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Lifestyle
 

Women share their thoughts on porn on first annual Ladyporn Day

Friday - Feb 25, 2011, 05:15pm (GMT+5.5)
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Washington - Pornography, which is thought to be of interest only to men, has for once become a topic of discussion for women too, with the first annual Ladyporn Day seeing them air their views about it.

Rachel Rabbit White, sex journalist and blogger, started an online movement/forum/twitter debate on how women experience pornography.

White, 26, said Ladyporn Day, which technically falls on February 22 but is celebrated all week-long on her blog, Rabbit Write, was created to "open up a dialogue about women and porn".

"It can be a really daunting place to think you have to start looking for porn on Google," ABC News quoted her as saying.

"To think we have to be ok with just that kind of porn is daunting. It's important to know that there is porn for women being made out there," she stated.

The Porn Secrets aspect of Ladyporn Day involves sharing an array of viewpoints on women and porn.

"We're socialized as women not to own our own desires, to not like porn. There's also a lot of anti-porn feminists from the second wave of feminism in the 1970s who say that porn is wrong and porn is degrading," she said.

"While I want to totally empower women who already like porn or want to find porn they like, I don't want to erase the voices of women who don't like it. That's an important push-back to have as well.

"Ideally, this day is for people who do and do not like porn...because it's about the discussion," she stated.

Duana Welch, psychologist, relationship columnist, and author of lovesciencemedia.com, said though more women have become outspoken about enjoying pornography in recent years, the porn industry is still overwhelmingly male-driven, which can make it difficult for women to find "female friendly" porn that they enjoy.

She said research shows that a typical woman's fantasy has to do with just one man who shows love, commitment, and showers the woman with adoration.

"The relationship has to have a role that is equivalent to the role of sex. It's the man who swears his undying love and devotion, sweeps her off her feet and gives her the best orgasm she's ever had," she said.

"If a Pride and Prejudice movie had really hot sex thrown in, if that existed as a porno, it would sell for decades," she added.

Clarissa Smith, a professor on Sexual Cultures, University of Sunderland, UK, said porn for men often fuels a fantasy of extreme sexual behaviour that the viewer has no real-life access to.

For many women, an ability to recognize their own experience and identify with the porn was key for enjoyment of pornographic material.

But the promotion of pornography, even in the interest of female empowerment, is not always greeted with support from certain branches of feminism.

"This is a distraction to take our eyes off what's really going on, which is the increasingly brutal nature of the porn that men are using," Gail Dines, feminist and anti-pornography activist, who continues to argue this latter point in her book 'Pornland: How Porn Has Hijacked Our Sexuality', said.

Consistent with the second-wave feminism views that porn is generally inherently degrading to women and damaging to gender relations, Dines argues that even women who consume porn often don't realize the extent of the violence in a lot of the porn out there as they are seeking out female-friendly porn.

"There are some women making pornography, but they're not really bleeps on the industry map. What I'm more concerned with is the type of porn that most men watch when they're alone," she stated.

And given the often female-exploitive nature of the porn industry, Dines says that though she doesn't doubt that some women enjoy mainstream porn, it is "anti-feminist" to consume it.





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