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I Am Not a Fantasy

I sell fantasies for your viewing pleasure.

However I am not a fantasy. Much as I’d like to be one, hair all flowing, looking perfect, saying just the right thing… I’m oddly attracted to a fetish I’ve recently discovered called ‘bimboification,’ where girls are ‘transformed’ into being the perfect sex object. But this is, of course, a fantasy and funny enough nowhere near my radar when I started porn. Becoming a sex object was the last thing I ever intended. I was always more focused on my own personal experience and my desire to understand sexuality then trying to get the approval of horny penises around the world. (Though I’d be lying if I said they played no part in my performance. I like being watched.)

The funny thing about the fantasy I sell is that its mostly predicated on doing completely (socially) unattractive things like fart, burp, and sweat. I love doing things like this because to me, it humanizes my body, it shows I’m living and breathing and not airbrushed or plastic.

But porn is porn. Media is media. And where there’s an image on a screen, someone (probably a lot of someone’s) will long for the image to be real in their very own bedroom.

Its not and it never will be.

I don’t reply to most of my emails because I simply don’t have time, but I took a good hour to write out a response to a really super nice one yesterday. The man was so ‘envious’ (to use his word) of Terry and our relationship, wishing he could find someone like me.

I am always flattered to read emails like this. I also always want to laugh because they’re largely divorced from the reality that is my life. People think they know me because they see me all over the internet – doing something for less than 5 hours on camera each month, only 0.6% of my life. This sliver of my life, most of which wouldn’t even happen if we weren’t filming a commercial product, defines me in many people’s eyes. Its an interesting experience to be known for something so minor (time-wise), yet also so outrageous (content-wise).

I’m sharing my response here to shed light on the other 99.4% of the time I’m not doing bizarre things in front of a camera.

Thank you for your very kind email. Your words are very flattering and it makes me happy you’ve taken a liking to my work :)

As awesome as it is to get emails like this, I have to point out that while I may be your fantasy — the thing you’re desiring is exactly that, a fantasy. Terry didn’t meet the person you see online today. That person has evolved from a painfully shy socially awkward little girl (who I still feel like pretty often). In fact, the only reason you even know who I am is precisely because I had so much anxiety about sex, it was so painful for me, that I had to do SOMETHING about it. And that something ended up being porn, just so that I had a place where I could interact with other people in a sexual sense. So I could learn about what other people did, what turned them on, what different bodies looked like. And hopefully somewhere in there, begin to feel good about my own and share that part of myself with my partners. The extent to which I am comfortable with some elements of sex now (definitely not everything) is in direct proportion to how UNcomfortable I used to be.

I am often playing a balancing act between being authentic and being, for a lack of a better word, attractive. Please realize, I love what I do, but what I do is create a commercial product; its not a hidden camera in my bedroom. Selling that product entails presenting myself on the internet as attractive so that you want to watch my videos. On video everything happens perfectly and I’m wonderfully sexy and seductive and in a fantastic mood. So of course you want me! And that does happen sometimes in real life, its awesome when it does!

Terry and I, like many couples, seem to fit together perfectly at the same time as we can trigger one another perfectly. We don’t fight so much as I become emotionally overwhelmed and cry hysterically and he sits in silence. Neither of which facilitates open communication, especially about sex. In fact, we just spent last evening and several hours this morning communicating about how exactly we communicate, when it works why it works, and when it doesn’t why it doesn’t. Going back and forth – when you say X I feel Y, well when you feel Y you do Z and that makes me feel Q, etc, etc, etc. With this (super fucking difficult) conversation, like many others, we’ve helped open one another’s eyes to our behavior and how it affects each of us. If there’s anything special about our relationship, its only that we’re committed to working through shit and growing where we need to, even when its hard. And its the working through shit that brings us closer and makes sex (and everything else) better. I mean who gives a fuck if your sexual interests align if you can’t get your shit together to actually connect? That’s what I’m slowly but surely learning to do.

There can be times when I’m a complete emotional anxious mess – I just decided a long time ago never to put that out onto social media. Its embarrassing, unattractive, and obnoxious. At the same time I can’t sell a fantasy of myself – I can’t bring myself to act as if I’m the always horny porn star who gets off on everything the viewer happens to – I have to be real to some degree, so I try to write on my blog (KelseyEducation.com) as I learn how to handle my emotions, have fun with my work and deepen my relationship with Terry.

