|Actually, Lurid and I have made up offstage. In a sexy way. I was halfway through composing a response when Alas beat me to the punch. However, I think it may still be relevant, as it involves the "shamefulness" of het-boy porn...|
Well, Lurid and I have huggled and made up now, so I'm going to try looking at
this in another way.
Pornography in itself (and stop me if you want to challenge any of these steps)
is not necessarily offensive. Or, to put it another way, anything may have the
power to offend somebody. And, by the same token, pornography need not be
contextually sordid. F'r example, if I am in the right retail environment, then
I will presumably find nothing unduly strange or twitchworthy about buying,
say, "Doing it for Daddy", which is by Lurid's definition pornography (and I
would certainly say is potentially material secured for the purpose of self-
excitement). Curiously, once one is in a particular context there is no
necessary correlation between porn and sordor.
Hmmmm. What I mean is, take Femdom/BDSM. If you want decent Femdom BDSM porn, I
assume that you will have to seek out a specialist supplier, just as you would
have to seek out a specialist supplier if you wanted to buy decent BDSM gear
("decent" meaning "not tacky, overpriced Anne Summers-y crap", in this case).
Therefore, you will be in an environment where the fact that you are interested
in femdom BDSM is prettty much taken as read, and therefore, in a funny sort of
way, "denaughtified", if you get my meaning.
Conversely, in a newsagents, there is no implicit assumption that you are
interested in looking at women in stockings with their legs spread. Pornography
in this context is not a natural selection - it is divorced from the general
work of the newsagents, by its ritualised position (top shelf), and thus the fact that to look at it, interact with it, etc, you have to make a very conscious action to look at it or reach it - it involves a ritualised *physical* process as well.
So, why all these shameful rituals? If porn doesn't have to be shameful, why is there a conditioning to find the purchase and perhaps the use of het-boy newsstand softcore somehow contaminated?
Some possible sugegstions. That it has to be, either because the enjoyment of aforementioned porn is keyed totally to some feeling beyond sexual arousal at the pretty pictures and naughty stories - that self-revulsion is a part of the excitatory or masturbatory process (see under 'how are sex and porn connected'?), or that without the idea that pornographic materials of this kind are somehow shameful, the churning process of disposal and replacement that keeps the industry alive would cease.
Or, possibly, because (although this only works with the "Hope"-style conflicted middle-class user) the memetics of top-shelf het coftcore are in themselves, separate from any idea fo the sexual act, repulsive...David Baddiel says of hardcore porn that it is far more honest than softcore, as the apparent eye contact of the softcore model says "you can have me", while the message of hardcore is "you can't have me, because I'm already being had by somebody with a much bigger dick". I suspect this distinction is self-serving, but there is perhaps something in the idea that, to fill the space left by "sex" itself", softcore het porn has to develop the "porno narrative" into an entire worldview of sexy secretaries, horny bisexual flatmates, women who like to be forced, women who don't *need* to be forced, and so on, whereas other, "specialising" forms of sexually excitatory material have their own narratives already in place...
Or, to try it from a different angle (vicar), is the disgust of het-boy porn occasioned not because it represents heterosexual male sexual attitudes, but that it claims to?