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katiebelle2882
no, anyone who i have ever talked to about it.

and no, i am NOT talking about you in the 2nd to last paragraph, actually.

and sure, yes i do find it weird if people dont find it beautiful, but you have said before that you find certain things funny, and i find that weird. so shoot me.

i am sorry for calling you a prude, i actually really am, however i still think you were thinking in a very heterocentered manner.

do i think you are a hysterical woman (does anyone really know anyone well enough to make that judgement) no.

and i think its perfectly acceptable to express yourself or say whatever you want. and i never said otherwise.

can we not fight about this anymore its stupid and really, at the heart of it, we all agree to some extent.

also, ill say it again, i am sorry, i didnt mean to get you so riled up, my fault, truce?
maddy29
eh whatev.

when i said let's compare GGW with one of those sites, i really meant it. like as a way for us to figure out where the line is, or what makes it ok in our eyes, or not ok. i thought it'd be a good exercise for us all to do. like, line them up side to side and analyze. maybe that was read as a snarky comment but i really think it'd be interesting.

GGW: females flashing the camera, drunk girls, undersage girls?, girls who arne't getting paid (?) or giving consent (?), a man making lots of money off of it,

ifeelmyself.com: females showing themselves doing sexual acts on camera, maybe more adults?, adults who are consenting or getting paid?

What other differences? I don't know much about ggw cause it sickens me and haven't been to those sites much so maybe others can fill it in?
katiebelle2882
I would have to say the tastefulness factor and the fact that the girls aren't completely hammered flashing their boobies in an entirely unsafe setting. Also, skeevy guy who is capitalizing on our misogynistic culture and who doesn't give a crap about the well being and future reactions of 18 year olds who are making a huge mistake.

I know you are at work, but if you read some of the stuff on ifeelmyself.com, the way they describe each video is far from how Joe Francis has his narrator describe "hot sluts getting in on for the camera".

Guys I think can be voyearistic and enjoy women getting off and i dont think it necessarily means they are like the guys who watch GGW. also, i dont think every time a guy watches a girl he is being a sexist pig. i mean i know that money is involved and that makes a difference i suppose.

i would say GGW is exploitation (as someone said before the women are not innocent) and things that are more tasteful and kind of reverent about female sexuality are not like that.
maddy29
ok, so some of it is like-the GGW girls, people kind of laugh at them and make fun of them, treat it like a big joke. whereas these other sites have respect for women and their sexuality. so a difference between "hot underage sluts suck cumballs" or something, and "beautiful woman loving herself"? that's a huge difference, yes smile.gif

i'll check those sites out more at home, for sure. just don't want my boss coming in and seeing a page full of orgasm faces smile.gif

what do other people think about the differences?
katiebelle2882
yeah i would say that when men view GGW they are not viewing it with any respect whatsoever towards the women (then again how could you with the way they are portrayed). of course, there will always be men who view women in a certain way no matter how someone portrays the women, but we are talking about how the sites/videos etc treat the women right? or treat female sexuality etc.

yeah, orgasm faces on computer=awkward confrontation with boss.

maddy, on beautiful agony.com, they are paysites, however they have two new free ones every week, and actually, lately one has been a woman and one has been a man.



nickclick
maybe the differences we need to discuss should have to do with why GGW is so much more mainstream than something more erotic and female-friendly. and how we can switch it.

is it just another product of patriarchy and/or over-commercialism that "cum-guzzling sluts" is the "normal" porn, why we are flooded with half-nekkid actresses at the supermarket checkout, and that hooters is a "family restaurant"?
maddy29
yeah nickclick-i was thinking a lot about this last night. i probably dont' have any coherent thoughts though smile.gif

but yeah, i think the bigger picture is about sex, and repression, and totally contradictory messages that society sends, etc.

ok i need to wake up a bit more before i try to form any more thoughts, not quite sure what i'm trying to say....

something about- women's breasts beingn so sexualized that people can't handle breastfeeding women, and the sight of breasts being "pornographic".

also something about "sex sells." i feel like in so many ways, using flesh to sell something is just the easiest, cheapest way out. it requires the least amount of thought-like oh well to sell beer just put a girl in a bikini.

theres definitely something about selling your sexuality that is creepy to me-like selling part of your soul or something. to me, the only reason to be sexual is because it feels good to you. i do'nt think it's something that should be bartered, traded or sold. i think that in the past it was one thing a woman could use (sort of a sense of false power) to get things she wants, or whatever. but i think now that women DO have more options, it's a sell out to use sex to get what you want. it's also feeding right back into patriarchy, and sexism., and it's sort of women saying "oh it's ok, we ARE commodities to be bought and sold."

more later.

i do feel like when we talk about porn, we must talk about sex. because sometimes i feel like porn is just a rebellion or a reaction against the repressiveness around sex, talking about sex, having sex, etc.
katiebelle2882
"but yeah, i think the bigger picture is about sex, and repression, and totally contradictory messages that society sends, etc."


yup, but i think this problem is alot larger here then say, in most parts of europe.

i also think selling your sexuality is creepy, (even though its tempting bc you simply CAN make a ton of money from it-and that in and of itself is sad) however, there are certain feminists whose view of feminism is that you should be able to do whatever you want with your sexuality so long as its not demeaning. perhaps they dont find the act of selling demeaning, but rather how its portrayed once its sold.

this entire thread is an example of the one huge problem feminism has, and thats how many different versions there are of it.

one thing i was just thinking is, the older feminists didnt feel this way about sex in the "female chauvinist pig" way, that seems to me to be a more recent phenomenon. to be sure, the first feminists thought that we absolutely needed to free womens sexuality from its oppresive shackles, however i dont think they would have used GGW as an example of how to do that.

