Ethical Porn: Making Feminism Sexy

Porn doesn't have to end with a woman's face looking like a painter's radio...
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Porn doesn't have to end with a woman's face looking like a painter's radio...

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The world is changing, and men and women are gradually becoming more equal. What was once the preserve of men, to make and watch; with women being cast in rather demeaning roles, to lick, suck and get fucked, is changing. When it was men in control of both the creation of the films and the consumption of them, it was a simpler time. Men have specific passions and desires, and are happy to watch that same fantasy over and over again. They weren’t interested in why a woman wanted to suck someone’s dick, they just assumed she was really really horny at all times. Debbie Does Dallas – she just loves the cock. Porn didn’t even enter women’s radar, as the porn available was so unrealistic and no woman really likes having spunk dripping off her face.

But the male-female dynamic has changed over time since feminism, and men and women have much more equal relationships. Dialogue is more open, and it has become permissible for women to enjoy sex: it’s nothing to be ashamed of. This progress is something that has been going on for over 40 years, but it was still segregated until the second wave of feminism in the 90s. Until then, women would have sex conversations with their female friends and men would have them with their male friends. Then they would come home, and sex happened. And they spoke no more about it.

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But then the turning point came in the second sexual revolution when it was OK for women to initiate sex, to be bold, to act with sexual confidence. With this whirlwind of powerful, strident women came the internet: a Clash of the Titans. Society became more sexualised because women realised that they could if they wanted to. They were stealing power from men in so many other areas of life, so sex seemed the next obvious step.

Ann Summers became a staple of the high street, and vibrator sales soared, but men still had their man cave: the internet. While in public, there was sexual liberation, men just kept on doing what they had always been doing, and looked at man-porn.

Women would never look at man-porn while it was still full of demeaning sex, but they did want to look at sex. It was fascinating for them, but simply not appealing. The only way to make this better was to make it themselves.  Anna Arrowsmith was the UK’s first female porn director, and hit on the extraordinary idea of making porn that showed women enjoying themselves!

And so the tide started to turn. Slowly, more and more women started to express interest in porn that had a plotline and made it look as though people were having fun. So, it didn’t necessarily depict that one, specific fantasy that a man would get off to on his own, but it did more than that. It brought couples closer together – it gave them something to watch together in bed, which would excite them both. The more couples can talk openly about sex that they have together; sex that they enjoy and keeps them close.

This article is not saying that there is no longer a need for pornography for men, as men will always want to have their time alone, whacking one out as a girl pleasures two men at once, followed by pangs of emptiness and shame. What this article is trying to say is that there are people who are changing the industry for the better. People who are trying to make couple-friendly porn in an ethical, non-exploitative way. As long as this is the direction that the industry goes in, and continues to depict people really enjoying what they are doing and having fun, then we will continue to have progress. Mak