Dear reader Anonymous was slogging through the dangerous back waters of the blog and stumbled across What Is Feminist Porn Anyway?, a post in which I was all hepped up on an artsy porn film, Matinee** because the actors not only seemed to be enjoying sex, but also each other. Wrote Anonymous:
What you qualify here as feminist porn seems to describe quite closely a gay male art/porn film I just saw a preview of. I just think that the thing with most straight porn is that it eroticizes a socially-established power imbalance, ie, I'm a male, I'm gonna stick it into you and you better "ohyeahfuckyeah" enjoy it. Here's the excerpt if the possibility of seeing two guys fucking doesn't turn you off.I dutifully looked at the link Anon sent, but for the life of me, couldn't find the film. I did however see a frighteningly elongated male nipple, which kind of scared me..
However, I aim to please, so I went to another porn site and watched some gay (male) porn. The first film had two Spanish young men, frolicking about in a big white bed like two little puppies. They were smiling and completely adorable, like those two dudes in Y Tu Mama Tambien, and though they were speaking in Spanish, it was easy to get the idea. I mean, I think we can all figure out what "pene" means. (hint: not the tubular pasta, though you are on track with the tubular idea.) The film was fun and actually kind of sweet, as porn goes.
The second film was good, too. The plot (the short version): two football players sneak away to the locker room and get it on. The plot (the long version): well....actually that's pretty much the whole story. There were all the usual sexual gymnastics, close-up shots of thrusting genitals, lengthy pene sucking scene, etc... but somehow it was just better than the usual "I'm gonna stick it into you and you better 'ohyeahfuckyeah' enjoy it" mainstream straight porn.
I tried to figure out why, and came up with this list. (Yes, I realize there's nothing like quantifying art in list form to drain it of all its magic, but I think it's interesting/possibly instructive to see how changing just a few tiny details could make porn way more accessible to women, or at least this woman.)
So what made it better was:
1. The receiver of the pene sucking took a moment, looked down at his sucker, and said, "I've been thinking about this for a long time." "Mmmmm, me too," murmured sucker. BAM! Two lines, and you've got yourself some backstory, and you've indicated that suckee likes sucker at least kinda, and vice versa. I know it's beyond girly of me, but I want the participants to like each other. This is why, if I were a gay man (not to be confused with "If I Were a Rich Man," from Fiddler on the Roof), I would not frequent glory holes.
(Glory holes = holes in the wall of a public place, like a restroom, through which anonymous people--not necessary our dear Anonymous above--insert their genitals, hoping the person in the other stall services them sexually. Unless the person in the other stall is me, in which case I'd shout, "Gah!?!" possibly tossing one of those disposable seat liners over the organ, for sanitary purposes. And I would not want to be confronted with anonymous genitals, I need to know whose genitals they are, why there were there, ad nauseum. I'd peek through the hole and ruin the whole damn thing, possibly putting an eye out in the process.
2. The lovers would occasionally glance nervously toward the locker room door, making sure no one was coming in. And presto, Suspense! Stakes raised! Forbidden love!
3. At one point, the two characters looked at each other eagerly and hungrily like, "I am so going to ravish you, you delicious creature." This brief moment established that the characters wanted to be there, were enjoying themselves and had some degree of respect for each other.
I know all of this sounds horribly tedious and un-pornlike. I mean, *yawn*...respect, liking each other, a story...who cares? Get on with the boning! But those things are what make it sexy to me. Or at least something recognizable as human sexual interaction.
The whole "I'm gonna stick it into you and you better 'ohyeahfuckyeah' enjoy it" thing (which, btw, is a GENIUS description, Anonymous) is not recognizable as sex to me. I mean, yeah, they're doing it and all, but it's just so...mean, and dead-eyed and passionless. The men seem like they hate the women and the women, well, who the fuck are these women?
Margaret Cho says that growing up she searched for Asian women in the media to identify with and only came up with the "Here's your ancient Chinese secret" lady from Calgon ads. That sucks, but at least that Calgon lady seemed kind of smart and knew a thing or two about laundry. The chicks in porn, who, presumably, I as a women am supposed to identify with, are...well, some sort of sub-genre of women who are completely foreign to me. Who do you know who gets lured into a car and within 25 seconds is showing her boobs and fingering herself, while giggling inanely? Who wishes to have some hairless blank-eyed frat dude ordering them to suck his dick faster, like some sort of bulging-eyed piston?
And who actually thinks that...
Ugh, listen to me, is it getting too Feminist in here? I'd better open a window and let some air in.
I guess what I'm trying to say is, if mainstream porn wants to be a touch more appealing to women (meaning, me) it wouldn't hurt to add some humanity, a smidgen of sensuality, and ditch completely the portrayal of women as dim-witted, creepy, "ohyeahfuckyeah"-ing, fully poseable sex toys. I really don't think the porn maker's give a rat's ass, but I'm putting it out there nonetheless.
Whatever the case, I'm done ranting for today. Maybe.
Tell me what you're into these days.
** When I proofread this, I realized I had misspelled the name of the art porn film "Matinee" as "Manatee," which would indeed be a new take on porn.