Porn

I just watched this video:

and think it has a great message, and wanted to share it.

Furthermore, it made me think of Lars von Trier. Lars von Trier, to many, will only be known for making the ‘misogynistic’ film Antichrist shown at international film festivals this past year. I’m not going to comment on that film, but what I want to bring up is that I am a huge fan of his, and while watching the above video, remembered that his production company ‘Zentropa’, was the first mainstream film company to produce hardcore pornographic films. This would not be much of an accolade if it were not for the fact that the films were targeted for women. (note: I must admit I have not seen these films, and as such cannot say whether or not they are any good. However, I do very much like the idea behind them.)
The manifesto that was to be followed in order that the films be deemed ‘for women’ follows:

THE PUZZY POWER MANIFESTO

Statement on women and sensuality:

The following guidelines were developed by Zentropa in 1998 for the films “Constance” and “Pink Prison” and were also applied as a basis for “All About Anna”:

Women like watching erotic or pornographic films if the presentation turns them on rather than off.

Plot

The films must have plots. Individual sequences must be linked into a logical chain of emotions, fantasies, passions, et cetera so we can relate to the characters and what goes on between them. It is not enough for four unknown actors to enter stage right, drop their pants and simply get down to it unless this is obviously part of a fantasy or a set-up in which the titillation is inherent in this very occurrence.

The plot must be about something erotic. It must not be too extensive or contain too many “non-erotic” components, thus making us forget the erotic aspect and causing the fire to die down. Films must not be too lengthy—short plots are preferable.

The plot may spring from one or more female fantasies or situations that could occur in everyday life.

Eroticism

Feelings, passions, sensuality, intimacy, and the lead-up must be emphasised. The films must be based on woman’s pleasure and desire. The senses must be aroused, a play made of titillation, distance and closeness. The woman must be turned on, and her anticipation be built up into insurmountable lust, as the joys of anticipation are and will always be the greatest.

Visual style

Images of bodies must be shown that caress the body and its erotic details. The erotic aspect may well lie elsewhere than the genitalia. We must see the beauty of the body, of the male body, too, and he is welcome to offer his body up to us. The body need not be completely naked, as partial concealment can be far more erotic.

Setting

The films may be set in the past or present. Time and place are not crucial; what matters is what happens in the films. A bared shoulder or ankle can be powerfully erotic, and this kind of slightly “old-fashioned” sensuality may well be incorporated into films set in the present day.

Humour

Subtle humour is welcome; perhaps a comic sequence at the start of a film to break the ice—but fun must not be poked at the sexual act itself.

What is not allowed

There are no restrictions on what may be depicted in the films as long as it is presented in an acceptable way. The only limit is that women must not be subjected to violence or coercion against their will. However, it is fully acceptable to film female fantasies in which the woman is raped/assaulted by an anonymous man/a bit of rough trade, or if it is clear from the plot that what we are seeing is a woman living out her fantasy, perhaps by agreement with her significant other.

What we hate

… is the oral sex scene where the woman is coerced to perform fellatio, her hair pulled hard, and come is squirted into her face.

–o0o–

NB: At the request of Zentropa, certain details that concluded the original manifesto have been removed from this online version. The complete, original version can be found in original press releases for “Constance” and in the booklet included with the “All About Anna” DVD.

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About dontdontoperate

28 year old originally from Barrie, Ontario, Canada. H.B.Sc. from UofT with a major in chemistry and a double minor in philosophy and math. M.Sc. from UofT in physiology and neuroscience. Finished my Ph.D. in biomedical engineering at McMaster in the fall of 2013.
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4 Responses to Porn

  1. lmao haha thats pretty funny and true. I actually did an ethics presentation in college that kind of touched on the same point.

  2. It was about how Porn is big business and how it influences society. I compared the first Playboy cover to Disneys pocahontas cover, and how oral sex has become foreplay. Stuff like that

  3. jen says:

    Loved this post! Thanks Alex.

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