Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Sugar and Spice….



So last night my dutiful husband sat down to do the research I had asked him to. The search for girl porn was on…and I gotta say, I have rarely seen him that focused or dedicated..LOL. Before beginning, he made sure to tell me,

“Ok, so I’m starting your ‘research’ now…just letting you know incase u turn around and wonder what I’m watching on my computer…”

Poor guy worked really hard, didn’t even raise his head till dinner time :P

But after a couple of hours into it, he tells me that although this was fun, it was definitely harder than he thought it’d be. A lot of what he found was lesbian porn…there was barely any ‘straight’ girl porn out there. I’m not too surprised, cuz I’ve heard women say time and time again that they’re not really turned on by a lot of male frontal nudity (unless its in real life)..so I can see why pornmakers targeting women, would eliminate men entirely…but I’d still expect more hetero stuff out there than my husband could find.

Another thing he found was a trailer for some Scandinavian feminist porn. Strange stuff. He's a big fan of Scandinavian music, so he enjoyed the soundtrack.. but was totally like, wtf… with the video. Again, in the preview clip he showed me, there were several lesbian scenes. Softer lighting though.. and the camera angles looked a lot more artsy. The most interesting thing about the feminist porn clip was the scenes objectifying men…putting men in flowery stockings and watching them wank… (gotta say, that doesn’t do much for me at all)…there was some exhibitionist stuff as well, I guess that was coming from an ‘empowerment’ perspective….

Bottom line, the ‘feminist porn’ was quite different to the regular porn targeted at women. It was a bit more aggressive, and I definitely didn’t see the male objectifiying stuff anywhere else.

So while I’m watching the clip my husband’s tinkering with something in the kitchen and says in a kinda complain-y tone,

“This feminist porn stuff, its so weird, so much of it is about embarrassing the guy.. and objectifying him.”

And I said,

“Well why not? That’s what they do in regular porn with women, like ALL the time…”

That’s when I saw a wave of realization cross over his face, it hadn’t even crossed his mind, I suppose… its just so normalized…so taken for granted. When the roles are reversed, it hits you....He goes,

“That’s a good point…that’s exactly what they do…never thought about it that way…”

See, it’s not that he’s not sensitive to women and their issues, its just that when you see something over and over again, in all aspects of society, you do tend to become desensitized to the issue. I mean, something as basic as TV / print advertising – objectifies women almost all of the time. And advertising is something we’re inundated by… from the moment we wake up, to the moment we get into bed…it’s something you can’t escape. In a way, it’s a soft core model for what’s portrayed in a lot of porn, gender roles aren’t as exaggerated anywhere else… That’s why a good male objectifying ad is needed from time to time… esp when its done well…

Who can ever forget the old spice guy;



And not to mention this little treat, I always enjoy this one ;)



Oh another thing he told me after the research was that a lot of porn targeted towards women wasn’t for free…for realz! My reaction was, wha? Do women really pay for porn? We can usually get sex pretty easy, the real thing… so what’d be the need to pay for video clips, etc.?

Ah capitalism, you can sell anything, especially when u define it as a ‘niche market’ I suppose.

***

Here’s what the interviewees had to say on the topic;


Ayesha, Female, 28

First off, I object to any pornography that makes use of actors involuntarily, ie. Porn involving children etc. As most porn is aimed towards a male audience, I’ve never really enjoyed it personally. Pornography, like art, will never die out, because there will always be people who need it, to lift their spirits or anything else. I think its pointless condemning something that has existed for centuries and will continue for many more. My objection is to the exploitation embedded within the industry, which is possibly a result of its criminalization in the first place.


Layla, Female, 19

If it’s done well it can be very sexy, but not the hard core stuff it just makes sex look filthy, unromantic and disgusting and if I saw it before I did it I would’ve been a lot more reluctant. But the soft sweet romantic stuff is a good mood setter.


Ambreen, Female, 28

I’m not against it or for it... but I do wish that porn had more of a story rather than people just going at it ... I think they need to make porn targeted towards women... like in movies... they always show frontal nudity of women but not men... according to my husband its cuz no one wants to see the guy but everyone wants to see the girl...


Mariam, Female, 26

im not one of those people that’s completely averse to porn….. I have seen enough porn in my lifetime…. Here and there… it doesn’t bother me…it’s part of society and its not going anywhere…like alcohol or drugs… regardless of what people say about it….doesnt matter how much we try and ban it or curb it….sure – there’s no need to encourage it or over-indulge in it…. Because it is correctly assumed to be a negative influence in most people/s lives …personally it doesn’t freak me out too much…. Some people just use it to enhance fantasy… or to get away from the stressful aspects of sex…once in a while…sure I can enjoy it… but I can’t deal with an excess of it. I mean it is sort of dehumanizing..and there is an element of it that gets under your skin….but I wouldn’t hype about it too much.


Fatima, Female, 25

I wish there was more porn in the world that was female-oriented, I grew up to a lot of porn as I said earlier….we had porn nights…all the cousins would sit and watch porn together. It was funny…it was arousing for some…it caught the attention of the boy cousins – but the girls were bored in 10 minutes. They were tired of seeing the same shit and thinking why does she look like a plastic “ki guria” at the end of it.

As for things like child porn, OH MY GOD WHAT IS WRONG WITH THE WORLD? Why do people do that? Why can’t we kill those people?!!!!


Sumeira, Female, 25

I think it’s great. I don’t think it exploits women and I don’t think it’s more male–oriented either.


Zobia, Female, 22

Pornography is not something I’m particularly fond of….I think its degrading to women, but then those women choose to be in porn, so you cant exactly feel bad for them. Soft porn is the only kind of porn I would possibly watch…there are way too many kinds of weird porn out there though…and I’m not a big fan of it generally speaking.


Saira, Female, 22

personally I’m not into watching other people having sex.... I also think mainstream pornography is really degrading to women... it’s always multiple women with one man. so I don’t like to watch it. . I’m positive there’s pornography in Pakistan....didn’t someone tell me they sell it at rainbow market..... I don’t know if I wanna see that... hairy Pakistani men... (laughs) they probably have names like leela ka ghar.... hahah leela ka bistar.... hahahahahh


Rabia Female, 23

Always found porn to be a little too vulgar the times I did see it (random incidents with friends up until a couple of years ago). Putting religion aside, from a social perspective I feel even if people feel it ‘enhances’ their sex lives or is a good way to compensate for the lack of a sexual partner, it encourages a degree of openness that personally I feel kills the element of true sexual intimacy with your partner.


Farah, Female, 29

I think much of it [porn] is very male-centric and can create all kinds of illusions about what sex is and should be.

There is a very interesting article on pornography that talks about how, when two people are making love, they are not actually having sex with their partner, but rather an image that they have constructed throughout their lives. I am expressing it badly – all I remember is it was written by a philosopher and I think it was in the NYT


***

So, nothing outrageous or shocking in those thoughts…a couple of women mention the ‘male-centric’ aspect of it. The one person that stands out to me though is Sumeira, when she says,

“I think it’s great. I don’t think it exploits women and I don’t think it’s more male–oriented either.”

It leaves me thinking… what?! a) how can you as a woman not see that at least on some level, it exploits females… and b) how do you not see that its more male-oriented? How?

I don’t even know how to explain to myself, what she could possibly be thinking….but if you’ve been following the interviews, you may have noticed that she often makes a lot of bold statements.. and also, has had a bit of a troubled past….. perhaps her past shapes her perception. She’s said things like,

I got married out of spite. My mom didn’t want me to do it…I did it. Had a few drinks, came back told her I was married. Handed her the nikah namah…You can’t tell a kid ‘you’re daddy’s not nice’

my mom was pregnant with me she overdosed on pills because she caught my father fucking around. My father has actually admitted to this himself.

I learned how to have sex through porn; I went through my moms stuff.

I actually saw my mom having sex, she didn’t show it to me on purpose. But she knew that we knew that she was doing it- she knew we were in the house – you shouldn’t be doing it when you’ve got 2 kids in the house. The kids can fucking hear you, they’re curious …they’re going to look through the keyhole.

*shrug* I dunno what makes people say the things they say…. But one can speculate… the important thing is, that at least they say them….

…thoughts?

19 comments:

  1. Eiynah, you're website ate up an entire comment :-)

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  2. Aww boo! and i look forward to your comments... naughty website!

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  3. “Well why not? That’s what they do in regular porn with women, like ALL the time…”

    Two wrongs don't make a right. Sexual objectification of either gender is wrong. It degrades their worth in both cases.

