Bed, Bitch & Beyond: I Blame Porn

I was at a birthday party this weekend when an semi-drunk male friend received a copy of a recent GQ article on his Blackberry. He snorted and showed it to me. The title? "How Internet Porn is Changing Teen Sex"

A female friend standing next to me nodded knowingly and said, "Especially where the topiary's concerned." She was absolutely right. Pubes--or lack thereof--was the first thing mentioned in the article.

Travis and Cody, typical 21-year-old college students in Florida who tell me there's one criterion at the top of their list when it comes to picking a fuck buddy."Pubic hair is disgusting," Travis says. "Girls should keep their vaginas porn-star trim."

If that makes you head/desk, fellow feminists, you might want to stop reading right now. It gets MUCH worse. From hairless vulvae, we move on to facials, one of the most unfortunate trends in sexual behavior that porn hath wrought. I don't know about you, ladies, but I do not like having a man splooge on my face. Elsewhere, sure, whatever, that's why I keep kleenex handy. But on the face? From a purely practical standpoint, it's messy and possibly painful. (Have you ever gotten semen in your eyes? Ouch. And it glues your hair together like shellac.) From a domination/degradation standpoint...well, I don't have to unpack that one for you, do I?

So prepare to head/desk a few more times when you hear what this shining example of young dudeliness has to say about it:

Cody describes his first real-life ejaculate-to-the-face finale like this: "It was the happiest moment of my young life. There is just something about blowing a load in a chick's face that makes you feel like a man."

I bet his mom is so proud of her little man! Now, the author of the article at least qualifies this with:

For most men over 30, facials aren't something you actually do. They're like car chases or hurling someone through a plate-glass window—the difference between cinema and life. But the ubiquity of porn has blurred the line...Since a facial requires a female to receive it, the real story might be the apparent surge in the number of willing participants. In Immersion: Porn, a documentary by New York photographer Robbie Cooper, 22-year-old Lindsay sees the act as empowering to women. "Even if she has eight dicks on her face, she's still the queen of those eight dicks," she says. "I definitely like come on the face."

Yes, apparently it's all about being queen of the dicks.

I could go on at length about the wrongness here, but I'd rather not. If you're interested in a longer, smarter exploration of facials and feminism--no, really!--check out this The Sexist article.

Now, I'm not going to tell anyone that their kinks are wrong. To each her own. If you want to watch porn, fine. If you like having dudes come on your face or you like being completely hairless, that's your perogative. But let's not deceive ourselves, these behaviors are strictly porn-inspired. They were not mainstream until recently, and it's perfectly clear that they are tied directly to the rise of DVD and internet porn. If a 22 year old woman likes them, chances are it's because she's been told--by her peers, by the porn industry, by clueless dudes who consume too much porn--that these are the things she should like. Men (and women) over 30 certainly consume plenty of porn, but adults have had enough hands-on experience to balance the un-reality of porn with the reality of sex with a live, consenting adult. Teenage boys--amd girls--haven't had that counterbalancing experience, so they're coming of age sexually with entirely unrealistic pre-conceived notions about how to behave and what to expect.

Former State Department staffer Mary Eberstadt, writing in Policy Review, compares the prevailing attitudes about porn to the general consensus on tobacco in the 1960s. "[Porn] is widely seen as cool, especially among younger people, and this coveted social status further reduces the already low incentive for making a public issue of it."

More alarmingly, young women seem to think that rather than the equivalent of car chases and movie stunts, the moaning, submissive, cum-spattered porn star is her role model:

In fact, "porn-readiness" is now a source of pride. While on tour promoting her memoir, Jenna Jameson was reportedly stunned that 13-year-old girls kept telling her she was their role model. In a survey of 1,000 British girls between the ages of 15 and 19, roughly 25 percent said they aspired to become professional lap dancers.

This seems to me to be the most dangerous aspect of the mainstreaming of porn. As with most things created by and for men's enjoyment, porn does not portray women in any kind of realistic or respectful way. It's pure fantasy. The problem is that inexperienced teens of both genders can't differentiate between fantasy and reality, so they model their behavior on what the media tells them is cool. You don't have to hate porn to realize that as with pretty much else in our by media culture, the popularity and mainstreaming of porn ensures that young women receive the wrong message about sex, their bodies, and how to relate to men.

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Comments

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This article is completely

This article is completely one sided. I feel like I read a lot of so called feminist articles on the evils of porn that are most likely written by people who don't even watch a lot of porn. Porn can be feminist. Porn can be educational, inspire couples, save sex lives, undo some of the sexual repression and body image issues that women grow up with, document our sexual culture, capture chemistry, create visibility for alternative sexual beings, create connection and dialogue around sex between partners, create connection and reduce isolation around fetishes. I have heard from numerous women who write me telling me that they have wanted to explore being submissive or bdsm for years but they felt that it somehow went against their feminist beliefs but after watching my work it was evident that there was a sense of empowerment,connection and energy exchange happening between me and my partners. I've also had women say that my work inspired them to become active in their sex positive community, that my work saved their sex life with their partner and inspired new sexual explorations. I've had these comments from people who identify as queer and as straight. Porn is a powerful medium. It shows vulnerability and empowerment as well as connection and release. There is a rise of feminist and queer porn producers such as myself, Courtney Trouble, and Shine Louise Houston. For us this is not just a living but is a form of activism and is reflection of our community. There are plenty of queers and non-queer women who enjoy messy sex and enjoy female ejaculate, male ejaculate, piss and other fluids. This is an intimate sexual play to be fluid bonded. And to me it exhibits not an act of degradation but a deep hunger and lust for your partner that is so great that you want to swallow all of them, including their cum which is a physical manifestation of this persons release of pleasure. Why wouldn't you want to gobble that up? Why wouldn't you want to have that closeness with your partner? Because of possibly getting some in your hair? When I am having sex with someone I love or someone I'm hot for I am not thinking about my hair. This connection has nothing to do with porn. People have desires for different kinds of sex. Porn is a vast medium. We can't say that all advertisements make us want to have sex in a certain way or that all movies make us attracted to a certain kind of person. Our sexuality is innate, animalistic and porn can often help to guide or inspire or document our sexual desires. Porn Stars are strong,independent, sexually aware, confident warriors. We are artists. We are activists. We are educators. We are fearless. Why shouldn't we be heroes? I wish when I was 15 that I had exposure to the sex positive adult actresses who are writing about sex and art. Don't we want women to grow up with a sense of ownership over their sexuality? In no way do I think that persons who are underage should view porn but if they are aware of a sexually confident strong business woman or an activist as a media figure in the mainstream, I don't think that is giving the wrong impression of sex to young women. I think it is teaching them to be fearless.

Reality

Of course porn can be feminist, educational, whatever. But mainstream porn isn't. The kind of stuff that teenagers are finding for free on the internet is not the kind of stuff you're talking about. And once their ideas about how sex works, and what's sexy are set by this immersion in mainstream porn, I find it hard to believe that they'll seek out, or be interested in feminist porn. It just doesn't seem to work that way.

Adjustment

You know, I should probably walk away from this, and had, after getting pulled into one of the most surreal, personally attacking "debates" I'd ever encountered since having graduated high school, but after reading through all these very emotionally charged comments (including my own) I do want to draw attention to something.

As what I would consider a well-adjusted consumer of porn, I was amazed at how out of sync I felt with what many other commenters found to be almost self-evident: the evils of "mainstream" porn.

I don't know if I've ever come across a debate forum before in which it was so accepted to criticize an entity, which, while there was wide consensus of what it actually is, never resulted in an actual grounded example of it or its problems (a company name, for example, or an actual news item or study bringing attention to the problem the author suggests - ie: women having sex they don't like because of porn's far-reaching influence).

This is not to say that there aren't abusive, exploitative producers in the industry. There are exploitative people in every realm of business. However, this complete lack of specifics in this very emotional message board (with the exception of commenters who, upon checking out their identities and blogs after being impressed with their grounded opinions, almost all turned out to be by-choice professionals in the sex trade in some capacity) leads me to believe many people are criticizing something they aren't very familiar with because they don't actually consume it. Which makes sense: if you don't have a taste for something, you don't tend to buy it.

But, after getting in a crazily irrational flame-war with an anti-SM commenter, I now see very clearly the danger of criticizing something from the outside, even if you are doing it with the best intentions: You risk making the (very offensive) assumption that those who do partake in something, or like it, can not be well-adjusted individuals by virtue of the fact that you find what they like offensive, largely from a gut, or knee-jerk reaction to how it looks, not conclusive findings that show it actually causes problems.

Yes, Sharper tosses out a very shallow "hey, despite everything I say here, I have no problem with your kinks/porn consumption if you have them," statement, but in the context of what the rest of the article says, it really falls short.

One thing that I think many people here don't see is the fact that when it comes to sex, many people can divorce what they like in sex role-play from how they act in society or how they treat others - including actual and prospective sexual partners. In fact in my experience the people I've met in the sex trade are often the best at doing so, and as a result this makes them amazingly non-judgmental, grounded people. However, as Sharper suggests, the likelihood of being able to do this on a statistical scale likely dwindles the younger people are.

If I were to reword/redirect Becky's blog post, I would ask the following question: Do the popular D/s power dynamics in porn (in all kinds of porn, really - I very rarely have come across porn that doesn't have elements of dominance and submission in it, whether it's queer, straight, kink or vanilla) lead to confusion when it comes to the expression and processing of consent? If you think yes, how do you think this can be changed/improved? If you think no, why not?

And, to help things stay grounded and keep emotions happy, take a minute to watch this before you answer:

http://www.youtube.com/user/mugumogu

Flawed Premise

I seriously believe the premise of your argument is truly flawed. This is because multiple experienced in life as shown us that one doesn't have to have a first-hand continuous experience about a matter before one can be an objective commentator on the subject. For instance, I never used or abuse elicit drugs in my life & I don't think that disqualifies me from being able to make an objective comment on the potential effect of drugs on the user and society at large. In actuality, I seriously believe that a person who is a major consumer of pornography (porn addict) is going to be less objective when it comes to objectively considering the negative effects of pornography (in much the same way that a substance abuse will be less objective when it comes to criticizing elicit substances). This is because a porn consumer will be forced to face up the fact that porn is having or has had a negative influence on them and we all are not willing to take responsibility for the negative that we do to ourselves. It is natural for us to put up our defense mechanism and blame others instead of ourselves. In reality, we are the ones consuming pornography and no one is forcing us to do so.

Further more, almost all of us don't see the negative effect of objectionable things that we consume until it is too late. For instance, its been proven that many serial killers grow into such behavior as they constituently watch and dwell on gorery images, which in turn feeds their unhealthy fantasies. If you ask most of them, they will probably tell you that they thought that they had it under control and they were oblivious to the fact that what they were consuming was having an effect on them. Obviously it is true that not all people who derive pleasure from watching gorery entertainment eventually turning serial killers, but it is clear that some do. Further, the fear of being cause and maybe some social interaction can not be discounted from keeping some from moving to the next step. Now in the case of pornography, nothing being done in most of mainstream porn is illegal and the social resistance to such actions are being removed, as more people consume and internalize their explicit and subliminal messages.

Also, I do not see any thing misguided or emotional is someone sees the correlation between the prevalence of one thing in mass media and an increase in the same thing in society at large. Wouldn't it be intelligent to try and see if the first is the cause of the second? For instance if we take a look at the history of the prevalence of gang activity and violence in African-American community, we see that prior to the late 70s it was restricted to the drug infested, poverty stricken, densely populated major cities, such as LA, NYC, Chicago, etc. However, with the rise in popularity of gangster rap and their glorification of substance abuse, disruptive behavior and violence, we see it spread to many African-American communities that were previously untouched. Whenever gangster rap (or it offspring, the "hip-pop" culture) is discussed most other African-American get sensitive and defensive, which is attributable mostly or in part to the history of race relations in this country. People in our community tend to see it as if white people are criticizing them or when it is a fellow black they call them "sell outs". Now back in porn, we see the correlation between pubic shaving in pornography and its rise on popularity in the general society. We see the correlation between oral and anal sex in pornography and it rise in societal acceptance and practice. We see the correlation between ejaculating on women's faces in porn and it rise in societal acceptance. Anal to vagina or oral, and on and on and on........ It is obvious that one is causing the other. Either society is driving mass media (meaning it became popular in society as a whole them the porn industry adopted it) or mass media it driving society. I tend to think that mass media is the one mostly driving these changes by taking something that is restricted to a small group of people, whom we call freaks, package it, popularize it and export it to masses. And I seriously don't think these changes are for the better. For instance Oral sex is causing more people to be exposed orally to HPV (the virus that cause cervical cancer, which is why sexually active women are encouraged to get annual paps-mere) and increase their chances of having "Head and Neck" Cancer.

Yes

Madison Young, I completely agree with you.

Why can't there be more people like this? More feminists who believe that the sex industry can be beneficial to women. You know, teaching women to be chaste is buying into the madonna/whore complex just as much as telling them to be sluts. They have aspirations to have sexual professions, but don't all teenage guys, at one time, aspire to live in the Playboy mansion? Porn is fantasy. It is completely unrealistic. That's because it's escapism. And, personally, my sexuality is a huge part of my life and who I am. I'm not going to stop doing what makes me happy just because I learned it on Redtube. I'm sorry, but I fail to see why wanting a facial is detrimental to women.

This post isn't about

This post isn't about teaching women to be chaste. Where did she say that women should be chaste? You can object to mainstream porn and the way women are portrayed in it, the way their desires and pleasure is subjugated to male pleasure and desire, without opposing all porn or claiming that women should be chaste.

You've completely missed the point

This article isn't about the effect that porn has on women, it's about the effect that mainstream porn has on young girls who have no other experience to go on. There's a big difference.

I like porn, I have no problem with it, but there is definitely something wrong with society when thirteen year old girls think Jenna Jameson is a role model. Granted, not all little girls can grow up to be doctors, but it would be nice to know they had a fighting chance.

Mainstream porn, in which women are surrounded by a roomful of dicks spooging on their faces, is not female empowering. Erotica, written with a female audience in mind, is more empowering than any porn I've ever seen, and since I watch a fair amount of porn and have never heard of you, I'd say it's fair to say you haven't quite hit mainstream yet.

Let's not forget that there is an internet full of free porn out there, kids aren't exactly picking and choosing what they see, they're looking at what's readily accessible. That's usually the bottom of the barrel stuff.

Oh FFS.

"...so called feminist..."

Do you mind not doing this? Just because you disagree with other feminists doesn't mean you get to decide they aren't real feminists.

Also, these bits here are contradictory:

"Why wouldn't you want to gobble that up? Why wouldn't you want to have that closeness with your partner? ... People have desires for different kinds of sex... Don't we want women to grow up with a sense of ownership over their sexuality?"