so, have younger women (this includes myself at 24 and part of the 2nd and 3rd wave) used feminism as a way to free themselves to do what women have always wanted to do-act like men.

now, i actually agree that you can and should be free to act in a way that is true to your sexuality. but heres the thing, what is making the whole thing demeaning to women on GGW is NOT (necessarily) that they are flashing their boobs or doing things for a camera-its the general population of mens view of these women, view of womens sexuality, and general misogynistic attitude. if men were showing their penises and taking their shirts off, it would be a much different reaction, and women wouldnt act in the same way these men do-and we certainly wouldnt buy videos of them doing it.

so perhaps women have been freed in alot of ways to do what they want, which is cool, but until men subscribe to this entire idea, it means nothing, and actually pushes the movement backwards when women act like that.

i really am not sure that made any sense whatsoever.
nickclick
QUOTE(maddy29 @ Oct 25 2006, 10:11 AM) *
also something about "sex sells." i feel like in so many ways, using flesh to sell something is just the easiest, cheapest way out. it requires the least amount of thought-like oh well to sell beer just put a girl in a bikini.


you know, i don't somuch mind using sex to sell beer, but my issue is that they're using that same ol' bikini-clad blonde white thin woman to sell the beer. i like beer. i like sex. i even like sexy women. and i have money. so why are ads only selling this one kind of woman to this one kind of man? does beer-drinkin' sports-lovin' guy really like beer, sports, and blonde bimboes? or is it because the commercial tells him to? which came first?
maddy29
yah, y'all are making sense smile.gif

it's kinda like rape-no matter what women do, dress sexy, or not, walk alone at night, or not, trust a date/boyfriend, or not- rape is still going to happen. cause women don't control rapists- nothing that we do on an individual level can control whether we're raped or not-we aren't the solution0-the solution is with men, and changing their beliefs and understandings.....

so same thing with porn? no matter how a woman chooses to express her sexuality, some guy can always come along and make it into a demeaning thing. so the power is with the viewer, not with the woman.

hmm,m interesting thoughts....

i've been thinking about my own sexual expression, and part of what's hard for me to understand, is that the way i enjoy sex is very different from porn and exhibition and voyeurism, etc. to me sex is really private (not that i won't talk about it, but i don't want anyone watching!), and it's an act of intimacy and an expression of love that is really beautiful. i know that sounds really corny, and it's not like i never just wanna get pounded real hard smile.gif . but overall the way i choose to express myself sexually is in a very private way.
stargazer
QUOTE
theres definitely something about selling your sexuality that is creepy to me-like selling part of your soul or something. to me, the only reason to be sexual is because it feels good to you. i do'nt think it's something that should be bartered, traded or sold. i think that in the past it was one thing a woman could use (sort of a sense of false power) to get things she wants, or whatever. but i think now that women DO have more options, it's a sell out to use sex to get what you want. it's also feeding right back into patriarchy, and sexism., and it's sort of women saying "oh it's ok, we ARE commodities to be bought and sold."


i agree maddy.

QUOTE
so, have younger women (this includes myself at 24 and part of the 2nd and 3rd wave) used feminism as a way to free themselves to do what women have always wanted to do-act like men.


yes, katie. there is a reason why there is an increase in females as aggressors, going to jail, etc because women have convinced themselves we are "strong" if we act like men. If we treat our bodies with the same disrespect, then we are beyond gender. We are just one of the guys. Well, as I tell other women, there is a reason why men die 10 years sooner than us. Obviously, they don't have a clue...well, they do because research is done primarily on them, but they choose to be ignorant. Our bodies, Our selves was used to acknowledge to women that we are functioning in a white patriarchial systems and, in the meantime, we can educate ourselves to learn about our bodies until legislation can reflect such advancement. I'm not impressed with women who say they can drink or have sex like any man. I just want to be my own woman.

QUOTE
is it just another product of patriarchy and/or over-commercialism that "cum-guzzling sluts" is the "normal" porn, why we are flooded with half-nekkid actresses at the supermarket checkout, and that hooters is a "family restaurant"?


i think you are right nick. cum-guzzling sluts are the new, normal porn. and it is no longer just the blondes you talk about. well, don't you know that we are pushing diversity now in the industry! smile.gif that was sarcasm. but, since latinas are big (thanks j lo.), i see alot of brunettes with curvaceous bodies on bodies. hell, i don't even think there is a blueprint. have tits will follow! that's what it seems like. and i've been told by guys that just seeing breasts make them excited...no matter shape or size. i love a woman's body myself. i find it beautiful. it is just disheartening when i see it used to sell men's magazines. i don't know why. but, once again, exploitation is even crossing over to gay culture. i see gay men's magazines being equally disturbing.
katiebelle2882
yeah, stargazer, but if everyone is different, and some women are more like men, then that is being 'their own woman" so long as they arent forcing themselves to act like that to achieve some sort of freedom. as long as women are doing what they want and have considered what they "actually" do want, then i dont see anything wrong with. what is disrespect to one person (for some people its having sex before you are married) is not necessarily disrespect to other. i do think a line has to be drawn, but if a woman "has sex like a man" that (usually) means that she can have sex without getting attached. personally, i think this is a great developement bc women were (and still are to some extent) taught that they have to be in love to have sex etc etc (some women do need to be and thats totally cool-but not every woman needs to be that way kinda thing) and i dont think that has to be true.

and yeah maddy i think that really when you put the power in the hands of the viewer (which really, you do every time you even take a picture int he most basic sense) then you are opening things up for them to abuse that power. its just how the world works. hence why really, changing mens perceptions is key. however, if there are women who continue to play into it, that is going to make it much much harder to change.

which is why really i dont see how this can be resolved unfortunately.

stargazer
katie, i guess that's is what is so complicated about porn, sex, and women because "who" created these rules and norms. it won't be resolved. it is a debate since the beginning of time. so complicated. i agree that some women's behavior is a result of self-definition. a part of it is also in a sense of freedom and liberation. free from acting in a role put upon by a patriarchial society, which is why i can understand why some sex workers do feel forced into their jobs.

it's funny 'cause the new yorker magazine used the word "porn" as in "kitchen porn" to discuss the success of cook such as emeril and rachel ray....meaning things are too contrived and fake like in porn movies....
girlbomb
I think it's the demand side of the sex industry that needs attention, not the women of the supply side. Reading the SF Chronicle's series on smuggled women in brothels in the Bay Area, the only thing I could think of was, "Who's supporting this industry?"

