As readers of this blog know, I spend a not-inconsiderable amount of time reading, writing, and thinking about sexually-explicit materials. Not just histories and health texts, but also works of fiction and nonfiction intended to arouse. In other words: porn.
As as you may also remember, I have little time for categorically anti-porn feminists (e.g. Gail Dines) whose only way of critiquing porn is to attack it wholesale. Pornography — by which I mean, in the broad sense, material of any medium that is sexually-explicit and intended to involve the reader/viewer on a visceral level — is, like any other creative medium, a way for us as humans to make sense of our world. And discounting it wholesale seems nonsensical to me. Should we not, instead, engage in a critical discussion about what we do and don’t like about the current state of porn (there will, naturally, be differences of opinion here) and what we’d like to see more of moving forward (again, there will be no consensus — there creativity lies)?
Therefore, I was super excited when I first heard, last year, about Anne G. Sabo’s forthcoming book After Pornified: How Women are Transforming Pornography & Why It Really Matters (Zero Books, 2012). A follower of her blogs (Quizzical Mama; New Porn by Women; and Love, Sex, and Family), I knew Anne would have thoughtful and thought-provoking things to say about a genre of porn — motion picture porn — that I have had little experience with, and know little about. I was excited enough about the book to press the author for an advance review copy, which she was kind enough to send me (hooray!). Since that exchange earlier in the summer we’ve actually gotten involved in an ongoing conversation about sexuality and identity — along with Molly of first the egg — which has the potential to solidify into a collaborative project down the line. Read more…