Anti-Porn Sympathy: One Woman Explains Her Journey From Anti-Porn to Pro-Porn

Female pornographerThis is an interesting item, especially on the tail end of discovering that the poster girl for today’s feminist anti-porn charge — Gail Dines — has had her own (now former) research assistant publicly oppose Dines’ anti-porn arguments. After working with her former boss and mentor for an unspecified amount of time, female research intern Beth Brigham completely disagrees and now openly disputes with Gail Dines anti-porn claims. Brigham and has since worked in porn and so now can speak firsthand about what’s true in Dines’ porn statements about porn and its performers, and what is not.

While clearly the most vocal the anti-porn views (such as Dines’) may not be fact-filled, the way women relate to porn (or not) is sincerely charged with very valid emotions and our own experiences. Clarisse Thorn writes a very balanced and provocative article for Carnal Nation explaining why she’s pro-porn, yet doesn’t entirely write off the anti-porn feminists. Thorn’s perspective makes sense, helping us to understand what seems to many of us like a bizarre extremist mindset. It is, but the main reasons why, Thorn tells us, has much to do with a lack of sex education. They may see pro-porn women as wrong, and refuse to talk to or engage with us, but in Sympathy For the Anti-Porn Feminists she explains,

(…) So how can I have sympathy for anti-porn feminists? Only because I remember how I felt just a few years ago. I remember that I felt so confused about my own sexuality; I remember how resentful I felt, that sex seemed so easy for men—that the world seemed to facilitate their sex drives so thoroughly, particularly by providing all this porn!

I remember how hurt I felt by porn, because I believed that it represented “what men want”, and that therefore I was “supposed” to act like porn women—even though the way women acted in porn didn’t appeal to me at all. (…more, carnalnation.com)

This great article reminds me of female sex academic The Sexademic’s awesome blog post, Porn is More Boring than Offensive (sexademic.wordpress.com).

About violet

Violet Blue (tinynibbles.com) is a Forbes "Web Celeb," a high-profile tech personality and one of Wired's "Faces of Innovation." She is regarded as the foremost expert in the field of sex and technology, a sex-positive pundit in mainstream media (MacLife, The Oprah Winfrey Show, others) and is regularly interviewed, quoted and featured prominently by major media outlets. Violet has many award-winning, best selling books; her book The Smart Girl's Guide to Porn is featured on Oprah's website. She was the notorious sex columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle. She headlines at conferences ranging from ETech, LeWeb and SXSW: Interactive, to Google Tech Talks at Google, Inc. The London Times named Blue one of the 40 bloggers who really count (2010). Violet Blue is in no way associated with the unauthorized use of her name (or likeness) and registered trademark in pornographic films.
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3 Responses to Anti-Porn Sympathy: One Woman Explains Her Journey From Anti-Porn to Pro-Porn

  1. Thanks for the citation! FYI the original version of that article was posted on my blog, where the comments are much better:
    http://clarissethorn.wordpress.com/2010/08/16/storytime-sympathy-for-the-anti-porn-feminists/

  2. Beth Brigham says:

    thank you so much for writing this piece, i think it’s terrific, and not just because it mentions me (wink)! i can really relate to the statement of sympathy towards the anti-porn movement, especially her saying, “I remember that I felt so confused about my own sexuality.” that was definitely key to dines’ becoming so influential for me. i wanted to direct people to my blog where they can read more about my experiences with gail dines as well as my experiences in the sex industry in general (shameless plug, i’m sorry, i know). i am thrilled to be turned on to this blog, never heard of it before!!! just googled my name today and discovered it. can’t wait to poke around. thanks again violet et al!!!

  3. I decided to do a personal investigation into the “truth” about pornography. What I basically found is a near hysteria which seems to come from the ring wing religious fundamentalist conservatives about anything relating to sex. Period.

    Porn causes evil? Legitimate studies have found that as the availability of porn in society goes up, the rate of sex related crimes comes down.

    Who buys the most porn? Conservatives.

    People tell personal stories “I know a guy…”, “I heard of a family…” and pass it off as scientific evidence. The plural of anecdote is not data.

    What’s the real problem? We are all so hung up about sex, we can’t talk about it. Because we can’t talk about, we don’t deal with it and hide it. A sad state of affairs. The real problem isn’t pornography, it is our own sexuality.

    http://wqebelle.blogspot.com/2010/11/pornography-investigation.html

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