The Content of the Most Popular Contemporary Pornography
***WARNING: CONTAINS EXPLICIT DESCRIPTIONS***
Pornography's defenders often accuse feminist opponents of showing the dark side of the porn industry, only talking and writing about the violent material that's only marginalized and not in the mainstream. In fact, in mainstream pornography, aggression is the rule, not the exception. At the conference on pornography and pop culture in March 2007, anti-pornography educator Gail Dines said one day before the anti-porn slide show was shown to the conference members: "One of the things they allways argued about with radical feminists, is that we went to the very worst. I want to tell you that every image we used today, and every image that you will see in our slide show tomorrow, we downloaded within 5-7 seconds, got major hits on Google, and [they] were free. We did not search anywhere for this. These are the ones that pop up..." The problem with pornography is that once the aggression is sexualized and the person is portrayed as either enjoying or wanting this kind of treatment, any violence or aggressive behavior is made invisible.
Similarly, think about the racist stereotypes in contemporary pornography: in mainstream television shows and films, such racism would never get a free pass, but in pornography it does, just because it is portrayed in a context that is sexual, it is made invisible. Pornography researcher Robert Jensen is the author of three qualitative studies (usually carried out by going to a porno store and asking what is most popularly rented) and has been a consultant on a larger quantitative study on the material (Getting Off; 2007). When conducting a quantitative study, feminist researchers look at Adult Video news for months and find out what is the material that is mostly rented across the United States, what is the most popular contemporary pornography.
The quotes which are written in the section "The Cruelty of the Pornographers' Speech" on this website, were from some of the most famous pornography producers not from some individuals marginalized by pornography fans. These producers are in fact glorified by pornography fans.
Think of Max Hardcore, for instance, we would like to believe he's probably only a producer of some of the most violent pornography which has not been mainstreamed. However, consider these two quotes:
"While it's tempting to see [Max] Hardcore as a fringe character, his movies are for sale on most of the major pornography websites and he has a loyal fan base." -- Robert Jensen in Getting Off (2007).
"Max Hardcore is no unpopular abberation. The Nation, a known progressive, leftist, noncommercial magazine, ran a fluff piece by pornographer Mark Cromer (February 26, 2001) heralding the work of Max Hardcore as a hero who works to keep porn dirty, "the way it should be"." -- Ann Simonton, Mediawatch.
The content of Internet pornography is not much different from what is available on DVD. One of the things that helped pornography get where it is now, so mainstreamed and so condoned, is clearly the magazine publishing industry. The three most famous pornographic magazines are Playboy, Penthouse and Hustler, magazines which, as well as containing photos portraying women as sex objects in degrading positions, also contained cartoons making jokes of rape, battery, sexual harassment, child molestation, racism, homophobia, misogyny and/or anti-Semitism. To see and read about some of the content of those magazines, click on those links:
I know that some people will say about some of these images "These are just jokes, where's your sense of humor?", as if humor could wipe out the detrimental effects of hateful jokes which help normalize all forms of hatred!!!
Nowadays, the differences between "softcore" and "hardcore" pornography is no longer the main issue. What used to be called "soft-core" has now invaded the mainstream media in music videos, magazines, television shows, advertising and fashion spreads. There is a genre which is often refered to as either "soft-core pornography" or "erotica"; those films are mainly broadcasted on cable television channels such as Cinemax and they include nudity and intercourse, without the display of genitals or penetration. This genre is not erotica (not the way feminists define the term "erotica"), it is merely pornography, with higher production values. What is most popular however, available on the Internet and on DVD nowadays, is hardcore pornography, including virtually any sexual activity imaginable, in graphic detail, with close-ups on genitals and penetration (Source: Jensen, Getting Off, 2007).