Then I found this site, which is authored by men who use the services of streetwalkers and brothel workers. And all the fucking hair fell off my head because my mind was so blown. Anybody interested in turning tricks for a living should have to read this site first, to see who they'd be dealing with, and how they'd be regarded by their customers.

Assuming they have a choice in the matter.

But until demand goes down, supply will stay high. So I've stopped smacking my head at Girls Gone Wild or Seymour Butts girls or whoever -- they're just meeting demand. Now I want to know what we can do to address the psychological holes these guys have fallen into that causes them to be so dehumanized that they would dehumanize others.

Either that, or I want to stab them in the penises with pointy sticks. In a loving, humane way, of course.
nickclick
girlbomb, enroll me in your pointy stick/penis army... i'm so there.

you're right, the focus should be on the source. but what is the source? does it start with the sex trafficking end of the spectrum, and then trickle down to GGW? or is our cultural ease with objectifying women's sexuality making more of a demand for hard-er core porn, rape, forcing women into prostitution?

i'm all for hard core porn and even selling your sexuality; i don't care what you do with your eyes, weiner, whatever (as long as it's consensual of course). i just hate this particular brand of women's sexuality that is only in relation to the needs of particular dudes. and this idea that it's these dudes' for the taking.
girlygirlgag
Holy crap Girlbomb, that brings out the man hating feminist in me. I hate feeling this way towards men, because I want to expect more, just with the old question "What is this was your mother, sister, daughter, etc?"

Seriously. I feel sick.
katiebelle2882
thats the thing, you can end the objectification of the woman from the supply side, it absolutely starts with the demand, and do we ever think that mens demand for women will end, regardless of advertising etc etc. because lets face it, prostitution IS the oldest profession, and there wasnt a rampant culture of objectifying women from time immemorial (or at least not like it is now).
stargazer
i'm with you girlygirlgag. sometimes, i just hate men when i see how women are exploited for their sexuality. and like you girlbomb, i want to hurt them in a loving, humane way as well. biggrin.gif
spiderella
I've posted here on the lounge only a few times over a couple of years...still not used to this format...I feel weird butting in on conversation to talk about something vaguely related, but here goes.

I'm writing a response to Susan Brownmiller's essay, "Let's Put Pornography Back in the Closet" for my English class. I've been doing some research on anti-porn feminism, and my question is this: I've been seeing a lot of people refer to anti-porn feminists as "radical feminists," but that term isn't really correct, is it? I think they're just using the word "radical" as a synonym for "extremist"...when I think of radical feminists I think of Redstockings and the like. Isn't the utilization of legistlation (of which censorship would be an example) usually a mark of what you'd call liberal feminism? At least, that's what my women's history professor taught me.
venetia
I don't BELIEVE prostitution "is the oldest profession".

I mean think about it, the six of you are sitting around in your cave dividing up the warthog carcass you scavenged. Okay I can buy that you might trade objects where it takes skill that not all of you have to make them. Like a pot or a weapon or a garment. But sex??!

It smacks of the idea that men like sex and women don't, to me. Plus it implies that men were the only ones with anything else to offer the society, which is blatant bullshit as hunter gatherer societies subsist on what is gathered. I just don't see any evidence that it is one of the oldest professions. I think that old saw is more something that people use to convey to us the message "women have never had equality so they never will."
katiebelle2882
interesting ven, never thought of it that way.

although, i am still pretty sure it has been around for awhile, so its not anything new-so i am still very skeptical about anything changing for real.
girlygirlgag
Sure it has. Think of the Coutesans during the renaissance. It was actually mroe liberating to be the paid mistress than to be a wife. You could have an education, go to art galleries, parties, etc.

My concern, is that, IMO, girls are being taught that voyerism is a natural part of sexuality, when it is not.
chachaheels
I think those are all good points too, Ven. It really does imply that all women have to contribute is their use as sex objects, whether that's to be for procreation or fucking. I've always thought the "oldest profession" was more like pimping, more like creating the means by which war could take place. I don't think every human society needed these "professions" as we somehow seem to.

I do think that the concept of selling other peoples' bodies for sexual use starts with the entire concept of "ownership"--of land, of other people. I don't think we naturally possess that concept--I think it's something that is taught. I know the idea didn't exist in some ancient cultures like Katal Hyuk; and I know it didn't exist in many first nations peoples' cultures until after contact with Europeans.
sybarite
I think in a culture where everything is commodified it comes naturally to contain and commodify both sex and sex workers.

The argument for 'prostitution as the oldest profession' also serves to point to a fictionalised demand; i.e. 'well, men have always gone to prostitutes, it's in their nature' etc.

