Porn Part 7: It Takes Two

24 Apr

I thought I was done with this series, but I guess I’ll never be. It’s kind of like the New Kids on the Block that way. OK, not really.

In part five of this series, I tried to explain the ways in which porn use affects all women. My point was that — as study after study has shown — men’s porn use has a net negative effect on women’s lives because men who use porn are affected by it. Men who use pornography are less likely to take women’s claims of sexual harassment and rape seriously, they are more likely to assume that a rape victim was “asking for it,” and they are more likely to disregard women’s physical and emotional boundaries. It’s not as if it takes a rocket scientist (or a radical feminist blogging ninja) to figure out that frequent exposure to media in which women are transformed from human beings into hyper-available sex objects will tend to color a dude’s perceptions, especially when that frequent exposure is tied to orgasm. Pavlov’s dogs and shit.

Men apparently find my saying that offensive for some reason. I suppose being told that you aren’t in complete control of your attitudes and feelings is pretty unsettling, especially to dudes (who usually manage to make it through life without being told they’re hysterical every time they get upset). Nonetheless, it’s a fact. Each and every one of us suffers under the heavy load of bullshit that advertisers, entertainers, government officials, news media, pornographers, our parents, our friends, and geeks off the street have heaped on us since we were born. I mean, yeah, some of us try to exercise a little critical thinking here and there, but no one has completely escaped social and commercial influence to attain some ultimate state of mental autonomy. Sheeit, I’ve been complaining about the beauty industry since I was, like, twelve years old and I still shave my legs, so what hope is there for the average unthoughtful, unquestioning, Red Bull-drinking porndog? (Thanks, Laurel, it’s in the mail tomorrow.)

Porn has an impact on the way men see and interact with the women in their lives. It’s a fact (one I’m sure 30 Helens would even agree upon). But that isn’t what I want to talk about here.

What I want to talk about is how very odd it is that men who use porn will often make the argument that they can separate porn from real life. Is it just me, or is that a tacit admission that what is going on in porn is objectionable? And also, are these men not admitting that they have virgin/whore complexes? (Seems that way to me, but it might just be hysteria. Or maybe jealousy.) How can a dude say that he can separate porn from real life without admitting that he is a misogynist?

Porn is the first exposure most men have to sex in this day and age, and is usually their only source of information as to what women want and like in bed until they get together with real women (who are still not likely to set them straight). As such, to hear a dude argue that porn doesn’t have an effect on how they end up behaving toward real women is almost funny (or would be, were it not for the tragic results of their incredible cluelessness). Any woman who has slept with a dude who has used porn repeatedly knows the impact of porn on male sexuality: men who are really into porn are generally thoughtless, rude, insensitive, fumbling, and boring to sleep with. They also tend to display a fairly pronounced inability to relate to women emotionally, because they’ve lost the ability to see women as full and complex human beings (which also makes them shitty sex partners).

But let’s pretend for a minute that tying orgasm to images of women being dehumanized doesn’t introduce any problems into the sexual and emotional relationships men have with real women (har har). Let’s say that a man can wank all day to the most egregiously degrading and emotionally and physically violent porn on the internet and then turn around and treat his partner like an equal in every sense of the word (snicker). Is there not still a problem? How about the fact that the fluff-from-reality-separating porndog needs two kinds of women, one that he can respect and love, the other that he can use like a toilet? That he needs the world to provide him with both good girls and whores in order to be satisfied? Uh, doesn’t that mean he doesn’t see women as complete human beings but rather simplistic caricatures of sex roles? That, to me, doesn’t sound much like any kind of equality I’ve ever heard of, nor does it sound like there’s much separating going on besides the sorting of human beings into the limiting, dehumanizing, and wildly misrepresentative categories of “virgin” and “whore.”

And even if I wanted to let these “separaters” off of the misogyny hook (I don’t), I’d still have a pretty rough time not noticing that they are totally down with class exploitation, that they don’t mind taking advantage of the fact that a woman’s social, political, educational, and financial opportunities have been limited by her having been born poor and female in order to supply themselves with cheap tossing fodder.

The sense of entitlement bewilders almost as much as how much the new episodes of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia suck does. More on that sense of entitlement to come.

To be continued…

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42 Responses to “Porn Part 7: It Takes Two”

  1. intelligentbydesign October 19, 2008 at 12:44 AM #

    Not going to get much argument from me, but rather a question – is there a difference between “porn” and “eroticism”? Essentially, my question is this – is the problem that people are using videographic portrayals of sexual acts to satisfy sexual urges when they have no real partner, or is the problem rather that the bulk majority of these portrayals strip all forms of eroticism/love from their portrayal, thereby creating the objectification? Also, please, stop calling us “dudes”…it’s a bit anti-male to equate all of us (porn users or not) to people like Todd Palin or “a dandy” (true definition of the word). The same arguments you use against porn and misogyny apply to usage of the word “dude” and the way you portray men. Your argument, while valid, is not helped by such bias.

  2. Nine Deuce October 19, 2008 at 1:06 AM #

    I’ve yet to see non-misogynist porn, and I doubt whether porn would even exist in a world in which gender roles weren’t so oppressive. And I’ll call men “dudes” all I want. It isn’t an insult, but rather a synonym for “guy” or “man.” I am fully aware of the original definition of “dude,” but it’s not used in that sense at all anymore. It’s just a common term for an adult or adolescent male.

  3. intelligentbydesign October 19, 2008 at 1:52 AM #

    Awww, c’mon…just because something is a common term doesn’t mean it can be used in intelligent debate on topics. And for the most part, I find your original post to be thoughtful, and come from an intelligent perspective. The use of a term to refer to a group just because it has become common usage doesn’t help in a thoughtful society. After all, it can already be argued that n***er and b***h are now commonly used to refer to African-Americans and women with no derogatory intent in society, and may be even more commonly argued in 20 years as these terms continue to spread throughout pop culture and lose more and more meaning. However, that doesn’t make it right, or thoughtful, to use them in debate of issues.

    As to never having seen any non-misogynistic porn – by the definition of it, porn is misogynistic and/or misandric. By it’s nature, pornography portrays people as sexual objects – men and women. My question is rather, are all portrayals of sexual/erotic acts for the sexual entertainment of viewers pornographic?

  4. Konservo October 19, 2008 at 2:01 AM #

    I don’t have much time, so while browsing through my subscribed feeds on Google Reader, I noticed that your post features a paragraph in which several words are emboldened. I, therefore, am obliged to read only that paragraph (out of context, naturally) and respond thereto.

    What I want to talk about is how very odd it is that men who use porn will often make the argument that they can separate porn from real life. Is it just me, or is that a tacit admission that what is going on in porn is objectionable? And also, are these men not admitting that they have virgin/whore complexes? (Seems that way to me, but it might just be hysteria. Or maybe jealousy.) How can a dude say that he can separate porn from real life without admitting that he is a misogynist?

    I don’t know if porn is unique in this respect. How can anyone separate an emotional book (fictional, of course), movie or play from real life? Fiction sometimes provokes tears, laughs, and other behaviors associated with various emotions, do our emotional responses to movies and books mean we can not distinguish that which is real from that which is fiction?

    I dramatic piece of music can even make me tear up. What could that mean?

    I don’t mean to stray to far from the topic, but, it seems to me that, the heart of the matter lies in the human response to various stimuli and whether it makes a difference if a given stimulus is a representation of reality or if, in fact, it is reality (take, for example, watching a fist-fight in a T.V. drama versus seeing one break out in front of you).

  5. Nine Deuce October 19, 2008 at 2:14 AM #

    “Dude” is in no way analogous to “nigger” or “bitch.” Be serious.

    In case you haven’t noticed, this isn’t a debate. It’s a blog in which I lay out my viewpoints as I see fit. My word choice is a stylistic concern, and I’ll go ahead and make those decisions for myself.

  6. intelligentbydesign October 19, 2008 at 2:35 AM #

    Nine –

    No disrespect meant, and I do not question your use of those words in your blog. However, I call into question the use of those words in intelligent discourse, as I see your viewpoint from an intelligent perspective. Simply a point of contention to your possible bias before asking a larger, broader question regarding portrayals of human sexual acts as a form of sexual/adult entertainment.

    As to your response to “nigger” and “bitch” (only xxx’d them out at first since I didn’t know your beliefs about the publishing of such words); I’m not suggesting that they are the same, but rather that your defense of using “dude” falls under the same category as the defense that has already been used, and will only be strengthened by furthered societal acceptance of these words through media, to defend the use of words like “nigger” and “bitch”. My point is that using words like “dude” is improper in the course of a statement that otherwise comes from an intelligent viewpoint, as it invites question to the bias of the person inspecting the issue. It is just this kind of “quiet acceptance” argument that may create problems in 20 years with the continued societal acceptance of “nigger” and “bitch”. It is time all of us held ourselves to higher standards on all sides of any issue, whether posted as our personal viewpoint on a blog, or elsewhere.

    I’d really like to get your take on the human sexuality as entertainment question. I do respect the viewpoints you have expressed, find them reasoned and thought-through, and respectfully request your thoughts on the issue, which I raise more in the role of devil’s advocate than anything else. Please let me know if this is a conversation you would rather have through some other means than this comment board.