I hope this doesn’t kill your interest in my work completely, but I’d rather be honest than help perpetuate an unrealistic fantasy about myself.

And then I gave him some links to my podcast to help the guy out. I’m not an asshole (all the time). I’m just not a fantasy.

Edited: October 5th, 2014

What Porn Doesn’t Show You

A cute poem:

her hair is in my eyes and my legs are cramping but she is so beautiful
on top of me
and she accidentally falls off and laughs and her laugh is so sweet
i laugh too

and we make a joke about how ridiculous porn is;
all those videos we watched to figure out how to do this,
the moves not taught in sex ed
and we whisper between kisses “yes,
yes, yes -
wait no no no,
don’t do that.”

i accidentally bump my elbow in her face
and our vibrator falls onto the ground
and she makes a comment about how hard this is
so we lay there for a while thinking about whatever

until i kiss her again
and she pulls me into her.

Edited: April 15th, 2014

Don’t Join A Porn Site to Get Laid.

Here’s an actual email I got today:

Reason I wanted to be part of your site was that I wanted to act out a fantasy of mine of being a fart slave. Also wanted to role play out anal play with farting. I questioned you about doing this and you replied you only do that with your boyfriend. You did say you would recommend to another company [i.e., we hire guys for FartDom.net if they're local to So Cal] that does this work but since I am not local probably couldnt be arranged.

I wish I could get this arranged somewhere on east coast. Dropped membership because don’t feel you couldn’t help me out. Will say sight was pretty good just didn’t see how I couldn’t get fantasy set up and fulfilled.

My response:

Thanks for the email, sorry you didn’t get what you’re looking for but we just make porn. Arranging meet ups isn’t part of the membership for anyone who joins. Just like any other porn site. You can find some advice for finding compatible partners on KelseyEducation.com. Best of luck with your search.

Guys, if you ever contact a sex worker (porn star, cam girl, pro-domme, etc.) and she gives you attitude (some are REALLY bad about this, others are perfectly friendly) – its because we constantly deal with “fans”* who seem to feel entitled to receive more than what we offer. Sometimes its flabbergasting. And as much as I love my work, its one of the things about doing sex work that gets really old. I haven’t met a sex worker who didn’t agree.

*I use the word fans in quotes because the truest fans – in my experience – are super nice, respectful, and really appreciative of the work I do. They’re usually pretty cool guys.

Edited: March 22nd, 2014

What IS sexually empowering?

Empowerment is a fuzzy term. I hate when articles reference dictionaries to orient their position, but I really had to look up the definition because the word is debated. What IS empowering? What ISN’T?

So according to Merriam-Webster, empowerment is:

1: to give official authority or legal power to
2: to enable definition 1
3: to promote the self-actualization or influence of

I think #3 is primarily what most people mean when they talk about empowerment. Notice it does not define what actions are empowering. In fact, to “promote… self-actualization” would imply that what IS empowering varies by individual (by each “self”). What leads me to self-actualization and what leads you to your own is probably different. Particularly if my journey includes things people often feel are inherently DISempowering, like sex work, engaging in fetishistic sex, and having multiple casual sex partners.

For some people, empowerment is getting a traditional education and landing a decent-paying job with opportunities for advancement. For others, empowerment is LEAVING that very same job to take care of one’s children, to start a business, or travel the world.

Who’s right? Is the job empowering? Or is quitting?

They’re BOTH right.

So what is sexually empowering? You tell me. Leaving behind a “normal” life and joining the porn industry has been “empowering” for me. Its taught me an awful lot about myself, about men and women, about communication, about my body, about my desires, about my boundaries. (Not to mention how to run a business and be self-reliant.) For others, like Jennie Karchner, quitting the porn industry to pursue a Master’s degree is empowering.

What pisses me off is when people turn this vague concept of empowerment into a hard definition – that certain behaviors must inherently be empowering, and others must not be. Which seems hypocritical and exactly the reason empowerment is a concept to begin with. Nobody can tell you what the right thing is to do with your life, nobody can tell me what’s right for mine. (And maybe the right thing is sometimes to do the wrong thing, because sometimes we learn big lessons about life that way.) So to draw lines around empowerment negates the whole definition.

