches on conditions for women working in porn, there is no talk of resources to ensure the safety of these women. Nope, her resources are all about educating mainstream women to 'see' how letting their men watch porn is degrading them, and thus reducing demand for porn. Which contains an assumption that the women in porn somehow don't matter - that their health issues and lack of support to create a safe work environment free from exploitation is only useful as a means to an end - which is to convince non-pornstars to bring down the industry and thus render them unemployed.

Porn's been around a really long time. Like drugs and prostitution, it's been constructed as somehow wrong within a framework that's been exposed as controlling. As a result of this construction, people who engage in this behaviour can be treated as less than human by those who would otherwise consider themselves 'good people', and their practical issues ignored while we take the moral high ground about how what they do affects society.

And thus you end up with a situation where feminists are debating "Are porn stars victims of exploitation or empowered women?" and tut-tutting about how women are made to do anal*, and feeling good about themselves, while there's still no supporting union, healthcare protection or advocacy resources for women in the industry.

Nice one.

* because no woman ever likes anal for its own sake, dontcha know?


Today we're talking with a person about listing the house. I'm looking forward to handing the steering wheel to someone else, and to it being over. The house is just a thing now, I want it gone from my plate.

And when that's done , I guess I get to start deciding what to do next. Adventures for the sake of love, or investments for the sake of security? I want both. Ideas on how to have my cake and eat it, most welcome.

Comments:

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From:tatjna
Date:September 22nd, 2010 01:08 am (UTC)
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If I ever start getting aroused at the prospect of real estate, I'm booking myself into therapy, stat.

Also, I neither watched porn nor read bodice-rippers when forming my concept of sexuality - my information came from movies and my peers mostly. My parents gave me facts about sex but little info about technique, oddly enough. I have no idea if I'm representative of most people's experience or not, but I think to look only at porn and romance novels is doing everyone a disservice.
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From:bekitty
Date:September 22nd, 2010 01:38 am (UTC)
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Of course, you know that talking about real estate is porn for the middle class, right?

"Indoor-outdoor flow"? PHWOARRR!

*ahem*
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From:tatjna
Date:September 22nd, 2010 01:08 am (UTC)
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One day I'll tell you the story of how that came about. ;-)
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From:ferrouswheel
Date:September 22nd, 2010 01:14 am (UTC)
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I'm mixed. On the one hand I like porn, but on the other (having ..uh.. been a consumer) I know there is a dark road out there and that women could get involved with unscrupulous producers, sometimes unknowingly.

I'm with beagl though, enjoyment is a requirement, although people can enjoy a very diverse range of things.
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From:tatjna
Date:September 22nd, 2010 01:17 am (UTC)
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I would like to think that rather than attempt to convince women like me that you watching porn is bad for our sexuality, feminists would be out there helping put in place protections for women who get involved with unscrupulous producers, you know?

Cos I likes me some good porn and I'm not about to stop watching it, or try to stop others. I just want to know the people in the industry are being looked after, the same way any other worker can expect to be looked after.
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From:ferrouswheel
Date:September 22nd, 2010 01:23 am (UTC)
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Which is the great thing about how a certain production house we know operates ;-)
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From:bekitty
Date:September 22nd, 2010 01:43 am (UTC)
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I would like to think that rather than attempt to convince women like me that you watching porn is bad for our sexuality, feminists would be out there helping put in place protections for women who get involved with unscrupulous producers, you know?

Some feminists (especially those on the liberal/progressive end of the spectrum) are doing exactly that. It's only the more conservative feminists that are against porn. At least, that's been my experience.
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From:tatjna
Date:September 22nd, 2010 01:46 am (UTC)
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Yes. This is a fact that the interviewee in the article above ignores completely, as if the branch of feminism that concerns itself with advocacy for the rights of porn stars is beneath the notice of those more enlightened feminists who care about exploitation vs empowerment as a debate topic.
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From:ferrouswheel
Date:September 22nd, 2010 01:21 am (UTC)
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The interviewer:
you mentioned that the average age of a boy who views porn on the Internet today is 11, which, as the mother of a boy, is just heartbreaking to me.

