Male feminists and porn

(163 Posts)
AmyFarrahFowlerCooper Mon 15-Jul-13 11:09:12

Can a man who believes he is a feminist be interested in porn? Or does that kind of negate his believing he is a feminist?

MiniTheMinx Mon 15-Jul-13 13:02:18

I suppose he could believe he is anything he likes, the proof of the matter is in what other people think he is.

CiscoKid Mon 15-Jul-13 13:04:27

Some women on this board identify themselves as feminists and are okay with porn (at least some of it). Why should a man be any different?

Trills Mon 15-Jul-13 13:06:58

I agree with CiscoKid.

Trills Mon 15-Jul-13 13:12:51

If you believe that no feminist can be interested in porn, then you will think that anyone (male or female) who says that they are a feminist but likes porn is wrong.

If you believe that it is possible to be a feminist and to be interested in porn, then there's no reason why it wouldn't be possible for a man.

teetering13 Mon 15-Jul-13 13:14:42

I'd say yes, because wanting equality for the sexes doesn't mean you don't/are not allowed to get off on watching people shag

CiscoKid Mon 15-Jul-13 13:17:41

Because, of course, male-only porn does exist. Surely someone who watches that cannot be exploiting women?

MyHumpsMyLovelyBabyBumps Mon 15-Jul-13 14:00:09

I think it might depend on the porn. most heterosexual porn is very misogynistic and if you're getting off on a cock being shoved up a woman's arse and then down her her throat and then doubling all over her... I'm going to question your credentials

MyHumpsMyLovelyBabyBumps Mon 15-Jul-13 14:01:08

spunking not doubling. my phone doesn't approve of the word

scallopsrgreat Mon 15-Jul-13 16:03:07

No
Yes

CiscoKid Mon 15-Jul-13 16:11:46

Scallops, do you think any feminist can like porn?

scallopsrgreat Mon 15-Jul-13 16:23:21

Why do you ask? The OP wasn't asking about female behaviour (for once). They were asking about male behaviour. As the vast majority of porn is made by men for men at the expense of women it isn't a zero sum game. A man purporting to be a feminist needs to be aware of his privilege. Watching porn is maintaining that privilege.

CiscoKid Mon 15-Jul-13 16:26:13

I asked because some women feminists on here like porn. I wonder if you have a problem with that. But, you are right, it's off on a tangent so you don't have to answer.

LRDYaDumayuIThink Tue 16-Jul-13 08:21:39

What scallops said.

Beachcomber Tue 16-Jul-13 09:00:30

The porn industry is extremely misogynistic. Porn is hate speech against women. If you think of it in political analysis terms, porn is propaganda for male supremacist society.

I would be very hmm at a man who consumes porn and claims to be a feminist.

Porn is very pervasive (especially since the development of the internet) so there are lots of people who consume it who are no doubt nice people who wish women well and consider themselves to be supportive of feminism. And we are not encouraged to politically analyse porn - we are encouraged to unthinkingly consume it.

Personally I think it is deluded to think one can consume porn and not internalize its misogynistic and racist messages, stereotypical portrayal of women as male defined 'types', hypermasculinity and violence. Especially if one is reinforcing those messages by jacking off to them.

(I also think that female consumption of porn is a different phenomenon to that of male consumption but that is probably best discussed on a separate thread.)

Beachcomber Tue 16-Jul-13 09:02:14

And what scallops said about privilege.

CiscoKid Tue 16-Jul-13 09:05:40

I don't have a problem understanding of the points of view expressed on here, other than your last one, Beach. That standpoint confuses me. But if you don't want to follow it up here, that's cool too.

Beachcomber Tue 16-Jul-13 09:17:05

I don't mind following it up Cisco but don't want to take the thread off topic.

I also don't want to turn a discussion which is focusing on male behaviour to one that focuses on female behaviour. In feminist discussions this can often happen and it is often done to camouflage or justify male behaviour (I'm not saying that is what is being done here). It is the 'women do it too' argument stopper.

Briefly, for me, women consuming porn is internalized sexism and men watching porn is just plain sexism (misogyny actually).

MiniTheMinx Tue 16-Jul-13 09:50:16

What Beach said 100%

Women watching porn.......I have often wondered whether some of it is to do with the fact that women are socialised to be submissive. So much of our sexuality would be influenced by societal norms, upbringing, early experiences & expectations. Porn that is violent, disturbing and depicts women as suffering,(that would be most) those women are acting in the way circumscribed to them, the women viewer is invited to submit herself to internalising that mode of behaviour, to become submissive and embrace suffering. Its almost as though women are made to suffer, so that in consuming the messages that make us feel the most uncomfortable, we are at that point suffering as well. But because this is deemed the "natural state" of womenhood we should enjoy it and internalise those messages and modes of behaviour. I now get why some feminists have been scathing about BDSM and why housewives martyr themselves in pursuit of perfect cakes and white washing.

And no, men who watch porn are not feminist, well not one I would recognise.

curlew Tue 16-Jul-13 09:53:20

What Beach said.

There are some feminist deal breakers- porn is one.

Isoscelesnorks Tue 16-Jul-13 09:54:24

Is it male on male porn your interested in then yes that could be ok

CiscoKid Tue 16-Jul-13 10:03:44

Okay, thanks for your answer, Beach.

AmyFarrahFowlerCooper Tue 16-Jul-13 10:31:54

Thank you for the replies everybody. It was male/female porn I was particularly thinking of as I was thinking of a particular conversation I had with someone which made me a bit hmm when he claimed he was a feminist but at the same time regularly watches porn. I don't personally think a feminist could enjoy porn which is why it automatically made me doubt he is a feminist in any way other than claiming to be one.

Beachcomber Tue 16-Jul-13 10:46:50

You're welcome Cisco.

AmyFarrahFowlerCooper - maybe he is one of those men who 'loves women' hmm

Maybe he thinks porn is empowerfulising and liberating for women and he just loves watching laydeez get pornified getting empowered and fucked liberated!

(Except he probably refers to them as 'girls')

What about porn that isn't misogynistic, out of interest? I.e. is it the getting off on watching other people do sexy things that's the problem, or is it the treatment of women in most porn?

AmyFarrahFowlerCooper Tue 16-Jul-13 13:50:44

Oh I think you are spot on there, beachcomber! He has used the words "empowering" and "its their choice" about similar things before so I wouldn't be surprised at all!

LRDYaDumayuIThink Tue 16-Jul-13 14:32:12

I don't think we currently have non-misogynistic porn. I'm not sure whether films of people having sex is inherently misogynistic (I don't see why), but I think it's impossible for it not to be misogynistic to a greater or lesser extent in the society we live in.

To take an example, say I make a vanilla sex film with DH and pop it on an amateur website (don't worry, I won't! grin). Now you could say this is harmless. Maybe if we're having lovely feministy sex where I get to enjoy it it even looks feministy, right?

The problem I have is, as soon as I do that, you get people thinking 'hey, this porn stuff is all fine! We just have to choose ethical porn like this lady made with her DH! (granted, the natural response would actually be 'eugh, I shall never look at nookie again', but ...).

Then they look for 'amateur' porn. And what they find will be a mixture - some will be what people put up themselves. A lot of it won't be, because amateur porn is a big seller, and it's run by the same people who do the normal, trafficked-women-being-raped/porn-stars-getting-anal-prolapses that you find everywhere else.

At this point it gets a little seedy, and, if you're me, you start thinking 'shite, what did I do?'

It's not that getting off on people having sex is somehow automatically evil, it's that the structures of society make it extremely difficult for anyone to extricate themselves from misogyny. And when the risk is the sort of thing that can happen to women who're involved in hardcore porn, or the sort of attitude hardcore porn fosters with regard to women's bodies, I don't see it being worth it.

Which is a pity, cos sex is very nice. But there we are.

LRDYaDumayuIThink Tue 16-Jul-13 14:34:39

PS I do also think even totally home-made, joy-of-sex style porn is feeding into the idea that 'men need porn' and 'women's bodies are for looking at'.

I know women get turned on visually just as men (I have noticed this what with being female). It's just that the dominant cultural paradigm isn't women being turned on visually and men being objects to be looked at.

curlew Tue 16-Jul-13 14:47:35

"AmyFarrahFowlerCooper - maybe he is one of those men who 'loves women' "

Oh, God- yes, them.

Like "a man's woman" only worse.

LRD that's really making me think! Is it fair to deny women the chance to enjoy "ethical" medievalist Buffy loving PhD student and DH porn? I mean, just because the industry has corrupted the idea that it's a turn on to watch other people having sex... Is erotica something different and thus OK?

I'm not arguing with your position, just testing out my position really.

LRDYaDumayuIThink Tue 16-Jul-13 16:36:40

Mmm ... I think it's fair to deny porn. In rather the same way, I guess, that I'd love to let off those cool chinese lantern things but know they're a hazard, or I enjoy driving at 120 but don't. It's the risk to other people that bothers me.

I think written erotica is different. The risk there is, is it perpetuating shitty attitudes in an influential way (like 50 shades). But IMO it is so much easier to write erotica that's not a worry. That's just my personal view, though, I don't really know. If someone came up with a good argument against erotica I'd try to consider it as best I could.

LRDYaDumayuIThink Tue 16-Jul-13 16:44:34

I would imagine the vast majority of people would enjoy watching nice sex. I mean, I think it's important to say that. Men who want to watch porn and who want to be feminists aren't in some special unique situation. They're in the same boat as everyone else.

Sex is very nice.

Porn is very crap.

If there's a magic answer that'd be lovely, but I think honestly there isn't, and I think it is kinda patronizing towards men to assume they are less capable of understanding that than women/more in 'need' of porn.

vesuvia Tue 16-Jul-13 16:55:05

Pornography (as well as prostitution) is surrounded by the issue of consent of the participants. We cannot know for sure who is coerced or who is willing.

Some people will assume that the unknown consent status of the participants must have been coercion, because this assumption does the least harm to the participants. It's erring on the side of caution. Such people are likely to not use pornography, are likely to care about the participants and campaign to end abuse of women (and men and children) in pornography. This group includes feminists.

Some people will assume that the unknown consent status of the participants must have been consent, because it will enable them to use pornography, without guilt or shame. They are not interested in doing the least harm. The only interest the porn user has in the participants is "did they provide enough pleasure for the user". I don't see how this group can include feminists.

Even the existence of willing participants in pornography is problematic for women as a group.

CiscoKid Tue 16-Jul-13 18:03:35

Having read through this thread again, I am asking myself 'Are there many men who actually are feminists?' - at least in the sense that the people on this board define it.

I would guess that there may be a few who qualify, but for the vast majority of men, they wouldn't agree with enough of feminism 101 to be seen as one. Would it be more helpful if most men stopped pretending that they understood the movement at all? (speaking anecdotally here)

rosabud Tue 16-Jul-13 18:55:43

Well, Cisco, are you saying that there aren't any men who could agree with enough of feminism because there aren't any men who could agree not to watch porn? I hope that is not the case (and think that it is rather insulting to men to assume that it is). But, if it is, I don't think the answer is to give up on men or allow them to give up on feminism! As LRD said, we all make decisions not to do things we like because of the possible wider effects on others. I think men are quite capable of making that decision as well as women.

LRDYaDumayuIThink Tue 16-Jul-13 19:04:12

I think there are a lot of men who're feminists, but you're right, there are also lots of men who need to step up.

I think, though, you have to remember that lots of women also don't immediately feel passionate about every area of feminism - people vary in what they're comfortable with and I don't think anyone should stop feeling involved.

The answer is simply that it's not helpful for anyone in any movement to claim they 'understand' something they don't, surely? confused

I agree with rosebud's point.

GoshAnneGorilla Tue 16-Jul-13 19:14:58

I think there are quite a few male "feminists" who like the parts of feminism which benefit them. So more liberal (for want of a better word) attitudes towards sex and sexuality are great, likewise women having better access to contraception and abortion, as all these things benefit men.

But better female representation in society, equitable childrearing, etc, don't seem to excite these male feminists as much.

That's the thing about power, those who have it are able tailor circumstances to suit their own desires.

LRDYaDumayuIThink Tue 16-Jul-13 19:15:57

Well said, gosh.

Beachcomber Tue 16-Jul-13 20:48:36

What vesuvia said

(Hi vesuvia, nice to see you smile )

libertarianj Tue 16-Jul-13 22:55:16

all this talk of actor consent and welfare, does it really ring true?, or is it yet another one of those convenient assumptions used by the anti porn lobby? The latest studies would say otherwise:

www.independent.co.uk/news/science/porn-stars-and-the-naked-truth-8348388.html

Also why would actors need to be coerced? Do you not think people would be aware of what the job would entail before they turned up to the audition? Are you telling me they wouldn't have checked out the web site or details of the directors etc beforehand?

Going back to the OP's friend in question, how do you know he doesn't watch feminist porn?

rosabud Wed 17-Jul-13 07:02:58

A rough guess.

curlew Wed 17-Jul-13 07:06:02

"Going back to the OP's friend in question, how do you know he doesn't watch feminist porn?"

Tell me about this feminist porn.

CaptChaos Wed 17-Jul-13 07:12:57

Feminist porn?

Porn where all parties are respectful of one another? Porn where the female protagonist feels able to voice her opinion that whatever is happening is causing her pain/discomfort/she just doesn't like it, knowing that she will be heard, her feelings validated, cared about and a new scene thought out?

That kind of feminist porn?

Is there such a badger?

curlew Wed 17-Jul-13 07:22:29

And where the women all have realistic bodies- no bleached anuses.

Beachcomber Wed 17-Jul-13 08:16:16

Oh great, a link to an article about a study by the Adult Industry Medical Healthcare Foundation. The AIM's main line of work is to test people in porn for STDs - I wonder if they included stats on sexual health in their 'Being in Porn is Healthy for Women' study hmm

Can you link to the actual study rather than a journo piece?

Feminist porn = oxymoron

CiscoKid Wed 17-Jul-13 09:05:44

Re Rosa's question - no, I was not just talking about porn. I don't think the central concepts of feminism, as expressed on this board, resonate with men. Porn is one of those concepts, but not the only one.

LRDYaDumayuIThink Wed 17-Jul-13 11:05:06

I don't imagine that's the primary idea, mind, that they should resonate with men.

I expect if it were the 'FWR and Male Outreach' or 'FWR and How To Bag Your Prince' section it might be a bit different.

CiscoKid Wed 17-Jul-13 11:11:30

I am not saying that they should, or that they have to. I am saying that they don't, and therefore a bloke claiming to be a feminist (as in the OP) is unlikely to understand what that statement means.

LRDYaDumayuIThink Wed 17-Jul-13 11:42:16

That doesn't follow, IMO.

Plenty of men are capable of getting what feminism is about, even if they read a board like this that isn't primarily designed to help them learn. They might read other sites, or they might know about it from their own lives. This board is dominated by female posters who're sort of 'talking amongst themselves', so naturally it isn't the ideal place to start. It doesn't mean that, in general, men who claim to be feminists or feminist friendly never understand what they're talking about.

Beachcomber Wed 17-Jul-13 11:42:36

Cisco, I think you are right that a lot of men claiming to be feminists probably don't really know much about the movement or its tenets and foundations.

TeiTetua Wed 17-Jul-13 13:35:06

I'm not sure that men calling themselves feminists and not actually knowing much about it are more common than the equivalent among women. But it's probably true that we smile at the idea of women who have some aspirations to a feminist outlook, but who have yet to learn all the details, and we probably wouldn't trust men in that position: maybe we'd never trust them ever.

One thing I bet you don't hear men say very often:
"I'm not a feminist, but..."

libertarianj Thu 18-Jul-13 02:53:17

Feminist porn?

Porn where all parties are respectful of one another? Porn where the female protagonist feels able to voice her opinion that whatever is happening is causing her pain/discomfort/she just doesn't like it, knowing that she will be heard, her feelings validated, cared about and a new scene thought out?

That kind of feminist porn?

Is there such a badger?

yeah there is, it's not something i have just made up, i promise:

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feminist_pornography

CaptChaos Thu 18-Jul-13 06:15:26

So, that's a no then, thanks.

CiscoKid Thu 18-Jul-13 08:41:17

Didn't the link work for you, Chaos? I don't understand your comment. I can read it.

Beachcomber Thu 18-Jul-13 08:59:39

libertarianj what is being described in your link is not "feminist pornography" though is it?

It is not representative of many feminists' values and it does not reflect the the political analysis and critical thinking which make up the foundations of feminism as a grass roots political movement.

What is being described is "third waver pornography" or "sex positiver pornography".

I myself would call it "backlash pornography".

From your link;

Feminist Pornography refers to a genre of film developed by and/or for women. It was created for the purposes of encouraging women and their self-beliefs of freedom through sexuality equality and pleasure.

Do you want to tell me how exactly women are supposed to escape our sex based oppression by these means? The sex class is not going to find liberation from male supremacy through the means of fucking on film. Or watching people fuck on film.

