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sukouyant
QUOTE(greenbean @ Aug 7 2006, 01:34 PM) *

Am I the only one that thinks theres a big difference between porn and prostitution?
My friends and I were talking about this the other day, and while most of us dont mind if our
boyfriends watch porn (and most of us watch as well) we would have a problem if our
boyfriends had paid for sex at some point in their lives. One of my friends claimed her
boyfriend HAD paid for sex long before their relationship, and she was fine with it.
I dont know if I could be. Is that hypocritical of me? I just feel like prostitutes are more
exploited/in more dire straights than your average porn actor, so it would disturb me if a
guy I was with had participated in the exploitation of a woman, yet I dont feel that way
if he viewed porn.
Does that make sense?


Hm is it possible that laws that treat prostitutes as criminals & programs that treat them as victims affects your perception of them? Because porn actors do the same thing, except in front of a camera & maybe they do their jobs for the same reasons that other sex workers do theirs. Come to think of it, the only reason they get treated differently by the law and government funded agencies is because they aren’t seen as a public nuisance the way street prostitutes are.

I'd feel more jealous if my BF was having a relationship with a prostitute than with a porn movie, but it would bother me if none of the porn he looked at looked anything like me or the things we’ve shared & done together.

Someone I’m in love with has paid for it, nothing wrong with that. He’s not afraid to answer my questions about it.

QUOTE(lucizoe @ Aug 7 2006, 10:34 PM) *

Just got the new BITCH today in the mailbox - all about sex, with a couple of articles about sex workers...mentions a bit about how the women for whom sex work is a free will choice are overwhelmingly white and middle class...

anywho, just wanted to give a heads-up if anyone was interested...go buy it smile.gif


this seems like a weird double-edged statement. is it calling people who say "no woman would ever really choose this" liars, or is it one of those self-selecting samples that really says "women who report to bitch magazine journalists are mostly white middle class women"? Has anybody else had a chance to read it yet?

QUOTE(girlbomb @ Aug 6 2006, 04:52 PM) *

You know, rereading the Foriegn Fuck and Empower links Snafooey posted and rantrave refers to, I think it's great that some people choose to do sex work, and I'm delighted they're happy with it. I'm certainly not trying to stop anybody from doing it safely or profitably; my goals are their goals in that respect. At the same time, these sex workers do the same thing they accuse anti-prostitution activists of doing -- they assume their experiences are the only ones that matter. In my experience, knowing both voluntary and involuntary sex workers, I'm inclined to believe that there is a *huge* fucking human trafficking and rape-for-money problem, and it's not my goddamn xenophobia talking, because the shit is happening right here in New York.

Hey, if you want to do sex work, do sex work! But don't assume everyone else in your line of work does.


No the work isn’t for everybody. Girlbomb, what do you mean by involuntary sexwork and rape-for-money? Are you saying sex work should be illegal, because of the kind of exploitation you’ve seen?

QUOTE(pepper @ Aug 6 2006, 05:32 PM) *

so long as there are people willing to sell their ass, or a glimpse of it, to strangers for cash there will be others willing to sell some other, unwilling person's ass for less money.

it's been said here recently that i ain't gonna go nowhere any time soon, there has to be a move towards making it legit and safe. i have to agree with that, no matter how i feel about it as a whole. it has to get cleaned up as it is before anything else happens. light one candle instead of cursing the darkness kinda thing, ye know.


I agree. And it would be cool if feminists saw sex work in its different forms and the conditions surrounding it as labour issues.

prohibitionists puzzle me. there seems to be this viscous paternalism that cloaks other problems that they have with sex work. when work conditions are oppressive, since when does it make sense to ban the occupation? if whore stigma didn’t exist maybe more feminists would be listening to and working with sex workers and fighting alongside for the things that would make work safer and easier.

it seems to me like feminists who want to dismantle and control (without consultation!) sex work are saying to other women "we fight for the rights of all women to have choices, but some women are like men and need to tell other women what to do for their own good."
girlbomb
Sukoyant, by "involuntary sex work" and "rape-for-money," I'm talking about cases in which underage boys and girls are coerced into the sex trade by older men, who take their money, feed them drugs, and beat them. When they're traded by their moms to their moms' boyfriends, or strangers, for drugs.Child prostitution rings. Cases where women are smuggled into the country and forced to work off their passage in brothels.

Why, what did you think I meant?

Am I saying sex work should be illegal? I think sexual exploitation should be illegal. And I think, as I've said again and again, that sex workers should be protected. As should those who do not choose sex work, but find it chosen for them.
lucizoe
(I guess I should have clarified what I read: One journalist's experience, in her research for an article about sex work, apparently encountered a higher number of white and middle class women than women of color of any class. I don't know how she set up her interviews, or where she found interviewees, so she very well could have, unwittingly or not, limited her research to exlusively middle class white women. I'm looking for the magazine to clarify, but I have no idea where I put it at the moment).
sukouyant
lucizoe, i'm totally on the lookout for the mag too especially seeing as bitch is one of my favourites. it's an issue i feel really passionate about.

QUOTE(girlbomb @ Aug 14 2006, 06:59 PM) *

Sukoyant, by "involuntary sex work" and "rape-for-money," I'm talking about cases in which underage boys and girls are coerced into the sex trade by older men, who take their money, feed them drugs, and beat them. When they're traded by their moms to their moms' boyfriends, or strangers, for drugs.Child prostitution rings. Cases where women are smuggled into the country and forced to work off their passage in brothels.

Why, what did you think I meant?

Am I saying sex work should be illegal? I think sexual exploitation should be illegal. And I think, as I've said again and again, that sex workers should be protected. As should those who do not choose sex work, but find it chosen for them.


Er, I wasn't certain what you meant that's why I asked you. I know it's tiresome to repeat your fundamental POV - I'm jumping into the discussion and I wasn't sure what it was.

Rape-for-money is a loaded phrase that some people use to encompass all sex work by definition.

Those things that you pointed out Girlbomb, they are illegal already, poorly enforced. Assault... extortion.
lucizoe
Aha! Mr.Luci found it for me...see what I get for actually cleaning? I lose shit...

My apologies all; I confused my info. The article I was referring to was very specifically talking about the growing numbers of middle class women in sex work...I thought I read something more concrete regarding a larger trend, as indicated by my earlier statement, but in skimming I've been unable to find it. My bad.

There's another article about organizing unions...which was really interesting, but because I clearly suck at communicating this sort of thing online, I think I'll just reiterate: Go buy it! They need the cash! smile.gif
thereshegoes
i'm generally a lurker, but i felt like i needed to throw in my 2 cents.

i don't know if this illustrates what girlbomb was talking about, but i really think it's important to realize there are two very different classes of sex workers (prolly more than 2, but. . .).

when i first came to nyc and worked in academia, i encountered many women who were invovled in sex work (generally doms, models or strippers)---many of them were privileged, white, etc. getting grad degress in creative writing or women's studies, who found the work to be exploratory and exciting, like experimenting with drugs or bisexuality or punk rock. they wrote a lot of papers like the articles in BITCH (i actually know one of the writers). i think of this as the kathleen hanna school of sex work.

when i became a social worker, i experienced a very different kind of sex worker. these women were rarely old enough to buy liquor, were often members of oppressed populations (teen runaways, inscest victims, women of color, drug addicts), and had very abusive pimps (real live m-fing pimps, i met them). i had thought this was an outdated cliche but after working with these women i came to understand that this is the life story of most sex workers in nyc, and they find it laughable that white girls would do such a thing if they didn't have to. they described hooking as violent, unsafe and degrading.

i wonder if the difference in intention (sex work for basic survival v. sex for as a way to explore taboos) makes the difference in the two classes of workers. if so, are the women in the privileged class affecting the lives/livelihoods of those in the non-privileged class?
erinjane
QUOTE(thereshegoes @ Aug 17 2006, 01:58 PM) *

i wonder if the difference in intention (sex work for basic survival v. sex for as a way to explore taboos) makes the difference in the two classes of workers. if so, are the women in the privileged class affecting the lives/livelihoods of those in the non-privileged class?


You mean in a bad way? Maybe some are, maybe some aren't. I certainly don't think all are because I know a lot of women through the web who are sex workers but who also advocate strongly for changes in social policy and for helping raise awareness for those in the non-privileged class. It's unfortunate that there are also a lot of privileged women who just don't see the connection and feel they have no need to make society aware of what sex work can look like across the board. I think in a sense though, that it is a good thing that there are privileged women who do choose to go into sex work because they are the ones who are more likely to be heard (if they're heard at all) when trying to change the industry.
thereshegoes
i don' think i only meant in a bad way---i think there are good ways-the unionizing etc mentioned already, and also i feel that alternative porn has done a lot to diversify what's sexy. of course, the obvious bad way is the lack of media attention given to sex-work underclass in a lot of the alternative press sex worker coverage. and the general obnoxiousness of privilege in any form.

i guess sex work is like marriage, a drag if you are forced into it, but great fun if you choose it.

what i'd be curious to know is why people do choose it---does it make you feel sexy in a way that you didn't before? more confident with the opposite sex? better pay than waitressing? and is partner sex still fun after?
girlbomb
Here's an interesting link from Nerve.com, about a woman who gave "erotic massages" (mostly handjobs, though she did shove stuff up some guys' asses) -- she addresses some (but not all) of your questions, thereshegoes.
sukouyant
i'm inclined to think anyone who says they're not doing it for the money is lying at least a little bit. there are degrees of need, but still. i noticed there's a more sex-positive feel to the american rights movement than there is up here (in canada). it's pretty alienating to people who hate what they're doing.

(edit)
Check out this article on Five's new sitcom about prostitution. There's room for comments below the article and people have made some thoughtful ones. It seems like there's sexworker activism that challenges the stigma and then there's sexworker chic that makes it more palatable and consumable.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/st...1851832,00.html

I don't think it's fair to say that happy-go-lucky-hookers is the only idea people receive about prostitution though. That's like assuming BUST is the only voice of 3rd wave feminism somehow.
katiebelle2882
GREAT article girlbomb. i love nerve.com!
erinjane
I just got the new issue of Bitch and plan to flip through it tonight.

Did anyone else check out the newest Carnival of Feminists?
http://amber.tangerinecs.com/viewentry.php?entry=1675
She has some interesting posts on sex positive feminism, sex work, and porn. I haven't looked through it all yet because it's looong. But sounds pretty interesting.
knorl05
so this is what i do. i reflect, on everything.
see it's like this, i think that women using their bodies to make a living is easy. that's all. i also think the same for men. but if they want to do it, more power to them. it's really a waste of my time and energy to put more thought into it than that. being non-judgmental of people, means i take them as they are. and if i choose to disassociate myself from porn, so be it. and if my neighbor is a xxx-porn star, so be it too. she's human, exercising her right to make that choice. and if i'm really to be the loving, compassionate person i strive to be, then all i've got to do is see that all people are perfect just as they are. sounds corny i know, but i've come to see that this is the lesson i continue to learn in life. and the more i offer this to the world, the more i receive it from the world. the main thing i need to concern myself with, is to live according to my own ideals.. and then realize that others are doing the same.

hmm i know this thread is dead.. just felt like giving my final two cents.
erinjane
I think those are good points, knorl, but you're only covering on aspect of sex work, the kind that is a personal choice and nothing is forced, etc.

What about the rights for prostitutes in developed countries, like Canada? Or the illegal sex trade?

I'm all for supporting personal decisions, but I'm more for advocating for safe conditions for those in the industry.
knorl05
erinjane: Ur right. It's a sad fact of reality, which many people turn their backs to. I just wonder, what does the (sex industry) represent? As though why has it become such a widespread problem? I would say power and money; using people as products, objects, to be packaged, marketed, and sold. So then what would be the solution? Safer conditions, and more rights, are a great place to start. How do you get the message across to people that sex is a part of each one of our lives.. what I mean is how do you turn the fight into one you can get people to relate to? To empathize with those in the sex industry? There has to be some way to penetrate the system(no pun intended of course), to get people to see that it the effects trickle down to their families, themselves. People want to know how something affects them, they want to know why they should care... with so many other issues that need addressing in the world today, it's hard to get people to take notice that there are major problems in the sex industry that deserve attention just like any other.
katiebelle2882
check THIS out!!!


http://www.rawstory.com/news/2006/Porn_up_..._down_0922.html


andrea dworkin claimed the exact opposite. very interesting. i am not sure how that makes sense if rape is about power and porn is about sex. maybe we have been wrong about that all along? weird,
girlbomb
Funny how everyone quoted in the article has a vested interest in the porn biz. Especially loved this self-serving bit:

"Will Ryder, Director of Hustler's Barely Legal and Britney Rears video line wholeheartedly agrees. 'I have always felt this [the idea of a positive correlation between porn use and rape] was an absurd claim and that quite the contrary would take place, due to the fact that most who view adult entertainment usually conclude their session with a self-satisfaction reward and are too damn tired to leave the house and rape somebody.'"

Oh! So more men would be out raping people if they hadn't tired themselves out masturbating? Thanks, porn, for keeping us safe!

:eyes rolling so far back in head that ganglia get tangled:
erinjane
I think that's pretty ridiculous. And it only takes into account a very specific type of mainstream porn. It doesn't make mention of the truly oppressing stuff that is really wide spread in the world. I think it simplifies the debate about porn/rape as well. Rape is so often more about power then it is sex, like katie pointed out, so how does porn use come into play?
venetia
It also completely ignores the statistics that have been gathered from interviewing rapists.

Using porn related to rape and prowling/peeping are two of the things that convicted rapists themselves tend to say they do before getting up the courage to rape someone.

Anthony D'Amato is a Law professor with no experience in this area at all. Check out his university webpage and CV - he dosne't know shit about this. Which doesn't account for why he is pretending to ignore the fact that his argument is a logical fallacy (just because two things coincide doesn't mean one causes another, as any ten year old knows). I don't know why he's pretending he's a social scientist all of a sudden. Maybe he just wanted to get his name in the papers.
katiebelle2882
yeah i dont get it either. i just found it interesting and odd that someone would say that.

and yeah girlbomb, i thought that was a totally bizarre quote as well. furthermore, its like, even if that was true, its still not cool that anyone would think its ok in the first place, but they are just too tired out to do it. i mean come on.
lije
Reducing the rate of sexual assault by any nonviolent means is progress.

"It also completely ignores the statistics that have been gathered from interviewing rapists."
Which rapists? Ted Bundy? He claimed the day before he was executed that pornography was what led him to kill women. His motive to lie was obvious. Ted Bundy and other rapists and murderers are not representative of most men.
venetia
Huh? No of course I'm not talking about media interviews with famous serial killers. I am talking about proper studies with common garden rapists, control groups etc, that gathered actual statistics... wtf.

If you genuinely have any interest in this data I suggest you do the research - try databases like Expanded Academic, Science Direct etc.

Did you even try google?
erinjane
Reducing the rate of sexual assault by any non-violent means WOULD be progress, however, this particular example has no factual back up, and really just doesn't make much sense to anyone familiar with both pornography and sexual assault.

maddy29
bumping for people from childfree thread-anyone want to talk more about this?

I think we have to acknowledge that we won't be coming to any nice easy agreements here, but i for one appreciate having this space to talk, ask questions, and hear other people's viewpoints.....

maddy29
Hey, I copied and pasted the discussion from CBC into this thread so we can all discuss....



QUOTE(morgue_rat @ Oct 22 2006, 05:03 PM) *

I find it disconcerting that 85% of sex workers, whether they're strippers or prostitutes, have been sexually abused.


Cite?



post Today, 05:19 PM


Posts: 476


i'm with morguerat on this one.....

at least, if what she means is that it feels even worse to find out this woman was a stripper?

may not be "rational" or "fair" but feelings usually aren't.....

maybe it's time to bump the porn thread and get that conversation going again...



katiebelle2882
post Today, 05:07 PM


its fine if you dont agree with it, but i think the way you said it really puts down the girl bc shes a stripper and therefore somehow less worthy of something then you are. i think its fine if you dont agree with her choices, but no reason to be an asshole about it or use that term to somehow discredit her.


but yeah thats in another thread.



lucizoe
post Today, 04:37 PM

There's totally a thread dedicated to sex work here, and one about porn here.


maddy29:


y'all should come over to the porn: is it cock-blocking feminism thread and restart this conversation- i pretty much agree with what you're saying, but i found myself to be in the vast minority over there.....i'm still interested in discussing it though.

and i MUST Read that book because people keep recommending it to me and it seems that she's saying exactly what i've been trying to put together.



girlygirlgag
post Today, 02:56 PM
Post #6

QUOTE(morgue_rat @ Oct 22 2006, 10:03 PM) *

As a "pro-sex, anti-porn" person, I have a lot of qualms about the sex industry and sex workers, but that would really be a hundred-paragraph debate. I find it disconcerting that 85% of sex workers, whether they're strippers or prostitutes, have been sexually abused. I also find it disturbing that many people are drawing their sexual liberation from people who are paid to mimic sex. Ariel Levy's "Female Chauvinist Pigs" is a good piece of literature that covers this. There is also a problem within the feminist community of defending any woman's choice as a brilliant, infallible decision, which just simply isn't true. Loose thoughts, though, nothing set in stone. Thanks.



I agree with you morgue. I know a lot of women who worked in the sex industry and it was never, ever, an empowering experience. In fact, some are dead from overdoses, and one from murder.


***


Newbie
*
As a "pro-sex, anti-porn" person, I have a lot of qualms about the sex industry and sex workers, but that would really be a hundred-paragraph debate. I find it disconcerting that 85% of sex workers, whether they're strippers or prostitutes, have been sexually abused. I also find it disturbing that many people are drawing their sexual liberation from people who are paid to mimic sex. Ariel Levy's "Female Chauvinist Pigs" is a good piece of literature that covers this. There is also a problem within the feminist community of defending any woman's choice as a brilliant, infallible decision, which just simply isn't true. Loose thoughts, though, nothing set in stone. Thanks.

QUOTE(lucizoe @ Oct 20 2006, 10:39 PM) *

Welcome to BUST!

And hey, nothing wrong with being a stripper...I know you probably just meant "gak! he's a liar and mixed up bartender and stripper because he's totally unreliable!" not, "gak! ick! strippers are gross!" but just wanted to put it out there.

I hear you on the kid discomfort! I don't like being around them once they can begin to speak.

Again, welcome!




lucizoe

Welcome to BUST!

And hey, nothing wrong with being a stripper...I know you probably just meant "gak! he's a liar and mixed up bartender and stripper because he's totally unreliable!" not, "gak! ick! strippers are gross!" but just wanted to put it out there.

I hear you on the kid discomfort! I don't like being around them once they can begin to speak.

Again, welcome!



Newbie
*
As a new member, I would like to throw in my congratulatory childfree thoughts on the subject:

My ex-boyfriend and way-way-way best friend had been in the midst of sleeping with me early this year, reinvolving himself with me, when he decided to drop the bomb that he had gotten some "bartender" pregnant. It took me some months to register that he was (much to my suprise) a pathological liar, so I spent some of the worst weeks of my life obssessing over the pregnancy subject, particularly when he told me the chick had copped out of the abortion. All turned out for the best---I stopped speaking to him, began dating the weird artist guy who'd sat behind me in horror films class the previous semester, became cat-mommy to an orphaned kitten---but this whole ordeal was a cap on my childfree resolution. Not to mention that the truth leaked out months later that the "bartender" was a stripper. Gak!
girlygirlgag
I just want to clarify that I do not see women who work in the sex industry as "icky" or "less than", I see the sex industry as a pretty bad place for women.
katiebelle2882
i actually wont disagree with that at all GGG, i think generally it most likely is, however, is the answer no more porn? cause i dont know if i agree with that either. are we going to draw a line between porn and erotica?
erinjane
Just to clarify, I was asking for a cite for:
QUOTE
(morgue_rat @ Oct 22 2006, 05:03 PM) *

I find it disconcerting that 85% of sex workers, whether they're strippers or prostitutes, have been sexually abused.


I agree ggg, I think most of the sex industry is a bad place, but I don't think girls are going to stop going into certain areas because they think it's 'glamorous',and I also think there are some areas that women do find safe and empowering. I advocate for safer conditions in consensual sex work and an end to dangerous, unconsensual sex work. I think that it's impossible to erradicate sex work of any kind at this point so making it safer is something I'm behind.
girlygirlgag
QUOTE(katiebelle2882 @ Oct 23 2006, 06:38 PM) *

i actually wont disagree with that at all GGG, i think generally it most likely is, however, is the answer no more porn? cause i dont know if i agree with that either. are we going to draw a line between porn and erotica?



IMO, the porn industry would be easier to regulate, if it were not so vast. With the internet, it seems that would be not only impossible, but a waste of time. Also, with female slave trade, etc, how do you know you are watching a consenting woman, and if you are an average man, why would you care? I do think that as a feminist t is my responsibility to know who is making, directing and producing any porn I am participating in.

I really have a problem with most strip clubs, especially around here. Dancing alone, does not make it lucrative. I also hate the "stripping gives you power over men," bleh de di blah blah", argument, because you are taking your clothes off of your body, so some, nasty, old, ugly, men, who don't give a shit about you, can watch and then pay you what they deem necessary, if anything at all. Plus, many women I know have had to be high to get on stage, and I will never doubt that it wasn't to numb them from the sheer yuckiness of it all.

maddy29
ggg "ow do you know you are watching a consenting woman, and if you are an average man, why would you care? "

This is an excellent point, that i always try to make with people, but the truth is, most people don't care. they just don't want to think about people as actual PEOPLE-they are just sex objects used to get off on, they aren't seen as real people. Men and women who use porn, for the most part, don't give a SHIT about that person. This to me is what is so sick about porn-you could be watching someone reenacting abuse, or watch someone who is totally high and being kept strung out to keep performing, you could be watching someone who's being forced into it. The whole idea about porn though, is that you don't care about them, they are just there for your pleasure.

and ack, yes i hate that "stripping is empowering" arguement too, how is it "empowering" to do exactly what patriarchy wants you to do? to diminish yourself into a sexual object? I mean, if you are working in some cool feminist strip club, great. But mostly it's just nasty ass men who wanna see naked boobies and like the POWER they get from making a girl do something for a dollar. how is that powerful for the woman? oh yeah, it's REAL powerful for me to grab your dollar bill with my coochie, that is soooo empowering. bleh. i swear if i hear that argument one more time i'll scream.

anna k
"Because we're taking their money! We have the power in our domain!"
erinjane
QUOTE(maddy29 @ Oct 23 2006, 02:08 PM) *

ggg "ow do you know you are watching a consenting woman, and if you are an average man, why would you care? "

This is an excellent point, that i always try to make with people, but the truth is, most people don't care. they just don't want to think about people as actual PEOPLE-they are just sex objects used to get off on, they aren't seen as real people. Men and women who use porn, for the most part, don't give a SHIT about that person.


A few months ago I got ahold of a large collection of burning angel videos from the net, which is a site the claims to be empowering, and for the most part I like the idea and I like that they have more variety in what they do in the videos (but they get really boring because every single video is exactly the same format...he goes down on her, she goes down on him, they have sex, the end). Anyways, I was watching a girl on girl one and it really bothered me because one of the girls just seemed like she really wasn't into it. Not like she was doing it against her will, but like she was bored and it really turned me off. My male friend who had seen the same said he didn't get that impression...until he watched it again after I'd mentioned it.

It's personally really easy to notice if someone is into it or acting, so I findi t really hard to not care or wonder about the people on screen when I think they're acting sketchy or bored, etc. Most of the mainstream porn I see is girls who look bored to me. It's not really mainstream porn that scares me as much, but stuff like Max Hardcore. *Shudder*
maddy29
totally erin- usually the woman/girl looks soooo bored and like they are just doing a job (which they are). I Don't think men notice this, because they aren't looking at her face, and again-she's not a "real" person.
stargazer
hey maddy, you might want to take a quick look at the sex workers thread in the working girls thread. i wanted to converse with some sex workers about their views with their work.

i've had a hard time with the whole notion of sex work being actual work. but, it is a job. a job based on women objectifying themselves for money. and i have a hard time with women who are willing to give up their sexuality in trade for money. i also struggle with trying not to judge these women because i want to be supportive to all women. but, it is just a tough pill for me to swallow. especially for women like myself who are making sacrifices to use our intelligence to get ahead in the world. it is very difficult when i walk pass these terrible men magazines like FHM, Maxim, Loaded...all using women as props to make money. And some men are not bright enough to see that they are being bought. not cool at all.

and with porn...i've only watched it when i needed to get off. when i didn't have a fantasy in my head to do it. but, i've been really turned off by porn lately. because of the inauthenticity of everything. it is so fake that it is unsatisfying. like drinking a smoothie and convincing myself i just had a meal. very transparent.

i'm glad some Busties are talking about this topic. it has been going through my mind alot lately. thanks maddy!
maddy29
stargazer-yes, yes and yes! i totally have the same struggle-i want to support people's right to do what they want, but it's hard when it comes to this issue. sometimes i also feel that it's easy to throw out that "feminism is about supporting women's choices!!!" phrase, instead of actually thinking more about the issue.

it's not like i think porn itself is evil. i get why it's fun to watch neked peeps doing sexual things, (well, i sorta get it). everynow and then i'll catch something and it'll turn me on. but mostly i find it boring, if not yucky, sexist and degrading.

i have checked out the sex workers thread, i don't post out of respect but i do appreciate being able to hear different people's perspectives. it hasn't changed my mind much though.....but it does make my mind stretch, so that's a good thing.

this is a tough subject to talk about, because everyone has really strong and personal feelings about it (ok not everyone!) andit's just a tricky subject i think...
nickclick
i think it's okay to question some women's choices, especially in these cases when they may certainly be working against what we're fighting to acheive, in this case: respect for women's sexuality.

watching TV at 2am, when the 800th "girls gone wild" commercial comes on, i'm not looking at those sixty boney monochrome teenage girls and thinking "well, that's their choices". i'm thinking about what a sad and scary situation they're participating and perpetuating.
maddy29
yeah, i hear ya nickclick. i mean, women aren't making these choices in a vacuum. there are social roles, social conditioning, etc etc etc all these things that pressure us into things. just the fact that women's breasts are THAT sexualized that there is a zillion dollar industry for some weirdo who films boobies.

i mean, it's just so ridiculous to me. but, if breasts weren't sexualized, and if girls weren't told their worth is mostly sexual and if they aren't sexee they aren't important, do youthink all these girls would be so happily ripping their shirts off? i doubt it....they are looking for validation in their femaleness, and femaleness= sex appeal. they might also be partly rebelling against the sexualization of their body parts by showing their breasts, but when some lech is making money off of it, it's not much of a rebellion....
katiebelle2882
ok so what about sites like beautifulagony.com and ifeelmyself.com. is there any difference between porn and erotica? i dont think its fair to be like, ALL women are buying into their oppression. girls gone wild, sure, but there is stuff out there where i would say, no fucking way.

also, another fact is, the market that exists for this stuff is indicative of a much larger problem and frankly, regulating the porn industry isnt going to do a thing.
maddy29
"the market that exists for this stuff is indicative of a much larger problem"

yes! i soo agree. maybe by focusing on sex workers/etc, we are ignoring the larger problems.....

i'm not saying we should regulate it-although actually, what do you mean by that?

i agree with erin and others about making things safer and healthier- there have been interventions done in brothels where they have set up a health clinic IN the house, and people were much healthier. they had access to birth control, condoms, testing, information, etc.

just quickly checked out ifeelmyself.com and it's all women? seems like it's men who like to watch women cum? i still don't get it. but it does seem much different, yep. although, from what i saw-still a man profiting off of women's sexuality, so maybe not all that different?

i feel like there's almost this pressure, though-like if you are secure and if you are a truly sexual being, than of course you'll want to film yourself and let others watch it. i don't think that's "bad" or anything, but it seems like now people think it's "normal" and "healthy."

i admit-i find it incredibly odd that all of these women out there really want to be seen naked and haivng sex etc online. i mean, its not like you have any control over who sees you or what they do with your image-who they show it to and in what context. what if your boss sees it? what if your uncle does? your little brother? i just don't get why broadcasting yourself over the internet is considered this sexy safe thing.

katiebelle2882
beautifulagony.com is men and women. also, if things are done in a tasteful, respectful way way, does it really matter who profits? i mean for some reason i dont think you would have an issue with women profiting off men who are putting themselves out there so long as its respectful of everyone involved. also maddy, perhaps you are a tiny but prudish bc personally, i know alot of women who find it sexy to see another woman cum. i mean hello could you possibly be thinking in a more heterocentered way?
maddy29
well, yeah it still matters. i mean, i thought the money issue was a big part of all of this...at least for me.

from what i read quickly on that site it was men admiring "the female orgasm and all of it's beauty" (which is just funny to me), but yes of course there are women who like women.

no, i wouldn't be ok if it were men being exploited. i think it's different (because of power/patriarcy/etc), but still icks me out.

of course YOU think i'm a prude. no need to be so rude. everyone has different opinions. i'm a prude because i don't enjoy watching other women have orgasms? um, ok.......
erinjane
I don't know ifeelmyself.com and i'm at work so I can't check, but I love beautifulagony.com, for reasons that it's both men and women, there's no nudity and just faces, it's really really erotic, and because if you have a membership there's some great vids discussing really interesting issues.

I actually discovered that site by accident last year when I was doing a paper on Koedt's, "The Myth of the Vaginal Orgasm". I stumbled across a great vid of a woman doing an analysis of the piece and quoted her in my paper and presentation.

/off topic because i'm at work and don't have time to say much.
maddy29
this is so interesting, because i just quickly checked out the front page of beautifulagony and it just made me laugh out loud!!! it's just a bunch of faces in the midst of orgasm. not exciting to me. but cleary, awesome for others. just goes to show how individual sexuality is.
stargazer
objectification of any kind is dehumanizing. whether it is men or women. look at the cover of gay men's magazines. sex is becoming more dehumanizing and objectifying as we humans try to integrate our sexuality and being. however, we are using young people in their 20s who are being used by people in their 40s/50s to determine "who" we are.

there is an increasing rise in eating disorders among men. this fact is in part to the rise of the metrosexual...pretty much the emphasis on exterior than interior appearances. our "american values" of materialism and industrialism are being encompassed by other cultures. brands, logos, plastic surgery, corporations are co-opting our society to the point that people do not know what they stand for without these things.

i love erotica. more the writing. pictures are sometimes stimulating. i love more the victorian era of erotica. marquis de sade. imagery. however, porn has a tendency to keep some people in a fantasy world and trouble with the reality of relationships. or, how to be intimate with others. there is alot of distance in pornography. loss of the person.

feminism, for me, is about liberating both men and women from acting according to societal norms and rules. we were given freedom to be our true selves. whatever that maybe. femininity is seen as the connection to the ultimate spiritual connection in Buddhist terms. it is being receptive and open to the other person.

to ignore the patriarchial system in which sex work of any kind takes place is simply being naive to how corrupt the system at large is.

but, that is just my two cents.
maddy29
hi-can ya tell i'm procrastinating from my work? smile.gif

maybe an interesting question would be: how is (just for example) a site like beautiful agony/ifeelmyself different from girls gone wild? i mean really, can we break it down into factors? cause these girls are willing participants too, so where is the difference? is it age of girls? drunkeness? who profits? the fact that the creator of ggw is gross? what is it that makes the difference. the quality? the respectfulness or tastefulness? and who decides what's tasteful or respectful?

man this is some tricky shit!
maddy29
and katie, you saying this "also maddy, perhaps you are a tiny but prudish"
actually just proved the point i was making in my earlier post-which is this :

"feel like there's almost this pressure, though-like if you are secure and if you are a truly sexual being, than of course you'll want to film yourself and let others watch it. i don't think that's "bad" or anything, but it seems like now people think it's "normal" and "healthy."

i was actually going to use the word prude, and say that if you aren't into this stuff, people call you a prude, but i changed my text-interesting though....guess i'm not just paranoid.
katiebelle2882
i wasnt calling that part prude necessarily, but i fail to see how zero nudity equals exploitation in this case. especially when its MEN and WOMEN.

and beautiful agony isnt just pictures, its videos. i think your quick assessments of these sites almost speaks to the fact of how little you actually think about your opinions before you state them, or perhaps of how quickly you make opinions after not giving it more then a 5 min thought or perhaps just reacting to your viceral reaction (which usually includes either "ew" or an uncomfortable "hahahaha".)

and i will say that anyone who does not find orgasm beautiful (male or female) does have some sexual issues. which is fine, we all do, but there is a CLEAR delineation between beautifulagony and your everyday raunch porn. to say there isnt just smacks of total blindness to nuance (and this isnt even nuanced in how its different, its WORLDS apart). i am not sure how seeing that beautfulagony and ifeelmyself are different is tricky. its not tricky, its obvious.

some things i agree can be tricky, not this though.
maddy29
um yeah whatever katie. i would say the same exact thing to you-think before you write. you are making big assumptions about me which you tend to do (you've called me needy before, and a prude before as well).

so in this case, why am i a prude? if it's not that i don't like watching women cum, why am i a prude?

i went quickly to those sites to check them out, but i have no interest in watching porn-especially at work! i think you are reacting defensively, because maybe you are thinking i think you're yucky or something, for enjoying this? if that's what you think, that's wrong. i dont' think that at all. just because i don't enjoy it, doesn't mean i think it's bad. i tried to be clear about that.

finding orgasm beautiful? it's a bodily function. is it beautiful? beautifuul looking? not always-i usually make weird faces that are pretty funny looking. but yeah, i get it katie-anyone who is different thanyou has "sexual issues." if i don't find orgasm beautiful (whatever the FUCK that means) than i have "issues." guess what? we ALL Have sexual issues, yes, even you.

i never said there wasn't a difference between these sites and everyday raunch porn. maybe you need to read my posts more clearly, because you are putting a LOT of words into my mouth, that i never said.

and misreading-when i wrote "ha ha ha" - that meant laughter. not uncomfortable-ness, but genuine amusement. oh i know, that means i have sexual issues, and i'm a prude, and i write before i think, and what else katie?

i'm uninterested in continuing this conversation with you because you are pissing me the fuck right off (as usual)

I do hope that this doesn't kill the whole thread. i guess if it does, we can all blame maddy's prudishness and sexual issues.
katiebelle2882
i dont personally care either way what your sexual preferences are. nor anyone elses, there are women who find two gay men together attractive, and i dont. so whatever.

i suppose i thought that mostly cause i have never met a single person who didnt find the human orgasm beautiful (sure it looks weird-but what it signifies is beautiful). if you think its funny, (and lots of sex shit is funny) then thats fine, i dont know, i guess i found it odd, but its really not.

and i never said anyone who is different from me has sexual issues, because everyone is different, obviously. you dont have to be so defensive.

i just saw two things that showed me you didnt look much further then one look (i didnt know you were at work looking at them obviously then you wouldnt look in depth).

speaking of reading more in depth, i said we all have sexual issues, and its not the kind i think you thought i meant.

it was more along the lines of, certain things gross us out, or turn us off, more then others, even ones that the general population finds attractive, and who cares if thats the case.

jesus, really, i didnt mean to start you freaking out on me.

also, if we cant say what we really feel in here, then that means bust is going downhill (which actually it has been for awhile due to overly sensitive people who freak out if you tell them what you think-no offense intended) (and no maddy i am not talking about you).



sorry for the double post i want to mention that what w all seem to agree on is that the porn industry needs to be changed bc all of us are uncomfortable with some aspect of it and how it portrays women. because lets face it, while some dudes can obviously tell porn is not reality (and this is totally aside from the fact that the women IN porn are degraded and they are real human beings) not all can, and it makes me uncomfortable to think that my significant other might be watching something that he may think is somehow a good way to express himself sexually. or whatever, that might not have made sense.
maddy29
katie, if you don't want to start shit-than why do you start it?

you've never met a single person who doesn't find the human orgasm beautiful-so, you ask every person you meet this question? and y es, you said that "anyone who doesn't think this way (my way) has sexual issues." Don't try to backstep out of it-you said it-deal.

"don't be so defensive"- um, how am i supposed to be when someone is calling me a prude because of my sexual interests? if i called you a slut would you feel defensive? prolly....

your 2nd to last paragraph is just silly-you are CLEARLY talking about me or else you wouldn't have posted it-you can say what you want katie, but you need to think about the WAY you say it. This isn't the first time i've felt attacked by you, and i'm sure it won't be the last. of course you can say whatever you want here, but if you're being a rudeass, then i'm gonna tell you. you may think some people here are overly sensitive, but i think you are not a sensitive person AT ALL. people are going to object to you and what you say-so get used to it. and why shouldn't us "overly sensitive" people get to express ourselves-just like you "underly sensitive" people? why is your need to express yourself ok, while it's not ok for others?

i'm not "freaking out." I'm angry. WHen I say what I feel, I'm called names. I'm told I'm freaking out, which sounds an awful like "oh honey, you're a hysterical woman." So which is it katie-are we all allowed to express ourselves on here? Or is it just you?

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