4.02.2012

A Brief Missive on Ladyporn and How I Really Feel About Bubble Baths.

After telling our few friends about our blog, not only were they terribly kind and supportive, but it also shifted our relationship dynamic to a point where we're now able to have hours-long conversations about sex. What we like. What we don't. How we feel about porn. Open relationships and threesomes. And why not? After all, that's what we do here, (and they've seen a LOT of us through the blog), so what's to hide? And we've gotta tell you, it's brutally refreshing to be able to have these discourses with people we hang with multiple times each week.

Also, sometimes it leads to you asking if they ever feel like getting some of this on paper and guest posting. And they send you this a mere few hours later. And it's brilliant. And honest. And hot. And funny. And REAL. We hope you enjoy this as much as we did.

Oh, and if you're anything like us, you're gonna read this and say, "MORE PLEASE, NOW!" So let's all refer to her as Red when we do make that request.

A Brief Missive on Ladyporn and How I Really Feel About Bubble Baths.
by Red.

Guys! I want to talk to you about a terrible word. I am sorry that this might hurt, and not in a good way, but it's sort of been following me a lot lately and I wanted to talk about it because Violet and Rye said I could. I want to talk about what it means when we say "ladyporn." 

It has its purposes, certainly. We all know that Rachael Rabbit White claimed this word last year for a celebration of real porn for real women. Or do we? Until I googled the word five minutes ago, I didn't. What I did know was that last month a popular website had a "Twitter party" wherein they encouraged followers to tweet their idea of ladyporn, which included some pretty edgy shit like bubble baths, red wine, and pictures of Ryan Gosling. I know, too that the word came up in conversations about whether the term "chick lit" described a valid literary genre. I know that people I actually respect have used that hashtag in reference to things they regard as romantic or guilty pleasures. People I respect less have used it to talk about Twilight.



You know the problem, sort of, framed through Violet and Rye's own post "The Good Porn Problem." You know it in a slicker, entrepreneurial mindset through Cindy Gallop and Make Love Not Porn. But there is this, too, this slightly separate problem of porn and women: what the hell are we talking about when we talk about porn, and how do we contextualize it? Like you, I want there to be places to go online and in the world where there's a distinction between "good porn" and "bad porn"; I want that content to be as curated to my tastes as the music, art, and lifestyle blogs and publications I frequent. But I also want to know that when I say the word "porn", I'm not talking about a romantic comedy or a bubble bath, and it terrifies me to think that those are dialogues being created by women, who are unwittingly doing as much to create the gap between real sex and porn-as-we-know-it as the men who grow up thinking that sex is about coming on a woman's face.

A bit of personal history for you, because you're not going to get any pictures of my tits. (Sorry guys! Want a visual? Kinda Violet-shaped, smaller booty, liberal use of tattoos.) I'm big on Cindy Gallop's mission statement because, to date, the only sexual request I've ever turned down is to let a guy come on my face. That this has been the only rule has made all of the guys who have seen my tits (or pictures thereof!) surprised by me, even though I have normal desires and they have normal desires and as far as I am aware, I tend to have pretty normal sex. They're surprised to learn that I want to be told what to do, because I am a woman who is fully in control of her life all of the time, who dictates every waking moment, who writes hard and works hard and thinks hard and wants to come home to a place where she doesn't have to think at all in her quest to play hard. The men in my life who've been the best in bed are the ones who understand that it is the only place I will ever let them tell me what to do. When it works well, it works because we both know what I want.

It is scary, I know, to have other people ask you what you want. This is true in sex, in work, in every aspect of life. Maybe that's part of our good porn problem: maybe if we stop to think about what we really want in porn, the answer has less to do with things we happen to like very much and a lot more to do with things we want very badly when we are naked after a long day at work and we are calmly asking our loved ones to shove us up against a wall, already. Or maybe about how we don't really want to do that, but we'd like to look at pictures of that while naked with our loved ones instead. I don't really know what you want, but I refuse to believe that what we are collectively begging for is some good old "chick lit." The truth of the matter is that I generally fucking hate bubble baths, and that maybe you love them, but neither of those sentiments have anything to do with porn. I am interested, always, in what people really want in all aspects of life, and I'm thoroughly convinced that these soft redefinitions are getting in the way.

I guess what I'm trying to say here is that we need to be able to take the word back, and that those of us who already know this have only been preaching to the converted. I'm not sure where to begin, but we need to know that porn has nothing to do with red wine and bubble baths (although something, probably, with pictures of Ryan Gosling.) I have this terrible fear that until we are able to say out loud to each other than porn is about sex, we're not going to have any satisfying version of either.

In other news, if you haven't read this Very Solid Advice from Thought Catalog on The Thinking Woman's Guide To Threesomes, you should definitely make that happen.

25 comments:

  1. Bravo! I literally gag when I hear about this lady porn stuff. I tried all of that when I was young and newly married and thought that was what was supposed to turn me on. Then, I thought this isn't working so maybe there is something wrong with me. Turns out it was all a LIE and a complete waste of fucking time!

