HighbrowMarch 17, 2011 at 2:15 am

Word on the Street: Majoring in Porn

I heard the myth. I read the syllabus and noted the word “pornography.” I read feminist theorists. I confirmed my Gender Studies minor. I willingly registered for the minor requirement, Gender and Society. I was ready. It was time to watch pornography for class.

My girl friends were intrigued. My guy friends were jealous. And my parents were perplexed. (“We’re paying $40,000 for you to watch porn?!?!”) Yes Dad, you are.

After all the talking, all the freaky deaky images in my head, the time came to actually do the assignment. Watch pornography and answer questions about it. Ready. Set. Porn.

I enlisted a few friends to help and we fervently began texting anybody we thought seemed like a porn connoisseur (frat boys). “What’s your favorite site?” “Where can we find something classy?” We got the regular responses: XTube, YouPorn, RedTube. My naked knowledge grew by the minute.

I grabbed my computer and a few friends for moral support and plopped down at our kitchen table. We popped a bag of popcorn and flipped through video after video. Girly squeals emanated from all sides of the table. “HOLY SHIT WHAT IS THAT?!” “WHY IS HE PUTTING THAT THERE?!” “THESE PEOPLE ARE BUTT UGLY!” After another 15 minutes of sheer fascination, we were determined to find something elegant, something erotic.

But as hard as we searched we couldn’t find that x–rated version of Meredith Grey and McDreamy’s hospital sex scene set to an Imogen Heap soundtrack. Damn. We couldn’t even watch friend favorites “The Devil Wears Nada” or “Pirates XXX” without signing up for a month–long contract.

Instead, we settled for some basic boy–girl schoolgirl action. I leaned back, note pad in hand, and braced myself for 36 minutes and 23 seconds of porn. Two minutes into the film, the couple was naked (no surprise) and going at it like uncomfortable looking teenagers. No love.  No kissing. Not even any chatter. Just a breasty brunette deep throating a lanky man in lab goggles.

After the credits rolled (yes, there were credits), I sat down to answer the questions. Drifting back to the awkward dialogue and unsexy ass–slapping that occurred, I thought of all the porn–watchers in my life. Some are open about it (“Yeah, I watch it sometimes to get off,” said a female friend) and some keep quiet (“I will never have this conversation with you,” admitted an ex–boyfriend). Everyone has a relationship with pornography. Kids would turn on Skinemax at high school parties. One friend’s summer was spent digging through her camp’s hidden porn collection. And my class certainly had a field day discussing the representation of women in pornography.

Though I didn’t watch a “fucksaw demonstration” like some students at Northwestern did earlier this month, my porn watching days were short lived. Call me a prude or a young feminist but I think I’ll just stick with the sex scenes in Jake Gyllenhaal movies for now.

 

 
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