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The other day I was looking at some pornography online. Like many people, I’m a little bit cheap when it comes to porn. Frankly, my imagination’s good enough that, if I have to pay, I’ll just make up some stuff in my head. In fact, that’s what I do most of the time, but every once in a while I like to look at pictures. It’s laziness, but for the past couple of years I’ll try to find one of those tumbler sites where someone just reblogs other people’s pictures. Sometimes, I feel really awful about doing this because those people are probably violating copyrights, and pornographers are just trying to make an honest living after all. I would never put together a site like that for exactly that reason, but I confess, copyrights, or no copyrights, I do look at them from time to time.

It’s dreadfully convenient that some people are so enthusiastic about pornography that they compile these collections. I’d never take the time to seek out all this stuff on my own. So, it’s simply a matter of trying to track down someone whose tastes are similar to one’s own. Being female, I tend to gravitate towards hardcore. Images of good-looking people alone don’t do much for me. There has to be some sort of action, or at least implied action, which I can imagine myself doing.

So, the other day, I found some one who had highly titillating pictures on his tumbler site. I was enjoying the pictures for a bit when I happened to notice the captions. Generally, I don’t look at the captions because, for better or worse, pornography doesn’t seem to inspire the most articulate thoughts. It would probably be more to the point if people just captioned the pictures with “grunt, grunt.” Eventually, however, I did take note of them and they were to the effect of “Take that you dirty little slut,” and other variations on that theme. Now, I’m not going to complain about something I’m getting for free. Obviously, this guy is doing it for his own amusement and that’s his business. I would never send him an email telling him that he’s bad or awful. What interested me was that our taste could be so similar in terms of visual appeal, yet the narrative content we’re projecting onto the same scene is so different.

I’ve had this happen in real life. As it happens, although variety is good to keep from getting in a rut, I do prefer some positions over others. Now, this does vary with the man. Our own relative body sizes plus the size and angle of his penis make some positions better than others. Having made that little caveat, I’ll go ahead and say that one of my favorite positions in on all fours. Now, when I get on all fours and out of nowhere the man goes into some sort of degrading slut talk, it can be like having a bucket of cold water dumped on my head. It’s clear that some people think certain positions are inherently degrading. My reasons for liking this position are entirely practical. Both individuals have a reasonable freedom of movement, so unless you’re terribly mismatched in terms of length of your thighs, it’s a good position for getting an angle and rhythm that pleases both people. It just feels good. The fact that I like it has nothing to do with it being degrading. I wish someone could explain to me why this position is seen as degrading.

Also, why is ejaculating on top of a woman degrading? Men, when they orgasm, ejaculate. This is perfectly natural and shouldn’t be seen as degrading to anyone. In fact, it makes me happy. Whenever I’m in bed with someone, I hope he’s having a good time. I hope he hopes I’m having a good time. Sometimes I think there are certain cultural associations that I just failed to learn.

I’ll try to write something more highbrow tomorrow. I promise.

“Well, the other day I was talking to my friend Barbara. You remember Barbara, right? She told me how all her friends were reading this book Fifty Shades of Gray. I was so offended. I couldn’t believe she was telling me about it. She thinks just because she’s rich she knows things I don’t. What! Does she think I live under a rock? Fifty Shades of Gray! Is it possible to miss it? So I said to her, ‘Thank-you, Barbara, but I’ve already read it and I was totally appalled. My daughter can write so much better than that!’

“Have you thought about going into the pornography field, sweetie? You’d be very good at it. You always had quite an imagination.”

Um… thanks for the support Mom. And I wonder why I feel like I didn’t get good career advice as a kid. At least she’s gotten off my hips.

By now, everyone must have heard the big news coming out of the UK. The Prime Minister, David Cameron, has announced a nation wide filter to block pornography. Internet service providers in the UK already offer optional pornography filters. For the new nation wide filter the default setting will be to have the filter on. Customers will have to choose to opt out. I’ve read about half a dozen general articles on the topic as well as another half a dozen narrower articles about specific aspects and, outside of the “default-on” requirement, I am confused about what it being proposed. Child pornography, which was already illegal in the UK, will continue to be illegal, however the police will be given new, unspecified, powers to pursue it. Images of simulated rape, which was previously illegal to create, will now also be illegal to possess. Furthermore, wi-fi in public places will be required to have a porn filter in use.

As an adult woman going on fifty, I don’t feel that I should spend my life relegated to the children’s section of the library because lax parents don’t know how to protect their children.

A sketch of a naked woman lying on her back.

One of the reasons I don’t call myself a “sex-positive feminist” is that many of the people who use that term appear to me to be less concerned than they should be about a person not being exposed to pornography at moments when they do not want to be. They deny any potential downside to pornography. Although I almost always actively oppose restrictions on pornographic content, denying that there can be any negative side to it strikes me as wishful thinking. If what we read and view didn’t shape our perspective on the world, many artists and writers would stop tomorrow.

However, government imposed filters will tend to support the status quo and anyone seeking to question it will run afoul of the censors. For this reason, I have always felt that feminists in particular should not support bans on pornography. In an article about the new content filter, The Telegraph mentioned that unnamed “children’s watchdogs” speculate that “boys’ attitudes to women and girls were in danger of being shaped by their easy access to pornography online.” I would like to humbly suggest that boys’ attitudes to  women and girls is being currently shaped by everything from advertizing, to movies, to novels, and perhaps nothing shapes their attitudes towards women as much as the interaction of their very own parents. Would the government like to censor the behavior of children’s parents at home? Furthermore, would difficult access to pornography tell them something significantly different from easy access.

Then we still haven’t answered the question of “what is pornography?” Will Courbet be filtered? (I was going to do my own sketch of that painting, but WordPress does not permit close-ups of genitalia.)

Maybe next, the government of the UK will work on the meaning of life and get back to us.

While poking around news from the UK, I couldn’t help noticing in a sidebar some woman was called “brilliant” for producing a boy. I hope the filter isn’t going to block some basic information about how babies are made because apparently Britons need a little more information about how that works.

As an American I’m a little bit concerned by the statement:

A joint British and American “task force” will be created to tackle obscene websites, while Google and other search engine providers will be required to draw up a “blacklist” of the most depraved and illegal search terms, the Prime Minister will announce.

It would be very nice to know exactly what our own government is doing in this regard.