I have never watched porn. Yes, yes, even when I was 15, hormones were raging, and classmates were constantly discussing sex.
I remember it was my school friend’s birthday, and we gathered to celebrate at her house. Everything was fine – we drank wine, laughed, and then a late guest appeared and brought a gift. It was a cassette with a telling title like “Hot Asses” that a classmate suggested watching right now. I politely said goodbye and left the party.
Porn has always seemed to me something surprisingly nasty – so much so that I did not understand how it was even possible to watch THIS voluntarily. I was not yet so savvy in matters of feminism then, I did not know that pornography leads to violence against women, perverted sexual practices and an increase in prostitution. I just felt uncomfortable and not interested in watching it.
The maximum that I was capable of was to turn on the night channel and watch erotica. But there, you know, there are no genitals, everything looks tender and passionate, and the actors are hardly really having sex!
When I got older, I tried to “check out” pornography. What am I, some kind of hypocrite?
One day, my boyfriend and I went to the cinema to see Lovelace, a biographical drama about pornographic actress Linda Lovelace, who starred in the famous Deep Throat. Arriving home, we decided to look at the original. I could not stand it – I asked to turn off the “cinema” in two minutes.
Era of femporno
At some point, I heard that there is a special feminist porn – they say, it is filmed by women for women, so there is no rudeness, violence and hellish scenes of deep blowjob and anal sex. Worth a try!
In fact, femporno dates back to the 80s, when former pornographic actress Candida Royalle founded Femme Production – she wanted to change the industry by making adult films from a female point of view. She understood that ordinary pornography was of little interest to women – considering what kind of bullying takes place there, how can this be exciting? Royalle’s idea was to make alternative films that couples could watch for mutual enjoyment.
In such a movie, you will not find overly frank, physiologically detailed and even more violent sex scenes. On the contrary, in femporno a lot of attention will be paid to some kind of plot, characters, beautiful music and scenery.
Moreover, feminist porn differs from the usual and production. The focus is on actresses, their safety, comfort and decent earnings. If in the traditional porn industry the task of the director is to break a woman and make her an obedient sex doll, then in femporo the creators give the actress the opportunity to voluntarily realize her sexual freedom.
It all sounded so good that I decided to watch a couple of feminist porn videos. I didn’t find anything terrible there: a man and a woman slowly and gently have sex, kiss, stroke each other and even use a condom! Of course, it was nothing compared to “Deep Throat” – a completely different level.
However (spoiler) femporno didn’t work for me anyway. Today I do not watch any pornography and condemn it as a class.
“But what’s wrong with femporno?”
This question is regularly asked to me by opponents in Facebook discussions about pornography. Tellingly, most often these opponents are men. Why are they so worried about the fate of feminist porn? Why are they so insistent that I still watch adult films, albeit “specially for girls”?
It’s simple: because it is beneficial for them.
Studies show that viewing femporo has a positive effect on women’s sexual activity and their perception of the opposite sex. Note that this is not about the sexual pleasure of a woman – it is not affected by feminist porn in any way! But after such a movie, women treat men better, are ready to have sex more often and experiment more. Guess from one time who wins from this.
That is why radical feminists oppose pornography of any kind and style – even traditional with hard anal sex, even female “flowered”. Andrea Dworkin, a famous radical feminist from the United States, actively fought against the porn industry, calling it “the center of the male sexual system.” And there is nothing good in the male sexual system under patriarchy: it is about domination, aggression and pleasure for men, pain, submission and violence for women.
Many feminists of the third wave, which came after radical feminism, do not agree with them. How is it, they say, that you fought for equality, and now you do not allow women to act in porn? After all, in femporno everything is voluntary and by agreement, and you leave the poor things no choice!
Free choice and pornography
There is one catch: in a world where feminism has not yet won, and patriarchy still dictates its own rules, there can be no “free choice” in matters of sex work. And participating in pornography (even femporno) is still sex work.
Ask yourself a few questions: would you like your daughter to become a porn actress, albeit in feminist porn? And if you were offered the choice of a job as a cleaner or an actress in femporo, what would you choose? Do you think that a sex video of you on the Internet is a shame and a stigma for life?
The answers to these questions make it clear that women are still not in control of their sexuality. Yes, we can have sex before marriage, but it is advisable not to have too many partners, or at least not to talk about our activity – otherwise they will be branded a “whore”. You can shoot a home video with a partner, but sending it to your friends or making money with it on Pornhub is something embarrassing and generally unthinkable.
And if so, it means that femporno, which they are trying to sell us as an alternative to conventional pornography, is the essence of the same evil, only in a beautiful pink wrapper. It, like traditional porn, supports a culture in which a woman is perceived as a sex object. Including, sadly, this is done by the woman herself, including feminist porn or for some reason (let’s say, not even material ones) deciding to act in it.
Porn was invented by men, and so far it has mainly served the interests of men. Even lesbian porn, which is in the top searches on Pornhub, got its popularity mainly due to men, and not lesbians themselves! And vice versa, by the way, it doesn’t work – women don’t like gay porn too much.
Why is this happening? Because for both heterosexual women and lesbians, feelings are more important than genitals. A study by Canadian sexologist Meredith Chivers showed that women are not turned on by naked bodies. What they need for the emergence of desire is caresses, kisses, hugs.
The main erogenous zone of a woman is the brain. So, instead of porn, femme activists should make more ordinary films in which a woman builds respectful, equal romantic relationships, in which there is a lot of care and tenderness. A movie like this would turn me on, would you?