Does pr0n make men think that women like having sex with jerks?

As I understand it, most pr0n depicts men sexually humiliating women, being abusive, or at least being jerky towards the women they are having sex with. Many heterosexual men who are heavy Internet users also believe that women prefer jerks over nice men. Does heterosexual men’s pr0n consumption contribute to their belief that women like having sex with jerks?

As I understand it, heterosexual men who are regular pr0n consumers see multiple fictional examples of women having sex with jerky men, and emotional images and concepts experienced while achieving orgasm are more memorable than others. People also tend not to remember the original sources of “information” when forming stereotypes. Many men claim to have seen multiple examples of attractive women ending up with jerks, but do these examples originate from pr0n?

Furthermore, is premise of the Seduction Community to have real-life interactions with attractive strangers unfold in the way that pr0n scenarios do?

I am not a pr0n consumer, so I do not know if my perception of pr0n is accurate. However, if you are familiar with pr0n, please discuss the viability of this hypothesis in the comments.

29 Responses to “Does pr0n make men think that women like having sex with jerks?”

  1. satedbuffalo Says:

    I think Andrea Dworkin’s ‘Pornography: Men Possessing Women (1981)’ is still really apt (and moving).

    It’s pretty difficult to trace causative connections between porn and behavior (mostly because the connection is complex and circular), but there’s a lot of anecdotal work that’s been done. (For contemporary sources, I’d suggest Gail Dines on this issue. She may also have some not-anecdotal work, but I’m not aware of it.)

    I think we can definitely say that pornography -at the very least- gives a really false understanding of human (especially female) bodies, sexuality, and sexual pleasure. Pleasure in (most) pornography is more or less directly connected to acts of power and dominance (implicit or explicit), and very often has little relation to how bodies -actually work-.

    Could you explain what the Seduction Community is? I haven’t heard of that before.

  2. Eclectic Says:

    I think something that needs to be addressed here is that neither porn nor the seduction community are monolithic, cohesive entities.

    There’s different types of porn. Something like Playboy doesn’t include images of men at all. On the other hand, porn sites like those run by the company “reality kings” are exactly what you describe in the first sentence of your post.

    I think the effects will vary depending on the types of porn consumed. My inclination is to say that, at minimum, something like playboy affects perceptions beauty and body standards. Regarding porn that actually shows sex acts, there’s a great TED talk by Cindy Gallop that talks about how sex and eroticism is being damaged by porn. It might be worth looking.

    With regard to the seduction community, it’s a mixed bag based on which “pick up gurus” you read/watch and the community members you actually interact with. I hung out with a small (organized) group of members of this community and these men stressed that each members’ goals were his own.

    One guy was looking for his first girlfriend, one was a “frat boy” type looking to put as many notches in the bedpost as possible. The only negative reaction I witnessed was when a new guy showed up to the group and said he wanted to be able to “bang strippers.” The guys who lead this group absolutely tore into him about how there was nothing special about strippers, that they were prone to having issues and that he needed to examine why he was fetishising strippers.

    When I told these guys that I had a girlfriend, they were incredibly happy and supportive. One guy mentioned to me that it was very cool that I’d found someone that I could “mesh” with.

    With regard to actual sexual encounters, there’s really not a lot of instruction provided. A lot of what is taught is focused on getting to that point, not what to do when you get there. There are some figures in the community (Steve Piccus) that do talk much more about “how” have sex. But my experience has been that if you wanted pointers on sexual technique, they will recommend some books that you could pick up at Chapters (ie. Kerner’s “She comes first.”)

    That’s not to say that porn isn’t talked about. But I wouldn’t say it informs their everyday discourse in a way that’s different from men who are not a part of the community.

  3. Eclectic Says:

    Just an adendum:

    In re-reading the post, I realize that it might look . . . bad, that I was hanging out with the seduction community while I had a girlfriend. I was writing about them, not trying to find a way to cheat on my girlfriend.

  4. Restructure! Says:

    satedbuffalo,

    I strongly dislike Dworkin.

    Eclectic,

    Thank you. That was informative.

  5. numol Says:

    Yeah, mainstream* porn’s a fantasy, it’s BS, it’s a performance… but I think a lot of people (especially dudes) do see it as real because they see what they want to see. Just like with anything else that we’re not supposed to “take so seriously”: no matter how obviously BS the whole thing is, lots of people will still absorb the tropes uncritically.

    And because most visual porn’s made for guys and guys alone, yes it is full of horrible woman-hating crap. Racist as hell, too — well really any _ism can be found in the most easily-accessible stuff. Never did find much that was not horribly wrong or at least creepy — that’s probably one reason why so many people (who don’t just want to stick to their own imaginations, anyway) draw and/or write their own porn.

    As a sort-of-aside: I think a lot of people (myself included) have a combination of being hyper-judgmental and self-loathing that makes us really scared of other people, and that’s probably one of the main reasons why we so badly want to believe even the most obvious fantasies: fantasy representations of people are SAFER than interactions with real people. I know an image on a computer screen does not care that I’m a worthless coward or that my navel looks like the Sarlacc pit, an image will never turn out to have some opinion I cannot reconcile with my own opinions, etc. And I also think that insecurities like that can make a person want to do anything to feel less pathetic, so there’s some correlation there between people who are scared of others and people who like power fantasies in particular. Again, I’m speaking from personal experience — it happened to me as a teenage girl and I’m still dealing with those creepier parts of my personality now, and guys, their attitudes being reinforced by cultural expectations, are even more vulnerable to that kind of thinking.

    [Sits back and awaits dudes coming in here and calling us “man-haters”]

    * I say “mainstream” because I’m not exactly a connoisseur — I was very picky even when I was a teenager.

  6. Robin Says:

    Have to agree with Eclectic here, “porn” is a vast umbrella term that covers a lot of territory. There’s female-centric porn, there’s female producers out there making porn aimed at women, etc. And there’s a *lot* of women who consume porn, both mainstream and non-mainstream. (Yes, I’m one of them, and not ashamed of that.) I’ve seen plenty of porn that seems to regard women as little more than objects, and I’ve seen some porn that doesn’t. I know women who have had careers in porn, and their opinions on it cover the spectrum from “it’s a relatively easy way to pay the bills” to “it’s degrading and damaging”. So personally I’d never lump porn all into one basket, because there’s so many different kinds and styles and target markets.

    For a lot of people, for example, what some of us would consider “erotica”, others would consider porn. As an author myself, what I write has graphic sex that doesn’t use euphemisms; it is often brutal and often explores power dynamics. I’d argue that it’s erotica because it’s a literary story that uses sex as a vehicle for exploring the interactions between the characters, but there’s plenty of people who consider “erotica” to be stuff like Harlequin books, and as soon as hardcore sex that isn’t couched in terms like “throbbing staff” and “her velvety heat” appears, now it’s porn. So, yeah. Porn covers a lot of territory, both on the screen and on the page.

    That being said, I don’t know if I agree with the basic premise that porn is what makes many men regard women poorly. Almost all of my male friends are porn consumers (we have frank discussions about these things in my social circles, so yes, I know this), yet none of them expect women in real life to act that way. I don’t expect women in real life to act the way many women in porn act. I think most of us can tell the difference between a fantasy depiction and reality, even when we watch a lot of fantasy.

    However, what I do wonder about is that kids today seem to have much easier access to porn, due to the Internet. When I was in my early teens, our porn consumption was limited to finding the occasional Playboy, or if we were really lucky, we might find a few videotapes belonging to a friend’s parents. But now a kid can come home from school, log on to the Internet, and spend the next three hours until their parents get home surfing from one porn site to the next. I think that most adults are perfectly capable of distinguishing reality from fantasy… but does the same hold true for an impressionable young adolescent, who is just starting to form their perceptions and thoughts about the subject? To make it more risky, kids are exceedingly unlikely to be able to have realistic discussions about sex and interpersonal relationships with their parent(s) since most parents are freaked out about sex (as it pertains to their children). That means their only sources for fact-checking are friends, and we all know how reliable *that* is. Another twelve-year-old is not going to sit you down and have a discussion about how women aren’t really that hot to trot, and how porn depicts a fantasy where consequences don’t exist.

