Pornography and male sexuality.

  • Kimmel M
  • 4

    Readers

    Mendeley users who have this article in their library.
  • N/A

    Citations

    Citations of this article.

Abstract

This reprinted chapter originally appeared in TheGender of Desire: Essays on male sexuality, 2005, pp. 65-95. This chapter discusses pornography and male sexuality. Men look at pornography, but we do not see it. We read pornography, but it is not literature. We watch pornographic films, but we are indifferent to narrative content or cinematic technique. Men consume pornography, using pornographic images for sexual arousal, usually without considering the relationship between what's in the pictures or stories and the sexual pleasure we seek. What matters with pornography is its utility, its capacity to arouse. Its value appears to be contained in its function. Pornography is not just men looking. It is men producing images for men to consume. As men have been producing pornography for other men to watch, read, and look at, women have begun, with the rise of the women's movement in the 1960s, to talk about pornography, about how they feel about seeing other women's bodies portrayed in pornography, about how pornography makes them feel about themselves, about their sexuality, about other women, about men. The debate about pornography has split the women's movement in painful disagreement, dividing women on issues as fundamental as the nature of women's oppression, the organization and expression of sexuality, and the forms of political resistance to women's oppression. To some women, pornography is, in the words of Susan Brownmiller, "the undiluted essence of anti-female propaganda." To these women, pornography graphically illustrates the subordination of women in our culture. And what is particularly objectionable about pornography is that it renders this brutal subordination so that men can experience sexual arousal and pleasure from it. Men need to raise the issue, to examine the role of pornography in our lives. A lot is at stake: Although most pornographic images are of women, pornography is, at its heart, about men. It is about men's relationships with sexuality, with women, and with each other. It is about women as men want them to be, and about our own sexual selves as we would like them to be. Whether or not pornographic images determine our sexual behaviors, there is little doubt that these images depict men's fantasies about sexuality—both women's sexuality and our own. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved). (chapter)

Author-supplied keywords

  • Human Males
  • Pornography
  • Sexual Arousal
  • Sexual Fantasy
  • Sexuality
  • male sexuality
  • pornography
  • sexual arousal
  • sexual fantasy

Get free article suggestions today

Mendeley saves you time finding and organizing research

Sign up here
Already have an account ?Sign in

Find this document

Authors

  • Michael S Kimmel

Cite this document

Choose a citation style from the tabs below

Save time finding and organizing research with Mendeley

Sign up for free