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So much porn, so little time… January 29, 2006

Posted by Winter in pornography, the adventures of mind the gap.
12 comments

Next month’s discussion night is on pornography. When we talked about this, way back in the summer, the group decided they wanted to view some pornographic material and then discuss it together. They didn’t want to frame the discussion with any particular feminist perspective on pornography, they just wanted to watch some and then talk about it. Having set up the discussion nights to serve the feminist needs of our members, we readily agreed. Only recently did we realize that this event posed a few problems.

Problem: What pornography?

In the first instance, to what kind of pornography do we refer? After all, the world of porn is no more monolithic than any other form of cultural expression and there are many subcultures within the genre. What do we want to look at? Just hetero porn? If so, do we want low brow, cheap stuff or something flashy with Jenna Jameson in it? Do we want old or up-to-date, European or US? Do we risk watching something extremely disturbing? Do we want to consider BDSM porn? And, do we want to compare it with homo or lesbian porn? If so, we have the same set of problems. What kind of homo or lesbian porn exactly?

In the end, we decided to start with cheapish hetero porn of the kind probably viewed by young men and teenage boys. This, we think, is probably what most people watch. Then we decided to compare it with some middle-class “It’s not porn it’s art” type film, such as Emmanuelle or 9 1/2 weeks.

Lesbian and gay porn, we decided, is a separate issue and raises a different range of questions, so we’ll put that can of worms to one side for now. We will return to it later, however.

Problem: Anyone got any old porn?

Surprisingly, we soon discovered that feminists do not have large supplies of cheap hetero porn in their houses to bring to discussion nights (this doesn’t mean we have no erotic material), which opened the next problem of acquiring some. How do we lay our hands on some porn? While R and myself going in quest of porn in Cardiff sex shops would undoubtedly result in hilarious adventures to recount here, I wasn’t sure it was a good idea and, knowing our luck, we would surely run into people we knew and never be able to look them in the eye again (“Oh hello, we’re just getting pornography for our feminist discussion night… Of course, you just stumbled in here by accident, it happens all the time … Yes, it is a very clean shop isn’t it… Well, see you at the seminar next week”). Also, a quick scan on the web alerted me to the rather high price of porn DVD’s. In the end, I found an oldish film on DVD for £4.99. The title will be revealed when we write up the actual event (No it’s NOT Deep Throat). My friend who works at the library has offered to get us some middle-class erotica stuff, so I think we’re finally sorted.

Problem: Where can we hold the event?

We usually meet at the Quaker Meeting house in Cardiff. Do you think we can we view pornography there? No, it’s not really appropriate is it? So, we’re going to have to hold the discussion in someone’s house and, because it’s a woman-only event for obvious reasons, we’re going to have to eject the men in our lives (yes, some of us do have men in our lives) sharing the property, for the duration of the event: “Can you go out please because we’re having a group of feminists over to watch pornography? That’s great, thank you.”

Problem

Now people searching for porn on google will get this website listed on their results. Sorry to disappoint you but you have reached a feminist blog. Nothing to see here chaps … move along please.