    (Also I wonder how much niche kinks are going to rise in popularity. As a youngster I never had access to really freaky porn, but for youngsters now, that’s as accessible as typing “[insert niche kink here]” into Google.)

    So personally, I think that porn isn’t a major factor in what adult men *today* believe about women. But I’m not sure if I’ll be able to say the same thing in ten years, or twenty.

  7. numol Says:

    @Restructure!: I just realized how far I strayed from the topic in my last comment here. Sorry about that.

    @Robin:

    I am pretty sure the point of Restructure!’s post was not that all porn makes men behave badly toward women. If I’m understanding her correctly, she’s looking at a specific phenomenon and theorizing about what might be the cause of it. And I agree with her that porn, like any other kind of entertainment, can get into your head — sure, there are exceptions, but I think a lot of people do buy into the fantasy. Find a forum full of mostly straight cis men (the target audience for the most mainstream types of porn), and there will probably be quite a few whose expectations of women fit the porn stereotypes more than reality.

    As for generalizing about porn: I agree with you when it comes to porn as an entire sweeping category — especially because, as you point out, the definition is subjective — but where mainstream cis/hetero western hardcore (the most popular stuff in the west and the only hardcore I’ve really seen much of) is concerned, I think it’s okay to generalize. Most of it is the same stuff over and over — like Mad Libs but with sex.

    I find your thoughts on how porn might impact the generations after ours really interesting, and unsettling. I think a lot of things that are allegedly “corrupting the youth” are either overhyped or totally harmless, but I don’t like the idea of kids getting ahold of mainstream hardcore (the _isms in it are usually even worse than most TV/movies). However, my feelings on niche kinks depend entirely on the kink — in that case I don’t like to generalize at all. For example, any violent kinks would definitely not be good for 13-year-olds to see, but cake-sitting porn would be way more innocuous.

  8. Robin Says:

    @numol: Maybe I’m just seeing mostly atypical porn, but considering my porn consumption is primarily of videos made by Vivid Entertainment and they’re the largest mainstream porn producer, I doubt it. While I agree that a great deal of it has a Mad Libs quality (and that made me laugh, it’s a good analogy), I think that’s pretty much inescapable in porn; unless you’re delving into a genuine story, it all boils down to Tab A (and sometimes also Tabs B and/or C, depending on how many players there are) going into Slot A, B, and/or C. And let’s be blunt, with the exception of some alt-porn and porn aimed at females, they’re not delving into a genuine story.

    I don’t know, maybe I have a different perspective on it than other people. I suspect my perspective on sex is different beyond most people’s; as an example, when you mentioned cake-sitting porn being more innocuous, my first thought was, “But they’ll have a much harder time finding a partner for cake-sitting, so it’s better for them to develop a taste of pain-play, there’s lots of people into pain-play.” Perhaps – probably? – there are elements in mainstream porn that the average person may see as degrading, but I don’t see them as degrading because my standards for behavior among consenting adults are different.

    There are definitely some things I see as degrading and WTF (like that trend of spitting on a woman’s lady-parts to lube her up – WTF?! who finds that sexy?! don’t DO that!) but I don’t, say, automatically see a power imbalance as being degrading. A power imbalance is only degrading if the partner on the bottom considers it degrading, and in most porn, I don’t get the sense that the bottom (who is usually the woman) is feeling degraded. I don’t believe a woman on her knees is automatically being degraded. I don’t believe a man calling her a bitch is automatically degrading her, if she’s there telling him to “fuck me hard” in the same tone of voice and it’s obvious they’re both into it. (Of course a major exception to this is porn that’s *meant* to be degrading, but humiliation porn is another market entirely. Or something like Girls Gone Wild, where they’re taking advantage of drunk girls who would be unlikely to do the same things if they were sober; being taken advantage of is certainly degrading.)

    I agree that most “our youth are being corrupted” things are BS; hell, there’s quotes from Plato and Socrates complaining about how the youth (of their day) were horrible and not respectful like their own generation was. I think it’s just human nature for many people to rail about the next generation and think that the complete collapse of society due to ~*~OMG THOSE WILD ADOLESCENTS~*~ is imminent. But yeah, I do wonder what effect easy access to hardcore porn is going to have. I mean, there’s aspects in my sexuality that I can clearly trace back to reading Stephen King’s The Stand when I was seven years old. If reading a single book can have that profound of an impact, what will watching a lot of videos do to a youngster? And there’s *everything* fairly easily accessible on the Internet now, including things like videos of bestiality, eel porn, etc.

    I have two sons myself, and while they’re still young enough to be years away from middle school, I already wonder about this subject a lot. We keep our computer in the living room, and we’ll let them use it only under supervision; but there’s nothing we can do about them going over to other kids’ houses and using the Internet there. In the end, all you can do is try to raise them so they know they can come to you with any questions they have and you won’t judge them or freak out, and then you just hope they actually do come to you with their questions. :/

  9. A Boy Named Art Says:

    The thing is, I’m not sure if the theory that [x] media feeds perceptions about women and jerky males can be restricted to pr0n anymore, or even the seduction community. With the proliferation of the UK “laddy mags” and shows like Tough Love, that meme seems to have spread to other forms of media.

    Erm, apologies, didn’t mean to derail.

  10. kattla Says:

    @Robin: Perhaps it’s not so much about whether a power imbalance is degrading or not, but rather that repeated depiction might feed the assumption that a particular power imbalance is natural? Or, to return to the original question, feed an assumption that women tend to find jerkiness attractive?

  11. Robin Says:

    @kattla: I think the issue isn’t so much that we see women with jerks in porn, it’s that we see that a lot in real life. Unfortunately people never seem to examine *why* it is that the jerks often do have women: the jerks are usually the ones with supreme self-confidence, who put themselves out there and go after women… and no surprise, going after women results in getting more women. It isn’t that women are attracted to jerks en masse *because* they’re jerks, it’s that the jerks are the ones who usually have a much more straightforward and persistent approach, and that approach gets results. But if people aren’t pondering *why* jerks get women and if their techniques are something that could be replicated by non-jerks, all they’re left with is, “Damn, women love jerks. What gives?”

    Regarding your first question, that repeated depiction works toward feeding the assumption of imbalances as natural – I hadn’t thought of it from that angle before. In general, repeated depiction helping to support normalization is a pretty established concept for anything, and there’s no reason porn would be any different than any other medium. That being the case, I could certainly support the idea that with most of porn being male/top woman/bottom, it helps to support the cultural patriarchal structure. It doesn’t create it, but it would certainly help to support it.

  12. Restructure! Says:

    Robin,

    I really don’t see women going for jerks at all. All my het female friends like sweet, sensitive guys. Sometimes boyfriends or husbands display jerky behaviour after the relationship has been established, but jerkiness and misogyny aren’t attractive to people I know. Maybe you personally don’t mind jerks, but you also think that being called a bitch is not automatically degrading. I mean, maybe it’s not necessarily degrading for everyone, but many (most?) women do find that degrading.

  13. Robin Says:

    @Restructure: I think you missed my point. I don’t think jerkiness and misogyny are attractive to women either. My point is that women aren’t attracted to jerks *because* they’re jerks; jerks get women because they go after women, and some women respond to men pursuing them. It’s statistical. If you don’t ask any women out because you’re too shy to do so, you’re unlikely to end up with a date, unless a woman decides to ask you out. If you have self-confidence and you ask out 100 women, some of those women are going to say yes. Ergo, a jerk with self-confidence isn’t getting women *because* he’s a jerk and women are attracted to that, he’s getting women *because* he keeps going after women until one says yes. The problem is that then we see a lot of jerks who have women, and people draw the conclusion that the women are with jerks *because* they’re jerks. No; they’re with the jerks because jerks keep pursuing women until they find ones that will go out with them. Hell, if you don’t believe me, feel free to watch “The Situation” on Jersey Shore – he’s a perfect example of how the persistent-douchebag approach works.

    And am I into jerks personally? No, my fella’s a sweetheart. I think that the only women who are genuinely into jerks are those that come from backgrounds where they have been emotionally damaged and are prone to falling into abusive relationships. But like I hopefully explained in the previous paragraph, no, I don’t think most women in general are attracted to jerkiness.

