The Trouble With Porn

9 Sep

As a woman who has had no small involvement in the adult industry – from writing scripts and editing magazines to appearing as a (clothed) extra in one porn film and directing another* – it’s safe to say I’m no prude. I’m an advocate of the Spanner Trust. I have various female (and feminist) porn director friends. I’ve seen guys casually tugging themselves to maintain an erection in between scenes on an adult film, handed more than a few bottles of lube and baby wipes around set (ever wondered why you never see a porn star with grubby feet even though they spend their time in between takes walking around barefoot? Of course you haven’t – but it’s down to the magic of baby wipes) and once encountered Pete ‘le Meat’ on set and can bear witness to the fact that said meat really is ten inches long and about as thick as a coke can. I’ve helped create sex websites and magazines and have long argued that you can be a feminist who is also pro-porn – as long as the porn is produced in a respectful, safe, sane and consensual way, and no one is taking part out of duress, whether physical, emotional or financial.

And yet… And yet…

I’m beginning to find myself softening to anti-porn arguments. Not (just) because I’m getting older, but because of the seeming increase in violent porn.

OK, so research on the causal links between porn consumption and sexual behaviour is shaky, at best. It seems very much ‘six of one and half a dozen of the other’ when it comes down to establishing whether porn viewing and violence towards women are actually linked: one research report’s ‘porn damages women‘ is another research report’s ‘viewing porn decreases rape‘.

However, there does seem to be a growing trend for porn films to project:

– Woman as slut to be aggressively degraded and insulted rather than hot woman to get fucked. OK, hardcore feminists may argue the two things amount to the same end result politically but getting fucked is fun. Getting aggressively degraded isn’t (unless you’re entering into the sub/Dom arena but that’s a whole other thing, and I’m talking about degradation in ‘vanilla’ rather than kinky porn.)
– Anal sex as standard – and lube as unnecessary.
– Woman as owner of holes to be stretched as widely as possible by as many people as feel the urge regardless of whether she looks in pain.
– Woman having head shoved into toilet/being forced to gag as part of sex/being generally hurt.

These are not nice things. And that’s where it all starts to get tricky, even as a bad feminist.

I believe in freedom of speech. I believe that masturbation is a wonderful way to spend the time. But I’m also hearing about many women (including teenage girls) who are either being asked to do things they don’t want to do by their partners, as a result of said partner’s porn viewing habits. And many women also seem to be putting pressure on themselves to fuck ‘like a porn star’ and thus doing things that they don’t really enjoy (should you be a women who wants her head flushed down the toilet while being DPd, that’s entirely your choice, of course, and enjoy it to your subby heart’s content. But if you’re feeling pressure to have group sex/gagging blow jobs/anal sex when you don’t want to, remember – real sexual confidence is as much about saying no as saying yes).

Like it or not, many people get their sex education from porn and at the moment, a lot of porn seems to be presenting a particularly unpleasant vision of what sex is all about.

So what can be done? Banning porn is clearly a ridiculous idea on numerous levels (what do you do? Pull the plug on the whole of the internet?) Setting guidelines and codes of conduct is all very well but how do you police that internationally (again, assuming that you’d even want to).

The only potential glint I could see is if we all vote with our money: stop buying any adult material from producers who make negative woman-hating imagery – even if the specific film we’re purchasing isn’t one that does (an extract from AVN’s review of one of these films: “Kelly gets dick-slapped and cock-choked by a group of very hungry men. She enjoys a couple of seconds of a lubeless ass-fucking. All this fun lasts for a few minutes, and is then continued behind doors closed to everything but Siffredi’s camera.”) Start supporting consensual, ethically produced porn to help increase the funding that nice pervertery purveyors have, in the hope that they’ll be able to grow larger and provide a well-marketed alternative to the ‘she ain’t fucked unless she’s been fucked up’ brigade.

And if you happen to be of an exhibitionist persuasion, how about getting some real sex onto the likes of pornotube? Sex with kissing and hugging; eye contact and foreplay; laughing and lube application (and obviously some damn good fucking – in whatever form that takes for you – too). Because the real stuff is actually rather lovely. And that’s what we rarely get to see.

*albeit a short film, as a co-production with other journalists, which was utterly diabolial


Bookmark and Share

Advertisements

One Response to “The Trouble With Porn”

  1. Jed September 9, 2010 at 8:55 am #

    All you say, it’s all true. X

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: