Tag: porn

Porn Digital Art, Habits of Highly Erotic People

I enjoy sharing blogs and articles I think the attendees of the Erotic Literary Salon will appreciate. Nerve and The Paris Review are today’s blog contributors.

The Habits of Highly Erotic People

What can the French teach Americans about sex?

vintage french adFrom a 1923 French advertisement

Last month, as the New York Post went into paroxysms over the latest French presidential love triangle, we found a more academic comment on French habits of the heart, thanks to our attendance at a panel on “The Art of Sex and Seduction,” sponsored by the Alliance Française. On the first of its three nights, entitled “Did the French invent love?”, Catherine Cusset, a former professor of French literature at Yale, told a story:

A countess invites a young man to her house after running into him at the opera. After a stiff meal with her husband, who retires to his private apartments, the countess leads her guest down a secret passageway into a bedroom. The walls and ceiling are covered with gilded mirrors. Sexual frenzy ensues. At daybreak, the giddy, exhausted young man emerges from the den and runs into a marquis who has just arrived. The marquis thanks him profusely. The young man realizes that he has served merely as a decoy to distract the count from his wife’s true lover. The husband appears for breakfast and greets the marquis cordially. The last line of this story—Vivant Denon’s No Tomorrow, first published in 1777—reads, “I looked for some moral to this adventure and … I could find none.”

“There is no moral lesson,” Cusset said pointedly, and a communal gasp could be heard in Florence Gould Hall. Throughout the series, the audience was susceptible to gasps, audible stirring, and sudden eruptions of laughter. The French and American panelists, who included historians, scientists, sex therapists, and journalists, spoke about vaginas and orgasms in that purposefully blunt way one always expects and yet can seldom prepare for. Here’s what we learned about the difference between French and American sexual customs and attitudes, with a few startling facts about tout le monde.

  • “Love, for the French, is tied up with adultery,” explained Marilyn Yalom, a feminist scholar at Stanford. Marriage in the Middle Ages, as least in the upper classes, was a contract related to the exchange of rank and property. Love was, therefore, to be found outside the marriage, leading to the mythic French threesome: the husband, the wife, the mistress.
  • Studies show that Americans and French have similar rates of infidelity, but the French, “marathoners,” have longer, and therefore fewer, affairs. Americans are “sprinters,” with more frequent but shorter trysts.
  • Older French women are considered sexual beings. A nonagenarian is to be respected as a repository of sexual history. When Colette was nearing fifty, pointed out her biographer Judith Thurman, she had an affair with her sixteen-year-old stepson, among other men-children.
  • Cusset once assigned Woman Destroyed, the novella by Simone de Beauvoir, in a class at Yale. The diary of a woman who discovers her husband of twenty years has been unfaithful, it records a gradual nervous breakdown. Cusset was surprised by her American students’ reaction. “They thought she whined too much. They didn’t understand that you can be broken by love.” Love as the loss of control—whether it brings ecstasy or devastation, within or without marriage—is a French ideal. Total surrender is too much for an American. We prefer to check boxes for the ideal mate.
  • More casually accepted notions in France: When a woman has married and produced the heir and a spare, she is free to live her own sexual life. A lover outside the marriage can save a marriage.
  • Marie de Bonaparte, a great-niece of the emperor and a student of Freud’s, was convinced that her frigidity was the result of an anatomical defect. After measuring the distance from the clitoris to the vagina in a group of women, she found that those with a shorter distance were more orgasmic. She had surgery to shorten hers. It didn’t work. She did it again, with no better luck.
  • Forty million Americans describe themselves as sex-starved. According to Helen Fisher, a biological anthropologist at Rutgers and chief scientific consultant to the dating site chemistry.com, it is often a question of mismatched libidos—an adventurer paired with a traditionalist, for example.
  • Studies show single Americans are having sex especially rarely. An audience member blamed Internet porn; the American sex therapist Ian Kerner theorized that everyone was too tired.
  • Women who had their cervixes wired for signs of stimulation were shown images of heterosexual, gay, and lesbian porn, and one image of bonobo chimpanzees having sex. The women claimed not to be excited by anything but “appropriate” images, but the instruments showed otherwise. The women were turned on by all the images, including the monkeys. Men, subjected to the same study, were excited by the predictable, and mostly said so. None of them reacted to the monkeys.
  • In a survey of five thousand Americans, 70 percent said they experienced sexual boredom in their relationship, but eighty percent of married couples said they would remarry the same person.
  • Women get bored sexually with the same partner much sooner than men. According to one study, women experience “a catastrophic decline of interest” after three years whereas men show a much more gradual erosion.
  • Studies and anecdotal accounts show rape fantasies to be ubiquitous among women.
  • In France, “flirting is a civic duty.” Flirting is playing with le fleuret, the tip of the sword.
  • There is a point of no return in the process of seduction, wrote the French eighteenth-century erotic writer Crebillon Fils, which is when the woman signals that she won’t say no.
  • As human animals, we have our own observable sexual cues. Females tend to tip their buttocks up during courting. There is also the “copulatory gaze,” during which the pupils dilate.
  • Manon Lescaut and Dangerous Liaisons were named the sexiest works of literature. Also, The Story of O still stands as a minor erotic masterpiece.
  • Why the French are not as morally conflicted about sex as Americans: “The French are keenly aware of the brevity of time and the immediacy of pleasure.”
  • For the French, love is “embedded in the flesh.” Americans “prefer to imagine love without the body.”
  • According to a French audience member in her twenties, there is no French translation for a date, as in the official dinner/movie outing, which she clearly thought sounded deadly.
  • A French therapist would not necessarily encourage, as would an American one, more “communication in bed.” Mystery, or what the French call le non-dit (“the unspoken”), is a better aphrodisiac.
  • An eager young woman had a question “from some friends.” Her “friends,” a new couple, were in love and very attracted to each other, but the man wouldn’t “release his inner wild man.” “What should she do?” the woman inquired, almost desperately. “She is ready for anything!” “When a man gets to know a woman, “ said the expert, “sometimes he becomes self-conscious about objectifying her that way. He thinks it’s wrong.” There was a silence as we considered the sensitivity of this hypothetical male. Then the American science writer suggested talking dirty to break the ice.

