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Apr 13 nocutename commented on Savage Love Letter of the Day: Horny Feminist Seeks Porn That Won't Destroy Her Faith in Humanity.
First of all, thank you, EmmaLiz, for your very thoughtful and thorough post @71. I appreciate the depth of development your comments show. I have not spent any time in India, so I can't speak to that part of the comment, but the rest of it resonates powerfully for me and is what I think and experience, too.

I am a college English instructor and therefore spend a lot of time around people a generation or two (or three?!) younger than me; since most of a literature class is discussion-based, and since people reveal a lot of themselves in their responses to the questions that literature asks or the issues that it raises, I get to know a lot of how many young people think and feel about sex. One of my students is a young man who is, when you get to know him, sweet and sensitive, but who also has a hard time relating socially to people. He can be very alienating, projecting a bitter and cynical persona. He is also a D&D-playing type of nerd who frequently refers to characters and scenarios that I have no familiarity with, but which signal something kind of smirk-and-roll-your-eyes-worthy to the other students. He is 26 or 27, so not so young, though he looks much younger (to old me, anyway). I can tell he is very sexually frustrated: he once tossed off a bitter aside about being a virgin, and he occasionally uses terms like alpha and beta to talk about male characters. He once said something in class that was so misogynistic that I told him, in class, to stay off the MRA websites. He came up to me after class and wanted to apologize and to clarify that he didn't know what MRA sites are (I don't for a moment believe that, but I thought I had probably been out of line in my response to him during the class discussion, so I didn't challenge him on that).

So I think about him and the porn he watches. I know that a generation or so ago, he may have had resentment to women for not showing an interest in him, but now the odds are high that he seeks out porn in which women he hopes to someday be with but fears he never will, get humiliated and are treated with sexual violence. I can't help but think that the attitudes he has towards women that I think this type of porn foster make it harder and harder for him to successfully forge a genuine connection with a woman.
Apr 13 nocutename commented on Savage Love Letter of the Day: Horny Feminist Seeks Porn That Won't Destroy Her Faith in Humanity.
I haven't watched (or more accurately, tried to watch) porn in decades. I never liked it. Back when I first saw it, it was just too cheesy and kind of gross. I don't want to see just extreme closeups of genitals, or the really hideous men who used to be in porn, or the bad hair, spray tans, fake boobs, fake nails on the women. Or the bad "acting," that took place in the 1.4 minutes before the sex started. All of it. I am actively turned off by all of it. I've tried, now and again, to watch some amateur stuff, but it leaves me cold. I do like HUMP, but I see it for a very different reason than to get turned on.

So I will have to take all y'll's word for it that most commercial or professional porn today is about humiliation of women and has a violent tone. Come to think of it, I have seen some porn in recent years, by, that I had been told I would like, based on what I like in my own life, and again, I was disgusted. There is no way that what I see on a screen ever captures what sex feels like or looks like from my point of view when I'm having it.

I think it's a symptom of the misogyny in our culture that so much porn is based on images of violence or degradation of women. It's as if the more progressive our society gets publicly, the more regressive our porn is. Or something. I am not sure how to articulate this thought. But gross as the old 1980s porn I saw was, it wasn't all about degradation and humiliation: it was just the housewife and the pool boy; just the girlfriends and the pizza delivery guy. So there is clearly something else going on now. I do think it has something to do with the sex-positive, third-wave feminism, ggg-ness that is so prevalent today and the fact that everyone's supposed to be cool with it or they're cast as a sex-negative, uptight prude.

While I know that porn consumption correlates to lower rape stats, I wonder if that is true at the often-unreported acquaintance- or date-rape level. If having easy access to porn keeps violent assaults from happening, that's good. But I have definitely experienced a change in the way men I have sex with have sex over the past ten years. There's a lot of porn-y stuff going on in my bedroom that didn't use to happen 30 years ago. It seems pretty clear that people are mimicking what they see onscreen. Unless what is being filmed is purely reflective of how more people are having sex. I guess it's a symbiotic, recursive thing. Fortunately, I happen to like my sex to be a bit rough, but if I didn't, this would be seriously annoying. And if women are being used this way who don't like being used this way, even if they consented to sex initially, that is a problem.

