Don’t Get Pissed At Porn! Keep Your Cool!

Porn can be a difficult subject for a lot of folks, but today we’re going to focus on making that subject matter a little less taboo and a little more accessible.

There are so many things to say about porn from specific movie reviews to porn as it relates to feminist theory. But for most of the folks I talk to the big question on their mind is: “how do I find porn that I’m going to like? Unfortunately, you’re going to have to pin that one down on your own, but here are some tips and tid-bits that should help you get started and keep you motivated and inspired through your search. Let’s start with the basics:

What Is Porn:

My personal definition of porn is any medium that starts the arousal process for an individual or group of people. Different medias are called different things, i.e. erotica, pornographic films, erotic picture books, magazines, comic books, even erotica on tape. Yep, that’s right you can get erotica on tape, it’s probably all on CD’s now, but the idea is still the same. When it comes down to it, erotica on tape has the potential to blow someone’s socks off; the real work comes from finding out if that person is you.

I talk to folks all the time that say “I hate porn or “porn doesn’t do anything for me, both are very valid feelings and folks have their own reasons for believing that porn isn’t for them. But I try and challenge those ideas for folks, I start doing some detective work to try and help them find something they will like by asking questions like “when you say porn do you mean movies? “Have you tried reading written erotica? “What is it that you didn’t like about what you’ve been exposed to? From there the conversation can stem into any direction, and from there you would want to dig a little deeper and find what you really want.

Searching for the Perfect Film:

For folks who are looking for porn that is more feminist focused and female friendly, here are some really functional tips that has helped me in trying to find a porn film that fits what I want. In my own personal exploration I have found these things to be especially useful to remember:

To not go into a blind rage every time I see something I think is disrespectful or distasteful for women. You know how the old phrase goes “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. The same can be said for porn, just because one person doesn’t like it doesn’t mean it’s bad for everyone. It’s also important to acknowledge that the industry is still pretty new to the idea of feminist porn, or to even to a female audience. Even though we all want the industry to be totally up to speed on feminism now, unfortunately, it doesn’t happen over night. What this means for you in your own exploration is that you will probably come across things that doesn’t make you feel good or you might think is non-feminist; but that’s what the stop button is for, once you figure out something isn’t going to work, then it’s time to move on!

Use your resources! If feminist porn is what you’re after then you can take out some of the legwork by going to stores who are already trying to carry films with women in mind. Be sure to ask around, ask your friends, ask your partner, and if you go to a female friendly store you can ask a sales associate what they recommend. The biggest resource we have is our voice, to get what we want we must be vocal and ask for it. There are also plenty of books and guides for how to sift through all of the different genres out there. Websites like goodvibes.com also have movies that they stream on their website so you can watch a few minutes of one film and then move onto another if you don’t like it. That way you don’t have to buy a whole film just to watch 5 minutes of it and find out it wasn’t what you wanted.

Prioritize, prioritize, and prioritize! Since the industry is not completely fluent in feminism yet, it’s hard to find films that have EVERYTHING you want. So it’s good to prioritize, and to make categories of things you can handle, don’t want to handle, and can’t handle. (i.e. I can handle fake breasts, I don’t want to handle bad lighting, and I can’t handle women who look intoxicated.) Let those parameters shape what you would be willing to watch and try out. When you ask someone for a recommendation you can also use these parameters to narrow down genres or specific films. For example, if someone is recommending you a film that has women with all natural bodies, and the women look engaged, but the movie doesn’t have great production value. Then you can decide if you want to watch the movie or not based on how strongly you feel about your “don’t want to handle restriction.

Remember, it’s fantasy. One of the most defining things I’ve learned about my own preferences is that I want to watch things that I can actively engage in the fantasy of. There are things that I find incredibly erotic, but for logistical reasons I don’t participate in them, but still really enjoy the fantasy. For example, having sex in a public bathroom can be super hot, but if you’re a gramophone the actual thought of physically having sex in a public bathroom is more problematic than anything else. Which is why the fantasy can be so exciting and fulfilling. If you’re having trouble finding a genre or specific film that suits your fancy then look to your fantasies, sometimes having the chance to watch your fantasies be acted out can be just as erotic as having fantasies. One thing to keep in mind is that if you have a fantasy with specific people (i.e. yourself) and what makes it so erotic is that person’s involvement, then watching porn with the same positions, or places won’t be as erotic because the specific person isn’t involved.

Find what you are lacking. I found that whenever I watched a hetero-focused movie that was in the “all sex no plot section that the movie was just scene after scene of women having sex with men and there was no explanation of why they were there. What was lacking in this situation for me was a little plot to explain why the couple was there, or even dialogue where the women could say some variation of “I really like that. Keep doing it. What I was looking for was reassurance that she really wanted to be there and that she was enjoying herself. I know that for a lot of porn that has plot the plot can be super cheesy, but I found for me I’m much more willing to believe she’s having a good time and what’s to be there if the plot provides that context. So instead of trying to look in every section for something good, I just look in the sections that have plot in them.

Slowly, but surely, the industry is changing to be more female friendly and to have more feminism in their practices on and off camera. There are plenty resources (i.e. books and blogs) to help find directors and writers that help to pave the way for a more feminist-focused change in the industry. Sometimes it’s useful to find out who those directors are and follow their work.

For more great posts about Ladyporn Day, check Rabbit Write’s page out.

Good Vibrations

Good Vibrations is the premiere sex-positive, women-principled adult toy retailer in the US. An iconic brand and one of the world's first sex toy shops to focus specifically on women's pleasure and sexual education, Good Vibrations was founded by Joani Blank in 1977 to provide women with a safe, welcoming and non-judgmental place to shop for erotic toys. Good Vibrations has always included all people across the gender spectrum, and is a place where customers can come for education, high quality products, and information promoting sexual health, pleasure and empowerment. Customers can shop Good Vibrations' expertly curated product selection across any of its nine retail locations or on the GoodVibes.com website, where they can also find a wealth of information pertaining to sexual pleasure, exploration and education.

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