And why does it fucking matter anyway? The amount of energy we expend judging others’ actions says more about our own problems than it does theirs.

Edited: March 19th, 2014

How Can I Get My Girlfriend to Watch Porn?

Via Jacky St. James:

I am so glad you asked this question.

I think you need to first acknowledge the fact that everybody has their own sexual turn-ons and turn-offs and just because your girlfriend doesn’t watch porn, doesn’t mean she wouldn’t enjoy it. It also doesn’t mean that she WILL enjoy it.

My first question for you is why is it important that your girlfriend watch porn? Is this an experience you want to share with her? Do you want her to learn some techniques? Would it turn you on watching your girl watch a pornographic film? It’s important that you know the answer to that question (there is obviously no right or wrong answer).

Secondly, you need to understand why she doesn’t want to watch porn. Has she seen porn before and hated it? Does she have preconceived notions about porn? Does she find porn to be dirty, degrading, violent, etc.? If she has any of these concerns, you need to understand where she is coming from and why she has come to these conclusions. By understanding HER feelings about porn will help you communicate your need to have her watch it.

I have found that most women’s opinions about adult films being degrading or negative towards women, are basing those opinions on assumption and not factual information. She might be surprised to know just how many empowered women work in the adult industry (both in front of and behind the camera).

*You can always send her my way and I could provide recommendations of films for her. I love helping open people’s eyes to adult films!

Edited: December 7th, 2013

More on Rough Sex and Porn

I recently talked about how rough sex at home is a lot different than what you might see in porn. Or at least it should be if you don’t want your girlfriend to kick you in the face and shut you out of her orifices forever.

But anyway, I’ve thought about it a little more and had some talks with other porn stars, and I was kind right, but kind of wrong about how it happens on other porn sets. Some girls DO prep the way I describe, but some show up completely green. And often leave black & blue, so to speak.

So today I give you another inside look behind the porn industry and how you can tell whether a girl is really ready for the rough fucking she’s getting, or not.

Subscribe in iTunes!

Edited: November 27th, 2013

Why I Love Making Porn

When I was a kid, I knew when I grew up I wanted to do something I loved. Something that felt natural and fulfilling, that made a difference in people’s lives. At various times I wanted to be an elementary school teacher, psychologist, music therapist, social worker, high school music teacher, researcher and college professor. I either grew out of those desires, or I got jobs along the path to those careers and felt something was missing.

I’m smart. I have degrees. I know I could do most anything I want in the world. But surprisingly sex work, in the way I’ve created my career, feels more natural than anything else I’ve tried. To me, it is fulfilling. Because I believe that it helps people on a deep, intimate, and even profound level. Yet in some ways, I feel fairly alone in this sentiment. I only hire girls who enjoy their work, yet for most of them it is still a temporary job (though overall, a fun one). I’m inspired by women like Nina Hartley, Tristan Taormino & Carol Queen – women who have directed (and some starred) in porn because they believe it has the power to change people’s sex lives for the better. But they’re not in my social circle (yet).

But here’s an excerpt from an amazing article written by a dominatrix who shares my love for sex work. If you’ve ever wondered what it feels like to do my work – she’s articulated it to a T:

In any aspect of the adult industry… you, as a worker, are dealing with people’s feelings on a very, very intimate level. In fetish work, because of all the shame involved, the number of feelings and the level of intimacy is increased….

My work is usually about one part sexual, two parts emotional. I give a lot to my clients, and I love them all for the hour I’m in the room with them [For me, the 5-10 minutes I'm on camera for a clip]. It’s beautiful to see them overcome their fears and all the things they’ve been told about what sex and sexuality should be and let go completely. I love seeing the smiles on their faces [receiving their emails] when they leave refreshed after a session [after they've masturbated to a clip or 10], I feel like I’m making a genuine difference in the world.

My position as a healer and a therapist becomes more apparent and also dearer to me when I’m most depressed. It’s cheesy, but doing these weird little good deeds for others really does make me feel better.

