I came across a discussion about porn stashes being discovered on computers. Namely, a man was caught when his wife discovered his not-very-well-hidden folder. This raises a whole bunch of questions for me, because quite frankly, I don't get the big deal.
1) Why is he in trouble for looking at porn?
2) Why does he need to hide it?
3) Why should he have to pretend he doesn't masturbate in his own home? I can understand why it's not polite to wank at work, or discuss porn in public, but come on. He has to hide it in his own house?
4) Why do people get so insecure about fantasies?
5) Why am I posting about this on the writing blog?
The last one is easy to answer. Because I write porn. Yeah, it's romance. It's erotica. How dare I denigrate it by labeling it as pornography. But I write scenes that get me off in the hopes that'll get other people off. The emotional/romance aspect of it just makes the porn hotter. It's still porn, though. (Note: I don't know Vivien's view of this. If she doesn't categorize what we write as porn, she's more than welcome to tell me to stuff it----hahahaha, I said "stuff it").
I have a lot of porn on my laptop. Most of it (okay, all of it) is gay porn. I have to admit, I love watching gay porn. If I wasn't at school, I'd be watching gay porn right now. And I love writing gay porn. I also love writing straight porn. My point is, I don't think it's anything people need to be ashamed of. It's nothing people should get in trouble over. It's certainly nothing that healthy adults should get in trouble over.
And I don't even want to put any conditions on porn viewing. Some people will say "Oh, I don't mind if my husband watches porn as long as it's not violent or icky." Eh. Screw that. Is your husband out doing violent and icky things? No? Then what's the big deal? I'm a firm believer that nobody should be punished for thoughts/fantasies, regardless of how yucky others might find thoughts/fantasies. I think it's high time we get rid of the Biblical belief that thinking about sinning is the equivalent of sinning. I might have long, drawn out fantasies about murdering the asshole who cut me off this morning, but he's still alive to cut me off another day.
I have to admit, my tastes are pretty mild. Really, as long as it involves a cock, I'm happy. The more cocks the better. I suppose I do like things that might squick other people out (Hell, gay orgies probably squick people out. I don't understand why, but I'm sure they do. Oh and facials). One day, I came across a clip starring Johnny Hazzard (who is my favorite gay porn star. He is unbelievably hot) with a warning that it was non consensual. So I said, "Oh! I should download that right now!" And then I watched it. And my husband walked into the room, asked me what I was watching, found out, then shrugged and asked me what I wanted for dinner. Because I certainly don't need to hide what I enjoy or who I am from him.
I watch Bullshit! on Showtime. It's easily my favorite show ever. One episode, Penn pointed out that we all, the human race, are eating and fucking machines. Our own personal genetic code survived because our parents and grandparents and great-grandparents were eating and fucking machines. Everything they did, everything we do, is to get a decent meal and get laid. It's true, and yet, we have such odd, messed up relationships with food, with sex, with our fantasies, with our own bodies. The parts of our lives that should be the most natural are somehow shrouded in shame and secrecy. I know it seems weird to link food so late in the discussion, but I see a lot of parallels between people who eat in secret and people who jerk off in secret.
I always get the message that I'm supposed to be ashamed of my books because they're graphic, and carnal, and erotic, and dirty, and well, you can get all post-modern and insert your own adjective here. And I've internalized that to a great extent. I've internalized it enough that I have not one but two "identities" covering my real identity. I've internalized it to the point I'll look away and mumble if a colleague directly asks me what I write. And I know I'm doing it. But that doesn't mean I don't know I'm wrong to do it.
I think people with hidden porn collections should make a stand and proudly watch their porn in the comforts of their own homes. Unfortunately, I know that that isn't feasible for a variety of reasons. But it still pisses me off that sexuality has to be treated like it's something secret, that pornography is seen as something universally dirty and prurient. Romance novels are regularly dismissed as "porn for women"---a dismissal that is a double damnation. It's not just pornography, it's ridiculous and superficial because it's for women. But I suppose that's a rant for another time. The rant for this time is that people shouldn't be ashamed to be sexual creatures. We're wired that way. It's how we're built. Why not enjoy it? God knows there's not enough pleasure in this world anyway, without stripping people from the natural joy they derive out of sexuality.