Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Sexism? Sexisn't

Following on the theme of my last post, I just wanted to say that...sexism isn't men taking pictures of naked women for magazine covers. That's just sexuality. Sexism is criticizing a man for carrying a hot pink purse (for example) due to a belief that it is somehow demeaning for a man to "lower himself" to expressing an interest in anything typically associated with women.

Get your priorities straight, people.

Oh, and actually, criticizing men for taking pictures of naked women for magazine covers is sexism - sexism against men, which is no more justified than sexism against women. This isn't supposed to be a men vs. women thing. Whatever happened to equality?

Monday, February 24, 2014

This is what I'm talking about

The current trend is to disparage the male pattern of sexual behavior as demeaning and objectifying of women, which is an extension of the feminist mindset. I'd hate to be labeled as a misogynist for my views, because the truth is, I have oodles of respect for women. But I'm also sexually attracted to them, and whatever portion of the feminist movement is righteous (and a significant portion of it is, don't get me wrong), this whole subset of it that aims to demonize men for thinking women are sexually appealing is misguided and destructive.

My thinking on this matter is further clarified by my recent reading of the female half of the Kinsey Report, particularly on the statistical differences in sexual attitudes between men and women. Although the existence of exceptions and deviations from the average are important to note, the great diversity of attitudes present in women (more so than compared with men) also contributes to the problem of the sexes wherein men are pretty much of an understanding with one another when it comes to sex, while women are lost in a sea of confusion, not just as to how men feel about sex, but as to how other women feel about sex, too.

My conclusion, at any rate, is that an awful lot of this politically correct hullabaloo about men degrading and objectifying women is merely a symptom of a fundamental misunderstanding about the way men feel about sex, and the differences in the ways that men and women feel about sex. For example, this article bemoans the fact that in a GQ shoot (which, in all fairness, is a magazine that caters to men's interests), several men were photographed in suave business suits, whereas the one woman included (who happened to be pop singer Lana Del Rey) was photographed naked (though obviously not exposing anything of significance) in a number of alluring poses.

Is this evidence of the patriarchal subjugation of women as submissive sex slaves as compared to the power and sophistication that men wield? A resounding no! It's simply a matter of men being sexually attracted to beautiful women, and having a strong instinctual desire to see them naked, and in poses that may suggest to them the promise of sexual intercourse. It's not as if women's magazines don't similarly stereotype shirtless muscle-bound men - but if it happens less often than the gender-swapped alternative, it's only because men are more (openly, at least) interested in sex than women (and more responsive to visually suggestive depictions of it, too), and - not to ignore the homosexual population, but since the majority of the population is mostly heterosexual, that is, most of the time, going to result in more (and more noticeable) sexualized depictions of women than men in the collective cultural media. It's not some gender-based power play, it's just basic human sexual nature! You fail Sex Ed 101, people. Go back to the first grade.

Social evil? Or just beautiful art?
Beware the (wo)man who looks for evil under every stone.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

A Valentine 4U

Happy belated Valentine's Day, to all of my fans. I've been really busy with a lot of stuff lately, not all photography-related. But I haven't given up on my camera!

Two of the great female icons that have inspired me: Dolores Haze, and the Cherry Bomb herself, Cherie Currie.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Psychologic Stimulation

I can't even begin to tabulate all the fascinating discoveries I've made while in the course of reading The Kinsey Reports (currently, the female volume), but above all, it's fascinating to me to uncover some scientific evidence (even if just of the statistical variety) on some of the psychological differences between males and females when it comes to the nature of sexual response. Inevitably, the question of nature and nurture arises, and there is always an uncertainty about whether our culture has been shaped around the differences in the sexes, or whether the differences in the sexes have been manufactured by the shape of our culture (or what combination of those factors is involved), but barring the answer to that question, it's interesting to study - not just speculate, but based on considerable un-conventionally-biased statistical sources - the way that males and females react differently to sexual stimuli.

More specifically, I've always been highly concerned about the way that females respond to visual erotic stimuli, as compared to males - which is a topic of considerable importance to me as a straight male erotic model. ...Who has, incidentally, experienced extremely limited attention from females, and a wealth of attention from, instead, gay males. It is not news to me that males are, on the average, more responsive to visual erotic stimuli than females are - after all, this is a speculation I've heard time and time again in response to the question of why visual male erotica is not more popular among females.

Interestingly, if you look at it from one perspective, images of nude females are produced for a straight male audience, and images of nude males are produced (in considerably lesser abundance) for a gay male audience. It's as if females are of no consequence. This actually dovetails with other media in different contexts to produce the picture that seems to suggest that males are the ones interested in sex, while females could take it or leave it. Interestingly, Kinsey et al. has found that while females are, on the whole, less interested in sex than males (although certainly not strictly uninterested, in most cases), there is actually a wider variety of individual variation to be found in females than in males. That's fascinating, too, but it's also a different story.

Although, incidentally, while we're on this tangent, I had a kind of epiphany moment (inspired by Kinsey's own interpretations, to put credit where it's due), that led me to speculate that maybe the reason (or a reason) females are so much more judgmental of other females' sexual behaviors, while males pretty much understand one another when it comes to sex, is due to the great variation between individual females. Males are rarely surprised by or unfamiliar with the sexual experiences of other males, but I imagine a considerably less responsive female would have a much harder time understanding the promiscuous behavior of a considerably more responsive female, when she's already come to the opinion, based on her own personal experience, that sex isn't particularly enjoyable, as a woman.

Honestly, the insights are nonstop. But let's get back to the original point of this ramble, which has to do with visual erotic depictions. There's been a question, in the feminist discourse, about how come there are all these erotic visual images of women in the media, to a disproportionate extent (compared to similar images of men). And the factory answer implicates the patriarchy, which may have something to do with it. There's a whole thing about the sexual objectification of women, and how that's a bad thing, and because I enjoy the portrayal of women as sex objects, yet like to play fair, I've invited, through my photography, anyone and everyone to sexually objectify me. The idea being to level the playing field - not by wiping out sexual objectification, which I enjoy, but by redressing the balance between the sexes, and objectifying men more frequently.

But then I was reading Kinsey, and it hit me. If women aren't interested in looking at men in a sexual way to the extent that men are interested in looking at women (and predominantly gay men, who probably constitute a smaller portion of the population than females, at other men), then it only makes perfect sense that there are more sexual portrayals of women in the media than of men. And it's not some stupid patriarchy thing, it's just how the sexes differ. But then, that's not an entirely new angle for me, because I believe that a lot of the feminist-inspired conflict between the sexes arises as a result of women being fundamentally confused about the nature of male sexuality - or else, they understand it, but are simply willing (and often enthusiastic) to discriminate against men in retaliation for past (and ongoing) treatment of their own sex. (Which is the reason why I am a post-feminist - to use a different civil rights issue in comparison, I don't believe the solution to white ancestors' enslavement of black people is for black people to enslave modern day white people who weren't personally responsible for the slavery in order to get even - the goal is equality, not retaliation).

So, really, I think, as important as it is for men to understand how females respond to sex - and, most importantly, simply to understand that females may respond differently to sex than the average male does (so, for example, she might not appreciate being texted a picture of your dick as much as you might love being texted a picture of her twat), I really think it's just as important for women to understand - and not just understand, but accept - the way men respond to sex. So-called "objectification", "sexualization", porn use, and so on and so forth. None of these are an excuse for men to treat women poorly. At the same time, it is not some big discriminatory conspiracy for men to respond favorably to sexualized depictions of women. It's human fucking nature (that has corollaries in other mammalian species), and I don't see how it's harmful.