Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Ashamed?! Are You Kidding Me?

Something interesting came across my twitter stream. It was a tweet by Charlie Glickman who provided a link to a survey being conducted by a former student of his. It was a study being conducted on a Woman’s Experience of Porn.

I like helping people out. Especially when it comes to porn.I jumped at the chance to take the survey, but had gotten only to the first page when it asked me for me for my name. My real name as an electronic signature. I stopped. And I backed out of the survey.

I’ve met Charlie Glickman. I’ve read his blog, heard him speak, and consider him an authority on many issues dealing with sexuality. While I would answer any questions honestly and completely, and while I don’t have a problem using my “Screen Identity”, I was squicked by the fact that I would have had to attach my real identity to questions concerning porn. Especially on the internet. The uncontrollable, wild west of intolerance, good intentions and unintentional consequences. I could have used a made up name. But that seemed worse than not answering the questions at all.

That thought made me not more than a little bit ashamed. Time for a reality check.

I’m not even sure if why I felt like that. I have friends who make porn. I have friends who sell porn, who write about porn, who advocate for porn. I watch porn. I don’t have personal morality issues with porn. Whenever I think about porn, my thoughts are usually that I don’t think overmuch about it. I know if I like it. I know what makes me uncomfortable when I watch it. And I know what turns me on. My friends who are in the industry aren’t ashamed of it. Rather, they’re willing to answer any questions I might have. I don’t know exactly how I feel about it, but whatever it was, the thought of attaching my name to a survey about it made me uncomfortable.

Considering what I do myself on a Saturday night at a party, if a kinky woman is worried about attaching her name to an educational survey about porn, that’s really fucked up. And, then it occurred to me that THAT's EXACTLY what the anti-porn people are going for. They WANT to make me ashamed of watching and LIKING porn. They want me to feel ashamed. If they could make ME feel it, I could only imagine what someone without my own personal proclivities might feel.

So, I could feel ashamed, as the anti-porn zealots would prefer; or I could feel liberated and true to myself. I could ignore the survey and not feel anything at all. But how then could I ever hope to look some of my friends in the face again? Knowing that I, a kinky fucking pervert, let some unknown person convince me that liking porn is shameful. I would feel like a fucking hypocrite to look in the face of one of my very dearest and most wonderful friends.

So, Fuck it. I like porn, erotica and sexually explicit materials. It’s not illegal, immoral or shameful. I like it for the way it makes me feel, and I even like it when it makes me uncomfortable. I’m not ashamed for liking porn. If my name somehow gets linked to the fact that I like porn, is that the worst thing?

I think I’d be in very good company.

Now excuse me, I’m off to answer a survey.


Diva said...

Another great post that has made me think!

My first reaction ALWAYS to giving any of my personal info online (including photos of my face) is a big fat NO! As you say it is the wild west here on the internet and I have very little trust for people I have no clue who they are.

I don't have a problem attaching my real name to a survey on porn but what I might perhaps have a problem with is how in the end that info will be used. As they say once it is out there you can't take it back. It is the unknown and what that data or info will be used for at some future time that concerns me with giving out my personal info.


Kit O'Connell said...

I can empathize. I had a similar quiver of doubt when I went to write about a porn viewing experience. Even though I am about the most open person you'll meet (attaching my real name to all kinds of things), I still hesitated a little. There's something more exposed about talking about porn. Thanks for writing this.