Of course, my motives aren’t entirely altruistic, I’d never do this for free [well, I'd do some of what I do for free, but I lack the opportunity for some of it without porn], but that doesn’t change the fact that I’m doing good things for people and it’s incredibly fulfilling. I’m not sure why it’s so very difficult for people to understand this. A lot of civilians tend to write off what I do as just sex, with a dismissive, “Wow, you must be a nymphomaniac or something” and then when I explain that I don’t sleep with my clients unless I’m doing it in the most literal sense, they become confused. “You aren’t actually into all that weird stuff, are you?” No, I’m not into all of it, but I’m definitely into helping people accept and explore the weird stuff they’re into.

Sex work may not be a substitute for therapy, but for me it is certainly very therapeutic. It confuses me when I’m told that my soul is being slowly crushed when I’m encouraging others to blossom, because as I nourish them by fulfilling fantasies that, in many cases, they’ve been taught to believe were wrong, bad, or disgusting, I’m nourishing myself. I see, in a very real way, that there is good in the world and that I’m capable of creating that good.

Edited: November 8th, 2013

I <3 @JoannaAngel

She says, For myself, porn turned me into a very confident and happy woman. Prior to doing porn, I was incredibly sexually awkward, and this same awkward and insecure girl existed outside the bedroom as well. Experimenting with my sexuality in a controlled environment really did help me.

Me too.

Read more…

Edited: October 1st, 2013

Porn to Share With Your Girlfriend

I got this one in my email:

I want to ask for a recommendation for some porn to share with my fiancée. We have not tended to watch the same things, with her interested in plot and romance me focusing on women having sex with each other and fetish play like peeing and farting. Is there a good compromise of which you can think?

I’m not huge on romance porn… but I can give some recommendations for both softer and more dirty porn that she may find enjoyable.

Subscribe in iTunes!

Edited: September 13th, 2013

How Does a Guy Get Into Porn?

Question via Tumblr:

I am a sex freak how do I get into porn!

(a) It takes more than being a sex freak to get into porn. You have to basically get an erection on demand, with a whole crew watching & waiting, and be able to cum on cue. And in my opinion, be at least reasonably attractive… though it appears some mainstream porn directors don’t care about that. Because too often its the GUY that ruins it for me. But I digress…

(b) Contact an adult agency and ask them.

(c) Make your own porn. That’s what my husband and I do. That takes an interest in business and learning about the unsexy side of the adult industry to be successful.

Edited: July 25th, 2013

What Do You Learn In A College Porn Class?

“The biggest problem with porn is shame felt afterward.”

Edited: May 26th, 2013

Interview With 100% Lesbian Porn Star Lily Cade

Lily Cade is a “gold star lesbian” porn star, meaning she’s 100% into girls – she’s never fucked a guy and never wants to.

Lily started in sex work as a dominatrix in college and has been performing in adult films since 2008.

Lily is one of a few California legal married lesbians and shares an open relationship with her wife. Lily has been with hundreds of women on camera and off – her blunt honesty gets her into more girls’ panties than most guys would dream of.

Hear Lily talk about her experience in the adult world, her advice for getting women into bed and how to stay happy in an open relationship.

Subscribe in iTunes!

Follow Lily on Twitter!
Watch us both at LilyCade.com and KelseyObsession.com.

Kelsey Obsession & Lily Cade

Kelsey Obsession & Lily Cade

Edited: March 17th, 2013

Porn Review: Kimberly Kane’s Beautiful Stranger

I recently discovered director and adult film star Kimberly Kane, in her DVD Beautiful Stranger.

For various reasons, I’d been under the impression that I wouldn’t like Vivid’s films. A lot of their porn is plot-based and most porn stars aren’t great actors. So I’d mentally written off the company even though I barely gave them a chance. This film proved me wrong.

In preparing for my recent interview with Aiden Starr, I found this pic on her website from Kimberly Kane’s Beautiful Stranger:

Aiden Starr - Beautiful Stranger

Aiden Starr - Beautiful Stranger

I thought the pic was really sexy – I love the contrast of a woman’s beauty with a grimy setting, and the stuffed animal gave this dominatrix a sexy yet dirty innocence. The DVD wasn’t like that at all… But I still like the pic.

Onto the video… There was apparently a bit of plot to the film, it began with maybe 5 minutes of story – but I skipped past it to the first scene I watched of three.

