Journal article

Power, Pleasure, and Perversion: Sadomasochistic Film Pornography

Williams L ...see all

Representations, vol. 27, issue 1 (1989) pp. 37-65

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starting from Bazin's theory (thus the emphasis on film, moving images), then some description of exploitive films, then three categories of SM porn (finally hits the point): 1. amateur sado-machochism, "real" in the Bazinian sense 2. sadie-max: various forms of pleasure sources, not solely dependent upon SM 3. aesthetic sado-masochism, within an elitist sadomasochistic literary tradition, "art", Eisensteinian montage SM as sex and as acts, p.46 reality: consenting individuals seeking to be dominated..; male submissive. the Question focused in this paper: the domination of women proffered as a form of pleasure to both the women depicted and to viewers. p.46 The pleasures of viewing: for male audience, the male's reaction of representation of women in pain (they enjoy the roles, but audience cannot possibly determine the truth behind the scene, p.48) A theoretical resource: feminist, psychoanalytic film theory: "avenues of escape" for phallically threatened male viewers. (cinema-as-perversion view) p.48 but criticism goes... p.50 "This question of women's pleasure - whether in the actual experience, the representation, or the fantasy of sexual submission - has been deemed unthinkable by many radical feminists.... There is an obvious need to attempt to understand both masochism for both men and women. The starting point... THIS ENTIRE PARAGRAPH" Although the origin of m pleasure is not of my concern (plus, what was not correctly explained in this article) p.51 SM porn offers what "post-revolutionary equal opportunity" for pleasure fails to deliver. Deleuze p.56 the author argues both male and female find pleasure watching SM porn, via idenifying both the dominant and the submissive... (not sure about that!) p.60 the rise of sm in the full variety indicates significant challenge to patriarchal power and pleasure. p.61 what is censorable is not the desire or the pleasure but the harm done to a person that does not consent. CHINA: ilegality - cyberspace the only space of representation (not much reality, no other channel of media outlet) personal outlet - enhance the recognition that they do enjoy the roles.

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  • Linda Williams

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