  7. Izzy October 19, 2008 at 5:04 AM #

    I’m very glad to see the porn series return.

    RE the seperation of porn from real life vs fiction from real life:
    What I got from that wasn’t that humans have a problem distinguishing reality from fictional constructions, but rather that porn users feel it necessary to point out that they can make that distinction. For example, I would never defend my reading of the Harry Potter series by saying “but I know it’s not real” because there’s no question that a rational adult could tell the difference. When porn users use “I can seperate it from reality” as a justification, they’re acknowledging that it’s important to be able to do so. This implies that there’s something wrong with it which must be seperated from the real world. Of course, that’s just my interp, and I can’t speak for 92.

  8. isme October 19, 2008 at 5:56 AM #

    “What I want to talk about is how very odd it is that men who use porn will often make the argument that they can separate porn from real life. Is it just me, or is that a tacit admission that what is going on in porn is objectionable? And also, are these men not admitting that they have virgin/whore complexes? How can a dude say that he can separate porn from real life without admitting that he is a misogynist?”

    Well…aren’t people supposed to seperate what we see in the media from real life? I mean, lots of people watch boxing or racing, but most recognise that beating people up or driving at insane speeds isn’t something you do in real life. Going round shooting people is bad, but people still want to see it on TV.

    Of course, those things do affect people, but society works under the assumption that people should be able to decide not to emulate what they see on TV. To admit otherwise is to invite an almighty censorship onslaught.

    Though, of course, your right that people don’t orgasm to that sort of stuff.

    As to the two types of women, the porn industry is built on the idea that the people participating aren’t being exploited or objectified, they are merely playing the role of someone who is, preferrably someone that enjoys it. And, we know this is the case because the porn industry tells us so, and they’d absolutely not have any reason to lie about anything whatsoever, as they are all totally honest types you’d really like if you met socially.

    Based on that totally plausible assumption, porn stars aren’t much different from various movie bad guys. I mean, (mostly) everyone knows that Arabs are human being like you or my, but people still go to see them get killed in nasty ways on the big screen. Though, again, no orgasm.

  9. intelligentbydesign October 19, 2008 at 8:55 AM #

    In reading around the site more, I realize I should probably back my question up a little before positing it.

    To begin: humans are sexual creatures. Whether male or female, we enjoy sex. It is part of our evolutionary heritage. Our closest genetic cousin, the Binobo, has a similar drive for sexual interaction. Binobo’s, however, have no sense of misogyny, misandry, or any other such concern. They are monkeys.

    Since human sexuality is a basic part of our being, it makes sense that we would use the modern means of entertainment in the same way from a sexual perspective as we do to portray and view any other emotional perspective. As such, at its base, I do not believe sexually themed/erotic entertainment can be considered bad as an idea. It’s practice, however, has lead to different conclusions. This is where, in my thinking, the difference between sexual/erotic entertainment and pornography comes in. I do not contest for a moment that a large percentage of the adult films that are released are pornographic and misogynistic. I honestly cannot come up with an example of one off the top of my head that is not. But I must point out, I haven’t exactly spent a lot of time looking through adult films, so I can’t rule out the possibility that one does exist.

    My question, however, is…since human sexuality is part of our emotional nature, and anything that is part of our emotional nature is likely to be used for themes in entertainment, is there, in your opinion, any way in which acts of human sexuality can be depicted for the purpose of sexual entertainment without being pornographic? Or is the general outlook of society still one that contains too many undertones of sexism and dominance to allow such entertainment to be produced?

    Hope that clears up the question. To further clarify the point about using the word “dude”: the semantic argument about “dude” is merely that – a semantic argument, but one that I personally do believe points to a deeper question of respect and fairness towards all people. Without that basic respect and fairness on all levels, the tenets of feminism or any other movement to bring about fairness in the world will find it more difficult to take root, which I believe is a shame.

  10. Laurel October 19, 2008 at 10:11 AM #

    They’re called bOnobos. Their societies tend toward the matriarchal. I wonder if that makes a difference?

    ibd, do you have any idea how many times I, in the past years 25 I’ve been a legal adult, have had to explain why calling me “girl” is the opposite of a compliment?

    Now one blogger neglects to call you a man once and feminism is dead? Dude, get over yourself.

  11. sjtindustries October 19, 2008 at 1:22 PM #

    Interesting that you use the example of Bonobos, as not only are they famously the most freely-fornicating of the primates, they are also the (only?) ones with a matriarchal society…

    At any rate, one can hardly dispute the rampant misogyny within (particularly online) porn, and indeed the blatant racism, Cynthia Peters’ review of Robert Jensen’s Getting Off raises (from a male perspective) a good point:

    “If he refuses to buy pornography in order to withhold his support from a rampantly sexist institution, but then goes home one night and masturbates while remembering the curve of a nameless woman’s breast or the press of an anonymous ass on a crowded subway, has he committed the sin of reducing others to their body parts? Should he feel guilty or ashamed? Is it possible to really know and is it worth trying to figure out?”

  12. Jenn October 20, 2008 at 2:54 AM #

    It’s pretty funny that this has been up less than a day and already the pornsick morons have come out to air their completely inconsequential points about the meaning of “dude” and a bunch of “humans are sexual beings” bullshit. Evolutionary Reductionism (or Evolutionary Psychology/Sociology) is basically full of poo. I know this because it was the basis of that nasty little thing called eugenics. Besides, if natural selection really was magical and did everything right–and humans cannot influence that at all–that does not explain why the most visionary of artists and writers or the most brilliant scientists are poorer than a bunch of self-entitled douchebags that dribble balls down courts, make porn magazines, sell missiles to dictators, and act like complete fuckwits on television.

    The entire idea that men, or any person, can separate reality from a constant barrage of mind-numbing bullshit that we call “entertainment” or “culture” is just plain sad. The tendency to think that anything that can be described as “fun” or “arousing” magically gets a moral approval is pathetic. Besides, if the media and entertainment really had no influence on one’s mind–and research shows it does anyway–that would basically fly in the face of the multi-billion dollar marketing divisions of every single large American corporation.

    Let’s just be honest here: if you’re presented with Nine Deuce’s seven part brilliant deconstruction of porn and the sex industry and you still think you have a leg to stand on, my guess is that you’re defending your right to pop a boner at someone else’s misery rather than presenting some new and awe-inspiring objection that radical feminists have never heard before. We’ve heard them all. You’re not original.

  13. Nine Deuce October 20, 2008 at 3:09 AM #

    IBD – The answers to all of your questions are on this blog.

  14. Rachael October 20, 2008 at 7:15 AM #

    Thank you for this series. I used to be like many women, thinking porn was just something natural for guys to like, and that being upset over a guy looking at porn was just silly. Even now, I find myself trying to fight those feelings, because most of my friends are pro-porn.

    I’m also someone who’s been aroused by humiliation fantasies. I don’t know who to blame for this, or if it’s just wired within me. So although I’m not one who watches porn, this was very hard for me to read. Although in my fantasies, I’m the one being degraded, I wonder if I’m really no better than the guys who watch porn.

    Even now, I’m not quite sure where I stand. It’s hard to imagine being in a relationship with someone who doesn’t look at porn. Heck, it’s even hard to imagine being in a relationship with someone who won’t go to a strip club and get a lap dance from someone who’s not me, and who probably conforms to society’s “beauty” standard more than me. After reading this, I have come to realize that my anger over this idea–and one of my friends has told me it shouldn’t matter because I’m the one he comes home to–doesn’t make me “unreasonable” or “jealous” or “nagging” or “possessive.” It makes me human.

    I will continue to read your blog. Again, thanks for this series. I’m trying to tell everyone about what I have learned. Hopefully I will make a small difference in doing so. I’m quite certain your blog has made a difference in many young men and women–I know it has for me.

  15. Nine Deuce October 20, 2008 at 2:10 PM #

    Thanks, Rachael, that was nice to hear.

  16. earlgreyrooibos October 20, 2008 at 2:54 PM #

    My partner looks at porn, and he’s very up-front about it. I don’t like that he does it. Not at all. But I also don’t forbid him from looking at it. I don’t say “quit it, or I’ll leave you.” Because that wouldn’t address the root of the problem. Especially because my partner is capable of separating porn from real life. He doesn’t use porn to figure out what I want sexually – he asks me. Yeah, sometimes he does things that are sexist or show off male privilege, but I don’t think most of those have to do with him watching porn. That is, they partly do, but at least 50% of it comes from the rest of our culture. And I call him on it.

    Anyway, the way I have addressed his interest in porn is by doing two things: making a rule that he is to never, ever, ever, ever leave it out where I can see it. Ever. I don’t want to see it anywhere. And he’s been great about that. The second thing I asked was that he never pay for it. Now, this led to a few arguments, although not nasty ones – more like ideological debates. He felt that, since he enjoyed porn, he should pay for it so the actors involved actually made money for their work. I explained why I didn’t want him to pay for it. First, because if he paid for it, the actrors would be getting paid, but let’s face it, while some porn actors are treated well, many are not, especially male actors. Why would you give money to studios that don’t treat their actors all that well? Why would you pay to help these abusive systems continue? Second, he and I are married. Now, our finances are separate, so it’s not like he’d be using some of “my” money to pay for it. But we’re in a partnership, and it bothered me that he would pay money for something I would find so objectionable.