Although as you say GGG, a certain kind of middle or upper-class courtesan in Europe had more freedom and autonomy in some ways than a wife. They would have been the exception though, I think.
katiebelle2882
i am pretty sure the demand for prostitutes is not fictionalized.
stargazer
i don't think prostitution being in high demand is being disputed. it seems that we are addressing the principles which created this "profession." in the true nature of hunters and gathers....prostitution does not fit organically. i agree with chacha that "ownership", power, etc., consumerism...are just some factors contributing to the sex industry.
katiebelle2882
"The argument for 'prostitution as the oldest profession' also serves to point to a fictionalised demand; i.e. 'well, men have always gone to prostitutes, it's in their nature' etc."

i thought that is what she was saying but i could be wrong.

prostitution does fit in the whole hunter-gatherer thing in that men want to spread as much of their seed as possible.

that being said, i dont really believe in using things that have happened that long ago and our " organic nature" to explain anything at this point. things have changed drastically that to say we are at heart hunter gatherers is way over simplifying.
girlwithasecret
The saying "oldest profession" does hold some truth...

The exchange of sex for goods has been documented as far back as the ancient Greeks and Romans (and in some cases Mesopotamia). Women have stronger survival instincts than men and have often turned to their bodies when no other choice was available.

Prostitution also had strong religious connotations; sex with a temple maiden was seen as an act of worship. The "profession" also developed to a different (in some cases more acceptable) level during the Middle Ages. These women were held in a different esteem (by many cultures) and also played roles in politics and civilization (besides that of one with spead legs).

Something else to point out, consumerism didn't exist as we know it until after industrialization. Nor does monogamy-according to many biologists really exist amungst mammals. It like ownership, consumerism and power is something we are conditioned to.

Prostitution is still around because there is a demand and it probably won't be going away any day soon as we all can probably agree. The "profession" (like many) has changed and evolved over the centuries, art and science today is not the same as it was 3 centuries ago.

I wasn't trying to bash anyones ideas or be a know it all, but I wanted to state a few points. Ok, now I'm taking my exit stage left.
chachaheels
Well, I definitely think that in patriarchal societies, which were actually not common in hunter-gatherer societies, prostitution became one of the ways women could survive. After all, you were either sold off to become someone's wife, or you were going to sell yourself off to someone in exchange for what you needed to survive on your own. Patriarchy's not that old, in human experience--well, at least there is a lot of evidence which shows it to be about 6000 years old and not much older than that (which includes the religious practices described below--which I believe were Mesopotamian and later Phoenician). Human beings lived in groups together tens of thousands of years before that.

Patriarchy and prostitution definitely weren't mainstay, according to what archeologists have found, in hunter-gatherer societies that were organized matrilineally or matriarchally; and these were really numerous around the world (there are many first nations who were organized this way even after they left off being hunter-gatherers and actually became more agrarian). Again, I think that's because a different concept about "ownership"--and who held it--existed (or, more likely, the idea about private ownership just didn't exist). If people weren't considered chattel or property, then no one had to be "sold" to get anything. If no one was able to cut off access to things like food, or water, or shelter, then no one would be forced to "sell" themselves to have it.

That certain women were more highly valued than others in patriarchal societies--highly esteemed courtesans, for example, or women who were suitably married to men who held more power and wealth--just underscores this whole "ownership" idea. But in this kind of society, all women are considered commodities or chattel, whether they are courtesans supported by wealthy men or peasants. Think about the whole "trade" idea behind any marriage, and think about that idea as it would have borne out on a marriage between royalty (like, say, in Marie Antoinette's situation, since that's kind of topical and well illustrated in the film). Every relationship boils down to ownership--who has it and who is selling it off. That's essentially the underpinning of prostitution right there.

Girlwithasecret, why would actually sharing knowledge or information get you branded a "know it all"? Either people have a conversation and consider different points, or they don't. If they don't, I wonder what the hell they're doing here.
It's bothering me a lot that people with something to offer are made to feel like this.
stargazer
very good points chacha!

and the same thing to girlwithasecret...uh, there's no need to leave. stay for the conversation.
erinjane
Here's an interesting post from a blog I read regarding empowerment or rather, non-empowerment from a sex-workers and sex-positive feminist.

http://iacb.blogspot.com/2006/08/bitching-...ead-part-3.html
knorl05
'men want to spread their seed'. i just wonder how much of this type stuff is BS. i mean i know there is research done and all that.. and i'm all about knowledge, information, etc. i'm just saying.. who is the one who determined that it was "ok" for men to be promiscuous on the notion that it's just in their instinctual make up? it's like an admission to be unfaithful or do whatever they want.

F-! derailing again... sorry. just a thought..
maddy29
knorl-not derailing-i think this is an important point-it goes along with the whole "men are just more visual" idea. i think that is also stupid. more visual? why does it only apply to men re: sex?

and i agree, what about most men out there who aren't trying to spread their seed? i do think it's another excuse. i mean, biologically we may be "programmed' Or whatever to feel or think certain things-but the choice to act or not, is what makes us human! i mean, i feel that "biological clock" sometimes, but i just ignore it, cause i don't want kids!

i hate it when they try to present science to support their claims-well men are horny and cheat-it's just biological! it's not their fault!
chachaheels
I think the men spreading their seed stuff is just nonsense, and it just indicates behaviour a society will tolerate from men as opposed to women. Women are equipped to be just as sexually driven as men are (and I mean sexually driven--not reproductively driven, as there's a massive difference. Sure, we can reproduce, but it's idiotic to think our sex organs are all about having babies, when the majority of the tissue is all about sensation and orgasm down there. Moreso than it is for men. Sheesh).

Science has definitely been used to further sexism and racism in the past (as well as in the present, as this stuff still goes on). We don't have to believe though, especially when it's blatantly untrue.
maddy29
siiiiiiigh. i think i'm coming to some sort of new and improved understanding of porn and nudity and stuff. i know that i won't be able to explain it today, but i can feel something shifting in my mind.

i've been thinking about things like, nude beaches (which i have zero problem with) vs. strip clubs (which i HAAAATE!!!!!!!!). And about nudity and how our bodies have been so sexualized that recently a woman was taken off of a plane because she refused to put a blanket over herself while she was breast-feeding.

i'm thinking a big part of the reason i hate porn and stuff is because it's selling sex. and it's so sexist. it's mostly a man's industry. i know that's changing a lot, but still. and i guess i don't like the idea of someone profitting off someone else's body and/or sexuality.

i think strip clubs are sleazy and nasty. i think strippers are women who have zero self-esteem and feed off men's attention, or drug addicts, or lazy women who don't want to get a "real job" or people who are just dang poor and this is the only option for them. i'm saying "i think" and it's hard to say it straight out like this, but this is how i feel. when i hear someone used to be a stripper i think "oh gross" and then i feel sorry for her and get angry at the world.

i don't really get why people like porn so much, or looking at naked strangers posing or doing sexual acts. sometimes i find it hot, but mostly it just never occurs to me to go looking around online for naked men. and, i'm finding that esp. for men-this is "normal?" i just don't get it. What's the big deal about seeing someone naked? It's just not that exciting to me. i like reading hot sex scenes more than i like watching them....

i know i have "issues" and shit. i'm trying to work that out, i'm sick of it being such a huge trigger for me, and sending me into this insane spiral of craziness. for so long i've just tried to avoid it and stuff, but i'm sick of that. i'm having a really hard time straightening out what is my personal stuff, and what is political stuff...i just can't see straight when it comes to this stuff, or think straight.

i was remembering how when i was little my friend showed me her dad's penthouse and DANG did it freak me out soooo much. i was like 7/8 probably. i remember looking at it and thinking it looked so violent and scary. i didn't understand what was happening in the pictures, but they were so overwhelming to me.

i know i'm rambling, and probably offending people too...not my intent, but i'm just trying to get honest with myself about this stuff.

for me porn is really tied up with shame. i used to use it a little bit, every now and then, and it was hurtful to me. it was all tied up in me being a disgusting worthless whore, and after i'd orgasm, the guilt and shame would set in so bad. this also goes along with my violent and icky fantasies that were part of the whole deal. i don't have those thoughts or fantasies anymore thank god.

i feel like it might be good for me to see one of these "feminist pornos" that people have talked about a lot. cause all i've ever seen is sexist drivel. i'm scared though, that it'll trigger me anyways, but maybe it's worth a shot? to see how porn could be, if it wasn't ruled by men who hate women?

i feel like the porn industry really comes from our shame and repression around our bodies and sex.

ok i'm done rambling for now. i just wanted to get some thoughts out for now.....

Thanks.

ok, i realize i didn't say anything about my incest-my grandfather was a photographer-ewwww. the reason i'm trying to NOT tie in my incest is because of my denial/doubts about what REALLY happened. although, do you think i'd freak the fuck out like that if there wasn't something else connected to it? gah.
speedy
Maddy, gotta say, I'm with you. And I'm saying that quietly, even a little regrettably, 'cause I always feel like a wet blanket for taking that stand in the Lounge. Bust is a pretty groovy, sex-positive place, so who wants to come off like a scold? And the Busties are a tough crew; they don't need any men to come "protect" them from porn.

But I have pretty much the same reactions to porn you do. The shit bums me out, because it just despises women. It's like the "sex," the fantasy in porn isn't intercourse; it's defecating. On a woman. I just don't get that! Women's greatness is their allure; how can it be hot to disgrace that? Who goes to the beach and thinks, wow, this would be so beautiful if it were full of mud? I can't believe men are that resentful!

I've actually known a couple of strippers. I found them to be pretty decent folks, a little wild in their private lives, but hearts of gold. I figured it's a living. All the ones I've ever known had a kid to support. I don't begrudge them their money, although the relationship between the stripper and the customer looks like one of such naked contempt, both ways, I don't see how anybody can be really enjoying themselves.

The saddest thing about porn, for me, is that it's squandering a freedom people have worked hundreds of years to secure -- the freedom to talk publicly about sex, to make art with sex in it, even for sexualized self-presentation. As usual, we let the gangsters and the hacks take over our beautiful revolutions and turn them into something crass.

I don't think porn's going to go away, but porn makes it look less likely that sex is going to be a path to the higher states of being. People will be too disgusted to take sex seriously. That'll even be bad for feminism. I feel like it needs something to give it energy and connect it to the vitality of everyday life, which is where we want our freedom to mean something. Without that connection, I think feminism runs the risk of seeming abstract and merely programmatic, another form of dry political economy. Jeez, where's the revolution in that?

I hope you're able to move successfully away from the abuse you suffered. You shouldn't have to live under that shadow your whole life.
wombat
I've been excoriated for mentioning any cautions against the bad parts of sex -- no sense being sex positive if you are not street wise, you need to protect yourself physically and socially and on the soul leve.

On Bust, it's like: "We don't criticize women for their sexuality here!"

And yet, if you barter sex with a man you're not attracted to in order to get something, it hurts your own sexual satisfaction, mental health, and soul.

And if you're doing bondage or domination, someone should warn you about exactly what to do and what not to do -- around here, a dominatrix duct-taped a guy's arms out, like a crucifix, not realizing that the cause of death in crucifixion was suffocation. When the guy died, she hid and cut up the body. Then there was a scandal, and, she didn't get sent to prison because they figured she was ignorant and just panicked, and it's actually amazing they were so kind to her, but her career as a dominatrix and her career in real life were just shot. And she should have called 911. And if she had a kid, it probably would be taken away from her, and if she had a career with kids, that would be taken away too. And her name would be on the Sex Offender Registry and she'd have a hard time living anywhere.

Now, someone saying, "I want you to suck my dick in the window where the neighbors can see." Well, that's inappropriate and a stupid, ignorant misunderstanding about what sub/dom sex is supposed to be about, it's dragging in non-consenting people, and, again -- why take advice from someone that would tell you that that's HOOTTTTT and it's okay? It's only okay as a fantasy -- or if you really make sure you're in the middle of nowhere! Otherwise, make sure you keep it private unless you want to have all of the above possibly happen to you -- kid, career, house affected.

I don't htink I'm a mean person for saying that you should be very careful who you get your sexual information from and be careful about what you're willing to do and how. That does not mean I am condemning any kind of sexuality. Rather, I am defending it.


I do like some porn, and visual of naked men and dick and all. So sue me. But there's porn that has a good fun spirit, and other porn that is just ugly or hateful. Part of that is in the eye of the beholder and down to individual taste. I don't feel comfortable being "anti-porn" but I do believe that we should be careful what kind of stuff gets to kids. Without in any way indulging in incest or abuse, you can still freak out a kid by giving them information/visuals/ideas they are not ready for, even inadvertently.

I'm just suggesting a balanced, realistic and practical basis for flights into fantasy.
maddy29
hey speedy and wombat-thanks for writing. I've been scared actually, to come in here and read what others wrote-and what I wrote!

I feel like I'm making some really great progress with all of this, and it's helping to put it out there to others.

I think for me, I have a very good/bad, black/white, all/nothing thinking on this subject. It's a trigger, and it makes me mad as a woman and a feminist, and then I just lump everything together in the "yuck" category. This weekend I spent some time writing and putting things into categories. It was really useful. I discovered some assumptions that I was working with and some beliefs that I think are useful to challenge.

So here's what I've got so far: (i know this may seem dumb to some people, but it's a big deal with me, it's a big trigger and i'm tired of going on an emotional rollercoaster whenever porn or anything is brought up)

1. I always thought it was bad to be a hooker, prostitute, stripper, escort, etc. Bad as in-you are less then, you are selling yourself and that's gross, or you are demeaning yourself. it's not a "real" job, it's not a respectable way to earn a living, and it's not something you talk about openly.

So when people defend it, I get really confused. Isnt' it bad? Isn't it wrong? Isn't it harmful for the woman? I don't get it.... so one thing that's happening is that i realized I've been given this belief: being a stripper is very BAD! just like doing drugs is BAD! and having random sex with strangers is BAD!

now, i don't think doing drugs is so bad unless it's totally screwing up your life-and even then i only think it's bad for that person, not bad in general. same with having random sex with strangers-i don't reallyh care what others do, i just have no interest in that at this point in my life. but really, as long as you are safe and consensual, i don't care what others do.

but, i still think it's 'bad" to be a hooker or stripper. i think it's gross to pander yourself like that, to sell yourself to whoever will pay you. i agree with wombat that it does something to a person's soul-and why don't we care about that person's soul as much as we do about their boobs? or their "right" to work in a profession where sexism, exploitation and violence are so common? so ok, i'm still working on that one.

another belief i was working from is that sex workers have no other choices, that no one would purposefully CHOOSE to do sex work, if they had other options and opportunities. my belief is that most were sexually abused or physically abused as kids, dad's walked out on them, they are on drugs and need "easy" money. So when I think "sex worker" i think poor, exploited, probably a victim of violence, maybe a drug addict who needs help.

it's very hard for me to say, hey, maybe some sex workers don't have options, but maybe a lot of them do. maybe a lot of them have looked at "regular" jobs and have made the conscious decision to become a hooker or stripper or escort or porn star. i just can't fathom why a person would ever make that CHOICE. i don't get it. but just because i don't get it, doesn't make it bad or wrong.

i do worry though-about all these women and men out their selling their bodies, etc. i do think it's bad for a human to be seen solely as a sex object. i do think many of these people aren't connected with their emotions, and i doubt many of them are happy and healthy. i worry about their health, i worry about the way people are treating them, and how that causes people to get stuck doing sex work-because you keep being treated like you are nothing but a sex object, soon you'll see yourself like that too.

whew i sure do like to go on and on and on! this is being sooo therapeutic for me though!

i have more to say, but i'll say it later. i do agree that this message board-bust-can be a really hard place to talk about this stuff-it seems there is a knee-jerk reaction. i don't get that- what does "sex positive" even really mean? it means that we can't criticize the way sex is portrayed?


wombat-i do feel like i'm anti-porn, but what i'm finding is that really, while for the most part i don't enjoy using porn or images, there is a lot out there that i don't object to. i think what's hard is that "porn" is this HUUUUUUUUUGE category that includes things like snuff films that are too awful for words. but porn also means playgirl-which is so dorky and funny and not awful at all. how can this one word "porn" mean so much? maybe that's partly why it's so hard to define and pin down.

speedy-i agree, mostly it just makes me sad. it's sad to see a woman down on her knees blowing 5 guys one after another, and seeing her "writhing with pleasure" because ya know women just love that. i think it sends the wrong messages to kids and teens who watch it-they learn that women come from having their boobs touched, they learn that women shave and trim, that most women love making out with another woman in front of a man, they learn that women always swallow and love it, etc etc.

i DO think this is dangerous, and also just sad and pathetic. I think speedy is right about sex being about more than just a physical getting off-it connects us to the earth, to our primal selves, to our spirituality, etc. looking at sex in such a narrow way is really just doing us all a disservice.

ok, signing off for now. i'm learning so much!

speedy-i think this is such a great sentence:

"the relationship between the stripper and the customer looks like one of such naked contempt, both ways, I don't see how anybody can be really enjoying themselves."


so true! they both hate each other, yet need each other. they each look down on the other "what a loser giving me money to shake my tatas" and "what a whore, women are such whores they'll do anything for a dollar."

and wombat-i love this:

"if you barter sex with a man you're not attracted to in order to get something, it hurts your own sexual satisfaction, mental health, and soul."

i think the key is "a man you're not attracted to" cause i mean, isn't that what sex is about? being attracted to someone? at least i thought it was.....because you are forcing your body to do something it doesn't want to do-it's like the show survivor-being forced to eat worms and other icky stuff for the chance to win money. you don't want to eat that worm, but you do because of the money......
stargazer
i agree with everything that has been said here.

maddy, i have similar thoughts to these topics. very similar. which is why i delurked in the sex workers thread to get some insight. i was trying to be open. and one person was very adamant that not all sex workers be seen as damaged goods with past where abuse was involved.

