One of the reasons that I want to present my naked body to be looked at is because I hate porn. Writing that, I feel the need to expand about what I mean by “I hate porn.” But before I do, let me say more about presenting my body as a non-porn item.
As I’ve mentioned, I’m 44 years old. My breasts are small. My legs and bum are flabby. I have a caesarean scar. Etc. I will not be acting like I want it, baby. I will not be posing. I will be feeling emotions that I will not make a big effort to hide. I’m using myself because a) I have a body; b) hiring someone else to do it would completely alter the reality and emotions of the situation; and c) I am dying to see non-pornified human bodies represented (I begin to foresee the direction this project will take…) I want to see people with flaws who are not trying to manipulate my weaknesses to sell me something.
Which brings me to why I hate porn. As the hater-of-self that I was, I know too well what trying to look and be like something desirable did to me. And that was before the Internet and the normalization of porn. I knew I was fat (I wasn’t). I knew I was flat (I was, but I eventually learned that not every man, contrary to the predominance of images available, is obsessed with large breasts). I knew in some way, my looks were not quite right (I didn’t look like the models I compared myself to). I felt unlovable and freakish for my complete inability to be what I thought men liked: someone who was never too much.
Luckily, for me, in 70s Calgary and in my weirdness and non-cutesiness, I didn’t feel a whole lot of pressure to be sexual before I was ready. But we’re in the pornified 2000s now and it is quite common, or so I read, for 11- and 12-year-old girls to be giving out blowjobs at fellatio-dedicated pre-teen parties. I don’t find this particularly surprising. Girls are tarted up in the name of femininity and fashion by kindergarten. I know because I have a four-year-old and see some of the outfits. By junior high school they have their tongues pierced, their butts tattooed and cleavage+belly-revealing clothes are normal—even in Lethbridge, Alberta. Even if really explicit, really specific, really available porn did not exist, which, of course, it does, the images we all see everywhere are frequently about sexualizing young girls. Girls are just doing what they think they’re supposed to do. There are boys getting those blowjobs and settling into porn habits. Boys are just doing what comes easily.
What about that really explicit, really specific, really available porn, then? Well, it’s not really real, is it? It’s beyond cliché to note that the women (and men) in porn, like prostitutes, are not from your luckiest realm of society. They’re not actually having a good time. They’re not actually okay. These are messed up people. And, no, that girl on your monitor (or giving you a lap dance) is not actually, sorry to break this to you, sooooo horneeeeee now!!!!!!! But you—by you, I mean a pretty disturbing number of people who are mostly boys and men—are getting off on what is actually another person’s messed up stuff.
I’m not a prude and I’m not pro-censorship. I also believe you gotta do what you gotta do. So if anal gang-bang sites are your thing or if you’d rather pay for a lap grind than go home to the wife and kids, I can’t do much about it. May I humbly suggest, though, that the world holds more love for you than you are willing to allow yourself?
And while I’m at it, can I just show you a human body over here? Nope, not what you might call super sexy, but loveable nonetheless. I’m going to die one day. Just like you. I’ve got some drooping bits and wrinkles. If you don’t have them now, you will. And I don’t actually feel comfortable exposing my naked body. You, too, experience discomfort about yourself.
I completely deplore how we deny our own humanity and the humanity of others and how that shows up so much in what we see represented. And, as the mother of a four-year-old girl, I fiercely hate the way our mercantile, adult garbage pollutes the sexual awakening of children. With my flabby, imperfect body, I’m making my own small stand for humanity and real adulthood. I am a grown up human. And I look like it. And I like it.