The Guardian Does Porn For Women

Article on women's porn at the GuardianThe Guardian likes to attract clicks by including articles about porn but often the articles are negative in tone and rely on the arguments of anti-porn feminists like Gail Dines. Thankfully they’ve taken a step in the right direction by offering a story on porn for women and including comments by Erika Lust, Anna Span and Petra Joy. Aside from talking about women’s porn like it’s a new thing, the piece is very positive, if a little limited in scope.

Lust says: “Pornographers are usually middle-aged straight guys, with a similar cultural background. They don’t like it when I say that I make porn for women. They say their porn is for everybody and I am the ‘tight’ one. But I just can’t have an intellectual discussion with them, because they don’t measure up. What I’m doing is criticising the kind of porn they have been making for years and offering an alternative.”

Perhaps more interesting are the 250+ comments underneath. Most claim they don’t know how porn for women would be different to other porn. Plenty trot out the usual arguments that not all women are the same or else they dismiss women’s erotica as all candles and romance. I added my own comment here but it’s impossible to really talk about the issue in any depth as a comment.

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Following on from the Guardian, Salon’s Tracy Clark Flory asks Why do we care so much about ‘porn for women’?

I was writing about feminist, female-directed porn back in college for my school newspaper. In the seven or so years since then, far more female directors and feminist production companies have premiered on the scene, but we’re still asking the same fundamental question: What is “porn for women,” exactly? I’m interested in a different question, though: Why is this a perennial subject of debate?

Every woman has a different definition of “porn for women” based on her own finicky desires. There might be some common requests — like more kissing, more narrative — but those things are highly subjective.

So Tracy comes to the same conclusion as many others: “porn for women” is a difficult concept to codify. At least she doesn’t go on to completely dismiss the idea because of that.

By the way, the first bit of that paragraph makes me feel fucking old. When I was first building For The Girls over 7 years ago, Tracy was a student. How did that time go so fast?

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