Friday, October 09, 2015

Response to Cindy Gallop

Apparently Cindy Gallop herself has responded to yesterday's blog post Not Nina again. Her comment was in response to my snarking about her Make Love Not Porn:
...although I like the concept of Cindy Gallop's Make Love Not Porn, I just don't have any desire to watch pudgy balding middle-aged men having sex.
In the comments section of the Nina blog post she wrote: 
Cindy Gallop11:24 PM 
At MakeLoveNotPorn our fabulous MakeLoveNotPornstars come (heh) in all shapes, sizes, genders, sexualities and ages. You might like to check out this edition? :)
Well OK, Cindy. I guess I have to take it back about "balding middle-aged men" - your latest edition shows 20-somethings. You don't only have middle-aged men.

However,  I also said that a big problem I had with commercial porn is the lack of aesthetic appeal of the men. And I'm afraid your videos feature men who are no better looking than the men in commercial porn. Although as in commercial porn your videos feature women more than men, and lots of lesbian scenes, and the women are more attractive than the men. 

Let us review the evidence of the link you provided:
Now I have not been the most sexually active person of all time since my last long-term relationship ended. I'm picky, it's true, but also I'm over 40. But even I have managed to get it on with guys who were much better looking than the men in these videos. Except of course the gay porn professionals. 

The problem, dear Cindy, is the collision between your business model and the Patriarchy. The people who volunteer to make these videos live in a world where women spend hours every day on hair, makeup and cute outfits, plus yoga and/or the gym, while most straight men think they can just shower and shave (or more likely these days, not even shave) and then throw on some baggy t-shirt and jeans they found on the floor, along with ugly sneakers. And if they have a beer belly, well so what? They dress for comfort, not to look good for other people.

So the people making your videos look exactly like you would expect - the women look good while the men are, at best, blah. That's male privilege and you aren't going to escape it with your average jane and joe volunteers. You are going to get a reflection of the same exact values that drive commercial porn in the first place - it's all about the male gaze. Only in a culture that goes against that tradition, where men are meant to be looked at too, will you have truly attractive men - as in the gay porn world. 

Now obviously some people are enjoying these videos, erotically, and good for them. But if you want to cater to my desires, you're going to have to make an effort to transcend the inevitable strictures of male privilege. Like most women, I can get sex with random unattractive strangers any time I want. Which is never - I never want to have sex with random unattractive strangers. Why do I want to watch videos of random unattractive strangers having sex?

And then there's the aesthetic failure of much of the videography. I certainly don't like porno videography with its ironclad conventions and tropes, but on the other hand, just because you are making a non-commercial video, do you have to throw all artistic value out the window? The lighting, the angles, the sound quality are crap in most of these videos. (The gay man video, again, is the exception. Whoever shot those videos may not have had a big budget, but they have a sense of style.)

Now you may say, well this is what real sex really looks like. Yeah, OK. Real sex feels great, but it's actually not much to look at. The dialog is boring and the bodies are not beautiful and the pacing is awful.

And the sex I have actually is better looking (from my perspective) because the men are better looking than the ones in your videos. And I guarantee you I could make a sexier video (sexier to me anyway) using just my iPhone and simulated sex, than any of the straight videos you have here. Because I would use handsome male actors and have some sense of style and a decent script and do some creative editing. But of course I wouldn't expect the actors to volunteer - I would pay them. You get what you pay for.

And that would be art. And you are not making art, you are making "love." Which I'd rather experience first-hand than watch half-assed videos of.

Unless there's an incredibly hot guy involved. But as with the gay professional porn actor, they don't come cheap.