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Does the normalization of anal sex, shaving, bukkake, etc. help or hinder sexual self-actualization? - Elf M. Sternberg
Does the normalization of anal sex, shaving, bukkake, etc. help or hinder sexual self-actualization?
In a previous post I relayed the conclusion to a paper that claims that the widespread availability of pornography on the Internet has been accompanied by a strong drop in rape.

What fascinates me most about this is the (thus far) anecdotal counter-claim that the growing body of "extreme" pornography cheapens relationships and encourages men and women to try acts they normally wouldn't and that don't contribute to a sense of intimacy, just because it's in porn. Sodomy and bukkake come to mind as two of those things that, unless you're really curious about it, don't contribute to intimacy. (On the other hand, if you are into sodomy, it can contribute much to your understanding of yourself and your partner. As they say in Nigeria, email me for more details. Kidding, kidding...)

I can't help but wonder if we're seeing both a broadening and a narrowing of sexual expression in this country: on the one hand, people who have the personal and intellectual framework to consciously explore their sexuality have a huge buffet of materials from which to draw inspiration. On the other, people who would otherwise have had mundane but satisfying sexual lives might feel more compelled to experiment with outrageous sexual activities, either by their normalization in pornography (I remember when anal sex was a big freaking deal in porn and nobody shaved anything, but these days, having pubic hair is the kink and most porn shows women taking cock in all three orifices as if that were expected and normative) or under pressure from a partner who has pornography-encouraged expectations.

Current Mood: thoughtful thoughtful
Current Music: Two Nice Girls, The Sweet Postcard

12 comments or Leave a comment
From: athelstan Date: July 20th, 2009 10:40 pm (UTC) (Link)
If you've read Triton by Delaney, the main character in the book can't decide who to be because he can be anything. It's the only book I've read where I felt that the main character could really be me. Today one can be sexual in any way that they want with out a structure that lets them know they are making the right choice for them. I know that I've felt pressured to explore further than I had the capacity to understand what I was doing or how I feel. So I can add that your supposition is correct for me.
From: codeamazon Date: July 20th, 2009 11:11 pm (UTC) (Link)
I dunno. I have the personal and intellectual framework to consciously explore.

AND i have been perfectly happy with a mundane but satisfying sex life.

I suspect it really has more to do with how well one knows oneself -- some aspects of sexuality never interested me for a moment, while others were intriguing but ultimately not my thing, and others lit my hair on fire. (Uhm...figuratively!)

I think generally that knowing people do all these things is positive because it allows people to drop some of the shock and embarrassment and get to the meat of the question : "Do *I* like this?"

As for intimacy, that's always seemed somewhat separate from specific sex act to me.
elfs From: elfs Date: July 20th, 2009 11:15 pm (UTC) (Link)
Perhaps "satisfaction" would be a better word that "intimacy." Whatever word is appropriate, I want the experience to be meaningful and positive, and there seems to be a lot of discontent with the state of the erotic universe these days.
lovingboth From: lovingboth Date: July 20th, 2009 11:33 pm (UTC) (Link)
I can remember a woman calling ex-work regarding their boyfriend doing a2m with her. She didn't like it, he wanted to do it again.

I think I am in a pretty 'out there' community, but I know of no-one who does a2m. The only place I've ever come across it is porn and, yes, this is where he'd got it from.

As well as talking about how porn often fakes various things, my suggestion was that she talk to him about her doing it to him via a strap-on. If he found that unacceptable, perhaps it might get through to him what it had been like for her. (And if that failed to stop the pressure, dump the twunk.)
woggie From: woggie Date: July 21st, 2009 12:42 am (UTC) (Link)
Please define a2m.

My online dictionary thinks it has something to do with either amino acids or the herpes virus, but I'm thinking maybe neither of those is it.
elfs From: elfs Date: July 21st, 2009 12:52 am (UTC) (Link)
"Ass to mouth." Also, OGATM, or "Other Girl/Guy's Ass To Mouth." Basically, fellatio on a penis recently removed from someone's rectum. Kinda gross. Fetishized in the "pig sex" subculture, but rarely ever performed in real life. Sadly, it seems to have become somewhat common in some popular strains of heterosexual porn.
lovingboth From: lovingboth Date: July 21st, 2009 08:57 am (UTC) (Link)
Usually done in a single shot to emphasise that no washing was done in between removing it from someone's anus and putting it in someone's mouth. I don't think I've ever seen it associated with 'the ass' having an enema first, never mind anything else.

Someone somewhere will know when it started to appear, but currently as well as featuring in assorted het films, there are films devoted to it.

heofmanynames From: heofmanynames Date: July 21st, 2009 02:07 am (UTC) (Link)
Because there are so many ancient and deep-seated taboos concerning the rectum, one might think that exploring, releasing & transcending those taboos would definitely be an increased-intimacy activity. What is seen in most porn, however, seems almost guaranteed to make sure women will not like anal sex play.

Anal sex as portrayed in porn is not something I would want to do with anyone, either. Given the emotional loading of the area, I doubt it will ever really be common.

I find bukkake to to be aesthetically unappealing - no interest at all - just don't get it. I doubt this could become common to a greater extent than multiple-partner sex, as the one seems to require the other.

As for shaving, I don't know if it is becoming normal, but I can hope. I am an avid cunnilinguan(?) and I find the smoothness very pleasant. I don't mind not getting hairs stuck in my throat, either.

Bottom line, I can only hope that porn can make us more honest about the mechanics and our interests/preferences, without fooling people into having very bad times instead of the fun they wanted.
lovingboth From: lovingboth Date: July 21st, 2009 09:01 am (UTC) (Link)
Most forms of sex as portrayed in porn is not something.. etc!

In the West at least, the numbers are such that there are more male/female acts of anal sex than male/male anal sex in a year.
heofmanynames From: heofmanynames Date: July 21st, 2009 11:40 am (UTC) (Link)
Really? You mean the West Coast?

The impression I've had is that anal sex only exists in prison and in porn.
wyrdone From: wyrdone Date: July 21st, 2009 02:21 pm (UTC) (Link)
Most of the more common themes in porn have been around for a LOT longer than most think. Anal sex, shaving, etc have all been found in ancient porn. Heck there are roman sculptures portraying said acts, not to mention Japanese or Indian artwork.

Only in the more recent century have those acts become "verboten". The relaxing of what people have come to see as Taboo, I personally welcome.

There are some things that I personally still feel as taboo in my own life. 4-C's and things like A2M I find repugnant more for health reasons. They don't "get my rocks off" but I don't pass judgement on others except where health is concerned.

Edited at 2009-07-21 03:36 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous) Date: July 21st, 2009 09:01 pm (UTC) (Link)
The whole concept of "mainstream" porn is very bad in itself realy, especially when it relates to kinks. Sexuality is very individual, so much so that having relatively few types of porn as "mainstream" just doesn't work.

That said I'd definitely be up for female/male anal with a strap on, and would certainly try male/male. Of course I'd want to trust them very well first, and no A2M in a million years yetch.
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