BUT...

i still have a hard time believing someone would actually choose to enter this field of work. i know the glamorization of porn and some of magazines is making sex seem more accessible and viable as a career that more women are choosing to enter this field of sex work. they want to make money for little work. maddy, i don't think you are the only one in the Lounge who feels this way. i just think it takes enormous guts and responsibility to admit that you have these thoughts.
wombat
I think it's important to not dump on sex workers.

I don't lurk or visit in those threads at all, but I think the point that they are not necessarily "damaged goods" is a good point.

And, if they can help each other do it throught the proper channels and with sensible practices, to ward off any chance of violence and disease, great.

Also, probably the reason for the drugs and alcohol is to numb the feelings of loneliness and isolation. I don't think stigmatizing or criminalizing this behavior really helps anyone.

Perhaps that is what is meant by "We don't criticize women's sexuality here"

For the most part, it's a good idea not to, and, if you do so on the basis of "I'm just CONCERNED" that can be just as bad, but...

My point about making sure to be streetwise with sex stands.
wombat
The difficulty I see on the Bust boards is that a calculating conniver can actually damage the naive and credulous with eyes like saucers, who don't see the downside, who don't see the large price paid, who don't see the suffering and meanness and emptiness, and actually wish they could live like that. Or maybe they figure they're already miserable, so why not travel with a suitcase full of big smiles and drag others into it.

Who knows. Seriously, I suppose if a girl is dumb enough to mess up her life I'll always be here to type a lot of ~ and * and ((( and )))), you know?

The worst thing is the older people who are just getting off being voyeurs. Oh, well.

When you give SO MUCH and suffer SO MUCH, isn't it FAIR?

In the words of TOTAL NEED -- wouldn't YOU?
maddy29
it's interesting that the three of you who responded all felt almost like you couldn't/shouldn't say this stuff on BUST. if we can't say it here, where can we say it? it's validating to me though, because i've felt like that for a while here at BUST, like if you say anything negative about porn or sex or whatever, you'll get shit for it. that is not cool. if we aren't supposed to judge others, why is it fair for them to judge us?

i'm truly grateful for this space and the responses. today i'm feeling frustrated at how mainstream porn is, how "normal" it is, to the point that now, if you aren't into it, you're the weird one!!!!

random funny story-i was talking to my boyfriend about this, which can be frustrating because he was raised born-again christian, and they were told that if they looked at naked women they'd burn in hell, etc. so for him, being free to look at pictures or a movie or whatever, is important. and when i do'nt like that, he just hears the bible school teacher's voice, instead of mine! yikes. now i understand why he's kinda stubborn about it.

ok that wasn't the funny story-we were talking and i was mentioning playgirl-my friends in college got me a subscription because i was clueless and they thought it was funny.i remember being soooo shocked! anyways, my boy was saying "it's not like those guys are hard though, right? i mean they don't show xyz, right?' i'm like "hon,it's just like playboy-yeah the guys are naked, some are nasty, some are HOT and they all show off their dicks and some are hard and some aren't"

the funny part is-he looked jealous! AH HA HA HA!!! i felt like ha ha-now you see how it feels to be on the other side of all this! i'm going to buy a playgirl and make him look at it with me. it was just sooo interesting and amusing to me, because i could tell he never really FELT it like that.
speedy
one last thing: we haven't said anything about written porn -- erotica. I think there's a slash fiction thread here that's pretty popular with some of the Busties. You know, maybe the answer is to do it ourselves: make our own erotica, and use words. Number A, it's cheaper. Number B, it just doesn't have that immediate, visceral squick aspect.

Not even that weird man-boy-love Harry Potter stuff!
maddy29
yep, i think a lot of people DO make their own, or go to more alternative sources for it. i feel like we need a lot more language around it-is there even a word or phrase for the nicer fun porn vs. the icky stuff?
go_kayte
Maddy, speedy, wombat, etc.:

I've struggled with the same thing since I first saw a hardcore porn video at 16. I won't go through all of what it took to get me to this point, but basically I will not/cannot watch most mainstream straight semi-violent porn. It's just not sexy, it seems WRONG, and it makes me feel sick. But I have always had this voyeuristic thing and I discovered gay and lesbian porn.
First, lesbian porn: I am bisexual so maybe it's not helpful to straight girls to watch two (or three or four...) hot women filling each other up with various wonderful toys but for me it's heaven. There's (usually) none of the mysoginistic shit-talk that is so prevalent in straight porn to ruin it, and that seals the deal for me. If you're turned off by super butchies, go for the lesbian-porn-for-straight-guys variety (like Jenna Jameson directed movies).
Gay porn: Built, sweaty dudes with big cocks fucking each other is so hot you won't miss the girls, seriously. I think there's more shit talking but if it's a guy to another guy it's not misogynist so it won't grate against your morals.
I've just discovered this in the past year so I'm going through as much of the rental section at my neighborhood sex shop as I can afford to. I would recommend checking some out. My most recent favorite lesbian porn is Epiphany: an All-Girl Odyssey cause there's a lot of kinky stuff. Also check out the reviews on blowfish. They were very helpful for me.
wombat
I like some straight porn and some gay and lesbian sex stuff -- I wonder why the gay and lesbian stuff is "hipper" seeming.