If you admit that different people want different things, you have to accept that there are people who don't want the things you want, people who don't feel that cum-eating would improve their relationship with their partner(s) in any meaningful way. IMO the problem isn't that people are deciding to partake in certain sex acts. The problem is that people (women, generally) who don't want to do them are expected to, because if you don't, you're a prude, old-fashioned, etc. To me, owning my sexuality doesn't mean letting a guy splooge on my face because that's what other people think is fun. To me, it means being able to assert that I do not want that, that I want something else instead. It's not "sex negative" for me to have the sex that I want to have instead of the sex that you and the porn directors want me to have. And it pisses me off that setting different boundaries apparently means that you have "a deep hunger and lust for your partner" (and I do not?!), and that you are "sexually confident" (and I am not?!).

Here, Here!

*clinks glasses with Meg*

If there was one sentiment I wish I could burn into people's brains it is that no group is monolithic. Imagine what the world would look like if all capacity for stereotyping and generalizing and denying membership were eradicated based on real or perceived difference.

...

No one is saying that porn can't be a useful tool for people to realize that sex can be an enjoyable thing, to get ideas for positions, etc, the problem is that mainstream porn is pretty misogynist and treats women badly - can you defend that?

The biggest porn companies are owned and run by men, many of whom don't exactly have a feminist agenda towards representing the spectrum of female bodies or emphasizing female pleasure. Even companies like kink.com focus on women having orgasms - if they are tied up and being beaten.

Before someone jumps on me for attacking bd/sm, I'm not saying that those women aren't choosing or enjoying the situation, but you have to admit that to an impressionable teenager (or a grownup with the mental landscape of a teenager), the message isn't exactly on the side of empowered female enjoyment.

Seriously misinformed and sexually ignorant

"But let's not deceive ourselves, these behaviors are strictly porn-inspired."

And? What's your point?

So some women like getting spooged in the face. And some guys like doing it. You don't like it and for some reason you're entitled to say it's some how immoral relative other sex acts? If it's consensual, by what standard is it worthy of disapproval over bumping uglies au natural, which I assume you support?

People do weird shit in bed. They do weird shit period, and whether it comes from porn or not...who the f. cares? Virtually all our habits are inspired by the pop culture industry. That trends in sex are influenced by the sex industry is hardly illuminating, nor is it threatening - unless you happen to find porn threatening, which you obviously do. So don't watch it, don't be a part of it, and certainly don't write articles about it.

I truly believe the low self-worth sexually expressive women feel growing up often comes from the ideological disapproval of judgmental prudes such as yourself. This article is misogynistic and you don't even realize it, which is seriously sad.

And of course porn is all fantasy!!! What the f else would someone want for sexual escape?

Before you ever go off on how submissive female sex acts are displays of weakness of character and being led astray, which this article implies, do a little research and learn about professional and committed submissives and how much the lifestyle means to them and how much they have grown through discovering it.

THIS

seriously A+ comment.

"But let's not deceive

"But let's not deceive ourselves, these behaviors are strictly porn-inspired."
And? What's your point?

I think the the point is that it's not always a preference that would have been there had it not been for aforementioned porn, and not necessarily women-made/woman-friendly (in production or result). Now, I agree that the blog post was rather one-sided and willfully ignorant of other people's sex preferences, HOWEVER, there's a difference between an adult woman preferring sex act X (be that cunnilingus, or being a dom, or the missionary, or facials) because she's been around and knows what she likes, and young women preferring any of those because she believes that it is the only acceptable and possible way of behaving. This debate was big in Sweden a couple of years ago, then mainly focusing on anal sex, and then as now I think it's important to focus on a) not to guilt trip ANY behavior or preference and b) to keep in mind that lots of young persons of all genders don't know themselves very well sexually OR otherwise, and need information that covers the entire spectrum.
Pro subs with a chosen lifestyles can be very empowered, I am sure, but that's not the same as a college freshman who learns to endure facials because she gets called a frigid bitch when she doesn't (=actually happened )

seriously?

I think it's completely illogical to assume that ANY sex act is "completely porn inspired" when humans have been on this earth scrumpin' for FAR longer than porn has.

But when there's suddenly

But when there's suddenly this new trend, and it mysteriously tracks with a very prevalent trend in porn, it's illogical to assume that all these kids just suddenly came up with the same idea all at the same time, with no external influence.

You're totally off topic

"learn about professional and committed submissives and how much the lifestyle means to them and how much they have grown through discovering it."

The article's not about adults commited to the BDSM lifestyle, it's about teens and porn and porn's affect on teenage behavior.

If you'd like to provide me with research tips on adults and BDSM, feel free to e-mail me and I'll be happy to post on that topic. But it's ridiculous--and a LONG stretch to call me misogynist simply because I didn't write about your experience in a post that's not about you or your experiences at all.

Becky Sharper www.harpyness.com

Becky Sharper www.harpyness.com

Agreed to Some Extent and Thanks For The Offer

Dear Becky, Of course you're right, but there may be two common threads between the subject of your article and the totally off topic comment. There are the elements of association and of the adult film maker's desire to have something be visible to the viewer. I hope you won't mind if I take you up on your invitation to that other commenter provide you with material on that 'Totally off Topic' topic. I do agree that the main topic of your article was totally different. I think the occurrence of women wanting cum in the face in real life is relatively rare. I can see how many women who don't want that or are lesbians might feel a choke and puke style physical revulsion or consider it submissive to the desires of male pig film producers. Other than that, the subject you've written about has very little to do with BDSM and I consider the 'cumshot' obsession to be a moronic part of the no-imagination straight vanilla porn industry.

Topic clarified

Well, not to be a dick (pun intended) but I think you mean "porn's effect on teens," not its affect.

Granted, your article is not about BDSM. I never said in my comment it was. But your article is only marginally about "teenagers." You cite women in their 20s, who can vote, drive, and be in porn, let alone watch it. A 22 year old is not a teenager, and her views on what facials mean to her cannot be dismissed as having the same level of misinformation as the views of a girl under the age of consent. It's totally ridiculous to put 13 year olds and 22 year olds in the same anti-porn post. In fact I think the fact that they are not the same mentally is exactly the reason why there are explicit laws to prevent putting them in the same sexual context.

A 13 year old can't possibly know what they want yet because they haven't had the time to try new things, suffer traumas, glories, love, hate and all that stuff. Essentially, they haven't lived yet. A 30 year old probably has and isn't going to waste any more time on stuff she doesn't like because life's too short and she (hopefully) knows this.

A 22 year old is messy territory. She's out there, autonomous, being influenced, trying new things, perhaps making heroes out of porn stars.

(And by the way, Jenna Jameson is totally a hero of mine, are you kidding? Have you seen what she's accomplished as an entrepreneur? She could be featured in Forbes Mag if people actually respected sex trade work as a legitimate profession. The fact that 13 year olds know who she is demonstrates that porn is not being restricted from them enough, but not that the acts in porn should be re-evaluated. I would never watch porn made with 13 year olds in mind, personally. I don't think anyone would. Which is why porn producers don't make it that way.)

Most 22 year olds will likely have some sex they realize later they don't actually like. Them's the ropes. It sucks, and we've all been there. But that's how they figure out they don't like it. Hopefully when they hit 30 they look back on those facial days with the same rueful embarrassment 40 year olds today look back on shoulder pads and Wham!. As for the 22 year olds who DO like facials...

...that's why I mention the professional and/or happy subs, and that you should read about them before writing something so blatantly ignorant (I'm sorry, but it's true. Hopefully you'll write better posts in the future, with a little more research).

These happy subs do not spring fully sexually evolved out of the head of Zeus like freakin' Athena. They went out and, at the age of 22, or 18 or whatever, tried different things. And they were seen as sluts, or misinformed, or "not knowing themselves," by people who probably knew nothing about what makes them tick, and likely, in the infinite world of sexual expression, know relatively little about sex, either.

So I'm saying, before you go and dismiss young women who enjoy consensual sexual degradation (whether they learned about it from porn or not and whether they were 22 or not when they figured this out), go talk to the women who knew themselves so deeply and so well that they figured out how to embrace being an awesome slut and an awesome strong person at the same time despite the constant ignorance and abuse of puerile, misogynist men and the disapproval and fear of their feminist peers.

Its obvious that you are into

Its obvious that you are into all these perverted sexual behavior, that is given to you on a silver plata by the porn industry, which will logically explain why you are taking things so personally.
Throwing words such as Misogyny around makes me sort of wonder if you know the meaning of it. I mean, if men who disapprove of certain action taken by certain women are Misogynists, wouldn't it follow that they would disapprove of all actions taken by all women. Furthermore, how did you know that we are not repulsed more by the men who do not respect women, than the women that the men and popular culture has manipulated into thinking that engaging ridiculous activities are all appropriate, as long as it pleased their lover and helps them hold on to him.
And how stupid is your comment on Jenna Jameson. She is either a woman who is the victim of the sex industry's manipulations who turned the industry to her advantage or simply a slut. Think about it, using your logic of money making will lead one to the conclusion that anything goes, as long as it is legal in the jurisdiction you are doing it. Like in some countries having sex with children is perfectly legal. I guess you will think, why not put them to good use to make money for you? To be bluntly honest, which self respecting sane man will want to bring her home to mom, marry her, and treat her as a respectable women?
In addition, many of these objection that one has to porn is clearly legitimate based on health reasons, high regard for women, and yes decency. The people in the porn industry wouldn't tell you boldly that one can get STD in the eyes, would they or in the Throat. My brother-in-law once treated a woman that coded and died before they were able to figure out that she had gonorrhea of the throat that had traveled into her blood stream which made her go septic.
Also in your previous post, you seem to want this author to shut up about her opinions. I think you are really misguided because pornography is speech (entertainment, art, or whatever you call it) made in the public domain and everyone in the public has a right to make their opinion known about whatever speech is made in the public domain (go and read the Bill of Rights). One can say the same about you, if you don't like comments like this about porn, why can't you shut up and not read it. No one has kept your eyes glued to the computer screen so that you have to read an opinion that is unacceptable to you.
Slugging on the face is perverted and I do not apologize for my opinion and this opinion is made in the public domain just has porn is placed in the public domain. Also, I suggest that you go and learn how to respect women first, before you start saying anything about Misogyny.

And for good measure

Oh, and just one last:

Obviously my sexual preference permeates the tone of my original comment, but I never once alluded to my own experiences, nor did I expect you to say anything about me. I'm not sure where you got that from, but I'd appreciate it if you didn't go so completely off-topic.

Not sorry to offend, but

This comment and its thread have been deleted by Bitch administrators because it began spiraling way the eff out of control. Personally attacking other commenters is not okay, and neither is highjacking the conversation away from the original post.

Team Bitch

Submission

Healthy relationships are based on equality and mutual respect.

Relationships based on dominance and submission are bad.

I realize there is a whole subculture that will insist that D/s relationships are healthy, but they end up claiming that their relationship IS based on equality and mutual respect, despite outward appearances. It seems transparently false.

Women shouldn't be submissive. Society shouldn't glorify female submission, sexual or otherwise.

The root of confusion

Ah, and here we get to the root of the confusion. With this whole thread, probably.

No one ever said Dominance and submission are mutually exclusive with respect. They never should be. The only way it's ever good (or works) is with respect, obviously.

So underlying respect in sex is a universal gold standard, no matter what kind of sex you're into, how old you are, or how much porn you watch. But for the love of god, for all those of you who keep saying X act is good and Y is bad - STOP. You have no idea how deep the rabbit hole goes when it comes to sex so just stop drawing arbitrary lines in the sand for your own comfort.

I can't remember who said it, but someone once said: "The definition of pornography is a part of someone else's sexuality that you don't like." I kind of think that's pretty much what this whole comment thread shows, if nothing else.

Where did she say it was

Where did she say it was immoral? And from what I read, she was talking about teenagers, not professional and committed submissives. Christ.

The 'Point' is how this effects people.

Virgin speaking. I am dreading my first sexual encounter. I am worried that the guy I am with will have received his sex education from porn and music videos. I am worried that, due to lack of experience, I will be judged for not f*cking like a porn star(or for not looking like one either) I am worried I won't meet his most basic expectations(even the non-kinky stuff is ridiculous) I am worried he will think things like "facials" are a given. I am worried that he will think I actually want to be dominated and humiliated. And I am worried that he will not be able to comprehend why I don't want to do these things. This is how porn culture has effected me. I can only imagine the damage it has done to other people.

If he doesn't respect the

If he doesn't respect the things that you want to do, and the things you DON'T want to do, and if he doesn't find you sexy the way you are, then he's the wrong guy for you. As many wrong guys as there are out there, there are right ones too, and they're worth waiting for. I'm sad that you feel so much dread... trust your instincts and be true to what you want, and you're be ok, more than ok.

Sweetie - I'm sorry you're

Sweetie - I'm sorry you're so stressed and full of dread over this. It seems like a lot of this might be nerves and perceived cultural expectations more than any permanent damage. But, please - before you have your first sexual encounters, talk with the guy. Tell him what you just told us. Tell him what you *do* want, and listen to what he wants and doesn't want. Not all guys, and not all girls, want the same things in bed. A good, compatible sexual partner will be enthusiastic about you, patient with you as you're patient with him, be interested in your interests, interested in your pleasure, and enjoy the process of exploring sexuality with you. Because, if you go at your own pace with a partner (or partners) of your choice and do it right, it's a very enjoyable process.

And in sex, nothing, *nothing* is a given. Especially as you're exploring, you can negotiate everything. Your comfort levels and your boundaries will change and expand, or sometimes shrink. That's normal. Just let the person you're exploring with know what's going on, what you want to try, what you don't. Let them know where you're at. Encourage them to do the same - and listen.

Also: porn is not sex education. Our society really doesn't have anything to cover the situation we have: teens who aren't old enough to legally look at porn, who need to know how to have sex, what's out there, and how to enjoy it - and also are looking for sexually stimulating material.

Well, other than books, which is what got me through. *g*

Thats the way sex should be

Yes. That is exactly the way sex should be. But I fear that reality will be different. I can't seem to divorce these worrisome thoughts from my mind. I am reminded daily of what is sexy, attractive, expected, blah blah blah. Ugh. I am too old to be the nervous virgin.

vomit

i think you made me just vomit in my mouth a little.

Hilarious!

Oh my god, can I add you to my Twitter? Because you just became one of my favourite things.

One time, slowly.

Because porn is sexist. Note: I'm not saying that it is the end of civilization or the cause of rape, but that it is blatantly, obviously sexist.

Males consume porn. It caters exclusively to male fantasies. A great deal of porn neglects female pleasure entirely - for example bukkake vids, which are very popular, or anal gangbang vids, or voyeur vids.

They are fantasies not only as to specific acts that people find erotic, but larger fantasies about confidence and masculinity. The man controls, and the woman is a prop. There isn't anything really wrong with that, actually, as fantasy.

This isn't the case with all porn, certainly, but it is the case with a great deal of it, and there is still very little female-driven porn. Perhaps that will change, but not anytime soon.

This is obvious. It is irrefutable.

