Pooches, naked bodies and what is beautiful

As has been previously established, I watch a lot of porn. Mainly this is for academic research but of course I still watch porn for pleasure. Only now when I do, I do so with a much more “discerning” eye. I’m looking for the what-I-now-sadly-recognize-as-typical violence and degradation, but I’m also looking at body types. It is always impressive to me how female porn stars  manage to keep their stomachs flat in almost every position; like they are constantly sucking in their guts while they are vigorously humping along.

I first noticed this when I was researching Belle Knox’s new porn. As a new porn star, she is still rather novice (and young at 18). In one of her first videos, a hideous thing made for facial abuse, Knox was receiving doggy and her back was hunched up and therefore a bit of the world’s tiniest pooch was sticking out from a very slender girl. The director instructed her to “try to suck your fat belly in.” (I don’t recommend it but if you want to see the full scene, here is the very NSFW or suitable for life video). Granted this is a site designed for degradation and humiliation but it also made me realize as a novice Knox hadn’t learned the tricks of arching her back and sucking in so that her stomach appeared flat at all times.

Knox’s little faux paus also made me realize how used I am to seeing that sucked in stomach trick; I have begun to imagine most women have flat stomachs in all positions all the time when naked. I think it is fair to say that in reality though most women do not. To be honest I’m not usually thinking about my stomach when I’m having sex; I don’t have sex for a video camera so I don’t usually worry if a pooch is hanging down or out when I’m thoroughly enjoying myself.

Tizan-3

I guess I wonder and worry if other women do think about their pooches, and if this thought may keep them from fully enjoying sex. To be blunt, when most women orgasm they can barely contain their thigh muscles much less hold tight their guts. If women are obsessed with replicating the flat stomach tricks of porn stars, I wonder if they may be impeding on their own enjoyment of sex.

Beyond though just women enjoying sex, I wonder if we aren’t recognizing the sexy of the pooch. I recently saw a posting on Facebook about what famous paintings of naked women would look like if they were photoshopped to today’s standards. It was terribly sad. All these beautiful women in these gorgeous paintings, cut down, their softness just sliced away. I understand some people’s bodies are naturally slim which is also totally sexy and beautiful but most women have some softness to them, a bit of a curve in the belly, a bump in the hips. This is gorgeous. This is not something to be slivered away at or held in. This curve of lusciousness is meant to be touched and caressed and held (or humped, pounded and spanked if that is what you are into.)

I’m not advocating for gaining a pooch if your body doesn’t have one. Be healthy and happy. But I’m saying, when I look at myself naked, I don’t want to take a magic photoshop eraser to my stomach or my hips or my thighs. I want to see my body, its health, its softness, and see sexy.

I think that is what these artists hundreds of years ago saw when they looked at women and I think that is what modern pornographers have lost in their interpretations of the female body.

#rantover

Porn Study Two Months In: Taking an unsanctioned break from coding to sample

I haven’t done any coding for the past two weeks. Not that there isn’t coding to do. Not that I shouldn’t have been coding. Not that I won’t have a backlog of two weeks of coding to binge on over break. It was just that I couldn’t. I needed a break. I needed to unpixalize sex.

Not that I wasn’t watching porn. I had to sample the 400 LGBT videos from Pornhub for the next phase of the study. In order to sample you have to figure out first how many videos you need to have enough power in your sample. Once you find your magic sample number X, then you need to find the total amount of videos in that category, divide that number by your magic number X to find your sampling nth number and finally sample random video 1,2,3,4, etc on each nth page. I did not explain that well but just trust me; it is all pretty basic math-y and not fun. Not fun at all.

All that translated to about five hours of simultaneously sampling videos while trying to not actually watch the videos. I ended up putting Battlestar Galetica on my little Chromebook, putting on my headphones and pretending that wasn’t an image of a young man wet humping a soccer ball on my Acer.

Let’s just say I had some weird dreams about Starbuck and some kinky cylons. Unfortunately this means I have to do two weeks’ worth of coding over break. Lord help me, I may never be able to watch porn for fun again.

The Porn Study: 6 Weeks, Forgetting how to do “real” sex

Sometimes I’m actually afraid I’ll forget how to have “real” sex; that one day I’ll be naked with someone lovely and I’ll ask him to hold my leg up and out so the non-existent camera can get a better angle of my cooch, or I’ll leave on my socks and shoes for traction, or worse yet, I’ll forget to kiss my partner, to look into his eyes and remember that he is a person, that we are people connecting for reasons other than for a camera.

I’ve been on my steady stream of mainstream porn now for about 6 weeks and the effects are real and slightly terrifying. Beyond coding every single sexual situation I see, I’m beginning to worry I won’t be able to actually connect with someone again on a physical level without hearing imaginary bow-chicka-bow-wow music in my head.

Without delving too deeply into my dating habits in my new city, let me just say I have met a bevy of wonderful young men, none of whom have tickled my particular fickle fancy. Which is to say I’m am single, a status I’m used to, but one that feels particularly lonely now that I’ve surrounded myself of images of strangers banging. Without having a partner to balance out the images of fake boobs and inhumanly large penises, I’m afraid my brain is forgetting what it is to have intimate sex.

Or maybe I’m just horny.

Either way, this is becoming a rather painful processing of uncomfortable learning. I feel unbalanced, pushed to my edge of what is not just comfortable, but rationale and even spiritually safe. It is here – teetering – that I contemplate just how much of my personal life, my sexuality, my balance I will willingly give up. It is here that I have to admit: I’m afraid I won’t regain my comfort and ease with real life sex; that this project will somehow change forever how I view sex and not in a better way.

The Porn Study: Two Weeks In, How do you explain pubic hair?

In science you have to do this thing called “explicating,” which is basically creating an exhaustive definition of every single concept you are studying. For the porn study we are researching a bunch of shit which translates to a bunch of flipping explicating.

Here are some things my adviser and I explicated this week:

Consent

“passed out”

Physical vs. verbal aggression

Gay for pay

Pubic hair

Mutilation

Docking vs frotting

MTF and FTM

Sounding

Private Area

Penetration

There were a few other explication debates but these are the ones that stuck with me. We honestly had at least a 5 minutes conversation about whether or not a man’s chest should be included in “private area.” We had to explain just what consent in porn looked like. And I personally created a six-sentence description of what pubic hair is and how to code.

This may not look like it to most people but for me this week was #success.

And thus men’s chests are private areas……