Kristina Rose & Bobbi Starr - Beautiful Stranger

Kristina Rose & Bobbi Starr - Beautiful Stranger

Kristina Rose and Bobbi Starr made a great pair. It began with a lesbian domination theme but they wound up trading back and forth, being generally dirty together. I enjoyed the stocking fetish play, tearing them off, Bobbi putting the foot of her stocking over Kristina’s face and making out with her through it was my favorite. I’ve seen pantyhose encasement on clips4sale.com and did one encasement clip myself… And I didn’t really get the turn on. But seeing it in the context of two girls getting kinky was arousing.

I skipped the second and third scenes.

Aiden Starr & Denis Marti - Beautiful Stranger

Aiden Starr & Denis Marti - Beautiful Stranger

Aiden Starr was paired with Denis Marti for this boy-girl scene. I’d never heard of Denis but he was pretty good looking, especially for porn guys who often seem to be guys I’d never fuck. So I could imagine myself in the scene enough to enjoy Aiden sucking his cock.

The real pleasure though, came from watching Aiden. There was nothing dominatrix about her in this scene, but she was voracious. When I interviewed her, she said that she always orgasms in her scenes, because they’re HER scenes. I love that attitude. And orgasm she did. I love watching porn where a woman is enjoying it so much she doesn’t care what she looks like. Aiden made the strangest faces and loud squealing noises – there’s no faking THAT level of pleasure. Her response reminded me of some deeply intense times I’ve had with Terry. Because while I watch porn to see pretty girls fucking, sometimes great sex ISN’T pretty – and that’s hot.

Her scene proved me wrong about another thing I thought I didn’t like about porn – the positions that seem to only benefit the camera angle. Like reverse cowgirl where she’s bouncing up and down on his dick – I’ve seen so much porn where girls do this looking bored, and its not something I’ve been particularly into. But damn, Aiden was INTO it. During a behind-the-scenes snippet in the credits, she hopped off his dick and was switching positions. A woman behind the camera (presumably Kimberly Kane) asked if she was having fun – she laughed as she enthusiastically said, “YEAH!” I like being proved wrong.

Kimberly Kane & Savanna Samson - Beautiful Stranger

Kimberly Kane & Savanna Samson - Beautiful Stranger

The final scene began with director Kimberly Kane masturbating surrounded by tall candles, like a seance. I think this was somehow connected to that mini plot in the beginning, but it wasn’t really necessary to enjoy the scene. Kimberly was fantasizing about her dominatrix neighbor. My favorite part was when she said, “I want to taste every cock that’s been in your pussy” while she touched herself – HOT. Blended into a scene of her fantasy, with said dominatrix – Savanna Samson.

I wasn’t that into Savanna and didn’t feel a great chemistry between them, but Kimberly was very into it so she somewhat made up for it. Lots of lesbian action, again my favorite line was repeated as Kimberly licked inside her pussy. YES.

Overall I loved the dirty feel of this film, and the authenticity of most the performers. The camera work was great, and while I appreciated the grimy look – the lighting could have been better at times, especially for close ups. I can’t speak for the other scenes, but I’d definitely recommend. I usually enjoy porn directed by women, and I’m happy I discovered Kimberly Kane. My body liked it too – I squirted 3 times while watching.  I think that speaks better for the film than anything I’ve written here.

Watch Beautiful Stranger here.

Edited: February 17th, 2013

Porn Review of Bobbi Starr’s Vicarious

I recently masturbated while watching Bobbi Starr’s Vicarious.

I first heard of Bobbi Starr’s Vicarious in this article. I figured, if a straight girl is into it – its probably good.

Bobbi Starr - Vicarious

Bobbi Starr - Vicarious

And I was right. While I did a voyeur webcam show, I watched the first hour of this DVD.

All the scenes featured Bobbi’s POV cam, complemented by two (?) additional cameras catching other angles as well as Bobbi filming. I love the concept – I enjoy female POV shots (since its what I see) but other cameras can sometimes get a better view of the action. I would have enjoyed more shots of the entire scene, showing Bobbi holding her camera. It was hot to see her watching the screen on her camera, seeing her capturing her own pleasure. Nonetheless the concept was itself erotic – Bobbi hired these women to come eat her pussy and play with them, filming it herself. Kinda ruins the whole porn-is-made-by-men-for-men argument.

