Sometimes you have really interesting article subjects, but you seriously need to finesse reconciling the headlines with the subject matter. This article – “Porn That Women Like: Why Does It Make Men So Uncomfortable?” – isn’t about the porn women like, it’s about the porn stars women like, and really about one particular dude who, from only a brief foray onto Jezebel, I can tell you is merely one of several (male) porn stars women like. (That is, if we allow for the notion that it would be crazypants for women to like woman identified porn stars, and if we allow for the presumption that women are a uniquely under-served porn consumption community, regardless of the non-“mainstream” options available to them, and monolithic with it to boot . . . both of which we likely shouldn’t do, but I’m late for my errands.) Furthermore, this headline works on the presumption that “women” don’t like gay porn, a facet of the porn market I promise any number of “men” like. Oh wait, you mean I was supposed to ignore the rampant and ongoing normalization of the ubiquitous straight male porn audience in an article that’s supposedly about exploring and questioning the nature of how that presumptive audience apparently influences every aspect of so-called “mainstream” porn? (Does that mean gay porn isn’t at all mainstream, because if so, someone should seriously tell that to its profit margins.) Honestly, is it really that difficult to be both pithy and accurate, with an added bonus of dodging the norming you claim to disdain?
So, Slate, I guess I’m asking, prodding even, gently and with the silkiest of lubes, for y’all to stop being part of the problem you (rightly) seek to trouble, if not disrupt. It makes it hard for me to take you seriously.
Kittens and rose petals,
PS – Did you see how I didn’t even get into the whole trope of the apparently universal entity of women as homogenous porn consumers wanting “emotional connection” in their porn? Unless that’s some sort of universal code for, “I prefer to not watch porn where folks are forced to look money shots in the eye” or “my unfortunate racial – and personal – history with people spitting on people makes porn that involves same profoundly uncomfortable to me,” I can’t buy that, and even then, do you see how I managed to use “I” statements to avoid reading my opinion – which is totally right, btdubs – onto every woman-identified porn watcher ever? Which is to say, how I’d prefer a sexual connection not based on tacit and normalized subjugation in porn (if explicit, consensual, “scened” subjugation is the subject of the porn, then hey, do you) and don’t believe someone not treating their sex partner like shit is actually the hallmark of an emotional connection beyond, “hey, will ya look at that, it’s like she’s a person!” And furthermore, the latter of which – actual emo porn – I generally don’t require for my viewing pleasure, despite being lady-identified and thus apparently top full of hearts, flowers, and the desire for soulful, heartfelt love-making from all my
porn erotica purveyors? Do you see how I managed to slip this brief critique made of epically long complex sentences into a post script that’s almost as long as the letter because I just couldn’t let it slide? It’s because I care, Slate.
PPS – Who likes to use connotatively dirty verbage when talking about Sexy Times? ME. This is probably why I’ll never write in “mainstream” media; I clearly just lack the emotional connection.
Want to read the article that prompted the letter, but somehow missed the link above? It’s here.