Porn you said?

15 01 2011

I went to my first porn book launch last night. Before I left for the event, I told two friends, who were not so fortunate as moi, how I was going to the FIRST PORN book launch. They were awe-struck of course – “in Sri Lanka?”

I should say ‘adult stories’ but porn is so much nicer a word, don’t you think? The word has such a seedy, sordid, lascivious feel to it. Wanton, depraved, libertine connotations. Red drapes and billowing lace curtains all around, I thought. Black and red silk somewhere around. Erotic images surrounding me. Darkened audience and mood lighting on the stage.

Instead I walk in on a launch that could have been of any other book in English published in Colombo. Groups of people walking sedately around greeting friends. No billowing drapes of any colour. Yellow lights glaring on audience and readers alike. Some small photos on the far wall. And Blue wrapped in newspaper.

I suppose the entire burst of creativity was taken up with the publication of adult stories. It is the first after all. One hopes the stories don’t emulate the mood of the launch.





porn today – gone tomorrow!!

6 11 2010

The Daily Mirror reported that the Colombo Fort Magistrate has ordered police headquarters to publish in the newspaper photos of local men and women appearing in Web based porn sites. According to the Magistrate, they want to track these people and identify and punish them!

Bull shit!

What will the lives of these people be like once they are identified? The court punishment is one thing, but what about the ostracism they will receive from the wider community? Can they ever safely live in Sri Lanka again? What will their livelihoods be? How will the consequences for women be greater than those for men?

Furthermore, have they no realization that doing such a thing is not going to deter the making of porn, the demand for porn or from other people entering porn films? This is all assuming that those who are featured in the newspapers are willing participants in the movies. But we all know that there are many young people who are forced into such things, black mailed, and coerced. Some are even trafficked into the sex trade. And many are underage. Some are filmed without their knowledge. So basically what we are doing here is re-victimizing the victims. Is this the best way to address the problem? The government’s approach will only make it more difficult to help those who were coerced into the porn industry. A more productive policy would seek to reduce stigma to assure that those who are willing participants have proper access to medical care and those who were forced to participate could access resources that would help them reintegrate into their communities and rebuild their lives.

In Uganda, some 100 photos of gay men were published in a newspaper – apparently to shame them – so we are going the Uganda way or what?





x rated

31 10 2010

an update:….

http://www.latimes.com/health/la-me-porn-hiv-20101208,0,5306958.story

 

In mid October this year, a male porn actor in the States was tested positive for HIV.

This is not the first time someone has tested positive in the multi-million dollar porn industry. In fact, a similar story broke out in 2004 when another actor tested positive. It led to the closing down of several porn producing studios at that time.

6 years later, nothing much has changed. People continue to have unprotected sex in pornography. No condoms are used, and even though the industry is regulated, the health concerns of the actors/actresses seem to have fallen from the list of priorities. Testing HIV positive in an industry such as this is definitely the end of your career. In one way, it is a health and safety issue and should be treated as such.

But why and how did this happen? One obvious reason is having unprotected sex with multiple partners which are one of the basic ingredients in porn. Secondly, we never see condoms being used in porn flicks, they just aren’t part of the deal. Buy why is this? Will the inclusion of condoms during sex in the flick actually decrease the demand for that movie? Are condoms too much of a ‘reality check’ for folks who watch porn in order to fulfill their fantasies, get their kicks, get aroused? Is the fear in the industry that including the use of condoms will remind their customers of the ‘real world’ and sexually transmitted diseases and ultimately put them off that porn? Or is all this just a perception?

And more importantly, why can’t condoms be made sexier? They have been around for over 400 years and they are still far from sexy despite developments such as flavored, vibrating and textured condoms.  We haven’t made them sexy, nor do we think about them in relation to sex in the same way we think of sex toys such as dildos and vibrators. Condoms remain medicalised, reminding us of sexually transmitted diseases and unwanted pregnancies rather than eroticism and pleasure!

I know a few groups in Asia who can teach the American porn industry how to ‘sexy up’ safe sex. It’s time to get into the act…





So what do you do in bed?

17 12 2009

Why are straight men so curious about what lesbians do in bed?

We’ve been researching this phenomenon and comparing personal experiences and for a start let’s be very clear – this is no myth. Most straight men are intensely curious about and turned on by the idea of two women having sex. We’re not sure about the definition of ‘lesbian’ being of any importance whatsoever in this situation, because male  interest in lesbian sex has nothing to do with love or any emotional engagement the women may have with each other. It’s purely about the sex. The women could be perfectly straight and acting out a fantasydesigned for men, (which seems to be the usual case in the porn magazines and movies anyway), it would make no difference to a male audience. They just like the idea of non- threatening action.

