Pornhub’s 2015 insights on Russia: My Little Pony smut on the rise, “porn nationalism” is not a thing, MILFs are popular for a reason

Pornhub’s 2015 insights on Russia: My Little Pony smut on the rise, “porn nationalism” is not a thing, MILFs are popular for a reason

Note: I watched My Little Pony porn for the sake of research. It is not my thing, and I have Pony Traumatic Stress Disorder now (and can’t even take credit for that phrase). You can honor my sacrifice by liking, sharing, tweeting, donating, or sending Tom Hiddleston to my house with a bottle of whiskey and a box of jelly doughnuts.

There is much to learn about Russian porn trends from Pornhub’s 2015 year in review stats. We are first going to first zero in on the elephant in the room. No getting around it. It is too massive.

We must talk about My Little Pony (MLP) porn. Continue reading “Pornhub’s 2015 insights on Russia: My Little Pony smut on the rise, “porn nationalism” is not a thing, MILFs are popular for a reason”

You know what? Being a dominant dude is not ZOMG HORRIBLE

I’ve read this post on BDSM and the ensuing discussion of it on Feministe, and I am crestfallen (“crestfallen” – I like that word. It is underused and underrepresented, like many good things in life).

It’s not the issue affecting the BDSM community – not to mention people’s weird reactions to BDSM – that trouble me per se. I’m not part of that community, so anything I say is just a comment going out from the sidelines – not particularly interesting or insightful. It does bother me whenever people casually dismiss BDSMers as “those freaky people over there – let’s stay away, they might have freaky people germs”. The false dichotomy of kinkster vs. vanilla chaps my hide as well.

But. BUT! I’m not here to talk about all of that right now. I’m here to talk about whether or not dominant tendencies in dudes are de-facto a Very Bad Thing. Because I was reading the comments of a blogger named Pepper, and saw this:

Here’s some concrete examples of the kind of self-policing I do:

1) I’m very aware of the dominant streak in my personality. In social or group situations, I purposefully stay quiet, tone down my language, make sure others are heard, apologize for interrupting, and so on. I know that others listen to me more than they should, both because of my gender and this dominance aspect, and I try to counteract this…. [etc.]

Now, the way Pepper conducts himself is Pepper’s business. This is in no way a comment on Pepper himself. Whenever I’m in a feminist-oriented discussion, I instantly bristle at people who tell other people that This Is How You Should Act In All Circumstances and This Is How You Should Feel About This And That and Check Out This Excellent Feminist Apple-Peeling Technique I Invented, Bitch, Or Suffer The Consequences. So if I fall into the same trap, I apologize in advance.

The thing is, there are dominant people and there are dominant people. As a collective feminist movement, we often argue against general male dominance – but I feel that if I am with a man who’s got a dominant streak, I wouldn’t want him to feel permanently conflicted about it. If I choose to be with someone, then I choose to handle certain aspects of their personality.

Who I date or don’t date doesn’t really matter in the context of the larger conversation, of course, except for the fact that I recently had a conversation with someone that went along the lines of, “and you know, [dude I’m seeing] has SUCH a dominant streak” with the other person responding with a “wait, what? Aren’t you a feminist?” Well, yes, I am a feminist. This doesn’t mean I’ll automatically reject someone because they’re loud, or because they’ll go “you know what, you need to listen to THE MAN, i.e. me, right now” every once in a while.

“Dominant” does not necessarily mean “controlling” or “abusive.” It can mean a lot of things. Not all dominant guys are jerks, or bad listeners, or ego-tripping bastards, or male chauvinists. If a guy’s got a dominant streak, but happens to be secure with himself, he won’t mind if you challenge him. If you say, “actually, I’m not going to listen to THE MAN, i.e. you, right now – and here’s why.” And if you trust a guy – then you trust him to make certain decisions, without necessarily compromising your own integrity. Two adults can negotiate and renegotiate their roles as they see fit. It doesn’t mean they won’t fight – but then again, who doesn’t fight?

I suppose I’m bringing all of this up, because I am tired of the notion that there is just one “correct” way to pursue a romantic relationship in particular, and that if you don’t embrace certain social norms that (mostly) middle-class Western progressives follow, then you’re getting raped and abused every night, even though you’re too uncivilized and stupid to actually realize it – or whatever.

I mean, while the Not Encouraging the Weirdos policy is still very on around here, I can’t help but want to share when I go into my moderation queue and find gems such as:

“I see you published and commented favorably on a cartoon in which the man you are dating is depicted with clenched fists. It’s not doing a lot for your feminist image. I’m worried for you. Or I would be worried – if you were worth it.”

OMG I’M NOT WORTH IT?!?!?!?!

OK, but seriously now…

The dude I love clenched his fists – and ruined my public image…?

OK then!

When we speak of institutionalized male dominance and the way that individuals conduct their relationships, we must obviously admit that there is no crowbar separation between the two. I mean, that’s kind of a GIVEN (I hate it when people remind me of the fact – as if I’m five years old and just learning that people and ideas don’t exist in individually sealed vacuums). But, as trite as it’s going to sound, part of respecting a person’s agency is trusting their lived experience, and trusting how they feel about said lived experience.

Otherwise, the purpose is defeated. Squarely. In the jaw.

Once again, I’d like to recommend Chay Magazine

There are many good reads on Chay, now that issue 3 is out. Chay is a unique South Asian publication; it speaks frankly about sex and sexuality, and it’s run by a terrific team of people. Kyla Pasha writes for GlobalComment as well, of course, but I’m not merely plugging her because she’s a colleague. Nice, well-meaning people sometimes send me stuff to plug, but just because they’re nice and well-meaning doesn’t mean I always like what they send. Chay is different.

Shorter danaseilhan: “Sexual assault and harrassment are bad things. Unless they happen to a mouthy stripper.”

This LJ user recently showed up on a Pandagon thread of doom with a few things to say about Renegade Evolution’s bad day at work (for the sake of context: Ren Ev is a stripper who cut a performance short when the drunk rednecks who hired her became dangerously aggressive – not to mention the insults they were hurling – by the way, this happened last year… And people seem to be obsessed with the issue nonetheless):

…And the fact still remains that it’s easier to rape you if you’ve already appealed to a guy’s libido and you have fewer clothes between you and him. Above and beyond the oppression inherent in participating in an industry that says to men, Here I am all wrapped up for you as a commodity because YOU ARE ENTITLED TO IT.

And I don’t care what she feels. I could feel that the earth is flat and you guys would laugh at me. Deservedly so. One’s personal feelings do not change political facts.

I wasn’t going to bother commenting on this particularly egregious case of rectal-cranial inversion, until I heard that this lovely lady was still defending her position elsewhere. And something inside me died.

Behold:

I know what that’s about and it is a really tough thing to clarify. On the one hand, men are moral agents and responsible for their behavior unless they are insane or senile. On the other hand, it is one thing to be assaulted in the daily course of an ordinary life–and here I mean even a life that a guy would count as ordinary, which may or may not include the occasional bar hop or frat party; it’s another to take on a line of work in which sexuality is inherent, go running around to the homes of total strangers in a very misogynistic culture and expect that nothing will ever happen. It’s still their fault… but doing something like that is like playing Russian Roulette with a sentient gun. [emphasis mine]

So. Dana believes that there is such a thing as an “ordinary life” and appoints herself as arbitrator of what an “ordinary life” is all about. She allows a woman some leeway if she occasionally finds herself in a bar or at a frat party (but only occasionally!) – but a line of work in which “sexuality is inherent”? Tough titties, Gwyneth Paltrow (she’s done nude scenes!). Tough titties, Gisele Bundchen (she poses!!! In lingerie!!!). Tough titties, belly-dancing instructors of the world (this one is pretty self-explanatory, no?).

Dana’s unfortunate condition (the afore-mentioned rectal-cranial inversion) does not allow her to see how sexuality and the workplace and, for that matter, life, intersect. Continue reading “Shorter danaseilhan: “Sexual assault and harrassment are bad things. Unless they happen to a mouthy stripper.””