Women vs Porn

 

Andrea Dworkin was a radical feminist and writer who once declared that any one who defends pornography can not be a feminist.  I tend to struggle with accepting feminism sometimes because of ideals such as this.  Some feminist beliefs that claim “can nots” and “do nots” really get under my skin.  I certainly don’t hate feminists, not even close, but I do not identify as one either.  I’m just me.
I do have many many friends, co-workers and family members who call themselves feminists and I respect that. I really do. I respect it and I am interested in everything that they have to say and i love learning about what they believe in.  It’s the extreme label that tends to have me rolling my eyes and blocking out the messages.  Some feminists ( the ones I mainly come in contact with) who aren’t as extreme,  believe that Andrea Dworkin brought attention to some very real and very important issues but that in general she has been more destructive than beneficial to the women’s movement.
I think  that forcing your beliefs on anyone and declaring that they are wrong if they don’t agree with you is  unacceptable, no matter what the message.  Everyone has a right to believe what they want to believe.

Very recently, I was met with some comments regarding some DVD’s that we carry at our Water Street location.  An angry lady contacted us to let us know that we were promoting rape and misogyny and ruining people’s relationships  by carrying the DVD’s that we did.  She said we were anti-feminists. Anti-woman.

Now, as you, our loyal customers and readers, know, Our Pleasure does no such thing. We are determined to promote healthy, happy, consensual and safe sex and relationships. We try to carry DVD’s that have a little something for everyone.  Sasha Grey, a well known, “edgier” porn star and a self proclaimed feminist once said “What one person sees as degrading and disgusting and bad for women might make some women feel empowered and beautiful and strong.”

We try to be open minded and accept all opinions and beliefs…even if we don’t always agree with them.  We don’t intentionally carry DVD’s that would ruin a relationship.  We certainly do not promote misogyny or rape. We believe that anything, as long as it is consensual, is ok.  We are not anti-feminists or anti-woman.
The comment made by this lady really got us thinking…where is this coming from? What’s really behind her words? Can Porn ruin relationships?
Can you really be considered misogynistic if you enjoy porn?
Are feminists allowed to love porn?

We talked to a bunch of women. Co-workers, customers, and  family who were kind enough to  voice their opinions of feminism, women and pornography for us.

“I love naked ladies and porn and everything that comes with it.  It’s a typical thing to say but as long as no one is being abused beyond their threshold i see no problem with the industry in any way. I personally know porn actresses and could consider them to be feminists in their own way, clearly in the other direction, but they are probably more about female liberation than the typical extreme feminist. Don’t you think if someone is blaming porn for their relationship problems it clearly goes way beyond that?  Me and my boyfriend have an awesome relationship and the fact that I couldn’t care less what or who he looks at on the internet probably helps with the whole trust issue. Basically, females who are insecure about their men looking at other women in porn have issues firstly with themselves and their self image, and secondly (which is probably the worst when dealing with relationships) they have trouble trusting their partner.”

I agree! The women who left an angry comment on our blog may have been blaming the porn and choosing to skip over the fact that something is wrong in her relationship if
1. Her partner is choosing to look at porn instead of have sex with her and
2.  She’s blaming an outside source instead of trying to get to the root of the problem, the breakage in their relationship. Porn can be terrible. There been many horrible, degrading films made. But porn is just an inanimate object. Nobody is forcing anyone to watch it. (if they are, that’s a whole other problem)

“I personally don’t enjoy pornography in picture or video form, however, on occasion, I have enjoyed written erotica.”

I respect that. Not every one has to love pornography. Not everyone has to love pizza. It’s all about choices!

“I hate pornography. Every type, everything about it”

This is ok too. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. If you choose to not watch porn, that’s the right choice for you!

“I consider myself to be a feminist and, just like there are different types of feminists (some more extreme than others, differing views, etc) there are different types of pornography. I believe that it depends on the type of pornography and the perspective of the person watching it that makes a difference. There are so many different fetishes and fantasies portrayed in all media, not just porn. Can some of the materials be considered degrading? I would have to say yes, but not all porn is degrading. In fact I think it can be liberating depending on the portrayal. Women are sexual beings, and it is just as important for that side to be expressed and explored as it is for other aspects of life. What I feel becomes problematic is when people are only ever exposed to media which shows women with “the perfect body” in constantly submissive positions satisfying others while not being satisfied, as well as violence and general disrespect towards women; it is these types of portrayals that can create unrealistic views and expectations. With respect to porn and relationships, bring it on! If both partners are open to the idea and are comfortable with the material they are viewing, what is the harm? Problems occur when people refuse to acknowledge sexual desires and discomforts, and keep that from their partner.”

Well said!

“Ok, so I think the only things that can wreck relationships are the adults who take part in them. It’s like blaming the mistress when your husband is the one who said the vows. I am a feminist and I watch porn with my fiance. Being a feminist is about supporting a woman’s right to choose whether it’s regarding marriage, working outside the home, having children, being in porn, whatever. It’s ok for women to be sexual and like sex, like watching sex, having sex, and all that stuff. I am very much aware of the sometimes brutal reality and slimy nature of the porn industry, and there is a ton of porn out there that is demeaning to women, no doubt. But it’s up to a woman what she does with her body whether it’s aborting an unwanted child or taking off her clothes to pay her rent … isn’t that one of the things most feminist would probably agree on? Don’t get me wrong, if I had a little girl I wouldn’t want her to be in porn, but we’re not talking about that, what we’re talking about is porn wrecking relationshps and the definition of feminism. One doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with the other.”

It’s true, porn and feminism and the struggles and insecurities within a relationship  really have nothing to do with each other. You cannot blame porn for your relationship or your personal worries. You cannot blame porn for pushing the feminist movement backwards. You cannot blame any one but yourself for your reactions and how outside things affect you.

“i watched a lot of porn when i was really young. i had a television in my room basically always. for a while porn would come on the pay-per-view channels and you could preview the first 15 minutes. i would figure out the schedule for all the channels and watch the first 15 minutes of every porn that came on television.  i was totally addicted and hadn`t even started my period yet.
towards the end of high school i became interested in feminism and started to think more critically about my sexual experiences. i bought a dildo and vowed to never watch pornography again. i didn`t ever ward off sex, but i traced a lot of my ideas about female subordination back to the pornographic photos, movies and erotic stories that i read so religiously as a kid. 

i asked my boyfriend not to watch porn anymore. i also felt incredibly insecure and didn`t understand that a boy could watch porn and still think i was pretty. i felt badly about myself for having rolls in my stomach when i was pretzeled into those positions and for having scars and bruises and short black hair and a rat tail rather than flowing blonde hair and breast implants or something. i thought that porn was evil. i still feel very uncomfortable with mainstream pornography. i still feel like if my partners want to look at porn that i must be doing something wrong. i have reclaimed a lot of things, though. i feel like i have flipped the borderline rape narratives of a lot of pornographic movies and use similar ideas in my real-life sex life. it`s always discussed beforehand and always with a partner who understands, and who respects me and keeps an eye out for any signs of disassociation or negative sexual responses. i still feel shitty for not looking a certain way sometimes and like the only sexual images my partner should want to look at should be of me. i will allow myself to be filmed, photographed, taped, whatever. you want porn? here you go; it`s gonna be of me! 
lately i`ve been finding myself looking for pornographic material. photos don`t do it for me. paintings, drawings and literature are what get me through lonely nights or dry spells now. there`s something about photographs and movies that takes away some of the magic. it`s so much less imaginative, i think. so much more prescribed.”

I agree with you. Most porn is not imaginative at all. Luckily, there’s so much beautiful erotic art out there and even a whole boat load of raunchy art as well.  There are even erotic comic books out there! Some of them are really good!

“I don’t think I will ever be comfortable watching porn, nor do I ever think I would be ok with a partner watching porn. There’s no room for it in my relationships. If it floats your boat, that’s fine, I’m just very anti-porn and like my sex and my intimacy to be between me and my partner. If we truly love each other, why do we need to look at other people having sex? That’s just my opinion.” 

I want to thank all of our customers, friends and family who offered their opinions on this topic.

2 thoughts on “Women vs Porn

  1. 1. Put on Dirty Dancing
    2. Gently rub your legs until the dance scene at the end
    3. Masturbate to climax when he lifts her
    With practice, you can perfectly time it. It’s magical, and also works with Ghost and Road House.

  2. What i don’t realize is actually how you’re now not really a lot more smartly-appreciated than you might be right now. You are very intelligent. You recognize therefore considerably when it comes to this subject, produced me in my view imagine it from a lot of various angles. Its like women and men are not interested until it’s one thing to do with Woman gaga! Your personal stuffs nice. All the time handle it up!

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