Porn Appeal: The Hidden Male Fantasy Every Woman Needs to Know? ~ Jack Kammer

Via on Oct 30, 2012

Erotica does not glorify our sexual domination of women. It expresses our wish that women didn’t have sexual domination over us.

When we misuse our economic power over women, women legitimately react in ways we do not always like. One of those ways is to fantasize that they have achieved power over us. In the movie 9 to 5, for instance, three women laugh merrily about how they’d like to take violent revenge against their chauvinistic male boss. In the end, the trio settles for humiliating and subduing him in a dog collar and chains.

No one could reasonably say that 9 to 5 glorifies women’s domination of men in business. It is precisely because women don’t dominate men in business that the fantasy is popular with women who wish they did.

Similarly, “pornography” does not glorify our sexual domination of women. It expresses our fantasies of overcoming women’s sexual domination of us.

The fact that 9 to 5 and some of our erotica both involve people in dog collars and chains is not mere coincidence.

What’s more, some of our most popular sexual fantasies aren’t about reversing sexual control at all, but are simply about equalizing it, about meeting women who participate enthusiastically in sex, who love male sexuality, and who don’t hold out for money, dinner or furs.

Portrayals of such egalitarian sex don’t demean women any more than men are denigrated by stories of women and men working cooperatively in an office where men no longer think it is their right to have women fetch them coffee.

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Editorial Bonus: Comedy clip. “Girls Watch Porn Too.”

 

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(This is the third in a seven-part series over seven days, in colloboration with the Good Men Project, addressing the question: Is Porn a Good  Thing? For GMP’s most recent in the series, check out The History of Porn.)

 

 

Jack Kammer is a former Parole and Probation Agent in central Baltimore and a Correctional Officer at the Baltimore City Detention Center. He was named the 2012 Outstanding Recent Graduate at the University of Maryland School of Social Work, where he earned his MSW. He specializes in social problems arising from male gender issues.

 

 

 

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Editor: Lori Lothian

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35 Responses to “Porn Appeal: The Hidden Male Fantasy Every Woman Needs to Know? ~ Jack Kammer”

  1. sue says:

    women's sexual domination over men or a person's lack of domination over their own sexuality?

  2. alice says:

    I'm sorry but this notion that it's JUST fantasy that men want to have sexual dominance over women because in reality its the other way around -that is pure bullshit. For proof, check out the statistics for rape in ANY country in the world, but especially the western world. If rape is not sexual dominance over someone than I don't know what is. The strong majority of sexual dominance happening in REAL LIFE is men over women. I don't think that "fantasy" needs to be played out anymore. I think we need to see the fantasy where BOTH people truly enjoy the sex instead of literally bending over backwards to please the man – that's a fantasy i'd like to see come true.

    • Julian Walker yogijulian says:

      just to clarify – are you saying women are raped more often , or reported, prosecuted and compiled statistically more often n the western world?

      i ask because rape is extremely common in non-western countries, and i think democracy, greater equality and a more modern social consciousness reduce rape rather than increase its prevalence…

  3. heather says:

    I'm quite sure all women would "participate enthusiastically" in sex if they knew that their pleasure would be as important as the man's.

  4. heather says:

    There are so many women in the world who don't know what it feels like to climax from sex because the whole focus is on whether the guy gets off. You have to FIND OUT what gets your girl off, you can't just assume that whatever you like, she will like too. Try showing some interest in her pleasure, it may actually make you feel good!

  5. Desi says:

    I get this"…some of our most popular sexual fantasies aren’t about reversing sexual control at all, but are simply about equalizing it, about meeting women who participate enthusiastically in sex, who love male sexuality." And yet , its my experience that these fantasies are not addressed in the majority of porn; that there seems to be a shortage of "portrayals of egalitarian sex" to support the notion that porn satisfies these particular desires. If porn constitutes men's fantasies to overcome women's supposed sexual domination of them, the bulk of it it feels full of anger and resentment– misogynistic. If what you say is true, the porn industry doesn't seem to be giving its customers what they want. And yet it thrives

  6. Mymble says:

    Women's sexual domination of men??? How is it even possible to think that women dominate men sexually? This ridiculous view must be based on the misunderstanding that women as a rule withhold sex from men, or that women manipulate the "love market" because they actually have preferences when it comes to partner choice.

    Please, Elephant Journal – stop posting articles like this one. I can't believe it has even been edited – it sure doesn't show! It is poorly written, poorly thought, and any editor should see that. I know Elephant articles don't all reflect the views of the editors, but that doesn't mean you should be a channel for unskilled writers.

    • Maria says:

      Agree!

    • Hello angry reader. It was a short and sweet point being made by an ordinary person–not a skilled writer, but a male in the world. It made sense to me, and to the three readers i passed it on to (one man, two women). he's just saying, that one reason men love porn is the fantasy that women love sex as much as they do? Was it complicated in some way I did not see?

      Lori Ann
      EJ editor

      • Mymble says:

        Well, the wish for women to enjoy sex is completely fine. Expressing a wish to be met and accepted sexually is also fine. But that is not what this author is saying. He is talking about getting even with women who dominate men. And I am reacting to the assumption that women dominate men sexually, as a rule. If women do not love sex as much as men, how on earth does that signify domination? I just don't get it, and that's why I express disbelief.

        You call me "angry reader", and I guess you're trying to say that I'm overreacting. I'm certainly not as seethingly angry as you seem to think I am, but I do find this piece problematic, not "sweet" and I think it's fair to point that out.

    • heather says:

      agree as well!

  7. michelle says:

    Alice needs to check her rape statistics because she’s WAY off on the western versus non-western issue. Jesus.

  8. syrai says:

    I read this article three times and it doesnt make sense.

  9. alice says:

    I did check rape statistics and they are still as I suspected. rape is ALL over the world, but it is most reported in the western world. I'm sure it would show differently if other countries bothered to investigate and find reports. But I'm sorry, how does it matter which hemisphere has more or less? how about we concentrate on the fact that rape is so prevalent at all? I have a guess – males and females alike being conditioned to believe that males have dominance over females.

  10. Kathleen says:

    awarenessishere, I agree wholeheartedly. People are allowed to express opinions and not be a “skilled writer.” Certainly those who have chosen to respond are not skilled writers either.

    If we women claimed our sexual power in the bedroom, and thoroughly enjoyed the whole of the sexual encounter, and not be frightened of not being a “good girl,” which is socially reinforced in the US, we may get all kinds of respect. Why? Because we would be real AND whole.

    • Bear says:

      At last, a woman taking responsibility for her own sexuality, instead of asking men to figure it out! Men may rape, and women may manipulate from passive sexual assertion – both are acts of violence to the other.

    • Mymble says:

      I agree, we all need to be real and whole. Women should of course take responsibility for their own sexuality. I might be guilty of taking that for granted – as a Scandinavian, I'm simply not familiar with American norms. Where I come from, we simply do not have that shame culture, and most Scandinavian women embrace and take charge of their of sexuality. I may have read this article with "Scandinavian" eyes, and not understood the issues that people in other societies may be dealing with.

      I try to see your point about gaining respect through a change of attitude to sex, but don't you think that respect should be there even for people who feel restricted in the bedroom?

      What I take issue with in the article is the assumption that women dominate men. It is simply not true. "It expresses our fantasies of overcoming women’s sexual domination of us," the author writes about porn. I think this is problematic.

      As for the level of skill that can be expected in an EJ article, I think it's fair to wish for a higher standard than I, who do not speak English as my first language, can come up with ;-) But jokes aside, my point is that although everyone is allowed to express their opinion, published articles should hold a certain standard.

      • Agree says:

        I think he just means that men devote tremendous energies to being allowed to have sex with women. That is how they feel dominated. Masturbating with porn lets them have total control without having to jump through any hoops for a woman. This is a non-issue in the context of a loving relationship. But, it often appears on the table outside of that context, as a tool to attract and control.

        • Mymble says:

          Well put, and that makes sense. However, the author should have be more careful with his words. When men feel inferior to women, which is really the case here, it has nothing to do with domination. It has to do with a fear of rejection, interpreted as domination from women. It is only possible to interpret rejection as domination if you view sex as something women "have", and either choose to "give" or "withhold". There is no doubt a lot of men feel rejected when it comes to sex, but women's sexuality is not the problem in this situation, it is the way those men deal with rejection.

          As fa

          • Agree says:

            But, it seems to me that women's sexuality is very much built around rejection. Rather than expressing their own interest in the man they find interesting, they make themselves appealing to a wide audience of potential suitors, and then sit back to give the thumbs up or thumbs down on those who approach. There are necessarily a lot of rejections because a man has no way to know whether that outfit was aimed at exciting him or another man. You are right that men can learn to deal with these rejections. Unfortunately, the way they do it is to limit their actual emotional investment and put on an act. I guess women now are getting good at this too, so we can all have a lot more sex without so many hangups. And search elsewhere for fulfillment.

          • Lacey says:

            It's sad that you haven't met the majority of women who *do* express their own interest in the man/woman they find interesting.

          • Agree says:

            I think it's a generational thing. When I came of age in the mid-70's, traditional gender roles did seem all but extinct. We didn't ask girls on dates, but just partied together, hooked up, and hung out. My first girlfriend jumped me at a party. It was obvious she enjoyed sex at least as much as I did, and I was envious of her evidently greater physical capacity for that. I thought this was the new way. I liked it. So then was shocked and ill-prepared to see a re-emergence of traditional values as I came into adult-hood, Ronald Reagan elected president, and women backing off from the new values… yes, to equality in the workplace, but treat me like a woman on a date please, and compete for that privilege.