Also from your link;

The overall aim of feminist porn is to empower the performers who produce it and the people who view it.

You what? pardon? 'cuse me? What does that even mean ? The third wave tendency to chuck the word 'empower' in, and think that doing so transforms an act of compliance into an act of revolution, is internalized sexism at work. That's all.

There seems to be a long running confusion in third wave feminism that being sexually liberated is the same as being liberated from sex based oppression. (There also seems to be an overwhelming lack of awareness of the phenomenon of socialization...)

Beachcomber Thu 18-Jul-13 09:02:35

And another thing.

So called "feminist pornography" is just a slick version of "women do it too" . Just more cunning because it is ratched up to the level of feminists do it too.

CiscoKid Thu 18-Jul-13 11:05:49

'Feminist pornography is porn that is generated in a fair manner, signifying that performers are paid a reasonable salary and most importantly treated with care and esteem; their approval, security, and well-being are vital, and what they bring to the production is appreciated. ' - from that link.

So, is this like the fair-trade label? People paid a fair wage, treated with respect, not exploited etc etc.

Because if porn could be produced ethically (please note I said could, not is), then feminists could not have a problem with it, right? Unless they just don't like the idea of men getting off on watching sex full stop.

And I understand the argument about a bigger picture - you could have 1 per cent ethical porn hmm and 99 per cent of uncertain origin, or some such split. But, we have non-sex industries that have splits between fair-trade and non fair trade produce, don't we? Our clothes, our food, our coffee. Feminism doesn't want us to stop buying those things, and we can all live without coffee.

LRDYaDumayuIThink Thu 18-Jul-13 12:23:19

We seem to be moving away from the question of male feminists and porn, and more into 'feminists should really be more ok with accepting porn is feminist'. This feels a bit like a separate debate to me?

Apologies OP if it is exactly what you wanted, I'm just struggling to follow the connection to your OP, and I am normally the world's most useless thread-derailing rambler.

Why are we getting to accusatory suggestions that maybe feminists 'just don't like the idea of men getting off on watching sex'? We're back to the feminists again, not the men, aren't we.

CiscoKid Thu 18-Jul-13 12:34:18

The OP has made reference to a man watching porn. I assumed that this could lead to discussion about the nature of the material that he watches. After all, we don't know the individual concerned, and the OP has imparted little information about him, so we have to discuss the material rather than the individual. I was discussing the nature of porn, rather than a man I have no knowledge of.

LRDYaDumayuIThink Thu 18-Jul-13 12:45:08

Ah, I read her differently.

If this thread is meant to be discussing the nature of porn, rather than whether a man can be a feminist and watch porn, fair enough.

I don't really see why, if the OP means what the OP says she means (as opposed to your interpretation), we need to discuss the material, TBH.

Our clothes, our food, our coffee. Feminism doesn't want us to stop buying those things, and we can all live without coffee.

But Feminism isn't a movement to make everything that is every wrong ever suddenly, miraculously better, is it! It's a movement to liberate women.

Similarly, the Fair Trade movement is about, well, fair trade for producer countries. Not about liberating women.

Funny how these discussions seem to come back to a similar formula in the end, isn't it!

Clumsily written there, well done Buff hmm

CiscoKid Thu 18-Jul-13 13:33:42

I am guessing as much as you are as to the OP's true intent, so I may be wrong. But how can we discuss a male feminist watching porn without discussing the nature of porn itself? If you want one without the other, the OP might has well have asked for one word answers - 'yes' or 'no'.

If that is what you wanted, OP, yes (it is possible) to you first question, and depends (on which strand of feminism you are referring to) to your second. I don't think it leads to much of a discussion though.

Beachcomber Thu 18-Jul-13 13:37:12

Lots of feminists don't agree with pornography no matter how sparkly, cuddly, fair trady, consenting and pollyannaish it is. Porn is just filmed prostitution and so called 'feminist porn' is just the filmed version of the happy hooker.

Feminism is about challenging the status quo and the sexual hierarchy. It is about questioning sex roles and shining a light on the all pervasive domination/submission dynamic that places men as higher status than women. Filming that dynamic is not a feminist act.

Anyway, 'feminist porn' is a niche market drowning in the mass of violent hardcore misogynistic women humiliating abusive crap that makes up most porn - and this is the porn that most men consume.

I doubt the man mentioned in the OP is seeking out 'feminist porn'. And even if he did it still wouldn't be an act of solidarity with women to watch and wank to it.

Beachcomber Thu 18-Jul-13 13:42:41

And any woman who thinks she is making 'feminist porn' might like to think about the etymology of the word pornography.

libertarianj Thu 18-Jul-13 22:49:38

Lots of feminists don't agree with pornography no matter how sparkly, cuddly, fair trady, consenting and pollyannaish it is.

but lot's of feminist do agree with it too

Feminism is about challenging the status quo and the sexual hierarchy. It is about questioning sex roles and shining a light on the all pervasive domination/submission dynamic that places men as higher status than women.

and how does that have anything to do with women making erotica for other women to enjoy? confused

Anyway, 'feminist porn' is a niche market drowning in the mass of violent hardcore misogynistic women humiliating abusive crap that makes up most porn - and this is the porn that most men consume.

ah so now you do acknowledge there is feminist porn! but is it really niche when you have masses of very popular erotic art sites like x-art, femjoy, joymii, met-art etc which are feminist approved and can be enjoyed by both men and women. There's nothing violent, misogynistic, humiliating, abusive about any of those sites. It's extreme porn which is a niche market. check out porn forums and search engines and you will see the most viewed threads/ popular searches are predominately softcore erotica.

LRDYaDumayuIThink Thu 18-Jul-13 22:52:15

I think the 'how does that have anything to do with' bit has been explained upthread, several times? confused

Btw, the quotation marks mean she doesn't agree. They're not for randomly scattering through phrases, they're for showing you mean to quote, not agree. smile

HTH.

TeiTetua Thu 18-Jul-13 23:14:01

Anyone who intends to produce or use pornography, but who wants it to seem nice and not nasty, is likely to call it "erotica". I don't think that necessarily makes it more benign, and perhaps it's less honest. Really I think Dworkin and MacKinnon did the world a disservice by having a campaign against "pornography" while leaving any questions about sexually-oriented material of other kinds unanswered. When does porn end and erotica begin (or vice versa)--who the hell knows? Is it just "If I like it it's erotica, anything else is pornography"?

libertarianj Thu 18-Jul-13 23:16:22

I think the 'how does that have anything to do with' bit has been explained upthread, several times? confused

err no it hasn't, it's just been stated as a matter of fact. No logical explanation just assumptions.

and i didn't say she agreed with it, i said she acknowledged it...

LRDYaDumayuIThink Thu 18-Jul-13 23:19:12

Oh, I thought it'd been explained.

Which bit didn't you follow?

I don't think she 'acknowledged' that there is 'feminist porn'. I think that's why she put it in the quotation marks.

I'm just guessing, of course. I wouldn't want to speak for her. It's just, that's a basic function of that much-abused punctuation mark.

FrameyMcFrame Thu 18-Jul-13 23:39:15

The porn industry involves trafficking and exploiting women and children for the profit of men.
I can't see how this can be compatible with caring about the welfare of women.

libertarianj Thu 18-Jul-13 23:42:31

Which bit didn't you follow?

how women making porn for the enjoyment of other women has any bearing on what she claims is the higher status of men over women and the sexual hierarchy?

well she did acknowledge it, as she said it was niche market? otherwise what on earth was she referring too?

LRDYaDumayuIThink Thu 18-Jul-13 23:46:52

Yeah, that bit's upthread.

SinisterSal Thu 18-Jul-13 23:50:20

that's not what you get when you type 'porn' into a search engine though. I would expect cuddly fluffy feminist porn to be high up there in the rankings if that was the mainstream, rather than the niche.

libertarianj Fri 19-Jul-13 00:10:20

oh right you mean that bit up-thread where she slates third wave feminists and states how misguided they are? ok

WhentheRed Fri 19-Jul-13 00:10:35

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LRDYaDumayuIThink Fri 19-Jul-13 00:13:33

I explained it too, lib. Right upthread.

Don't disagree with her on third-wave, though. Or whenthe.

Kinda obvious isn't it?

It's not like women don't enjoy sex so I'm not quite sure what anyone would gain from spitefully pretending to object to lovely, feminist-friendly porn if such a thing did exist? confused

It's just that, given the structure of the society we live in, such an animal couldn't survive.

libertarianj Fri 19-Jul-13 00:15:40

Seriously who just types in 'porn' into a search engine. I think you'll find people tend to be a bit more specific about these things.