Nowadays, the most popular contemporary pornography is divided in two main types:
-- "Feature": films which contain some similar aspects of Hollywood movies, such as a minimal plot, character development, and dialogue, all in the service of showing body-punishing sex. The vast majority of women in feature films are young, white, and meet conventional beauty standards... With their chic images and sophisticated production values, these movies seem more respectable than gonzo. But this pornography teaches a man that sex means using and penetrating a woman’s body however he likes, all the while assuming that she will love it as much as he does. It teaches a woman that sex means performance, doing whatever pleases a partner, acting like she loves it, and-above all-looking good while doing it (Gail Dines, Rebecca Whisnant and Robert Jensen, Slideshow Who wants to be a porn star? Sex and violence in today’s pornography industry; 2007, unpublished).
-- "Gonzo": films which contain no pretensions of plot or character; they are simply recorded sex , often in a private home or on some minimal set. These films often start with woman, or women, being interviewed about her putative sexual desires before the man, or men enter the scene. A standard series of sex acts follows, including oral, vaginal, and anal penetration, often performed while the men call the women names such as "bitch," "cunt","whore" or "slut". As they are being verbally abused and often aggressively penetrated, the women are expected to say over and over how much they like it. Virtually every scene ends with the so-called "money shot" of male ejaculation, usually in the woman’s mouth or on her face or body. Gonzo is extremely profitable and the fastest growing porn genre (Gail Dines, Rebecca Whisnant and Robert Jensen, Slideshow Who wants to be a porn star? Sex and violence in today’s pornography industry; 2007, unpublished).
According to Robert Jensen, three basic themes are common when analyzing the content of mass-marketed popular pornography:
-- All women are "nympho maniacs" who want to have sex with all men all the time; -- All women want or like exactly the same kinds of sexual acts that men want or perform on them; -- If a woman has not understood those two first rules and/or is resistant to a particular activity, she can easily change her mind if the man, or men, is/are using a little force (Getting Off; 2007).
After reading on that subject a lot, I can tell you about some sexual acts which are common in contemporary mainstream pornography: -- Anal sex, now routine in both gonzo and feature; -- "Cum shot" or "money shot": ejaculation onto the woman's face, body or in her mouth, now routine in both gonzo and feature; -- "girl-girl": women have sex with each other as a performance for men.
Other acts have become commonplace in gonzo, but are slowly beginning to find their way into feature films: -- "DP" or double penetration: a woman is penetrated vaginally and anally, simultaneously; -- "Double vag": a woman is penetrated vaginally by two men at the same time; -- "Double anal": a woman is penetrated anally by two men at the same time; -- "ATM" or "Ass-To-Mouth": after an anal intercourse, the penis is removed from the woman's anus and inserted into her mouth, or in the mouth of another woman.
Other acts are very popular in gonzo pornography (don't forget that gonzo is mainstream and not marginal): -- "Blow Bang": a group of men surrounds a woman while she gives oral sex in a similar way to each of them, one after the other; at the end, they all ejaculate on her face and/or into her mouth; -- "Gag-inducing blowjobs" or "Throat-fucking": a man thrusts his penis into a woman's mouth until she gags and, sometimes, vomits; -- "Airtight": a woman is penetrated orally, vaginally and anally at the same time; -- "Gape" or "Gaping": the practice of stretching a woman's anus extremely wide in such a damaging way.
PORNOGRAPHY AND MISOGYNY:
To give some of the popular names, in mainstream pornography, women are represented as being: "cum buckets," "fucktubes," "cum dumpsters," "drunk bar sluts," "cum-hungry whores," "squirting skanks," "Kung pao pussies," "little hoochies," "pathetic bitches," "naughty schoolgirls," "fuck toys," "fresh teen asses," "horny old broads," "m.i.l.f.'s (mothers I'd like to fuck)," "wet cunts," "slut sandwiches," "stupid hoes," "tight pink pussies," "fuck objects," "naughty nymphos," "big booty ghetto girls," "hot slits," etc... These are some of the many proofs of the blatant misogyny of the material.
PORNOGRAPHY AND HOMOPHOBIA:
Heterosexual pornography is highly homophobic. Sometimes, you can find in the dialogue some homophobic terms mentioned to a man (or men) as a dare to prove his masculinity, taunting him that he' not "man enough". Consider this quote from Robert Jensen talking about the film "Gang Bang Girl #32," in which some football players are submitted to this kind of a "dare" before they decide to have sex with a cheerleader: "In this scene a frustrated football coach berates his players after practice, asking them whether they are “football players or fags.” He says they will lose the game the next day, which he wouldn’t mind if his players were men -- he just hates to lose with fags. He turns to the assistant coach and says, “prove to me they’re not fags” before walking away." (Robert Jensen, article A cruel edge: The painful truth about today's pornography -- and what men can do about it; 2004). Homophobia is a cruel form of hatred, just like racism and misogyny. Homophobia is also one of the things that keep the male supremacist system at work. By being homophobic, heterosexual men often show what they wouldn't like to be done to themselves, but wouldn't mind if it were done to women. Homophobia is another way of reinforcing heterosexual men's masculinity, based on conquest and domination. Pornography is one of the major reinforcers of an already unfairly widely accepted cultural homophobia.
As for the "girl-girl" scenes in heterosexual pornography, there are two explanations of why they are such an appeal to porn users: (1) "Girl-girl" scenes enables men to invade the privacy of lesbians, showing to them that "lesbian sexuality is really for men after all"; (2) There is a cultural homophobic belief, which is still well-present nowadays that says that "lesbian sex is dirty"; thus "girl-girl" scenes is just another way (in the homophobic mindset) of degrading women, by making heterosexual women have sex with each other and, sometimes, hurt each other.
PORNOGRAPHY AND RACISM:
Some of the pornography which contains racist stereotypes of people of color is ironically called "interracial". In upmarket feature productions such as Vivid or Wicked, African American women are conspicuously missing from the lineup of "Sex goddesses". Black women are relegated to the bottom, to gonzo. In gonzo, black women are portrayed as "exotic primitive hoes", who are dirtier, more whorish and more worthy of abuse than white women. Black men are portrayed as sexually savage studs with huge animal-like penises, reinforcing the ideology in the white racist viewer's mind that "in the real world, black masculinity needs to be controlled because it is naturally violent and ravaging." Pornography reinforces the racist sexual ideology that Africans are subhuman, with a raw and animalistic sexuality.This racist ideology comes from old-fashioned US racism (Source: Jensen, Getting Off, 2007). In pornography, Asian women are typically portrayed as naturally submissive, extremely compliant and, with oriental man-pleasing skills. Also, Hispanic women are often portrayed as naturally hot-blooded and sexually voracious Latinas. These are not coded forms of racism. These are blatant forms of racism which have been sexualized.
PORNOGRAPHY AND CLASSISM:
Mainstream pornography sometimes shows women from different classes in society: a woman "to be fucked" can be represented as a nanny, a secretary, a maid, a doctor, a nurse, a teacher, or a student, etc... One of the messages of pornography is that any woman, no matter what her status is, wants to be used for sex, and treated badly or inferior. What makes pornography appealing to the users is the degradation of women, no matter what class they are in.
While the majority of the people condemn child pornography (which is illegal, thus only available underground and on some computer networks), little is said about how mainstream pornography presents young women (who are 18 or older) in childlike ways: little, hair in pigtails or pony tails, with small breasts and childish expressions. Some videos also presents these childlike women in scenarios where they are more passive than "adult women", more overtly controlled and directed through the sex acts. On many sites, men can find images of young vulnerable girls who look "eager to please" without the legal risk of accessing real child pornography. As pedophiles know, young girls often are eager to please-because they are terrified by adult abusers and try to minimize the harm by cooperating. Too often, they are then accused of liking the abuse because they cooperated (Gail Dines, Rebecca Whisnant and Robert Jensen, Slideshow Who wants to be a porn star? Sex and violence in today’s pornography industry; 2007, unpublished). This pseudo-child pornography (See for example Hustler's "Barely Legal" website or Max Hardcore's "Cherry Poppers" videos -- instances among many others) sexualizes children and teenagers, as well as legitimizes and encourages the adult sexual desire for, and the use and abuse of children. Other websites and videos fetishize incest. A common theme in mainstream pornography is showing women who have had their genitals shaved.
