Sunday, July 15, 2007

Susie Bright interviews Debbie Nathan

Another must-read: Susie Bright interviews Debbie Nathan, author of Satan's Silence: Ritual Abuse and the Making of a Modern American Witch Hunt and Pornography. It's long but it really is worth it to read the whole thing. Here's an excerpt:
SB: You have a new book out called Pornography, and it's part of a learning series for young adults to grapple with issues of the day, but it's a good primer for anyone who might want to look at some of the basic arguments about porn. And what amazes me is, when it comes to the huge majority of porn that is produced and consumed, it is the same banal sucking and fucking over and over and over again that dominates the market.

DN: I think the stories that you hear in the media, the gloom-and-doom, scary stories about the bukkake and the donkeys - that's all coming from the so-called clinical samples. That's coming from the people that are in therapy because they consider themselves to be porn addicts, and they've spent all their time finding the weirder and weirder stuff. That's the story, right? "I lost control of it. I wanted to see weirder and weirder and weirder stuff." And that's the porn consumer in the popular imagination now.

SB: I totally reject the notion that that's the cycle. Most people don't sit around with their porn having to have more and more and more extreme...

DN: No, but that's the clinical tale. That's the tale that the media likes, because it's the scary tale.

SB: Well, it's funny you should call it "clinical." Because it's not even accepted by most of the psychiatric profession. There is no such thing as porn addiction in the DSM manual.

DN: I know. And if you look in my book, you'll see that I debunk that. But that's the story the mass media likes to tell. That's what they hang the problem on - the weirdo stuff.


  1. Fixed it, sorry. My hand accidentally hit the "return" key before I was done! :P

  2. hehe, good reading, too, glad for the link!

  3. I'm glad somebody transcribed that interview – there's some very good info and perspective there. I heard the interviews about a month ago on In Bed With Susie Bright, which I have a subsdription to.

    The story of how Kurt Eichenwald managed to have a story by Nathan that was critical of his reporting pulled from Salon is an amazing and scary story in itself.

  4. You know, it also sounds very much like the "studies" that were (are, still, by the ex-gay people, but they're no longer considered scientifically valid, thank God) used to prove that gay people were all shame-riddled, substance abusing deviants doomed to a joyless twilight existence, which is totally why we should keep labelling homosexuality a disease and deny basic civil rights. well, yeah, if you focus on the people who're fucked up, and adding onto it hello it's the STIGMA that causes shame, and probably some of the other acting out behaviors too, well?...

  5. "I wanted to see weirder and weirder and weirder stuff."

    Y'know, the big thing to me with this is it so doesn't resonate.

    My fantasies involved bleeding welts from the beginning. They never really got weirder or less weird. I was never deviant for the shock value.

    If anything, finding I could get off to Vivid was a surprise.

    And you know, those mundane videos? The few that were cleverly done (I remember one, can't remember who produced it, in which latex-coated hands rise up from the floor and caressed this woman, fingered her, used dildoes on her, and another where a black man watched a white woman (I'd no idea at the time this was taboo) through glass, touching himself while she displayed her body -- really well done) I can easily imagine enjoying again.

    It's not all about progressively higher octane sex for me.

  6. yeah, i think that bespeaks a really reactionary mindset. most people gravitate toward what they like and stick to it, whether that's sexual or anything else that involves...taste. maybe the novelty factor keeps people for looking for progressively "weirder" stuff; but the impulse to go "oo, lookit the freakshow" really isn't the same as "wow, this gets me hot," usually.

  7. trin:
    I think both scenes you are thinking of were on an Adam&Eve VHS collection which had three cameron grant movies:
    The Dinner Party (1994)
    Fantasy Chamber (1995)
    Erotic Visions (1995)
    Don't remember which one had the scenes
    you were referring to. Unfortunately, that tape has deteriorated.

    Nice stuff. Couples tapes, artistic, a bit kinky.

    He apparently only did two others:
    Elements of Desire (1994)
    Passion in Venice (1995)

  8. fantasy chamber! that one was fun... but I'm not at all sure it was the same one..

    hmm. *ponderment*