Bobbi Starr POV - Vicarious

Bobbi Starr POV - Vicarious

Each scene began with snippets from a brief interview with her partner – I saw Skin Diamond, Dylan Ryan, and Ash Hollywood. I always enjoy when interviews are included because I like to know the personality of the girl – its what makes me feel attracted to her, and its easier to mentally put myself in the scene. Interviews were short – maybe a couple minutes each – but it broke up the scenes nicely.

Ash Hollywood & Bobbi Starr - Vicarious

Ash Hollywood & Bobbi Starr - Vicarious

What I love about Bobbi Starr is her kinkiness, and though these were girl-girl scenes each included fetishistic elements. All 3 scenes I saw included stockings – I enjoyed watching Skin Diamond lick the bottom of her heels (something I fantasize about but actually doing it – gross… unless they’re unworn). She then kissed up Bobbi’s thighs and ripped open the crotch of her pantyhose to eat her pussy. The scene with Dylan Ryan included some foot play – rubbing her feet on Dylan’s pussy. I wondered if I could have an orgasm from a woman holding her foot against my pussy as I grind against it… probably. Ash Hollywood looked hot licking her ass from underneath, while fingering Bobbi’s pussy – though her fingernails freaked me out. I don’t get how these porn girls have nails and finger themselves without injury.

From the 3 scenes I saw, the DVD had an artistic and feminine feel but with a kinky edge. I’d definitely recommend to anyone into girl-girl, stockings, and/or has wondered how sex looks from a chick’s perspective (you may not see as much direct action as male POV, but its hot in a more subtle way).

Watch Vicarious here.

Edited: February 16th, 2013

From the Corporate World to Adult Film: Talking With Porn Star Sarah Shevon

Today I interviewed porn star Sarah Shevon.

Sarah Shevon is a 28 year old porn star. The daughter of two hippies, Sarah is something of a “free spirit” who entered the porn industry in 2009. Tired of corporate jobs, she was seeking more fun and excitement in her life – and found it in her exhibitionism. While some women get into porn for the paycheck, Sarah actually took a pay CUT from her previous accounting job. That means she truly enjoys her work, so YOU are free to enjoy her videos knowing she has a great time. Sarah says she’s never felt objectified in porn, rather its helped her explore her sexuality and try new things.

Sarah Shevon

Sarah Shevon

Sarah Shevon is known for her extreme anal scenes like double anal (two dicks in her ass at once) and anal fisting, not to mention double penetration and double vaginal (two dicks in her pussy). She has recently started webcamming at My Free Cams – check her out for FREE and join to chat with her. And of course, you can follow Sarah Shevon on twitter @SarahShevon!

 

Subscribe in iTunes!

Edited: January 24th, 2013

Is Porn Degrading to Women? Answers From a Female Porn Executive

I don’t agree with the anal part… I’d have thrown in in the ‘jackhammer’ move (as a move to NEVER do) to accompany the dude’s toolbelt, but its still funny and pretty true.

Edited: October 6th, 2012

Porn Sex vs “Real” Sex

What’s the secret to making sex look so great on camera? Why doesn’t “real” sex turn out so beautifully? I share behind the scenes secrets about porn sex and why YOUR sex life looks so much different. What can you learn from porn? What can porn learn from you?

Subscribe in iTunes!

Have you learned any sex tips from porn? Got something good to share? Or something to NOT try at home? Leave a comment!

Edited: September 20th, 2012

What’s Up With the Cum Shot in Porn?

The cum shot poses as the grand finale of much heterosexual and gay porn.

Personally, I wish they didn’t stop after the cum shot, but rather kept going. Pussy licking doesn’t require a hard dick, you know. Nonetheless, I bring you this analysis courtesy Salon.com:

It’s hard to imagine a time when the “money shot” [aka cum shot] wasn’t a signature of the smut industry. The shot — where a male porn performer ejaculates, usually on a partner, and the camera captures the action in luxuriating detail — is the defining aesthetic of contemporary pornography, both gay and straight. But it wasn’t always that way.

The “money shot” can be traced back to the premiere of “Deep Throat” in 1972, according to Linda Williams, a film studies professor at UC Berkeley. That isn’t to say that male performers didn’t bust outside the body before then, but the legendary film “introduced narrativity in the genre and coined the cum shot as its defining figure,” she writes in “Hard Core: Power, Pleasure and the Frenzy of the Visible.” Williams explains, “Where the earlier short, silent stag films occasionally included spectacles of external ejaculation (in some cases inadvertently), it was not until the early seventies, with the rise of the hard-core feature, that the money shot assumed the narrative function of signaling the climax of a genital event.”

