Pr0n! - Tactical Ninja
Sep. 22nd, 2010
12:29 pm - Pr0n!
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.
* 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.