11+ year old boys were sharing stolen porn magazines before the internet, the internet just means they don't need to shoplift anymore.
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From:tatjna
Date:September 22nd, 2010 01:25 am (UTC)
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I was about 11 when I first started viewing porn (in text form - we didn't have the net or a video player). This seemed pretty normal, it was 'borrowed' from a box of books my folks got in a jumble sale.

I am the mother of a boy. I'm sure he looks at porn. My heart is strangely intact.

Clearly I'm a bad parent.
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From:anna_en_route
Date:September 22nd, 2010 01:20 am (UTC)
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I'd advocate for a small lone adventure (as well as both joint adventures for love and socking away a safety fund to give yourselves a sense of security) because you've just toughed your way through an incredibly stressful time and some time alone in strange and exciting places is something that I've seen help people to allow themselves to be truly selfish without guilt.

Admittedly I've only seen it through the prism of walking accross Spain but I think the same principle applies to anything that takes you away from everything you *should* be doing and everyone you *should* be thinking about and exposes you to awesome new stuff.
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From:anna_en_route
Date:September 22nd, 2010 01:23 am (UTC)
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P.S. agreed with everything on the pr0n front (and I think it applies to prostitution as well although with some other caveats)
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From:tatjna
Date:September 22nd, 2010 02:32 am (UTC)
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You are unlikely to get slammed in this space for talking about porn. As far as I'm concerned, you are a woman, and the fact that you're a trans woman means you have a unique perspective. People who shut out different perspectives in a discussion because of the identity of the bearer of the perspective are not worthy of respect.

Things sometimes get pretty heated here but I draw the line at flaming, and people who comment here are generally pretty respectful.

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From:ferrouswheel
Date:September 22nd, 2010 02:56 am (UTC)
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Get rid of those proprietary genitalia.
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From:tatjna
Date:September 22nd, 2010 04:46 am (UTC)
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This is Will. He's special, in his own unique way.
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From:tatjna
Date:September 22nd, 2010 04:50 am (UTC)
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Yeah, me too. And I'm wondering if that's a good place for people who care about such things to start making an actual difference - in setting some standards for what kind of activities fall within the 'exploitation-free' category, to make such a stamp possible.
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From:ferrouswheel
Date:September 22nd, 2010 02:56 am (UTC)
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I thought the characterization of the hammer was an unfair typecast, but the plot was solid.
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From:anna_en_route
Date:September 22nd, 2010 04:04 am (UTC)
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What no SLUT HAMMERS III - NAILED IT?

(I love where this comments thread has gone...)
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From:tatjna
Date:September 22nd, 2010 05:13 am (UTC)
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SLUT HAMMERS V - FASTEN YOUR TOOLBELTS!
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From:richdrich
Date:September 22nd, 2010 04:59 am (UTC)
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Tool abuse images? That's just WRONG
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From:pombagira
Date:September 22nd, 2010 03:24 am (UTC)
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so now i am kinda wondering how much porn is actually exploitation in that forcing women to take a roll in a porn movie as the societal norms? would have us believe.. kinda like that whole don't take drugs kids drugs are bad societal norm...

*ponders this*
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From:anna_en_route
Date:September 22nd, 2010 05:12 am (UTC)
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Also pondering how much abuse is enabled by societal attitudes treating both sex-workers and drug addicts as less than human.

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From:slug_life
Date:September 24th, 2010 07:31 pm (UTC)
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Lots.
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From:maholic
Date:September 22nd, 2010 10:27 am (UTC)
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the pron industry is going through a recession currently, all those 'tube' sites are breaking copyright, thus reducing the industrys revenue streams... they are trying to setup closer contact between the consumers and the well, you know, i already thought there was fuckbook, but maybe i am mistaken and that was misleading advertising...

all in all though, if a human likes something, they will consume it, till they don't like it anymore

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From:ophe1ia_in_red
Date:September 23rd, 2010 08:52 pm (UTC)
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Quite. I rather think that porn reflects rather than creates people’s attitudes towards people and sexuality.

I do hope that one day there will be less of some kinds of porn and more of others, but of course that’s not the same as advocating censorship.
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From:slug_life
Date:September 24th, 2010 07:29 pm (UTC)
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Oh, yeah -- the existence of porn totally causes me to treat women like X, although sometimes its Y. Then I'll add in a Z so I can plot her coordinates 3 dimensionally.
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