If that's the case, then it shouldn't be hard to understand why someone would be concerned that women would be absorbing behaviors and cultural norms that were developed solely to cater to male sexual fantasies, especially in their sexually formative years. It is not unreasonable to consider it an impediment to female empowerment and self-actualization. And, because it's shallow, it doesn't do much for the self-esteem and empowerment of the boys.

There isn't a great deal to be acheived by complaining about it: it is a natural outgrowth of free speech, technology, and an increasingly open society. But there isn't any reason to celebrate it, or to get defensive when the obvious is pointed out.

Education, Education, Education!

"There is just something about blowing a load in a chick's face that makes you feel like a man."
I read that and just felt terrible. The mainstream porn which is so easily attained is a terribly education for young people. If I hadn't received the good sex education I did in school (UK state school) and from very open-minded parents I'm sure my views on sex would be very different today.
I believe sex education needs to be introduced early on and it needs to explain away pornographic stereotypes. Porn cannot be stopped but its influence can be reduced. Girls should not have to feel pressurised into acting like porn stars, nor should boys feel like their expressions of masculinity are determined solely from sexual actions.
Then maybe once everyone starts realising that there is so much complexity and wonderful diversity involved in sex - it's as personal and unique as the individuals who enjoy it - then maybe the demand for repetitive degrading cumshots will cease.

of course education, but

The point here is that porn isnt to blame at all. Why is it that you feel a consensual cumshot is degrading?

If they didn't get the idea

If they didn't get the idea from porn, then what explains the fact that all these kids are suddenly doing it? Did they seriously all just spontaneously think it up on their own?

And what do you mean by "consensual" here? If a girl feels like guys won't be interested in her unless she agrees to things that are degrading in at least many contexts (listen closely to the language that's used by the men about the women during, after, and describing cumshots) then how is her participation in it fully consensual? This is another example of a sex act that is entirely male-centric. The woman doesn't receive any sexual pleasure from it, but is supposed to go along with it because female pleasure and desires are either irrelevant or less important when it comes to mainstream, male-centric porn. Having your desire and pleasure subjugated is degrading.

but

how can you accurately say what another women does or does not receive sexual pleasure from?

Here's what I know.

Here's what I know. According to mainstream porn all women are turned on by facial cumshots. Ya know, the fake moaning and all that? Right. Here's what else I know. I have a lot of friends who are very experienced sexually, and we have fairly open and frank conversations about our sexual experiences. I've never once heard an adult woman talk about how she comes from "facial stimulation." That doesn't mean there aren't a few women out there who get off on it, just like there are people of all sexes who get off when someone pees on them. The point is that, in mainstream porn, women fake orgasm for anything men like to do. They pretend like it turns them on, because men want to do that to women, and pretending to come is the central part of a porn star's job. Fine. But the real-world effect is that young men and women now expect that this is universal, that all women come when they get splattered in the face, and if you don't, by golly you'd best fake it. And in the meantime, he's coming, but she's missing out on trying things that might actually make her come too. And if she does get up the nerve to speak up and suggests that they try other things, she can expect to be viewed as weird or frigid because her sexuality isn't a carbon copy of the images on his screen. And this arrangement is fair and equitable and not misogynistic? For real?

Thank you! I (personally)

Thank you! I (personally) don't understand who would get off these "facials". My boyfriend used to watch a lot of porn, and every time he jokes about us doing that it I feel uncomfortable. So maybe the movie producer who commented here, has never felt that type of pressure (good for her!) but I think many women especially younger women do feel that pressure coming from porn since it's so mainstream it affects mainstream music, fashion, and movies.

"The point is that, in

"The point is that, in mainstream porn, women fake orgasm for anything men like to do. They pretend like it turns them on, because men want to do that to women, and pretending to come is the central part of a porn star's job." -

Rachel,
This is not a part of our job and speaking as a porn star I can tell you that I don't fake orgasms in Mainstream porn. There is plenty of mainstream porn where you will find real orgasms. I make sure to show communication between me and my partner in my films as far as what I'd like sexually that will get me off and on the same accord communicate with him or her to see what they find is hot and what gets them to their ultimate climax. Again, please don't go around assuming what a porn stars job description is or what we do unless you are a porn star.
Thanks.
madison

ok

I tend to think that mainstream porn has an overall negative effect on women in our society but I am open to other arguments. However, saying porn isn't to blame at all is simply denial. Our actions, desires and hang-ups don't happen in a vacuum. Everyone is touched in some way by the surrounding culture. And as another commenter pointed out there's consent of a woman who's into it and gets off on it and then there's consent of the women trying desperately to fit into a mold of what society has told her = sexy. I don't think there's anything wrong with stopping for a second and examining the root causes.

Your conclusions are not very carefully considered

I understand that parts of the GQ article are uncomfortable and may give us some things to think about, however, your conclusion that this is a porn problem, that porn is bad, that porn is anti-feminist, is too easy and just not honest. You know what, I love for my girlfriend to sit on my face. I love her fluids all over my face. If she ejaculated, I'd let her do so all over me. What does that say about me? What does that say about her that she likes to do this to me? Did porn make her or me do this? Is she a bad woman because she likes my come on her? I just expect clearer thought and more considered ideas that what I found in this article.

Oh, look. Concern trolls in

Oh, look. Concern trolls in their native habitat - comment sections to blogs they never read.

Let's look at where...

Let's look at where young men and women got their ideas about sex before the mainstreaming of porn:

- Music videos
- Rumors
- Friends' experiences and tales
- Family (in the sense of imparting attitudes about sex)
- Fiction (ahem, romance novels and dog-eared sex scenes)
- Non-fiction (lurid journalistic tales of rape, anyone?)
- Jokes
- Art
- Photographs
- History
- Movies
- Comic books
- Their own fevered imaginations

Adults have ideas and fantasies about sex and gender that they let out into our culture in all sorts of weird ways. Porn is just one of them - and it's the only one that is considered strictly for adults.

I had sex with a man whose ideas about sex came from horror movies, Catholic guilt, comic books, and romance novel-style erotica. (He didn't watch porn because it wasn't to his taste. Most people don't watch things they don't gain at least mediocre enjoyment from.)

The first time he fingered me, he told me not to worry, that he'd be gentle when he touched my hymen. (I was born without one, and ew.)

What surprises me is that we're expecting something other than wink-wink male-ego-centric feature articles from GQ.

Adults have ideas and

Adults have ideas and fantasies about sex and gender that they let out into our culture in all sorts of weird ways.

Right. But the point here is that teens are engaging in a very specific set of sex acts that they've learned from watching porn, and they're less likely to explore alternate ways of being sexual becaue they've been taught to think of only this kind of behavior as sexy. These are not adults who have experimented and explored and found out what works for them. These are kids.

Teen Sexuality and Media

Actually, my point was that teens have been getting their ideas about sexuality and, yes, specific sex acts from adult-created media for a very long time.

"But the point here is that teens are engaging in a very specific set of sex acts that they've learned from watching porn, and they're less likely to explore alternate ways of being sexual becaue they've been taught to think of only this kind of behavior as sexy."

Replace "watching porn" with "sex education/mainstream fiction/their parents" and you'll have the heterocentric, female submissive, missionary-preferable model of sexual behavior that we inherited.

Human nature (the desire to experiment and explore that you mentioned) hasn't changed. The starting point has, and that's changed because horny teenagers will forever seek out titillating material.

The solution on the communicative end is to talk to teens about fantasy, about realistic expectations, about exploring sexuality at a slow pace - that it's about the journey and sharing pleasure, not about some scripted scene checklist. The solution on the cultural end is to create and publish varied views of sexuality, relationships, fantasies, and gender so that our definitions of porn, of fantasy, of sexuality become broader and more filled with variety and different types of healthy, consensual sex.

I'm hard at work on the latter - and you?

Humiliation

Bahahahahahaha!

On the topic of alienating sexual experiences, the one I remember that truly, truly degraded and humiliated me (in a bad way) was dating a man whom I at the time loved who, to quote Green Eggs and Ham, would not, could not, discuss the kinds of kink that turned me on, let alone try them, because he felt so conflicted about what "it really meant," etc. So we had vanilla sex that he enjoyed and completely ignored the stuff I wanted to do the entire time we dated. When I tried to talk about it, he told me it was unfair of me to try to explore this stuff with him, since if roles were reversed it would be misogynist for him to pressure me in the same way.

Um, barf...and can you say, mindfuck?

Obviously the problem here was not the acts in question, it was a lack of respect for people's needs/desires and the fact that any sexual incompatibility between partners is something that needs to be addressed, rather than ignored or fought over. There's nothing wrong with facials, or piss, or anal, or power play, or porn, or vanilla sex for that matter, as long as everyone involved wants it.

Girls don't need to be taught what kinds of acts are okay and what aren't. That's impossible to determine anyway. They need to be taught that their needs come first, whatever they are. In mainstream sex culture, that's a given for men. Women need to be taught the same principles.

Don't get it twisted!

Don't get it twisted!

Yes and No

Porn isn't inheritable bad, and the last thing we need is another set of sex wars. Porn, as in photography and film of a graphic sexual nature, stand pretty neutral, IMO. The problem you identify, rather, is with porn produced by adult straight men, within a patriarchal context, for other straight men, one that fairly often doesn't take its female audience's or actresses' sexuality seriously (I could go on and on) AND the fact that aforementioned porn is the kids' only, or almost only, source of sexual information. THIS is a serious problem; teen girls (and boys!) who learn a very small set of sexual expressions.

I would leave the what-kind-of-expressions out of the discussion entirely; we shouldn't associate any kind of sex with guilt, as long as it's consensual. We all have our kinks, and do best to leave those of others alone. Like someone said: education. And perhaps woman-produced, woman-friendly porn more readily available.

Porn doesn't exist in a vacuum

Becky didn't say porn was inherently bad. She is judging the porn that exists in our patriarchal culture, and the vast majority of that porn is porn that teaches men that their masculinity is derived from degrading women.

What else does this:

"There is just something about blowing a load in a chick's face that makes you feel like a man"

mean? Oh, you think the young man is actually concerned about his partners' sexual pleasure and enhancing her experience in bed. Uh huh. I feel bad for straight young women today. If they don't look like porn stars they're considered "disgusting" by their potential sex partners. And if they don't act like porn stars they're unfuckable as well.

I love you. Also, yes: the

I love you.

Also, yes: the answer to bad porn (incl. boring porn, tacky porn, porn that doesn't reflect your sexuality, porn you don't like for whatever other reason) is not no porn, it's different/better porn.

That's what Madison Young is doing, that's what I'm hoping to do, that's what I hope interested others will continue to do, hopefully also without demonizing the stuff they don't personally care for.

Whooooa there. I shave

Whooooa there.

I shave myself bare, and it has NOTHING to do with porn. I am NOT kidding myself.

I had never seen a single naked woman (aside from my mother, who was definitely not shaved) when I started shaving it. I started trimming it because it felt uncomfortable to have my pubic hair all crushed up in my undies. It had hardly started growing when I started trimming it, merely for my own comfort reasons. Feel, not appearance. When I started shaving my legs, it was only natural for me to shave my pubic region too, and what a relief! Since I was a teen I have tried to let my hair grow out once in a while, but I just hate how uncomfortable it is -- tugging or sore -- and always shaved it again. I didn't watch porn until I was a decade older! If my husband asked me to grow it out (and he does like the whole "hippie chick" look), I'd say NO WAY.

"If a 22 year old woman likes them, chances are it's because she's been told--by her peers, by the porn industry, by clueless dudes who consume too much porn--that these are the things she should like."

This is amazingly invalidating.

Does that mean if a 22 year old finds herself attracted to women, it's because she's been told she should be attracted to women by all the faux lesbian porn out there? No. Give women some credit to know what they like! They're not all gullible, witless girls completely controlled by what they see on the screen. Kinks don't work that way.

I'm absolutely positive that there are many people who do it because of porn, or because they think it's expected of them, and frankly, that's sad and horrible. And I entirely agree that most of the porn out there is insane, unrealistic, plastic and fake. And I also agree that a teen is going to be forming their sexual expectations from things they discover... whether that be porn or frank talks from their family -- they have nothing else to base it on. But I've been 22, and I was fully capable of knowing what I liked and didn't like sexually at that age. Some things from porn I found hot, and some I found silly, and some I found yucky. It had nothing to do with what other people told me I should like.

If they actually *like* them, desire them, and get off on it, it's something deeper than being *told* they like them. Maybe they first saw them on porn first, and thought "ohhhh that's hot" but that doesn't mean porn caused it.

So, if it's not about you,

So, if it's not about you, then why are you making it about you? I missed the part where the OP said that all women who shave do it solely because of porn.

"If you like having dudes

"If you like having dudes come on your face or you like being completely hairless, that's your perogative. But let's not deceive ourselves, these behaviors are strictly porn-inspired."

These behaviors are not strictly porn-inspired. I am not deceiving myself.

She is addressing the reader in this statement, "if you", which makes it about me.

So your claim is that you

So your claim is that you came up with the idea of shaving all on your own? Your cultural context had nothing to do with it? You had never heard of other women shaving or seen images of clean-shaven women? Really? First of all, what amazing isolation you must have grown up in. Second, what astonishing creativity.

Actually it's more like a

Actually it's more like a logical continuance. I did the same thing when I first started shaving my legs - thought well, I like the hairless look/feel there, why not on my mound? This after being told not to shave my genitals, that it would be uncomfortable and itchy.

Guess what, it itched like hell. I tried it again years later because I wanted to see how it looked on me.

Feminism is at its most misogynistic when it refuses to acknowledge that women have free will, and can make choices because they personally like them. We're all influenced by our culture, even if in a reactionary way, but that doesn't mean we're brainwashed. To pretend otherwise - in either direction - is disingenuous.

"Feminism is at its most

"Feminism is at its most misogynistic when it refuses to acknowledge that women have free will, and can make choices because they personally like them."

This.

And I hate how little credit is being given to girls for their own intelligence, imagination, and innovation. Surely I was a stupid little girl who could only parrot what I saw other people doing.

Yeah! Femenism shouldn't

Yeah! Femenism shouldn't "tell women what to do" and feel, the male porn producers should!

No, I had never seen a

No, I had never seen a clean-shaven woman at the age of 12. *lol* I don't know what kind of lifestyle you grew up in, but *in my isolation* I didn't see a lot of naked strangers as a kid and my family didn't show me pornography. My parents were hippies -- my mom didn't even shave her legs or pits. If you'd read my post you'd note I said I trimmed my pubic hair as soon as it came in purely because it felt better. Nothing inspired me to do that except my own creativity. I love how you think a girl couldn't be imaginative enough to come up with something like that on her own.

Just a question

I think there are some really interesting ideas here about the connections between teenage ideas about sex and porn, but I do wonder about one point, something you quoted from the original article. It says,

In a survey of 1,000 British girls between the ages of 15 and 19, roughly 25 percent said they aspired to become professional lap dancers.

