Thursday, 4 July 2013

On the joys and pitfalls of pornography.

As a feminist, pornography is always going to be a difficult topic. I have so many issues with the industry and how the people in it are treated (not just the women). I have issues with the contempt the performers are shown because I believe that is wrong. I watch porn and so do many if not most of the people I know. I'm all about eroticism and watching someone else live out the fantasies that you might be too scared to act out. I have a lot of respect for the people who can do this job because I certainly couldn't. I struggle with the idea of sex and sexuality becoming commodities, not just women's of course but anyone. It really shouldn't be a commodity, it's a personal thing. However I still watch porn, I don't feel any shame about it. I wouldn't even say that I try to be selective even though I know I should. I watch a lot more amateur porn than professional. I know they both come with a different set of problems. I know drugs are heavily used particular in the amateur porn industry. Then again I live in London, drugs are heavily used everywhere. I do prefer the porn made by female directors but then they don't always cater to my particular brand of sexual deviance.

I struggle with this dichotomy, one that is so very entrenched in my being as I qualify myself as very sexual but also as fiercely feminist. I want to be able to watch my fantasies but I also want the performers to be treated ethically and with the respect that they deserve. I don't want any women to ever feel that they're forced into this line of work. I have watched documentaries where the performers display a worrying amount of loneliness. I feel tremendous guilt when I see this. This person is lonely and sad because she/he is in a line of work that brings me satisfaction.

You could also argue that watching porn is lazy. Shouldn't I be content with the images I can create? Those images don't hurt anyone and are so completely mine that I can control exactly what happens. Then again much can be said for erotic visual aids, ones where the two or more people are engaging in a very private moment but one which they want people to see. There has been a lot of beautiful art created in this vain.

I'm not sure I will ever be able to reconcile these two sides of my personality but I never said I was a perfect feminist.

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