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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sex in Media: Books, Magazines, Films, TV & More » Men, Women, and Porn: What's your stance?

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Author Topic: Men, Women, and Porn: What's your stance?
Marian
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Porn is a popular and controversial subject among our varied cultures. It has been praised for its freedom of sexual expression and demeaned for the exact same reason. What our culture understands as porn varies often, also. We mainly define it as a picture or movie of any combination of men and women having sex, or appearing naked, yet Playboy is not willing to call itself pornography. Men seem to be most inclined to view and purchase porn, whereas it makes women blush. Funnily enough, women do not view romance novels and "erotic literature" as porn, when it is basically achieving exactly for women what a naked picture of Pamela Anderson achieves for a man. Semantics, apparently, can alter much of our views. "Erotic Literature" is just a mask for "Porn in Print". The dictionary defines it as "writings, picture, etc. meant to illicit sexual arousal". There are all kinds of gender issues raised by such stereotypes and by porn in general. I am making this topic for us to share our views on porn, and try to come to some understanding of the purpose, pros, cons, and, most of all, knowledge of what others think of it.

As for myself, I am not against porn, though I do not use visual aids much. I don't think that it demeans women as long as the line between fantasy and reality are maintained and the women are willing to participate. I am much more inclined to read porn and find that a lot of women gain more out of "erotic literature". I can't say exactly why. Perhaps, the fantasy world it creates is more real for us in print than as a photo. A lot of my friends are male, and I have come to understand a bit about men and porn. I have seen their "collections" of porn, and most of them are interested mainly in still pictures. They are visual beings, men, who need only see the naked body and are greatly aroused. Women, on the other hand, myself included, don't really find still pictures of a naked man arousing. Pleasing, yes, but I would never masturbate to a picture of Johnny Depp. While creating a little "story" in my head, sure. Pictures are less interactive.

Others?

Posts: 10 | From: Ohio | Registered: Jun 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
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Just one thing I need to mention with this.

There's no solid evidence to show that men "are visual beings," any more than women are, sexually or otherwise. For instance, a lot of urban planning has been done by women per transportation systems, etc. which is an incredibly visual skill: loads of women are visual artists: none of those women are somehow exceptions per their sex because of those skills, natural talents and focus.

Variances amoung people in terms of how visually stimulated they are is related to personality difference, how a given person is socialized and reared, etc., not biological sex nor gender. Same goes for stating that heterosexual women don't find visual images of naked men arousing: you're stating something as fact that is urban legend, as well as very outmoded generalizations about sex and gender (and which also has a lot to do with exactly what you brought up in your first paragraph, ironically, about sematincs altering perception: most people think those things simply because they have been stated to them again and again, and because of the values affixed to them, as well as how traditional gender roles are often culturally enforced).

[ 09-06-2007, 11:02 AM: Message edited by: Heather ]

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Frogmite
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I think that, if anything, pictures are more interactive than "erotic literature", because it gives you more freedom to create your own erotic scene than a pre-written story does.

I was actually talking to a male friend of mine about this, and he said that it's "not as much the picture, but what's going on in the picture" that matters. Personally, I don't like 'erotica' books (they get pretty repetive), but I can't say that picture-porn is much better.

It all goes back to objectification, doesn't it? If you're going to hold any femenist grudge against the porn industry it would be about potraying women as sex toys. Look at the men featured in porn--they don't have to be some sort of hunky, generic ideal to be fawned over (because, of course, size is the only thing that matters), whereas it's quite hard to find a female pornstar who doesn't live up to the generic fantasy woman.

Of course, pornography isn't about empowerment, or sexism, or anything but good ol' masturbation fodder.

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If I ever asked her to Skank, she'd probably think I called her one.

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Heather
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quote:
pornography isn't about empowerment, or sexism...
Well, save that there is an awful lot about it that many talk about and study that IS about those things. Plenty of people talk about pornography being empowering for them, and plenty of people talk about how it is not, or how it is or feels exploitive of them. Plenty of people address the massive sexism that's in most pornography. And, of course, these issues loom even larger when we're talking about pornographic material that isn't written -- visual and film material is made with real, live people, so matters of personal empowerment or exploitation and matters of sexism and the like certainly are real issues.

(Just an FYI? In discussions like this, "I statements" can be really helpful, and keep personal opinions from sounding like or being read as dogma or generalizations about everyone or any one group. In other words, "For ME, picture are more interactive than..." or "I don't really find naked pictures of men arousing.")

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Marian
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Actually, I did not state this as fact: it is all my opinion and from my experiences. You'll have to excuse my lack of "I" statements, for, as an English major, it is looked down upon, but I thought that it would be clear that none of what is said here is actual fact. I don't believe that any of us are psychologist or statisticians on the subject.
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Heather
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With the sort of statements you made, an I is really integral, because otherwise you are literally stating that men do this and women that as fact with the way you've stated it. Were you to say "Transitive verbs are not action verbs," your prof would likely simply tell you you were incorrect -- as you would be in saying that "They are visual beings, men, who need only see the naked body and are greatly aroused," without a qualifier that you mean the men you KNOW are or that the men you know have described themselves to you that way. See the difference?

And some folks here or who read here are actually quite well-versed on the subject, myself included, having worked in and around the matter quite intensely for many years.

But since gender essentialism and assinging gender roles is such a big problem, this is an arena we're particularly careful about here because many of our users appreciate having somewhere to go where they aren't sterotyped, and because sexual essentialism and sterotyping is often so inaccurate, and we aim for accuracy.

[ 09-06-2007, 09:39 PM: Message edited by: Heather ]

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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