    Also, please go reread my previous comment about “bitch”, because you seem to have forgotten the crucial second part of my sentence: it isn’t degrading *if* she is on the same wavelength (i.e.: she’s telling him to fuck her hard in the same tone of voice, etc) *and* she’s into it. Is it okay for a random man to call me a dirty bitch? No. Is it okay for my husband to call me a dirty bitch during a fight? No. Is it okay for him to call me a dirty bitch after I’ve told him to fuck his nasty little slut? Sure. Is it okay for a female friend to call me a bitch when we’re all joking around? Sure. It’s all contextual. It isn’t degrading if both partners (friends, whatever) are into it. But that’s a pretty limited circumstance (and it’s a limited circumstance that I specified in my original comment), so I don’t think it’s fair for you to suggest that I’m saying that bitch is generally okay.

  14. Cessen Says:

    My suspicion is that it isn’t a direct effect. Watching porn != guys think women go for jerks. Of all the media that a guy can watch, porn is the least likely one for him to draw relationship conclusions from. (Although sex conclusions, sure.) I think general TV and movies is more likely a source of faulty relationship conclusions (for both men and women).

    But I think there’s a good chance of a more indirect effect from porn:
    1. Guy A watches porn.
    2. Guy A dates Girl A and sucks in bed due to emulating porn.
    3. Girl A complains about uncaring (in the bedroom) boyfriend in a space visible to Guy B.
    4. Guy B concludes Girl A is dating a jerk.

    Scale this up to a population-level effect, and Guy B could quickly come to more global conclusions. But what he’s not seeing is the rest of the equation (including that Guy A might be awesome in most other respects). And the great irony is that Guy B probably has a lot of the same misconceptions about female sexuality due to porn that Guy A has.

    I strongly dislike Dworkin.

    Umm… well, not that I do like her, but isn’t that more than a little of an ad hominem dismissal? Or do you mean you’ve already read the material referenced, and you disagree with it?

  15. Restructure! Says:

    Robin,

    Sorry for mischaracterizing you and jumping to conclusions. My definition of “jerk” includes introverted and shy people, since Nice GuyTM is a jerk too.

    When you said:

    Unfortunately people never seem to examine *why* it is that the jerks often do have women: the jerks are usually the ones with supreme self-confidence,

    I immediately read it as the oft-repeated idea that “girls like jerks”, and that we do so because we confuse jerk behaviour for high confidence, a trait of “high status” males.

  16. Restructure! Says:

    Cessen,

    I’ve read a bit of Intercourse in the most charitable way possible, and I think her views on heterosexual intercourse do not make any sense. I mean, I could read the material referenced and evaluate it on its own, but given that I do not have infinite time and I am not immortal, I doubt it would be a wise use of my time. I also do not read Ann Coulter books for the same reason.

  17. Robin Says:

    @Restructure: I appreciate the apology. :) And yeah, I’m tired of the old trope you mentioned too. I think there’s a vast difference between good guys with high self-confidence (who are that way because they have achieved things and been raised right) and douchebags with high self-confidence (who have a vastly over-inflated sense of self-worth and entitlement). And I believe that most women are more than capable of telling the difference, and reacting negatively/appropriately to the latter.

  18. Cessen Says:

    @Restructure:
    Fair enough.

  19. Eclectic Says:

    I think Cessen has hit the nail right on the head. I’m not sure that men take any sort of lesson about what women find attractive from porn. I think porn may be more damaging to sex and eroticism since the sex in porn is, generally, terrible. And younger men AND women may begin to perceive porn sex as how sex should typically be. That fact alone is depressing even before we consider issues of power and domination.

    I mentioned this before, but Cindy Gallop delivers a TED talk on this issue (http://blog.ted.com/2009/12/02/cindy_gallop_ma/) and set up a website (that never seemed to be updated) to address it as well (http://www.makelovenotporn.com).

