Originally posted by UzumakiAi
What a strange way to look at pornography.
Not at all strange. Let's tell it like it is: Pornography is the commodification of sexual relations; a more modern, sanitized, impersonal, and therefore more peculiarly bourgeois form of prostitution.
Look at the movie Boogie Nights, for example, which decisively points in that direction. Acts and relations that are natural and spontaneous are turned into commodities to be purchased and sold.
Pornography can be unreal, performance and competition oriented, exploitative and sexist, unfree and standardizing of sexual expression, physical beauty and prowess, or ridiculous, thus offering an unliberating stereotype. Perhaps the foregoing description should be called pornography to distinguish it from erotica.
There is a lot of authoritative study behind what I say. See Helen E. Longino. "Pornography, Oppression and Freedom: a Closer Look", in Laura Lederer, ed., Take Back the Night: Women on Pornography (New York: William Morrow, 1980). Also see Violence Against Women (Oxfam Focus on Gender Series) Caroline Sweetman (Editor) Oxfam Publishing (February 1, 1999);
The feature which distinguishes pornographic (and immoral) depictions or descriptions of sexual behavior is the element of degradation. Erotica per se need carry no implication of degradation or of the endorsement of degradation. It is the addition of the element of degradation which both distinguishes pornography from the wider class of erotica and which makes pornography problematic.
The degradation is often explicit, involving portrayals of persons (men or women) in coercive and/or violent situations, portrayals in which the sexual subjugation and humiliation of one or more of the participants is central to the ideas communicated. Other degrading depictions are less explicit and grotesque, but undeniably degrading as well. Depictions of sexual behavior in which the pleasure or goals of some participants are treated as less worthy or important than those of others, or portrayals in which some participants are used, even consensually, as mere objects in the service of another's pleasure, are insidiously degrading and demeaning. They are degrading of human sexuality because they deny or undervalue the personhood of the persons portrayed.
Longino emphasizes how such portrayals degrade women, but it is important to note that they also degrade men. When men are portrayed as brutishly unconcerned with the pleasure, interests, or personhood of their sexual partners, their nature is degraded as well as that of their female partners.
Instead of accepting the moralistic posturing of the defenders of the status quo, one must consider the possibility that, far from being a perverse deviation from the dominant values of a capitalist society, pornography might in fact be the most logical and limpid translation of bourgeois values into the sexual sphere.
A lot of porn is actually prudish with the relentless punishing of women for the crime of being sexual. A fair amount of hardcore porn involves women being called whores or sluts as they engage in various sex acts, with greater female enthusiasm receiving greater taunts. I can only see the men involved as losers and the general situation as deeply unfortunate.