The question of why the money shot has since then, ahem, exploded in popularity is more complicated. The most obvious explanation is one of pure mechanics. “It has to do with the real physiology of orgasm and ejaculation,” says Lisa Jean Moore, author of “Sperm Counts: Overcome by Man’s Most Precious Fluid.” “The way that male orgasm is external, as opposed to female orgasm, which is internal, it sort of lends itself well to cinematic capture.”

In terms of evolutionary biology, the money shot also triggers sexual competition. Ogi Ogas, author of “A Billion Wicked Thoughts,” a book that explores human sexuality through popular porn genres, says, “The penis itself is a sperm competition cue, unconsciously triggering arousal designed to motivate a man to have more vigorous sex with a woman than the man who just finished,” he says, drawing on theories in evolutionary psychology about sexual competition. (For example, one study showed that heterosexual men produced more potent ejaculate when masturbating to images of two men having sex with a woman, compared to porny shots of three women together.) “The sperm might also function as a sperm competition cue in the same manner,” he says.

It’s also simply the case that viewers desire proof that the pleasure they’re seeing performed on-screen is authentic — and in the age of Viagra, an erection itself isn’t convincing enough. “The money shot actually implies that what we are seeing is real,” says Cindy Patton, a professor of sociology, anthropology and women’s studies at Simon Fraser University.

The irony is that such proof actually requires suspension of disbelief, because “the male pornographic film performer must withdraw from any tactile connection with the genitals or mouth of the woman so that the ‘spending’ of his ejaculate is visible,” writes Williams. “Within convention, viewers are asked to believe that the sexual performers within the film want to shift from a tactile to a visual pleasure at the crucial moment of the male’s orgasm.”

[My two cents: Why wouldn't a guy enjoy getting off visually at the peak of pleasure while stimulating his cock by hand? Seeing his cum on his partner's body, face, or in their mouth? Personally, I'd love to see my female ejaculate all over my partner…]

Some cultural commentators have paradoxically argued that the money shot is the result of the relative invisibility of the typical female orgasm. “The problem of an equally irrefutable and visible proof of female orgasm, at a physiological level, both leads to the convention whereby male orgasm stands in for female orgasm and to attempts to convey female orgasm by more indirect means,” argues Bill Nichols in “Representing Reality: Issues and Concepts in Documentary.”

Williams writes in “Hard Core,” “While undeniably spectacular, the money shot is also hopelessly specular; it can only reflect back to the male gaze that purports to want knowledge of the woman’s pleasure the man’s own climax.” She calls the cum shot “a poor substitute for the knowledge of female wonders that the genre as a whole still seeks.”

Some would rather explain this gender divide in terms of sexism. In heterosexual cum-shot porn, Carroll argues, chauvinism is evident in the “domination of the standing male/kneeling woman stance that is one of the most popular forms of this image, but also in the implied degradation of the phallus ‘spitting’ on the woman’s face — that part of the body which is most closely associated with one’s individual dignity and personality.” (It’s worth noting that a similar dom-sub dynamic plays out in gay porn, too.)

In some but not all contexts, Moore sees the money shot as a way of “marking” a partner as “territory or property.” In a paper titled, “Cocktail parties: Fetishizing semen in pornography beyond bukkake,” she and co-author Juliana Weissbein wrote, “The most prominent type of [cum shot] video on X-Tube … was of disembodied males masturbating to ejaculation onto a still photo of a female,” they explain. “The women in these photographs, often difficult to see, are described variously as ex-girfriends or ex-wives, famous models or actresses. Ejaculating onto photos of a specific woman allows the man to claim her as his property.”

[My two cents: Or as a way to humiliate an ex. Or because the ex never let him cum on her face and its a remaining fantasy. Or because an ex DID let him cum on her face, and now she's gone. Or because said dude will probably never get the chance to cum on a model's or actresses' face, so the picture is the next best thing.]

