Examines the unprecedented role that commercial pornography occupies in American popular culture. The film explores what happens when images of sexual degradation are used for arousal.Examines the unprecedented role that commercial pornography occupies in American popular culture. The film explores what happens when images of sexual degradation are used for arousal.Examines the unprecedented role that commercial pornography occupies in American popular culture. The film explores what happens when images of sexual degradation are used for arousal.
The most entertaining part is the interviews with people who have their faces blacked out to hide their identities and ominous music playing as they confess that pornography inspired them to do horrible things such as... anal sex! Gasp! Really pathetic.
The film confuses the issue of BDSM with the issue of watching sex, and confuses the issue of watching sex with the issue of sexuality being commodified. It comes from a place of obvious ignorance about the porn industry and human sexuality in general, and yet proposes to commentate on both.
It also conflates BDSM with misogyny, and in doing so is a disservice to the actual problem of violence toward women. The movie can't tell the difference between hatred of women and consensual power play during sex, which is a complicated issue and can have a huge numbers of different scenarios, and can be done for any number of different reasons on the part of either partner. They make any type of BDSM as being a manifestation of male hostility toward women, and ignore that all of the same scenarios play out in gay pornography. They don't make any attempt to understand why scenarios of empowerment might be popular in pornography or sex in general, and when they make it all about men vs. women they also don't make any attempt to examine the larger social issues that might be at play which result in women often being subservient in our culture, not just during sex.
It also fails as a piece of documentary filmmaking. It makes no real attempt to present more than one side to the subject. For the pro-porn side they seem to have spent all of an hour or two at a porn convention shoving cameras into the faces of some random individuals until they said something that made them look silly, and then moved on. They don't have anybody articulate discuss it, or anybody who seems to be any kind of expert on sexuality. If it was a better film and had been edited well, they might have zeroed in on misogyny as their topic and tried to explore the issues that lead to violence toward women in general, but as is typical, they say Oh look, there's the thing we don't like in this video, if we take away this video it'll go away.
Porn didn't invent human sexuality, it's a reaction to it. There was also violence among humans before video games, believe it or not. And if it never occurred to you that anal sex was possible before you saw a porn video of it, or you had never heard of any type of basic BDSM before, then you've got some serious issues about repression and sex that you need to work through, and you might look toward your deep ignorance as a reason that you feel sexually unfulfilled, rather than the fact that you saw a video of something and then felt unnerved after. And if you've got issues with sex like that, then you probably shouldn't consider yourself qualified to make a documentary on the subject of sex, or to be a talking head commentator in one.
- May 7, 2013