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What exactly is feminist porn?

It is common to hear feminists complaining that porn objectifies women. They may actually have a point. Most (not all)straight porn does present women as being there solely for the pleasure of man, who in turn show little desire to fulfill the woman’s sexual needs. Everything is done to fulfill the desires of the man, almost as if women have no desires of their own. Sometimes women may be mistreated, humiliated, and insulted and all of this is presented as normal. It is certainly understandable seeing that most porn is made for men, by men with little regards to the women’s needs, leave alone desires.  According to feminists, most women find this offending.

Which is exactly where the idea of feminist porn kicks in. Now, putting feminism and porn in one sentence might seem odd, seeing that feminists have had a volatile relationship with smut.  They feel that porn affects the way women are perceived in the society due to the aforementioned ‘objectification’. Since the 1970s, feminists have been screaming at us how even watching porn can potentially turn men into rapists and women into victims. Men might therefore assume the last people to promote porn, leave alone actually making it, would be feminists. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Sex positive feminists are actually advocating for and making porn that is intended to turn women on.  Porn that introduces some factors that are admittedly absent in the mainstream porn: plot and dialogue. Porn that actually presents how women like sex to be. They call it feminist porn, which is a genre of pornography that is specifically created with the female viewer in mind. It is supposed to liberate women by embracing the female sexuality, even if that means portraying them in pornographic images.  It mostly focuses on the female sexuality and includes elements such as real female arousal and orgasms.

According to 30-year-old Dutch feminist porn maker Yvette Luhrs, feminist porn portrays the women’s daily sexual lives. She actually offers some more insight into the world of feminist pornography. “Feminist porn is more diverse: diverse bodies, diverse genders, and sexual acts. There is definitely more care, consent and negotiation – and the performers actually talk,” she says. “It’s also more instructive, as girls direct their sexual preferences – they show guys how to do it.”

It’s all about the women

The thing that stands out most about this porn genre is that women call the shots. It is a reaction against the regular porn which critics argue it makes the viewer have diminished sense of women’s worth and might actually encourage them to be disrespectful.

While women are at the heart of everything in this genre, it that doesn’t necessarily mean it is supposed to cater for an all female audience.  Yvette says:  “Feminist porn can be enjoyed by both men and women. And because women are in control in feminist porn it sets a good example [to men] about respect and consent.”

Porn doesn’t always have to show women as sexual conquests for men; it can also show them as sexual collaborators, which is what feminist porn is all about. Porn that shows sex as something that men do to women or something that women do for men is perceived as dangerous and has no place in a feminist’s mind. Porn is supposed to present two partners performing sexual acts as equals in order to promote positive, healthy attitudes about sexuality. Porn legend Nina Hartley says that such kind of porn has the potential to “change men’s and women’s attitudes at their deepest neurobiological level.” I don’t always buy the ideas of feminism, but I have to admit, that is as valid a point as any.

That is not to say that feminist porn is not equally as explicit. It only seeks to present women as human beings who deserve to be respected even when they are naked.  They also have a right sexual desire, pleasure, and satisfaction just like men.

And what is the result? Porn stands a big chance of appealing to straight women and also men who see women as equals which offers couples something they can actually enjoy together. To be honest, there is nothing exactly wrong with that.

So, what is it like?

Here is the major difference between regular porn and feminist porn: as much attention is paid to the women’s pleasure and enjoyment as to the man. As the viewer, you get the sense that the man cares about his partner’s feelings and sexual needs and that both of them equally enjoy the experience.

In feminist porn, sex is not presented as something that penises do to vaginas or other areas of the body. It is instead shown as something that two people do. Women are not presented as wet holes and tits while men are shown to be more than just disembodied cocks. It doesn’t have to be vanilla to be pleasurable, but if two people are having rough sex, at least it should be consensual and enjoyable to both parties.

Finally

Feminism may appear toxic to some, but regarding this matter of sex-positive feminism, I’d beg to agree. Maybe you should look at some of the movies that have won Feminist Porn Awards and see what feminist porn is all about. You never know; you might actually have a change of heart.

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