With Feminist Porn, We Can All Come

By Malene Bratlie

I have never really watched porn, the main reason being because I have found it difficult to find porn that isn’t derogatory to women in some shape or form. But is it possible to find porn that isn’t degrading to women, that does not feed young porn-watchers a skewed picture of sex?

The answer is yes and the alternative is feminist porn. Porn that gives female sexuality a significantly bigger role than that which the mainstream porn industry is currently providing; porn that seeks to give a more realistic and diverse picture of how women look, come and explore sexually. With female directors, actors, and producers, feminist porn can be just as dirty but, as porn director Erika Lust suggests, ‘with clean values.’

Consider how many times you’ve had heterosexual sex, and when the guy comes, the act of fucking is more or less over. He is done therefore both of you are done. Or how many guys there are who find it incredibly difficult to find your clitoris? In the light of mainstream porn and the misunderstandings about female anatomy it generates, it may not be so strange that male pleasure is often given a higher priority in heterosexual sex. I’m not saying that heterosexual sex is just a series of disappointments if you’re a woman, but I think that the mainstream porn industry is highly responsible for how female pleasure is often misunderstood, or just simply not seen to be as important as male pleasure. Feminist porn has the advantage of changing that, by exhibiting female pleasure and portraying it as an equally important part of sex.

Feminist porn can empower women’s sexuality, showing how we take control of our own bodies, on our own terms, and how we develop sexual preferences. However, sexual empowerment of females as a consequence of feminist porn should not be the only part of the discussion. The porn industry should consider gender equality issues at a similar level as all other institutions and companies issues such as worker’s protection, taking into account whether the manufacturing and distribution are largely controlled by men, whether porn is an equal opportunities employer and so forth.  

I don’t think porn is inherently exploitative. Yes, mainstream porn can be exactly that, but porn as a way of exploring your sexuality is not exploitative. It is thus the way porn is produced through a male gaze that has profound impacts for gender and sexual identities, and that porn needs to change. In order to educate young people who watch porn about what equal sex means, the omnipresence of male dominance in heterosexual sex especially, needs to be eradicated. The stereotypical, discriminating notions of women that mainstream porn reproduces, has an impact on how women are depicted in popular culture, and it has an impact on young boys’ understanding of how to treat a lady in bed. But porn in itself, as a tool for sexual exploration, does not necessarily have to be a kind of media that fuels the misogynist culture we live in. It can be a tool that not only empowers women at a collective level, but also a way of teaching young people what equal sex means, and that female pleasure is just as important.

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3 comments

  1. Couldn’t disagree more. How horrifying that this essay even exists.

  2. This post has a different view about the very nature of the sex industry. This industry is a very lucrative. Porn itself earns almost $4 billon. Who makes majority purchases porn? Men are the top consumers of pornography. Porn from a woman perspective instead of a male perfective, is an interesting idea and I’m all for feminism , but until women actually use their purses to start having a say I don’t think there will be a change.
    @ tiffany267, I’m not sure what’s horrifying about this subject. It’s another perspective on porn industry.

  3. Gray

    I had addiction issues with porn as an adolescent. I know that it affected me when I had my first sexual experience with a girl and it continued to color my expectations. Even after i set it aside, my ideas about sex and how I must perform were impacted and influenced by porn. In my marriage, this continued and I, by my own standards (today), was a failure to my wife in giving her the pleasure and fulfillment she deserved from her husband. Everything ended after my release unless I was able to continue and still then, it was focused upon me.

    I am so happy that it all changed and I experienced an awakening. Being free from the framework of porn helped me to be a better husband and intimate partner. I learned my wife’s responses and became so intimate with her body (all of her) that I could spend hours serving her if she wanted me to.

    Once I let go of what the false world of porn created in my young and perceptive mind, I was free to be a better lover.

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