Talk Dirty To Me

Ottawa XPress & The Hour Montreal, August 12, 2004

The boundary between sexy and sleazy is as faint as the panty line on the tight ass of a taut preteen. Sometimes you see it, sometimes you don’t.

Admit it, one of the first things you did when you hooked up your Internet was check out the porn sites. I did. My sex education had so far been limited to the pornos my first boyfriend and me rented from the Mac’s Milk movie dispenser in Vanier. We weren’t discerning connoisseurs.

Those videos were pretty typical: a buxom blond playing secretary to some stud boss holding her legs apart in an aerial “V”; that Ron Jeremy guy dressed up as a Devil forcing a helpless lady to lick his ballsack; and greasy cum-shot scenes that made me dry hurl in my lover’s lap.

Years later with my new computer and new Internet access ready to booty, I checked out the new world of Internet Porn. Being unable to relate to the big-boobied beasts in the movies I had seen, I typed in, “small tits” to land a site that best represented girls that looked like me.

My search brought me to sites featuring close-up images of dazed nymphs with glazed faces liquored in semen, gripping veiny penises with tiny hands. And they all looked so drugged out.

And still, this turned me on.

After the euphoria came the confusion and shame. Orgasms can really make a girl hungry too, so I hit the kitchen, made a sandwich and settled down at the table to write a mental letter:

“Dear Naked Lady on the website: How come you do this? Don’t you know that you can be ‘cool’ without having to spread your legs for some gross dudes? I hear it’s pretty easy to get a job at Walmart.”

Since it would have been hard to get in touch with the girl, why not start a conversation about pornography closer to home?

An old boyfriend told me that when he looks at porn, he envisions that he is the man on screen sharing the encounter with the lady in the action. Potentially a sore point for us girlfriends or wives who likely don’t look anything like a porn star.

Melanie, who works at Rixxx Video (2839 St. Joseph Boulevard and 256 Bank Street) in Orleans, told me I had it right when I said I think women get aroused by the couple goin’ at it, and then use that energy to fuel a fantasy about themselves and their lover in a more mutually satisfying and genuine real-time exchange.

“It explains why you rarely see a guy’s face in the shot. Guys don’t want to be looking at other guys,” Melanie says. “Men like it straight up because they’re ‘visual’ creatures.”

What it all comes down to really, is we use pornography to get us off. To quote sexologist Leonore Tiefer from her book, Sex Is Not a Natural Act, “The debate about pornography is in large part a debate about masturbation.” And Sallie Tisdale in her essay, “A woman’s taste for pornography”, echoes this, saying: “Sex awakens my unconscious; pornography gives it a face.”

But is it fair that I’m using the cum-smeared faces of exploited young teenage chicks as masturbatory fodder? Tiefer gives me a hand:

“Pornography is about fantasy and identification with characters in stories as symbols. It cannot really be understood just on a literal level. And if pornography is suppressed, women will not learn things about themselves and their imaginations that they can learn through experimenting with and reflecting upon their reactions to pornography.”

So what of the girls in the movies?

By communicating my discomfort with the drugged-out appearance of the actresses, their pained faces and apparent abuse, I inevitably invited discussion about the working conditions for these ladies and was receptive to a suggestion by Melanie to check out Seymore Butts’ line of videos. Butts does not tolerate drugs or alcohol on his sets and because his production company is more established, the working conditions are less exploitive than most places in the porno industry.

Consider Montreal’s, Lara Roxx. In March this year, this stripper and prostitute went to Los Angeles and filmed 18 scenes without using protection – this can fetch stars as much as $1,000 U.S. a day. Actors are routinely checked for disease, but “naively” writes The Montreal Gazette, “she believed the testing regime meant that the work environment was safe.”

A month later, she was diagnosed with HIV.

The popular argument today is that if you decriminalize illegal or “antisocial” practices, they will cease to be corrupt and marginalized. If you say “no” to porn, you are in fact advocating its descent into a darker underground where working conditions for the actors risk becoming even more deplorable.

The best thing you can do for women like Montreal’s Lara Roxx, is buy or rent the videos. Hell, the best thing you can do for yourself or your relationship is to, at some point, simply interact with the damn shit so you get educated about what’s really going on out there. (If hardcore isn’t your thing, visit, where the sexy is a little less sleazy.)

Just do your part and masturbate. Help make Ottawa more sex-positive.

– Sylvie Hill