Monday, December 6, 2010

At it


Well lover, what do you know? The nice people at Attitude asked me to contribute something on pornography to their sex issue, so I did. I wrote it on Halloween, in a face full of vampire make-up - bit of context for you there. For those of you who live in places where the magazine is not stocked, here's the piece in full:

"Porn can really teach you a lot about yourself, it can educate you on your own sexuality and desires by showing you things you probably wouldn’t ever see otherwise, acts and images you most probably didn’t even know existed. I remember watching lesbian porn for the first time and encountering the term “high femme top.” That was such an “A-ha!” moment for me, I think it informed my sexual identity more than any other experience, cinematic or otherwise.

Porn can almost act like a magic mirror in that sense, it shows you such unexpected aspects of sex, it can teach you a lot of new tricks. From a queer standpoint that’s powerful because so much of our experience is hidden in shame and obscured by a society that is so uncomfortable with its own sexuality. To reveal images so provocative and opposed to mainstream thinking is an act of liberation.

I think it’s important though, to remember that what you’re being shown in porn, is a fantasy. Even with “amateur” porn what you are seeing is most often a staged, edited and carefully constructed daydream whose codes of behaviour, though exciting, need not necessarily be a template for your own. Morality and responsibility are weighted differently on film, there are no repercussions inside the porno flashbacks. What’s hot onscreen is not necessarily safe, desirable, or even pleasurable in the non-cinematic world. The fantasies of pornography are a privilege we enjoy in this particular, epoch, the ability to revel in graphic images charged with such potency is as a marvellous thing, but as with all privileges it entails responsibility. Noblesse oblige, lover."

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