There never seems to be a rational common ground when it comes to debating the porn industry. It’s always some bitter fight that includes, but is not limited to: slut shaming, consumer shaming, personal empowerment, objectification, feminism, anti-feminism, rape culture, issues of consent and occasionally the widespread theory of porn culture. There have been debates surrounding the sex industry, including sex workers, since the beginning of time. The current debates aren’t necessarily new, but they are definitely much more public, aggressive and divisive. Unfortunately, many of these debates go absolutely nowhere.
Around 2 weeks ago, I wrote an entire article surrounding the controversy of the Duke University porn star known as Belle Knox. I then deleted it. I decided to write a second article and after proof-reading it, I promptly deleted that one as well. I just couldn’t seem to accurately condense and get all of my points across properly, especially within one article. There were so many issues to address with many of these issues overlapping other issues which, in turn, brought in even more issues. In order to resist writing an entire manuscript, I decided to step back from the major issues and just start with myself:
-I find many BDSM scenes rather stimulating.
-I find the majority of “vanilla” porn scenes generally quite boring.
-I enjoy the work of some porn performers over others.
-I can’t stand certain performers based on their public personas and generally avoid them.
-I find facialabuse.com and other extreme degradation porn scenes absolutely hilarious.
-Ass-to-mouth, whether in porn or real-life, completely freaks me out.
-Squirting scenes really depend on the girl and the overall scene.
-The sound of throat fucking makes me giggle uncontrollably.
-I understand and routinely enjoy “forced” sex scenes.
I then immediately started going down the typical “porn debate” topics:
1. Does this make me pro-porn or anti-porn?
2. Does this make me pro-sex worker or anti-sex worker?
3. Am I really expected to somehow determine whether performer “consent” has been made due to pleasure, empowerment or just financial compensation? Am I even supposed to care?
4. Is it wrong of me to worry whether someone enjoys rough sex or is just willing to get physically abused for some cash? Are those tears from pain or pleasure?
4. Does this make me a feminist? An anti-feminist? A “fake” feminist, perhaps?
5. Am I unintentionally objectifying performers somehow? Is it actually possible to not objectify someone who is in an industry based solely around objectification?
After considering these questions for a few days, I gave up. My personal opinions are far too widespread to somehow “classify” them into certain categories. I finally decided that while the answers to these questions should be considered further they don’t change the fact that I’m an individual who gets to decide what I like and what I don’t like in my porn viewing experience. My views and opinions can and routinely do change at any time. This isn’t a final exam where I’m going to be graded based on correct or incorrect answers. The porn industry releases a product and I get to decide what I find arousing, exciting and stimulating. I also get to decide for myself what I find funny, humorous, hysterical, disgusting, disturbing or even strange.
THERE ARE NO RULES HERE.
The industry creates and distributes various genres of porn for a wide variety of consumers to be used in whichever way they so desire. Sexual gratification is just one of those purposes. It’s not some kind of secret that there is an entire sub-culture of people who find various forms of pornography, especially degradation porn, absolutely hysterical. I happen to be one of them. I was recently called a “sick fuck” for finding these scenes funny. I found this rather cute, to be completely honest. But, the fact is there is nothing sexually arousing about facialabuse.com scenes for me. Actually, I would have a seriously rough time trying to masturbate to one of their scenes. I just find them hysterically funny. In the grand scheme of things it’s really just about audience entertainment anyway. There should be absolutely nothing wrong with this. Entertainment will always be subjective, as it should be.
If we are to support all sex workers, then it’s not my responsibility to determine whether that specific sex workers’ consent is valid or not. I have been told repeatedly that I should never question motives or personal feelings. I am to accept that consent has taken place and the performer was paid for the service. Whether they enjoyed it, hated it, felt neutral or felt used afterwards should never be my concern. Do some performers enjoy working for facialabuse.com? Yes. Have some performers regretted working for them after-the-fact, such as Belle Knox who recently claimed regret after her scene for the site went viral? Yes. Did she finish the scene, film an entire post-scene interview and collect the cash? Yes.
Am I supposed to care whether she regrets it or not? I think the answer is supposed to be no, but I’m honestly not even sure at this point.
We seem to be at this point where the public must agree with the notion that every sex worker along with every sexual act ‘publicly’ performed for an audience is to be viewed as some sort of liberating and empowering act that advances the human species. If you dare to challenge someone else’s view or opinion on the subject then you are immediately admonished as anti-porn, anti-feminist or, the ever popular term, “slut shaming.”
In theory, this is rather ridiculous. There isn’t an industry on earth where this theory of “all industry workers are the same and should be respected equally” would be accepted by the majority. Many respect the purpose of the medical industry without respecting and/or agreeing with every procedure performed or even every single doctor within the industry. The public freely acknowledges that there are “ambulance chaser” attorneys while completely understanding that not every attorney practicing law is as ruthless. Almost all NFL football players are objectified by not only the NFL, but fans as well. NFL players are paid obscene amounts of money to basically be used as an “object” to kick a field goal or catch a football. They are hired and paid for one purpose: their athletic abilities. They also make the choice to collect that paycheck knowing they will be objectified. It’s not necessarily personal. It just comes with the territory. It would be fairly impossible to not objectify them. The porn industry really is no different. Sex workers get paid for sexual abilities, overall appearance and the use of their vagina, asshole, mouth, boobs or even feet. It could reasonably be argued that the public doesn’t objectify sex workers. But rather that the industry, including sex workers who fully participate and allow the industry to continue as usual, are objectifying themselves. If a sex worker expects not to be objectified then maybe they’re in the wrong line of work. The overall job and the cash that follows is what objectifies’ sex workers, not the public.
The porn industry revolves around the basic elements of every other industry on earth: to buy and sell goods & services to make a profit. This is not to imply porn can’t be fun, empowering, enjoyable or liberating. But, there must be some kind of recognition that the porn industry is, ultimately, a commodity. In the adult industry, the body and genitals of the performer along with production teams and various sex acts are the “goods and services” used to produce a film to make a “profit.” This really is nothing more than a primer for Economics 101.
If a performer ends up having an intense orgasm during a particular scene or decides to fight through another scene with a performer who smells gross is pretty irrelevant in the grand scheme of things. Not every aspect of a job is fun at all times. If a performer stops the scene or says “no” and that statement is not respected then that should be exactly where the problem begins. Otherwise, performers are expected to perform whatever job they have been assigned for that day just as any other employee or independent contractor on earth. The production company and/or the director are responsible for providing the overall vision to make it marketable to the masses.
The key to remember here is that being a porn performer is, literally, just a job. If there is a certain act a performer would rather not perform then that performer gets to decide whether to proceed with the scene while putting on a “performance” as though it’s immensely enjoyable or they can choose to decline the scene and lose the money that could have been made. The overall main objective is to produce entertainment, not gain some sort of personal fulfillment with every scene.
There are no guaranteed orgasms with that paycheck.
Plus, even in an emergency, if the male performer is unable to deliver the all important orgasm-producing “pop shot” at the end of a scene then there’s always Cetaphil liquid soap…
For the record, soap doesn’t burn nearly as bad as semen in the eye. Just trust me on this one.