Real girls in their own place.
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Is Octomom Uncovered (NSFW) The Only True example of Feel Good Porn?
by Falene Nurse
illustration by Jesse Benjamin
As this site is dedicated to celebrating womens’ bodies in a positive (and intimate) way, I thought it might be interesting to discuss other areas relating to the topic. After all it is MeAndMyOpinion. One that immediately comes to mind is the continued vilification by everyone, of Nadya “Octomom” Suleman and her newfound foray into porn. And when I say “everyone” its a broad spectrum that has come together to criticize. Joe public, the mass media, porn enthusiasts and even (surprisingly) some “pro sex-positive” ladies websites. All with a collective consciousness of resounding outrage, albeit for very different reasons.
So in case you didn’t already know—and in one last ditch attempt to keep herself out of bankruptcy and pay for her now 14 kids—Octomom decided to release her debut self-pleasure DVDs "Octomom Uncovered" and "Home Alone." In an effort to promote her new content Nadya’s ridden Howard Stern’s Sybian, had the proverbial "finger wag" from Matt Lauer and even sat through the “downward facing dog” gazes of our beloved dwarves on The View. Suleman softcore has been plastered on every site from TMZ to the Huffington Post, with some reports that Octomom’s screen shots actually crashed Stern’s site. Creating a strange dichotomy where the very people publicly (or anonymously via comment boards) ridiculing her, are also partially responsible for The King of All Media’s sudden surge in web traffic. Even bloggers and forums generally considered promotors of the sex-positive message, have described Octomom’s masturbation for profit as “desperate and sad.” Why is this considered “desperate and sad,” when Kim K and Pam Anderson’s sex tapes were “hot” must-see viral hits? This is around about the point where I get particularly confounded by all this.
I’ve noticed whenever the latest reality-star or narcissist-du-jour wants to over share their sexual prowess for profit (or sometimes unfathomably just for fame) more often than not through some type of porn, the term “sex positive-feminism” gets thrown around a lot. Surprisingly I’m actually not referring to Octomom. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think the idea of "sex positive porn" is a bad one; although at times I do find it somewhat saturated in BS. Yet my annoyance for the overuse of the mantra, ranks equally as high as my pet peeve of the anti-porn set. Who tend to frame their crusade as a civil rights issue—although I have to admit I do agree with Dworkin in a lot of other respects—but for one very obvious reason I draw the line here. This of course is my own over-simplified perception, of the rather complicated topic of pornography and female sexuality. On one hand you have the pro-sex feminist movement arguing that pornography, BDSM and sexual expression are as important to women as they are to men. With those willing to participate in a bit of the old “slap and tickle”, shouldn’t be automatically viewed as morally bankrupt or damaged. Where as anti-porn feminists criticize certain sexual practices (including porn) for being historically beneficial to mostly men, through the financial, physical or sexual exploitation of women. Referring to “pro-sex” feminism as “bimbo feminism” whose loftiest form of intellectualism “is acknowledging your inner slut.” Where do I gauge in all this?
To me being outraged by “your right to enjoy” or be “disgusted by porn,” seems like a very first world, white-woman problem. No offense to my caucasian sistren out there. I just don’t see myself in either of these somewhat polarizing mindsets, perhaps that’s why my complete appreciation of both falls rather flat. Culturally I just don’t get what all the fuss is about, surely when it comes to sex— stop talking and just get on with it! Shag who you wanna shag, when and how you wanna shag ‘em. Yet at the same time don’t be too offended, if I don’t see how any of that benefits me personally or politically. As a product of the 90s, it feels in 2012 to prove I’m an empowered female, involves me going from one extreme to another and quite frankly I can’t be bothered. If I enjoy sex and porn (which I do on occasion), not only should what I do in my bedroom be displayed for all, but any fetishes and personal kinks should be worn like a badge of honor? In fact these days if you don’t applaud those with a love of double anal penetration, eating spunk or three ways, you are quickly labelled oppressed. So where does that leave the likes of us that are just damn lazy, actually prefer privacy and are neither puritan nor pervert? Pretty exhausted by it all really. I was never raised to think of sexuality as a shameful thing, or that I should be embarrassed if I had particular tastes. Cynthia Payne is as beloved in the UK as Elton John and Kate Middleton. That sort of thing in my mind is no ones business but my own, different strokes for different folks right? There again I wasn’t encouraged to promote every accomplishment, schooled in being #1 and a winner, or raised to believe every single person is utterly unique. Some people are very bland and that’s ok. It’s not a crime. Not everyone in this world is destined to be a special snowflake, nor should they have to try to be. Where I’m from being average isn’t seen as the kiss of death, in fact it’s perfectly acceptable as long as you are happy. And that’s not because I’m female, that’s because I’m English. To be clear I’m not saying my background is any better, it’s just different. So I really don’t understand what has got everyone so up in arms, about Octomom fiddling with her asexual (her choice of descriptor not mine) lady bits on camera?
Maybe it’s the the idea that she might not really want to do these videos, but has limited options that bothers everyone so much? Nah that can’t be it, otherwise no one could be pro porn at all, because that percentage of the industry already exists. Well, is it because she herself stated that she would "never do porn," but has now changed her tune claiming "it’s actually really liberating." Well technically yes it is porn, bit she’s not doing anything with anyone else—which was always her only real issue in the first place(TC: 4:15). I mean the woman has been celibate(by choice) for the past 14 years allegedly, so somehow I don’t think a dildo counts. Or is that still seen as backpedaling? No, because if contradictory comments overshadowed porn stars and their performances, most of these people (and I mean in both opposing camps) wouldn’t be such huge fans of Sasha Grey. Or as I like to to refer to her, "Backpedal Betty."
What have I missed here? Surely Sulemon’s porno should have garnered the complete opposite reaction by all, she in a way should appease absolutely everyones needs. From the mainstreamers looking to jack off “guilt free” (it’s for a really good cause!) or the sex positive crowd. I mean she’s an asexual mother embracing masturbation and discovering her own sexuality for the first time. Then taking all her profits from DVD sales to support her kids, you can’t get more sex-positive than that! Surely by anyone’s standard isn’t hers the ultimate in feel good porn? Or maybe I have just lost the plot.