So I’m reading Robert Jensen (Getting Off: Pornography and the end of masculinity), and he says porn is intended to provide sexual arousal.
Sexual arousal? Not sexual satisfaction?
If you’re not aroused in the first place, why would you intentionally try to get aroused?
Because then you’ll just have to find a way to deal with it.
If you don’t happen to be itchy, you wouldn’t intentionally go sit in a patch of poison ivy to get itchy. Because then you’ll just be uncomfortable until you can scratch. If you’re not hungry, you wouldn’t intentionally fast in order to feel hungry. I don’t get it. It makes sense only under three conditions.
One, the state of arousal is itself pleasing. This may be true, but since men seem to prefer ending the erection to maintaining it all day, I’m rejecting this possibility. The arousal is clearly just a means to an end.
Two, the satisfaction of sexual arousal is mind-blowing—a pleasure far beyond the satisfaction of an itch or hunger. If that’s the case, and if men are therefore intentionally seeking arousal in order to achieve that pleasure, we’re talking addiction. Which, actually, makes sense of a lot. Imagine that boys become naturally addicted to something (the endorphins released with orgasm) when they hit puberty, and that they stay addicted well into their forties. Their gross misconduct (look around—this is not the best possible world)? Explained. Imagine that the best supply of the pleasure is a female body. Their misogyny? Explained.
No doubt only cultural conditioning keeps them from seeking castration. Which takes us to three: the socialization we put males through from day one ensure that sexuality—arousal and satisfaction—is not just a physical phenomenon. It’s inextricably bound with their identity, their self-esteem, their self-respect. Sex arousal and satisfaction are measures of masculinity. And masculinity is the measure of (a) man.
[Hell Yeah, I’m a Feminist is a feminist blog, often radical feminist (radfem), always anti-gender and anti-sexism.]