Glamour wants to know if you’re normal about porn. So are you?

Published on The Daily Femme – Thursday, Sept. 30, 2010

Contributed By Annamarya

So another Glamour article caught my eye this month and got me thinking. “Are You Normal About Porn?” lists a number of statistics collected from a Glamourpoll asking female readers how they regard the genre, and these are the findings:

51% watched porn with their guy to get in the mood
25% like the idea of taping themselves in the act
31% found it degrading and, in another poll, 31% said they want it outlawed
31% watched it in the past year
47% like porn with a man and a woman
20% of women prefer “racy stuff like threesomes”
5% accessed porn at work on purpose
69% have gotten ideas for sexy things to do with their partner from porn

As a woman, I can understand, to some degree, why some women find porn degrading but having it outlawed, not so much. Most mainstream porn movies do put men in the domineering role based on the assumption that doing so fulfills some inherent male sexual need, but how many women also enjoy that domination and just don’t admit it for fear of backlash from other women? Does having this desire as a female mean we’re dominated by men in real life? Not at all. It’s a matter of learning to distinguish the fantasy of pornography from the reality of gender inequality and, truthfully, if someone gives into such “Man is dominant/Woman is submissive” ideology, it goes far beyond the porn they’re watching.  In fact, such a belief is most likely derived from values taught that existed way before porn was recorded and turned over for profit. While there is still a debate about whether frequent pornography consumption increases sexual aggression and while one study found a correlation between the two, blogger Charlie Glickman points out, ”We need to be very clear that correlation is not causation- there’s no way to tell from this research what the causal links may be. Porn use could increase aggression, aggression could lead to more porn watching, they could both be the result of another set of factors, or all of the above…Different people have different experiences, so of course, porn has different effects on different people.”

The results of the Glamour poll also beg these questions: how do these women feel about lesbian porn (not girl-on-girl porn made for men) and BDSM porn, where women are in control of men? Is it still degrading if roles are reversed or genders changed? Or is it only degrading if men are in power? And are ultra-graphic sex scenes in non-porngraphic films, like in Monster’s Ball, also degrading? Additionally, are women degrading themselves if they choose to work in the porn industry and build multi-million dollar empires out of it, likeJenna Jameson and Tera Patrick? To say yes would be to devalue not only their intelligence, but their strength, and it would make us no different than men who believe women are so easily manipulated and controlled. It seems that we’re so afraid of female sexuality that when a woman decides to put forth that sexuality on her own freewill, even women cry afoul, calling her a “slut” or claiming some man had to influence her (read: Miley Cyrus). Is that fair to our own gender? No. We mustn’t live with double standards and accept the fact that women like watching porn. They are by no means worse for it and those women who watch porn need to be honest about it without feeling ashamed. It’s a matter of perspective – one woman’s smut is another woman’s good time and, considering that normality is dictated more by personal desire than it is universal law, we’d be hard-pressed to find a justifiable argument to judge women porn watchers. What do you think?

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One thought on “Glamour wants to know if you’re normal about porn. So are you?

  1. I thought this was a very well written argument, but there is so much more that could have been said… define “normality”?

    I for one am tired of all the fashion girly mags trying to tell us which way is up and what’s “normal” (don’t get me started on Cosmo!!). Plenty of women watch porn…. more than 31% watch it not just for their men I’d reckon. Problem is, most women fear the backlash of being considered a nympho or just a plain whore if we speak about being sexual creatures in our own right, so they use their men as an excuse to watch porn. It’s the same old song and dance that has prevailed in modern times… this simultaneous love and fear of women sexuality. It’s 2010, can we get over it please? OKTHXBAI.

    Like Anna said in her article, there is a myriad of genres in porn; not ALL porn uses the banal Male dominating Female routine. I am a proud porn watcher….whether or not I am with a guy. I like all kinds of things that don’t need discussing here…but sometimes I *do* enjoy the traditional male domineering porn. Does that make me a cowering mousy woman in my everyday life? Hell to the no. If porn selection was a mirror to real life choices and interactions, this world would be far from the one we live in now, I guarantee that.

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