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  • Susie Bright's Blog

    Here's a blog that gets me where I live...Much food for thought on a regular basis!

    -Susie Bright

  • In the debauched world of INDIEROTICA, the thin bra-strap of a line between the seductive and the obscene is torn, stripped, and ripped off so often that one can have difficulty differentiating between the exploitative and truly erotic. Here to help us connect the dots is the brilliant and sexy REBECCA, author of the clever blog, PORN PERSPECTIVES. "Examining the interplay between pornography, feminism, economics, and technology", it's possibly the smartest sex on the internet.

    -Jess, INDIEROTICA.com

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women + porn

It's such sweet satisfaction to be right.

Recently-published Nielson NetRatings show that women are an increasing driver of the market for Internet porn, currently representing thirty percent of traffic to porn sites.  Enterprising women understand the potential here and are capitalizing on this growing (and sophisticated!) market segment. As I've been saying all along, it's not that women aren't interested in porn. The biggest barriers to women purchasing porn are social stigma and poor quality products. Both factors are fixable, as we are seeing with growing niches of quality porn and the anonymity of the online marketplace, and in return women are buying.

Meanwhile, true to form, the Christian Right is freaking out that so many women will join men (all of whom are porn addicts) in hell for looking at naked people online.

Universal Law #43875439

The one time you decide to bring a suitcase full of porn to the airport is inevitably the time you get the security screener who insists on carefully combing through every single item in your suitcase. It is also inevitable that you will get a super friendly, chatty security screener with a lot of questions about his discoveries. You can hope he's the consipiratorial sort, who does you the favor of conducting his search  with the suitcase half-closed. 

You will promise him a recommendation for next time, gather your bags and get the hell out of there.


Learning to Keep your Shirt on the Hard Way

A high-profile article appeared in the Sunday Times about the slew of racy student-produced publications that have been launched in recent years.

Numerous universities, including Vassar, Columbia, Harvard, and BU, have seen students found publications, either magazines or online, which feature other students in erotic and sometimes pornographic photos. This is nothing particularly novel—college has long been a time of sexual experimentation in the lives of those privileged enough to have the chance to attend. What’s new is that now this experimental phase is being documented and disseminated.

One would think that the sober intent to produce and circulate these images would belie a new generation which flouts sexual mores and embraces experimentation. Yet what comes across more strongly in these magazines is evidence that this generation is interested in trying to flout sexual mores, but can’t quite do it—perhaps for lack of courage, but I would argue it’s more for lack of awareness and savvy.

The utter naïveté of many of the students interviewed, including editors of the magazines themselves, struck me most. With the exception of Boink (Boston University), the founders of these magazines, which all feature some configuration of erotic photos of students, articles, and fiction, expressed the desire to limit their audience to the student body itself:

“We try to limit unwanted exposure as much as we can,” wrote [Squirm’s] current editor, Sarah Fraser (Vassar), in an e-mail message. “It’s one thing to know you’re posing nude or writing erotica for an insulated campus, and understandably quite another to know it’s being disseminated widely.”

After a brief initial flurry of publicity, Kimi Traube, one of Outlet’s (Harvard) founders, began declining interviews from noncampus press. “We’re flattered by all the attention but have decided it’s best for the magazine to focus our energies on the Columbia community,” she said, also via e-mail. The current editor of H Bomb, Ming Vandenberg , is especially concerned about the security of the magazine’s content on the Web.

Imagine this—despite having grown up with the Internet, television, and IMing, these students imagine that they can take a naked photo of themselves, publish it in a magazine or online, and expect that it will only be circulated within their close geographical and demographic vicinity. Shocking!

That’s what always bothered me about college. It provides an environment in which one feels like one is doing important, real-world activities—establishing living quarters, making friends, navigating a town-like environment, accomplishing piles of work—and yet at the same time it’s all so contrived that it almost negates these very activities. (Is flopping around in the ball pit at the McDonald’s Playland really learning to swim?) One starts to feel so safe and secure in the little collegiate bubble that one forgets that there is a real world out there with real consequences (not just a C on a paper). 

This false security leads to boldness. Students undertake supposedly risqué projects within this safe, protected environment under the delusion that they have any control at all over the dissemination of content.

With this, I bestow to the world of ill-prepared fresh-faced young adults, The Golden Rule of Making Porn: If you’re not ok with the entire world (including your mom, your dad, your boss and your grandparents) seeing a particular photo of yourself, don’t publish it anywhere. Anywhere. Not even on your Facebook profile. (To quote Dan Savage, Once an Internet porn star, always an Internet porn star.)

Furthermore, I fail to see what’s so liberating about posing for a naked photo, then giving a shit about who sees said photo. Isn’t the point that you’re flouting social convention by performing this act? Doing damage control after performing this act of “liberation” seems to undermine the entire point.

I have to hand it to Boink, however. The magazine itself is pretty boring, as was its launch party (according to a friend who attended). But its founder is putting her money where her mouth is, posing for the first issue and welcoming any and all media attention. The staff of Boink is coming out with a book early next year, entitled BOINK: College Sex by the People Having It (published by Warner Books, a division of Hachette). I’ll definitely check it out….maybe I can finally learn what sex is like in college…