Smart Bitches Day--in which I think I figure out it's really porn

but wait, lemme look up the meaning first.

And I want an unbiased meaning of pornography:
1.Sexually explicit pictures, writing, or other material whose primary purpose is to cause sexual arousal.
2.The presentation or production of this material.
3. Lurid or sensational material: "Recent novels about the Holocaust have kept Hitler well offstage [so as] to avoid the ... pornography of the era" (Morris Dickstein).
ETYMOLOGY:
French pornographie, from pornographe, pornographer, from Late Greek pornographos, writing about prostitutes : porn, prostitute; see per- 5 in Indo-European roots + graphein, to write ; see -graphy

Okay, well one and two fit a lot of what I read and write. Three fits a bunch of those covers. There's the brain and emotion involved in romance, you argue. Yup AND that's true for the very best sort of sex, eh? Not just the lizard brain in there for sex and arousal but the whole of the animal kingdom of your brain (not literally! No, please, not the family dog) including human.

So, skipping over the bit about prostitutes, which isn't really relevant, and assuming that sexual arousal doesn't always have to mean ready for bed action but could mean the small stirrings of that happy emotional warmth (rather than for the part of the brain that solves interesting problems, and plans dinner) just about every book I read or write could be defined as in the pornography family**. Fine. Or maybe a lot of porn could be defined as romance?

When did I decide this? Last night when I couldn't sleep and read a whole lot of stuff over at literotica.com I mean A. Lot. Of. Stuff. And except for the stories in which the writing was so bad the work was about body parts coming together, I was suprised to discover that even the very basest, most despicable stories--the stories labeled "nonconsent/reluctance" were about...relationships.

The victims in the rape stories always orgasm and the rapists know it and there's a relationship there. Often a sick and twisted relationship by my standards, even my standards for pleasurable reading****, but a relationship between humans. So those rape stories are way, way closer to romance than rape reality. I should have been disgusted, and if the stories I read reflected any kind of reality, I would have been. But no flipping way. We're talking as much fantasy as trolls and elves dancing in the moonlight. Thank the Lord, or I really wouldn't have gotten to sleep. As it was, I was creeped out enough to get up and check the front door.

A real rape victim or anyone who knows a real rape victim (raises her hand--and if you don't, it's because you're not paying attention) would hate that these "nonconsent/reluctance" stories exist, celebrating the harming of unwilling fellow humans as sexual entertainment. I suppose I would, if I thought that delusional males who got hold of these fantasies became convinced that all women secretly get turned on by having their choices taken away from them (not to mention thinking everyone likes really rough sex). I know that some rapists have blamed violent pornography, but is that A Blame Someone Else for My Personal Choices thing?

The best way to know if the stories have affected rapists' behavior, I suppose is to see if the actual numbers of attacks on women have gone up since this stuff became easily available for the public. My guess is a guy who's wired to rape will do it no matter what anyone else has or hasn't written.

Other guys who are excited by this stuff, will find willing partners to play "unwilling" with. That's the good thing about making this more out in the open, eh? Let more people find their ideal partners and have fun in the sack.

The site does call itself literotica, not pornographica. I don't think I want to go any harsher than this. I'm done reading a slew of this stuff. I'm going to go read some Diane Wynn Jones now, thanks. Or better still, the New York Times Crossword puzzle book.

Here's the first chapter of a pretty good non-consent story. The interesting thing is that it seems to be about the ambivalence the author has for enjoying this sort of fantasy. I dunno, I'm probably getting too deep for this particular post.

There's an honest-to-goodness hero in that story (with his own over-the-top identity and experiences) who's as interesting than the "villain" which is a nice change. Usually I find villains in stories are more fun to read... As I read it I thought, hey--this is a romance. We'll see. I bet the HEA will not fit RWA standards, just like the villain is something like an emotional Patricia Highsmith dude.
_________

**Yes, I am trying to rile you up. I'm trying to arouse an emotional response. . . lurid, too, I hope.


****I rarely finished those stories. I swear I didn't inhale... No, I really skimmed a whole lot of them to see if I was right. Yup. The women also received (unwilling, duh) pleasure even in the ugliest of the encounters.

Comments

  1. Just read that first chapter, and I kinda got the same feeling as I did whilst reading JW Mckenna's Darkest Hour... disturbed.

    I don't think that non-consent sex stories are my cup of tea at all.

    I think I'll join you in reading a Diane Wynne Jones book, after I've scrubbed myself clean:)

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