    I don’t like that he uses porn. But through my requests, we’ve had some good intellectual discussions, and so I think he understands better why I object to pornography, and why it’s such a complex feminist issue. I hope that one day he will give it up completely. But I can’t force that – it’s better if I help him see why I don’t want it coming into our home, and let him work that all out for himself.

  17. Nine Deuce October 20, 2008 at 4:22 PM #

    But will he work it out? Does working it out mean continuing to exploit women by proxy, but just hiding it from you? I truly consider using porn in a relationship to be emotional abuse when one partner has made it clear that it is hurtful. The problem is that we’ve gotten to the point where men think they are entitled to use porn and that women have to just deal with it. That was basically what part 3 of this series was about (at least in the context of relationships), and will be the central issue in part 8.

  18. Level Best October 20, 2008 at 7:05 PM #

    Thank you for this post, Nine Deuce, and thanks to both you and Jenn for pointing out that dirty little secret about porn’s connection with class issues. “Progressives” who use porn don’t like to acknowledge the impoverished backgrounds of a lot of the performers, because this underlines the power differential that makes porn extra sexy for for those who DO get their jollies at the expense of “some one else’s misery.”

  19. Evo October 20, 2008 at 7:11 PM #

    Ahhh, Nine Deuce, I am so glad to see you revisiting this! It also happens to correspond with a huge rift between my husband and I regarding (you guessed it) porn. I’ve gone over my views and had very clearly stated that porn use was a definite deal-breaker for me. He hadn’t looked at it in over a year (at least not on our computer). We got married 2 months ago and weekend before last I found porn on his cell phone. Some doucheneck from his work was sending it to him. Rather than speak up and say “hey, that’s not cool, don’t send me that shit”, he chose to play along with “the guys”. I am really fucked up about this. I mean, wtf did he think “deal breaker” fucking meant???

    So, anyways, I was revisiting the earlier 6 parts in the series and was thrilled to see this part. I think you are right, I believe it is emotional abuse for my partner to blatantly disrespect my wishes. There is a lot to it and it all fucking sucks. Every bit of it. I’ve spent the last 2 weeks completely torturing the shit out of myself with all kinds of fucked up thoughts while he merrily plays PSP and kisses my ass when he’s so inclined.

    Anyways, I digress, this is getting long. I just wanted to let you know how spot-on you were in your earlier assessment of the damage one partner’s use of porn can do to the other partner. It is really quite heavy. Thank you so much for this series. It’s really helped me.

    -Evo

  20. syndicalist702 October 20, 2008 at 8:51 PM #

    ibd… yawn. I take it you haven’t been informed that evopsych is a pseudo-science. Perhaps your time will be better spent not attempting (and failing miserably) to invoke your “science” in order to excuse undisciplined, derelict, and irresponsible behavior.

    Porn is not natural, no matter how much Pinker wants to convince us it is.

    evo- I agree with your view of emotional abuse when it comes to your husband’s porn use. I used to do the same thing to my wife, until I got some goddamn discipline in my body and took charge of my urges, unlike what the evopsych faithful expect us men to do. After repeated appeals from my wife, I could no longer put my empathy aside or continue making bullshit excuses. I decided to come what I consider a real man. You should expect nothing less from your husband. Keep fighting the good fight, friend. It’ll pay off.

  21. Jolly Sapper October 20, 2008 at 9:44 PM #

    Well, I don’t agree with most of what you’ve said.

    But its interesting none the less.

    I do have a question though, Nine Deuce, what exactly do you define as pornographic?

  22. Nine Deuce October 20, 2008 at 9:49 PM #

    Anything exploitive. See, like, every other thing I’ve ever written on this subject.

  23. intelligentbydesign October 21, 2008 at 10:22 AM #

    @ Laurel and Jenn:

    In regards to “completely inconsequential points about the meaning of “dude” and “ibd, do you have any idea how many times I, in the past years 25 I’ve been a legal adult, have had to explain why calling me “girl” is the opposite of a compliment?”

    Your posts combined seem to show that linguistics in situations like this is not an “inconsequential” issue. The reason I bring it up is that I feel there is a deeper level of humanism that, if not followed, diminishes the good that articles like this can do. Yes, “girl” is not a compliment – nor is “chick” or “dude”. As such, I merely pointed out that usage of “dude” so commonly is unnecessary and does not help the authors point to reach as broad a spectrum as possible. As I said previously, it is a purely semantic issue. I do not pretend for a moment to take some extreme offense to being called a “dude”. I just don’t think words such as “dude” or “girl” have a place in thoughtful discourse.