LRDYaDumayuIThink Fri 19-Jul-13 00:17:43

Ah, shit. sad

You know what we're doing wrong? We're searching for porn all wrong.

libertarianj Fri 19-Jul-13 01:15:14

In other words, a fluffy version of porn produced for men so that men can foist on their women. Then they can say that porn is okay because women do it too.

mmm it seems you have conveniently cherry picked one element that happens to involve men and interpreted in the most negative way possible. What about the stuff on the feminist porn awards link that was referenced, did you check that out? I only put up the wiki link in consideration for work place viewing

It's not like women don't enjoy sex so I'm not quite sure what anyone would gain from spitefully pretending to object to lovely, feminist-friendly porn if such a thing did exist? confused

but it does exist, your right you do need to improve your searching skills. grin
I get it though, even if you knew of it's existence you would never admit to it anyway. Otherwise most of the anti porn arguments used against men would start to go out of the window and that wouldn't do now would it?

WhentheRed Fri 19-Jul-13 02:39:37

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

curlew Fri 19-Jul-13 06:06:18

One of the problems here is that,even if there is this niche of woman friendly, non exploitative, right on, Dworkin approved porn, how would be recognise it? How could we be sure?

I'm sure it is possible to have ethically produced diamonds, for example, but I won't wear a diamond until I can be absolutely sure that the one I buy is. No hardship- diamonds are a luxury item I can well do without. The same goes for porn. It is possible to live happy,productive, sexually fulfilled lives without it. It it also possible (gasp) to live a happy, productive life but not be sexually fulfilled!

Dervel Fri 19-Jul-13 06:31:10

I wonder if perhaps as I have suspected for some time there is something wrong with a lot of men's attitude to sex itself? I think if that was picked apart and understood we might get somewhere. I believe porn reflects this central problem back at us, and were we to find a way to correct this, porn, if it even still existed would along with sex itself probably be perfectly fine and healthy.

I think there might be a pretty long wait.

LRDYaDumayuIThink Fri 19-Jul-13 07:33:38

lib - no, I don't believe it does exist.

This has been explained.

derv - I think yes, there's probably something wrong with all of our attitudes to sex.

SinisterSal Fri 19-Jul-13 09:14:36

That's something that has occurred to me too Dervel. Maybe not just men though.
But the fact that porn is the expression is unlimited fantasy, unfettered by any other consideration except pleasure, and this is what emerges is worth considering.
If there wasn't something dark there in our attitudes surely porn would naturally be woman friendly and cuddly and equal? It wouldn't be a niche thing that needed to be sought out.

Beachcomber Fri 19-Jul-13 09:34:53

Thanks LRDY - you were quite right.

I put the phrase feminist porn in quotation marks because I was, um, quoting .

LRDYaDumayuIThink Fri 19-Jul-13 09:43:09

You may find you have to explain and justify that a bit better. hmm

I mean, you just stated it.

As if it were something obvious.

I feel a thorough review of punctuation-related semantics is necessary before we can accept your usage, and ideally for as long as it takes to keep the discussion off the subject of the OP and the poor, poor men who just want to be free to watch their porn.

Beachcomber Fri 19-Jul-13 09:55:06

libertarianj are you going to respond to the questions I asked you upthread or are you just going to talk about me in the third person?

You know, I find the whole subject of so called "feminist porn" (that was a quote) pretty tedious. However, it does highlight the increasingly common phenomenon of co-opting the word feminist (or using feminist language) in order to repackage internalized sexism and sell it to women as something positive for us.

It's like that hideous word 'empower' - a word that mostly seems to be used to repackage the idea of acting like a male gaze sex object as something liberating for a woman to do.

It is such a load of bullshit.

It's reminding me of Basil's most excellent feministy lemon drizzle cake thread we had a while back grin

Beachcomber Fri 19-Jul-13 09:59:57

LRDY grin

Yes, why are we talking about the misogyny in porn or focusing on the men who consume porn when we could be analysing the various usages of inverted commas...?!

(I used ?! to express questioning surprise - HTH)

LRDYaDumayuIThink Fri 19-Jul-13 10:34:04

I could fancy some lemon drizzle cake.

I've got some organic lemons in the fridge...

curlew Fri 19-Jul-13 10:50:58

I posted a delicious lemonade recipe yesterday.....

CiscoKid Fri 19-Jul-13 11:43:06

You can always tell when an interesting and potentially educational discussion about a serious topic has gone to ratshit when someone has to start with the sarcasm. If you are bored of the subject, why not just stay out?

SinisterSal Fri 19-Jul-13 12:03:15

if you are not why not just add to it?

LRDYaDumayuIThink Fri 19-Jul-13 12:10:22

I'm not bored with the subject, though. I'm bored with digressions and with people who can't be bothered to read the thread before complaining that no-one has yet addressed their point, when it has in fact been addressed several times.

Can men use porn and still be seen as feminists?

We've now debated pretty thoroughly whether or not such a thing as 'feminist porn' exists, and I think we've established that some of us believe this is a question whose answer lies in analysing the structure of society and the nature of gender relations, while others thing a quick wank google would be better.

It's fun and all, but what's wrong with a little light relief, lemonade and lemon cake, before we get back to the subject? smile

Here's another perspective on the question, given that there is some debate about whether men can be feminists per se... If there is a man who believes, in an innocent sort of a way, that women are equal and treats individual women as equals in his eyes (I think that there are many men like this) then I think that such a man can watch porn and find that doing so doesn't conflict with his ideas that women are equal. Because he doesn't know of, isn't interested in or doesn't understand the political analysis that underpins feminism.

Clearly this hypothetical man is blind to his privilege that enables him to reconcile a belief in women's humanity with an enjoyment of porn. A bit like the contradictions implicit in many of our decisions to, for example, own a car despite identifying as a person who is broadly concerned about climate change...

...and so to the majority, feminists who speak of the inherent misogyny and harm inherent in all porn are similar to the people who speak against car ownership. They seem a bit bonkers?

Feminist porn is the Toyota Prius of porn! grin

LRDYaDumayuIThink Fri 19-Jul-13 12:29:42

Yes, I think that's absolutely true. I think the vast majority of sexism/misogyny is like that - people don't think 'ah, I have conceived an enormous hatred of women, now I will put it into practice'.

Interesting how the figure of Jeremy Clarkson springs to mind in both the feminist and the prius example ...

SinisterSal Fri 19-Jul-13 12:31:44

Very true.
Seen too among ourselves not men only.

CiscoKid Fri 19-Jul-13 12:47:18

Re your hypothetical man - I said the same thing on page 2. Most men agree with equality for women in the eyes of the law. The basic tenets of feminism are a different thing entirely. The patriarchy, hatred of women, institutional sexism - most men will find these concepts a bit of a stretch, if they are aware of them at all. And most men will find vanilla porn acceptable because it's accessible, free and for the vast majority, appears to have willing participants.

Convenient, cheap and apparently without a victim - like so much in our society.

libertarianj Fri 19-Jul-13 13:40:30

^...and so to the majority, feminists who speak of the inherent misogyny and harm inherent in all porn are similar to the people who speak against car ownership. They seem a bit bonkers?

Feminist porn is the Toyota Prius of porn! ^

yeah i see what you mean, and i will just add that getting people to ditch their cars would be nigh on impossible and would restrict their freedom of choice, whereas getting people to use greener vehicles is a lot more feasible prospect and is surely the sensible way forward?

curlew Fri 19-Jul-13 13:44:18

You're somehow equating porn with car ownership? For some people car ownership is an essential. For many others life would be very difficult without one.

Nobody actually needs porn. I think my diamond analogy down thread is a better one. There might be "ethical" diamonds, but since you can't tell by looking, I'll not be buying one. No hardship- it's a luxury I can well do without. Porn is the same.

LRDYaDumayuIThink Fri 19-Jul-13 13:54:48

Some people - disturbingly - wouldn't see that argument either. I was quite seriously informed by a total idiot that if you were engaged without a diamond ring, and the Home Office investigated the marriage (which was quite possible since DH is from one of those places where sham marriages aren't unheard of), then they wouldn't believe it was real. hmm

Yes, seriously.

It is amazing how much effort is put into making us believe that all these money-spinners are essentials (and yes, porn is a huge money spinner).

garlicagain Fri 19-Jul-13 14:14:40

Blimey, LRD, that's bonkers! All the same, it's just a bureaucratic hoop, innit. Wear a £10 engagement ring when you go to the Immigration, or borrow one.