Any idea where this came from? This statistic makes a really strong statement and I can't find a source for it.

I guess I am a bit confused,

I guess I am a bit confused, because on one hand the author is saying that whatever two consenting adults do is fine with her, yet in the beginning of the article she scoffs at the idea that someone could enjoy cum on the face or a shaved vag.

I would also say that we should take what young girls find sexually arousing at age 20 with a grain of salt; there are plenty of things that I did when I was younger that I thought were super hot and arousing - because I had never done them. Trying things for the first time always brings extra excitement. And there's always some new trend in porn that "everyone" is doing...

Teens vs. Adults

Isn't there a difference between very young girls (like the 13 y/os who want to be strippers) and adult women? How would a 13 y/o know that it's really cool to be a stripper or a porn star - that it brings her pleasure? All she knows is that this is the best way to garner male attention and praise, which is the most valuable thing a girl/woman can acquire in a patriarchal culture. And that is what they're seeking.

Very good point

Excellent point. The commenters hating on BeckySharper have completely missed the point of this post--that it's about how porn is influencing the way teenagers--boys AND girls--view female sexuality. It's not a condemnation of sexuality.

To say that it's sexy or empowering for girls to essentially just act like male masturbation fantasies with absolutely no regard for their own sexual pleasure is really alarming. And yet, there are women here actually saying that and calling a feminist "misogynist" and "sexually ignorant" for arguing against it.

To them I would quote Barney Frank: "On what planet do you spend most of your time?"

Oh, please.

"On what planet do you spend most of your time?"

The one where personal sexual kink (for women of any consenting age) and societal gender politics are not entwined in a confusing mess to be dissected, extrapolated and misinterpreted by strangers. It's a far-off planet, few people actually find it, but man, when you get there, it is a really, really great place to live. I'm having a ball.

Any guy (at any age) that

Any guy (at any age) that can't figure out that odds are a girl doesn't want jizz on her face is an idiot. They're no different than people that reenact Jackass stunts.

OK then

FTA: "porn does not portray women in any kind of realistic ... way." Ummm, that's kinda the point. It's fantasy, a superstimulus of desire. It doesn't portray men in a realistic way either. As for portraying porn actors in a respectful way, I think you may be making a generalization; there's such a huge variety of porn that this is far from true. I personally find misogyny and domination of women a turnoff, yet there's more than enough porn out there to suit my tastes. A lot of mainstream porn, especially from the early 2000s is pretty appalling in its treatment of women, but I think this is more a reflection of the American market than anything else. A lot of rap music is misogynistic but one wouldn't say the artform itself has to be.

As for the pubic hair thing, while porn is probably responsible, so what? Every society has some arbitrary, aspirational standard of beauty. Most women would prefer to be considered attractive by their society's standard and most men prefer to partner with such women. When film actresses of 30's (the sex symbols of their time) started to wear red lipstick to be more expressive in black and white film, that was incorporated into the feminine ideal. The sex symbols of our time are porn stars, it's no surprise that they would influence people's tastes. I certainly don't feel the need to apologize for mine, whatever influenced my perception of beauty, a woman without pubic/armpit hair is much more attractive. People can't choose to be younger, taller or to have a different body shape, but this is one way they can choose to be desirable.

Drink that Patriarchial Kool-Aid!

"As for the pubic hair thing, while porn is probably responsible, so what? Every society has some arbitrary, aspirational standard of beauty."

Well, yes, and obviously you're free to adhere to whatever standard of beauty you want, no matter how ridiculous or misogynist. Women who wore corsets or broke their feet with foot bindings believed the same thing.

When you say that "this is one way they can choose to be desirable" you're choosing a male image of how women should be desirable. That's fine, but at least recognize it for what it is. It's not YOUR standard, it's the Patriarchy's. You're just buying into it.

Becky Sharper www.harpyness.com

Becky Sharper www.harpyness.com

Society != Patriarchy

"It's not YOUR standard, it's the Patriarchy's." This is where we disagree. A society's concept of feminine beauty stems from women competing for the attention of men and for social status among other women. Certainly there are unpleasant situations where men will try to control womens' appearance for their own reasons (burquas, breast implants, foot binding, etc), but I don't think this is one of them. We're talking about hair styles, not corset-induced miscarriages or tapeworm dieting. I am indeed choosing a western male image of what is desirable, if one wants to be desirable to lesbian aboriginal witch doctors, look into what turns them on and consider whether you're open to it. Or don't, but there's nothing wrong with wanting to be desirable to ones partner, or simply because you enjoy it.

"A society's concept of

"A society's concept of feminine beauty stems from women competing for the attention of men and for social status among other women."

And this isn't Patriarchy how?

You're not sexist or racist, just a voice of reason

I take it you're a dude, because from the sounds of it, you've never actually had a full Brazilian, and you definitely don't get them regularly. Nor have you spent most of your teen/adult life yoyo dieting, nor have you put yourself at greater risk of serious long-term health problems by habitually using "harmless" products like makeup, hair dyes, and douches. You've probably never suffered from an eating disorder, or been publicly shamed and harassed for wearing too little ... or too much. Yes, our beauty norms are totally harmless; it's just those crazy foreign brown people who have the bad beauty norms!

Pubes

"Well, yes, and obviously you're free to adhere to whatever standard of beauty you want, no matter how ridiculous or misogynist."

Men in porn almost always have their genital areas shaved in some way, shape, or form. Grooming of pubic hair can't really be considered misogynist if both sexes are doing it to themselves.

Yes, it can.

Yes, it can.

Then they're going to have

Then they're going to have to come up with better reason for it being misogynistic than it's common in porn.

Grooming of pubic hair can't

Grooming of pubic hair can't really be considered misogynist if both sexes are doing it to themselves.

How astonishingly naive.

The argument that shaving

The argument that shaving your pubes is more misogynistic than shaving your legs is basically "because it's common in porn". If you can please tell me how this is different from a man shaving his face or pubes I'd like to know.

I'm guessing it's because corsets, foot binding, and the pressure to be pretty that any and all female grooming is misogynistic.

My standred are MINE

That's fine, but at least recognize it for what it is. It's not YOUR standard, it's the Patriarchy's. You're just buying into it.

That is insulting and invalidating to the notion of individual thought. Let me put it to you this way:

Ok everyone who agrees with Becky this is not YOUR standard it Becky’s. Your just buying into it.
Reminder scientist you must never say you use the scientific method as YOUR standard; because it not YOUR standard it’s the standard of the scientific community. Your just buying into it.
Remember members of political party/movements it’s not YOUR standard its (insert political party/movements here) standard. Your just buying into it.
Reminder anyone who has gotten an idea they adhered to from an outside source it not YOUR standard its (insert outside force here). Your just buying into it.

This notion is absurd because our thought don’t exist in some short of vacuum we all buy-in to ideas and conceptualizations that originated from the surrounding milieu. This does not invalidate the fact that we chose them as our standard, patriarchal or not, and our thus ours regardless of origin. My standards come from my thought process, from my choice as to what ideas to buy-in to and which to reject. I own them, I take responsibility for holding them, no matter where they originated or who or what has influenced them, they are mine. I can acknowledge the initialized terms; I will not accept the notion that they are somehow not my standards because of them

pubic hair

I don't know where you all have been but pubic hair has been making a come back for a couple of years. Look at Sasha Grey, Kimberly Kane, and Bobbi Starr which are all at the top of the industry right now. They all have pubic hair.

Right, it's a fantasy. But

Right, it's a fantasy. But the point is that young people are now getting guidance, and shaping their behavior to conform to the fantasy. Instead of exploring and experimenting and finding out what works for them, they're simply reenacting the scripts of what they've been told sexuality looks like. And the result is that many girls think their desires are less valid , that their orgasm is not important as long as the situation is pleasurable to the guy. Because that's how mainstream porn works.

Back To Reality People

This article is NOT talking about consenting adults, hellllooooooooo!! For the 5th time, the focus of the article is TEENAGED girls and guys having their sexual expectations shaped by the prevalence of porn that they see.

What 15 year old girl intrinsically knows that she wants ejaculate all on her face? Where would a 16 year old boy even get the notion? How experienced were YOU at that age? No one is trying to regulate fantasies here, the problem is when young people confuse these fantasies with real life. YOUNG PEOPLE.

I didn't even enjoy sex until a few years ago because of both my ignorance and the fact that my boyfriends were translating what they saw in porn into real life. I'm 27 now. I thought that there was something wrong with me, but really, they sucked.

RECAP: the author is specifically talking about the negative effects of young people - not consenting adults - being influenced by porn. The main one being YEARS OF BAD AND UNSATISFYING SEX!!! (so glad that's over)

If I was still a teenager, I

If I was still a teenager, I would be pretty upset that ya'll thought I couldnt differentiate between fantasy and reality.

AGREED. see my comment

AGREED.

see my comment below...

At the age of 13, I

At the age of 13, I sincerely hope these girls can't distinguish between fantasy and reality. If they've had enough sexual experience to know that they love giving lap dances and taking cumshots in their faces, then somebody's got some 'splainin to do.

Hate to break it to you, but

Hate to break it to you, but most 13 year old girls will do anything to fit in a be desirable. If models in magazines can make a young girl feel like she is too fat and needs to throw up her food, porn can defiantly make her feel like she has to do things she is uncomfortable with.

And I think that's the point... that these kids DON'T understand the difference between fantasy porn and reality. Aside from the watered-down and censored version of sex ed in school, this is where they learn. How could they not be effected?

But it is!

But the article IS talking about adults. Hasn't anyone else noticed that Sharper talks about 13 year olds, 15 year olds and 22 year olds all in the same post? Doesn't anyone else think that's f_ing weird? It freaks me out that she sees the sexuality of young women and girls so interchangeably.

Porn in itself isn't to

Porn in itself isn't to blame for why teenagers & young adults have such fucked up views of what sex really is (or isn't), since "porn" constitutes a lot of things, and not all of it is bad. Mainstream porn, on the other hand, is responsible for a lot of this, especially to teenagers that are ignorant about how to approach sex and have it. As someone here already mentioned, there needs to be better, more open sex education. If sex wasn't the taboo subject that it is, I don't think mainstream porn would have the power to misinform anyone, or to get people so riled up in the face of it.

I don't think certain fetishes or body alterations needs to be the litmus test for determining how bad mainstream porn is, because liking cum on the face and a shaved vagina can very well be an informed, personal choice. It's more the psychology of people who use mainstream porn as their sex authority that worries me, where people don't feel that it's sexy or that it's sex because "that's not how the porn stars do it" and vice versa.

This isn't a black or white issue, and though I agreed with what this article is trying to say, I still think it should've been more nuanced, or focused on the psychology instead of fetishes that anyone (whether they're into porn or not) can like.

-- -
Jaleesa L / Portfolio

take some responibility.

i'm pretty sure teenage boys have been assholes sexually for a long time, regardless of the porn trends. im totally not in support of the mainstream porn industries potrayal of women and sex, but maybe we should be creating environments where our kids have more exposure to open sexuality than just porn. if we (as a society) choose not to educate our kids on sex and sexuality then we are condemning them to naivety, and really have no right to hate the actions that that naivety leads to, or the education that they have readily available (such as mainstream porn). parents need to open their eyes and take some action. i blame parents. and shame-based religions.

I couldn't agree more. I'd

I couldn't agree more. I'd also like to point out that my own experiences as a teen are quite a long way from what the author is describing. For most of my teen years I thought I was a freak and a pervert because my desires were not the stereotype found in mainstream (video) porn and bantered about by my circle of friends. When I finally got online in my late teens I was surprised to discover a large community with my exact tastes. That was a big deal in terms of accepting my own desires and getting over the embarrassment and shame of being different. The community I found (now at lipstickfetish dot org, nsfw) practically worships women, and its archives are full of personal stories of how discovering like minded people and porn made all the difference in accepting their own sexuality. This community welcomes all body types, ethnicities and orientations and a lot of the posts show women who are not what one would consider conventionally attractive. They're fawned over anyway. In my own experience, I can't agree that porn is necessarily harmful to minors, or that it's responsible for the jerkwad behavior of some hypermasculine teenaged boys. Machismo and peer pressure are much more to blame.

YES. And this is why I do

YES. And this is why I do what I do.

THIS.

You said it better, anon.

-- -
Jaleesa L / Portfolio

We should also take note

We should also take note that this does not just affect teenagers. Pornography affects men and women alike, well into their late 20's/early 30's. Most of the men in my friend group are in their mid to late 20's and at least as far as I know none of them expect to give a facial after sex but their perception of what "real women" are has been completely skewed by porn. Just curious.... "In a survey of 1,000 British girls between the ages of 15 and 19, roughly 25 percent said they aspired to become professional lap dancers." This number seems absurd. Sources??

A few different points to make...

Once again here we have the incredibly common and often misguided view that if a young person does something, they have no idea what they are doing, they don't really want to do it, and they MUST have gotten the idea for X action from Some Horrible Awful Facet of Mainstream Culture That Is Corrupting Children.

Examples:
- Rock n roll is the devil
- Comic books are a bad influence
- Violent lyrics in rap music are the direct cause for teen violence
- Trench coats, goth music, and combat boots cause school shootings

And on and on and on. I find it to be very frustrating. Yes, young people are more prone to make bad decisions. Their brains are not fully mature and they are unable to properly assess risks as well as adults over 25 can. They are not as mature, not as informed, and have much less experience. But almost all of them are still autonomous human beings who are capable of their own decisions, desires, wants, and needs.

But as a young person myself, I find it insulting to think that because I'm only 17, I can't possibly know what I want for myself. Oh wait, it's all a giant brainwashing, and even though I really believe I desire and enjoy something, I don't actually, because that thing that I enjoy (e.g. getting cum on my face) happens to also be used as a tool of degradation and misogyny? Oh, thanks for telling me. Because maybe I really do like getting a "facial." Or for that matter, having intercourse. They do that in pornos, too.

I'm not saying porn, or any unrealistic portrayal of sexual behavior, can't be damaging. I do believe that the stereotypes presented in a great deal of porn have badly influenced me. Women in a lot of heterosexual, mainstream porn are shown to totally be into PIV sex. They cum like crazy just from having a penis inside them. For a long time, I thought that I was supposed to do that, too. It took me a while to realize that many women don't instantly orgasm, or even orgasm at all, as a result of penetration. And that is totally within the normal range of human sexual experience. But the fact is that porn is not the only medium that promotes that myth. I've never even seen very much porn, and I've had that idea for a really long time. Where did it come from? Movies, of course. Movies and TV and other forms of popular culture that portrayed PIV sex as the ONLY sex.

Above all else, though, what I find problematic about both articles - this and the GQ one - is that they make sweeping generalizations without any sort of proof. Where are your sources, GQ? Where are your statistics? You keep citing this study and that, but I see no names, no links, no specific information at all that proves that you're not just making shit up. And this "Travis and Cody" business? Complete sensationalism. What makes these people "typical college students?" What is that even supposed to mean? Clearly one sample - a couple of douchebags - accounts for the ENTIRE population of 21-year-old college males. My father likes listening to opera music. That must mean ALL 55-year-old fathers like listening to opera music? What does it all MEAN?? The entire GQ article sounds like it could've been completely invented by someone looking for an attention-grabbing title. And the Bitch In Bed blog article totally buys into the bullshit.