    @syndicalist, et al. who make points regarding the “social science” argument. Please note that I have not once used that argument to suggest that the pornography is even remotely ok. And I do not for a moment defend the misogynistic porn currently being peddled as “adult entertainment”. My question and point, rather (which I ask out of respect as Nine Deuce has done much more research on this topic than I) is – can such a thing as sexual entertainment that is not pornography exist? If the definition of pornography is to be “anything exploitive”, is it possible for sexual acts to be used as a form of entertainment without being exploitive? Please understand, this is nothing more than a question asked by someone who wishes to gain a further understanding of these issues.

    @Nine Deuce: While I would love to read all of your posts, and have begun looking through previous posts, there’s a lot to read here, and, especially in the current political climate, this is not the only forum or issue I’m trying to gain a further understanding of. If you have already addressed the question I’ve asked in a specific post somewhere, I’d appreciate being pointed in the right direction. I’m sure I would eventually run across it either way, but I’d rather just ask for directions and get there a little sooner.

  24. sjtindustries October 21, 2008 at 1:24 PM #

    Intel-by-design – Get over it. For fucks sake, get over ‘dude’.

    Stop playing for points, it does no one any favours.

    I’ll readily admit I’m not the nicest guy, and would never think of describing myself as feminist for fear of not living up to the label. But on the other hand I’m not the worst. But I do refer to women as ‘chicks’. I do refer to men as ‘guys’ or ‘dudes’ or ‘boys’. I may not be comfortable around drag queens, but I’m fine with my gender labelling.

    Although I’ve never referred to women as ‘bitches’ or men as, well, actually, I have called all men ‘wankers’… Anyway, its the thought that counts.

    That’s just the point. I have the luxury to do so. If a women calls me a ‘dude’ at the pub, or even a [insert male equivalent of slut], why should I care? No one blinks. It is in no way analogous to ‘bitch’ or ‘slut’ – which are common, but vicious, insults.

    To demonstrate this, I remember a particularly uncomfortable camping trip where i thought – in my very very drunken state – it might be a good idea [sic] to call a bunch of guys misogynist because of the songs they were singing. Indeed it was a camp song about bitches, and the like – and included the word dude. It all went bad when I asked “for fucks sake are any of your songs not misogynist?”. It was then posited that ‘bitch’ or ‘cock sucker’ where not misogynist and it was all a bit of fun… I then decided i was way to pissed to consider this option.

    At any rate, two very uncomfortable days followed, during which the validity use of the words ‘bitch’ and ‘slut’ and ‘whore’ came up a lot, but never ‘dude’ or even ‘chick’…

    (on an aside, after two days of giving beer to the guys to try and make up for my overly aggressive indiscretion, it was two women whom I’d never talked to who gave me a (very awkward, surprising) hug upon leaving)…

    Anyway, that’s all a round about way of saying your complaint is a complaint of privilege. I know this because I’ve been called a ‘dude’ and a ‘wanker’ and what not, but inherently know me labelling someone a ‘slut’ or ‘bitch’ is far worse and more personal.

  25. Sally October 21, 2008 at 7:21 PM #

    Today in my graphics class (22 guys and 2 girls) the teacher was absent but we were carrying on with our work but then one of the guys stole Amy’s(the only other girl) phone and started looking through her pictures. He found one of her in her bra, she was desperately trying to get her phone back but he had already blue toothed the photo to himself, and all the other guys where shrieking at him to send it to them, I was so angry at this point I went over bent his arm behind his back and took Amy’s phone back for her.

    Now, I know the dude who did it rather well, he’s not a necessarily bad guy and that’s what shocked me the most. The sense of entitlement he felt to Amy’s body that he could just steal a photo like that. I was arguing with him about it later that day and I brought up that our culture of porn makes it somehow ok to treat all women like sex object, he answered something a long the line of “hey, porn is great” and I just stopped talking to him. It makes me so angry, and I knew if I carried on I just would’ve hit him and violence doesn’t solve anything.

    Glad this series is back ND, I’ll probably be venting like this a lot…. XP

  26. syndicalist702 October 22, 2008 at 3:23 PM #

    sally – and none of the other 21 guys did a damn thing? Cowards. Good on you for standing up.

  27. bonobobabe October 22, 2008 at 5:57 PM #

    I love your porn series, ND. You totally have analyzed the shit out of it, and you are spot on.

  28. bonobobabe October 22, 2008 at 6:01 PM #

    My question, however, is…since human sexuality is part of our emotional nature, and anything that is part of our emotional nature is likely to be used for themes in entertainment, is there, in your opinion, any way in which acts of human sexuality can be depicted for the purpose of sexual entertainment without being pornographic?