  20. Old Earth Accretionist Says:

    As a woman who greatly enjoys porn, and thinks that many other women would be surprised to find that they do as well, I do not think porn is the problem. The fact is that there is still porn that is unrealistic/degrading but the much missed fact in most of society (particularly the subset of women who do not watch porn) is that the up and coming porn companies, the ones that are doing the best are the ones that are producing realistic, respectful and good quality porn. This is particularly true of more specialty kink porn (as in the case of kink.com definitely NSFW or minors)… but is also true of a lot of the more mainstream sources and there is a growing segment of porn production that is run and produced for women (and gets excellent reviews from both women and men).

    For information including incredibly intelligent discourse on and resources for feminist, sex-positive, respectful and responsible porn I highly recommend checking out Violet Blue’s blog (http://www.tinynibbles.com/ again, contains much NSFW content) Violet Blue is a highly respected sex educator and sex and technology expert.

    If we, as women want to change the porn industry we have to weigh in, and the reality is that we are. We are starting to consume it, enjoy it, guide it… and the thing that most of the smart production companies are noticing is that when they listen to the women audiences their male clientele respond better to their products as well. They are learning that realistic sex is more interesting for everyone…. and this is a change that has extreme bearing for the views of female sexuality going forward. The best production agencies attract women and men who are truly interested in their jobs and produce a more interesting and varied view of the differences in both male and female sexuality and making it just as much about the women’s gratification as it is about the men’s (or even in the case of some of the sites more about the woman’s).

    I believe that safe, respectful pornography is becoming mainstream and that it is reflecting social changes in the view of male and female roles in sexuality. And that we will see more and more changes to positive and affirming sexual discourses… but then I am an optimist.

    Also if you are a woman who is curious about porn but doesn’t feel comfortable with it (either because women aren’t “supposed” to want to or because you don’t want to be inundated by terrible and/or exploitative porn) go and check out Violet Blue (as linked above) she will provide you with resources and information to either just learn about what is currently going on or to actually explore “safe” porn. I highly recommend overcoming the societal stereotype of “girls don’t watch porn” you might be surprised by what you find. (incidentally watching porn doesn’t take away from relationships and has no correlation with being lonely etc… that is another terribly untrue stereotype that needs to change…)

    …sorry I seem to have gone on a little bit… I didn’t mean to get that into the post…

  21. Old Earth Accretionist Says:

    Sorry one more small parting word… Porn is not to blame for sub-standard sex from men (anymore than vibrators place unreasonable expectations on men) the societally perpetuated myth that “good girls” and/or “good boys” don’t talk about sex or that sex is embarrassing is to blame.

    The most important factor in being in a mutually healthy and beneficial sexual relationship with someone (both male and female) is honest and frank communication. No one can read another persons mind… if you go about “faking” things or being too afraid to ask for or even just discuss what you actually want chances are your partner won’t even know that you want them.

    Good sex isn’t as self-evident as people like to pretend… it requires honest communication because people want different things!

    Experiment and be honest about the results on both of your parts and you will be amazed!

  22. Old Earth Accretionist Says:

    Sorry again (if I could edit my post I would do it rather than posting again)… one section of Violet Blue’s website (found here http://www.tinynibbles.com/smartporn contains NSFW content… mostly on the sidebars where there is information about sex-positive books and non-exploitative porn/erotica sites) is specifically dedicated to talking about porn for women (and provides a list of links with concise and useful information about what each site offers). There is also information on female sexuality and resources about safe and enjoyable sex. Scrolling down to the bottom will provide links to a few excellent articles specifically about porn and some about the myths of porn.

    It also contains a couple links to good web filters if you are concerned about your children and porn on the internet…

  23. Eclectic Says:

    @Old Earth Accretionist (OEA)

    I’d agree with your point. I’d say it’s a combination of the two factors. When we’re afraid to talk about sex, porn steps in to fill the void and informs people of what sex is “typically” like.

    No void, no (or less) problem.

  24. Cessen Says:

    @Old Earth Accretionist:

    The most important factor in being in a mutually healthy and beneficial sexual relationship with someone (both male and female) is honest and frank communication. No one can read another persons mind… if you go about “faking” things or being too afraid to ask for or even just discuss what you actually want chances are your partner won’t even know that you want them.

    Good sex isn’t as self-evident as people like to pretend… it requires honest communication because people want different things!

