Episode 12: Porn, Masculinity, and Authenticity

 

 

Welcome to Episode 12 of F*ck Like a Woman. Today we’re talking about porn, masculinity, and responsible porn consumption so that it can be used as a tool instead of a dirty little secret.

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I’m here with my two guests, Carrie Sampson, an academic researcher and gender studies scholar who is here to impart some insights she’s gained from studying the porn industry, and my other guest, Aaron, aka, my husband. I’m bringing him into the conversation because it’s important to let men speak from their own experience, especially a man who has a similar journey with porn as many of my male listeners probably have. For the sake of his privacy, we’ll leave it at that.

So let’s get down and dirty. I mean that with all my heart… because what I’m about to describe is quite repulsive for some, but I wouldn’t be discussing it if weren’t at least beneficial to living a life of higher consciousness in order to make more educated choices. And if you can’t stomach the next few minutes of graphic material describing a few of the more popular sexual practices that are now part of mainstream porn, fast forward to the sweet angelic voices of Carrie and Aaron and you’ll know you’re in the clear. So here goes.

The porn industry has an estimated worth of $97 billion dollars worldwide, about $12.5 billion estimated from the US alone. Today’s conversation ties in with a book written by Robert Jensen, called Getting Off: Pornography and the End of Masculinity. Some of his research includes interviewing all kinds of professionals who make their livelihood in the porn industry, even some of the top producers. What he teaches us is that around the mid 1970s after it moved away from being so underground, the legal constraints on porn began to loosen and move into new territory. Once oral and vaginal sex was exhausted, the producers started to look for new ways to heighten the sexual charge and keep sales up. So the first practice they went to was anal (man to woman anal), which was super edgy during the 80s. By the 90s that was old news, so they moved into new sexual practices that are distinctive of mainstream porn today – practices which are not practiced in the day to day sex lives of most people in real life, not that they don’t occur but they’re very uncommon.

Let’s talk about what some of those common practices are that were once unheard of in most people’s sex lives.

The first one is DP- double penetration where 2 men penetrate a woman vaginally and anally at the same time. Another is called Double Vag – which is 2 men penetrating a woman vaginally at the same time, and Double Anal – 2 men penetrating a woman’s anus at the same time. And various combinations of these. One specifically with Double V, Double A, where they had to suspend the woman in a specially built harness to make it work. Let’s just all pause for a moment of silence for whoever that poor woman was… … Another recent porn innovation is the gag factor – or aggressive throat fucking to the point where they gag or even vomit. Then you have ATM, which is ass to mouth where a man penetrates a woman anally and then places his penis directly into her mouth without hygiene. Let me pause to ask any of you women listening if you’ve ever sought doing ATM with your partner? Anyone? Okay, ya. My guess is it’s not that many. So why do men find this so exciting if there’s no added friction to his penis? Jensen says that it’s not about physical pleasure at all, it’s about humiliation. This is a practice where they get to literally make women eat shit. The crazy thing is that this isn’t even in fringe porn where anything and everything you can ever imagine and then some has been made into porn. This is in mainstream porn. Jensen says this is about the degradation of women, which is becoming increasingly humiliating. And furthermore, he’s researched patterns where as porn producers continue push the envelope, everyone else in the industry moves toward that end, and what happens next is mainstream media begins to use it.

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Here are some of the ideas we discuss today:

  • Children and teenage use of pornography
  • A few of the most popular sexual practices in modern porn
  • A brief history of how modern mainstream porn came to be so graphic, and what it says about our culture
  • How mainstream porn affects men’s attitudes of women and how it influences their sex lives in real life
  • How we can responsibly use and find porn that depicts a more accurate representation of real people
  • Using porn as a tool for sexual exploration and igniting eroticism, and removing its stigma
  • References you can use to educate yourself further on what really goes on in the porn industry

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Wow, what a great conversation everyone. Our hopes in bringing this conversation to you is not to scare you, but to bring some interesting points that maybe you hadn’t thought of before. If porn is something you want to have as part of your sexual lifestyle, it’s good to know there are sites out there that will show more diverse, accurate representations of human sexuality that can open doors to exploring our own. And more so, to do it in an informed responsible way that gives the proper dignity to the real life people we see on the screen. For some of us, it’s hard to go back to making the same choices as before, when we zoom out and see the broader implications this has on all of us, especially when it hits so close to home with our children and the ways we see women and men as whole people, not just fragmented body parts. My homework for you is to go check out one of the referenced materials Carrie mentioned and DM me to let me know what you found interesting about it. Happy exploring everyone!

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