On all three nights, the audience was about fifty percent male, which surprised us. The third night, entitled “Behind the Boudoir: The Secrets of Sex Appeal,” attracted an especially attentive group, most of whom appeared in their seventies. The French audience members, whom we might assume to be appealingly jaded, were just as riveted as everyone else. Throughout the series, the ubiquitous French affirmation c’est normal (“that’s normal,” or “we are only human”) hung in the air as we delved into the often bizarre complexities of sex, and for a moment, we felt a uniquely Gallic pleasure: exulting in the complexity of a problem rather than searching for its solution.

Someone asked what Americans could teach the French about sex and seduction. There was a puzzled silence. Finally, the cultural historian suggested that French men could be encouraged to help out more with household tasks, with an important caveat: “Egalitarianism is wonderful in the kitchen but boring in the bedroom.”

https://www.theparisreview.org/blog/2014/02/06/the-habits-of-highly-erotic-people/

Making Porn into Digital Art (NSFW) – Nerve

Italian artist Dom Barra works in the emerging field of Dirty New Media Art. Jon Cates, a professor at the Art Institute of Chicago says Dirty New Media’s mission is “to express a contrast with the kind of cleanliness that is [associated] with more commercial or corporate styles of digital art and design. It refers to a menagerie of alternative practices and subcultures spanning from punk and digital sampling to piracy and pornography.” Barra says this is done through, “using softwares not designed for the image editing task such as text editing and music softwares. Through these process I manage to corrupt/glitch digital format such as .jpg, .gif, .avi, .bmp, .raw, .tif, .iff and so on.” Barra says of his subject matter, “I work with porn because I think it fits well with the glitch art aesthetics, that feeling of stolen images, corrupted TV signals from a dystopian cyberpunk scenarios. I also believe that sex is the best expression of the human body and its power and energy. I love the way it shows these qualities in a glitched picture/video/gif.”

 

dom barra - untitled 4 - pirate porn material (1)

Dom Barra - untitled- Dirty Process series
dom barra - untitled - a picture is never private (1)

dom barra - untitled

Dom Barra - Untitled - Red Link District

dom barra - wrecking penis - the thin line between porn and pop

dom barra - untitled 4 - red link district

dom barra - untitled - pirate porno material

dom barra - untitled 2 - red link distric

dom barra - untitled 3 - pirate porn material

http://www.nerve.com/art/porn-art-dirty-new-media-making-forbidden-human-acts-into-digital-art-nsfw

Fuck Yes: Sex-Ed Series for Adults

New sex-positive videos by F*ck Yes!

couple-watching-porn

“With issues of consent at the center of so many conversations lately, F*ck Yes is just the kind of raw, honest entertainment we need.”

A couple negotiates what it might be like to incorporate a little porn into their sex life.

Things have gotten hot and heavy, but there’s no protection in sight. What’s a couple to do?

 

Lesson: If you ask for what you *actually* want, you might *actually* get it.

 

Consent is still sexy, even in a long-term relationship.

 http://www.upworthy.com/this-new-sex-ed-series-for-adults-is-funny-sexy-and-actually-educational

Utah Declares War On Porn Epidemic

A colleague of mine wrote this excellent article published in Psychology Today on this proposed bill.

Utah Declares War On Porn Epidemic

Eye-with-the-word-sex-ref-011

David J. Ley Ph.d.

