What I Think About When I Think About Porn.

So, I’m a girl, right? Spitting distance anyway: my visual iconography says ‘girl’ and everyone assumes i’m a good 5 years younger than my actual age when I meet them for the first time. And I write about porn. Hell, I*talk* about porn if people are interested. A lot of the time, I actively like this about myself – it means people tend to be comfortable being open with me about related matters, because I am with them; it means i’m more interested than threatened when my partners watch/talk about it; it means no lover of mine will ever have to hide it from me. But often, it surprises people. Sometimes it worse than surprises people, it makes them do this slow, rather nonplussed, faintly horrified thing that makes me feel like shit. The braver ones ask me why. So here, in public, is as much of a sophisticated analysis as I can manage of what porn means to me, and why I watch it, study it, think about it, talk about it, in the way I sometimes do.

First off, I don’t necessarily *like* porn. Sometimes, in fact quite a lot of the time depending on genre, porn scares or bothers or disturbs me. (Nb. I mean *visual* porn,  images and particularly videos, here. Me and written pornography is an entirely different story; reading has always had a hotline to my inner psyche that nothing else has managed, and I’ve been masturbating to stories since the age of, what, 11? Young, anyway. Books are where I first discovered and formed my sexuality, and certainly where I’ve gone and will still tend to go to develop it. From the autobiographies of Frank Whatsit, Oscar’s friend -with apologies to my parents if they’re reading this – to Pat Califia and the Raw Shark Texts, books have always helped me understand and formulate what sex and sexuality are and mean to me. But that’s another, uh, story.)

So, yes, visual porn. Teh interwebz. A lot of the stuff out there bothers me. Mainstream het stuff because the girls are interchangeable and seem fake and the men are often ugly and often I find the iconography abusive or fake; kinky stuff because while I’m quite happy watching (most) kinky shit happening if i’m in a club and I know the parties are consenting, I’m still distinctly squeamish about watching people getting hurt when I feel that’s in question or watching the results of pain; lesbian stuff if it feels the girls’ sexuality is being appropriated for the male gaze and they’re just putting it on for the cameras (looking bored = *big* giveaway, altho the girls in that sort of stuff tend not to be my type anyway); anything that feels false, basically. And some things turn me right off, and make me angry to boot – when a man (almost inevitably) is verbally abusing a woman for no apparent reason, and when i have no cues to assume it’s arousing her (and that happens far, far too much.) Anything that smacks of nonconsent and coercion IRL.  Upsets me, makes me shudder: I’m still being haunted by some of the scenes I’ve exposed myself to over the last few days: not necessarily the most hardcore in terms of activity, but the ones in which the women were treated and talked to like shit for no apparent reason other than their gender, in what could logically have been supposed to be a ‘normal’, consensual het scene.

However. I like a lot of it, too, and sometimes unexpectedly or despite myself. Some things that turn me on are predictable (mild d/s with hot participants, gender immaterial; anything regardless of gender/s that feels real/is nicely shot/has tattoos/androgynous people in), some are less so (blow jobs, esp m/m; groups, again gender immaterial; fingers/hands sliding into cunts [much more arousing, on a literal physical level, than watching cocks, fsr; i’m all damp around the edges just thinking about it], cunnilingus with tongues clearly penetrating, same applies; squirting; anything with girls which feels genuine and like they really want to be there, hence a lot of amateur stuff), and some I can’t quite explain and am fairly shy about (eg., spanking porn. i find spanking porn *stupidly hot* if the scenarios work, and sometimes even if they don’t, which is *ridiculous* given that I don’t really enjoy spanking past the pain threshold unless I’m a) well warmed up, b) close to orgasm or c) in love with you, preferably some combination thereof. Or – no, I think i’m actually too shy to mention that one. Sorry peeps.) Often it’s unexpected, I’m watching something I’d dismissed and then suddenly find myself stupidly turned on and going ‘ohmygodwhat??’ But thinking about it, I have to admit, sometimes porn bothers me, and some of it bothers me ideologically even at the same time as it turns me on, which is *really unfair*.

Thing is, for me porn’s never quite what i think it is for a lot of men, a safe world of ultimately controllable sexuality. Sex that you don’t have to think about or engage with or care about, that you can switch on or off like a tap. As the paragraphs above probly show, I’m involved with it, engaged with it, good or bad, and sometimes to an uncomfortable extent. I think porn gets me for the same reason sexuality gets me: it opens me up and leaves me vulnerable. In some ways, I’m still as open to being touched by it as I am to being touched by minds or bodies. And…I think that’s precious. Maybe.

But by and large, unless I seek out niche stuff that really doesn’t do it for me (F/m tends not to) I don’t get to see people who’re like me (I’ll tend to identify with the ‘girl’, unless there’s a participant of another gender who’s vaguely subby and physically more like me, go figure) control or dominate the sexuality or bodies of others. By and large in porn I watch ‘my’ sexuality and ‘my’ body being controlled or dominated by others. (of course, in practice, *doing* that turns me the fuck on, but i digress. I am a mess of contradictions.) So there’s no ‘safe’ detachment, there’s implied threat if anything. There’s the self-imposed feeling that i should be like the mainstream girls i watch – thinner, blonder, bigger-breasted, more bland-looking, quieter, more difficult to get off (that one might be just me. Apologies all.) There’s the feeling that even if I *was* what I ‘should’ be, the best I can hope for is to look bored whilst some ugly bloke (usually) pounds away, or to have to make out with another identikit girl and make groaning noises, that my reward for being desirable is simply disregard and abuse.

So, being me, what do I do, faced with these scenarios? What I always do, faced with hard (hurhur) things. I question, analyse, seek to understand; i look for exceptions, things i can promote and identify with (Abbywinters, NoFauxxx, Courtney Trouble, Pandora Blake, Jiz Lee, to name but a few, I salute you <3); I explore; I seek to know and understand and discover. Because this is me, a lot of these things happen through words and writing and public academic analysis. And above all, this means I find or create a space for myself in the world, discourse, framework that I could find simply threatening which isn’t victimhood, which is actively engaged and participatory and a true reflection of myself and my desires and my sexuality. Is that enough? I wonder.

Advertisements

About Goblin

Academic, critic, endlessly fascinated; reads, thinks, listens and talks far more than is good for her. Ex-anorexic, ex-ME, excitable, queer, kinky, nosy, mouthy. Purveyor of uncomfortable truths. Talks filth in public. Likes rabbits, old houses with big windows and John Wilmot Earl of Rochester. Needs more sleep.
This entry was posted in Culture, kink, Psychobabble, Sex, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s