QotD: “The idea that women should ‘experiment’ and perform sex acts that they do not want to has become a popular model for women’s sexual behaviour in heterosexual relationships since the ‘sexual revolution’ of the 1960s. It is an idea frequently reinforced and legitimated through sex therapy”

The idea that women should ‘experiment’ and perform sex acts that they do not want to has become a popular model for women’s sexual behaviour in heterosexual relationships since the ‘sexual revolution’ of the 1960s. It is an idea frequently reinforced and legitimated through sex therapy (see Jeffreys, 1990). Women are still encouraged by therapists to sexually fulfill their male partners, even if they have no desire to do so, or experience pain or discomfort (Tyler, 2008). For example, in the widely recommended self-help manual for women Becoming Orgasmic, therapists Heiman and LoPiccolo encourage women to try anal sex (an increasingly ubiquitous sex practice in pornography) if a male partner is interested in it. The advice from the therapists is: “If any discomfort does occur, try again some other time” (Heiman and LoPiccolo, 1992, p. 187). The central premise is that pain and discomfort for women are not acceptable reasons for discontinuing a sexual practice, but, rather, are reasons for women to undergo further ‘training’, ‘modelling’ and coercion. Instead of understanding that using pornography as a coercive strategy is harmful, sexologists extol pornography’s virtues, stating for example that it is useful for “giving the viewer permission to model the behavior” (Striar and Bartlik, 1999, p. 61).

Exactly what type of behaviour women are expected to model from pornography further exposes the way in which the promotion and legitimation of pornography in sex therapy poses harms to women’s equality. Even at the most respectable end of therapist-recommended pornography, sadomasochistic practices and acts such as double penetration, or DP as it is known in the porn industry, can be easily found. Take for example, the Sinclair Intimacy Institute, run by a “well known and respected sexologist, Dr Mark Schoen” (Black, 2006, p. 117). It consists mainly of an online store that sells therapist-recommended pornography. On the Institute’s Website, customers are assured that the pornography available is reviewed and approved by therapists who choose only “high quality sex positive productions” (Sinclair Intimacy Institute, 2007a, n.p.). Among the list of “sex positive productions” are the mainstream pornography titles The New Devil in Miss Jones, Jenna Loves Pain, and Deepthroat.

The choice of Deepthroat is particularly revealing given the amount of publicity surrounding the circumstances of its production. Linda Marchiano (Linda Lovelace at the time of filming) detailed her extensive abuse at the hands of her husband and pimp in her book Ordeal, explaining how she was forced, sometimes at gun point to perform in pornography (Lovelace, 1980). She once stated that: “every time someone watches that film, they are watching me being raped” (quoted in Dworkin, 1981). That such a film is labelled ‘sex positive’ by therapists should be serious cause for concern. But Deepthroat is not an isolated case.

Big Porn Inc: Exposing the Harms of the Global Pornography Industry

Found at (ex)Gynocraticgrrl

3 responses

  1. I am a former “escort.” I am going to tell you about the worst experience I ever had with a, um, “client.” I put out an ad online due to the fact that I was very desperate for some quick money. This john replied, right? So we emailed a bit, and spoke to each other on the phone. He sounded REALLY friendly, cool, and was someone I had good vibes about. So, we met a few hours later at a motel. I was getting myself psychologically ready for what I was about to do. I was also happy that I’d be making some good, fast money. So…I opened the door and he had very rough porn playing on tv. It was interracial, and some poor girl was getting pounded in the butt; really hard! Ugh. Basically, without making this story waaay too long-my john changed. He had the nerve to check MY mouth for sores (?), he wanted to have anal sex with me (something that I am vehemently against), give him oral sex with no condom, and screw me…with no condom. He didn’t wanna pay me upfront, but I threatened to leave if he didn’t. I was shocked- we had such a nice correspondence before we met. He had changed into a disrespectful, depraved, pushy asshole who tried very hard to break my boundaries down for the entire hour I was there. He treated me as a non person; just like a set of tits and holes, like the writer of that article says. He treated me like a rag doll, and kept trying to drag me to the end of the bed so he could penetrate me anally. I refused each time. He wanted to reenact what he saw on the tv, which was becoming more and more brutal. I was used to clients that I could at least have a laugh with! I had not consented to him, and what he tried to “demand” from me sexually. This was all because I was really poor at the time and needed some money to buy food with. In closing, just because he was paying me, he assumed he had the right to do whatever the hell he wanted to me. He totally changed from a sweet gentlemen to a crazed, pushy bastard. In all my years of “working,” I have never been treated like THAT before. Now for the sex trafficked victims…oh my god, they go through this ten or more times a day!! Imagine that. Imagine how they feel inside, with awful, cruel men doing what that asshole tried to do to me, and WORSE! And guys call sex trafficking a “myth?!” Clearly, they have zero empathy for human beings who are subjected to this TORTURE every-day-of-their-lives!! Pornography and prostitution are NOT glamorous “industries.” Not every woman who gets into this horrible business lives to tell the tale, either..

  2. Dear Amanda, thank you for sharing your experiences.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: