Return Me to Downright Decadence


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So, I’ve been watching this British series called Coupling and its pretty funny; however, there was one moment that irked me to no end.

So a couple has planned a dinner party for their friends, a psychopathic ex, and her “date” (watch the show to learn more). The room is filled with tension, as the frowning bloke on one end of the table is in hot water with his girlfriend, who is at the other end of the table. She found his porno tape, eloquently called Lesbian Spank Inferno. I can’t really put my finger on why the girlfriend’s angry about her discovery; it’s either because he owned it and she feels insecure/jealous about it or because everyone in the room knows that he owns it. Finally, the tension culminates into a debate as to whether or not Lesbian Spank Inferno is either erotica or porn. It then ends with a climactic monologue from the boyfriend, in which he tells everyone at the table who dares to judge him (all of the women, of course) to fuck off; it doesn’t mean he loves his girlfriend any less!

I don’t mean to butcher this comedy; but I feel like I’ve heard these arguments on paper, on TV, and in real conversation, all of which fucking annoy me. First off, erotica vs. porn. What comes to mind is that erotica is softer, sweeter, and delicate (feminine) while pornography is often lacking in love, carnivorous, perverse (masculine). Who says you can’t have the atmosphere of erotica in pornography? The Story of O is one powerful example of debased, immoral behavior performed with love. Marquis De Sade’s perversions must have some intimate characteristics. To me, this whole debate is based on a bourgeois perspective that allows people to gain access to their own sexual fantasies without being muddled down by filth or their own moral consequences.

When one considers “erotic material”, one might think of soft-core movies, draped in intimate lighting and soft caress. When one considers pornography, they think of dimly lit motel rooms, unwilling degradation of some virginal daisy, hardcore fucking, and probably semen spraying on some poor girl’s face (oh my!). What one should actually consider is that both apples are from the same tree… meaning, PORN IS PORN. Nobody fucks gently. And one shouldn’t expect good sex from erotica. Nor should one expect horrible degrading sex from pornography. Life just doesn’t work out that way. Even if you have the perfect setting-champagne, beautiful music, starry night sky, an attractive lover-that doesn’t mean that better sex will occur. In fact, I find that my best sex comes from choking, slapping, public places, taboos, bestial delight, and so forth. But, that’s my particular cup of tea.

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I also resent the fact that all of the women believed Lesbian Spank Inferno is filthy in a bad way because it isn’t a real “movie” with a plotline or anything of that nature. I used to wave that flag; but, then I watched more and more porn and realized that it isn’t always necessary. Thus, the whole thing implies that these women (and perhaps women in general) look to porn (or erotica) for artistic integrity. To that, I say, get off of your goddamn pedestal. I hope to dear God that there are more creative ladies out there, ones that are in tune with their sexual urges whatever that may be. If you like intimate settings and storytelling, then fine. If you like simulated sex a la dry humping, then that’s okay too. But, dont diss someone else’s tastes because you feel so high and mighty about your own vanilla pleasures. I would also like to add that Lesbian Spank Inferno sounds great. Lots of lesbian sex with spanking… hm… well, it sounds nice but it might be boring for me. For the guys who watch it, they dont care. Apples and oranges.

The boyfriend’s speech irked me too. I did applaud when he told everyone to fuck off, as they should. He’s a decent man, he kisses the ground his girlfriend walks on, and he’s loyal to her as much as he can be. But, then he’s a jerk because he watches a spank movie…? Even his best friend said it earlier in the pub – “If you’re a pervert, we’re all perverts.” And that is the mentality that I think we should have (and be proud of!). Being a pervert isn’t dirty because to me it means that you subscribe to a fetish that gets your rocks off and you’re not ashamed of it. Everyone has something that drives them wild. You’re a pervert once you start to indulge. Silly. I hoped this message would carry on throughout the show but, instead, the boyfriend starts to talk about why porn makes him a man. Hold the phone, boyfriend. First thing I pondered: His girlfriend watched it, yet no one asked her if it turned her on. She’s a very sexual person. So why is she threatened by the video? And why hasn’t she spoken up on her opinion about what she saw? Why hadn’t any of the women trumped up about their own desires? I feel as though we get caught in this sort of cage where we keep ourselves captive and permit men to keep us there as well. I believe that watching pornography isn’t a masculine past-time and urges of every kind (from romantic to sadistic) are available to everyone. I would like to see more women discuss those darker fantasies, fantasies that defy their own womanhood. I know we all have them… or else we wouldn’t scream ‘rape’ or ‘misogyny’ when we view certain materials or read certain pieces of literature.

Its a double-edged sword: To speak openly about, say, masturbating to rape fantasies or even the same type of aggression that men may enjoy is to renounce our femininity-our need to be cared for and to be cared about-and is to admit to the fact that violence in sex isn’t specifically a male trait, and thus, not exclusively a female problem.

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