Utah state Senate resolution that porn is addictive and destructive to marriage

Utah Declares War on Porn Epidemic

Republican State Senator Todd Weiler in Utah has introduced a resolution to the Utah legislature, calling on the State to recognize and oppose the destructive, addictive nature of pornography. Disturbingly, this legislative action is based on hyperbole and morality, ignoring much of what is known about pornography and its effects. Further, the Senator’s resolution relies on pseudoscience in a manner which has no place in governmental action.

The full text of the bill is available.

The bill suggests that pornography represents a public health crisis, damaging teens’ brains, affecting the state of marriage, increasing rates of rape and sexual violence, and causing a host of other social problems. Weiler calls on the State Government of Utah to engage in education, research and prevention efforts to address this “epidemic.”

It would take far too long to address in entirety, each of the insubstantial claims made by Weiler’s resolution, but a few salient points are clear:

WHEREAS, this early exposure is leading to low self-esteem and body imagedisorders, an increase in problematic sexual activity at younger ages, and an increased desire among adolescents to engage in risky sexual behavior;

Weiler suggests that pornography exposure causes low self-esteem in teens, and leads to risky sexual behaviors. In fact, a massive study in the United Kingdom, which reviewed over 40,000 research articles on the effects of porn on teens was unable to substantiate any such effects.  A longitudinal study conducted in the Netherlands found that pornography exposure in teens explained less than 1% of the behavior of such teens, including risky sexual behavior. Blaming porn for such problems is a distraction of the worst sort, ignoring the critical issues of education, poverty, family variables and substance use/mental health

WHEREAS, exposure to pornography often serves as childrens’ and youths’ sex education and shapes their sexual templates;

The Weiler resolution suggests that pornography often serves as sex education for teens and children. Here, surprisingly, we agree. Pornography unfortunately IS often a form of sex education for youth, most notably, when they have not received sex education which adequately prepares the youth for the world of modern sexuality. Weiler seems to be indicting the state of Utah’s sex education curriculum. One can only hope that he will thus support greater sex education efforts for youth in Utah. (Utah is currently embroiled in a battle against comprehensive sex education)

WHEREAS, recent research indicates that pornography is potentially biologically
addictive, which means the user requires more novelty, often in the form of more shocking material, in order to be satisfied;
WHEREAS, this biological addiction leads to increasing themes of risky sexual
behaviors, extreme degradation, violence, and child sexual abuse images and child pornography;

SCR 9 suggests that pornography use causes a biological addiction, which leads to desire for more extreme porn, and which causes sexual violence, including sexual abuse of children. Sadly, Weiler appears unaware of the wealth of research demonstrating that increased porn access in societies correlates strongly with a decrease in sexual violence and sexual crimes. Further, Weiler’s promotion of the concept of porn addiction in legislation, furthers psychological damage to the citizens of Utah. Research has shown that belief in porn addiction causes feelings of distress and depression, feelings unrelated to actual porn use.

WHEREAS, pornography use is linked to lessening desire in young men to marry,
dissatisfaction in marriage, and infidelity;
WHEREAS, this link demonstrates that pornography has a detrimental effect on the
family unit;

It’s in the final terms of Weiler’s bill though, where his conservative interests become most clear. Throughout the resolution, it is clear that Weiler believes that it is men who watch porn, and women who are abused by it. There is a pervasive heteronormative tone throughout the resolution, suggesting that Weiler’s main concern is that pornography decreases males’ interest in marrying women and having children. The fact that pornography is often a safe, healthy outlet for women, and for those who are not heterosexual, and live in socially conservative areas such as Utah, seems ignored.

There’s really little new in Weiler’s resolution. The Meese Commission, US Senate hearings by Sam Brownback, etc, have all involved political efforts to deem pornography as a public health issue. Pseudoscience such as sex addiction, or the famous testimony about “erototoxins” often makes an appearance, to support the moral agenda which is truly behind these politics. In Utah, groups such as Fight the New Drug are presenting similar morally-laden pseudoscience in public schools, in place of sexual education.

Utah is, according to numerous reports, one of the states with the highest rates of pornography use in the US. In 2013, Weiler introduced a similar resolution, which was passed by the Utah senate, declaring that pornography was a “gateway” behavior which affected teens’ brains. Clearly, Weiler, and the Utah Senate are concerned about what high rates of porn use in their state will do. Perhaps they should instead be wondering what it means, that so many in Utah are unable to express or understand their sexual desires, and turn to pornography as a private outlet. Utah remains committed to abstinence only sexual education, and prohibits teachers from instructing teens about contraception.

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/women-who-stray/201601/utah-declares-war-porn-epidemic

Free Video-What Is Art? Follow-Up: What Is Porn?-Late Show with Stephen Colbert

6 minutes of pure laughter – What is too racy for television?