I just recently discovered a new blog I’m enjoying – The Pearl Diaries. It’s about one woman’s journey through her relationship with her sexuality and she’s pulling in a number of the books I have read – “Come As You Are” by Dr. Nagoski being the most obvious since she references the ideas in that one A LOT. In the post I read today, she had an interview with a porn star and that reminded me of a conversation with a friend.
Now me, I happen to love porn in general. Yes, I am female and I have a porn stash. My first husband came from a fundamental Baptist family, so when I bought us our first porn CD he was a bit shocked. We ended up with a decent little collection, which he took with him when we divorced. Bummer. As an example of differing attitudes, there was family drama one day where my brother-in-law’s wife kicked him out of the house and wanted an immediate divorce. I asked why and she said she came home to catch him watching *drops to scandalized whisper* porn.
I stared at her, waiting for the shocking bit. Nothing. “Was it child porn?” *horrified* NO! “Was it barnyard porn?” *aghast* NO! “Ok. Was it snuff porn?” *mouth gaping* OMG, NO! “Ok. Was it kinky – like consensual non-consent or bondage or flogging? I can see that being a problem for you.” *narrow eyed glare, no reply* “So it was just regular porn? Just plain old … sex. And so you threw out a solid wage-earning, good, kind, thoughtful, supportive, loving man, the father of your children, for THAT?!”
Needless to say, this was one of our last conversations.
Back to my friend. Her ex-husband would tell her that he watched porn because she wasn’t “enough”, and her newest beau had a porn ‘addiction’ which she interpreted through the lens of her ex’s attitude. I had to interrupt her, shocking her by openly admitting my own interest in the subject and telling her I would actively use porn as part of foreplay – to jump start the battery, if you will. Well, that was back when I actually HAD a sex life. *sigh*
I feel that turning interest in sexuality and fantasy into a shameful or humiliating or punishment-worthy subject alienates the sexual relationship of any pairing. My attempt was to introduce the seed idea that porn can be her ally, not her enemy. I even shared that many men view sex as the ultimate sign of acceptance, and when the woman he loves isn’t interested then he could be hearing a “you’re not enough to interest me” message. Though few are aware of this, men and women often have different styles of sex drive (note – STYLES, not levels) it’s easy for miscommunication and hurt feelings to be the result of that difference. “You aren’t attracted to me enough to just want to have sex with me.” “You aren’t attracted to me enough to want to inspire me to have sex with you.” O.o
Well, my friend has emotional baggage with porn and she’s not willing to let it go yet so I’m not going to push it, but at least I gave her another interpretation which puts the ball back into her court. She can choose to be hurt and punish him just as she feels punished or she can choose to take the opportunity to open a dialogue which curiously explores their individual and overlapping sexuality. Personally, I generally prefer the empowering route for almost everything but it takes self-awareness and courage to discuss such deeply sensitive topics. Few are actually up for the challenge.
And the world hurts as a result.