“The erotic has often been misnamed by men and used against women. It has been made into the confused, the trivial, the psychotic, the plasticized sensation. For this reason, we have often turned away from the exploration and consideration of the erotic as a source of power and information, confusing it with its opposite, the pornographic. But pornography is a direct denial of the power of the erotic, for it represents the suppression of true feeling. Pornography emphasizes sensation without feeling. The erotic is a measure between the beginnings of our sense of self and the chaos of our strongest feelings. It is an internal sense of satisfaction to which, once we have experienced it, we know we can aspire.”
— Audre Lorde, Uses of the Erotic: The Erotic as Power
So there’s a website called “The Worst Things for Sale.” It’s a hoot! They catalogue all sorts of things, all found on Amazon, that some chucklehead somewhere decided another chucklehead would buy if they had it manufactured.
My assessment of all those things (and lots of other things like the new class of supermegayachts) is that…
a) People who think maybe one of those things will be perfect for them, and
b) They’re wrong – getting what they wanted isn’t actually very much fun.
This is how I feel about a lot of what I call industrial porn. Since I’m a kinkster I always single out Kink.com and its fake-BDSM imitators but there are tons of equally ridiculous vanilla and “vanilla” ones.
Yes. I get it. There are people in the world for whom being bolted into place by plumbers in janitor costumes and then quad-anal gangbanged is their favorite thing to do with their friends. There are only seven of these – not nearly enough to support a porn site… so instead they’re mostly consumed by the likes of incels, misogynists, and the type of people who have Johnny Knoxville’s Jackass episodes on their DVRs.
Point being that, like the purveyors of products listed on The Worst Things For Sale, a hell of a lot of porn represents things that
a) People think their sex lives would finally be awesome if they could just do what they see “everybody else” doing, and
b) If they ever did it they’d find it wasn’t all that interesting, sexy, or even orgasmic.
That, to me, is the difference between Andre Lorde’s point about porn appropriating the erotic.
Speaking of appropriation, every site for tourists traveling to Japan seems to have the following quote: “He who climbs Mt. Fuji is a wise man; he who climbs twice is a fool.” Don’t know if this is true about Mt. Fuji, but I’m just putting it out there that folks who’ve enjoyed the pleasure of the kind of plain old kinky sex actual kinksters have, aren’t going to be interested in trying the shit you see in porn a second time.