Porn = Violent Sex = Bad

I’ve read my fair share of articles posing the question, “is pornography harmful?” And I’ve come to expect that most of the time, “pornography” means erotic video or photographic imagery aimed at a heterosexual male audience, usually involving “degrading” or “violent” sexual acts. I’ve come to expect that this definition is never given, but rather assumed, and that there will be little or no mention of queer porn, alternative / independent porn, or dominant-woman porn. If there is a discussion of porn featuring a dominant woman, it will refer to her as a “dominatrix” and dismiss her as the product of neurotic male fantasy.

I’ve come to expect that the article will talk about how porn is simultaneously becoming more mainstream and more “degrading,” more cruel. There will be no statistics or background given to prove this statement, nor will there be any definition given of what constitutes “degrading” sexual behavior or an acknowledgment that sexual acts can be interpreted in different ways. The exception to this rule is a specific discussion of the mainstreaming of anal sex in porn, which is assumed to be innately degrading and harmful to women (and something that only ever happens with a woman as the receiver, not the giver).

I ‘ve come to expect that these articles will scoff at the free will of the women who engage in sex work of any kind, whether as a porn actor, stripper, or prostitute. They will degrade and demean those women they argue are being degraded and demeaned by their chosen line of work. The authors will not bother to interview sex workers, or research statistics on how sex workers feel about their work and their relative freedom and safety.

I’ve also come to expect that there will certainly be no attention given to BDSM, or any indication that a woman could actually enjoy rough sex, bondage, slapping, spanking, and the like. (And again, there will be no mention of the fact that many men enjoy the same.) The article may give some reassurance that not all men who like porn hate women, but will mention that some do get off on the actual suffering and pain experienced by a woman, and will psychologize this away as the result of a troubled childhood and a sick mind, and will warn that such men are often rapists or misogynistic psychopaths. There will be no mention of women sadists, nor any discussion of what the term “sadist” and “masochist” mean in a consensual BDSM context.

Sigh.

1 comment so far

  1. maymay on

    Also lacking from such discussions is the idea that women can enjoy not only the rough sex, but the pornography itself, perhaps involving rough sex, perhaps not.


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