richnewman's picture

Fragments of Evolving Manhood: Thinking About Pornography 2

A white woman’s mouth in the act of swallowing a white man’s penis fills the screen of my TV. Almost directly in the center of the picture, the shape of his organ glides back and forth against the inside of her left cheek. Panning back, the camera shows her kneeling on all fours in front of him, her lips engulfing and expelling his genitals as if she were the only movable part of a well-oiled machine. She looks up at him and asks, with a lust-filled and mischievous grin, “Does that feel good?”

“You suck a mean cock, Cherry,” he answers, his tone flat, as if he were reading her name out of the phone book.

richnewman's picture

Fragments of Evolving Manhood: Thinking About Pornography 1

Translation work has taken me away from this series, and I have been missing it. A conversation I had today with a friend reminded me, though, of the conclusion to an essay about pornography called “Inside The Men Inside ‘Inside Christy Canyon,’” that I published in 1994 in the now-defunct literary journal called “The American Voice.” This is a slightly edited version of that conclusion.

Male dominance instructs men that our bodies are tools. By turning male orgasm into the "cum shot," heterosexual pornography reflects and perpetuates this image of the male body. Yet it does not have to be that way. Erection, for example, the gradual hardening of a man's penis--in the hand or mouth or inside or against or at the sight, sound or smell of the body of his lover, or in his own hand--is the physical corollary of, a concrete metaphor for, that man's capacity for trust, something Sharon Olds explores in her poem "The Connoisseuse of Slugs:"

Elizabeth's picture

On Being Anti Anti-Porn

Reefer Madness Movie Musical posterDonna Rice Hughes, Gail Dines, the Concerned Women for America, and the like, believe that pornography leads to addiction, it destroys families, and it leads to the abuse of women and children. It ought to be outlawed and existing laws ought to be enforced in such a way that it is eradicated altogether. Call it porn panic and witness the way it fuels their self-declared War on Illegal Pornography.

This sounds awfully reminiscent of the War On Drugs, to me, and I predict that if such a war were waged it would be about as successful.

At a press event today calling for Congress to use existing obscenity laws to eradicate mainstream porn there were apparently so few good arguments for the eradication of porn that they had to resort to misinformation and illogical statements. For example, as reported by AOL News:

Elizabeth's picture

Missed Connections: Cindy Gallop, If We Ran The World, and Make Love Not Porn

Last night I was at a fundraiser for Madison Young's Femina Potens. The event was organized by Tied Up Events and all I can say is that if you have an event you need planning help with, you need to talk to them. They did a fabulous job.

I was exhausted and caught up in reconnecting with some dear friends and as a result I missed several important opportunities to meet people. Just now, chatting with Diva, I learned that one of those people was Cindy Gallop, whose work I first learned about from her site Make Love Not Porn. Her new project, If We Ran The World, is even more exciting. Please check them out.

Meanwhile, here's her 4 minute TED talk on Make Love Not Porn. I just watched it for the first time, and I think it's an important message: we need to be able to say what we like and what we don't like, and we need to refute at every opportunity the dominant idea that there is some kind of universal "right" way to have sex, and that mainstream porn is its guidebook.

It is beyond irksome that TED, whose tagline is "ideas worth spreading" has a policy that prevents this talk from being posted on its main site because subscribers "including children" would hear explicit language. Given that one of the main points of the talk is that kids need more and better information about sex it seems TED might decide these ideas are important to spread to young people!

Elizabeth's picture

"Decent Exposure": Judith Levine on the black hole of sex crimes law

Judith Levine writes brilliantly about sex, teens, and the law. From her book Harmful to Minors to her recent writings on the new craze of charging teens who send sexy photos of themselves to one another with possession and distribution of child pornography, she is one of the most articulate when it comes to explaining the irrationality of the law. 

Today she writes :

U.S. sex law is like a black hole: Once reason falls in, it can never re-emerge.

Can all this get any stupider? Just as I was asking myself this question, a post arrived from sex therapist Marty Klein’s blog, Sexual Intelligence, confirming that it could:

Elizabeth's picture

Protecting the kids - ur doin it rong

Audacia Ray has an excellent post on Waking Vixen that reports on two recent news stories involving teens and sex. The first was the story about teenagers sending naked photos of themselves to their boyfriends or girlfriends and being arrested and convicted of sex crimes. The second is the story of Operation Cross Country, which claims to be an attempt to rescue underage prostitutes but is much more effective at arresting adult prostitutes. In her post she asks this important question:

"Why are child prostitutes being rescued while adult prostitutes are being arrested? Why are kids who make porn of themselves being arrested while adult porn performers legally go about their business?"

Click here to keep reading

Freedom of Speech

The Supreme Court may be sending a signal.

 This ariticle in the LA Times deserves reading and comment.,0,3432275,print.story

It's about time.  If you do a search on online danger to children, you should be able to find a recent study ordered by 43 Atotrneys General that concludes the danger to children on the internet is vastly overblown.  I'll find the link and post it later.

Is this a signal that the hysteriics have finnaly made big enough fools of themselves and reason is emerging?  One can only hope.



Chris's picture

A Bush in the Hand

This might date me a bit, but when I first saw a picture of a shaved pussy, it was a real turn-on because it seemed edgy and sexually aggressive. It wasn't something that women did, as a rule. Now, it's so common that it's banal, and natural bushes, like the one that Furry Girl has made her trademark, have become a fetishized niche. The difference between the two styles still inspires a lot of heat and passion, and not always the good kind. Some people insist that shaved pussies make women look like children; others think that pubic hair looks scraggly and unclean. I'm one of the rare ones, someone with no preference whatsoever. But I can say that I utterly despise the vehemence on both sides, and their willingness to pathologize women's bodies one way or another. What I dislike about the shaved look is its total ubiquitousness. I hate that it's considered de rigueur for models to shave their pubic hair unless they're trying to appeal to a niche demographic, and that women feel like they have to shave to show up at a sex party or even to fuck their date. Shaved pussies are gorgeous, as are pussies with wild, full bushes. But homogeneity is boring and unsexy, and if the aesthetic flipflopped tomorrow, I'd say the same thing about natural bushes.

Elizabeth's picture

What happened in Staunton, part 2: What happens in Staunton won't stay in Staunton

A week ago I wrote about the Staunton, VA obscenity trial of Rick Krial. Rick Krial, and his store, were each charged with a range of misdemeanor and felony obscenity counts and were tried along with a clerk on two of the misdemeanor counts. Krial and the store were each found guilty of one; the clerk was found not guilty of both. I wrote about the more philosophical issues of what obscenity means in my last post. This post is concerned with something different. Here I want to make clear why, whether or not you ever plan to travel to Staunton, VA you need to care about this case. The reason: Unlike Las Vegas, the place Staunton's prosecutor most fears, what happens in Staunton isn't so likely to stay in Staunton. Read why below the fold.

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