You may remember that I got a new (well, used) car earlier this year, and with that car I got 3 free months of Sirius XM, which included the Vivid radio station. You might also remember that I became slightly obsessed with listening to the numerous porn star ladies hosting the various shows on the channel. Then it ended. My 3 months was up and no more Debi Diamond, Mary Carey, Christy Canyon, Ash Hollywood, or Alexis Texas and her big ol' booty (I'm only taking her word for it. I don't really know how big it is).
|Kayla-Jane Danger and Dana DeArmond photo: VividRadioSXM Twitter feed|
It was a sad day. I'm serious (Sirius). I really truly enjoyed listening to these women (and they were all women. There was only one man I heard the whole time). It's been a while since my Sirius turned off. Writing a blog post on this has been on my to do list for a long time now. I began listening and taking notes because I thought it was important to hear what kinds things were being said and insinuated about the female orgasm on a hugely popular adult media like Vivid Radio. I thought it would both help me stay informed about the sexual culture and also be good material for SSL Reviews (media reviews that specifically speak to the realism and cultural impact of depictions/discussions of female sexual release or female masturbation). It did do both those things, and I'll have some actual SSL Reviews of the content in a later post. However, it did something much more interesting and nice also. It opened my ol' noggin.
So let me begin by saying that I don't know if I ever thought very deeply about porn stars before. I mean I thought about them, but not anything more than my basic first thought. My first sorta grown-up teen thoughts about women in adult industries was something like, "hell yeah! Women should get to do anything we want with our bodies," and I even had some bits of fantasy about being part of that world. I was a teen in the 90's though, and porn was harder to come by then. We had to scavenge for that shit, and it was a rare treat to find something with insertion. So, at the time I was mostly thinking about things like the nudes of my dad's Playboys as opposed to balls to the wall hardcore porn.
I guess as I got older and began seeing a lot more truly hardcore stuff, it started seeming exponentially more distasteful to be a part of. I still had the general idea that women should be free to use their bodies in any way they pleased, and I could see that some women seemed to really enjoy their profession, but I also saw a darker side. What really made porn lose its charm for me was that I couldn't relate to why women would like to be in it anymore. There is some gross, violent shit that goes in fairly normal porn. Just the huge amount of facials, and gag-blow-jobs alone are a bit too much for me. I mean, I figured that the women were largely in on the actions; as in being part of what was happening as opposed to things happening to them. However, to me, I just couldn't see what was enjoyable about a lot of the stuff I saw. Even the normal intercourse in most porn was just too often too rough for my taste. (Well, too rough for anything I wanted to actually happen to me. Now...what I like to watch is a whole different story all together). I feel I have heard somewhere, sometime, and more than once from female porn stars themselves that they don't actually have sex the way they do on screen, so what did they get from the onscreen sex? My point is, if I really thought about it (which I didn't), I didn't really understand porn star motivation.
Listening to Vivid Radio, though, something clicked. I hope I'm not ridiculously off base about this (please throw in your 2 cents if any porn stars think I am), but I slowly began to see these women as adventurers. These ladies of porn that I was listening to were exploring; exploring their interests, their senses, their boundaries, their physicality, their connections to other people, their pleasure, their failures, their imaginations. They were trying things. Sexual feelings and orgasm seemed like they were sometimes part of their motivation and enjoyment of their careers and I think non-orgasmic pleasure is definitely part of it too, but it seemed like it was so much more.
I think what stuck out to me most is the humor and amusement these women found in their jobs; the messiness, grossness, and rawness of that kind of pure bodily interactions; the ridiculousness and strangeness and foreignness of the situations they are put it; the spontaneity, creativity, and unwieldiness of creating their scenes. I think they laugh a lot in their jobs, and they feel creative and engaged - like they're on a weird adventure - with good friends.
That was the other really important thing that struck me. They had good, good friends in the business. They also had solid camaraderie with most of the people they met and worked with. They were a community. I think that is why I got addicted to listening to it. When it was just the women talking to each other, they were funny and quick, and they said crazy shit. It felt like me and my friends talking, except probably with better stories. It felt sweet. It felt like they genuinely loved each other in the way female friends really love each other. It was just fun and comforting to listen to. I guess for me Vivid Radio made me like these women and have an appreciation for their jobs. Yeah, they are entertainers and were "in character" to some degree, but not always. They were often quite genuine, and listening to it for long periods of time, listening between the lines, listening to how they speak to and about each other I feel like they quickly reveal themselves. They are just women - adventurous, silly, strange, wildly curious women, trying things out.
So, although my little personal revelation doesn't have to do specifically with female orgasm. I think it is important to the Orgasm Equality Movement. It's easy to disregard people that you can't relate to, and I think even for people who are supportive of a woman's right to do with her body what she pleases, it might be hard to understand why porn stars would do what they do. I found it wasn't that hard to get there if exposed to the right kind of stuff, and maybe that would be true for others also. It's worth closing gaps between porn star ladies and any other ladies who care about the future of female sexual culture. We're all just women, and we all want the best for ourselves and our friends and our daughters. We would all do well to work together. I truly believe that if we ever succeed at really changing female sexual culture for the better, it will not be without the women of porn or against them, it will be beside them, and so a little more understanding could only do good.