One of the theories we read about was that men believe that lesbian women are simply bi-sexual. So they always have a chance to get in there too and this sustains their interest. There is also the belief that women cannot satisfy each other and therefore will always need a man in order to have an orgasm anyway.

What women do together in bed is not something that is discussed in public much (whereas straight sex is incessantly discussed in offices, bars, parties and – well everywhere and all the time…). So it has become a secret, thrilling but unimaginable activity. Very few people in the straight world have any idea what it is, because most of their information comes from porn movies which are just bad acting anyway.

And finally simply that it is a secret or ‘forbidden’ act in many societies and even in a liberated environment, it is still not the norm. So there is a thrill in that fact as well….that it is ‘unnatural’. And that’s always fascinating.

In the end one might actually conclude that most men don’t really ‘believe’ in lesbian sex as real, or at any rate something that could stand comparison in every way with the male-female sex act. It is always something to be mocked, forbidden, tolerated, peered at or indulged. It is not really real.

In the case of straight women and how this phenomenon effects their activities, it does seem to have become ‘cool’ to appear to be the sort of woman who is so liberated she can occasionally experiment with another woman or women. But that does not – god forbid, make them in any way ‘lesbian’ – a definition that remains unacceptable at any level to most.

Dabbling in lesbian sex is also attractive to otherwise straight women because their men often love the idea that their girlfriends are liberated enough to go for same-sex experiments, especially as they often get in on the action at some point anyway. In these cases it’s not an act kept secret from men, it is shared. Such situations are simply about people having sex for the sake of it. Lesbian politics and personal choices do not enter into the discussion at all, which is why many women who define as lesbian find it all somewhat infuriating.

And finally, a thought: do straight women find the idea of two men in bed together sexy and attractive too?

We believe not. But why not? Why is the perception of homosexuality and the sex act between men so different to women?

Is it just that women have been sex objects forever and this is just another example of that sad situation…?





Baby for sale: Rs 20,000/-

15 09 2009

Recently the newspapers carried a story of a woman who sold her baby for 20,000/- rupees. After carrying an unwanted child in her womb for 9 months, I think she should have asked for a higher price.

Abortion is illegal in Sri Lanka. Even if you are raped. Even if you are a survivor of incest. Even if you have no desire to have a child. Even if you had no control over the decision to get pregnant. Even if you were forced into it. None of these matter. If you are pregnant – legally – you have to carry the child to term. No choice.

So what happens to a young girl who has sex without contraception and gets pregnant? First of all, mostly likely, she would have had no idea that the consequence of her actions (and those of her lover’s) would lead to pregnancy. After all who’s  to tell her this? Who is going to educate her?  This subject is not included in any school curricula and even if it was, no teacher is willing to talk about it for fear of being called “vul teacher”. Her parents? No. Most parents are too embarrassed to educate their children about sex. These are not things we talk about in our culture, you’ll hear them say. And even if she knew the consequences and wanted to take precautions, where would she access contraception from? Can you imagine her going into a pharmacy and asking for a condom? A woman?  Not only would she get the dirty stare but, as when purchasing sanitary pads, it would be wrapped in layers of brown paper in the usual attempt at discretion. Discretion my arse. Every women has her period and everybody has sex at some point in their lives. What’s to be discreet?

So who’s going to educate our young people about sex? NO ONE. No one is willing or able to educate young people about responsible sexual behaviour today.

So a girl gets pregnant. She isn’t married. She can’t abort the child. What are her options? Suicide seems to be one. Yes, we have one of the highest rates of suicide in the world. Ever wonder why? 95% of the time suicide is not premeditated –  meaning that young people often commit suicide on impulse, to show the world, to teach them a lesson, to take revenge…

Wouldn’t it be much simpler to acknowledge that we have a problem and try to find a solution together, instead of this band-aid culture we see emerging in Sri Lanka? Instead of conducting raids on abortion clinics and driving the problem further underground, why dont we look at why women are trying to abort their babies? Why are women getting pregnant without intending to? Why are children being born to parents who didn’t want them in the first place?

And what if men could get pregnant and had to carry the child for 9 months in their (non-existent) wombs? Would we be having this discussion at all?

The first reactions to challenges in Sri Lanka are knee-jerk ones. Ban anything you don’t like. No evidence needed, just impulse – a whim and some political clout.  Ban mobiles in schools, ban porn sites, ban abortions – raid the clinics, ban adult content movies, ban women from buying alcohol, ban overseas migration of women as domestics – ban, ban, ban. As if any of this really works! The less accessible these things are, the more inviting they are to young folk who are adventurous and willing to experiment.

I am frothing mad.