Becky Sharper, you have written good articles in the past. This one disappoints me. I really hope you can do better.

In closing, http://xkcd.com/386/

Point take, lauraxorz

I'm sorry this post disappointed you.

I used this GQ article as a way into a larger trend, which has been commented on a fair amount in the media, both mainstream, alternative and feminist (which I why I linked to The Sexist, for example). You're correct about GQ being targeted to a certain audience, and they can be a little douchey sometimes. But that does not mean they're wrong, particularly as they're writing about their own audience--porn-loving men.

I probably should have linked to this Times of London post, which I think in many ways says much of what I mean to convey, but in a longer format and specifically as a feminist call to arms.

http://women.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/women/article6739270.ece

I didn't say that you don't know what you want for yourself simply because you're a teenager--although as someone who has teenage siblings your age and spends a lot of time around them and their friends, I think you sound more thoughtful and self-actualized than average, particularly about your own sexuality. As you can see from other comments in this post, there's a broad range of opinion on what constitutes "owning" your sexuality.

My point is this--none of us exist in a vacuum sexually. We're all fed messages our entire life about how we should behave or what we should desire. The mainstreaming of porn sends very loud and very negative messages, IMO. It's only one medium, of course, but it's one that's getting louder and harder to ignore, and one that young people are, increasingly, buying into. YOU may not, but a hell of a lot of people do--I've even seen it with twentysomething men I date.

Becky Sharper www.harpyness.com

Becky Sharper www.harpyness.com

I find this response lacking

I find this response lacking - you responded to someone's statement that "Above all else, though, what I find problematic about both articles - this and the GQ one - is that they make sweeping generalizations without any sort of proof" without providing any proof except a link to a proof-less forum hosted by a Murdoch publication.

exactly.

the same things that turned me on in elementary school turn me on now [well, i've gotten even kinkier]. thirteen year olds thinking about sexuality and expressing desires is not novel. sure, porn is a bit racier than books and paintings, but kids will pick up lessons from whatever media is available to them. when are people supposed to be smart/responsible enough to be in charge of their own sex lives, anyway? thirteen year olds are wives and mothers in more than one place on this planet. indiscriminate posturing from "grown-ups" about needing to protect teenagers from themselves doesn't seem like the most nuanced way to get more accurate, inclusive, compassionate, sex-positive information into the hands of young people who want and need it.

didn't you know that hetero porn is the pathway to liberation?

Didn't everyone know that if you want to be considered a "good" feminist or a "positive" feminist that you have to be "sexually liberated?" This means you must watch, embrace and enjoy mainstream, hetero-fucked up pornography. Otherwise you are just an old-school, man-hating dyke prude. Get with it ladies. If you want to be the kind of feminist people will like and are comfortable with...loving cum in your face is criteria.

seriously?

uhh...i started shaving my vag at 14. long before i became a porn fan. and long before i ever had contact with a dude. it just felt better, enhanced masturbation, felt cleaner, and didn't catch hairs when i put tampons in.

Stop dragging the BDSM lifestyle into this

Hi, woman from India here. Absolutely agree with Ms Sharper. And I'm speaking as someone who likes to be dominated in bed, and therefore one of those being used to press the point--women LIKE certain things men do to express their dominance, so everything goes. A few thoughts:

1. This post is NOT criticising or judging women with kinks--those who get turned on by piss play or having men ejaculate on their faces---it is commenting on the worrying trend that many young women buy into a particular, potentially degrading male fantasy to appear 'sexy,' to fit in, or simply to avoid being called names.
2. For those stressing some women ENJOY facials and those linking it with the submissive lifestyle: Not all submissive women like having someone splatter his come on their faces. I don't.
a. Being a sub is a CHOICE, which women like me will arrive at after years of self-doubt, knowledge and experience. Not at 14, and not from watching porn clips, and not to please anyone else, but because you learn you get off on certain situations, rituals, actions. Because YOU get off. Not your boyfriend, nor his friends, nor the guy in the movie
b. Being a sub does not mean behaving like you are in a porn video. Being a sub is not even always about the sex. Being a sub involves a whole lot of trust between partners--and as a feminist sub, I can say, a loving feminist partner.
c. How many women who give facials in porn clips actually get off on the particular kink of men ejaculating on their faces? How many girls whose porn-prepped boyfriends expect facials will have that particular kink? My guess is very few. Still, young girls will give facials because young boys expect them because everyone gets them on the net. And the girls will make sense of the entire situation by washing off their faces and patting themselves on their backs for being the queen of 8 dicks. Queen, really? Like the pussycat dolls are the enemy of patriarchy? Like women indulging in girl-on-girl action before an audience of men are upholders of lesbian rights?
3. Coming on someone's face is not the same as oral sex. The pleasure of the facial is not oral stimulation itself but the act of dumping your juices on someone's face. Not their hand or their breast or their thigh. But the face. If sex is as much about everything else as actual physical pleasure, what is the facial about? What does it mean for a man to see a woman's face smeared with his come? What does a facial stand for outside of a BDSM relationship? If a man wants to come on the face of a woman who is not into power play, what does she do? What does it say about him? Most importantly, how many of the kids who learn sexual behaviour from porn will even know these questions exist?
4. Finally: most hetero women like watching clips of men sucking on women's breasts. Try finding those clips for free on the net. See how many you will find of women fondling each other. If porn is so empowering for women, why won't it focus on something which women into mainstream actually want? Why focus on a particular kink a small minority of women may have? Maybe because kinky women are not the target audience porn aims for after all. Why do women keep convincing themselves otherwise?

finally

Thank you!!

"Finally: most hetero women

"Finally: most hetero women like watching clips of men sucking on women's breasts. Try finding those clips for free on the net."

It's difficult (in my opinion) to find some of the best porn for free on the net. It's especially difficult to find good specialty porn for free on the net. There's a reason for this: economics.

Specialty porn (and while the % of women who purchase [yes! that means spend money] porn is increasing, it's still numbers-wise a specialty market) means a smaller market for said porn. A smaller market means using a splatter marketing approach, namely shooting free video clips all over the earth and hoping a small percentage will actually buy more, is not a great idea if the company wants to keep making said specialty porn without having to become a group of very sexy, technologically advanced bums.

There are companies out there making porn geared towards the vanilla womens' market. No, most of these videos are not available for free. However you might want to check them out (Comstock Films is a particular favorite, especially for breast sucking and capturing regular sexual moments between established couples) and support them by buying their wares so they can keep putting out more of the stuff you like. If a company specializes in the kind of things you might be interested in, but they're not including enough of something you really want to see, give them feedback ("Could you show more male/female breast sucking?"). Erotic film producers want to know what people want to buy so they can make it, so you can buy it, so you can enjoy it and the producers can also feed their cats. Ahh, the X-rated circle of life. :)

I agree with BeckySharper's

I agree with BeckySharper's argument only to the extent that EXPOSURE to mainstream porn may deform some teenagers' ideas about sexuality. Just like smoking may harm teenage lungs. We don't allow them to (legally) drink alcohol until they are older. We don't give them the keys to the car until they reach a certain age AND demonstrate the skills and knowledge of how to operate it safely. We don't allow minors to work in certain fields or with equipment that may be dangerous. We recognize that certain things are ADULT and require the maturity and sophistication that (hopefully) come with age. I believe that porn is one of these things, and that children's exposure to porn should be controlled, as much as any parent can control her son's or daughter's experience of the larger world. That being said however, I'm not so sure it's appropriate to hold materials meant for adult consumption to the same standards to which we hold children's materials. I despise much of the entertainment made for my children and avoid it if I can, and I kinda like some porn and watch it on occasion. But it's not for my children. I support children's sex education as an ongoing and cumulative process essential to becoming a happy and healthy adult, and I believe this education can best be achieved by limiting exposure to age-inappropriate materials as well as by providing timely and pertinent information. Not all things in this world are appropriate for children, and that's probably how it should be.

Perhaps a Different Core Issue Is at Play

I'll leave my months of lurking to post on this one:

I've read three blogs about this article today, and this site is the first to have comments asking things like "Where the hell are these kids' parents?" (In a round-about way...thank you Sabrina for being the first I've seen to point that out.)

The brain doesn't fully develop until age 26, according to a study I (of course) can't access online. Does that mean that a litany of decisions (driving, voting and drinking, for instance) should be postponed until then? Maybe so, if Cody and his bud are doing the driving, voting and drinking...to assume that KIDS can make an informed and appropriate-to-them decision is nuts. (And Cody, et al, are more likely reflective of being raised in a "boys will be boys" misogynistic environment, any way.

The core problem I see (as a parent to pre-teens) isn't porn's existence, it's the fact that the kids' parents haven't stopped them from accessing it, or from failing to provide complete sex ed to their own kids? While I won't let the kids view porn until they are legally old enough to do so, I won't freak out if they want to as young adults. It's my job to make sure they don't grow up thinking that unwilling sublimation is "normal." Schools aren't any more responsible for "facials are good" lines of thought, with their "abstinence-only" bullshit, than is porn. (Some of us parents actually get together to properly teach true sex ed to kids outside the school to ensure [that] the kids are fully informed in their choices, btw.)

Why hold porn responsible for poor parenting? Why are we all so seemingly surprised that some parents can't get it together and teach their kids emotional safety in sex choices, relationship choices, actions of respect to other humans and full-on communication? That's the crux of the problem, IMO. Being a parent is hard work (no shit, eh?), and so many parents take the easy way out by entrusting schools and religion to "take care of" hugely emotional issues like relationships and the decisions leading to sex. These are things parents/caregivers took on when they chose to raise kids. It's time we stop pawning off the blame and/or responsibility to others.

thank you.

I'm 27 and I've only been in relationships with guys I'd consider feminists, ones who are okay with my full-on bush and pit hair and Lunapads, etc. And STILL I've had to correct some misconceptions of theirs that come from the type of mainstream porn you describe. Such as SPITTING on a woman's vulva to add lube... which personally I find degrading and gross. Sure, spit can be used as lube and some women probably like/don't mind being spit on in that way, but it blew my mind when it happened to me. The fact that it was considered normal and not even worth asking about beforehand was crazy to me. When I told him I didn't like that, he was embarrassed and admitted it came from porn. Did his previous female partners actually like that, or did they just put up with it?

Has it ever occurred to you

Has it ever occurred to you that maybe you're just hypersensitive? I mean, when you're claiming that a man spitting on your genitals in an effort to lube as a prelude to performing oral sex (which he's willing to do despite your unfortunate grooming habits. hint: no one, man or woman, likes hair in their mouth). is "degrading and gross"...you're perspective seems out of whack. I mean, this guy is willing to put his mouth where you pee, hoping that you're clean, and you're complaining about how "degrading and gross" him spitting down there is?

I think the part of this story I find most disturbing is that this poor schmuck is apparently so brainwashed by feminism that you had him apologizing for your own whack lack of perspective.

Also, that doesn't come from porn. That comes from expediency. The easiest way to get saliva out of the mouth and onto a woman's genitals is by...dur...spitting. There's nothing degrading or gross about. It's not degrading because of the greater context -- he's going down on you -- and it's not gross, unless you consider anything beyond the most chaste of kisses and hugs gross.

speaking of context, and perspective...

There are so many issues I have with this comment... but most specifically what I take issue with is the attacking tone it takes. Starting off with calling the other person "hypersensitive" and continuing by making comments about their "unfortunate" grooming habits is utterly unnecessary and rather vicious, in my opinion. You are more than entitled to disagree as to what you may or may not consider sexy or even "good" behaviour, and you are more than entitled to use your own opinion as one single example of the fact that not everyone agrees with what someone else says. Your point, however, is no better made when you decide to do this in the fashion that you did.

As far as perspective goes (whether it is "you're [sic]" perspective or the original commenter's), I must say I've not found very many men who are conscientious about their own pubic hair. I certainly must point out that I have seen very little discourse about how men should take care of their pubic hair, which means that women are told more often (and more strongly) that this is something they must worry about, even if men aren't. Which means that your comment about how "no one, man or woman, likes hair in their mouth" could very easily be considered to be made out of the greater societal context, as it ignores the double standard applied to the different sexes.

More than anything else, however, I wish to state to the original commenter that I sincerely hope that you did not take the comments in the reply above me to heart, and that, in spite of their personal tone, you will look at them with the same level of discernment you deem appropriate for any particular point-making argument.

Porn:This Nonsese::Rap Music:Juvenile Delinquency [Absurd.]

I don’t know about head/desk, but I did a good bit of palm/forehead at the fallacious arguments in this unfortunate article.
First of all, I’m at an utter loss to understand how a 21-year-old boy expressing his distaste for pubic hair on girls in a GQ article, citing porn stars as his standard, is even remotely problematic. First off, it’s a bit of a leap to assume that because of this porn-induced standard, women are sprinting for their Schick Quattros. Blaming pornography for the supposed rash of bald cunts walking around is absurd.
“Let's not deceive ourselves, these behaviors are strictly porn-inspired,” Ms. Sharper says (of this and the facial which I’ll happily get to in a moment). Honey, please. Where are the quotes from women who prefer to shave or wax their pubic hair because the smoothness makes them feel sexier? Or because it allows their partner unobstructed access to their essentials? Or because they feel that freeing their pubic skin from the encumbrance of a mound of hair allows them to feel their sexual experience more intimately? As one of those women, I’d like to say, for the record, that porn has nothing to do with my grooming routine—I just like it better bare. Period.
Ms. Sharper goes on to analyze the facial from "a purely practical standpoint." Really? Perhaps I missed the memo, but when did we begin to analyze sexual acts based on practicality? Forgive me, but if your sex life contains lines like, "Careful, honey, this dress is dry clean only!” or, “Not on the good sheets!" then your problems extend far beyond porn.
Ms. Sharper takes serious issue with facials, citing a boy in this GQ article saying that cumming in a girl's face makes him "feel like a man." She clearly found this disturbing, assuming her audience would agree. And I can see how it might be disturbing...if the issue here were domination, if the woman on the receiving end of the man's cum were coerced into receiving it in a “Here, bitch. Take this…” kind of scenario against her will. Fine. But that’s far from the norm. I wonder how much porn Ms. Sharper’s actually seen, because the overwhelming majority of the women are not coerced, in fact, many of the ladies featured in these "money shot" scenes...are smiling. Smiling.
As for the facial itself, how is it that a woman allowing a man (the man with whom she's consented to have sex) cum in her face is inherently degrading? Just for shits and giggles, let’s say the roles were reversed. Let’s say that a woman was receiving oral sex from her (male) partner, achieved an orgasm, and came all over his face (and let’s be honest, this scene is far from implausible). Assuming, again, that the male involved was a willing participant, would we be discussing how that man's "facial" was problematic? Of course not. Not even if the woman went around telling her girlfriends how the experience made her “feel like a woman.”
Ms. Sharper closes with a discussion of underage children as consumers of pornography and I must agree that that is troubling. But surely no one can honestly believe the porn industry is to blame for this. (One can only assume Ms. Sharper does; please see the title of this article.) They certainly aren't marketing their wares to adolescents...kids are googling free porn on their computers at home and/or buying it with their parents' credit cards, but it's preposterous to hold the industry itself accountable for this behavior.
As far as the porn industry is concerned, perhaps the objectification of women shouldn't be Ms. Sharper’s key concern. After all, as feminists, we desire equality for men and women, right? So we should really be far more concerned about the men in the industry. On the whole, women earn more than double the salaries of men. Not only that, many mainstream (female) stars own their own companies, write their own scripts, and are otherwise in complete control of their work. And find it empowering. The same cannot be said of the males in the industry. In fact, men in porn are widely considered mere props, used only for their rock-hard cocks--so they've essentially been reduced to little more than their genitalia...and if that's not objectification, I don't know what is.

