Wednesday, November 30, 2011

21st century sex and porn women want

Porn Women Want:
James Deen (tumblr)
A fall issue of the Utne Reader is devoted to 21st century sex. Featuring many good articles, it also includes an excerpt from A Billion Wicked Thoughts by Ogi Ogas and Sai Gaddam. The authors boastfully claim to have conducted "the world's largest experiment" "to understand the specific cues that trigger human desire." True, they report some curious findings about people's online searches for porn (on which their purportedly extensive study is based). But they appear sadly unable to unstuck themselves from stereotypical assumptions about gender. "On the web, women prefer stories and men prefer images," they claim. And the kinds of stories women like feature "sexy vampires and lusty werewolves" because "supernatural males are alphas among alphas, turbocharging cues of masculinity ... fully capable of protecting the ones they love." Men, on the other hand, like to look at young women, MILF (Mothers I'd Like to Fuck), big penises, and cuckold porn because it stimulates "sperm competition," which enables a male's sperm to compete with other males' sperm to impregnate a female's egg. ("If a man believes that his sexual partner may have been with a rival, he is driven to have sex with her as quickly and as vigorously as possible").*

If you read their book or the excerpt published in the Utne Reader, I ask that you also read feminist sex and porn blogger Ms. Naughty's sharp post critiquing these authors' study and their findings (I also post a bit about it here). As Ms. Naughty noted when she wrote her post back in June, plenty of other bloggers had by then already pointed out various problems with this book and the methodology used. But Ms. Naughty adds some eyeopening facts debunking their study.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

newsy porn stuff for women and men who care

Is Mapplethorpe's art arousing?
Depends on who you ask.
Adult sex educator Charlie Glickman has written a post Untangling the Gordian Knot of the anti-porn agenda of professor Robert Jensen. It's a long one, but definitely worth plowing through. Writes Charlie in response to Jensen's "demonizing porn (and by extension, porn viewers):" 
I think his arguments would be stronger if he explicitly recognized that how people think about and use porn isn’t evenly split along gender lines, that there are people who are trying to make porn that shows genuine connection and passion between performers, that the reasons that people have fantasies are complex, that the lines between art and porn are fuzzy, and that the reasons that people feel discomfort around porn are personal as well as political. It might not be as conceptually elegant, but it would be much more honest and that’s what we really need.
I particularly appreciate Charlie's refusal to revert to a simplistic pro-porn stance, calling instead for a more nuanced and complex discussion on porn. I agree that "we need to be willing to look at the ways in which the content and messages of porn shapes how we think about sex." And that while "we need to make room for the voices of people who enjoy being in porn (and not tell them that their choices are inauthentic or that they have false consciousness)," we also "need to make room for the voices of people who were treated badly or hurt while performing in porn (and not tell them that they’re making it up or that it’s their fault for making a bad decision)."

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

mom-daughter lingerie ad campaign has the media in a tizzy

The Lake and Stars lingerie and swimwear company has received a lot of attention in the last few days due to a lingerie campaign featuring a mother and her daughter. Fox News is, unsurprisingly, in a tizzy:
“These ads are highly suggestive. They are clearly designed to titillate consumers; mostly men. The incestuous and lesbian suggestions, with the phallic images of cactus and logs, are juvenile at best,” psychologist Dr. Nancy Irwin told FOX411’s Pop Tarts column. “I'm disgusted, yet hardly surprised by this. Advertisers (particularly of undergarments) continuously push the envelope on good taste to simply get attention and drive sales."
Comments Fashionism about the ad campaign:
There isn't anything particularly 'humourous' about a mother and daughter pair posing so provocatively. In fact, it is quite awkward and uncomfortable. Some might even think this is disturbing ... Personally, I believe that in a society where girls are already faced with a lot of peer pressure and competition from their friends and colleagues, it is unnecessary to add the burden of comparing themselves to their mothers.
According to the Huffington Post, The Lake and Stars co-founders Nikki Dekker and Maayan Zilberman intended to spark discussion:

Thursday, November 10, 2011

sadie magazine interviews erotic filmmaker candida royalle

Sadie Magazine is "a magazine for young women who might otherwise read glossy teen magazines that focus on hair, makeup, and prom dresses. Rather than training women to consume, Sadie aims to empower girls with stories of risk-taking ladies. Our goal at Sadie is to offer resources in order to make young women (and all interested young men) self-sufficient, independent, and knowledgeable."

I was recently approached by Sadie Magazine to write an article describing my top ten feminist porn films. I have submitted my article and expect it will be published in their next (fall/winter) issue.

In Sadie Magazine's current (spring/summer) issue is a personal interview with iconic erotic filmmaker Candida Royalle (b. 1950) who never fails to come across as real (notes Candida: "I’ve learned that the way to really reach people and engage them is to touch them where they live. So if things are too surface and predictable you kind of miss the boat").

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

in the news: when porn does us good and more women watch it

Highlights from last month that deserve special attention, in particular as they pertain to women:

Anna Arrowsmith
Firstly, the Guardian published an article titled Porn is good for society by Anna Arrowsmith, also known as feminist pornographer Anna Span. Excerpt:
Women's rights are far stronger in societies with liberal attitudes to sex – think of conservative countries such as Afghanistan, Yemen or China, and the place of women there. And yet, anti-porn campaigners neglect such issues entirely. A recent study by the US department of justice compared the four states that had highest broadband access and found there was a 27% decrease in rape and attempted rape, and the four with the lowest had a 53% increase over the same period. With broadband being key to watching porn online, these figures are food for thought for those who believe access to porn is bad news.
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