Category Archives: Pornography

October 2, 2014, 11:41 am

Department of Not-Useful Research: “Women” Prefer “Gay Porn”

18724101Remember that scene at the beginning of The Kids Are Alright (Lisa Cholodenko, 2010), in which “the moms” watch gay male porn while their attempt to perform lesbian sex is a total fail? I remember my creeping embarrassment at this scene, not because of the porn but because I hate lesbian bed death jokes. It turns out that I missed the point. Amanda Duberman at The Huffington Post reported yesterday that women’s taste in pornography runs away from violence and “female friendly” products (whatever that is), and runs heavily towards queer porn featuring men and women. As it also turns out, Cholodenko was offering me  information – in addition to signaling that the whole movie would be a lesbian bed death joke.

Silly me. You have to understand: I write about porn, I research porn, I have friends and former students who make porn, and I’ve got a book manuscript under revision that …

Read More

September 24, 2012, 12:13 pm

Eroticizing Violence Against Women Is A Feminist Issue — So Why Don’t We Say So?

            Not sexy, dude, even in France.

Mostly I have been keeping my mouth shut about the vogue in mainstream S/M. I am certainly restraining myself on the pressing topic of the day, Naomi Wolfe’s vagina. There seems to be so little to say about these things after all the regular critics have finished with them except to be mean about heterosexuality and how dull it is becoming. Is it interesting that A Trillion Fifty Shades of Grey is popular among straight girls?

Not really. What’s more interesting, from this historian’s perspective, is that the Grey books, which feature the possibilities of changing your life by becoming involved with a wealthy kinky man, are being carried in Barnes and Noble; that having a man “do what a woman wants without being asked” doesn’t seem to include having him give …

Read More

February 11, 2009, 10:34 pm

On, Wisconsin! The Sex Prosecution of the Month

Despite everything I had to do today, I could not help but read this article in today’s New York Times. As a historian who is working on late twentieth century federal campaigns against pornography in the United States, I read anything with the phrase “Sex Predator” in the headline. When that headline also includes the word “Wisconsin,” as in “Sex Predator Accusations Shake a Wisconsin Town” — well, hold onto your hat, Harry.

Anthony R. Stancl, a good student who particularly loved political science, was expelled from Eisenhower High School last fall when he emailed a bomb threat to the school. Oh yeah. Can we spell “federal domestic terrorism laws?” Left with time on, and perhaps something else in, his hands, Anthony set up a Facebook page, using a female pseudonym and a fake profile (also actionable, as a recent verdict in a cyberbullying case establishes.) As a “woman,” Anthony …

Read More