13. Why Porn Actresses Make the Best Feminists

This title ought to have gotten your attention. Why do you think I would make a statement like this? Progressive-minded people would have to admit it’s controversial, dubious at best. Conservatives, and most feminists, would say it’s downright asinine and I ought to be strung up by my tits for saying it. Hell with it! I’m feeling feisty today.

The best feminists, of course, are empowered women, and real empowerment has many moving parts. Just calling yourself a feminist doesn’t mean you are really empowered. Empowerment requires agency. True agency means you are an independent being capable of acting by your own compass. This capacity manifests in those with a fair bit of self awareness who are fully connected with their innermost workings. We simply cannot have these things without unveiling sexuality, one of our most fundamental biological motives.

Unveiling sexuality is exactly what we all (men and women alike) have to do because our sexual impulses have been aggressively manipulated since time immemorial in order to maintain control in a world built upon property ownership.

Sexuality tends to be particularly well buried for us women. And why is that? It is not due to anatomical, hormonal, genetic or deep evolutionary reasons. It is cultural. In a patriarchal culture, the way to control property is to control the creatures who produce your stock, or offspring, who will enhance and ultimately inherit your wealth. The way to control women is to control their sexuality, which is cutting them off at the knees in terms of empowerment.

Keeping women on a leash is relatively easy once you have sufficiently confused them about who they are and what they want. For ages, virgin worship has done a good job of shaping our sexual culture and confusing everyone. The modern twist on that notion has mostly escaped our view, but it’s huge. That is the belief that love (especially true love) is really the only legitimate motivation for having sex. That means we train women to translate the sexual desire into an emotional one, or conflate the two. The reason for training women this way is to steer us into sexual dependence within an emotionally attached relationship. That’s the convention.

Well, this has created a monster.  And this is the monstrous confusionthat plagues the majority of us women.  By translating lust as love– or sex as emotion— a woman’s relationship with her body, and ultimately reality itself, is under siege.  It’s very important to understand this.  This is why women are “crazy”.  It’s because we have been taught fantasyland instead of fact and, because of the nature of sexuality, that goes as deep as things can go. A woman misguided in this way is robbed of her body, robbed of her connection with reality and robbed of her power, period.

However, once a woman has her head on straight, it’s very easy to see clearly. And then, look out! What a world opens up once you’ve cut that leash. In my opinion, as in my experience, the best way for a woman to really, firmly get her head on straight about sex is to go out and have lots of sex with as many different people as possible. That can be men, women or X– doesn’t really matter– as long as it’s real, physical sex, manifesting real desire, and done with eyes open, both literally and figuratively. What this means is paying attention in order to actually get the important data (lots of which literally involves open eyes), and which certainly demands not being under the influence of intoxicants. In this way, a woman willfully and responsibly bucks convention and gathers the information about herself and her body’s desires (all forbidden fruit). Gathering the first-hand information about sex allows her to understand herself, putting herself back together so that she can distinguish sexual needs from emotional ones and go out and get those needs met (and not necessarily by the same people), which builds her independence. Bucking convention, and facing the fallout, builds her inner strength. Together, independence and inner strength equal empowerment.

Obviously, you don’t have to go out and become a porn actress to do this, and I’m sure the world of commercial porn has its land mines. Nevertheless, I see that a number of women have done this through porn. And not surprisingly, since the work involves all the moving parts necessary to create the perfect storm: having lots of sex with lots of different people and putting it all out there in the most visible way. These women end up facing the flack that society flings at them and fielding the fast balls with the wisdom and integrity they’ve built along the way. I have come to view these women as intrepid feminine soldiers— femme fatales for the ultimate destruction of female sexual repression.

Nina Hartley, my idol who’s been rocking the porn world for over thirty years, is surely one of these heroines of our day.  In the course of her sex-positive feminist activism, she says people frequently ask her how she can be a feminist and do what she does. Her response: “Easy. My body, my rules.” Period.(see link below)   

She also shines a beacon into that darkness by pointing out that, “Sex isn’t something men do to you. It isn’t something men get out of you. Sex is something you dive into with gusto and like it every bit as much as he does.” (link below)  Therapist Marty Klein, in America’s War on Sex, says that porn is subversive to the status quo because it portrays a mutuality of desire in a sexual economy that functions upon an imbalance model (that men want sex and women really don’t). He says that that mutuality is a truth we have buried in a distorted paradigm, and he’s right.

When Miriam Weeks (a.k.a. Belle Knox) was exposed as Duke University’s school-girl-gone-bad, she boldly and intelligently defended herself in many forums, refusing to be “shamed”. Her experience inspired her to focus her law studies toward defending women’s rights. (cited below)

Amarna Miller is another wonderful feminist activist from the porn world. If you watch her pornographic material, you will see a young woman with an innocent, joyful sexuality. If you view and read her personal material, you discover an intelligent, thoughtful, empowered individual. (links below)

In order to look at the big picture, we have to ask ourselves why some of the most powerful feminists and effective advocates for women’s liberation are actually the women happily involved in the very things that traditional libbers despise most. Take a moment to think about that. It tells us that there is certainly a most discomforting flaw in the traditional “liberal” thinking, a flaw involving female sexual identity and expression that needs to be investigated and rectified.

 

Links & Citations:

http://www.sho.com/titles/3420285/x-rated-2-the-greatest-adult-stars-of-all-time

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nina_Hartley#Sex_positive_activism

“The School of Hard-Core Knox”, Penthouse Magazine, Women’s Studies, June 2014. 

https://amarnamiller.com

http://amarnamiller.tumblr.com

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1InnxRlDqk3zY5bJaYkGoCwvS5VmK9tQW

Here’s another excellent article to add to the list: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/porn-stars-on-the-biggest-misconceptions-about-their-jobs-a7346321.html

 

 

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