I think the OP was too cut'n'dried. I'm "interested" in porn and can find it sexually stimulating even if it's the 'wrong' sort. Being a feminist, I don't watch it or seek it out, but the inner recesses of my brain are interested in sex, not politics. My forebrain is interested in porn as an aspect of gender politics.

But a person who specifically uses porn for sexual gratification is not a feminist, no. Or, perhaps more precisely, is a 'pale pink' feminist.

libertarianj Fri 19-Jul-13 14:25:54

You're somehow equating porn with car ownership? For some people car ownership is an essential. For many others life would be very difficult without one.

nah, that wasn't my point. I wasn't saying which one is more essential. I was talking about how they are tackled.
i.e If you go in with a sledgehammer, declaring all porn should be banned then you will be met with the usual responses and quickly sidelined as an extremist. However if you went in with the promoting ethical porn approach, then people may actually listen and it may get people thinking a bit.

curlew Fri 19-Jul-13 14:29:00

So we have to pretend that we think porn is all right really, so that we don't upset the men?

LRDYaDumayuIThink Fri 19-Jul-13 14:34:01

Yes, it was a bit mad, garlic. grin

I would have thought most people find porn sexually stimulating, though? I mean, why on earth wouldn't we?

To extend the analogy further - I don't have to believe diamonds aren't sparkly just because I'm worried about blood diamonds. I can accept they are sparkly and gorgeous (well, actually I think they're a bit meh, but you know ...), and also think I shouldn't buy them.

lib - sorry, but you do realize that if you go in with a sledgehammer, declaring that all anti-porn feminists are wrong, you will be met with the usual responses and quickly sidelined as an extremist? However, if you went in with any kind of rational response instead, people might actually listen to you, and you might get people thinking a bit.

I do hope that advice helps and doesn't come across as massively patronizing, or as if I've not stopped to read threads on this before. That would be embarrassing! blush

garlicagain Fri 19-Jul-13 15:36:07

Good lord, I wasn't suggesting my brain is special grin Yes, it's usual to find porn sexually stimulating.

It's less usual to examine the nature and provenance of the porn, making a considered choice on whether to seek it out for sexual stimulation. I'm sure everybody on this thread would like everyone to do so. I'm theoretically in favour of ethical porn for this reason: people find it easier to select a no-harm option than to deny themselves completely - but am a bit depressed by the lack of availability, quality and verifiability.

LRDYaDumayuIThink Fri 19-Jul-13 15:43:20

No, I know you weren't!

I was rambling a bit (as I do). I just meant, I find it so odd that many people do seem to imagine that anyone who doesn't think porn is ethical, must actually be responding sexually in a different way from the norm.

In some imaginary, post-revolution world I can believe we'd have 'ethical porn', but I don't see the sense in risking it in the world we have.

garlicagain Fri 19-Jul-13 16:05:50

Ahhh ... you mean we're frigid wink

SinisterSal Fri 19-Jul-13 16:27:32

Or drugs - you can be anti drugs and still accept you'd get high if you took a line of coke.

LRDYaDumayuIThink Fri 19-Jul-13 16:30:19

That's a good analogy.

Beachcomber Sat 20-Jul-13 01:53:07

If there is a man who believes, in an innocent sort of a way, that women are equal and treats individual women as equals in his eyes (I think that there are many men like this) then I think that such a man can watch porn and find that doing so doesn't conflict with his ideas that women are equal. Because he doesn't know of, isn't interested in or doesn't understand the political analysis that underpins feminism.

Clearly this hypothetical man is blind to his privilege that enables him to reconcile a belief in women's humanity with an enjoyment of porn.

With regards to what you said here Buffy, yes he is blind to his privilege but he is also guilty of 'othering' women.

And, for a lot of men, there will be double othering going on. The reconciling can only happen within a cultural framework of othering women as the sex class, and with certain women forming the (doubly othered) subgroup of the porn sex class. We see exactly this sort of attitude with prostitution (which is not surprising given that as I said earlier, porn is simply filmed prostitution).

If you asked the average male porn consumer if they would be happy with the idea of their wife/girlfriend/mother/sister/etc being in porn, they would say no. If you asked them how they would feel about themselves being treated like women are treated in porn they probably wouldn't even have a proper understanding of what they were being asked.

It is just plain old fashioned woman as other + madonna/whore complex. Which is clearly illustrated in the etymology of the word pornography.

Dervel Sat 20-Jul-13 04:50:40

I think your headed in the right direction beach. It is these double standards, and outmoded thought processes that need tackling, but not just in regards to porn, but in all aspects of men's attitudes towards sex. Although as others have pointed out women may have things they need to look to also. I am just more familiar with men's thought processes on the subject.

I am inclined to canvass my gay mates on the subject as obviously there is no second gender to marginalise, and perhaps the homosexual males attitude towards sex may hold some keys that could be applied to us straight ones.

garlicagain Sat 20-Jul-13 05:09:19

Hmmm, you may be walking on quicksand there, Dervel. One of the less well-advertised truths of male homosexuality is that the vast majority of gay men are promiscuous, even when in long-term committed relationships, and to degrees that would be considered reckless by most straight women and men. I can confidently generalise about that - and, less confidently, report that gay men of my acquaintance seem to objectify both women and gay men.

Not trying to put you off, btw - it will be interesting to hear what you learn smile

libertarianj Sat 20-Jul-13 08:41:05

lib - sorry, but you do realize that if you go in with a sledgehammer, declaring that all anti-porn feminists are wrong, you will be met with the usual responses and quickly sidelined as an extremist? However, if you went in with any kind of rational response instead, people might actually listen to you, and you might get people thinking a bit.

I haven't gone in with a sledgehammer though, unlike you i have tried to find some middle ground and hence my discussion of things such as feminist porn. All you have done is say 'no porn is bad end of' This totalitarian attitude may get you a few pats on the back over here but in real life it will get you nowhere.

LRDYaDumayuIThink Sat 20-Jul-13 08:43:29

You think your attitude didn't come across as a blunt sledgehammer? Whoops!

And no, if you read my posts, I haven't said 'no, porn is bad, end of'. I've actually explained my views. smile

If you struggle to understand them, denying they exist is probably not the way forward. In the real world, you need to listen as well as to spout your preconceived ideas.

libertarianj Sat 20-Jul-13 09:08:48

yeah you have explained why you believe 'porn is bad end of'. You haven't said how you would apply that to real life or how you would change peoples attitudes. I take it you want to change the status quo? or maybe you just like moaning?

LRDYaDumayuIThink Sat 20-Jul-13 09:17:48

You didn't ask. Nor did the OP.

But feel free to start another thread.

I'll take a moment to snigger at the irony of the pro-porn lobby complaining about people who 'like moaning'. grin

grin

BasilBabyEater Sat 20-Jul-13 10:02:29

Arf at some of the posts on here.

To answer question, yes I think men who believe they are feminists can be interested in porn.

But then, I think men who believe they are feminists, or in sympathy with feminist aims, can also be domestic abusers or even rapists.

Feminism can mean anything men want it to mean. grin

libertarianj Sat 20-Jul-13 21:50:35

I'll take a moment to snigger at the irony of the pro-porn lobby complaining about people who 'like moaning'. grin

grin loving your comeback there. Although i reckon most people watch with the sound turned down wink

Sausageeggbacon Tue 23-Jul-13 19:49:15

Interesting podcast on feminist porn here, of course the view is different to a lot of people who post here.

Dervel Wed 24-Jul-13 05:27:05

I have a particular chap in mind to talk to about this garlicagain. He is always remarkably insightful and wise. I am not sure I'm particularly against promiscuity in and of itself, as long as people are honest and safe about it. I can't abide all the smoke, mirrors and deception that seem to surround a lot of promiscuous people.

For what it's worth I think porn stands to damage men as well as women. Although I appreciate that is not the purpose of this thread, but I do believe only healthy, respectful cross-gender lines debate will help us make thing better.

I don't think I "get" feminism myself quite yet, and perhaps I never will. However there are a great many impossible things that are still nevertheless very worthwhile in at least making the attempt.

I'm not sure if this is off topic, but perhaps it gives a hint to where human sexuality has gone off-piste, and by extension where pornography goes wrong: I am interested in switching career to psychology and psychoanalysis in particular, and as such you have to go through therapy yourself, and my therapist in a session where we were discussing sexuality pointed out something that really floored me. A phrase I always thought was rather beautiful "to make love to someone" I used in context of my relationship, and he challanged me why I said make love to as opposed to make love with?