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  4. anon 5:02 - i can see where ur coming from, but its really not the same thing objectifying men, especially because its not systemic. It doesnt have the same impact...and sometimes its the best way to have the opposite sex realise what women go through. Its that realisation that's key, and sometimes without experiencing something urself, u cant really sympathise with another party....

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  5. Anonymous bought up the Axe and Shower Gell commercials so I have to address them. They're sooo funny, I laughed! Look up! Look right! Now look at your hand! Pseudo-gay stuff I find funny, too much overt gay stuff and I get bored and annoyed. This was just in good laughter inducing time quantity :-)

    About the interviews

    Sumeira stands out for you but Fatima doesn't?

    OK I will agree Sumeira seems to have had a bit off a really rough childhood. But in relation to Fatima's strange story, I'm impressed by your fine tuned analysis of the structural biases of porn to zero in on her one sentence which barely even registered with me.

    On the other hand:

    Fatima's cousin porn night? Really? This is where I have to quote Karachi Khatmal's scepticism about strange group behaviours. If it sounds strange (like that orgy), it most likely could be strange and made up. Especially that orgy.
    But if it's true that Fatima watched porn with her cousin group, this shows that gender segregation is so seriously severe that the only people many Pakistanis at times feel comfortable with displaying intimate feelings with are people who have some kinship relation with them. In the west, there could be a mixed gender gang of friends who could have a jokey porn night. In Pakistani (and maybe Indian culture), the only people you would trust to get relaxed enough with (and be able) to have a joke porn night would be cousins.

    Sigh *Gender Segregation*

    Saira referenced local porn =D
    Our "local" porn, is basically what westerners would call "amateur" stuff. No scripts no plan, just a straight in wedding night, get'er done affair. Maybe they sell it at Rainbow centre, maybe its just freely available on the internet. There were a few stories about a local "industry", but nobody I've known on the internet can seem to lacate this smaller-than-a-peasant-Cottage "Industry". It's just a few guys with camera recorders and CD printing machines. And here I have to say something about porn etiqquette(!) vis a vis your driver. The term NSFW (Not Safe For Work) was derived as a limitation on what kind of behaviour is acceptable and inacceptable around the workplace. If your driver could not catch even the rudimentary nature of NSFW behaviour, he should've been fired. And I have to tell you; casually leaving porn around, as a behaviour in men, I consider a warning sign. The home computer is practically a workplace environment, so if a guy is so callous as to leave porn on the desktop, then he really shouldn't be trusted with greater and more difficult tasks. Same with your driver. If a guy leaves porn up front on the desk in his workplace environment, then it becomes kind of pointless trusting him.

    Farah and the NYT Philosophy professor. That might have been half a stroke of genius(!). "not having sex with their partner...rather an image that they have constructed throughout their lives". That may not be half bad. Maybe for a little while that maybe true initialy in a relationship. But I'm sure with time, the real partner replaces the inital image that the person had.

    OK, too many thoughts. Beautiful post Eiynah.

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  6. Eiynah - There is growing evidence that the objetification of men is systemic. Not as much as women but it is still there.

    Sales of male beauty products have increased, even more men are having plastic surgery and the number of bulimic and anorexic males has jumped alarmingly.

    The reason for this is the same as the reason it has happened to females - portrayal in the media. It does have the same impact it had on women - even if it is not exactly on the same level. You can see it everywhere - in advertising, music videos, movies and television shows,women's magazines, male strip shows, the list goes on.

    There is no need to make people suffer to understand something. There are better methods of educating people. Making people go through such things can have a deadly impact on society e.g rise in suicides due to a negative self-image.

    I believe in equaltity for both sexes, rather than the dominance of one at the cost of the other.

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  7. TLW - hah, ur right, i can't believe i missed the point abt Fatima... it might have not registered as strongly because i think i mentioned it in one of my first posts, and had the shock/gasp reaction then... but still, i completely sailed over it this time... wonder why... :/ What you're saying in relation to gender segregation and the whole feeling comfortable with cousins (only) is so true in our society. Don't even get me started on gender segregation.... i literally have panic attacks when i find out im at a segregated desi dinner....I usually get along better with guys, and that doesnt work well in desi 'daawats' where they're sitting separately... ugh... i dont even know what to say to aunties half the time... but lol, thats a personal issue. My main beef with that is that its not fair to subject me unwillingly to segregation, almost as bad as if i invited one of those ppl to a fetish night or something.. would make them feel just as out of place... *le sigh* (now im done ranting, promise)

    As for the driver... i understand that anyone in a work situation would be fired if they left evidence of porn where it could be found... but what if u live where u work... i mean, to be fair it was in his bedroom... where else is he supposed to put it..? Its not like it was in the car or something...

    "And I have to tell you; casually leaving porn around, as a behaviour in men, I consider a warning sign."

    Lol i do believe my husband subscribes to that mentality as well... cuz i never find anything on his computer... ever...! And its not like i'd mind either.... which makes me wonder why theres a need for such secrecy.... cuz believe me i hear my other girl friends complain abt it all the time... finding porn on their bf's computer, or phone or whatever...but i've never had that problem...i just wonder why, thats all.... whats the big deal abt porn... why all the secrecy?

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  8. Anon 10:37 - well we could go back and forth on this forever, but i think we'll just have to agree to disagree.... objectification of men cant really be classified as systemic until it enters every aspect of society... its like reverse racism.... you cant really call it that because it wont have the same effects, nor will it ever unless the world as we know it ceases to exist....systemic would imply its ingrained in every aspect of 'the system' which its not.

    Male beauty products and all that isnt even a factor cuz its not a standard, it cant become a standard.. no one is going to expect a guy to be hairless and made up all the time. If someone takes that step as a male, its a choice they make. Its hardly the same thing.

    When you speak of male eating disorder numbers rising, im not sure what the figures are on that, but assuming ur right - thats still not comparable to almost every woman on earth having an inbuilt body dysmoprhic disorder (some very minor and almost undetectable, but believe me its not A LOT of women that go through that, its almost ALL women that feel body dysmorphia)...

    women in societies all over the world are made to feel 'lesser' than men, whether its obvious in terms of making them subservient (like in the east) or not so obvious (like the west) where they hold them back paywise (thats just one example)...it still happens all over the world. The odd commercial objectifying a male is a subtle reminder... its not really harming anyone, because at the end of the day, men have too much power. As a societal group, these ads arent going to harm them.

    "There is no need to make people suffer to understand something. There are better methods of educating people. Making people go through such things can have a deadly impact on society e.g rise in suicides due to a negative self-image."

    believe me, men as a group arent suffering. And women can't make that happen. Also, men are being made aware through many avenues, but a gentle, humorous prod, through role reversal can be quite effective. I believe in equality too, nobodys trying to dominate men here...but since regular educational efforts havent eliminated sexism for decades, its ok to explore other methods.

    One last thing, as for male strip shows, i went once and we actually had a hard time finding a show on the weeked - because most male strip shows are actually catered to .... men! the ones for women are usually on some lame weekday where they're not going to make a lot of money anyway. And the ones that are catered to men dont usually allow women in... whereas the ones for women allow both sexes in. Simply because, male strippers make more money when dancing for other men. Women just arent that interested in paying for male nudity. Again, its the men doing most of objectifying, even in the male stipper world.

    k that went on longer than i had imagined. But do give what im saying a little thought... im not a man-hater and certainly dont want to see them subjected to what women have gone through for centuries... i married a man...i mean, i do like them , but even the nicest ones can take things for granted at times.

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  9. oh i forgot to ask, TLW - what orgy do you speak of ?

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  10. It was Khizer (Aha! A Male) Here.

    "I was invited to this orgy"....Uh....OK.

    Maybe it happened. Maybe the people who did it are really super secret. Or it's possible that it is an outlying exaggeration.

    If it sounds strange and made up, chances are it likely is.

    Which is what inter-gender Cousins Porn watching-but-maybe-not-doing-nights sound like. Maybe some of her cousins hit on her using the porn as pick up lines? She mentions arousal. Maybe they had fun beforehand? Certainly likely not after (that would be the script of a porn movie). But its all just too strange.

    It's one of those strange group behaviour things that stands out. In a gender segregated society, where gender codes are enforced in a near totalitarian manner, this sounds strange and pointless. Like a rock concert in the Soviet Union. We know rock music didn't bring down the Berlin Wall. It was the weakness of the system itself.

    I know you might not like this Eiynah, but I think gender segregation may be the White Elephant in the room that needs to be slayed.

