Objectification. Porn. Are women really equal because they’re taking a conscious, active role in it? Are they more powerful than the men who purchase it because they’re making money off of it? Are we more powerful because we see it as an option rather than something that is forced on us? Does porn and the media make us less in control because of sexual pressure?
I just finished watching The Price of Pleasure on instant Netflix. It’s only an hour and if adult material doesn’t offend you, I suggest watching it. It’s obviously against porn but I think it questions more than it rallies.
My generation has grown up with sexual suggestions all over the t.v., commercials, billboards, the internet, etc. When I first went into a dance club as an adult, I got into serious trouble because the last time I went dancing was in high school where bumping and grinding was innocent. I forgot it now meant something else. Being in dance clubs can be such an awful experience because men grab you like they own you. It’s expected to be able to grab my boobs and ass simply because I’m there dancing and shaking it.
This documentary attributes a lot of the perspectives toward women and a lot of the mental attitude men have about sexuality to porn.
I think going to clubs as an adult was a huge eye opener for me. I had always been open about sex, my sexuality and discussing sexuality in general. I’ve been open to talking and exploring since I was a teenager. It never felt like anyone had a right to me. I never felt like people were taking advantage of me but in the last year there it feels like there has been a huge shift in attitude. I’m not sure why this is. Is it because I moved to a “big city?” Maybe. I never had this issue before, at least not that I can remember. Is it simply getting worse as time goes on? I don’t know. Possibly it’s just because I’ve been forced to open my eyes. It’s likely a combination of many things.
I never felt that porn was harmful. It was always fun and simply a fantasy. I never found BDSM porn to be upsetting either. Just strange, different and then FUN! It was an exploration. I think even this extreme side of sexuality can be a healthy exploration though I’m not sure how to explain that quite yet and I’m not ready to tackle it.
But porn just doesn’t “do it” for me anymore. As this documentary points out, it’s pretty violent and now disgusting. There is so.. much.. name calling. It’s something I used to be “into” as well but at this point in my life I’ve had too many bad experiences where it was clear this kind of verbal playing around left the fantasy/psychological world and became an act they wanted to force on me.
Man, there are so many topics here. This is why books are written on the subject. I can’t possibly fit all of this into a blog post. Honestly, I’m just typing out my thoughts and probably won’t edit very much. I’m thinking.
I want you to think with me.
I don’t have any solid conclusions.
Except that I don’t think porn is bad. I don’t think exploring sexuality and showing people how it is being explored, is bad. I don’t think making money off of it is bad. I don’t think it needs to be all that private (as the documentary says, “Women are baring their most intimate parts for money.” You can’t decide what is or is not intimate for someone else. Some people are perfectly find showing their naked bodies and their sexuality and it doesn’t compromise them). I do think women are more empowered by being able to choose this path if they want to. It’s great money and frees up a lot of time. *shrugs* By all means, if that’s your thing, go for it.
But it is very, very clear we have a serious problem. I’m pretty porn is a major contributor to this grabbiness action/mentality I see in clubs. It happens elsewhere too. Did you read the article about the stripper who felt a guy push a dollar bill inside of her, to tip her? It is a horrific, heartbreaking story to read. It doesn’t just happen to strippers, or women, it happens to children, it happens to straight men, homosexual men..
Women do it too.
I talk about men being aggressors because mostly, it’s men doing it.
This is partly biology right? Yeah. I think so. I think it’s sometimes pretty freaking awesome too. I love that partner (male) is naturally more aggressive (more testosterone) than I am and I love that I am a little less aggressive and more come hither. It’s fun playing the roles of males and females.
It’s still a problem. The barrier, for whatever reason, breaks down. In the documentary, a young guy attending college talks about his thought process when physically interacting with women. He said he watched a lot of porn when he was younger and now associates kissing with the question, “Does she want to have sex with me?”
He said, “I’m just being honest.”
I’m really glad he is (I also don’t think porn is the instigator so much as it encourages what is already naturally there but who knows?).
On the one hand, yay porn! Yay for expression and capitalism and choices and fantasy and for some, a career path. Scoff if you like, but it is one and I take it seriously. It’s just a shame they’re so looked down on for it.
And at the same time I’m wondering if this contributes to something.. very bad? Maybe it does. I don’t think we should stop it. There is a college aged girl in the documentary who talks about feeling like this is what normal people did when she found her father’s Playboys. She said it also made her feel like her mother wasn’t enough for her dad. I never felt that way when I found my Dad’s porn. I thought “Oooh! Wait, what? Weird.” Of course, this was in the 80s and porn was different. Yeah, I was pretty young. I was a child. Children always find the things you wish they wouldn’t.
Once in the 7th grade, I watched one of my friend’s mother’s porno she had stashed away. We were very excited about watching it. It was at her birthday party when we were supposed to be sleeping. All I remember is that it was definitely a porno from the ’70s and a naked guy running through the field, his penis flopping, and then him rubbing this woman who was also “styled” in ’70s fashion, shall we say.
That experience did not make me feel bad. It’s kind of a funny, silly memory. It was sweet because I didn’t really understand anything. It was innocent. I didn’t have the experience this girl on the documentary had.
Doesn’t so much of it come down to experiences?
I never felt bad about cat calls until after I was raped. I mean, I didn’t care for them before. They were annoying but they didn’t make me seethe with rage. I never had a problem with being open about sex/sexuality (my personality naturally exudes it; i am pretty unaware of it but have learned to be more conscious) until I moved to Seattle and experienced immense aggression from men. I’ve had to fight to be my old self (freer, uninhibited).. even before being raped and molested (within a few months of each other).
Since that happened though, I have been able to recognize that look.. Anyone who has ever been attacked knows exactly what I’m talking about. There is a look that reveals greed and a lack of consideration for anyone else’s well being.
That greed (sexual lust) is rampant and if it isn’t controlled, it is dangerous.
Like the college male said, “When she’s kissing me, I wonder if she wants to have sex with me.”
*sigh* So much to say about this topic. I’ve always been for porn and I still am but I do not know how to bring the balance. Perhaps it’s simply through talking. *smiles*