Perhaps most important is the impact of AIDs and HIV since that seminal moment in “Deep Throat” four decades ago. “In heterosexual contexts, women have avoided semen for a long time, partially to prevent pregnancy,” as well as various STDs, says Moore. But the AIDS and HIV crisis gave ejaculate an even greater “toxifying, disease-ridden” image. “Semen is something we’ve tried to sanitize and protect ourselves from in a prophylactic sense — we’re covering the body up, or covering the penis up, figuring out ways to avoid contact,” she says.

The funhouse mirror of sexuality often eroticizes that which we most fear and abhor, thus “a fantasy develops about somebody actually wanting [semen], and they want it so badly that they want to drink it and they want to slather it all over their bodies and they want you to wipe it all over their faces,” Moore says. “The messages that are so adverse and make semen to be this abject, disgusting substance have had this other effect of making male spectators want to live out the fantasy that women and men actually want it and are celebrating it.”
[My two cents: So, is there or isn't there a problem with semen? Is it gross or isn't it? Moore, who lived many years in a committed lesbian relationship and was - as of 2009 - with a man, seems to demonstrate her own seminal ambivalence. I for one love my partner, and love his semen, so why wouldn't I want it on me?]

Carroll argues that it “is not merely a carnal fantasy; it is also an emotional one — a fantasy of ‘unconditional acceptance’ in which the female” — or male, presumably — “seems to say ‘I exist wholly for you. I will never reject you. You cannot disappoint me.”

Edited: March 18th, 2012

Women Against Pornography: Is Pornography Propaganda Against Women?

Short answer: No. Not according to Laura Kipnis, author of Bound and Gagged: Pornography and the Politics of Fantasy in America

Pornography does, in an emotional sense, do profound violence – emotional violence – to some women. However, for women who hate pornography, the violence it inflicts is to female identity and “female sensibility”

Not all women dislike pornography; some even like it a lot. So obviously there’s a spectrum of female identities. But the problem most women who don’t like porn is that they don’t recognize the female characters in it as “like me” – either physically, or in their desires. These big-breasted porno bimbos want to have sex all the time, with any guy no matter how disgusting, will do anything, moan like they like it, and aren’t repulsed by male body fluids – in fact, adore them – wherever they land. Women who dislike porn refer to this as a male fantasy, but what exactly is it a fantasy about? Well, it seems like a fantasy of a one-gender world, a world in which male and female sexuality is completely commensurable, as opposed to whatever sexual incompatibilities actually exist.

Women Against Pornography

Women Against Pornography

Heterosexual pornography creates a fantastical world composed of two sexes but one gender, and that one gender looks a lot more like what we think of (perhaps stereotypically) as “male.” Pornography’s premise is this: What would a world in which men and women were sexually alike look like? (The romance [book] industry proposes a similar hypothesis in reverse: What would the world look like if men were emotionally and romantically compatible with women?) So pornography’s fantasy is also of gender malleability, although one in which it’s women who should be the malleable ones. Whereas feminism’s (and romance fiction’s) paradigm of gender malleability is mostly that men should change. It’s possible that the women who are most offended by pornography are those most invested int he idea of femininity as something static and stable, as something inborn that inheres within us. (“Women are like this, men are like that.”) But of course, sexuality is completely malleable (and sexuality is a component of gender, by which I mean masculinity and femininity), altering radically over history, or with education level, age, religion, etc.

One model for looking at pornography oddly be as a kind of science fiction; that is, as a fantasy about futurity, whose setting is the present. We don’t get offended when science fiction imagines different futures, even dystopic ones set in worlds that look like our own. Of course one reason that women, and particularly feminists, have a hard time either enjoying pornography as an interesting gender fantasy, or dismissing it as a harmless gender fantasy, is our worry that in a world in which men have more social power than women, men have the power to force their fantasy of a one-gender world onto unwilling women, who have their own ideas about how female sexuality should feel. But is pornography proffered (and enjoyed) as a form of propaganda? And if you think so, why presume that pornography alone, among the vast range of cultural forms, works as indoctrination, whereas every other popular genre is understood as inhabiting the realm of fiction, entertainment, even ideas, not as having megalomaniacal ambitions to transform the world into itself? We don’t spend a lot of time worrying that viewers of pro wrestling will suddenly be seized with some all-consuming impulse to wrestle innocent passersby to the ground. On what grounds are such megalomaniacal intentions imputed to pornography?

Edited: March 6th, 2012