Pro-sex. Pro-porn. Pro-knowing the difference.

Can You Be A Feminist And Enjoy Porn? / Elle UK

Originally written be Elle Staff for Elle UK. Published on January 11th, 2016.


 

Screen Shot 2016-01-27 at 3.14.39 PM

I’ve relished watching on-screen shags ever since I had a sexual awakening during a cinema visit to see Titanic when I was 10. But I have always been convinced that watching porn would make me a dreadful feminist. Because porn has a horrible reputation; porn is synonymous with nasty sex. I’m aware the internet is superbly stocked with footage of sex acts, but they’re mostly ones that perpetuate a narrow sexual ideal featuring plucked, bleached women having things done to them that look painful (making noises that sound a lot like ‘ow’) while acting all appreciative.

Predictably, tentatively browsing the web for ‘dicks’ and ‘sex’ doesn’t explode my impression that pornography can be toxic. In fact, it makes me more certain watching mainstream porn is about the most detrimental sex and relationship education a person can have. So much of it normalises verbal and physical aggression, muddies the issue of consent and casts women as passive objects. It creates warped expectations of real-life sexual encounters (which can’t offer unending novelty at a click, and are actually full of smells, emotions, hair, fluids and other people with complicated desires). Basically, mainstream porn is the ultimate sausage-factory industry, one worth nearly £70 billion globally – one I refuse to endorse.

However, a new wave of porn made by women (and the occasional feminist man) for women promises smart, personality-driven content that empowers females and promotes role equality. Silencing women’s sexuality or demanding we subscribe to a testosterone-fuelled male model of sexual liberation (one that devalues commitment and the female orgasm) no longer flies. We’re finally shouting about gender gaps in every sphere – sexual fulfilment included. Gradually, room is being made for porn that’s both stylish and smutty, obscene and intelligent, romantic without being conventional: porn I can get off on without qualms. So I’ve scoured the web for it so you don’t have to…


MAKELOVENOTPORN.TV

The promise: Real couples submit erotic home videos for online rental.

The reality: This puts total control in the hands of the video’s stars: there’s no potentially exploitative contract negotiation or misleading editor’s cut. Plus, the fact that there’s no one at all behind the camera adds intimacy: there’s something levelling about the lo-fi approach (crumpled sheets, clumsy camera angles) as you’re invited into a couple’s private space to watch them make love. The site is curated by Sarah Beall, a former scriptwriter in the adult film industry who champions non-performative porn. I adore Colin and Gray, a couple who make creative, playful, videos and have a sex life I can and want to identify with. As a pre-teen I peeped (a lot) at my parents’ copy of the ground-breaking 1970s work of instructive erotica: The Joy Of Sex: A Gourmet Guide to Lovemaking. The illustrations of a big-bearded man between the legs of a big-bushed woman are etched on my memory. That same honest, hungry unselfconscious enjoyment is what I like about Colin and Gray’s videos – they’re a delightful how-to guide. Writing about makelovenotporn.tv on her blog, Gray says: ‘It is a place where two non-porny, androgynous, scrawny, pale, short-haired brunettes can be sexy and promote sexual and emotional health and creativity.’

The verdict: 5/5

#ColinandGrayforever #relationshipgoals. There’s romance, closeness, trust, lust, weirdness, wetness, tenderness, vulnerability and respect – it’s innovative and inspirational. The best bit is it mostly makes me want to take my hand out of my pants and have sex with another real-life person, or people, immediately (awesome as it is to watch). A threesome with Colin and Gray would be ideal.

And finally… Yes, the relationship between feminism and pornography is rightly fraught. There’s a horrid history of female degradation and exploitation to contend with, and a few empowering examples of female-positive eroticism won’t heal that. But porn is a consumer-driven industry: we can slowly but surely push the one-fits-all, Action Man vs Sex Doll porn to the margins and reshape the landscape by shouting our preferences without shame. I want to see responsibly sourced, artisan shags: traditional, organic, ethical, honest and lovingly made. The kind of female-generated porn made by Erika Lust and the uplifting, life affirming kind available atmakelovenotporn.tv. Indulging sex fantasies should serve to make the reality better. Porn should heighten your real-world experience by making you more
confident and lusty for other meaty, pulsing humans, or we’ll all soon be shagging robots – and that’s too bleak for words.


Awww!!!! We LOVE this write up! To go read about the other awesome sites that Elle endorses, head to the original article! 

 

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

Basic HTML is allowed. Your email address will not be published.

Subscribe to this comment feed via RSS