Wow, 76 comments and

Wow, 76 comments and nobody's pointed out the article was in Details not GQ?

Anonymous and Counter-logic arguments.

Dear Anonymous,

You have an standard, uninspired approach which relies heavily on a truckload of logical fallacies. I’ll admit that I do not expect you to actually read all of this, nor do I expect you to respond to EXACTLY what I’ve written. Further, if you do respond, I expect you to fling out grandiose comments that reflect a lack of understanding as to the reality and the psychology involved in porn, teen sexuality, and the BDSM community.

I would love it if you proved me wrong, though.

“Before someone jumps on me for attacking bd/sm, I'm not saying that those women aren't choosing or enjoying the situation, but you have to admit that to an impressionable teenager (or a grownup with the mental landscape of a teenager), the message isn't exactly on the side of empowered female enjoyment.”

So either you are saying that CHOOSING something which you ENJOY is not empowered enjoyment... which is ridiculous... or you are saying that adults should live their lives and acquire their entertainment through nothing which should not be for young teens. In which case, The Godfather is very, very bad. Are we encouraging our youth to become gangsters? Might they not misunderstand?

Shouldn’t we consider some things adult and not dismiss them because a child wouldn’t understand?

“Many, if not most, serious BDSMers have a great deal of difficulty maintaining stable relationships. Many men in the lifestyle are just abusers, and most of the women are just working out daddy/self-esteem issues.”

This is entirely personal assumption. Yet you express it as fact.

How is exagerating and making shit up empowering, positive, or a good model for teens?

“Dominance and submission is a BAD model for lasting, fulfilling relationships. "Submissive" is a BAD thing to be, in a relationship or anywhere else, save in brief fantasy or fantasy enactment. The author is RIGHT when she equates submissive with harmful.”

Without using the word “dominant”, what’s the opposite of “submissive”? Assertive.

If the one extreme is bad, so is the other.

And you are being exceedingly assertive. Or do you believe that reality works best, when it’s unbalanced?

“There are certain subcultures that don't earn respect. Neo-nazis or Glenn Beck viewers, in the political realm. Extreme cults, in the religious realm. And the BDSM scene, in the sexual realm.
...
Apparently you can't follow a discussion. I didn't call you a Nazi.”

No, you didn’t call anyone a Nazi. You EQUATED them with Nazis, by the way you worded your post. To imply otherwise is, again, deceitful.

“When you legitimize BDSM (as it is practiced in the dominant hetrosexual culture, ignoring the tiny slice of female dominants)”

What tiny slice? Again, your ignorance of the reality is amazing. Submissive males seems to just pop out of the woodwork. In fact, I’d say that submissive males are, by far, the most common type of BDSM fan.

“But, having made that choice, they have no standing to challenge the sexual politics of those who support gender equality. I don't have hypocritical sexual politics|”

So, in essence, you are saying, “I’m not hypocritical, I just think that anyone who doesn’t support my beliefs is wrong and has no right (standing) to argue with me”.

Right.

You seem to be vomiting your ego, everywhere.

“Female submission is destructive sexual politics. People who state this are not prudes. They are supporting equality.“

You are supporting their equal right to believe as you do. That is all that you are supporting. If you were supporting equality, then you would support the right to choose something you would not.

Until you can do that, you have failed to even believe in equality.

It seems apparent that you have an axe to grind. Most people do. However, it would never hurt a valid argument, to stick with facts and not fling anything and everything that you can think of.

If, on the other hand, you don't feel that your argument is strong, then I understand your tendency to keep spraying people with your "facials", hoping something will "stick".

Expectations.

I'm not concerned about your "expectations" - and you have at least as big an axe as anyone, else you wouldn't be engaging in the name calling. To respond.

1. Let's start with the fallacy, "because I enjoy it, it must be good and empowering." (Actually that post you are responding to is not mine). And let's make a crucial distinction, between casual bedroom play and "lifestyle." Those in the lifestyle will not date outside the BDSM community, or will profess great unhappiness or dissatisfaction when they do. It is very different to say "I enjoy a piece of chocolate cake, or a good spanking," and it is another to make chocolate cake an obsession or make a good spanking (and more) a fundamental basis for a relationship, such that you will be unhappy in a relationship without it.

So, most submissives will say they have an "orientation" rather than a hobby. It isn't something that they are doing as icing on the cake of an otherwise happy relationship, but a central part of their identiy. It is an urge, a compulsion, and something that causes them a fair amount of UNhappiness. So, it isn't really about CHOOSING anything, for many, as they will admit.

The difference is between casual drinkers and alcoholics. The question, or disagreement, we have is whether the urge, compulsion, or orientation is more like alcoholism (harmful and dysfunctional), or more like homosexuality (just another way of being in the world).

2. Stop saying that my personal assumptions are invalid, just because you disagree. I know probably a hundred people in the local community. I also work with dv. My slice of experience may not be scientific, but my observation isn't ignorant. Just drop the "I know, you don't crap" - we have different experiences, and on the internet, we can't win that battle. Don't bother.

3. What is this semantic game: what is the opposite of submissive? I dunno, get a Thesaurus, it will have dozens of words, and not just the ones you choose and no, it isn't logical that if one extreme is bad, so is the other. Smart is good, the other extreme is not. Brave is good the other extreme is not. This is just silly. This isn't even a fun game.

4. Submissive men are largely single. Dominant women are rare. The actual, practicing, public percentage of femdom relationships is pretty tiny. No, this isn't ignorance talking; it's hanging out in clubs and talking to people over a period of several years.

5. Hypocrisy. You aren't unpacking this. If the subjugation of women is a major problem in the world, then glorifying the subjugation of women is bad politics. If I may use a perhaps offensive comparison, perhaps there's a black person that gets off on playing old southern slave scenes. That could be fine for him, as a personal choice. But posting a video of it on youtube, or injecting his preference in a political debate has consequences beyond his personal choice. See, the personal is STILL somewhat distinct from the political. That is exactly what she did - someone, fairly indirectly, indicated that "submission" is bad, in a culture and world that suffers greatly from the subjugation of women, and she attacks that by using her personal choice, rather like the fictional black person posting on youtube.

A second point is: inequality is bad. It's true. She doesn't want to be equal in her personal, intimate relationships - she wants to be a doll to be mangled, or a kitten with a leash. She can claim all she wants that this is a backwards sort of equality, but it isn't. So, she shouldn't pretend she stands for equality. As I said, there are women in Islam who fight for the "freedom" to hide their faces. It's Orwellian, as is the "submissive empowerment" argument - freedom isn't slavery, war isn't peace, submission isn't liberation.

6. Supporting her "right." She can do whatever the hell she wants. People make all sorts of choices. To choose to be unequal is a bad choice. Sorry. She's using her personal choice to criticise people who stand for equality. Again, this is just Orwellian - I don't have to recognize her choice of slavery as a freedom, or of inequality as an expression of equality.

BDSM and respect

"The difference is between casual drinkers and alcoholics. The question, or disagreement, we have is whether the urge, compulsion, or orientation is more like alcoholism (harmful and dysfunctional), or more like homosexuality (just another way of being in the world)."

The cause of alcoholism is not rooted in the elaborate culture of humans imbibing in booze, however, it obviously is triggered and exacerbated by it. That is very unfortunate. But you're essentially taking a prohibitionist stance. Would you then say the way to eradicate alcoholism is to crusade against the culture of alcohol, in all its forms, having been created (and glorified) by many culinarians, not to mention the French, who would probably go to civil war over the freedom to drink wine? Probably not.

By the same token, there people indulge in BDSM to varying degrees. Whether they do it healthily (at any degree - the definition of alcoholism is not how much you drink, it is largely based on how much your habit interferes with your social and occupational functioning) depends on education, understanding and practicing your ability to keep yourself safe, maintaining exit strategies and yes, respecting yourself at all costs. No one ever said BDSM as a sexual practice runs in conflict with that. To indulge in one without having the other under control is sheer emotional (and likely physical) suicide.

And all the safety guidelines I have ever been taught (safe words, silent alarms, how to screen a good partner, how to end things respectfully) have been given to me by lifestyle BDSM practitioners, who are revered in the culture as role models. I might be reaching here, but the fact that you largely run into people who have dysfunctional connections to BDSM might have something to do with the fact that you work with domestic abuse survivors. You're using a post-hoc fallacy - the belief that since many abuse survivors you know indulged in BDSM, BDSM must cause abuse.

My god, yes, of course BDSM practiced without an enormous sense of self-respect and a strong ability to know where to draw the line wherever YOU need it is not a model for sexual relationships, or sexual politics for that matter. Yeeeeeeesh. But you are miseducating people to say that BDSM and self-respect are mutually exclusive. One cannot work without the other.

Lastly, don't use my kinks as a mangled version of "what I want" as a social model. If someone can't make the distinction between the two concepts, then YES, they are not a good candidate to participate in BDSM culture. Not because BDSM is bad, but because that person is simply not able to think in the way you need to be able to to live in the culture positively.

Alcoholism

Just to keep the place in the discussion:

I brought up alcoholism in response to what is essentailly a "you're against people doing what they enjoy" or "you don't like fun" argument. I noted that we are not talking about mere fun, but compulsion/need, and our disagreement was in the health of the compulsion/need. Perhaps we are in agreement on that point.

You now say I'm prohibitionist. Since I made a distinction between casual fun and compulsion, I don't follow.

Let me make a few observations -

First, as to the wonderful mentors, community leaders, etc. - you know, and I know, that if you want to see a therapist, you need to go to one of the couple dozen (in my town of 2 million) kink-friendly folks , else you are very likely to get someone who will freak out, or at least inquire very pointedly, about the fact that you are spending a lot of time stuck with needles, and being humiliated and peed on. Now, it MAY be that psychiatrists are just backward and wrong, and it is true that (actually like almost everything else), the DSMV only classifies sadomasochism as a separate disorder when it interferes with functioning. But it is a huge sign of alarm, for many, if not most, professionals.

There are probably several reasons for this. One may be that BDSM isn't sex. It is a fetish, one that becomes an overwhelming requirement in finding romantic partners. I can break this down if it isn't clear, but there is reason to believe that focus on a fetish as a foundation of a relationship is more likely a path to grief in relationships than bliss.

A second is very simple. The prior poster wanted to play "opposites." THESE are opposites: love and violence, respect and control. Now, most of us, in our jumbled experience, sometimes feel like control is love, or have the experience of finding how quickly passion can turn to hate. Some of us understand the chemical high that comes from the intersection of exhaustion, pain, and arousal. It is one thing to acknowledge that human experience can be complex and paradoxical - it is quite another to pass to the other side of the mirror and live your primary relationship in opposite-land, where love is mostly pain, and control is your respect. Respect has no objective meaning anymore, when crawling around on all fours and barking is considered respect. So, when you say "self-respect" "at all cost" you are just typing letters and lying to yourself. In fact, very typically, you have reduced "resepct" to mere physical safety (safewords and technique and exit stragies). There's a lot more to self-respect than avoiding severe bodily harm, but submissives often have contracted the concept to nothing greater than self-preservation. That's why they forfeit their place in feminist discussion, because respect and equality are words they literally don't understand.

To continue with simple observations: it isn't ok to have a NEED to hurt, humiliate, and control other people. All of us can relate to the urge, at times, to do so. It isn't ok to have a NEED to be hurt, humiliated, and controlled. These are not strictly sexual needs, and aren't orientations, but rather common emotions and relatinship patterns justified and taken to pathological lengths. The answer is, usually, "I'm wired that way" or "but it feels good to me" or "it isn't bad if there's consent." But people do all sorts of things because it feels good to them and it feels like a part of their identity - that doesn't mean that it's good and healthy. And, as you've probably guessed, I despise the pathetic rationale of "consent" as a justification for everything under the sun. "Consent" in the BDSM realm is essentially a legal, contractual concept imposed inappropriately on the complexity of intimate relationships, and reflects a poverty of understanding or more probably a deliberate misunderstanding of human behavior. Living in opposite-land, you see people in long term relationships signing written contracts that govern their day to day interaction, that provide that someone will be tossed out and rejected for small violations. That isn't the way humans work. And I'll go a step further: that is particularly not the way that most women work. Imposing strict contractual lines or a cold, commercial concept like "consent" in intimate relationships as a philosophical foundation is the one of the most patriachial and female-unfriendly frameworks imaginable.

And having the urge to hit someone may be bad for gays or in a nonsexual context, but it takes on many more layers of complexity, political implication, and evil in a society and a world where men have, for thousands of years, subjugated women through sex and sexual violence, and women have, for thousands of years, been conditioned to accept it and believe in their souls that this is the way they are, or what God intended. Men who want to hurt and control women aren't the good guys.

That is a response, and recap, of the personal aspect of the lifestyle. No, it isn't because I got a bad or warped slice of experience. Moving on to the political - you say don't make "what I want" as a mangled version of social policy, but isn't that exactly what you've done? You are the one who justified money shots by saying that submission is ok. Money shots are, in isolation, objectively and culturally degrading, although in the context of some relationships, they may be good fun. But I think, like most BDSM activities, it works for some couples because they think they are relishing, transcending, or breaking the taboo of, an act that is objectively degrading. If everyone wore a dog collar, they would stop being symbols of dehumanzation, and I can guarantee you that D/s couples would stop wearing them, but find arousal in something else that was objectively dehumanizing in the culture. You aren't really denying the inequality, degradation, etc of the acts in question, and in fact it is in part precisely because they are degrading and dehumanizing that you find them erotic. Even if in your context, by embracing dehumanization or inequality, you think you find truer humanity or greater equality, it is apparent that universalizing the experience is problematical and harmful. You are also begging to ruin your fun by normalizing something that you pursue partly because it isn't the norm. I think we are finally in agreement on that, yes?

