Betty Dodson and Carlin Ross on porn

01/30/2009 at 8:32 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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There was an interesting, quick video posted on the Betty Dodson & Carlin Ross website today. In this video, Ross & Dodson make a few points on their views of pornography.

“They seem nice,” is the first thing that came to mind when I watched the video… Which is probably the understatement of the year. I feel comfortable saying that Dodson is an expert in human female sexuality. I’m surprised that her wiki page isn’t very long but I’m familiar with some of her other work anyway – her name pops up all the time in books & discussions about sexuality. Plus her name is on that pelvic exercise bar I’ve been eyeing for a few months…

Carlin Ross is someone new to me that I’ll have to keep an eye on.

Dodson isn’t entirely free of critique herself. She places a very strong emphasis on clitoral orgasm as the end-all beat-all orgasm experience. I like Anne Sprinkle’s counter argument that you can have orgasmic experiences in other ways besides that, as described in her book (p 245, 246). I like it partly because it’s more freeing if you can not experience a clitoral orgasm.
I’ve seen what that can be like :/

Some of the points that Dodson & Ross make in their video include:

For the most part, using porn is probably harmless. Worst case scenario is, you have an orgasm and then go about your daily business.
They did not address arguments about how pornography is produced & whether it furthers stereotypes of women. They did not address how porn can be abused & used as an abuse.  They didn’t talk about addiction to porn. I think part of the reason they do not address these larger issues is,
They want to make sexuality more enjoyable for people, women in particular, and that’s hard to do when you make people feel guilty for using porn. Or whatever other kinky activity it is you’re into. These are pretty advanced arguments – perhaps Dodson & Carlin will address them another time, if they haven’t already.

Porn isn’t a good yardstick to use to measure yourself against. It’s not healthy to compare yourself to a porn star.
I know I will certainly never Measure Up. My body doesn’t look like that – and that’s okay. There’s a lot of things sexually they can do that are far out of my reach. “How are you doing that??? Why can’t I do that?”
I am trying to be okay with that. Ideally I won’t have to be…
Fashion magazines, which are more socially acceptable than porn, aren’t good to compare yourself against either. In both of these areas, the women have often been modified in one way or another. Breast & other body augmentation, sometimes body modification in the way of piercings and such, diets, lots of makeup, and when all else fails, Photoshop (or possibly video editing software, in the case of porn.)

Porn – and here I’m getting the impression that they’re referring to mainstream porn – isn’t a good substitute for sexual education.
If you’re looking for technique & details – they’re right. You’re probably not going to learn a lot from watching a porn video. It’s been edited to make the events happen faster & look more interesting. The bodies shown are probably unrealistic to strive for. The camera angles may not be positioned well to show what’s actually going on.
This is especially the case with hentai. Lol… hentai is almost never accurate. “What? How does that even work? That’s not how it works!” That’s a bad place to look for sex advice! Or any kind of advice, for that matter.

But I feel like Dodson & Ross. made a contradiction when they talk about the “New Porn” being sex education in and of itself. Didn’t you just say porn isn’t educational? Which is why I feel they’re referring to mainstream porn. Thier porn of choice is probably best described as Alternative.
I get what they’re trying to say though. A glance through the video selection at GoodVibes & BabeLand reveal many instructional DVDs promising to explain in great detail how to perform one or more sexual activities.

It’s a good question… is it still Pornography if its intent is sexual education? Or is it just… sex education? (Why didn’t they teach us that way in high school?) What if it’s an instructional video that’s all censored & demonstrates on, say a piece of fruit rather than another person? What if it’s a sex education video that’s totally hot?
I think it’s a hybrid, in that case. Being both things at once. Is it possible to do both?
We should be able to find out for sure shortly – Dodson & Ross leave off assuring the viewers that they’ll have some of their “New Porn” available soon.

I’m not sure how I feel about that. Of course Dodson & Ross are making a point to bring New Porn to the forefront, since that is what they are looking to sell. But on the other hand, if it delivers what it promises, then that wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing. Still, I’m a little concerned that their New Porn will become just another product to tune out. Now if they are referring to “New Porn” as a whole entire genre encompassing porn produced by other folks – I would feel more comfortable like that.

Welp. At least it may offer one more way to explore your sexuality. For those who feel inhibited about watching porn, this type might feel more comfortable since it’s marketed differently.

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