Feminist Porn and cherry lube

The Pleasure Project spent another day at the Women of the World festival in London today.

Today we hoped for some discussion of safe pleasure; but it never got there.

We kicked off by talking to Emma George who is chasing the female orgasm around the world; making a film ‘Around the world in 80 orgasms‘ about the much downplayed joys of masturbation. Always possible. Good. Safe. Sex. I also asked her how she might explain to women how they would know they have had one. Because we here at Pleasure Towers have, to be honest, struggled with that one.

Then we skipping happily into the Porn Session; hoping for an informed debate between radical feminists and a tabloid editor,  and chaired by a well respected human rights barrister and member of the House of Lords. The debate focused on the impact of pornography, whether feminist porn is possible and the evidence that porn increases violence against women.

However, to be honest, the debate was overwhelmed with ideology, polarized positions and personal emotional attacks. And to top it all no one mentioned sexual health or well-being. Porn was being blamed with causing sexual violence in the Congo to erectile dysfunction in ten year olds in the UK. We agree there needs to be better research especially on access to internet porn, which allows unheard of ease to see hard core porn. Watch this space for our upcoming piece on the potential of harm reduction in porn.

Pleasure Propagandists to the end, we asked if the panel, especially those who wanted porn banned had any vision of a world where sexually explicit films could be fun, sexy, safe and not degrading to women. Sadly there was no positive answer, but rather a constant need to criticize what we have rather than aim for something higher. And we thought feminism was about imagining a better world.

But our highlight of the session was the mum who quickly confessed that she discovered cherry lube in her gay son’s cupboard, realised he is having anal sex, wondered why gay people like it and then just as quickly confessed to the world that she has done it not once, but twice.  We love it and salute her bravery, because we know the personal is political ….and she noticed it was cherry lube. Never a dull moment when the topic of porn comes up.

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