No. Not at all. Not even a

No. Not at all. Not even a little bit. I can't even remember the last time I came across someone so obtuse.

Two points I have to clarify and I am DONE with this: I never said anything about universalizing ANYTHING. I am supporting consensual choice. You know, in the same way that people who support the choice to have an abortion are not PRO-abortion, they are supporting the freedom to have one if it suits someone's personal needs.

Second, I didn't say anything to equate my kinks with social policy. YOU stole my kinks from a restricted-access website and pseudonym-governed profile which solely targets other people looking for similar kinks, and dropped it as a red-herring bomb in the middle of a public forum about sexual politics.

You are the one not deserving of respect in political discourse. I've been far too respectful of your ridiculous opinions for far too long. I am done. Finished. Over. Now fuck off.

For you edification

This facebook group may give you something to consider. The link has about as detailed a description of everything wrong with BDSM and the BDSM culture as you'll find anywhere, from a sex positive point of view.

http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=64053174528

At the very least, it will help you argue next time you if you ever have this debate again.

Addiction and Losing Control

Two quick things:

1. Your notion of BDSM *requires* it to be an addiction (e.g. "It is a fetish, one that becomes an overwhelming requirement in finding romantic partners." "It isn't ok to have a NEED to be hurt, humiliated, and controlled"). You then claim that such behavior is harmful. If it is an addiction, then it is harmful basically by definition. What about BDSM practitioners who don't practice BDSM compulsively?

2. Jumping out of a plane is usually a terrible idea. It is generally extremely harmful to the practitioner, and once out of the plane one loses all control over the situation, unless the appropriate precautions are taken. Yet, people do it all the time in an entirely safe manner. Moreover, it is fun in part *because* you lose control. You don't need to be suicidal to want to go skydiving.

Of course, there are those who do not do it safely (and I'm sure the number of unsafe BDSM practitioners is far higher), and there are also those that do it compulsively, but neither the danger nor the addiction are inherent in the activity. I don't see why BDSM is different. One is voluntarily engaging in what would otherwise be a harmful activity. If done right, however, it can be both safe an enjoyable. What's wrong with that?

An intelligent focused reply, thanks.

1. BDSM isn't always, or probably isn't usually, an addiction. It runs the spectrum from playful biting to knife, gun and breath play. There is a subculture of those who consider it an orientation, or can't be happy in a relationship without it. Most of my comments were directed at that subculture.

Among those who are not in that subculture, I don't think anyone could judge whether it is helpful or harmful to the participants or their relationship, except the couple or someone close to them.

2. BDSM is complex. There are physical aspects, and mental aspects. There is nothing wrong with getting an endorphin rush - one way to get it is skydiving, another is through pain. There can also be a rush from doing something risky or taboo sexually.

3. Where BDSM gets very problematic, usually on the personal level, but absolutely on the political level, is the Master/servant dynamic, and heavily symbolic scenes, like rape, torture, and humiliation - when it moves from the physical to the eroticism of unequal power dynamics and violence. Rape, torture, and subordination of anyone (particularly historically oppressed groups by their oppressors) are evil. Our culture is very worshipful of power, and power is eroticized, so it can be natural to have an attraction to this sort of dynamic. The participants are enacting fundamentally regressive and repressive cultural roles.

It's hard to find something laudable in it. If a guy, for example, gets off on rape fantasies, I don't think it's too much of a stretch to believe that he more likely than not has some issues with respecting women, at the very least. I can't see why anyone would suddenly embrace his inclination as benign just because he found a willing female, who will enact a scene in which she pretends to be unwilling. Humiliation and subordination are objectively bad, and ever present in our lives. It's weird to claim they are suddenly completely nonproblematic, just because two people are sexually aroused by them, rather than one.

On the more political level, we have people (as I believe the poster I was arguing with), who want to claim that being a submissive is a feminist choice, and that feminists are sex-averse for recoiling. This attitude is expressed in this article:

http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/991988/bdsm_and_feminism.html?c...

"I believe in equality for all, yet I choose to be unequal in my own relationship at home. I choose to kneel and serve in whichever way he requires. I choose to have him make the decisions."

This quote is self-evidently absurd. If you believe in equality, you don't "choose to be unequal." The woman can choose to be unequal - it isn't any of my business - but should shouldn't lie about her belief in equality, and if she doesn't believe in equality, she needs to pass on claiming to be a feminist. Other submissive women will argue that they are equal, even though they are completely subordinate to their partner, because it takes strength submit, and they are exercising freedom to choose. Choosing not to be free isn't freedom. "Submissive" is bad.

"Among those who are not in

"Among those who are not in that subculture, I don't think anyone could judge whether it is helpful or harmful to the participants or their relationship, except the couple or someone close to them."

To me this says "for those who practice BDSM in a healthy way, it is not possible to judge whether it is harmful to them".

I think that basically sums up everybody else's point. Like, really. That's what everyone else was saying, except in angrier words. Angrier words which are understandable, since you insulted their life choices, compared their subculture to neo-Nazism (very early on), and eventually attacked them personally. I encourage you to reread all the comments and think about that.

Not at all....

If they weren't defending the subculture, why did they care how I characterized it?

The poster I was arguing with was linking this thread on a BDSM messageboard, under "BDSM activism." If she hadn't done that, I probably wouldn't have found her on google. She isn't a casual player, and she wasn't defending casual players.

In my opinion, the subculture is entirely comparable to the worst elements of society. It glorifies violence, rape and slavery, encourages violence, rape and slavery, and results in tremendous damage to a great many people. If that isn't fairly comparable to Neo-Nazis, I don't know what is.

As a member of that subculture, it's a bit hypocritical for her to freak out about Nazi comparisons:

"My silence about lesbian sadomasochism ended when I saw two anti Semitic sadomasochists at a women’s festival. One woman who wore a yarmulke was being walked like a dog with a chain around her neck by a woman in Nazi “leathers.”"

http://www.mediawatch.com/wordpress/?p=21

Perhaps someone else was talking about casual players, but she wasn't.

Having looked carefully at the thread

I think your comments are completely off base. Look at the root of this discussion - JPJ's post - where I am quoted disapprovingly - all my comments about the subculture (eg serious BDSMers, "lifestyle" "model for relationships"). Then, after a reply with no personal attacks, JPJ says I hate women and I'm flinging monkey shit. I said nothing of the kind. In fact, in this thread, I don't see a single personal attack from me. How is it I'm attacking people?

Ms Price considers herself a BDSM activist, and considers her posts here to be a form of her activism. I don't think she should hide behind vague words, but needs to deal with who she actually is, and what she does, particularly when she asks me to look her up, if she wants to be an activist.

The real problem was the BDSM wasn't the topic of the post, but Ms Price needed to defend the concept of female submission. Most of that discussion is gone now, for better or worse.

But thanks for the suggestion, anyway.

Trolls

Hi there,

I'm just dropping in to say one thing that my more web-savvy friends have told me:

DFTT...Don't feed the trolls. I highly encourage you to get the f_ out of this message board before this person pulls you in and makes you lose sleep over her negativity and frighteningly irrational, politicized personal agenda. I complained about the previous thread to get it removed and the administrators thanked me profusely for drawing their attention to such "batshit-crazy" commenters. Apparently their staff is very small and they sometimes have to rely on readers to let them know when things get out of control.

This person will pull you in and if not personally attack you, will make you feel awful simply out of frustration with her inability to process logical argument.

She and her ilk are simply haters. I checked out her 'educational' facebook page and it is rife with people coming in, challenging their assumptions, hitting their heads against the same brick wall, and leaving as angrily as I did and as JPJ did.

Also, there is a member of their group who gloats on their wall about having started a message thread on bondage.com (http://www.facebook.com/topic.php?uid=64053174528&topic=10308, which I did read when it was originally posted) complaining about how she loves "causing tissue damage" but hates power exchange (which really, no one had a problem with) and then goes and misrepresents them as assholes on FB when, if you go to the actual b.com thread (http://www.bondage.com/topic_id/288401/forums/topic.html) everyone encouraged her to simply do as she pleases, but stop with the unprovoked negativity and rage. I believe some did encourage her to seek help, not because of her sexuality, but because she was so directionlessly angry and resentful. These people are not rational nor are they honest. The more you feed them the more they will twist your words and misrepresent you.

Trying to discuss BDSM with this commenter is about as enlightening as trying to talk about gay marriage with Bill O'Reilly.

Run, run!! Or she'll pull you under the bridge into the darkness!

Name calling

This comment has been deleted by the administrators.

No name calling, please. BE NICE! Seriously. We're tired of having to tell you, since we know you are nice and civil people who are just getting a tad agitated. Cool your jets!

~ Team Bitch

Wow

Ms Price just said I was "bat-shit crazy" irrational, a troll, a hater, and incapable of processing logical thought.

I merely REPEAT her comment about processing logical thought, and MY comment gets pulled?

You lost my subscription.

Troll

A troll is someone who diverts an internet discussion away from the primary topic with posts he or she knows are likely to controversial or unpopular on the website.

The troll, in this case, would be the person who diverted a post on mainstream porn on a webpage with a feminist audience to accuse the author of implying submissive women were weak and damaged, knowing that female submission isn't popular among conventional feminists, not the person who perhaps too verbosely and conventionally responded.

Just for the sake of accuracy.

I know

Thanks for the heads up about the troll. I'm well aware. I know you can't reason with someone who Godwins a discussion nearly instantaneously. I just wanted to show some (anonymous) support for the sake of the reasonable people on this board.

For the record, BDSM is not at all appealing to me, and I have no personal stake in this conversation. It just vexes me judgment thrown around.

Cheers! Live long and

Cheers! Live long and prosper, fellow non-batshit crazy lady (or dude) ;)

BDSM and/or hardcore submission doesn't appeal to many, if not most people. I can see why, but damned if I'd let anyone get in the way of me gettin' mine or put down the magic I've seen people (me included) find in it!

Appreciate the support! Have a good long weekend,

M

I'll just mention a basic

I'll just mention a basic fallacy that I see here. If you hold something as a value, someone is going to be excluded from your admiration. I saw some people debating on the net whether it was tolerant to be intolerant of people who were intolerant. It seems a foolish debate, because you can't approve of intolerance and uphold tolerance. Having a value means some views are rejected, else there is no need to even think about having a value.

JPJ makes this argument:

"You are supporting their equal right to believe as you do. That is all that you are supporting. If you were supporting equality, then you would support the right to choose something you would not. Until you can do that, you have failed to even believe in equality."

It's the same argument. If I support equality, then I necessarily reject some views and lifestyles, namely those, like submission, Islam, or tradional Christian religious models, that are unequal. Are those people who want those things less equal? They don't embrace equality, and choose to be unequal, so they are in fact unequal, lesser, and diminished, by choice, at least in that area of their lives. Supporting them, in legitimizing their choice to be unequal, undermines the value and goal of equality. Saying that I don't treat the rejection of equality as equal to the acceptance of equality isn't a valid point. JPJ likes these semantic fallicies.

Point proven. Time to move on...

Actually that post you are responding to is not mine

If it wasn't you, then it was a different anonymous. So... why respond to it?

And, if you want to fling your monkey shit, under cover of anonymity, then you reap the effects.

I don't even believe you. Using the anonymous tag, you are able to claim or deny ANY Anonymous post. How cheap, tawdry, and sad.

Stop saying that my personal assumptions are invalid, just because you disagree. I know probably a hundred people in the local community. I also work with dv. My slice of experience may not be scientific, but my observation isn't ignorant. Just drop the "I know, you don't crap"

Yep.

I'm done, with you. There is no point in continuing any discussion because you have no intent to discuss or share information, but merely to hurl your opinions.

For the benefit of anyone else reading this, you are the one who is taking the "I'm right and you peole are sick, damaging to women, etc, etc, etc". And it is entirely normal (read: prosaic, dull, logically infantile) that you should use, as a weapon, your own failings.

You are full of opinions that simply do not bear out, in my experience, readings, or understanding of psychology. However, you express them as if they are obvious facts.

When challenged, you do nothing more than repeat them or make even more ridiculously grand statments.

I participated at the request of a friend.

I'll not continue any further, because I value my sanity and I'm not interested in wallowing in your pit of hatred, any longer.

And yes, I believe that you (unconsciously, I am sure) hate women.

Argue that, deny it, state that I am obviously wrong... but your failure to be explicit in no way undermines your (self?) hatred.

Try finding a balanced ground. Until you can see the balance in the statements of others, you are simply raging and hating.

How's that working, for you?

Goodbye, Anony Mouse. I have to have a shower, now.

I'll not return, but feel free to spray your invective, at me. I can handle it.

Invective?

Where? Did I accuse you a flinging monkey shit? No. Did I say you hate women? No. In fact, I didn't say anything about you, personally.

So, you reference your experience, and discount mine because it is different than yours, and reference a wealth of knowledge that proves I'm wrong.

Both your posts are relatively content free, and certainly contain no verifiable information. You criticise me, because I note that a post that I largely agree with wasn't authored by me? Seriously? This is how you make a point?

This is the best you can do? And I'm wasting YOUR time?

Equality?

Please define "equality." You claim that inequality is "bad" -- such a deep and philosophical term that, "bad" -- but my experience (and a healthy dose of logic) tell me that no relationship between two people is ever "equal."

Is equality each partner doing exactly one half of the chores? How does one count chores that require different skills, or even attitudes? If I clean the kitchen sink and you clean the toilet, have we done an equal amount of work? It takes about the same amount of "elbow grease" to clean each, but almost everyone would choose the sink over the toilet. For some people cleaning a house is an enjoyable Zen-like experience. I bet Martha Stewart gets an absolute high off cleaning. Other people find it tedious. It seems that even the chores can't be divided equally, not when we considered them in their full reality.

It seems to me that reality itself conspires to force us into a contracted and negotiated exchanges of power. Ultimately no negotiation is between equals, because everyone is unique both in ability and temperament. Equality is an illusion, and in my experience relationship defined by the participants as "equal" are always, inevitabely, equal as defined by one partner's terms. Demanding equality often seems to merely be a passive-aggressive means of topping from the bottom.

"Equality" becomes even more suspect when one acknowledges the real differences in real power that exist between people. If Person A loves Person B so much they can hardly breathe without them, and Person B is moderately attracted to Person A, then Person B has tremendous power in the relationship. If that isn't acknowledged, then Person B will probably abuse that power. They might, for example, demand a form of "equality" from Person A that is actually strong advantageous to Person B, which Person A agrees to out of fear of losing Person B. Again, the illusion of equality.

Everyone in a relationship is in a D/s relationship. Most of them are simply unaware of the dynamics, and scared of examining them honestly. The scene or community is simply people who are aware of the dynamic because they happen to fall outside the socially acceptable margin. They aren't engaged by the "equality" game, and want to play games that excite them. For some people those games are the defining element of their lives.