CHECKING OUT PORN SITES' ADS AND SLOGANS:
By checking the ads and slogans for porn sites, Internet porn videos and photos via Google, one can easily see for him/herself what feminists mean when they explain the blatant misogyny, racism, classism, degradation and cruelty of the pornographic materials. Here are some examples of the misogynist or degrading Internet ads and slogans you can find, among many others:
-- "porn, porn videos, porno, dirty, filthy, hardcore, anal, sucking, bj, blowing, 3some, mff, ffm, ... m4m, porno gratis, gangbang, orgy, ..." ; -- "Is you old lady not into anal sex? We have links to plenty of hot sluts that do enjoy XXX ass sex"; -- "A delicious collection of gaping anal porn videos and images"; -- "Brunette gets her ass violated for the first time"; -- "These sluts are addicted to cum"; -- "100% original and exclusive internal cumshot videos featuring pussy creampies, anal internal cumshots, double penetration blasts, drip-outs & licking, ..."; -- "See hard cocks shooting hot creamy loads, thick sticky cum baths, cum-crazy pigs"; -- "Two hottest nasty lesbian bitches licking wet pussy of itch (sic) other."; -- "Horny blonde bitches warming up for some serious girl-girl extreme"; -- "Dick hungry naughty bitches getting penetrated with extremely massive dicks"; -- "We find brand new hotties twice a week and fuck the shit out of their tight ass and pussy"; -- "Double drilled whore : gorgeous brunette allowing two guys to fuck her at once"; -- "Real DP dolls: rough porn movies of slutty girls that like to have double penetration"; -- "Watch as these girls stuff two monster cocks in slippery fuck holes!"; -- "Watch these pussies get stretched to the max with two cocks at the same time"; -- "Welcome to the Dirtbox Bitches Anal Blog- Ass to Mouth, Double Anal, Anal Creampies, Free Anal Sex Movies and Gaping Anal"; -- "Naughty blonde bitch is getting fucked in her tight ass by two horny guys"; -- "Very horny looking sluts gets her ass double fucked"; -- "Filthy whore gets double anal"; -- "ATM - a nasty big titted bitch! She loves it when you pull your cock out of her ass and shove it in her!"; -- "ATM - every good slut loves their taste of ass juice"; -- "Blow bang facial kinky pictures of a girl sucking on lots of cocks"; -- "This bitch takes it anal and in her pussy while sucking a dick!".
Only by looking at the ads, there is no doubt about the misogyny, degradation and cruelty of the material and I've read enough anti-porn books and articles to know what's in contemporary mainstream pornography. I was also present at the screening of the most recent anti-porn slide show at the feminist conference "Pornography and pop culture" in March 2007. Nevertheless, reading the pornographic ads clearly shows you the obvious misogyny of the material: "women want to be degraded, hurt or humiliated" is the main message of pornography.
When you check out the racism of "interracial" pornography on the Internet, you find slogans like:
-- "Black sluts, White studs: impressive quantity of black girls that like the taste of white cock"; -- "Fuck that little black bitch... cute little nigger, everyone should own one"; -- "Wrong Side Of Town: Interracial porn featuring white babes getting gangbanged by big black men"; -- "She Has A Negro Problem: All these slutty white babes can think of is big black cock"; -- "Black Cocks, Tiny Teens: Teen interracial videos and picture series of sexy coed girls getting fucked by well hung black men" -- "Bang that black bitch, white boy"; -- "Nasty ass black bitches get reamed and creamed with hard white cocks!"; -- "Horny Ebony Sluts - You want to fuck some black pussy right now?"; -- "Nasty black girl sex site with hot chocolate babes and skanky crackhead booties."; -- "These ghetto girls get hardcore on camera! Cum looks so yummy on a black chic’s face and these ebony girls love it!"; -- "Black whore with gigantic tits sucks and fucks a white man."; -- "You have got to love it when a white girl takes a big huge nigga cock"; -- "Black hoes mamas get fucked hard by hood hunter in their own neighborhoods"; -- "Watch Japanese fuckbuckets draining American ballsacks using any means necessary specifically for your viewing pleasure"; -- "Petite Asian girls take big cocks in their tiny holes"; -- "Cock sucking Asian slut getting wet and hot over white cock"; -- "Japanese geisha entertains a businessman. Enjoy this tale of the orient."; -- "A seductive Asian whore gets her tight pussy slammed by a massive black dude."; -- "Oriental cum sluts movies of some asian women sucking and fucking on camera. only up her Asian ass a horny Asian babe gets fucked up the ass."; -- "Hot Latina takes a huge cock in her ass and another in her cunt!"; -- "Real deal latina hoes from around the world who can't say no to your dick"; -- "Spicy latina chicas out hunting studs down - they are hungry for cock!"
