50 Shades… one shade too dark?


If it works the link above is to a documentary, ‘The Price of Pleasure; Pornography, Sexuality and Relationships’.

I watched it today.  I didn’t like it. It troubles me.

When I first encountered ‘porn’ I was about 15 years old and the censor’s rule was that pubic hair could not be shown.  I’ve never thought of this before but the ban must have been on showing the genitalia also, since otherwise the practice of shaving (to eliminate pubes from the picture) would have begun the sooner.

Anyway, on account of that rule my ‘exposure’ to the female body was all bottoms and breasts.  Whether or not that has something to do with my growing very much into a ‘bottoms’ man I can’t be sure.  It is rumored that a granny of mine kept a bakeshop and I may have been besotted with pretty buns ever since. Who knows?

A confession, now.  I have never attended a strip club and I have never watched a porn movie.  The closest I got to the latter was on Tumblr and a site that shows animated gifs of various aspects of sex.  The mammoth scale of so many of the penises mechanically pumping into stretched orifices would have contributed nothing to my self-confidence, had I been at a more uncertain stage of mental development, but I couldn’t, either, get past a sense that the recipient females either faked their responses or just didn’t like it.  

Too much of a sense that it was actually the latter killed my interest and I neglected the site until it automatically, it appears, disconnected me.  It is only in later years, too, that I began to read erotica at all.

I have never wanted to do anything to or with a woman that she would not want me to do and would not take pleasure in – taking that to the extreme as some would see it – even fantasizing about real women (mainstream actresses, people who were friends, acquaintances, colleagues) because they de facto did not give me permission to do it.

Without complete consent it feels, to me, offensive.

It’s true that I did fantasize, if that’s the right word, about the bodies in the breast and bottom pictures, and it is true that they were not ‘people’ to me, only a stimulant source.  And I suspect the real source was a kind of fantasy anyway, a re-imaging of what was there that was drawn in my mind.

So I watched the video and I didn’t like it, didn’t like being perhaps even a tiny part of the issue as I saw it depicted.  Writing stories and novels which are intended to be read by and to give pleasure to women (that even includes ‘Islands’), the economic profits are not going to enable early retirement from my day job.  Yet still I am part of the market, and the market reflected in that video seems pretty appalling.

The question I’m asking myself, and you in case you’re interested, is whether I am part of this market, whether that which I write for the pleasure of women may act in some way, however small, to the detriment of women.

You could help me make that decision?

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2 responses to “50 Shades… one shade too dark?”

  1. Livonne says :

    I think there is a massive difference between erotica and porn. Erotica does generally have a touch of romance to it whereas porn really is depicted as being all about self gratification.

    • rvraiment says :

      Hello Livonne

      and thank you for responding to this. As a writer of erotica I know that the so-called porn/erotica debate blows up quite forcefully from time to time and no-one seems to have come up with a clear answer. In my veiw, ‘erotica’ is written with a love of humanity, ‘porn’ as a mere exploitation of humanity, but there are many who will disagree.
      I think I allowed myself to be drawn a little of track, however, because the more I look the more it seems to me that we have narrowed the conception of pornography too far and that the most dangerous pornography is something most people don’t notice. I have no doubt I’ll be posting on that fairly soon 🙂

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