A naked man straddles the lap of a woman in her underwear as she leans in to kiss him.
This touching photograph was suggested by amantes-amentes. It is, as amantes notes, very sensuous:
This photo […] immediately struck me as beautiful. Most photos of lovers in this position have the woman in this man’s position. In this photo, the woman is cradling her lover delicately, protectively, and sensuously. I especially love that we can see her right hand on his back, and the way he is grasping her upper arm.
I often feel a sense of guardianship and protection over the men with whom I have any sort of relationship, but especially with my sexual partners, and I think this embodies that aspect of the dominant-submissive relationship. (Not that submissive men need protection, of course! Just a personal inclination!)
The position of the models is particularly arresting because it’s one in which, perhaps due to their genders, a brief glance can give you the wrong impression, whereas a closer look will reveal details painting a very different picture. For instance, without even diving into the power implications, the slight angle at which the man is leaning back, not forward, the fact that the woman is still wearing her bra, and the arrangement of her arms as though they are enveloping his body all indicate tenderness, not aggression. Wait…tenderness? In porn?
Many who spout sex-negativity eagerly lump all pornography together into one (censored) pile with outrageous claims like viewing pornography creates rapists, but the variability in reality refutes this conflation. Of course, far be it from anti-porn activists and “researchers” like Dr. Gail Dines, Founder and Board Director of Stop Porn Culture, to let mere reality stop their crusade.
Dines and her organization are convening in Boston on June 12th for an upsetting conference called Feminists Against Pornography (aka. FAP; seriously, “FAP”). Headlining at the conference is character assassin and University of Rhode Island Women’s Studies professor, Donna M. Hughes, a well-known right-wing wingnut most famous for her Coalition Against Pleasure and Health, responsible for delaying Megan Andelloux’s non-profit sex education Center from opening for half a year.
While I’m thrilled to see the Internet abuzz with people discussing the merits and demerits of pornography, I feel much of that discussion misses the point. Both Stop Porn Culture and the Feminists Against Pornography conference are red herrings. To borrow from Jessica Valenti, their tactics are
part of a larger conservative move to woo women by appropriating feminist language. […C]onservatives are trying to sell anti-women policies shrouded in pro-women rhetoric.
Thankfully, June 12th is the same day as the sex-positive, free KinkForAll Washington DC 2 unconference. As developmental psychology post-grad and researcher Jason G. Goldman put it,
I will suggest that given the ubiquity of pornographic content available to children and adults, and given the ease at which it can be acquired, and given the high amount of sexual content in mainstream media (e.g. primetime TV), the people who are meeting in Boston next week to denounce pornography might redirect their efforts at improving the quality of sex education in our schools.