I did a lot of soul searching, and I could only come to the rather painful conclusion that on some unconscious level I did (and do) objectify women, although if you'd have asked me beforehand I would have sworn blind I did no such thing. This is where I think the vast majority of men currently sit. I did some mental backtracking and identified there was a point before what I suppose the worst of what I suppose you'd call "patriarchal conditioning" set in. At a sleepover when I was around 14-15 talk turned to a particularly beautiful older girl at my school, things got to a rather cringeworthy point where we all went round and talked about the things we would like to do to her, and I got derided when I said I'd just like to go out for a bite to eat to get to know her better (I was often soundly bullied for saying completely left field things that went agains the pack). I'd very much like to get back to that kid, looking back on him I quite like him.

Where this all gets to porn, is I am old enough to have thankfully had a childhood and adolesence free from the internet, but despite that I can still clearly identify parts of my own psyche where I have work to do. I read things like FHM and Loaded in my twenties, and I have picked up bad habits, but thankfully not to the point that it has impeded my ability to enjoy deep relationships or even strong enduring friendships with women. Yet the problem as I see it with things like internet porn, and to a lesser extent the things that affected me is that all of those things are passive experiences, where people fulfill a biological urge but there is no imagination attached to it, which I think is the foundation of any healthy sexuality. I don't think an attack on porn is an unreasonable thing to do at all, but I think the problem we're really talking about was around long before it, so it's only real efficacy at this point is damage control, but there is still more to be done.

I'm really really sorry for that wall of text, and prattling on about myself. However I couldn't really get to the meat of where I'm coming from without delving into some quite personal to me thought processes. I also don't really consider myself an expert on female sexuality, so I deliberately avoided tackling that side of the fence although that is of course just as important. Also for the parts that were off topic.

BasilBabyEater Wed 24-Jul-13 21:37:28

I thought that was an interesting perambulation Dervel, don't apologise for rambling off a bit, it's in a good cause.

What struck me about that teenage boy stuff was the thing that men are taught which can be summed up as "bro's before ho's".

It's what patriarchy has always imposed on men - the concept that the most important bonding they can do, is not with women or with their children, but with other men.

When they step outside that rule, they threaten patriarchy. So they have to be slapped down. Jeering at a boy (or man) who talks about a girl (or woman) like she's a human being just like other boys (or men) serves the same function as porn - it reminds boys and men how they should be performing masculinity. The jeering reminds them of the punishments for not doing so (loss of social status, ostracisation, expulsion from the group) while porn rewards them for doing so (orgasm).

StickEmUp Wed 24-Jul-13 21:59:33

My addition to what Basil just said is there is increased male power when they stick together. More can be achieved that way.

DizzyZebra Thu 25-Jul-13 20:28:12

I think you can still be a feminist and have an interest in pornograpy. Pornography by definition is simply watching two people engage in explicit sexual behaviour. It is natural to be interested in these things no matter your gender or age etc.

There is a big market for, and a lot of material containing normal couples having very normal sex. This i don't see an issue with. It's normal sex wit a camera in the room. It is an additional interest of theirs that is sharing their material and viewing others.

I think it gets more complicated when you look at what the actual porn industry is and it's treatment of women, and in some i've seen gay males.

Some of the creepiest men I have ever met have been anti-porn 'male feminists'. IMO unsolicited anti-porn ranting from a man is a fairly big red flag for misogyny: men like this are very keen on slutshaming and blaming the female performers for what they perceive as the wrongness of pornography.

As to the difference between 'porn' and 'erotica' it's either wholly subjective or it's discussed as the difference between words and pictures. And I could derail the thread for hours about erotica and 50 Shades and the problems faced by any woman wanting to make sexually explicit entertainment media aimed at women. and then go on and on about My Book, of course

Dervel Sat 27-Jul-13 09:23:27

So hang on if a man entertains anti-pornography rhetoric he's mysoginistic, so we should leave the subject unexamined for fear of being labeled mysoginistic? How then can we move the discussion forward if such is the case?

For what it's worth I do get where you are coming from. Men with attitudes such as you describe without a doubt exist, but I think in a frank and honest discussion it pays to give the benefit of the doubt to those engaged in that debate until such time as their true colours are shown.

StickEmUp Sat 27-Jul-13 13:32:59

Dervel I don't think it's that simple.

My DH doesn't like porn but I don't think it's anything to do with the cast, he's more turned off at the idea of watching other people having sex. He thinks it's private.

And a bit weird about looking at another man's penis, to be frank.

Interested to hear what others think of that.

Branleuse Sat 27-Jul-13 13:43:44

a man or woman can believe in equality between the sexes, but still really enjoy looking at sexual images of people who have consented to having their images shared.

BasilBabyEater Sat 27-Jul-13 17:33:26

I don't think you need to wait long before you find the men SGB describes showing their true colours.

Most lefty-boys are either totally cool with porn - what's the problem, you're nearly equal now, they're sex workers who consented and all they need is to join a union - or they're anti it because they regard the women who participate in it as less human than themselves, whores not good socialist women.

Their true colours usually show quite early on in any discussion of this topic.

CiscoKid Sat 27-Jul-13 18:19:21

Well, not much room for manoeuvre there; if you are a lefty and you like porn you are a misogynist, and if you don't like porn you are.....erm, a misogynist.

I am a lefty. I believe in redistribution of wealth, a welfare state and the right to healthcare and education that is free at point of delivery. I must hate women.

I think it's perfectly possible to like porn and not be a misogynist. Getting turned on by sexual display is not remotely evil in itself. Making the effort to seek out what might be called 'fairtrade' porn is always an option. Fairtrade porn does exist, it just needs more effort to get hold of it, because the main distributing bodies are not so keen on it.

FrameyMcFrame Sun 28-Jul-13 08:59:20

Hope you don't mind me adding my opinion.
I have watched some porn and I didn't find it sexually stimulating or interesting for the most part. It was scary and made me feel sick. Most of it was women being treated roughly, choked and hurt. Abusive language is normal.
That's mainstream porn. If you go to any of the big free porn websites which have a selection of free clips from all over the Internet then this rough and horrible stuff is average fayre.

libertarianj Sun 28-Jul-13 12:49:26

Nah that's not mainstream, that's what the anti porn brigade want people to believe everyone is looking at.
Check out the most popular sites on Alexa:

www.alexa.com/topsites/category/Top/Adult,

yeah there are a couple of free video hosting sites at 1 and 2 but the majority are softcore sites, mostly web cams, also looking at freeones at number 8 for example, their most viewed item with 15 million views is 'Nikki Simms' or 'Next door Nikki' - definitely softcore stuff.

libertarianj Sun 28-Jul-13 12:59:49

StickEmUp ^My DH doesn't like porn but I don't think it's anything to do with the cast, he's more turned off at the idea of watching other people having sex. He thinks it's private.

And a bit weird about looking at another man's penis, to be frank.

Interested to hear what others think of that.^

So what's his views on porn featuring only women or porn where people aren't having sex and doing solo stuff? I reckon his view is a common one with regards to not wanting to see other blokes and hence why softcore stuff is very popular as i pointed out above.

FrameyMcFrame Sun 28-Jul-13 19:21:07

There are lots of sites though, the one you mention is only one.
It's from my own experience of looking at Internet porn and from talking to make friends and ex partners about it.
The general gist is that the soft core solo stuff doesn't work for people who have viewed a lot of porn.

FrameyMcFrame Sun 28-Jul-13 19:23:01

Blowjobs feature heavily - almost always rough.
Things like bukake etc.. That's not hardcore nowadays, it's ubiquitous

libertarianj Mon 29-Jul-13 00:00:24

Well if you check out most the other sites on that list, they are predominately softcore. Web cam sites are massively popular with 5 of them in the top 20 and they mostly feature solo performers.

The general gist is that the soft core solo stuff doesn't work for people who have viewed a lot of porn.

I don't think that is the case for most people though, i think that people tend to stick to what they like. It's like everything else there will always be some people who go overboard but the vast majority will do things in moderation. I am also struggling to find much research to indicate your statement to be true, other than biased religious sites.

Things like bukake etc.. That's not hardcore nowadays, it's ubiquitous

But that is still a very niche fetish with not many titles/ performers featuring/ performing that. There is no way that is standard fare. hmm
It's not featuring in this worldwide survey of searches either:

www.pornmd.com/sex-search

The top ten porn searches for the UK were.

1. British
2. Indian
3. Milf
4. Teen
5. Lesbian
6. Mature
7. POV
8. Lisa Ann
9. Squirt
10. Amatuer

GoshAnneGorilla Mon 29-Jul-13 00:28:27

Ffs, do you really think we need you to guide us and once we've done a little Google search our womanly brains will be convinced?