    This is so similar to arguments about veganism. People want to continue to commodify and exploit animals, but they want to do it nicely. They see a free-range or a cage-free label and they think they get a free pass.

    • A Visitor March 13, 2009 at 9:32 PM #

      It’s not a free pass- just a lesser evil that many people can live with.
      Rape however, is another matter and not someting that should be condoned.

  29. Jolly Sapper October 22, 2008 at 10:51 PM #

    “Anything exploitive. See, like, every other thing I’ve ever written on this subject.”

    Okay, I guess we just have a different set of definitions for “porn.” That clears things up a bit.

  30. intelligentbydesign October 23, 2008 at 7:17 AM #

    Bonobo –

    Interesting correlation on the two arguments. However, they don’t seem all that related to me. The basic reason, as I see it, is: sexual activity does not require death, except for the possibility of death due to STDs or a heart attack from over-exertion.
    The argument against pornography being stated in this post (as I’ve come to understand it so far) is based on pornography being misogynistic and exploitive. My question is simply: is it possible to separate misogyny and exploitation from on screen portrayals of sex.
    To relate this to your vegan example: is it possible through any means (such as bow hunting/spear hunting of non-farmed animals) to obtain meat from animals in a way that is not exploitive? Or, to phrase it differently…if we returned to the hunter/gather method of life which existed prior to farming, would it be exploitive to eat meat?
    Granted, I don’t think either of these things is going to happen in our current society. The question, rather, is one of where we set the goals, and if the changes that are required are so deep that it is simply not possible to portray sex as a form of entertainment, or meat as a form of subsistance.

  31. Melissa February 21, 2009 at 5:02 AM #

    I agree with you views wholeheartedly. In the past, I had always been with men who were frequent users of porn. My current relationship is with a man from a country that is not as sexually open as ours. He has viewed porn, but tends to not look at it often, and when he does look at he, he enjoys the softer-core porn. (For example- erotic photos of women in bathing suits and lingerie, late night Cinemax etc)
    I have found a dramatic difference in his approach to lovemaking and sexuality. As compared to the other men I have been with, he is more attentive to pleasing me, more willing to enjoy foreplay rather than seeing it as a means to an end. It also seems as though there is a marked difference in his expectation of sex. It is hard to explain, but it is as though he still gets excited at having a live, warm, naked woman in his bed rather than behaving as though a woman is “supposed” to do certain things for him. Too often, when men spend a great deal of time looking at porn, it seems that they think that most women are dying to have anal sex, that they secretly love it, that all women squirt, women shouldn’t have hair anywhere below their neck and should want to have sex anywhere anytime with anyone that is willing. It is my opinion that the porn messes with their minds, making them think that this is what women do with other men, and this is what should be happening to them. Not only that, but the warm, willing woman in their bed is not as attractive as the warm, willing woman on their computer screen.

  32. Alina March 3, 2009 at 6:40 AM #

    I think porn kinda sneaked into society and it nested with the help of men.

    If we go to the core of it then no woman should be okay about her bf/husband looking at pictures or movies of naked women,its insane.Why does any woman think its okay for her man looking at women and masturbating whilst?!?!She probably wouldnt be allright if he was to do it on the street or whilst her female friends hang out in the living room together.Most men wouldnt accept if their gfs would be looking at pics of naked men or movies where men with big cocks satisfy women in ways women actually enjoy(I know it cuz I tested it on my bf,god did he hated it he couldnt even sit next to me whilst I was looking up pictures).

    When I think about it I am at the same time shocked and fascinated by how the fuck Men sneaked porn into society made women accept them looking at other women.What about jealousy ?what about monogamy??how about only looking in a sexuall manner at ur partner??

    If u actually love some1 there is no fucking way ur not bothered by ur partner eyeing other people,but some women just act like they dont care prob because they think something is wrong with them for being jelous and no1 wants to be different we all wanna be normal and a part of society.Also heard ppl saying stuff like ;”If they look at porn its better then cheating”,or;”All men like to eye other women and check them out even if they love some1,thats just the way it is!”
    god it sickens me,and sadly enuff those sayings came often from women.

    Dont wanna offend no1 by saying following,but is that what some said when ppl had slaves,like white ppl have to beat up ppl of colour or thats just how it is in the world.White people gotta have slaves!?!?!Back then probably some actually thought so but nowadays it seems insane to every1,I hope that thats how its gonna be with porn.I know its not gonna be over the next 10 years but maybe in the next 60.

    I think we should do with feminism what men done with porn ,Mainstream it.

  33. A Visitor March 13, 2009 at 9:13 PM #

    So women don’t objectify men as romantic objects? NO, Porn is not a right (see part 8) in fact i don’t even watch it- but remember thoughts are not the same as deeds.

  34. tinaballerina May 13, 2009 at 12:33 PM #

    I just wanted to thank you. These essays on porn has helped me straighten out my own feelings on the subject. I have “made” my husband read all your entries on porn, since we obviously didn´t agree on the subject. I had trouble getting my points across when we were arguing, but now since he read your fantastic essays he understands where I´m coming from. We have grown closer because of this. Thank you very much for your incredible insight and ability to communicate feminist issues.
    Kind regards from Norway

  35. Winter_lights July 1, 2009 at 8:17 PM #

    “How can a dude say that he can separate porn from real life without admitting that he is a misogynist?”

    I think one reason they could say it is because porn is pretty unrealistic?

    Really, reading about the way production goes in mainstream porn, it’s about as realistic a depiction of sex as action movies with people outrunning explosions are of combat.

  36. crissymissy October 23, 2009 at 2:02 PM #

    okay, I am late finding this series but I love it.

    Anyway, just wanted to say, my boyfriend is a porn addict for sure, but it makes me sad because he is incredibly sweet and supportive and we have amazing *non boring* sex. I tell him he can watch whatever he wants, but it does make me feel a little skeeved out because it’s like there’s a whole other side to him I must not know at all. I’ve told him how I get insecure about how I am probably somehow letting him down because I don’t want to suggest having DP night like the girls in JizzOnMe 19, but the sort of reassurance (honey YOU’re different! I’m not going to GB u with my bros!) isn’t that comforting.
    But he’s a sweetie— I guess in my generation, you can’t really find any of the computer geek/nerd types that I love who haven’t grown up on Xtreme pronz (sad because they probably watched a lot more of it than their fratbro counterparts!). I need someone like Dakkar to tell me, did boys wanna do girls up the butt all the time before the internet?
    Whoa, rambling post just to say, he’s 300% not boring in bed.

  37. Immir March 4, 2010 at 7:05 AM #

    If IntelligentByDesign doesn’t want to be called a ‘Dude’ I have another D-word he could be called :) jokes jokes
    All that fuss over the word dude. It’s hardly comparable to the dreaded N word or bitch.

    @CrissyMissy, I don’t think many guys would have even thought about anal sex before they saw in in porn. It’s just that guys LOVE being told what to do by other men, so now they want to try it.

    I’m a big fan of ‘If I can do you in the ass first with a big, fluro green dildo, then I’ll THINK about letting you try with me. Actually: Go to hell.’

    It’s ironic that men are the ones with a sexual glad located in the anus- the prostate, yet they insist that it wll feel good for US.

    • Sugarpuss September 21, 2013 at 4:07 PM #

      I’m a big fan of ‘If I can do you in the ass first with a big, fluro green dildo, then I’ll THINK about letting you try with me. Actually: Go to hell.’

      LMFAO!!!!

      It’s ironic that men are the ones with a sexual glad located in the anus- the prostate, yet they insist that it wll feel good for US.

      Indeed. They need to bend over. Muah, muah, muuuuahahaaaaaahahaha!

  38. LA Baby September 20, 2013 at 2:17 AM #

    I am so loving this porn series. It’s everything I have ever felt about the negative effects of porn on the interactions between men & women, of romantic or any other nature. It makes me happy to see it articulated so nicely inline with my thoughts over the years. The shitty part is, those who need to find out what the problems with porn actually are, I think will never read intelligent writings like this.

    I also appreciate the intensity & anger. These are subjects worth getting pissed about & anyone who tells you otherwise has something indefensible to defend. Sally forth.

    • Justin November 3, 2014 at 10:38 PM #

      I once had a roommate in college who would close the door to his room, put some headphones on and watch porn. I could hear him doing(everything) and I noticed that it would take him longer to finish as the months went by. He was being desensitized to whatever he was seeing. I can never forget how utterly dumb and selfish the whole ritual seemed to me. I remember how pathetic it sounded when I would hear him panting like a dog right before he ejaculated. Men are weaker than they lead you to believe. It really sank in that porn users are just pigs.

      As the porn use increased, and he continued taking longer to finish, he became more anti-woman and more opposed to any successful woman or woman who was in a leadership role. On one occasion the local tv news had a story about a rape of a woman. I said something to him about it, and he just rolled his eyes.

      The porn seemed to have made him into a misogynist. Bear in mind that he was misogynist on the first day of the school year, but the porn made it worse.

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  1. Rage Against the Manchine’s Series on Pornography « AntiPorn101 - February 14, 2011

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