    At most a bubble bath is relaxing and I don't know about you ladies, but getting completely "relaxed" isn't what turns me on. Let's see some action with some nice camera work, good lighting, and people who are truly enjoying it. Let's read about naughty escapades.

    I talk about porn with all of my friends now. I let them know there is no shame in enjoying it and to talk about it. Most times I know just the open discussion gets my girlfriends hot for their men. It does for me.

    Great post Red!

    ~Nat

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    1. Bravo to you two for being open with your friends about your sex life and porn. Definitely a step more of us need to be taking. Super happy you were able to take a step back and really look at what wasn't working for you in that department and reassess the whole thing, finding good porn and some hot sex in the meantime. Thanks for chiming in, we love hearing your voice around here, always such a welcome opinion!

      -Rye

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  2. I love this new movement. I don't know how we've lasted this long watching *fake* porn. I've been done with watching super fake boobs, fake orgasms and horrible dialogues. As a woman, I feel empowered seeing this movement. It validates all that I love and hate about porn.

    I would go as far to say that the term "Lady Porn" doesn't encompass this movement. The definition is larger than that. It's genuine, it's real, it's visceral. It has the power to hit a nerve far deeper than it's traditional counterpart (watching a woman "cum" vs watching a WOman COME). It's not gender based. In order to change the perception of porn in our society, I think it's important to move away from gender tagging it (not because it's wrong or sounds bad, rather it's the reality of our society that our language is male-centric). Did I just argue against my point or for it?
    I'll need to think more on that.

    Anyways, I found this site a while back and immediately was in LOVE with it. This site is a positive move towards what we are discussing here. Sex is funny, it's quirky, it's engrained in our daily lives, AND it's more than just the act of penetration (of one form or another). I really love that V&R talk about food, music, etc. Because that shit's sexy too.

    V&R - Don't lose your roots. Stay genuine in your endeavors. Above all, Thank YOU!

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    1. Oh, and to note, I fucking hate baths, "chick lit" and "romance" (the quotation marks being key here). Feels too contrived, no? After re-reading this post, I realized I went off on a tangent. Sorry!

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    2. Yes, yes, yes and YES. We really appreciate that you not only found our blog, but that you took the time to comment. We love your take on this movement and we really do feel like we're in the midst of a revolution, born by people simply wanting/needing something else.

      And don't you worry about those roots, we aren't changing for shit.

      -Rye

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  3. And Welcome RED! Thank you also. Acceptance in form of participation! Love it.

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    1. YEAH! We flipped out when she emailed us the story. Seriously, SO exciting.

      -Rye

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  4. Hear, hear! Well put, Red - thank you!

    Bubble Baths! Are NOT sexy! Some years ago I even got myself a waterproof vibrator and tried to appreciate the warm, relaxing atmosphere, because it was supposed to be THE turnon for 'ladies'. Bullshit. So when I want to relax I take a bath (Without the vibrator - it does a fairly good job outside of the tub though. And no bubbles!)
    When I want to get all excited and sweaty (and relaxed AFTERWARDS), it usually does not include red wine but a fair amount of penises, skin on skin, toys, teasing and other wonderful things that are not relaxing but SEXY.

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    1. Tell it like it is, Rena! All of these things are fine, but they should be categorized as such. Wine isn't replacing a need to fuck. Nor chocolate. Nor bubble baths. Nor fucking chick lit. Fucking is fucking and women want it, so let's be real about it already and embrace a growing need. After all, don't entertainment companies love new demographics? YEESH.

      -Rye

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  5. While a bit incomplete, I admire the gusto of Rachel Rabbit White, Cindy Gallup's sexuality activism. Also people giving variety in sexual imagery (you) because people need more space to think about what they really like not just following like little herds.

    The more people can be brutally honest about what they enjoy, the more we can evolve sexually. Whether that's men wanting romantic sex or women wanting to be shoved against a wall. Or switching it up. Like Rye for example being open about enjoying anal stimulation. You guys do a good job of being sexy and honest and not being creepy about it.

    Love what you guys are doing with this blog, as always!

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    1. Absolutely. There is no sexual activism that can hit all the notes we want it to, because we need that person to be able to speak for all sexual beliefs and sexualities. So while some activists might be able to speak really well to the gay male community, others might be able to speak for straight, non-monogamist women. And a single person can't speak genuinely for all of them at once. And maybe shouldn't. But maybe should too. It gets fucking complicated, doesn't it?

      Anyway, yes. Honesty is welcome and necessary and we welcome more of it.

      And here's to non-creepy sexual openness!

      -Rye

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  6. Preach on, sister. I think more people read this blog who "get it" than who don't, but even if there's one poor soul, attempting to get their sexy on but ending up frustrated at the lack of good inspiration, who runs across this post and starts to open up their mind, then it's been a necessary one.

    GAH, that was a long, weird sentence. I wish I could throw in some onomatopoeia to liven things up.

    Would you believe hardly ANYONE has noticed the food porn on my blog today? SO sad.

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    1. Yeah, it's always that one person you're trying to reach, isn't it? We do find that with this blog, we reach that one person pretty often. Someone that just stumbles on us. Through a Google search, a link from a non-sexual website, or a retweet from a friend, we get visitors all the time. And we welcome those folks and hope we can bring them around to our way of thinking.

      LOVE the onomatopoeia!

      And LOVe that you're back! Enjoyed the recent posts, including the food porn!

      -Rye

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  7. Hear, hear, Red. Nicely put, all of it. There's no 'lady' porn, no 'guy' porn, just good porn and bad porn. Some of that is in the eye of the beholder, and, well, some of it is just plain bad, and if you don't agree, it's time to schedule your yearly eye exam.

    Glad to have you here, and I hope we get to hear more. (And good on you V&R, for breaking the ice, and encouraging Red to participate.)

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    1. Incredibly happy to be able to share Red's voice with you. We're huge fans of her writing, her brain, her tits and her tattoos. So it's a welcome addition to what we've got going on here.

      -Rye

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  8. to put a slightly finer point on it, i think the thing that really got me was the sense, in all of the messages i came across, that these "ladyporn" notions were not solely a precursor to sex but some thing we like *instead* of it. which gets weird pretty fast. i'm certainly not faulting anyone a bubble bath if that is what turns them on.,* but even then there is a vast difference between "being turned on" and engendering an entire word.

    anyway thanks nice people!

    (*i actually do think bubble baths are gross though.)

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    1. Loving that DSW style footnote! And though we don't think the finer point was needed, you definitely clarified what some people on Twitter were debating, so good on that.

      And fuck bubble baths!

      -Rye

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    2. I love that your blog life and your real life have been able to meet like this. My friends know I have a lot of sex, they have even been privvy to the odd detail but ultimately I don't have friends who are interested ~ it's the classic married duty sex that I find so unimaginable. I guess that's why it's nice or me in my Twitter capacity to 'meet' other like minded people.
      Honestly, I had never heard of ladyporn! As a concept it immediately makes no sense because it suggests something divisive

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    3. Thanks so much! We really couldn't be more pleased with how it's all turned out so far. Bummer on your friends being fully brainwashed by the classic trope of married sex.

      And welcome to ladyporn, now let's talk about REAL ladyporn!

      -Rye

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  9. I COULD NOT AGREE MORE.

    Re 'incomplete'....completion is coming very soon (well - give us a couple of months) when I and my team (and with Violet & Rye's help :) launch http://makelovenotporn.tv in response to the extraordinary reception MakeLoveNotPorn has received ever since I launched http://makelovenotporn.com in very basic, minimal form three years ago.

    WATCH THIS SPACE.

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    1. Eeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!! We're closing in!

      And agreed, toi anyone that reads our comments, WATCH THIS SPACE. You'll know.

      -Rye

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  10. A very dear friend of mine, and one of the most oversexed crazy chicas that I know (girlfriend has people falling all over her 24/7) told me once about a weekend she spent with a ladyfriend who, after having hours and hours of sex, drew her a nice bubble bath, and left. My friend said that that was the BEST thing that her partner could have done, because bathtime=me-time for her and with the amount of info that "chicks like it when you cuddle in the bath or have playtime or sexytime" or what-have-you, she's had too many people attempt to intrude on her baths.

    I dunno if that really makes sense or is appropriate, but I thought of it while reading this, and although I dearly love bubble baths myself, I mostly like them because I have my fiance bring me snackies and drinks -- not because it's some kind of sexual experience.

    ... I would think that ladies spend enough time sitting in their own sexual juices to not want to add it to bathwater! I usually can't wait to clean up après sex. :-P

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    1. Absolutely. Not to say anything one way or another about bubblebaths, but they don't give me a boner. And they're not what I think of when I'm jerking off. Violet would say the same. Soothing music, red wine, chocolate, "chick lit" and a drawn bubble bath are great when it's winter and I'm feeling a little under the weather or not particularly social, but it's about as far from sex as I can imagine. And THAT is what this is really about. When we talk about porn, let's talk about PORN. Not some lazy substitute that continues a tired generalization about what women REALLY want sexually.

      -Rye

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  11. I have to say Rye + Violet, I think this Red character might be hinting at something with the last little comment. Threesome advice? a verbal "nudge nudge, wink wink" if I ever heard one!! :) I know I would be doing the same if I found out that two friends had your... 'appetites' :)

    On a serious note though, I absolutely loved the writing style, the message and the piece in general. Hope to see more in the future and congratulations to all of you for being such perfect examples of genuine human feeling.

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    1. Ha ha ha! We kinda thought someone might say that! Surprised it took this long. It related back to a conversation we had about threesomes a few weeks ago, so it was relevant, but might have appeared otherwise. Regardless, it's a great piece, well written and funny, plus it's full of great advice.

      And thanks so much! Red is a writer, and we're a big fan of all her work, not only what she posts on this here blog. And thanks SO much for the compliment, that gives us serious feelings.

      -Rye

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