What sort of arrogance you have, to claim we don't really know what it is we object to. hmm

That the number four search term on your list "teen" doesn't really warm the cockles of my heart, is that the sort of oh so nice porn you're in to?

TheDoctrineOfAllan Mon 29-Jul-13 00:57:53

Good post, gosh.

GoshAnneGorilla Mon 29-Jul-13 02:37:41

I really, really like this post about clueless left wing blokes and feminism:
www.thefword.org.uk/blog/2013/07/why_this_class-conscious

Dervel Mon 29-Jul-13 03:42:52

@libertarianj, I'm not sure this is a thread about defending porn, but wether or not it is that Top 10 doesn't seem to preclude mysoginistic material. One could have this "ethical" or softcore porn in most of those words of course, so I am not trying to prove the reverse. I'm simply pointing out that that top 10 doesn't really answer the salient point. That a majority of pornography contains material that plays to particular power fantasies that involve the reduction of women to objects. Therefore can any man who indulges in consuming such material consider themselves a feminist?

Now we have raised the point that perhaps sexual acts when viewed are not in and of themselves sexist or mysoginistic, but even when you look at the relatively tame end of the spectrum, page 3 say you can still see this rather nasty reduction of women seen in the inane comments often attributed to the models.

Perhaps in relation to the OP you feel that perhaps some kinds of porn is acceptable, and still consider oneself a feminist, and maybe you have a point. After all there are women who identify as feminists (third wave I think, but I stand to be corrected) who are pro porn insomuch as they are pro woman's choice, but I suspect one would have to know a hell of a lot more about feminism than I to advance that argument effectively.

Would it be possible for you and I to meet in the middle somewhere, for the purposes of this discussion? I don't think there is much of value that can be discussed if either of us adopts an inflexible position. I can accept that there are major vested interests that want to bias the discussion, both the porn industry wanting to carry on unregulated, or religious or conservative groups that want it blanket banned. In any case just throwing in one's lot with just one side means we're in danger of missing the truth.

FrameyMcFrame Mon 29-Jul-13 08:58:22

Libitarianj, what you find within each sub category that you mention is not lovely softcore and fluffy. It's teens or Asian or whatever kind of women being aggressively treated.

here is a study showing that over 80% of popular pornography involves aggression.
It's from 2010 but I doubt much has changed for the better.

libertarianj Mon 29-Jul-13 14:00:13

GoshAnneGorilla That the number four search term on your list "teen" doesn't really warm the cockles of my heart, is that the sort of oh so nice porn you're in to?

Just posting the facts, no need to shoot the messenger, also probably a popular search term with er... teenagers, maybe?

FrameyMcFrame here is a study showing that over 80% of popular pornography involves aggression.
It's from 2010 but I doubt much has changed for the better.

Ah isn't that the study that cherry picked some rough scenes from a selection of DVD's and passed them off as mainstream? This has already been comprehensibly debunked. Also why do we need some study based on a mere 300 + scenes when i have just demonstrated what is actually popular from Alexa stats which covers millions of scenes.

Dervel That a majority of pornography contains material that plays to particular power fantasies that involve the reduction of women to objects. Therefore can any man who indulges in consuming such material consider themselves a feminist?

Not sure we can ever meet in the middle when you make massive assumptions like that without any valid facts to back up these claims.
Also to pick up on one of your earlier posts what did you mean by this?:

I'm not sure if this is off topic, but perhaps it gives a hint to where human sexuality has gone off-piste, and by extension where pornography goes wrong

So you really think human sexuality has gone off-piste? How do you come to this conclusion? confused or is it the fact you don't approve of sexual diversity now that people have come out of the closet about a lot of things?

GoshAnneGorilla Mon 29-Jul-13 14:22:08

Ah, so women being treated as fucktoys is sexual diversity?

You don't seem to understand that the objection many of us have to pornography is that far from being "diverse" it's appalling treatment if women dressed for the sole purpose of men's sexual gratification.

I would be intrigued as to what you would consider to be "valid facts" who is the judge of that validity - is it you?

Your arrogance, yet again is a very poor advert for men who watch porn.

FrameyMcFrame Mon 29-Jul-13 15:42:25

where has that study been debunked Libetarianj? I only see it being quoted in lots of well respected publications and by people whose judgement I respect.

You say;
'Also why do we need some study based on a mere 300 + scenes when i have just demonstrated what is actually popular from Alexa stats which covers millions of scenes.'

But you're not bothering to answer or recognise the point that 'Asian' or 'Milf' categories don't preclude them from having aggressive and misogynistic material within.

Beachcomber Mon 29-Jul-13 16:46:57

I can't believe soemone would post a list of popular porn searches and not see that terms like;

Teen, Indian, MILF, lesbian, amateur, etc are as offensive as fuck.

Women are individuals, not wank categories based on their age, skin colour, ethnicity, male gazeified sexuality, etc. Novel concept I know hmm

I actually PMSL at this piece of deluded nonsense;

"GoshAnneGorilla That the number four search term on your list "teen" doesn't really warm the cockles of my heart, is that the sort of oh so nice porn you're in to?

Just posting the facts, no need to shoot the messenger, also probably a popular search term with er... teenagers, maybe?"

"Teen" is a popular search for adult males who like to see girls who look underage be fucked by adult men. "Teen" is the same thing as "barely legal" which is a disgusting predatory term.

FloraFox Mon 29-Jul-13 17:40:27

And the prize for the most astoundingly arrogant non-contribution goes to:

"why do we need some study based on a mere 300 + scenes when i have just demonstrated what is actually popular from Alexa stats which covers millions of scenes."

I am actually laughing out loud.

BasilBabyEater Mon 29-Jul-13 21:46:58

"Women are individuals, not wank categories based on their age, skin colour, ethnicity, male gazeified sexuality, etc."

Now you're just being hysterical. Try and see the bigger picture.

Or something.

hmm

libertarianj Tue 30-Jul-13 01:52:54

where has that study been debunked Libetarianj? I only see it being quoted in lots of well respected publications and by people whose judgement I respect.

You say;
'Also why do we need some study based on a mere 300 + scenes when i have just demonstrated what is actually popular from Alexa stats which covers millions of scenes.'

But you're not bothering to answer or recognise the point that 'Asian' or 'Milf' categories don't preclude them from having aggressive and misogynistic material within.

should all be covered in here, by the legendary Brooke Magnanti www.amazon.co.uk/Sex-Myth-Everything-Were-Wrong/dp/029786639.

but lets take a look at this study titled: Aggression and sexual behavior in best-selling pornography videos.

g.virbcdn.com/_f/files/79/FileItem-273118-AgressionandSexualBehavior2010.pdf

first fatal flaw, they have only chosen a source of DVD's from the AVN network to review, so paid for porn from specific sex shops in the US. umm so why did they go for this?, when they could have chosen to use unbiased stats from sites like Alexa, which would have told them what the most popular viewed sites were worldwide? ( it wouldn't have given them the results they wanted i expect!) So they have narrowed it down to a very specific type of person who buys their porn on DVD from dedicated sex shops. hmm Then having a look at the AVN web site itself. Their so called chart does seem rather odd as nearly all the titles are by the same few studios based in California, and are mostly ones notorious for extreme porn. Also 41% of the scenes surveyed featured ATM!!! Right ok.... so they have basically done a study of 'extreme porn ' dvd's not mainstream at all. What a joke!

Finally going back to that Alexa site, from a bit of further analysis i noticed that when you discount the dating sites, web cams, the hosting sites and porn search engines, the top rated original content web site on that list is in fact Playboy Digital (softcore) and number 2 is Femjoy (softcore art erotica site). So there you go. However it would be quite interesting to do a full study of that list maybe expanding to the top 100 sites or beyond.

So to conclude your average man is not looking at extreme misogynistic porn and therefore their viewing of soft porn shouldn't go against their feminist credentials.

TheDoctrineOfAllan Tue 30-Jul-13 07:42:28

Lib, how do you define soft porn? For me, soft porn means knickers but no bra but I think you mean something different.

Beachcomber Tue 30-Jul-13 08:19:29

"therefore their viewing of soft porn shouldn't go against their feminist credentials."

Why? Who are you to declare such a thing?

I think it is up to women and feminists to decide that. And each woman (feminist or otherwise) will have her own opinion on that .

Golly gosh. Fancy that. Women as individuals with their own opinions.

Soft porn, hardcore porn, gonzo porn, gay porn, amateur porn, so called "feminist" porn are all on a sliding scale of the same thing. This is why they are all helpfully called porn . Because they are, um, porn.