    And not to mention a topic besides sex, but I am surprised at the prickly way two men have reacted to "male objectification". First off, with those two ads, ITs A Joke!!! The Old Spice ad was genuinely funny! I actually laughed by the time he reached "I'm on a Horse"! It was like listing all these woman-viagra objects, and it was with a black man who *doesn't* have a southern drawl (is it Canadian?) If so, good on Canada on not having an inbred retarded region in their first world country. I find male gay behaviour funny, because I encounter it so rarely. Its unique and funny when you first meet it. But if its excessively persistent, it gets boring, and then just annoying. Whihc was my reaction after having seen these ads a few times (especially the shower nozzle one). Gay behaviour or flirting (maybe thats what the anon's thought, not the funny lady bait it was) is unique. But like too much of a unique thing, if you have too much of it, you get bored.

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  11. Gud old days.... Orgies & s** parties in SC compound. Ever attended 1 ? Hows swinging swaping or group scene in Canada.

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  12. TLW - ah that orgy.... i thought u were referring to sometihng in Karachi Khatmal's blog.....you know, its not as unbelievable as you may think.. just like the inter-gender porn watching nights amongst cousins... I can totally see that happening in Pakistan... because like you said, who else are you comfortable enough with to explore porn with? I mean, I have heard personal accounts from two separate groups of guys... of brothers, screwing the same prostitute, one after another... If brothers can do that together, then cousins can certainly watch porn... I mean there is so much to be said abt the brother/prostitute thing, that i wont go into it here... but srsly.... we're a pretty crazy group of ppl, us Pakistanis..its just that we're so hypocritical, you would never imagine it.....

    As for the orgies, i had a boss while i worked in Karachi, who claimed to have walked into one of these parties....i mean the Pakistani elite wants to be so westernized, i wouldnt be surprised at all that they'd try this aspect out as well...

    As for the anons above (my guess is, the first two are the same person), yah i was pretty surprised at how sensitive this person got. The ads are just a joke...no ones being harmed, and there prolly wont be a spike in male suicide cuz of these ads....oh, and no the old spice guy is american im pretty sure.. he was really big on twitter too... lol and he made videos responding to ppls tweets.

    What you call 'gay behaviour' might get redundant and repetitive and boring only cuz you view it as that though...if you didnt see it as something separate, it'd just be the individuals who were annoying... and not the gay behaviour... just a thought :)

    Anon - 5:09 - lol dude, ur the one with all the 'shilwar' stories, ur back.. i had wondered where u'd gone to...but wait ur telling me, you went to an orgy in SAudi Arabia? I mean im sure theres a swinger scene everywhere, but im sure its really exclusive and hard to come by in saudi though... As for the swapping scene in Canada, lol, im sure its great. We've been invited to a swingers club before... but never went, obv. It's just not my thing... im not really into sharing my man. I'd have to rip someones head off. :/ call me conservative.

    But as a country, Canada is really liberal...and if ur looking to swing, theres plenty of clubs, nights, and even personals in the paper...

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  13. Illustration pic mein boobs natural hain ya silicone ?
    I dont think desi girls have that sexy tits & perky nipples !

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  14. @ Anon 2:16 - LOL , if i had to comment, i'd say they were natural... if they were fake they'd be more spherical... dont u think ? Or maybe they could be a really good boob job i suppose, :P And im certain there are desi girls with great boobs :) But thanks for paying attention to detail in the illustration.

    Other than that, seriously... why must everyone comment as anonymous on this blog... make up a fake name or something... it'll only make things more interesting. Its getting a bit dull responding to anons all the time. Just pick the name/url option... and make something up... please :)

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  15. Kion k Pakistan mein sub kuch chhup chhupa k hi hota hai isi liye Anonymous. FYI not all wives are broad minded liberal like you (wish i had 1 like you).
    ok its anon N.J.

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  16. LMAO.... Ek Raat Rooh Afza ke sath

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  17. @ Anon 6:24 - thanks for admitting you have initials N.J! Im sure your wife or anyone else won't find u if you just comment as N.J. ... remember in the drop down menu you can select the option to pick a fake name.... ! No more anon's , pleease. :)

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  18. "My reaction was, wha? Do women really pay for porn? We can usually get sex pretty easy, the real thing… so what’d be the need to pay for video clips, etc.?"

    Men in committed relationships/marriages still watch porn despite getting sex regularly. I am sure it would be the same for women that are in to porn. Ghar ki murghi dal barabar.

    Oh, and Fatima's porn nights definitely sound very .... strange (incestuous)

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  19. that is a good point mackers :/

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