GCN columnist Aoife Reed asks the question, can you watch porn and still call yourself a feminist?
‘Do you watch porn?’ Some people answer this question with a bold, loud and proud, ‘Yes!’, followed by a list of favoured websites, porn stars and titles. Others with a deep reddening of the cheeks and a whispered ‘Um, no, I don’t know, sometimes, not really…’, trailing off with a cough and a giggle. In my experience, for the most part it’s women who react like this. Men tend to be a little more cut and dried about the whole affair.
The reason I’m bringing porn up is because of the recent decision of the British Government to block all porn websites from general consumption. It’s a rather regressive move in my opinion, but nevertheless it’s got me thinking. As a self-proclaimed feminist, can I watch porn with a clean conscience? Should I like it? Shouldn’t I be enraged by its very presence?
Generally lesbian porn is made by men for men and features unrealistic women performing unrealistic sex acts, with unrealistic outcomes, if you’ll pardon the pun. As these women brandish their false, three-inch nails while yelping and yipping at full volume like poodles on ecstasy, you find yourself thinking: ‘That’s not what real lesbians do! Actually, this is not what real women do.’
But I recently discovered ‘feminist porn’. It is made by women for women. It features real, live, actual lesbians performing real, live actual sex acts on one another! It’s a welcome change to the usual, pumped-up, overly made-up lesbian porn that’s the industry standard. It feels real when you watch feminist porn, and as a result is infinitely sexier. But, do we really need it?
The women who are making feminist porn have a big hurdle to overcome. They are trying to appeal to an audience that might not exist. The question is: do women actually seek out and watch porn? Isn’t porn a completely male-dominated industry because it’s completely aimed at men?
I think we need to bring our porn selves out of the closet. Sex is a beautiful wonderful thing. We should be celebrating it, encouraging it and for God’s sake, ladies, watching it!
First step? Extricate that Rampant Rabbit from the bottom drawer of your bedside table, pop something by the wonderful, feminist porn director, Courtney Trouble on the laptop, put the massage oils within grabbing distance, and settle in for a wild night in doing what real lesbians do.