We actually had a thread about this before with some posters trying to make out that most porn consumers are innocently watching soft focus lovey dovey images of women and men having gentle mutually satisfying consensual and straightforward intercourse after a bit of hand holding and gazing into each others eyes.

It Is Bullshit.

And women are not stupid.

The Max Hardcore videos are some of the best selling porn videos. Do you know what he does to women. Or just look up RedTube - here you go, here are some of the titles on the homepage;

*****warning nasty racist and misogynistic shite coming up****

German Sara Joy gets fucked in the ass
Asian chick enjoys dick
Petite cherry blonde teen Avril Hall rammed
Hot Japanese toilet blow job
My daughter is a porn start
Teen Natalie - Charlie's jail bait # 4
Ebony deep anal is nice

The categories which are in alphabetical order include ; Asian, Anal, blonde, Big Tits, Double Penetration, Facials, Japanese, Latina, Teens.

Down the bottom of the page is an advert for "Extreme videos - 18 and abused"

******end***********

All these videos have hundreds of thousands of views.

Beachcomber Tue 30-Jul-13 08:40:47

Have you actually read the study you linked to?

It clearly states in the abstract (on page 3) why they chose to analyse video rentals;

Although consumers access pornographic materials in a number of forms—including the Internet, cable and hotel video-on-demand, the telephone, and magazines—videotapes (VHS) and digital video discs (DVD) still generate the most income (AVN, 2006). In fact, rentals at adult video stores increased from US$75 million in 1986 to US$665 million just 10 years later (Stack et al., 2004), culminating in over 950 million adult videos rented annually by 2005 (AVN, 2006). Video rentals generated more than US$4.28billion in 2005, representing 34% of the total market for all adult products (AVN, 2006).

And do you know what that AVN is?

It is the Adult Video News. It is a trade journal for the porn industry - the biggest and most influential one. They also publish lists and reviews of the most popular porn films. If you want to know what porn consumers are wanking to, they are the people to go to.

In the current study, the designation of the films examined as “adult films” was ready-made by employing lists provided by AVN. The population of titles for this research was drawn from a compilation of 250 best-selling and 250 most rented video lists published monthly by AVN. The researchers selected the top 30 videos appearing on each list from December 2004 to June 2005. After deleting duplications, the population consisted of 275 titles (AVN, 2005). Fifty titles were randomly selected from this list to comprise the sample, yielding a total of 304 scenes. The sample, therefore, is meant to be generalized to the top titles of this 7-month period.

Sounds like a pretty solid method to me.

Beachcomber Tue 30-Jul-13 08:52:15

And another question about your critic of the study.

Do you know why most porn has historically been produced in California? And why the California studios have got so big?

a) they are protected by the first amendment in California. b) they have a monopoly.

www.firstamendment.com/site-articles/content-outside-california/

RoxyFox211 Tue 30-Jul-13 12:44:01

Yeah sure they can. I'm a feminist and I watch porn. It depends on your beliefs really (and obviously if the porn is consensual).

libertarianj Tue 30-Jul-13 13:22:41

The Max Hardcore videos are some of the best selling porn videos.

Max is the extreme of the extreme and was even jailed for a couple of years for his obscene works. I would question your claim of him being one of the biggest sellers? He is despised in the industry, he is despised by porn lovers, his stuff is banned from many sites and forums. You will not find his works hosted on many sites at all. It's funny how he always seems to get wheeled out in these kind of discussions, i expect half of his web traffic is generated from mumsnetters using his website for 'research purposes' grin

also you say hundreds of thousands of views, to put things in perspective we were looking at 15 million views for that 'Next door Nikki' softcore site i mentioned earlier.

Have you actually read the study you linked to?

It clearly states in the abstract (on page 3) why they chose to analyse video rentals;

Although consumers access pornographic materials in a number of forms—including the Internet, cable and hotel video-on-demand, the telephone, and magazines—videotapes (VHS) and digital video discs (DVD) still generate the most income (AVN, 2006). In fact, rentals at adult video stores increased from US$75 million in 1986 to US$665 million just 10 years later (Stack et al., 2004), culminating in over 950 million adult videos rented annually by 2005 (AVN, 2006). Video rentals generated more than US$4.28billion in 2005, representing 34% of the total market for all adult products (AVN, 2006).

And do you know what that AVN is?

Yes, yes and er yes. Ok here we go:

a) Have you verified the accuracy of that AVN chart?, as all i am finding is that people are claiming it to be based on the number of adverts for a particular product not actual sales. Also that $ 4 billion figure has been disputed too as being massively inflated and when they challenged AVN they were a tad vague. Check Wiki (AVN magazine) and look at the history section. It's all there and it appears to be very dubious.

b) So they claim 34% of money is made from DVD products alone, but why didn't they consider the other mediums of the remaining 66%?

c) How many people actually go to a sex shop and buy porn or order it through the post, when it's all free on the internet? Do you really think that there are many people who go to this trouble? I'd estimate it to be only small percentage of people who still buy porn. It may generates a fair amount of profit but is still a niche market in the grand scheme of things. They are basically the equivalent of people who still buy music on vinyl.

So from that i would strongly disagree that the study uses a solid method. It's what i would term junk science

TheDoctrineOfAllan Tue 30-Jul-13 13:55:34

Hi lib.

What do you define as soft porn?

Beachcomber Tue 30-Jul-13 14:14:30

libertarianj - "It's funny how he always seems to get wheeled out in these kind of discussions, I expect half of his web traffic is generated from mumsnetters using his website for 'research purposes' grin "

Yeah, fucking hilarious. That grin made me feel a bit sick.

Porn hounds always try to argue that Max Hardcore's films aren't popular.
The porn industry and the porn consumers stopped loving Max when he went to jail and became a bit of a liability. Up until then he and his films were hugely successful (1990s). He 'made' a lot of names - it was almost considered a right of passage for women in porn to do a scene with him.

His films have been hugely influential in the industry. He pushed boundaries of filmed violence against women and filmed degradation of women and a whole lot of people joined up to follow in his footsteps. Unfortunately. And now a lot of the stuff that he did that was considered extreme at the time is now all over the internet.

You may not be able to find very many of his films now (I don't know I haven't looked), but there is a whole genre of porn that is directly influenced by him. He is notorious - and not because no-one watched his films.

Nasty piece of low down inhumane shit that he was, he knew what would sell, you have to give him that (dubious) recognition.

Beachcomber Tue 30-Jul-13 14:27:42

Have you checked what this specifically means;

Video rentals generated more than US$4.28billion in 2005, representing 34% of the total market for all adult products (AVN, 2006).

It is in the notes of the study you linked to:

According to AVN (2006), 34% of pornographic texts are consumed through video sales and rentals, 6% through cable pay-per-view, 4% through hotel in-room video on demand, and 20% through Internet sources. Clearly, video sales and rentals are the preferred method of consumption in the United States. AVN, while not a “traditional” research publication, is the leading reporter of record for the adult industry, with a monthly circulation of more than 25,000 .

You declare it 'junk science' but you haven't even read it properly hmm

I think you are calling it junk science because you don't like its findings - that mainstream popular porn is violent and degrading to women and that the women are often portrayed as enjoying and 'asking for' that violence and degradation.

It speaks volumes that you think you spending 30 seconds on google and glancing at Alexa is much more valid that a comprehensive study conducted by several highly qualified people over a period of several months and hundreds of actual porn scenes. Have you read the credentials of the people who wrote that study?

Dervel Wed 31-Jul-13 02:50:08

Ultimately libertarianj even if I give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you are right about the majority of what you've posted it does not detract that for x many people engaged in any aspect of the sex industry that are all happy balanced and fine with it thank you very much there are x many people who suffer, are exploited and not even treated with the same common decency you would an animal. Now we can sit and pontificate at what numbers those x's might represent, and at best all either side is going to be able to muster educated guesses.

One unavoidable fact which you have unsurprisingly not addressed is that the overwhelming majority of those affected in that second number will be women, hence precisely why this is a feminist issue and why it is a perfectly reasonable question to raise that should a man consider himself a feminist can he also be a user of pornography? You can also add into the mix all those women who might be all happy happy joy joy about sex work, who may well have chosen other careers that would have been equally as lucrative if not for glass ceilings, patriarchal vested interests etc etc. Point being that the playing field is not level, and at least until that is addressed the choice of selling one's own body is not made in a vacum apart from other issues, so until that day dawn there is not a lot of merit to your position whatsoever.

FrameyMcFrame Wed 31-Jul-13 18:00:01

excellent post Dervel

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now