But, I notice on Bust and in general, at least, maybe, oh, five or ten years ago in "alternative" circles, you weren't supposed to criticize excesses of S&M or mention any bad parts of sex or you were some prissy, anti-sexual person.

NOOO... I just choose what I like which is exactly what I should do, for gawd's sake.

Also, it's one thing to have various kinds of sex with various kinds of people because you like it and choose it, but it takes a lot out of your life to support that in a good way, and, many people are pretending that they like it and choose it because that is the "ho"s way of taking control -- you know, you see on the street all these "smiling" people, that professional sense of sizing up and of giving what you want to get back -- warding off violence and all.

And I think many women will still "take control" by volunteering to direct the action, lead the man into kink or whatever, when really inside they feel bad because they were victimized as children, OR they are not "prostitutes" per se, but they kindasortareallyneededaricheroldermancausetheydidn'thavenay money but we're married and you better not say...

Or get into kink cause they're aging and need to compete on the "market" or because they can pretend that it's not really being a ho -- he doesn't stick his dick in me! I don't touch his dick! I just do what he wants and he gets off and then he gives me money! It's like -- okay, keep fooling yourself honey. If you do things to someone to get them off and that is the whole of the relationship and he gives you money, you are still being a ho! Geez!!

I wouldn't even dislike a woman if she flat out said she WAS a prostitute -- high priced call girl, whatever. Might be an interesting conversation! Maybe she wants to talk about BOOKS! Whatevah!!

But, I knew some women years ago that were just downright evil in my estimation. They didn't have sex for money or even their own pleasure so much as they wanted to have sex to get power in their careers or what have you, and they really relished hurting people emotionally -- "lovers' co-workers, friends, random strangers in stores or whatever -- really jerks. They loved trying to show people pictures that would make them disturbed. Ha ha! I made you uncomfortable, I'm boss!

And they would take SM clients on the weekends, or hook to offend their father and then publish an article about it! "Harvard hooker!" and were proud to brag that they saved their crying for the therapist's office.

All that is NOT "sex-positive" in my book.

But they would just about beat you over the head with a big old dildo trying to claim it was.
maddy29
"But they would just about beat you over the head with a big old dildo trying to claim it was."

love it! ha ha!

i'm learning soo much. last night i did some exploration of my new "on demand" cable, and it was weird. the free stuff they had was either just girls taking off their clothes or wearing bikinis (which does nothing for me) and then they had this weird retro stuff from a long time ago and that was just strange.

i had a looong talk with my boyfriend about porn. we were trying to define the different categories-like what does soft-core mean vs. hard-core. he was telling me about gonzo porn? of course he couldn't really describe it.

what i'm finding is that the BIGGEST reason i don't like porn is that-it's made for men. and i'm a woman, a straight woman. so most of it is just not appealing to me on the basic level that it's the wrong gender of naked person for me....

next, i find that personally, for me, for the most part, porn doesn't do anything except give me a momentary little buzz-which i think is just a natural thing when you see people doing a sexual act. pepper mentioned this in another thread and it really clicked for me-she said something about how she hates porn, wants nothing to do with it, yet when she sees something it's a momentary turn on. or something like that.

and then more politically speaking, i'm ok with the stuff that is made in good fun, or in a healthy way, the softer stuff, no violence, just people doing it. i'm not into it, but i dont' really object to it. but again, i don't really have labels so i can say "i'm ok with xyz types of porn, but i'm really against abc types." that's frustrating to e. boyfriend says that probably the porn industry has categories, but i'm too scared to start looking that shit up, cause i gotta be careful what i look at.

i'm also realizing how often men see sexee women and naked boobs and stuff in their daily lives. no wonder men supposedly think about sex more than women-how could they not? i can go weeks without seeing anything sexual from a man, but sexee women are just a constant, on tv, irl, online, etc etc etc. no wonder they say men are more "visual" well yeah, if they are constantly being sexually stimulated in a visual way, i guess you can call that "more visual."

so many thoughts... smile.gif

wombat-yeah, i don't get the whole s and m thing. i mean, i get it in a lighter sense, like oooh hoo hoo, let's handcuff you, how hot. but not in a real pain way-i just think that's sad and unhealthy. but yeah, god forbid you say that. i mean hey, people can do what they want, but i just don't see how being hurt is sexy. just because violence has become intermixed with sex doesn't mean it's a good thing that we should encourage.

i dunno, call me old-fashioned, but i like my sex with a big ole side of LOVE. to me, that's sexy-the way my boy looks at me, and touches me, i can feel how much he loves me. that's hot to me.

oh and also-wombat i think it IS so much about rebellion, and when you are busy rebelling against something, you still aren't actually doing what YOU want-you are just reacting to someone pushing you to be a certain way. yikes, i don't think that made sense.
wombat
Ha! Yeah, it's a little distressing how few good looking men or hints of male nudity or actual male nudity we get to see.

"That's gay" um, no.
faerietails
*delurks*

Why does s&m have to be "sad and unhealthy?" To some people, pain is erotic. I don't think I consider it a form of violence, either. Plus, there are all kinds of "safeties" in place to ensure that people partaking in it don't get hurt and that they can stop whenever they don't want to go any further, like safe words.
erinjane
I agree "sad and unhealthy" is a poor choice of words. I'm not into SM but I know some people who are and I wouldnt' think of them as sad and unhealthy. Different strokes...

I haven't posted much in here because I just haven't been in the mood but I've been watching the discussion and I like it. I guess I'm a little confused as to why sm is considered a "bad part of sex". I understand choosing what you like, but why does that make it a bad part of sex?

Bah, I wanted to say more but I'm feeling unmotivated today. I'll return later. tongue.gif
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