The Dark Side of Pornography & the Price of Pleasure

Sex, Love, Liberation was created under the launch of Lady Porn Day, a week dedicated to heal the shame & unearth the curiosities surrounding women & pornography. Around this time last year, I was feverishly writing (& excitedly publishing) my personal encounters with porn for Rachel Rabbit White’s project.

My first article about porn acted as a lavish confessional for me, allowing me to come to terms with the fact that I, amongst many other women, enjoy watching other people fuck.

Through this admission, I began to explore using pornography as a way to get off & discover the hidden coves of my own sexuality: my fantasies, the thresholds of my desires, the vastness of my imagination.

In my work, I’ve found that women are indeed visual creatures (contrary to popular belief) & we desire just as much as men to be stimulated with erotic images. And we often feel shamed for it for no other reason than that they prompt us to feel guilt for stooping to a perceived lower level of sexual curiosity.

I saw the falsehood in that notion, & after Lady Porn Day I made it a mission to cut the ties that bind women (& myself) from enjoying visual, sexual release. And since then, I’ve proudly touted pornography as a healthy, harmless tool to enhance our erotic lives.

But then I watched a film called The Price of Pleasure, & every one of my views on pornography dramatically shifted.

It’s a documentary that dissects the nature, intention, & perception of modern, mainstream, & “top-rated” x-rated flicks & asks the questions:

How do these pornographic messages help shape our gender & sexual identities, & our relationships? And how did this industry, once considered seedy, become part of the cultural & economic mainstream?

This was one of those situations one goes into without fully knowing the way in which they’ll exit it.

I remember stumbling upon the film as I passionlessly searched through the instant-steaming library on Netflix. I read the description quickly, only focusing on the keywords sex & porn. I had little to no expectations about what I was going to witness or how it was going to affect me & my feelings surrounding porn.

I was simply curious (& slightly bored on a Saturday evening).

So I pressed play.

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