    Amen to that. :-)

  25. nfamous23 Says:

    The problem with this article is that is assumes that all women are the same. They aren’t. Most women, like men, are insecure but not everyone out there has low self-esteem. Women with low self-esteem are drawn to jerks because it mirrors the familial dynamic to which they are accustomed. Women with healthy families do not find jerks attractive, unless they have a great body. They’ll have sex with jerks but it would just be sex. Women with low self-esteem are not attracted to men that treat them with respect. It’s sad but my point is being insecure is basically human but not having low self-esteem. Whether we value ourselves or not depends on whether we felt valued as children for the most part. Some women even have high self-esteem but still like having sex that feminists would consider disrespectful and pornographic. What two consenting adults do behind closed doors is their business.

  26. numol Says:

    @nfamous23:

    “The problem with this article is that is assumes that all women are the same.”

    No, it does not.

    The point is way, waaaaaaaay over there ——–>
    You missed it by quite a lot.

  27. Mirrored Says:

    Most modern porn for men is entirely devoid of context and is largely an exercise in self-insertion. The days of story oriented pornography were eclipsed long ago and most of what we have today is sex without context, or sex in the context that it is produced for its actual visual content and an emphasis of the act itself rather than the situation that brought the acts into fruition.

    The premise of the seduction community is basically a lot of men who have deep insecurities about past failures in romance trying to redeem themselves. I don’t think they are per se bad guys, I think they have real problems, many of which stem from a kind of socially acceptable psychological abuse that women do knowingly or unknowingly perpetuate.

    No successful pickup ends with a recreation of a scripted porn and that’s not the kind of thing these men are after– they want to use sex for self-validation and as proof that they now have worth. The kind of worth that is destroyed when they are emasculated by being put in “the friend zone” or are used by women for validation and then discarded in favor of other men, left wondering “what’s wrong with me?”.

    In a sense, the seduction community is a community of revenge, carried out by victims of a wrong that is not acknowledged. The lack of acknowledgement adds to their frustration and is either converted into a bitter and generalized misogyny or becomes impetus to rebel and engage in sex as conquest.

    But to get back to the topic, pornography has changed radically from what it used to be and now markets more to the act itself rather than the situation and power dynamics from which it originates.

  28. Cindy Gallop Says:

    @eclectic Thank you for mentioning http://www.makelovenotporn.com, and I have to apologize for the fact that it hasn’t been updated – I put it up on no money two years ago, and have been blown away by the quite amazing response it’s received, which I never expected. I have had no money or resources to spend on it (my main startup is http://www.ifwerantheworld.com), but the traction it’s gained is such that I am currently seeking funding to take it forward to make it more far-reaching and effective, so please watch this space!

    Cindy Gallop
    http://www.makelovenotporn.com

  29. Eclectic Says:

    @Cindy I look forward to seeing what the site becomes. Best wishes in moving forward.

    @Mirrored I think you’re right in many cases, though, again, I would caution about overgeneralizing. In my time hanging out with these guys, I remember one guy explicitly saying the same thing you did: “I think a lot of guys in this community have been hurt by women in the past and see this as a way of gaining power.”

    Yet, at the same time, he and another member of this group actively tied to moderate this sentiment. It’s difficult to describe, but he genuinely liked the company of women. He often talked about how much enjoyed “the type of energy” that women brought to the table, about how intoxicating it was. I know that what I’ve written sounds terribly lame, but he had a sensuality to him and a genuine, laid back magnetism that even made me want to be around him.

    He was definitely not in it for some sort of vengeance on women. And he actively questioned other members of the group about their motives and about how the need for validation was something that other members of the group needed to address.

    The “wrong” you mention is acknowledged explicitly by some members of the community. There are some “famous” posts and essays about why seeking validation is not a good practice. For instance: http://www.bristollair.com/2008/inner-game/nature-reality/are-you-taking-a-hit-off-the-validation-crack-pipe/

    Much of what the seduction community refers to as “inner game” deals with abandoning the need for validation and the development of “genuine” confidence. This is still often couched in language that essentializes gender norms and reinforces masculine hegemony, but I think there is a bit more complexity and self-examination that does go on amongst those who get deeply involved in the community.


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