Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Gendered Perspectives on Sex

In my experience as an erotic artist - which involves browsing material for inspiration as much as creating my own works, I have, over time, gradually come to be able to appreciate nude and erotic works featuring men as well as women. Generally, the male subject does not interest me as much as the female (despite it being exclusively what I have to work with). The female specimen is a beautiful creature, while the male is rough and untamed. That's not to say that you can't produce polished works of art utilizing a male subject - I'd like to think that I've proven that in my own work. But the male subjects I appreciate most tend to be those that imitate what I like in women (again, demonstrated in my own work) - emphasizing softness and smoothness and aesthetic beauty.

That having been said, the male principle, as compared to the female, does embody a certain forceful aggression, and there are contexts in which that can pull a lot of symbolic weight. I am pro-whatever kind of couplings (or groupings) people like to make - including, but not limited to, homosexual - but at the end of the day, I think that, for me personally, there is something powerful about the pairing of the male and the female energies that makes it uniquely interesting - and satisfying. However, those two things can certainly be explored independent of one another, and sometimes even within the same dichotomous subject.

But while I do have a greater appreciation for the aesthetic beauty of the female body, I can say that one thing I appreciate about the male perspective is its unqualifiedly enthusiastic approach towards sex. I'd like to think that we are moving away from outdated biases against female sexuality (like the spurious belief that women, as a collective category, don't like sex), but societally, and politically, what Kinsey described (I think it was Kinsey - I can't find the exact quote) is still very much true (even after all these years) - that men pretty much all understand each other in terms of how they feel about sex, whereas women are a great mystery of diversity (even to themselves).

With women, you have to worry about whether you are "objectifying" or "sexualizing" or "degrading" or "demeaning" or "exploiting" them, whereas with men, none of that matters (leading me, once, to have stated - for effect, not because I actually believe it - that there are only two kinds of porn: misogynist porn, and gay male porn). It's just sex - and sex feels great. Put a man in the same spot, and nobody feels the need to initiate a cultural discussion about the evils of emphasizing people's bodies (to the ostensible exclusion of their personalities) and the pleasures they can bring (the sin of lust, pleasures of the flesh - why does it always sound like these attitudes stem from religious taboos?) - case in point, feminists will defend Magic Mike, while simultaneously shaming men for watching movies like Showgirls. Problematic though it may be in some instances (apparently men and women have very different ideas about what constitutes rape and/or sexual harassment), as a sex-positive individual (i.e., sex is for making people happy, not sad) who wishes no harm on others, I really appreciate the moral simplicity of the male view. I just wish it came more often in a female package.

No comments:

Post a Comment