The problem of race in interracial porn
July 15, 2017 3:08 PM   Subscribe

Glamour magazine asks: Does Mainstream Porn have a Race Problem?
Other excellent articles: The Anti-Blackness of Interracial Porn: "Interracial porn is a present day articulation of miscegenation/antimiscegenation." Pornography and Race: "[Pornographic] films... trade in the long-standing racist myth that black men are more animalistic, sexually violent and less evolved than white men. " Why Are Whites Always the Bottom in Interracial Porn?: "The buyer is white, and he doesn’t want to see it. He wants the Mandingo experience: a forceful submission to a hypersexual, superaggressive, hung-like-the-Florida-Panhandle street thug." An Open Letter To Gay Porn Studios About Interracial Videos: "The pressure for a black man to perform as the insatiable 'mandingo' top is a tired and unimaginative stereotype that does not reflect real life."

nsfw text, obviously. Borderline-nsfw images.
posted by AFABulous (65 comments total) 23 users marked this as a favorite


 
For once, Bettridge's Law of Headlines is wrong. Of course mainstream porn has a race problem. Are you kidding me? Mainstream porn is super racist.
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 3:34 PM on July 15 [35 favorites]


Not touching that with a 10-foot pole

[ISMO]
posted by kleinsteradikaleminderheit at 3:38 PM on July 15 [7 favorites]


I find a lot of "genre porn" to be problematic, whether gay or straight. Gangbang porn usually comes across as rapey. Porn based on race attraction ends up being difficult and probably racist. A percentage of fringe sex porn ends up looking like more of a violation than sex. It's an interesting problem in porn, because there seems in modern porn to be a rape culture confusion about fetishes.

I'm not saying all porn is like that, but I end up hunting through 50 to find 1 that I don't find creepy on some level.

Are there people out there who don't find those other 49 creepy? Or is the creepy part of the turn-on for them? Or are they just unthinking and yeah there's fucking happening so I can get off?
posted by hippybear at 4:03 PM on July 15 [5 favorites]


I'm glad to see these articles, in a way, because I feel left-leaning people these days are so opposed to criticizing porn that they will accept all kinds of racism, sexism etc. that they never would in a standard movie or TV show.
posted by noxperpetua at 4:08 PM on July 15 [14 favorites]


It was illuminating to me to learn that most rapists think that everybody is a rapist, we're all just lying about the fact that we aren't.

From the sound of things, modern porn is wildly abusive. I am going to go ahead and say I would not be surprised to discover that the producers of a lot of porn are misogynists, racists, and sexual predators, and are writing that into their porn because they think everybody is.
posted by maxsparber at 4:09 PM on July 15 [20 favorites]


Or is the creepy part of the turn-on for them?

Maybe I'm cynical, but this is my theory. Lots of people like the creepy, and at least from my outside perspective it sure seems like a large portion of the market.
posted by Dip Flash at 4:10 PM on July 15 [2 favorites]


I've never liked the creepy in sex. I don't mind being a cruel top, especially during fisting, but that's usually what the bottom wants, and if a fisting bottom doesn't want what you're doing, you'll know it and immediately and everything stops.

But rapey or creepy? Yeah, that's just not a part of sex to me. I guess the difference is whether sex is about GETTING OFF or if sex is about collaboration toward a good time. One of those is rapey.
posted by hippybear at 4:13 PM on July 15 [8 favorites]


i thought it was pretty weird when i found out that literotica had an entire section dedicated to interracial stories.
posted by indubitable at 4:18 PM on July 15


porn has an everything problem
posted by Foci for Analysis at 4:21 PM on July 15 [20 favorites]


Not all porn has a problem, but porn as an umbrella, yes, has a problem
posted by hippybear at 4:23 PM on July 15 [3 favorites]


On one of the *tube sites (in the gay section) they keep showing me an ad for a scene with two white cops forcibly arresting a Black guy and... you can imagine the rest. The site won't work with adblocker turned on but I am repulsed every time I see it come up. I close the tab and go do something else. I don't know what in my browsing history makes them think I'd like that.

I'm about a Kinsey 5.9, so it's very rare that I watch straight porn, but besides not being attracted to women, the vast majority don't look like they're having any fun at all. It's an extreme turnoff.
posted by AFABulous at 4:30 PM on July 15 [2 favorites]


There's nothing going on with your history that is causing you to see that ad. That's the ad that is being run on the sidebar of that video, probably a lot of videos. They advertise this porn because of the issues in this discussion. It's disgusting and difficult, and yes, porn has a problem.
posted by hippybear at 4:36 PM on July 15 [2 favorites]


@noxperpetua: This is incredibly true. Think of the criticism (valid or otherwise) of rape scenes as gratuitous, dehumanizing, unnecessary, etc. in standard fair media but somehow that criticism disappears when the individuals are no longer simulating sex? A truly perverse double standard.
posted by koavf at 4:50 PM on July 15 [3 favorites]


On the other hand, there’s this guy (wikipedia link), an Asian man who’s been paired with more of the top female talent in that industry than any Asian man has ever been in Hollywood.

In that respect at least Porn Valley has been less racist than Hollywood.

In many other ways, definitely, porn is more racist. But unlike Hollywood, I don't think porn pretends not to be racist.

And “Why are the whites always the bottom in interracial porn?” Well, that's kind of self-centered and not true.
posted by Borborygmus at 4:55 PM on July 15 [8 favorites]


My guess is that the porn out there reflects what people want to watch, including inexplicable hangups, and including racism, homophobia, and the rest of the dark corners of the whatever. If people will watch it, the porn will get made. The industry is just that, an industry (is it though?).

So is it the porn watchers (most of us) who have the problem? Dunno, do we get to judge people for what turns them on? That seems central. We have very little control over it, so probably not? But hey, if you find SS uniforms a turn-on, consider yourself fucking judged. Fascinating, I don't get any of it.
posted by kleinsteradikaleminderheit at 4:58 PM on July 15 [2 favorites]


While the bigotry and biases of the public are definitely bad, that in no way forgives someone for doing something awful just to turn a buck and because "if I didn't do it, someone else would, so why not do anything I can to make money?"
posted by koavf at 5:20 PM on July 15 [8 favorites]


Metafilter: I don't mind being a cruel top, especially during fisting
posted by Sebmojo at 5:38 PM on July 15 [11 favorites]


My guess is that the porn out there reflects what people want to watch

It's one of those interesting things, isn't it? Does the porn available reflect what people click to watch, or do people click to watch what they are offered to watch because that's what they are offered?

Like I said above, I find maybe 1:50 not creepy on some level. That's across straight and gay porn. Is the porn creepy because that's what people want, or is that what they film and there aren't other choices available? I have no idea.
posted by hippybear at 5:42 PM on July 15 [1 favorite]


Hustler, the most widely distributed hard-core pornography magazine in the world, regularly depicts caricatured black men as having oversized penises but undersized heads, thus signifying mental inferiority. They are frequently shown as pimps with gold chains, expensive cars and a stable of black and white women. When not pimping women to make money, the black man is often shown as cheating the government by claiming fraudulent welfare checks.

lol yes that photo shoot was particularly hot imo
posted by Sebmojo at 5:46 PM on July 15 [11 favorites]


>This is incredibly true. Think of the criticism (valid or otherwise) of rape scenes as gratuitous, dehumanizing, unnecessary, etc. in standard fair media but somehow that criticism disappears when the individuals are no longer simulating sex? A truly perverse double standard.

I feel like feminist criticism of porn is seeing something of a revival, actually, but I guess it depends on where you're looking. There are a lot of layers to the topic but obviously it's not something every publication is going to be happy to cover.
posted by atoxyl at 6:07 PM on July 15 [2 favorites]


Are there people out there who don't find those other 49 creepy? Or is the creepy part of the turn-on for them? Or are they just unthinking and yeah there's fucking happening so I can get off?

The problem is generally pricing, at least from the consumer end.

So there exist really well made, thoughtful porns, right? They're usually 60-70$ for one DVD. That is a price point that most people can't really enter in at.

Shitty, terrible films, made by terrible people, are about 5-10$.

So it's not always that people don't find the other 49 creepy or offputting on some level. Sometimes it's that people don't have the finances to patronize the like, two studios that aren't garbage fires.
posted by corb at 6:20 PM on July 15 [8 favorites]


Sometimes it's that people don't have the finances to patronize the like, two studios that aren't garbage fires.

What is this world where a free pornucopia of precisely curated boobs butts and dongers is not a five second google away at all hours of day and night?
posted by Sebmojo at 7:10 PM on July 15 [9 favorites]


I don't know, maybe I'm an old? But the last time I tried to look at internet porn it:

a) looked like an unsortable, uncurated trash fire of awful trashfires, with men having sex with women way more attractive than they were and treating them like shit.

b) basically ruined my computer

If anyone wants to helpfully point out safe, curated, pornucopias, my memail is always open, I'm just saying.
posted by corb at 7:40 PM on July 15 [18 favorites]


Porn curation is something reddit actually does well. There is probably a subreddit for whatever your thing might be, and lots of it is uploaded to relatively safe sites like imgur or gfycat which also host lots of not-porn media.

Reddit also encourages a lot of amateur/semi-amateur user-created stuff, which tends to encourage positivity and makes me feel more comfortable about potential consent issues.
posted by JDHarper at 7:56 PM on July 15 [4 favorites]


Reddit also encourages a lot of amateur/semi-amateur user-created stuff, which tends to encourage positivity and makes me feel more comfortable about potential consent issues.

Yeah - legitimately amateur porn (or some clips4sale type stuff) is a lot more appealing to me at this point than most mainstream commercial output. Though it does not of course necessarily come with a guarantee that everyone involved was treated well.
posted by atoxyl at 8:04 PM on July 15 [3 favorites]


…tired and unimaginative stereotype that does not reflect real life

Porn unrealistic. Video at 11.
posted by Cogito at 9:14 PM on July 15 [2 favorites]


I sort of suspect that the porn you find at say, xhamster is different in tone and quality than whats at say, youporn and I do wonder that effect that might have on things.

That being said, I enjoy shows like Game of Thrones, and The Tudors, and Spartacus, but I don't actually want to have sword fights to protect my wife's honor. Growing up as I did in the time when The Devil's ROCK AND ROLL music and playing The Devil's D&D was going to make me a DEMON WORSHIPING TOOL OF SATAN, I sort of take a side eye to claims about media influencing behavior. Listening to Jessie's Girl didn't actually inspire me towards infidelity. Despite moshing the fuck out of FUCK YOU I WONT DO WHAT YOU TELL ME, I did in fact get up the next morning and do (more or less) what the boss told me to do.

Getting back to the matter at hand (heh), the widespread availabilty of porn was supposed to lead men to become sex crazed rapists - and... that doesn't seem to have occurred. I'm no sociologist, and the chicken/egg problem of do people watch whats made, or do they make what people watch persists. But, I'd not be so quick to draw a line between what people consume as media and what they actually aspire to do.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 9:19 PM on July 15 [6 favorites]


If anyone wants to helpfully point out safe, curated, pornucopias

At this point, the only place I'm willing to point my attention or money is Crash Pad, but it's not cheap and it's very queer (and is a little bit overly white but not exclusively), but it's as ethically made as anything I can find online and I am happy to throw a generous amount of money at that.
posted by Lyn Never at 9:41 PM on July 15 [6 favorites]


I definitely prefer amateur stuff. I don't like perfect-looking hi def people who have no chemistry. But for the love of god, don't zoom waaay in so we can only see tab A going into slot B. Let's see your faces, or at least your bodies. Context is sexy!
posted by AFABulous at 10:10 PM on July 15 [4 favorites]


There is a lot that's just plain awful about porn. Even if you stick to popular stuff on heavily trafficked, mainstream sites like pornhub, the porn and especially the meta narratives constructed around the porn, the way it's framed and categorized is gross.

But porn isn't sex, it's a symbolic proxy for sex. People sometimes like to watch fantasies they wouldn't consider even remotely appealing in real life. Like Breaking Bad, GoTs, etc.

Hell, all I really crave for sex in real life is whatever makes my partner(s) most satisfied, tbh, and an emotionally intimate, beautiful experience. That's what I fantasize most about really achieving in life, just being with someone I love and enjoying each other's physical selves intimately together.

Most porn, whatever the genre, is almost the diametric opposite of what turns me on most in real life or what I'd aspire to have, given the choice. Porn is usually passionless and mechanical, emotionally distanced and transactional: cold underneath, however acrobatic or ecstatically intense on the surface.

But if for whatever reason, healthier outlets aren't available, porn can get the job done for me, though I usually make a conscious effort to note any of the more objectionable bits and remind myself not to let them slip into my head as any kind of reality I would endorse. But people's sexual appetites, judging from what tops the charts, are weird. There's almost a dreamlike incoherence to them, or a little nightmarishness.

For me, at least, real sex is such a completely different kind of tactile and sensual experience than watching porn, though, it's hard to imagine confusing the two, or even connecting them too closely. Especially as I've gotten older and learned more about myself. I can be comfortable being adventurous in loving and trusting relationships. But otherwise, I can end up with a creeped out and depressed feeling from sex that doesn't have some positive emotional and social connection in the mix.

Anyway, point is most porn sex wouldn't really be my aspirational fantasy. It might be enough to satisfy sexual longings in the short term. But in the long term, it's not as satisfying or healthy. For me, that'd be something more intimate and probably relatively boring. Depends. I do fantasize about standard het scenarios like group sex with women, but honestly, the thing I miss and fantasize about most is having a passionate love life with a close partner that's connected to an honest and mutually supportive social relation in a bigger context. Porn can't ever deliver any of that. It just offers you dirty pictures to look at to stimulate you, the way the dirty magazines in sperm bank bathrooms are supposed to, so you can rile yourself up, release sexual tension, and then get on with your day in peace.
posted by saulgoodman at 10:52 PM on July 15 [3 favorites]


i thought it was pretty weird when i found out that literotica had an entire section dedicated to interracial stories.

Why?
posted by theperfectcrime at 11:03 PM on July 15


porn has an everything problem
posted by Foci for Analysis at 4:21 PM on July 15 [11 favorites +] [!]


People have the problem; porn is the mirror
posted by chavenet at 3:12 AM on July 16 [6 favorites]


Hey, so I'm just wired up so that watching genitalia rubbing together has never been appealing to me. So as a result I never found out a lot of stuff that people who follow mainstream porn do.

The biggest example to date has been this: I always just figured the broflakes were using "cuck" because it sounded rude, or maybe as an "I'm fucking your girlfriend" kind of taunt. I mean, all I knew was Shakespeare and something-something-cuckoos. It was only in the past month or two that I read that cuckoldry porn mostly follows a black male/white female dynamic. Like, porn couldn't possibly portray them as a loving couple, so of COURSE he's doing something bad to her white lover?

All of a sudden that whole mess just made sense. Of COURSE these racist pricks get all their info from mainstream porn. Of COURSE this is the mythology they're preaching from. It just connects all of the dots all at once. I had no idea!
posted by rum-soaked space hobo at 4:56 AM on July 16 [8 favorites]


People have the problem; porn is the mirror

I sometimes wonder how much porn is a mirror of the people paying to have the porn made and isn't a reflection of the people who are consuming porn.

You can only take what you are offered, and if what you are offered is being made by assholes and creeps, then all you get is asshole creep porn, not what you actually want.
posted by hippybear at 5:11 AM on July 16 [14 favorites]


I'm glad to see these articles, in a way, because I feel left-leaning people these days are so opposed to criticizing porn that they will accept all kinds of racism, sexism etc. that they never would in a standard movie or TV show.

If only all the people who are porn hypocrites were left leaning people! We'd be living in a socialist paradise (except for the problematic porn part).
posted by srboisvert at 5:59 AM on July 16


But what about the inherent connection between the erotic and all transgression?
Really the existence of race-porn seems to be a symptomatic indicator of the persistence of socio-economic inequalities in reality. Inter-racial porn is only a particular sub-genre because inter-racial sex for many people still carries transgressive element, due to social prejudices and stigma. poverty differences etc.. most particular "sub-genres" of porn only exist in the particularity because they transgress some social norm of the era in which they exist.

Wasn't the story of Romeo and Juliet almost the inter-racial porn of its period? In an age in which family ties are still pervasive, the transgression of feud-norms possesses an inherent eroticism. The eroticism of the other.

If there were actual equality, then porn with sex-acts between "racially" different people would still exist, but it wouldn't be a separate sub-genre "inter-racial" it would just be "porn".
posted by mary8nne at 6:12 AM on July 16 [9 favorites]


This article linked above - The Anti-Blackness of Interracial Porn: "Interracial porn is a present day articulation" is a brilliantly insightful piece. Reccomend everyone reads it!
posted by stevedawg at 6:15 AM on July 16



My guess is that the porn out there reflects what people want to watch, including inexplicable hangups, and including racism, homophobia, and the rest of the dark corners of the whatever. If people will watch it, the porn will get made. The industry is just that, an industry (is it though?).


This is the same argument made by Hollywood directors and casting agents for why there aren't more significant minority roles in TV and movies--and I believe it's just as untrue there. Porn isn't some sort of perfect mirror for society's desires, anymore than Hollywood is. It's created by actual human beings--and the mainstream stuff is created almost exclusively by white men--and it reflects their biases and preconceptions.

Also, it's hard to deny that the content of porn today is quite different from the content of porn from the 1980s or 1970s and I think it's worth asking why that is. I don't think it's society's desires just arbitrarily shifting.
posted by armadillo1224 at 6:46 AM on July 16 [13 favorites]


This article linked above - The Anti-Blackness of Interracial Porn: "Interracial porn is a present day articulation" is a brilliantly insightful piece. Reccomend everyone reads it!

I would really be into a sub-genre of porn where people read the articles before commenting. The people in it wouldn't even have to naked or scantily clad! Though I wouldn't mind.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:07 AM on July 16 [4 favorites]


I've always been of the opinion that, given consent and an informed mutual understanding of risks, sex can be as politically incorrect as it likes. And my lived experience backs this up. Transgressive fucking is a blast and an adornment to life. And it's self-limiting; if the other isn't enjoying it, it's an instant turn-off and stuff stops happening straight away. Within the walls of that garden, of what tree shall I not eat?

Porn is trickier, because it's a medium and there are no real feedback loops to regulate unhealthy consumption - but that's true of most media, which routinely portrays far more cruelty and violence in many more ways far more widely than you'll find in all but the most extreme pornography.

And porn is actually better than MSM, because if you don't go looking for it it doesn't come looking for you. Don't go to the sites, and you won't be bothered. I wish I could say the same about sport.
posted by Devonian at 7:13 AM on July 16 [1 favorite]


A lot of people, men and women, have rape fantasies. Porn is fantasy.
posted by jeff-o-matic at 7:47 AM on July 16


I think most people's issue isn't so much that this porn exists, but that there is so damned much of it and it drowns out the porn that they would rather watch.
posted by domo at 8:23 AM on July 16 [1 favorite]


As a long time fan of HP Lovecraft, I'm sometimes caught defending Gran'pa's racism. Yes, the Shadow Over Innsmouth is racist, but that's sort of the point: it invites the reader to understand the world through racist eyes. It's a transgressive, outsider view, which is where the best horror fiction comes from.

Dare I suggest that the best porn is that which invites us to do that which we would not do in real life, that tickles us with the lure of the unfamiliar, the forbidden? Even to the extent of fantasizing about what our "higher" thinking shuns?
posted by SPrintF at 8:34 AM on July 16


I don't agree that interracial porn is "transgressive" when the image of Black men as sexually aggressive thugs is pervasive and normalized in all of society. Speaking only from the perspective of gay porn, there are scenes with white college roommates and white coach/white football players and white "straight" neighbors and white cable guy etc. But Black men are almost ALWAYS portrayed as thugs, whether it's interracial porn or not. It's comparatively difficult to find e.g. a Black man in a suit and his white pool boy or two Black frat boys. White supremacy isn't transgressive at all; it's the norm.
posted by AFABulous at 9:00 AM on July 16 [22 favorites]


What's even sadder to me is that when you look at Craigslist M4M ads (at least here), most Black men describe themselves as thuggish. That can't be true. I suspect lots are probably engineering students or Uber drivers. So it's a marketing technique and/or internalized racism.
posted by AFABulous at 9:06 AM on July 16 [3 favorites]


If the white actors were topping the black actors, people would be screaming even more loudly about uncomfortable echoes of the actual past.
posted by Bringer Tom at 9:33 AM on July 16 [1 favorite]


Wasn't the story of Romeo and Juliet almost the inter-racial porn of its period? In an age in which family ties are still pervasive, the transgression of feud-norms possesses an inherent eroticism. The eroticism of the other.

Ok, so you put the "almost" qualifier, but the comparison is strikes me as odd. R&J was a fictional story about two rich families who hated each other for some vague reason. Racism is a different sort of hatred, that actually exists, to put it mildly.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:52 AM on July 16 [4 favorites]


Racism is based on pretty vague reasons, too.
posted by hippybear at 11:10 AM on July 16


Hurrah, another defender for diluting racist issues by equating them with something else.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:09 PM on July 16 [4 favorites]


Bringer Tom: "If the white actors were topping the black actors, people would be screaming even more loudly about uncomfortable echoes of the actual past."

You know, I doubt that. Not unless the portrayals were completely unbalanced and you could barely find examples of black men topping white men.

It's completely possible to portray black men topping white men, and white men topping black men, without exploiting racist stereotypes.
posted by Secret Sparrow at 2:18 PM on July 16


You know, I doubt that.

Unfortunately, I have to respectfully disagree. I have been told in solid terms that several of the largest online portals for porn will not accept interracial porn with whites topping blacks (and by which they mean either white man on black female intercourse, or white man penetrating a black man) full stop. No explanation is offered although none is really needed. We are kind of wired to perceive penetration as an expression of power, so the idea of any kind of interracial porn that doesn't trigger racist stereotypes is kind of like unicorns. Maybe it theoretically exists, but good luck finding an extant example in the wild.

Meanwhile people will have the fantasies they have, politically incorrect as they often are, whether anyone is willing to make porn coded for them or not.
posted by Bringer Tom at 2:41 PM on July 16


People have the problem; porn is the mirror

There is data on this, via Pornhub's in house data scientists. SFW.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 2:42 PM on July 16 [2 favorites]


I agree with Secret Sparrow. There are certainly Black bottoms into race play (I've had a couple of offers, including a guy who wanted me to call him the n-word, and I just could not stomach the thought). But there's no reason that needs to be the context of Black men bottoming to white men.

I have been told in solid terms that several of the largest online portals for porn will not accept interracial porn with whites topping blacks (and by which they mean either white man on black female intercourse, or white man penetrating a black man) full stop.

It's certainly not Pornhub!
posted by AFABulous at 2:42 PM on July 16


It's certainly not Pornhub!

No, that's true. These are places like amazon where you can actually get paid for the content you create.
posted by Bringer Tom at 2:49 PM on July 16


what, porn stars make residuals? I didn't know that, I assumed they got paid up front.
posted by AFABulous at 2:56 PM on July 16


I'm not a porn star, I am a writer. I have been told that three of the larger sites for possibly distributing my work have suddenly and completely banned "race play" porn. And we're not even talking about pictures here, we are talking about fictional writing. The entire idea has suddenly become radioactive. And what I have been told that it is most definitely not limited to blacks topping whites, that if anything it is stricter in the other direction because it smacks of unpleasant shit that actually happened. This isn't theoretical, it is something actual writers are being told about what they can get hosted and paid for. I would be very surprised if there weren't similar currents running in the world of photographic porn, considering the dynamic between Kink and "the billers."
posted by Bringer Tom at 3:05 PM on July 16 [1 favorite]


Okay, but isn't there a difference between "race-play" porn/erotica and porn/erotica which incidentally has actors or characters of different races?
posted by Secret Sparrow at 3:23 PM on July 16


We are kind of wired to perceive penetration as an expression of power, so the idea of any kind of interracial porn that doesn't trigger racist stereotypes is kind of like unicorns.

borborygmus points out, correctly, that there really aren't any Asian tops in gay porn. I mean, I know we don't rate anything in these monochromatic American race conversations, but if we're supposed to view topping as an expression of power...
posted by anem0ne at 3:59 PM on July 16 [1 favorite]


Yes, the Shadow Over Innsmouth is racist, but that's sort of the point: it invites the reader to understand the world through racist eyes. It's a transgressive, outsider view, which is where the best horror fiction comes from.

Dare I suggest that the best porn is that which invites us to do that which we would not do in real life, that tickles us with the lure of the unfamiliar, the forbidden? Even to the extent of fantasizing about what our "higher" thinking shuns?


I dunno, but perhaps to some people who have to live with, abide by, and are all too familiar with the frequent racist acts of other people, seeing it in a genre that ought to be escapist might be... well, unpleasant?

but yeah, let's call it the best sort of porn.

for white dudes.
posted by anem0ne at 4:07 PM on July 16 [7 favorites]


Yes, the Shadow Over Innsmouth is racist, but that's sort of the point: it invites the reader to understand the world through racist eyes. It's a transgressive, outsider view, which is where the best horror fiction comes from.

It comes from Lovecraft being an actual racist, with a xenophobia that bordered on the fanatical. He wasn't inviting the reader to do anything like what you suggest, he wasn't being transgressive to provide an "outsider view," he was just bigoted as fuck.
posted by zombieflanders at 4:41 PM on July 16 [8 favorites]


I have been told that three of the larger sites for possibly distributing my work have suddenly and completely banned "race play" porn.

Your original statement was that there would be backlash against porn in which a white man tops a black man. Like, it's really weird that you think porn featuring an interracial couple in which a white man tops a black man is the same as race play.

I'm not even sure where to begin unpacking that.
posted by Kutsuwamushi at 4:43 PM on July 16 [3 favorites]


Yes, the Shadow Over Innsmouth is racist, but that's sort of the point: it invites the reader to understand the world through racist eyes.

It wasn't written with the intention of inviting the reader to "understand the world through racist eyes", it was written by a man whose racism and antisemitism was considered notable even by the standards of his time.

"Here is a racist piece of work created by somebody with racist attitudes who was not in any way trying to examine, interrogate, or overturn them" isn't actually challenging anything, it's reinforcing it.
posted by Lexica at 4:58 PM on July 16 [12 favorites]


Like, it's really weird that you think porn featuring an interracial couple in which a white man tops a black man is the same as race play.

Well, I find it really weird that anybody would find that controversial. Of course it's race play. Any depiction of people of different races doing something that might involve a power dynamic will seem like race play to someone. Hell the ink was barely dry on the first news articles about the place when sex therapists started reporting that they had clients who wanted Guantanamo play.

The racial angle goes both ways. There are people interested in both topping and bottoming in both echoes of the white-over-black actual historical slavery dynamic, and with black-over-white "revenge reversals." Fantasies are stubbornly resistant to calls for political correctness.

I have a friend who writes gay male romance novels; she started out shipping her favorite band and had some modest financial success. What she does isn't quite over the edge to porn, but it's close and some of her publishers and promoters also deal with outright porn. And she has told me that all of them -- all of the publishers and all of the promoters she has been using -- almost simultaneously came out with no interracial policies. The whole topic just got radioactive and nobody wants to deal with it. You can try slipping it in unnoticed, but if it is noticed your content is taken down and there's effectively no recourse.

This is not a thing I am theorizing or predicting, it is a thing that has already happened. I could hazard a few guesses as to why it happened but that really would be speculation.
posted by Bringer Tom at 3:20 PM on July 17


i ahem search torrents some times, obviously a lot of the irrelevant results that come up are porn, given the huge amount of racism and rape stuff and even some scarily-sounding paedo and real-life rape claiming titles, this seems disingenous. I mean, seriously? For instance: last year, the inmates of the real-life 'le central' in A Prophet, the biggest european prison, in France, smuggled out a camera-phone video of conditions inside. Eager to see it, i tried googling, startpaging, duckduckgoing and binging (i just spotted a problem with that search engine's name) 'prison video' 'prison video france' etc and 99% of the results were prison-set rape porn. It took endless digging - close on half an hour - to find the real thing on Daily Motion deep on the fifth page of results (forget which search engine). 'black x white y' is up there with 'Russian' in torrent titles...
posted by maiamaia at 2:15 PM on July 18


From the first link: Although the word “interracial” in most contexts could apply to scenarios involving people of any races, in mainstream pornography it means, quite specifically, white women paired with black men.

They could have correctly said most "interracial" porn shows white women with black men, but it's an overstatement to say the word "means" that "quite specifically." Search for "interracial" on a large, generic porn site aimed at straight men, and you'll find mostly white woman/black man, but also a significant number of other combinations, such as black woman/white man, Asian woman/white man, two women of different races, etc.
posted by jejune at 3:08 PM on July 18


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