This isn't going to be a long and intellectual post, as I'm rather tired from working hard this week and playing hard this weekend. But, since I know from recent posts that some people from the anti-pornography crowd are watching this blog at the moment, I've got a question for them.
I understand that you feel that some sexual acts and interests involve degrading people, usually women. But what do you think is happening when someone who likes rough sex is begging for more -- or even getting irritated with his or her partner because it's not rough enough? Because last night I heard a whole lot of "More!" and even "That's not enough."
Is this only a problem if it's a depiction in pornography? Is this only a problem if the person who wants to be treated more roughly is female? A woman? Transfeminine?
It really puzzles me. I don't understand what the word "degradation" means when it's connected to acts or to kinds of sex or fetishes. To me, one person degrades another if he regards that person as lesser and intends to treat her in a degrading way.
Can that happen on a porn set? Sure. Do some people have fantasies about very harsh treatment? Sure, and yeah, there are genres of porn centered around it. (Though I do have to say I've used porn for a fairly long time and I didn't know about the very rough stuff the anti-porners always mention until I met Ren. Was I aware it existed? Yeah, but only vaguely. While it's true that the plural of anecdote is not data, but I do find myself wondering just what percentage of consumers are big fans of that subgenre, what percentage occasionally use it, and what percentage don't.)
But, well, Ernest mentions in his response to the Price of Pleasure trailer that the scene on which he puts a collar on a woman is affectionate because that's where they were in their relationship at the time. Porn revealing something about an actual relationship? Smiley affectionate tenderness and D/s? Say it ain't so!
Anyway... is that "degradation?" If we take what Ernest is saying at face value -- that they were in a relationship, that this was intimate nice stuff for them -- where's the "degradation?"
I can't engage with the worry that pornography is degrading -- or the definition of pornography as depictions of degradation -- until I know what we mean by degradation in the first place, and why degradation doesn't depend on context.