Wednesday, March 7, 2012

I get email

Many years ago... perhaps you don't remember... I wrote an email to [redacted] about a video piece you did while seated behind a desk on their program "[redacted]."

It appeared to be one of your first performances in front of the camera and I was highly critical.

Much to my surprise, you responded.  You were pissed and defensive, but you answered nonetheless.  I was impressed by this since it is seldom anyone actually gets a response to an email from any performer.  Especially one which was not particularly congratulatory.

I hadn't kept up with you or your work for years although your response left me with warmer memories of you than you of me.  Mainly because you felt the need to give an explanation and to own up to what you had done.  That is a sorely lacking trait in this society.

However, I'm reading one of your pieces recently and I pick up on a new side of you.  You write about the trial of John Stagliano with the typical detachment which I expect from you, but then... toward the end... you begin editorializing on "liberals" and their failure to do anything about the increasingly provocative material from the porn industry in California.  I extrapolated that to mean that you see staged rapes being filmed for profit.

It is good to have a nuanced view of pornography.  It is probably as addictive as cocaine and apparently causes performance problems for men who regularly watch it.  That being said, I know you're smarter than what you wrote in that piece.  Are you really so naive to believe that many women have no desire for staged rape scenes?  REALLY?  

One of the hardest things for me to accept as I went from my early adulthood into what might be delicately called middle age is that women do like hard, exploitative and violent sex.  I had girlfriends who wanted their hair pulled, their tits bitten and their pussies spanked like bad little whores.  One woman asked me to spank her tits with a wooden paddle until they eventually bled something which she still has fond memories of and I actually feel bad about.  This was long before the era of mainstream violent porn.

Certainly, the abuse of women is foremost in your mind and it troubles me as well.  But unless you want to rip out the brains of submissives and dominants, you are going to have a hard time eliminating the directors who make this stuff.  This is a market driven industry.  Men and women are into BDSM.  I notice you didn't have the same condemnation for the abuse of men in similar videos which by the way are also very popular.  Do men not have to pay bills and feed families or is that only women?

This, to me, is not a problem with pornography as much as an obsession with violence and domination.  It is the story of our country and it is how we got to the place we are today.  Look at the systematic violence and destruction of the American Indians.  What about our multitude of wars with Latin America, one of which led to the forced cessation to the United States of the very state where most porn is made.  Violence in porn is simply a reflection of violence in society and our lust for it.  Our lust for pain and degradation.  Our lust for complete domination or complete submission.  Perhaps it is a feminist backlash as your sisters once said or perhaps it is just our synapses are lacking the delicious taste of it and will soon be satiated once enough has saturated our brains.

Before you spend your life in journalistic condemnation of pornography -- a business which has served to make you money as well -- remember that in this country women can say no.  Both as actresses and as consumers.  I think this is as much about what women want as what men want.  But frankly, Susannah, I think the fad will go away by itself.  Humans get bored of one thing and want to try another.  In 20 years, elegant porn may be all the rage and violence relegated to the cum stained walls of the dirty peep show probably in 3D holograph, computer generated and hopefully sparing the "poor" actor or actress the need to serve as a human surrogate for our sadomasochistic fantasies.

As you are wont to do, please give me your thoughts.  

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