Beyond Explicit: Pornography and the Displacement of Sex by Helen Hester

By Helen Hester

Develops a singular characterization of the pornographic as a cultural concept.

This unique contribution to porn experiences goals to interrogate formerly untheorized adjustments in modern understandings of the pornographic. Helen Hester argues that the phrases “porn” and “pornographic” are presently being utilized to an ever-expanding diversity of fabric and that this transformation in language utilization displays a much wider shift in belief. She means that we're witnessing a probably paradoxical flow clear of intercourse inside modern understandings of porn, as a number different elements come to steer the concept that. utilizing examples from media, literature, and tradition, and discussing the increase of notions corresponding to “torture porn” and “misery porn,” Hester’s argument levels from sexually specific German novels and British coverage records to a dialogue of the alterations among eu and American variations of pornographic movies. She concludes that 4 elements in particular—transgression, depth, prurience, and authenticity—can be visible to steer the best way that we take into consideration porn

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Additional resources for Beyond Explicit: Pornography and the Displacement of Sex

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This may be the most ruthless choice I have ever made. But in the privacy of writing, it was the only choice that gave me the pleasure of writing, that greedy, arrogant pleasure: it was the only choice that enabled me to triumph over my subject by showing it, remaking it, The Sex Wars 29 turning it into something that we define and use rather than letting it remain something that defines and uses us. (36) This remark seems to me to offer as much of an insight into the pro-sex feminist position as it does into Dworkin’s mindset and writing practices.

Again, Helen’s bold request of a virtual stranger may suggest a relaxed, confident standpoint regarding the human form, and a daring attitude to the confrontation of social norms or taboos. However, this request is similarly couched in terms of anxiety and a will to manage the errant body. ] Please. I can’t tell from the feeling. I’ve got to see it” (40). The desire to see and to understand can again be viewed as part of a desire to regain control. As the anthropologist Mary Douglas famously suggests, “dirt is essentially disorder.

Physical pleasure is a joyful thing and should not be hidden or denied. It is not true that women have no sexu- The Sex Wars 25 al hunger. There are other people who think about and do the things you dream about. Freedom is possible. There is a choice. (“The Obscene, Disgusting, and Vile Meese Commission Report” 52) In a similar vein, Willis argues that pornography “expresses a radical impulse” (85) and that “a woman who enjoys pornography (even if that means enjoying a rape fantasy) is in a sense a rebel, insisting on an aspect of her sexuality that has been defined as a male preserve” (85).

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