Also, I think you are seeing the world in black and white, to the usual absurd ends. Is bravery really always good? An Al-Queda operative who is able to remain calm while smuggling a bomb into a packed public space is brave, but is it good? Wouldn't the world be a better place if he was a coward and couldn't go through with it? Is smart always good? Robert Oppenheimer was smart; so smart he built a bomb the harnessed the power of nuclear fission and both triggered the cold war (and all of the small hot wars that were fought by proxy states) and added the term "mutually assured destruction" to the lexicon.

Don't you ever wish Mrs. Oppenheimer had drank a bit too much while pregnant? Maybe dropped little Bobbie on his head once or twice? I came of age in Reagan's America, and I know a good deal of my adult anxiety can be traced to childhood fears of nuclear Armageddon. So many very smart men, marching us ever towards that cliff of global extinction.

If you find yourself seeing the world in black and white, at least try to remember the tao, and its symbol for the yin-yang. Black and white, but each in its heart reflecting the other. When you view the world from this perspective, of enlightenment, then it becomes clear that there is liberation in submission -- whether it be the knowledge gained by a student who submits to a teacher's authority, or the total orgasmic release of a sub submitting to a dom -- just as there is loss of freedom in being a dominant.

It's not Orwellian. It's not that freedom IS slavery, it's that IN slavery one can find freedom. It's Carrolian. It's all about what's one the other side of the looking glass, and how we get from here to there.

Sophistry

Household chores? If one person cleans the sink and the other the toilet, they are not unequal in their cleaning responsibilities. If one person does most of the work, then they are unequal in their cleaning responsibilities. If one person does all of the work, then they are very unequal in this particular aspect of the relationship. This aspect of their relationship may or may not be important, or it may be made up for in other ways, but it isn't unusual for a disparity in work to be a source of resentment. That's because, by and large, inequality is bad. As to being madly in love with someone who isn't in love with you - I'm not sure where you are going with that unfortunate example, but it certainly isn't moral for the less committed person to abuse the other, or wise for the more committed person to stay. It may be understandable to some extent on both sides, but it isn't a model for a healthy relationship - many of us have lived that train wreck before, and many of us didn't have any illusions about the power dynamics, which are hardly subtle.

But I wasn't talking about measuring equality in household chores, but in respect and power. If the person cleaning the toilet doesn't have the freedom to discuss and negotiate a swap in duties, that person lacks respect and power in the relationship. If one person has an express license to physically harm and humiliate the other, that is an inequality in status and power. In the real world, these are rightfully seen as destructive relationships or illegal acts. In D/s, it's seen as poetry, because it gets somebody horny. As fantasy, it's no problem - but that isn't real submission, just a game. This isn't a game to lifestylers.

Equality is a common value. Is it an imprecise concept, like love, liberty, happiness? Certainly. But I'm not the one making a fetish about extreme inequalities in status and respect, and pretending that intentionally pursuing extreme inequality is really equality. Power dynamics and unequal status exist throughout the world. That doesn't mean that there is no difference between actions taken to increase them, and actions taken to mitigate them.

Your assertion that everyone is in a D/s relationship is absurd. In most relationships, basic respect is given and expected. Unequal status is not pursued as a virtue, a baseline rule, or a fetish. I'm not asserting that all people need to be exactly equal in all things, but only that it is a value to treat everyone, especially your intimate partners, with respect and strive for fairness. I'm not fetishizing equality; BDSM is fetishising inequality. The burden is on the BDSM advocates, not me, to explain how that is healthy.

Wait, since is bashing a

Wait, since is bashing a woman who happens to like something you don't considered feminist? If a grown woman, no matter if she's 22 or 52, likes facials it's not up to you to say why she likes them.

I'm not an anti-feminist, but...

after reading Anonymous BDSM-hater, I find myself having thoughts about jamming an icepick in the eyesocket of the first self-described feminist I see. Probably a good time to curl up with a nice cup of cocoa and an Ellen Willis essay. The latter might serve as a good reminder of what feminism looks like when its combined with intelligence and basic respect for people as individuals, something that's easy to lose site of after reading the kind of hate Anony and people like her or him are spewing.

The original post makes quite a to-do about negative messages coming from porn. But perhaps the rhetoric used by some of the more hateful radfems here should make us all reflect on some of the hugely negative messages coming out of feminism.

Concern trolling bingo

It's typically a bad idea to threaten violence against women on a feminist message board, unless you are a concern troll.

Which you clearly are.

Oh, and blaming feminists -- or, women who step out of what you consider to be the line -- for violence against women is not original or compelling.

If you want my opinion about

If you want my opinion about porn, I can say that it spoils not only the teens, but all the men. I can't deny the fact that porn is usually used as a sexually explicit material, but it can create in the consciousness the wrong impression and opinion about sex life, I don't even mention that porn promotes body standards for teens. My nephew broke up with her bf just because he considered that her natural breasts were "wrong"! Guys! Where's the romance here?

Porn will only become more

Porn will only become more mainstream. It's inevitable. It will also become more degrading, more problematic, more whatever you complain about. You are trapped now, caught forever in a push-pull where the more you complain about the issue the more weight you give to the taboo, and thus the more incentive you create to violate it.

Welcome to the 21st Century, where we have turned rebellion in a cultural value. The same social forces that give rise to feminism give rise to hardcore gonzo pornography. We live a moral vacuum, and there is no authority we can trust. Religion has failed us, the state has failed us, academia has failed us. When the counterculture became the culture (long live rock and roll!), the old paradigm collapsed. We live in the ruins.

Feminism has no authority except the authority we grant it as individuals. At the end of the day notions like "equality" and "subjugation", "patriarchy" and "empowerment," these are just buzzwords and jargon. They mean no more than words like "sin" and "atonement," "patriotism" and "civic duty." Feminism is a false authority, based largely tautology and fallacy, convoluted and sophist arguments that play fast and loose with the facts, and the occasional useful insight. In this sense feminism is no different than evangelical Christianity, or Rastafarianism, or any other system of belief. It's authority is an illusion.

So when feminists complain, it is no different than when Christians complain, or Republicans complain, or anyone without real authority complains. You have no real power to affect change, so you are forced to either seek real power -- and thus become tyrants, as all ideologues do when they seize power -- or to play on guilt and fuck with people's heads.

As Barnum said, you can fool some of the people all of the time, and all people some of the time, but you can't fool all the people all the time. That's true whether you're peddling circus hokum or feminist ideology.

So when you say facials are bad, and facials are degrading, and that's not good, well...all you really do is get those biased to agree with you to agree, and give those biased against you a new way to annoy you.

Because at the end of the day, you pretend to have power you don't have, and people who pretend to have power they don't always, inevitably, attract jesters and trolls who find pleasure and purpose in aggravating you and watching you flail helplessly as your power is revealed to be the illusion it is.

What about the woman's pleasure?

The pornification of sexuality is all around the guy. Women like power and want male attention. But this is not the same as a woman discovering and enjoying sex, which is the greatest position of power of all.

But...when young women believe that they DO NOT have sexuality without being shaved, siliconed, tanned, and pornified, that's wrong. The gay movement knows that when they take away your right to your own love and sexuality, that is disempowering. When a young woman cannot hold her head up high as a sexual being without being pornified in appearance, that's wrong. When a young woman says the words "oral sex" but always means, giving it only, that's wrong. When a young woman aims to get spooged in the face, you know it's not about HER orgasm. It's about being a willing performer. It's about being the "bestest little behaving girl ever" to her authority. When sex and what is sexual becomes performance all around the guy getting off, when sex becomes "I have to do this or another woman will," it's not about HER sexuality and pleasure. It's not empowering. And we take her sexuality and demonize the real woman's desire as surely as those wingnuts who hate and want to stamp out gays. If a woman who is not shaved, siliconed, etc, and a performer is not allowed to have a sex drive, that's hating.

1 in 4 girls out of 1000

1 in 4 girls out of 1000 surveyed wanted to be lap dancers. I call serious BS, and don't even feel the need to stick around and be told I'm right.

the other side of the street.

OK - I'm going to put this right out there, I find this type of discourse useless.

We ALL, men and women, 22 and 77, run the same gambit imposed upon us by culture - categorizing men as "clueless" and women as "victims" takes the power of self-awareness and responsibility from both.

What type of effect on the male psyche do you think constant Viagra and Enzite commercials have? Grow your penis by 4 inches? Make her love you again? Have sex with local singles tonight! (because you're worthless if you aren't)

The pornographic industry teaches ALL OF US that we are inadequate.

A man that hate giving facials

From my standpoint, I can no understand why a person will want to ejaculate on the face of a woman that them claim to love or even like. If/whenever I have sex or masturbate, I hate to even have my semen get on my own body,because one will have to be cleaning up and taking a shower to get the residue & smell off; and I think most men feel the same way. On the other hand I love to get my babie's love-juices all over my pubic area & abdomen. I think the writer of the article made the right observation that Pron has had a lot on popular culture today by making us like things that we probably wouldn't have liked or done ordinarily. Some of these include Oral-Sex, shave pubic hair, anal sex, etc. I would love to experiment with all of these things but after considering the health implications, I choose not to. For instance many people don't know that after repeated persistent anal, one is prone to wear-out the anal Sphincters and in older age, one will be more prone to bowel incontinence. And in the case of Oral-sex, by performing it on a person who is infected with HPV (which 90% of sexually active adults have) one increases the chances of one getting "Head & Neck" Cancer. So, I think my body, hand & long-body is enough to pleas my woman.

Personally I look at women as beautiful gems. So, why would one wanna defecate over a priceless jewel?

If you hate your woman, then go right ahead; fuck her, cum on her face, even urinate all over her & defecate in her mouth and do any other nasty thing you can think of. Personally, I can't & wouldn't, even if I can't stand her anymore.

You under estimate a teenage mind

Sure, maybe young boys and girls get their ideas of sex from porn. I accept that, and its probably true.

The overall point that should remain most important is WHO CARES????

Lets face it, any sex act, other than intercourse itself, is not mutually pleasurable. A woman giving a blow job, more often than not, gets no physical pleasure for herself while doing it, yet they do it to please their partner. If they hate it, then guess what....they do not do it. The same is true for a man going down on a woman.

So I would imagine, being the parent of a teenager, that once they try something, they can then determine for themselves rather or not they like it, and either do it as often as they like or not at all. My son does not like mushrooms, so guess what? He does not eat them, and no movie, or song, will make him.

So maybe a teenage girl takes a shot on the face and decides she does not like it. Will it traumatize her for life? Probably not. Will she learn not to do it again? Probably. Maybe she does it and loves it, worst case scenario, she does it again. OH NO! Even worse, it decreases the chance of her getting pregnant dramatically. Oh the humanity!

I am in my late 30's. I was a teenager once. I did stupid things like every other teenager. If it caused me pain I did not do it twice. As the parent of a teenager, I do stupid things like encourage my son to think for himself, and make decisions for himself and to NOT be influenced by music, movies or magazines. What a concept!

I am a realist. My son is going to watch porn. However, I have also done crazy things like, teach him to be respectful to women, and never assume anything. He has a girlfriend. We had to move away and she lives an hour away from him. They go to different schools, and a year later, they still are together. I am guessing that is because he does not try to "dominate" or "degrade" her. Probably because I raised him better than that.

I understand that all parents do not take that kind of responsibility for their child, however, the point remains. A teenager can think for themselves and if they do not like something, they are capable of figuring it out on their own. You have your opinions on this matter and that is great, however you do no service to yourself or young adults by assuming they are incapable of their own thoughts and their own decisions.

Hello, I'm nineteen years

Hello, I'm nineteen years old, and I have been having regular sex since I was sixteen. Right from the beginning, I enjoyed it when my partner came on my face, breasts, and lower back/bottom. I loved getting slapped in the face with his cock, and getting my hair pulled. I asked for it, not during sex, but before and after when we talked about what we like and don't like. At this point, I had never watched porn.

I started watching it about a year ago, and love it. What kind do I search out? Teacher blackmailing his students into a sex for grades situations, old, fat guys doing ridiculously hot chicks that they would never land in real life, tentacle hentai, and harem sh*t. Would I like being involved in this kind of stuff in real life? Hell no. But neither would I like to be kidnapped on a pirate ship, manage to escape, only to find I'd fallen in love with my captor and return to him, jilting the 'respectable but boring' man my father had selected for me to marry prior to my kidnapping, and sail the seas adventuring with my post-kidnapper pirate husband.

If a boy is stupid enough to think what happens in porn isn't fantasy, he's probably a glaring idiot in other areas too, and I wouldn't want to date him anyway.

Also- I absolutely hate not having public hair. I'm Greek, so my hair is thick, super fast growing, deep-rooted, and generally a pain in the ass to remove. Plus, it makes me look prepubescent. I will never do more than trim it to size and manage a liberal bikini line. On the flip-side, one of my exes *did* shave his balls, which I absolutely hated, it made me feel like I was sleeping with an overgrown seven-year-old. He stopped shaving when I asked him too (I didn't tell him I though he looked like a little boy, I said he'd look extra-manly with more hair). I don't see how this is any different from a man asking his woman to shave. It's the ultimatum and entitlement attitude that I find appalling, not the request.

As for the whole 'dominate and submissive behaviors outside of the bedroom', I actually recently dumped a boy because he was too submissive for me. *I*, a heavily sexually submissive person, dumped my partner because they couldn't fill the role I wanted from them. To me, love without physical intimacy is just friendship. Nothing wrong with friendship, though.

Saying the submissive role doesn't have as much control as the dominate role is ridiculous, neither can function without active participation from both. When you listen to rock music, what do you hear? Vocals and electric guitar. Let's see how far that band gets without it's drummer, though.

I find this article very offensive. So, being pushed around a little and being covered in seamen gets me hot. Now I'm a weak person? Learn to separate how people act in the boudoir from how they are in real life, ffs.

Useless article

This article is useless. There isn't any support for opinions. There are hardly opinions. Everything assumes the reader already knows where the writer is going. If you feel your opinions are so cliche, why write the article in the first place? Why not push your thought beyond the boundaries of the predictable and explore lines of logic further?

I hate to go here, but this article reads like someone who has personal problems and is taking it out on all men. Feminism has moved beyond this kind of mindless man-hating. Get with the program.

I'm interested in the

I'm interested in the reference to braxillian waxing & porn. I have been waxing my public hair for almost 20 years now (i'm in my late 40's) and it was never influenced by porn. when i started waxing i wasn't aware of the "trend" or wasn't at that stage much of a watcher / participant in pornography as we acess it now.

i started waxing when my waxer (a south american woman in her 50's) told me about it and how all the women in her family had it done, especially her grandmother who had concerns about grey public hair so she decided to get it all off. so i gave it a go. the waxing (as with most things i do / choices i make) are for me. it feels fresh, i like it. i feel free after a wax. i walk lighter, it's great when you are menstruating and i just like the look and feel of it.

so i continue to wax. semi regularly.

my current partner (and most partners), love looking so clearly at my vagina, being able to perform wonderful cunninglingus, and i like the visuals (i'm sure he does as well) of our love making.