Clearly, there is no doubt about the racism, which is largely present in mainstream contemporary pornography. Such racism would provoke a massive protest right away if it appeared on mainstream TV or in hollywood movies. Pornography's racism gets a "free pass" because it is made sexual. The racist stereotypes become so obvious, when you look at them in a non-sexual way! This pornographic material is so brazenly racist!
About the classism, you find Internet ads like:
-- "Naughty nanny porn"; -- "Kid fucks his dads horny drunk secretary at an office party"; -- "Secretary Porn: Your typical boss bangs the secretary in the office."; -- "He's now the master of a house, where six girls serve as his maids"; -- "Movies of an incredible bang with a horny maid"; -- "Sexy soctor in stocks (sic) nailed hard; Boobed milf doctor fucked hard"; -- "Sexy Nurse porn"; "Hot nurse Denis gets her throat penetrated"; -- "Perverted teachers, plenty of nude milf porn "; -- "Teachers having sex with students XXX porn"; -- "Sexy schoolgirls get pounded deeply one by one"; -- "This slutty college bitch gets drunk and agrees to fuck 5 guys on this home video! ... Hot college girl gets double anal, ..."
As for the pseudo-child pornography, you find ads like:
-- "Pigtailed blonde girl gagging on a cock"; -- "Pigtailed innocent schoolgirl riding on huge shaft"; -- "Naughty school girl is spanked and forced to suck cock and gets a creampie internal cum"; -- "Catholic schoolgirl blows her teacher before taking his cock in her cunt!"; -- "Schoolgirls, pigtails, First time anal, babysitter movies"; -- "Blonde teen sucking cock and getting fucked"; -- "Dumb innocent teen learns how to deep throat fat cock"; -- "Teenie girls virgin pussies"; -- "Slut gets her tight teen ass pounded hard"; -- "Teen family incest; little girl incest"; -- "Horny little girls; father fucking daughter"; -- "Petite Asian teen girls get every hole filled.".
Who knows how many child abusers use those Internet videos and/or photos as they prepare to offend?
In a recent study, "Mapping the Pornographic Text: Content Analysis of Popular Pornography" (2007), Robert Wosnitzer, Ana Bridges and Michelle Chang concluded that 90% of contemporary mainstream pornography contained scenes of aggression.
These ads quoted above are all for legal sites. Only checking the slogans for porn sites via a Google search indeed confirms the blatant misogyny, racism, classism, degradation and cruelty of the material. But, reading about it such as in a content analysis (see Jensen, Getting Off; 2007, for the most recent one) confirms it even more! Pornography typically portrays any woman as a "fuck-object" who either enjoys being used and abused, or seeks actively this kind of brutal treatment. The pseudo-child pornography conveys the message that having sex with children is okay. Women are often portrayed as enjoying degrading acts or pain. Sometimes, they're shown as being sexually manipulative or being bitches who get what they deserve. Men are shown as knowing better than women about what they (women) really want sexually. In the pornographic script, if a woman is at first reluctant about engaging in a particular sexual activity, she is then shown as wanting it and loving it. If women are hurt, they're shown as seeking or wanting this kind of treatment. In pornography, any woman is a whore at heart, who, either openly or secretly, craves a rough sexual treatment. Now, if this kind of hate speech and misogynistic images are protected by the First Amendment, then so should be the speech of the feminists opponents who want to bring up the fact that women and children are tremendously harmed by pornography, but it doesn't seem to be the case however. The feminist critique is largely censored from the mainstream media.
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