Many jurors look at porn. We can’t assume that any look at extreme porn.
Can jurors relate to extreme porn? Would they admit if they did?
Most jurors feel: hard to imagine doing what she’s doing and NOT suffering; actresses rarely smile (or orgasm). hard to imagine enjoying what he’s enjoying. what psychological or life hardship would drive an actress to agree to do these things? what psychological or life hardship would drive an actor to want to do these things? Actresses look as if they’re genuinely suffering; actors look as if they’re enjoying the suffering.
Sexual “normality” Do “normal” people watch this stuff? Do “normal” people get aroused by it? Do “normal” people watch and treat women gently? Couples and women generally don’t watch this Watching this would be a shameful secret for most viewers Juror confusion: is this just a fantasy? Just a movie? It seems like actress is REALLY suffering. Is that the point— to watch someone ACTUALLY get hurt?
This stuff is exotic It’s harder for me to say “people do those kinds of things all the time,” as I do with other sexual portrayals. It’s hard to say “even people who don’t do these things know people who do.” It’s hard to say “most people wish they met someone who’s into these things.” Relationships DO end because 1 person’s into these things and the other isn’t.
DSM definition of paraphilias “recurrent, intense sexually arousing fantasies, sexual urges, or behaviors…” i.e., DSM doesn’t distinguish between fantasy and behavior. [altho see later, contrary slide] Since S/M, emitophilia, etc. are listed, it’s easy to claim they’re sicknesses
If gross-out is a goal, that SEEMS to contradict “literary” and “artistic” value. Is grossing-out an artistic goal? “Isn’t this just a documentation of hostility, sadism, or obsession?” “If so, that isn’t art. We’re witnessing actual perversion.”
Dehumanization predominates in extreme porn Where’s the affection? Reciprocity? Emotional connection? They don’t even pretend to connect personally. Even S/M often portrays emotional connection, rather than haughty dismissal or dehumanization. Story of O is a love story. Fanny Hill is a story of self- discovery. Extreme porn is…what? Hard to relate to his desire except as sadistic; she seems to have no actual desires for herself (except to please, placate, or suffer).
Jurors don’t appreciate that there might be artistic irony or social commentary here. E.g., they don’t imagine this could be a political commentary on the hegemony of the love/desire paradigm.
Typical juror’s assumptions Viewers want to act this out Viewers already act this out Viewing this motivates acting out Only sick people want to watch this Viewing this makes sick people believe they’re normal If I were like the actor, actress, or viewer, I’d be a sick person (no polysemicity) There’s no loss from society prohibiting this
Juror: “the difference between extreme and mainstream porn…” No pretense of love or affection No mutuality Beauty isn’t a value Physical pleasure mixed with sadism (psychological pleasure), which is disequilibrating I don’t recognize these people, except as dangerous sadists & exploited victims I can imagine an actress or actor choosing mainstream porn for the money I can imagine a (non-sick) viewer enjoying mainstream porn
Wanting distance from extreme porn I don’t want to know there are people who like doing this or watching this I don’t want to see myself on the same continuum as these people I fear my mate has these impulses, which I couldn’t accept What if I find myself similarly exploited? What if I find myself wanting to exploit? If I admit this goes on, I feel obliged to do something about it Knowing this exists and has a following makes the world more complicated, which I don’t want (and resent)
Jurors need to be educated about The actors The actresses The viewers The viewing experience
Jurors must be reminded that This film is a production, not real life It’s viewed as a production, not real life Viewers can appreciate these films without translating them into real life
Adult viewers know films are pretend; they’re a fantasy of domination/submission, not a real desire to hurt or coerce someone.
Jurors need help decoding videos: tropes about power, desire, surrender, bodies They need help seeing there’s something to decode in the first place
Extreme videos have value Political Artistic Personal exploration (‘who am I,’ NOT ‘what should I do’) Personal satisfaction (perhaps even the only way to get aroused) Documenting subcultures –Who enjoys watching videos –Who fantasizes or does these things, and why
Sex is about 1) breaching personal space 2) surrendering personal space These videos make this more explicit, even commenting on it. That makes these more exciting for some people.
DSM reminder: Behavior is a paraphilia (i.e., sickness) only if person suffers “clinically significant distress or impairment.” This shows that most viewers are NOT sick, as they aren’t distressed or impaired.
Humans have always had a wide range of sexual curiosity and interests De Sade, Boccaccio, Chaucer Romans, Greeks, Medieval, Renaissance Power is a driving force in sex Sex is a vehicle for discovering NON-sexual things about ourselves Internet makes us aware of this variety— which has always been there People were outraged when Kinsey discovered “alternative” fantasies and behavior were common People were outraged about Freud’s discoveries about adult sexual fantasy
Using sex to explore ourselves is ancient, modern, and noble.
Extreme Porn— Like Our Job Isn’t Hard Enough Already Marty Klein, Ph.D Sexual Intelligence blog: www.MartyKlein.com
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