Pornography. Let’s face it, the word usually doesn’t have positive connotations. For so many Americans it conjures up images of a sleazy and depraved underworld. We live in a nation founded by the Puritans, possibly the most close-minded people to ever set foot in the western hemisphere (they got kicked out of England for being too uptight, so you know they were bad). In our homes, schools and religious institutions masturbation and pornography are discouraged or simply not discussed. But most health officials agree that masturbation is natural and can be a healthy release. And porn is perfectly legal for adults. Is it strange that an eighteen year old girl can get paid to be banged by a bunch of guys in front of a camera, but can’t legally enjoy a glass of wine with dinner? Are we all just confused? Where should pornography fit into our lives and generally in our culture?
I have no idea. But before I ask what pornography is to you, I’ll tell you a little about me. Maybe you’ve seen me before, flipping through racks and racks of poor-quality, $10 - $15 used VHS tapes at shoddy adult stores in even shoddier parts of town. As you could tell, I wasn’t enjoying myself particularly. I’d stuff those tapes in the one little crevice of my room that no stranger (especially girlfriend) would innocently happen upon. I’d then spend more time fast-forwarding to the scenes I liked then actually watching and enjoying the tape. When I got sick of those I’d download short films off the Internet, which amounted to about 5 minutes of enjoyment for every hour of slow-motion 56K frustration.
Does this all sound familiar? I hope not. First of all, I just didn’t get it. There is better porn out there! And most of it online these days. There is a world of difference between the low budget films and the top of the line releases. A) Good lighting, costumes and make-up, B) Attractive performers who are professionals at actually enjoying what they’re doing, C) Fun plots, and D) tastefully done scenes that often take some time to build naturally with some inspired foreplay. All this simply makes for a much sexier experience. And of course all of the worthwhile DVD extras: Bios for the stars, extra footage, interviews, and sometimes even bloopers.
How To Watch Porn With A Partner
And just as important – there is the whole concept of watching adult films with your lover/girlfriend/boyfriend/slave/dog (whatever you’re into). Many of us men, for example, have very visual needs. Give us a hot body and the miserable production quality can be ignored; we can still get off. But boys, hear me now - you’ll be lucky to get through 5 or 10 minutes of bad porn without your girl being turned off by the sleaze factor. Hey, I understand that watching porn with your significant other isn’t for everybody. To be honest, I never saw myself doing it at all until my girlfriend suggested it recently. After a couple of failed attempts to sit through some of my old tapes, I got my hands on some new DVDs and we had a great time. At the very least, with the better quality films two or more people can have a blast making fun of the dialogue and trying to follow the plot.
The most interesting thing I’ve read about pornography was from the ‘Afterward’ of Vladimir Nabokov’s ‘Lolita.’ He explained that in the States there is a sharp and necessary division between Pornography and Art, while the same is not necessarily true in Europe. It was not seen as controversial for the European Publishers to sell a book that was at once literate and very erotic (and yes, very disturbing). The American publishers were not only afraid to publish it; they didn’t know how to classify literature that was so overtly sexual. It needed to be one or the other. He came to understand that pornography in America was crass and amateurish because it’s supposed to be bad. I don’t know if that’s 100% true, but it sounds about right. That’s why I’ve come to think of porn the same way I think of music - most of it is crap, and you have to look hard to find something inspiring.
So how does pornography fit into your life? Is it something that on some level you feel sleazy about? Is it something you hide from just about everyone, including your significant other? Would there be significant shame or embarrassment if he/she found your personal collection (and has this happened)? Or do you feel comfortable with your use and enjoyment of it – talking freely about it with your friends and lovers? And can you think of examples from our beloved country of something that was ‘pornographic’ or very erotic and also truly artistic? Write back to me if you have a moment and let me know.
Let Us Know!