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Live Nude Girls and Other Nuisances

2003-11-20 - 9:40 a.m.

In my last two entries, I have been angry, perhaps without foundation. THe Massachusetts Supreme Court, UNLIKE many other supreme courts, gave its legislature time to change the laws IN FAVOR OF gay marriage, and so I applaud them. I blame yahoo news for the mistake. Also, my stepsister's show wasn't all that bad. She did very well, and a few of the other kids really knew their Shakespeare. It was still grating to hear a lot of the lines getting butchered, but at the end my applause was genuine, which is more than I can say for a number of college productions I saw.

However, today my anger is righteous. Today I stand against the evils of heterosexism, which I have to face every day in the workplace. No, I am neither discriminated against nor harassed about my sexuality, but nevertheless I face an assault five days a week, 52 weeks a year.

J'accuse, E-mail inbox and internet pop-ups. J'accuse indeed.

Every day, with the "make her scream" and "where the hot chikzzz are" and "Give me a call" from someone named Greta Van Slutsteren, or something. Worse, sometimes the title of the e-mail is more ambiguous, and if I'm running through the inbox too quickly I'll find something like "Membership," and open it to find the message "ASIAN TEEN SLUTS GET NAKED 4U!!!"

I don't need Asian teen sluts to get naked 4me, thanks.

See, the thing that bothers me is the presumption that just because I am male, I will want to see cheerleaders with big tits or whatever else the catch of the day is. I mean, I apparently have spyware on this computer which is telling every corporate server in the nation exactly where I spend my time, which means that they must have picked up a couple of my visits to gay-related sites (none of which have been porn, because this happens at work). You'd think that somewhere, some computer crunching numbers for the adult entertainment industry would track that sort of info, replace a few ones with some zeroes and vice versa, and start sending me information about HOT HORNY BOYZZZ TAKIN' IT OFF or something along those lines, which I wouldn't go to anyway (again, at work) but which at least would keep me from feeling ill. Is it so much to ask, when one considers the power of modern technology? We may not have a flying car, but we should have some way of logging what sort of porn people want to buy. It could revolutionize the industry! Work smarter, not harder!

This is particularly necessary because of my theory that porn is deeply invested in monosexuality. You see, it's impossible for me to avoid the women on the cover of Playboy, or the ones that keep popping up on my computer all the time, and they gross me out. They all have fake tans and horrendous dye-jobs and are wearing either a bikini, cut-offs, or less. You can tell where all the airbrushing took place and I just wince and get it the Hell off my screen.

Now, I know you're thinking "Well, RRZ, you're about as gay as a treeful of monkeys on nitrous, what do you expect?" Well, first of all I'd compliment you on your knowledge of Terry Pratchett/Neil Gaiman quotes. Second, I'd say that this is precisely my point.

I think that sexiness and modern-day pornography are two very separate things. A few years ago, during a trip to Italy, I checked out the Venus of Urbino, which is by Titian, I think, but I'm not sure. This thing was essentially papal porn, a painting of a naked woman designed to keep the Pope satisfied. Let me tell you, this is one hot painting. Sure, the woman doesn't look real, but she's been painted with a look of such intensity that she can't help but generate, um, appreciation. The sexiness doesn't come from presenting a perfect body, but by suggesting sexual potential.

Now, there are a number of women that I wouldn't mind looking at naked. However, these women are either 1) women I know personally or 2) professional actresses. I won't go into the women I know personally, but I will happily say that Kate Winslet's breasts in Titanic were worth the three hour movie, and that Uma Thurman as Venus in The Adventures of Baron Munchausen may have spoiled me for other women forever, and that Sadie Frost in Bram Stoker's Dracula can suck my blood any time, and that Isabelle Adjani in Queen Margot got just as much of a stare from me as Vincent Perez did. True, these women are all devastatingly gorgeous, but they also put on performances of sexuality that have little to do with being hot 4UR dick and a lot more to do with being sexual subjects, as able to derive pleasure as they are to give it.

Would it be so hard to try a little something like that with these stupid pop-ups. Why not put a woman in a low-cut red satin gown with a slit up the side? You're showing almost as much skin, but the image has a bit of power and spice rather than just being dull and silly. It's like a burlesque show I saw a few months ago; the women had a sense of humor and irony about the whole thing, and loved what they were doing (I spoke to them after the show, and they couldn't be happier about touring the country, dressing up like Mata Hari or Marilyn Monroe, and strutting their stuff). All that sexual enjoyment managed to turn this gay boy on, even though there were no men present whatsoever. Why couldn't that kind of sexuality get sold?

This porn revolution is not going to happen, because porn is about objectifying, which is where I come back to my thought about monosexuality. Gay porn is the same as straight, in that the men are super-objectified caricatures that barely seem real. They can still get my engines running, so to speak, but I tend not to operate on all cylinders. There's no story, no desire, just two bodies (or, sometimes, ten or twelve bodies) acting like machines, and that gets really old really fast. It also serves to construct sex at its most basic level, which increases the divide between hetero- and homosexsual sex. People who might find themselves turned on by sexual situations involving people of various genders are, I would think, more likely to get turned off to sexual experimentation by porn, which presents sex stripped of its delicious complexity.

So, as much as I may find women sexy or attractive, I remain thoroughly squicked out by the "naked sorority girls gone wild" that invade my screen like cockroaches.

Of course, there is a woman on my computer already, but even she suffers from these attitudes. The other day, a person in my office whom I refer to as Dribbling Imbecile passed my computer and saw the Tori pic I had up as my background. It is a picture of her taken from a BBC interview, dressed in a very demure suit, smiling rather sweetly. He gives a particularly oily, "Who is THAT?" and I tell him it's my favorite singer. He asks if I have more pictures, so I show him. He keeps on going "Aw yeah! Aw YEAH!" even though every one of these pics has her fully clothed, usually playing a piano. By the end he says, "Well, I was hoping you had one in a bikini, but she's still hot! What did you say she was? An actress?"

I have since then begun a plan to make sure his brakes go out during a rainstorm, or something. I'll just say I was striking a blow for feminism.

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