Friday, July 10, 2015

The Pornographer's Stigma

I find it so incredible that something can be considered so vulgar and disgusting and shameful, and yet give people (not necessarily the same people, but in some cases it is) such pleasure that they actively seek it out.

I'm very liberated, and I'm pretty desensitized to materials of a sexually explicit nature, but I'm not completely alien to the basic foundation of mainstream thought. I think sexually explicit materials can be very appealing, but at the same time, they do probably have a time and a place. Aesthetic beauty is a completely different matter, but I usually have to be in the right mood to appreciate the really vulgar stuff, and even then, my tastes are very particular - so the same kind of behavior engaged in by different people can mean the difference between what I find attractive and what I find disgusting.

Yes, it is true that I am an exhibitionist, but I like it when people get enjoyment from looking at me - I have no desire, and derive no pleasure from, exposing myself to people who are bound to react with displeasure and disgust. I don't see any appeal in that. So, on the one hand, I have no problem exposing certain intimate parts of my body and sexual behavior to complete strangers, in a context where they can seek it out if they are interested, but at the same time I'm not asking for permission to masturbate openly at my next family reunion.

What gets me is the way that people will think less of you if you participate in those activities, even if you keep them confined to their appropriate spaces. And I don't mean the bedroom. Everybody uses the bathroom, and that is generally considered a vulgar and disgusting act, but it is a necessity, and there is no shame in engaging in it. We typically keep it behind closed doors because, barring a minority of perverts, there is no pleasure to be derived from sharing that experience with others. Human sexuality is decidedly different, though - and for a majority of the population (however reluctant they may be to admit it).

If posting a video of myself masturbating on the internet draws in people who derive great pleasure from viewing it, then where is the shame in providing that public service? Does it make me a bad person? You don't have to like it. Not everybody has to like it. But the point is that some people do like it, and it's those people - the people who like it - those are the ones I'm doing it for, not you. So why can't you just let that be? Let those people get their pleasure from my act of public service, and if you don't like thinking about it, then just avoid interfering in that part of my life. Why should that impugn my reputation? I'm not even necessarily saying that I think the same way as the people I'm serving - that I'm the same level of pervert, or that I like the same kind of things - I'm just being kind enough to care enough to throw them a bone. And that makes me worse of a human being? I don't get it.


  1. I'm curious – was this post prompted by a recent experience you've had, or from some sort of negative feedback you've received? I for one enjoy your work on all kinds of levels, and I don't see anything wrong in having and sharing sexual pleasure.

    I think society is evolving though, and for the better, largely because of the internet. Ages ago people wore masks in pornographic images, but today well known celebrities can have pornographic performances and still be accepted by the public. We have a long way to go, but I do think things are getting better, and I'm happy for it. I think you've added to this evolution, and for that I think you deserve sincere thanks.

  2. Prompted by nothing other than the constant conflict in my head between my libertine desires and a lifetime's indoctrination of shame.

    I like to think that society is evolving, but there are still a lot of moral conservatives about, and even a lot of the liberal ones, like yours truly, have an internalized sense of shame about their enjoyment of their sacred sexuality.

    I think that a lot of people still wear masks in pornography - or at least blur out their faces or cut them out of the frame entirely. When I started sharing pictures online, I made a conscious decision not to do that, because I've always felt that it looked tacky, and I strongly believe in standing up for yourself if this is something you like to do. It's the only way to get more recognition and respect, and lift the activity out of the shadows. But I also feel that I'm a rarity in having made that decision.

    It's true that celebrities - like politicians and clergy - are frequently involved in sex scandals (they're human, after all), but I don't think we're to a point yet that it doesn't reflect poorly on their reputation (barring from certain fringe radicals, like myself). It earns them publicity, for sure, but also a lot of nasty comments. And most celebrities still have to publicly apologize when that happens. That's one of the reasons I have so much respect for Miley Cyrus - she does her own thang and stands by it.

    I do think things are getting better - slowly - and I want nothing more to contribute to that evolution. But we've still got a long way to go.