            I cannot really guess how it is with other generations today, and I don't think you can say much about "the majority" of women either. I did not mean to speak that way myself.

          • Mymble says:

            I don't know who you have met, but I don't know any women who suit your description. And personally, if I reject a man, it's simply because I don't want to sleep with him. Simple as that. If I want to, and he wants to – well, then we go at it, obviously. I hardly think I'm the exception to the rule!

            I know that Scandinavia might be different, but still I think you see patterns that are not there. Or you are interpreting them in a certain way. If a women rejects a man, it's most likely because she doesn't want to have sex with that particular man at that particular time, not because she's frigid, too picky or restricted.

          • Mymble says:

            Has it occurred to you that women are being rejected too? We are all sexual beings who sometimes meet with rejection. It seems to me like you're insinuating that women who "give the thumbs down" do it to manipulate or express power. If that was the case, then men do it too. I've experienced hoping that a date would end in sex, and then it didn't (I think all people experience this!) I didn't feel like the guy was giving me the thumbs down. He simply wasn't in the mood, and I was OK with that. How could I not be?

            Sex isn't something that a women HAS and then deals out to the lucky man. Not the other way around either, for that matter. It is to be shared. And if one person rejects you, another person will welcome you. That's life. Not a gender thing.

          • Agree says:

            How did you decide he was unwilling to have sex with you? I think many women will keep their interest uncertain until they can be sure the interest is mutual to avoid the possibility of rejection.

          • Mymble says:

            Pretty straight forward situation – I asked him to come up, he said no. Simple as that, and not problematic at all. And rejection can happen inside a relationship too. Sometimes I'm in the mood, sometimes he is, most often we both are, but the point is: We all get rejected sometimes. No big deal.

            However, if you are a person who get rejected ALL THE TIME, it is possibly something wrong with your approach.

  11. Agree says:

    I also agree. Many women expect a man to treat them a certain way if they have sex with him. His willingness to have sex with her is not reason enough. These expectations are different when the genders are reversed. Men are supposed to be ready and eager to screw anything that moves, and hell hath no furry like a woman scorned. Is it biology that men simply desire sex more than women? Or, are both of us playing roles dictated by our culture?

    People like porn because there are no strings attached. I think the author's point was that men have more of these strings to contend with than women. I think as women become less beholding to men for economic support, men will become less beholding to women for sexual gratification. Hopefully, reliance on porn is a temporary measure to help level the playing field, until we arrive at a more mutual approach, with men taking on more of the gatekeeper responsibilities, and women more eagerly advancing.

  12. Chantal says:

    Hit the nail on the head.
    "“Pornography” does not glorify our sexual domination of women. It expresses our fantasies of overcoming women’s sexual domination of us." Yes. I really agree that so much of the more destructive/unhealthy porn that's out there is very much because men have issues that they really need to "take out" on women because we've created a world where men aren't allowed to act like men, and women have forgotten how to be women.
    A simple, well delivered message, that made a lot of sense to me, and it's unfortunate that a lot of comments are too clouded by other things like their (very real but somewhat irrelevant) thoughts on rape to see that.

  13. Lacey says:

    This is *such* bullshit. "about meeting women who… don’t hold out for money, dinner or furs." The very idea that women do this is part of the male fantasy.

  14. @LaceyReah says:

    Hold on a second. Wah? First it didn't make any sense. Okay, let me re-read this….hmm…According to your example, when a man is chauvinistic, it is normal for a woman to want to subdue him. Okay, but if a woman is dominating you sexually, it is okay to watch porn? So watching porn is your way of getting back at a dominant woman? So, its revenge? But wait, you don't say that you are getting back on one woman who dominates men, you say that women have sexual dominance over men. You just made a blanket statement about women and compared it to a movie where women are getting back at one man. It's not the same thing. Most blanket statements are just bias and you can't speak for all men and women. Using rape is a legitamate point because it is an example of how men all over the world are dominating women sexually, not the other way around. So basically, I got some blanket statements and illogical examples. Mostly bullshit. Doesn't make any sense to me and I LOVE erotica. I watch it with my partner, not out of revenge or sexual control but for fun.

  15. Jill says:

    Maybe one of the worst Elephant articles I have ever read. I am a monthly member and a huge fan of Elephant, but this was really twisted and disappointing.

  16. Candace says:

    Jack Kammer – you certainty caught my attention with this blog. I am not sure what to even think about it, but it is provoking. I look forward to more of your posts and would like to see more of your writing regarding social problems arising from male gender issues.

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