Erotica runs rampant:
February 2, 2002 8:19 PM   Subscribe

Erotica runs rampant: "Pornographic images, erotic paraphernalia, and raunchy sexual talk are reaching a near-saturation point in the daily lives of Americans, through television, movies, magazines, and the Internet, say a growing chorus of expert voices. And the target market is an increasingly younger audience." Frontline also has a special called American Porn running this coming week, exploring how the mainstream profits from the adult biz.
posted by owillis (61 comments total)

Frontline also has a special called American Porn running this coming week, exploring how the mainstream profits from the adult biz.

In other news, the "mainstream" has a special called "Sanctimonious Hype" running this coming week, exploring how "Frontline" profits from hysteria about the "adult biz".
posted by RavinDave at 8:39 PM on February 2, 2002

Well, yeah, as far as I'm concerned they're all whores - at least the porn folk are upfront about it.
posted by owillis at 8:42 PM on February 2, 2002

Back off on Frontline. It's one of the few television news programs worth watching, and we should be grateful to have it. (Ravin, it's on PBS.)
posted by mrbula at 8:55 PM on February 2, 2002

" adult entertainment executives have created a list of twenty one pornography no-no's. Dubbed the 'Cambria List'...the list warns porn producers against showing such acts as sex between a black man and white woman, urination, and facial ejaculation."

Incredulous emphasis mine.
posted by apostasy at 9:03 PM on February 2, 2002

the list warns porn producers against showing such acts as sex between a black man and white woman, urination, and facial ejaculation."

If the 'Net is any indication noones been paying this list much attention.
posted by jonmc at 9:06 PM on February 2, 2002

Frontline normally does a good job of avoiding "Dateline-itis", and manages to stick to the facts. I'm sure many will watch it hoping for some scenes from porn films.
posted by Salmonberry at 9:06 PM on February 2, 2002

mrbula: Though I thoroughly enjoy 99% of PBS, "Frontline" pretty much toasted their credibility with me long ago. I consider them about as significant as "Primetime", "20/20" or any number of pseudo-news shows on the big three broadcast stations. Maybe I'm speaking prematurely, but I suspect this will simply be (yet) another show exploiting a sensationalistic topic while also denouncing it with touching piety. To be totally fair, I'll go ahead and watch it; maybe they took to heart some of the criticism they endured over the last few years. I'm not optimistic.

owillis -- let me hasten to add that you are one of my favorite MeFi posters. My mini-rant was not a swipe at you.
posted by RavinDave at 9:11 PM on February 2, 2002

apostasy, no wonder network ratings are off. Porn wants to be ubiquitous.
posted by Real9 at 9:13 PM on February 2, 2002

This is odd. The first press release for this I saw had "The report contains explicit images and explicit sexual language" in the midst of the program description. Now it's nowhere to be found.

I, for one, am quite miffed. I was so looking forward to seeing naughties on a network.
posted by apostasy at 9:13 PM on February 2, 2002

Real9: And yet I'm still forced to go here for my butter-porn delights to be satiated.

For shame, pornographers. For shame.
posted by apostasy at 9:19 PM on February 2, 2002

Ok, so porn has become a bigger and bigger business. So what? Is there observable evidence or some serious research to suggest this is bad, detrimental to America, or dangerous in a tangible fashion? If you don't like porn don't buy.

"The feminine is commercialized and commodified," he says. "This undermines the spiritual dimension of being a human being."

Sounds like religious mumbo jumbo. Some couples really benefit from pornography when a reserved society has never allowed them to learn how to please their husbands or wives.

While the explosion of porn may be interesting from a purely business standpoint, I want to know specific reasons why this is a crisis. Kiddie porn and beastiality not withstanding. (Both are rightly illegal and the dealers and consumbers of such should be prosecuted.)

As far as children or teenagers being exposed to human sexuality, I would suggest this article for its unusual point of view.
posted by McBain at 9:24 PM on February 2, 2002

Ravin- I hardly think the Shakespeare thing is enough to give up on Frontline completely.
posted by McBain at 9:26 PM on February 2, 2002

After a long, arduous search -- I have found the Cambria List (as mentioned above):

Since there's a bunch of naughty things here; highlight the text to see the list.

no shots with appearance of pain or degradation
no facials (bodyshots are ok if shot is not nasty
no bukakke (20 guys coming on one girl)
no spitting or saliva mouth to mouth
no food used as sex objects
no peeing unless in a natural setting (field, roadside)
no coffins
no blindfolds
no wax dripping
no two dicks in/near one mouth
no shots of stretching pussy
no fisting
no squirting
no bondage or bondage type toys or gear unless very light
no girls sharing same dildo (in mouth or pussy)
toys are okay if shot is not nasty
no hands from 2 different people fingering same girl
no male/male penetration
no transsexuals
no bi-sex
no degrading dialogue (suck this cock bitch)
no slapping her face with penis
no menstruation topics (women on the rag)
no incest topics
no forced sex, rape themes, etc.
no black men, white women themes

posted by geoff. at 9:43 PM on February 2, 2002

"a [fashion show] so explicit the network decided it should blur out areas of the models' bodies."

This article appears to be using the word "pornography" interchangeably with the word "nudity" So what's that mean...? Nipples or pubic hair, I'm guessing. Tawdry maybe. Porn? No. Stupid, maybe. Dangerous? No. If the show is too explicit, don't run it.

Usually I like the CS Monitor's reporting but all their sources here are from the aggressively '"family friendly" end of the spectrum [Kaiser Family Foundation, Parents Television Council ] who are basically lumping sex toys and bestiality together into some giant cauldron of sexualized evil.

And, as far as the FBI study, it was based on "...36 serial murderers [who] revealed that 81% (29/36) said their biggest sexual interest was in reading pornography." 80% had porn in their homes! What percentage of adult men probably have porn in their homes? I think the mainstream profiting from the adult biz, as owillis says, includes the CS Monitor using pseudo sex scares to sell papers and enforce conservative cultural norms.

and what does "ok if shot is not nasty" mean anyhow?
posted by jessamyn at 9:45 PM on February 2, 2002

I don't know, I just copy and pasted from the only place I could find the list. It's obviously paraphrased. If someone can find the real draft that'd probably be better. Then again, I had a hard time finding that.
posted by geoff. at 9:54 PM on February 2, 2002

geoff: I posted it last year here on Mefi (now I look like Captain Porn). Here's the original list.
posted by owillis at 9:59 PM on February 2, 2002

Where's bunnyfire when you need her?
posted by Optamystic at 10:17 PM on February 2, 2002

My two cents:

I'm really mixed. On one hand, my first two years of higher education were in a community college that was, at the time, known for its journalism program - and we were the best that they'd had. (So much so that the dept. chair had to take a year's sabbatical afterwards...) Anyway. I don't think that anything should be censored, especially on the internet, where it's freely available anyway if you know how to look.

On the other hand, I'm socially fairly conservative. While I'm not religious, I've refrained from having sex even at my ripe old age of 22, because I think that the act is special and I haven't met the, or even -a- person I want to share everything with yet. Depictions or insinuations of sex as cheap or free and easily available by our mass media tend to make my conservative bone twitch (no pun intended) and have really alienated me from watching any form of television… and I think they've made an impact on the decisions made by people in my generation and younger.

I think that the difference is that in the past, sex wasn't mainstream in mainstream society. It is now. I have problems with that because I feel that it cheapens things. I feel sex is an act of love that is special and should not be commonplace. Therefore, sex should not be cheapened by mass media.

Disclaimer: I have nothing against premarital sex, and I'm all for birth control, -and- I'm pro-choice. Just please, please think twice before you get it on. Preach intelligence, not abstinence.
posted by SpecialK at 10:17 PM on February 2, 2002

If mass media can't cheapen sex, what can they cheapen? Besides alchoholism, drugs, the singles scene, married people trying desperately to have kids, married people who wish they didn't have kids, single parenthood......

Nothing wrong with tv people getting it on. Better than watching a tv show about people spending a Saturday night posting to MetaFilter and waiting for SNL (even though they know it won't be worth it). I can't live the fantasy life but it's nice to have available for viewing.

posted by Salmonberry at 10:39 PM on February 2, 2002

To me, the irony in all of this is that we have an Attorney General and President who have a distinctive "We don't want no boobies" policy, when America's viewing and purchasing patterns clearly indicate that we would like "a whole mess of boobies".

As far as shielding kids from the whole thing, that's two pronged:

a) Hiding everything from kids just makes 'em more curious and more dangerous

b) If you don't want them exposed to this sort of thing: teach them how to deal with it when they encounter it, limit how much they're exposed to it, or don't have kids

More than any other thing, sex legislation is done "for the children" in the worst manner possible. As long as its two consenting adults, they can do whatever the hell they want. Even "wax dripping". All the cool kids are doing that.
posted by owillis at 10:40 PM on February 2, 2002

In the name of all that is good and holy, won't someone please give this man a TV show???
posted by Optamystic at 10:44 PM on February 2, 2002

Not until that man promises nudity.
posted by Salmonberry at 10:46 PM on February 2, 2002

From the Salon article McBain posted:

But we are still awaiting the great piece of social criticism about modern society's fetishistic construction of childhood as a time of asexual innocence.

Erotic Innocence : The Culture of Child Molesting , by James R. Kincaid, which I linked here is a good start.
posted by y2karl at 10:57 PM on February 2, 2002

When I was a teenager in rural Pennsylvania, erotic materials were the only way I ever got to see positive images of gay sexuality. I remember buying a Playgirl magazine at the local Waldenbooks with great embarrassment and humiliation, but it also was a liberating moment, the first time I publicly acknowledged (albeit to a Walden's employee) my sexuality. And it was several years before I came out in an official way, so in the interim gay porn helped provide a great relief to my roiling hormones.

I think the issues should be moderation and situational appropriateness. Choosing to seek out and view said materials is fine. But I hate seeing the trappings of porn seep into so many areas of our visual discourse. It's boring and lazy, sort of like the advertising equivalent of a troll: when you can't engage in intelligent, rational discourse, just stir people up the easy way...add anything that appeals to prurient interests and voila! Ad campaign.

I thought of a few points why I don't like the greater influence of porno:

1. It deprives our minds the stimulation and excitement of doing the sexualizing. Everything ends up 'pre-sexualized', leaving nothing for our subconscious (and conscious) mind to do.

2. It leaves nothing to the imagination.

3. It makes what should be one of the most special and exciting things in our lives, just another mundane and irritating thing to ignore.

4. Sometimes I don't want to think about sex. But this is impossible when even an instant coffee ad can be 'pornolized'.

5. Most porn is cheap, stupid, and tawdry. It may be good to get off to, but I don't want everything in my life to take on porn's horrible aesthetics.

6. I like to believe there is some innocence left in the world. There are enough factors at work to prevent that illusion from ever being viable, let alone having the sleazy influence of porn there, humping my leg, reminding me that life is dreadful.

So, while I think porn is not inherently evil, I wish it would learn its place in society. And stop humping my leg.
posted by evanizer at 11:05 PM on February 2, 2002

evanizer- Good points. Thanks.
posted by McBain at 11:38 PM on February 2, 2002

Awesome points, evanizer. I agree 100%, but here's the rub....Don't you think, since porn "deprives our minds of stimulation and excitement" is "cheap, stupid, and tawdry" contains "horrible aesthetics" and caters to a "sleazy influence" that maybe people are correct when they say that pornography has a negative influence on the male views of sexuality and women?
Not that it's anyone's business what our personal views are, and not that anyone should ever be censored for having seemingly 'cheap' values in life, but isn't analysing the effects that pornogrgpahy has on an audience (specifically a male audience) what we're talking about here? If so, we might agree that some effects are (or at least, can be potentially seen as) negative.
Feminist/Philosopher Cathrine Mckinnon spoke about this a few years ago in a highly controversial essay where she said that most porn, becasue of its negative depictions of women (mock rape scenes, facial shots that mimick "spitting", slapping, hitting, etc) should be banned becasue it reinforces views that women are subordinate, emotionless creatures who can be rightfully abused if so desired by the male.
I am not saying that I agree with Mckinnon 100%. Unfortunately, I found the essay to be poorly written, but she had a point. Is pornography that is cheap, sleazy and artificial to our sexuality harmful to ourselves and our depictions of women? I'm certainly not saying that all pornography is inherently evil, but the negative connotations towards women that are associated with the genre make it a tough question to answer. Ever been in a living room full of guys watching porn? Ever hear the comments they make while watching it? It's foolish to think that people do not get their oppinions of culture, the world, and yes, sexuality and gender, forged a little more when their already feeble ideas are reinforced by images in front of them. Of course, they probably had horrible attitudes to begin with, but do we really need to reinforce and motivate these bigoted attitudes?
I'll leave it at that.
posted by tiger yang at 12:42 AM on February 3, 2002

Wow, that 'list of no-no's' really surprised me. I run a little site called autopr0n, and since I've started it I've probably looked through, like, I don't know a lot galleries. There is a huge demand for black man/white women. Of course, the audience could be black guys, who knows. But I think 'black man/white woman' is a pretty common theme in porn in general. I'd say about 6-10% of the intercourse I see is black man white woman (more then black woman/white man)

And facial ejaculation? That's like a mainstay...

Urination doesn't seem super-uncommon, either.

As far as cheapening women's bodies or sexuality? Well... That's actually kind of complex. I don't believe pornography in and of it self degrades women, but there are some guys who have that attitude about women. It also seems as though the porn does not attract the best and brightest, so to speak. There are a lot of pages out there where the copy can be pretty derogative. It really bothers me. Also, a lot of the crass commercialism of the sites bugs me. So, I don't like the porn industry for a lot of the same reasons I don't like Disney. One commercializes sexuality, the other children's imaginations.

That's actually one of the reasons I wanted to start my own site (Well, also to make money) and try to get away from some fo that crap.

As far as our society getting more sexual? I think that's true, and personally I view it as a good thing :). If you asked me why, I would say the sexual revolution, coupled with the fact that it had to stop because of Herpes and AIDS, and the fact that you can say whatever you want on 'net and not worry about it... so our culture becomes more daring (or more debased, if you want to put it that way).
posted by delmoi at 12:45 AM on February 3, 2002

"Most porn is cheap, stupid, and tawdry."

Don't worry dude, I tell my girlfriend the exact same thing.

I have a theory that these shows (20/20, Frontline, Dateline NBC) are there for no other reason to make senior citizens worry their asses off.

The next time that my grandmother warns me about Lyme Disease I think I might just ejaculate in her face.
posted by ttrendel at 12:57 AM on February 3, 2002

Joe Rogan (comedian) has a funny rant about a visit to Hustler where about 1/3 through he talks about porn:
"I do know that if you're a dumb guy, and you believe everything you read or see on a tape to be fact, you could get a really fucked up perception of women from watching some porn.

But I'm not a dumb guy, and I don't think we should nerf the hard surfaces, and corners of the world because of idiots.

To me, when someone does something fucked up because they were influenced by some cult, or excited by some album, or porn, the problem isn't what influenced him, the problem is that he is a poorly formed human being.

If he looks at a magazine, and then goes out and rapes a woman, but yet when I look at the same magazine I jerk off and take a nap, the problem is obviously not the magazine.

The problem is that fucking piece of shit that raped a woman, and the problem is more than likely because of the way they were raised."
posted by owillis at 1:08 AM on February 3, 2002

To me, the irony in all of this is that we have an Attorney General and President who have a distinctive "We don't want no boobies" policy, when America's viewing and purchasing patterns clearly indicate that we would like "a whole mess of boobies".

Oliver, insert the word "drugs" in place of "boobies" and it also holds 100% true, and yet the war on drugs rages on.
posted by mathowie at 1:08 AM on February 3, 2002

Not until that man promises nudity.
With guests, yes. With the host? I need some of my audience to not be afflicted with hysterical blindness.

Oliver, insert the word "drugs" in place of "boobies" and it also holds 100% true, and yet the war on drugs rages on.

Completely agree. I'm against the War on Boobies & Doobies.
posted by owillis at 1:10 AM on February 3, 2002

The whole concept of a supposedly democratic government carrying out "wars" against something which a significant proportion of their elective body is so blatantly interested in doing has always struck me as laughable. The key point here is that the "war" problem has overtaken the drugs problem. The adulteration and overpricing of black-market substances is the main driver in crime, and drug-related health problems. It's like prohibition on an exponentially larger scale. After all, no one ever said alcohol wasn't an addictive substance which can cause health problems. It's better for all concerned if you can buy it at a fair price and no-one has mixed it with meths.

That said, I tend to agree with tiger yang. Strong as you might be in yourself, you are being affected by the images you view. Otherwise you would not view them. If we examine the prevalence of violence in domestic relationships, one can't help but think it might be lower if our porn was less abusive. That's a choice we have to make in determining what we want to watch though. Perhaps it's a vicous circle by now and not enough people would be interested in non-abusive porn. Hell, I'd give it a try at least once, though ...
posted by walrus at 3:15 AM on February 3, 2002

"The feminine is commercialized and commodified," he says. "This undermines the spiritual dimension of being a human being."

Isn't that what you people want?
posted by aaronshaf at 4:36 AM on February 3, 2002

Who is "you people"?
posted by Optamystic at 6:14 AM on February 3, 2002

Well said McBain.

How about we all work for a world where sexualty and consensuality are a healthy normal part of life - forget the catholic guilt stuff - taboo's generate shame

(and before you all start - no, I don't condone paedophilia or bestiality)
posted by Arqa at 6:40 AM on February 3, 2002

As a woman, as a feminist, I am insulted by the historical victim balance that feminist scholars are carrying forward with regards to pornography. Replacing the father-husband guardianship patriarchy with a nanny government is not an improvement.

Porn doesn't make ANYBODY do anything, it's there, it exists. Violent people are already violent. Gentle people are already gentle. If you're looking to cheapen sex, make it dirty, make it abusive , then you'll find pornography that strengthens your fantasy. If you just want to look at attractive people in exotic locales you'll never visit having sex, you'll find pornography that strengthens your fantasy. People decide what to do, and they will seek out whatever makes them feel good- be that a healthy relationship with another adult, or a good trenchcoat to hide their genitals so they can diddle themselves in public.

Even if all pornography disappeared today, there would still be people into slapping other people around, and humiliating them, hurting them, even killing them, to get their jollies. I'm pretty sure Jack the Ripper, the Marquis de Sade, Erzebet Bathory, and Caligula didn't have subscriptions to Hustler.

An analogue: you'll notice that the near-universal destruction of the word "nigger" has done absolutely nothing to end racism; banning pornography is not going to make abusive people more sensitive, either. It's monkey-see activism: pretend it's not there, and it doesn't exist. Guess what? It doesn't work when my 8 year old hides the lamp he broke, it doesn't work for grown ups, either. The only way to change a persistent stereotype is to regularly prove it wrong.
posted by headspace at 7:01 AM on February 3, 2002

I agree about the weak cloak of the victim - and how sanitising what exists as our cultural erotic ambience will have little effect on the socio or psychopathic. BUT! - generalising about those who are wired differently and get their "jollies" in ways you are not familiar with hardly pushes the cause of a self-realised and safe society further does it? Because a person may enjoy a bit of pain and another person may enjoy giving it, it doesn't automatically follow that they fuck babies !!!
posted by Arqa at 7:20 AM on February 3, 2002

...y'see the problem I have with feminist scholars is the didactic eschewing of all that doesn't quite fit with the stereotype they themselves are currently promoting - must dash - nipple clamps to polish!!
posted by Arqa at 7:30 AM on February 3, 2002

...and it's up to humans to find a way of managing the the most primal motivator - the energy of sex - with elegance and intelligence
posted by Arqa at 7:38 AM on February 3, 2002's up to humans to find a way of managing the the most primal motivator - the energy of sex - with elegance and dare I say it - intelligence? er...I'll shut up now Master is home early today ;-)
posted by Arqa at 7:41 AM on February 3, 2002

tiger yang- When I said the aesthetics of porn were sometimes cheap, stupid and tawdry, I was referring to the true sense of the word aesthetics- (according to "A guiding principle in matters of artistic beauty and taste; artistic sensibility". In other words, the visual intelligence of porn, with its cheap sets, bad lighting, bad music, etc, and the flatness of porn, the one-dimensionality of its depiction of a very complicated activity. These aesthetics are fine and dandy when in the service of porn, but when they are adopted by makers of other cultural products, they become extremely annoying and lazy. Many people make the mistake in thinking porn illustrates sex. Most often, it illustrates only itself, a stylized version of the concept of sex. For example, Kabuki Theater is wonderful in itself, and its aesthetic principles beautiful when applied to itself, but you would not want those principles applied to your television newscast. Kabuki aesthetics would not serve the clear dissemination of information that is necessary in a newscast.

So I am really making a case against the untrammeled influence of the aesthetics of porn running rampant through other visual and literary disciplines.

As for the issue of the imaging of women, I don't know much about it, since I am a viewer of gay male porn only. I have watched straight porn, and noted that it had a very different dynamic from the gay variety. The woman's role seemed to be of servant to the male viewer's projections. She was clearly the 'object', rather than an equally satisfied 'subject'. Her pleasure in and control of the situation didn't seem to be important. In gay porn, all the actors have the potential of being either subject or object or both, both in the sense that their sex role is changeable and that the viewer of the porn is encouraged and able to objectify or subjectify anyone he chooses; the subject/object thing is not pre-ordained. But this is just an off the cuff assessment of a perceived difference between gay & straight porn. I don't really put that much stock in all the post-structuralist sub/ob mumbo jumbo.

Hmmm...Kabuki News... You heard it here first.
posted by evanizer at 7:47 AM on February 3, 2002

I don't think I said that, Arqa, and in fact, that was my point. People like what they like, and they alone choose how that preference manifests itself in their life. When I said they can seek out a healthy, adult relationship, I never discounted any kind of preference, be it vanilla or deep chocolate BDSM. A healthy, adult relationship is one that's consensual, whatever your sexual parameters. People who want to victimize, will. People who don't want to victimize, won't. It doesn't matter if they're looking at the exact same porn magazine, it's their intent that makes the difference.
posted by headspace at 7:49 AM on February 3, 2002

evanizer- I watch gay and straight porn, and from what I've seen, they both embrace the same traditional dominant/submissive structure; I think it's just more obvious in straight porn because we're so aware of an historical precedent of woman-as-sexual-object.

For example, in straight porn, acts of fellatio are virtually guaranteed, but depictions of cunnilingus are more rare. Because they are analagous but different acts, the imbalance is easy to see. In gay porn, however, you have to look at the participants to see the imbalance. The twink is probably not going to get a blow job, but he will be giving them. The guy who gets penetrated, is probably not going to penetrate someone else.

Everybody in pornography is an object, both the dominant person you want to be, and the submissive person you want to screw. It's about self-satisfaction; it's masturbation bait, and I think that most people's fantasies tend toward the selfish. After all, it's their fantasy- they want to be the one pleasured, so it makes sense that pornography is going to be weighted toward what the consumer wants to happen to them.

What people do with themselves alone is vastly different from what they do with a partner- when you're masturbating, you're don't have to be concerned with your partner's pleasure, so it's not necessary to think about sexual equity. Consequently, pornography is black and white, a genre to fit every niche, instead of a universal sensitivity in all depictions.
posted by headspace at 8:20 AM on February 3, 2002

"when you're masturbating, you're don't have to be concerned with your partner's pleasure, so it's not necessary to think about sexual equity. " it isn't??? omg I have been doing it wrong ....forgive meeeeee ;-)
posted by Arqa at 8:32 AM on February 3, 2002

"Pornography" is disgusting, but "erotica" is cool. (Sounds like the Cambria List is for "erotica" producers, not pr0n.)
Relegate any behavior to the backalleys (drugs, pr0n, prostitution, abortion) and it becomes the domain of greed-driven sleazeballs. Maybe if Erotica was accepted by society, there would be much less of a market for smut and less of a human cost. ("War on boobies and doobies" --very well said.)

But our society can't even deal with nudity. It goes back to American society's self-image being a gilded myth perpetrated by politicians and the media telling us what they think we want to hear about who we are. We're too uncomfortable with it to deal with it--but we want to be titillated by talking about its evils.
posted by StOne at 8:37 AM on February 3, 2002

What's more shocking: Someone behaving in a sexual manner or pounding society repeatedly with violent images?

We already know what the "conservatives" in governement think since many of these are the same people who pushed all the way to impeachment just because some homely guy got oral from a fat chick. Who cares? Only Ashcroft and his croneys who know better what is good for me than I do. Boobies are bad or something. Be real. There's no real excuse for this kind of Puritanical push than simply someone's own fear of their sexuality. Or perhaps it's even more Freudian and it means that conservatives have significantly smaller penises than everyone else (or at least think they do).

I respect SpecialK's right to delay sex until he finds the "right person," but to expect everyone in society to conform to that kind of religio-conservative model is both unrealistic and UNDEMOCRATIC. Of course, the nation by the people, for the people long ago perished from the earth to be replaced by whatever the heck this is that we have now.
posted by shagoth at 8:56 AM on February 3, 2002

.... menstruation? o dear
posted by Arqa at 9:10 AM on February 3, 2002

Feminist/Philosopher Cathrine Mckinnon spoke about...

You lose me right about here. What a nut case.

Sexuality is a strange thing. There are all kinds of porn for all kinds of moods, people, whatever... Many people like to roleplay, using some porn as a script to work from. Most well educated adults can use this to spice up their love life, while understanding and respecting women and their important role in society. Sexuality is irrational, we get off on some weird things, and a lot of it is just fantasy. Why can't porn cater to those fantasies and be just as irrational? If a husband and wife like to role play a pimp and hooker a little, God bless them. If it keeps them excited about each other rather than divorced just about when John and Jane are entering high school, great. People who allow porn to skew their world view, have other problems to begin with. Just because there are a number of nuts out there doesn't mean you can take away my porn.

Again, headspace, great comments, except...

but depictions of cunnilingus are more rare.

I would disagree.

Everybody in pornography is an object, both the dominant person you want to be, and the submissive person you want to screw.

Many enjoy putting themselves in the submissive role. The dominant "actor" can be the fantasy figure just as easily.
posted by McBain at 9:26 AM on February 3, 2002

In order to create a piece of PG rated satire on my site, I've had to do quite a bit of , ahem, research. Viewing porn in the newsgroups has been very intriguing from the standpoint of seeing the chronological progression of morees pertaining to pornography. The very material which I lampoon is very rare these days. We all know that men are more visually oriented than narrative, but this has become hyper inflated in the new world of male-centric porn. There is no fantasy remaining. All that is left is clinical physiology, humiliation, and domination. You can even see it within mainstream porn like Penthouse. Their recent fixation on urination shows an effort to be one step ahead of other mags on the shocking scale. This is what worries me about porn. An outsider could look at porn flicks for a good thirty odd year stretch and not be able to determine too much differentiation other than film vs. video, or some ugly outfits and haircuts. Today, it's not just that we leave nothing to the imagination, it's that we've gone well beyond having respect for the human condition. I never comprehended the feminist arguments in the eighties regarding porn, but now I buy into it completely as I can see how it affects everyone around us, man or woman. There's just plain nothing funny about porn anymore dammit!
posted by machaus at 9:37 AM on February 3, 2002

Of course, the nation by the people, for the people long ago perished from the earth to be replaced by whatever the heck this is that we have now."

I wish this wasn't added as a tagline to nearly every post-9/11 post. I think that fact that we are discussing this issue at all, and no one is pounding down our doors or bulldozing walls over me is proof that your assesment of our current state is a bit misapprehended.

And I think people's reaction to the unhealthier sector of the porn market stems not from a fear of sexuality, but a defense of sexuality from the encroachment of increasingly violent strains and cynical overexposure.

But I also believe that this idea of an innocent and rosy past is silly. Humans haven't really changed a lick in all our existence. We are no more or less innocent as a race than we ever were. Sex is an important factor of life and always has been. Its depiction in modern Western society is what has increased.
posted by evanizer at 10:09 AM on February 3, 2002

I wish this wasn't added as a tagline to nearly every post-9/11 post.

Just to explain, this wasn't aimed at 9/11 at all. I sincerely believe that corporate control and special interest graft has long since taken the governmental process over to a degree that the will of the people is purely an academic exercise at the governmental level. I think that 9/11 has been used to justify a greater openness to the degree that things are out of the people's hands though it didn't actually change the circumstances.
posted by shagoth at 11:02 AM on February 3, 2002

Their recent fixation on urination shows an effort to be one step ahead of other mags on the shocking scale....

when I tell friends of mine who are not in any way porn consumers that Penthouse now carries pictures of women peeing in every issue now, most of them just flat out don't believe me.

a defense of sexuality from the encroachment of increasingly violent strains and cynical overexposure

yes. and once again we get into the doobies/boobies fight. If you come out as pro-sex, you already get a lot of people on your back who just believe you should keep that sort of stuff at home, or whatever. but to actually be critical of negative trends in current porn, you need to frame the argument so that you're pro-porn and yet anti-current porn and discussion frequently turns into a puppy-pile of moral and psychological rhetoric.

I sometimes liken it to complaining about lack of taste/features in cigarettes. So many people will just buy what's available, for various reasons, that it's tough to believe you could affect the market through your own consumer purchasing preferences [plus porn is near free on the internet, does anyone really buy porn anymore?]
posted by jessamyn at 11:16 AM on February 3, 2002

The government should learn an importmant lesson:
"Trying to fix or change something, only guarantees and perpetuates its existence."
That applies to the war on drugs as well as the "war on booobies".
posted by bytecode at 12:57 PM on February 3, 2002

pornography is to sex as the dukes of hazzard is to shakespeare.

You all still haven't figured that out yet.
posted by bunnyfire at 2:25 PM on February 3, 2002

Umm, I think a link provided by another post has the last word on this, guys.

"Hey Jesse-- Check out these babes! No clothes!"
posted by evanizer at 4:57 PM on February 3, 2002

pornography is to sex as the dukes of hazzard is to shakespeare.

It's so obvious now -- the Dukes of Hazzard is really pictures of people having Shakespeare with each other!
posted by kindall at 7:01 PM on February 3, 2002

Oh cmon kindall, she's just a good ol girl, never meanin' no harm.
posted by machaus at 7:30 PM on February 3, 2002

from what I've seen, they both embrace the same traditional dominant/submissive structure

Headspace, those rare times when one stumbles upon egalitarian images. . .just two people in any gender combination having sex and enjoying it. . .are those not the most stimulating and satisfying images of this sort?
posted by Danf at 1:13 PM on February 4, 2002

I reckon that depends on what you're looking for, Danf. :) I know I like the porn vignettes that start out with kissing, move on to foreplay, then penetration, then afterglow, but that's just me. Somebody else might really enjoy disconnected visuals of blow job after blow job and nothing else.
posted by headspace at 5:29 PM on February 4, 2002

Headspace, yes. . . and "normal" people as opposed to models. . . .although I'm not sure that the willingness to have pictures of onself in "that" condition displayed on the net would be "normal" in my book. . .but I'm glad that there are people willing to make this sacrifice!
posted by Danf at 8:04 PM on February 4, 2002

evanizer, you should rent Philip Mond's Zazel and some Andrew Blake flicks. Goofy but very well done...
posted by tranquileye at 2:41 PM on February 7, 2002

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