There is a lot to talk about and think about--and counteract--with the porn issue, and I really wish that porn devotees would allow those discussions to get started without feeling the need to shut them down by labeling any woman who wants to take a closer look and who dares to suggest that in fact some women might be having sex the way they don't want to have it or sex that they don't want to have because of porn's influence as uptight and prudish and narrow-minded.
Apr 11 nocutename commented on Savage Love Letter of the Day: Horny Feminist Seeks Porn That Won't Destroy Her Faith in Humanity.
Er, eh, um: Dan! Thank you for getting Carlyle Jansen to direct the lw to Erika Lust! I have never seen porn I liked or that turned me on, but her stuff is great!
I guess I have to change my answer about porn now.
(fans self)

@5: Banna, While no one can ever be 110% positive about anything, we can do our due diligence to make sure that our pleasures (in dining, in dressing ourselves, in the cleanliness our homes, and in our sexual aids and wanking material) don't come at the expense or even abuse of someone else.

Yes, cattle are slaughtered, no matter what, so I can enjoy my steak. But that cow could have lived her life on a feedlot or grazing naturally. She could have had antibiotics shoved down her throat, or she could have lived healthily because she could roam. And she could have died in fear and anxiety or without that fear and anxiety, depending on slaughtering methods. And I have it largely in my power, as a consumer, to search out the provenance of my steak and to do research about how she and the other cattle were treated, to know roughly what kind of life they led. I can make the choice not to eat the steak, no matter how delicious I'm sure it will be, and despite the fact that I haven't had a steak in a long time and I'm really hungry.

I do understand the appeal of telling oneself that we can't ever be 110% sure, so we may as well toss out the attempt to distinguish one from the other. That allows us to consume whatever we want without feeling guilty if we suspect or find out, or even knew beforehand, that what we want came to us unethically or came at the expense of something or someone else.

In short, it doesn't cost you anything to try to find out if the porn you want to watch was made non-exploitatively, or to start your search in places where you have a pretty good assurance that no one was abused or exploited to make it. And there's always the possibility that exploitation was going on and being covered up. But it is a start. It's worth devoting the few minutes to, at least.
I mean, it's not like porn is the airlines and can be unethical and abusive and doesn't have to worry that people who want to jerk off or to incorporate some images into their partnered sex will want to stop flying at all and they control all of the air; there's always plenty of porn to be found. You can easliy afford to be a pit choosy.
Apr 7 nocutename commented on SL Letter of the Day: The Hunger.
@17: Alison Cummins, I'm so glad things are going so well for you. What a very good reason to not bother participating in this forum very often any more.
Keep having a blast!
Apr 6 nocutename commented on Savage Love Letter of the Day: After 15 Years, Her Husband Still Looks Like A Child & She's Not Into It.
Average Idiot, I echo the advice to get some therapy, even if it means you have to go about it in an unorthodox way since you'll be abroad. I don't know if this marriage is salvageable, but I'd counsel you not to make any hasty decisions until you get some individual therapy and then perhaps couples therapy. But don't put these off; you and your husband are still relatively young and if you do decide to end the marriage (and transition to very supportive friends, maybe), you want both of you to have time to move on with less hindrances to finding new partners better suited to each of you.

Staying with someone because you don't think you could attract anyone else isn't a very good reason and staying with a partner who wants you sexually but to whom you're not sexually attracted at all isn't fair to the partner.
Apr 6 nocutename commented on Savage Love Letter of the Day: After 15 Years, Her Husband Still Looks Like A Child & She's Not Into It.
The lw said "I'm still very fat and with some disordered eating problems and trying to work on that," (emphasis added) which I take to mean that she knows she's overweight, she doesn't want to be overweight, and she is trying to take steps to change her eating and possibly general health habits.
There is no need to tell her she's overweight and that she needs to lose weight, and it's extremely easy to find weight loss programs and diets if she's so motivated.

Apr 5 nocutename commented on SL Letter of the Day: The Hunger.
I love being a Pokemon character! Thank you, delta35!
Apr 5 nocutename commented on SL Letter of the Day: The Hunger.
@5: Weren't we all!
Apr 5 nocutename commented on SL Letter of the Day: The Hunger.
I just went back and read through all the old comments. Those were the days: seandr, Alison Cummins, LateBloomer, Vennominon, Mr. J., Gift Horse, and others were regulars and still commenting. And LavaGirl and Hunter were flirting.