The Sporadic Beaver

The Body-Punishing Sex of Gail Dines

September 16, 2011

Tags: Gail Dines, Pornland, Andrea Dworkin, Ron Jeremy, Vanity Fair, Porn Report

Gail Dines, anti-porn gadfly.
At first glance, Gail Dines, author of Pornland: How Porn Has Hijacked Our Sexuality, appears to be a more rational version of the late Andrea Dworkin, who believed that watching porn led to rape, and that sexual intercourse was the equivalent of rape.

But I've found that after watching Dines debate Ron Jeremy; watching a few of her lectures on YouTube (in one she calls Vanity Fair magazine "pornography"); and reading a couple of her articles, my sympathy for her point of view is rapidly diminishing, even though I tend to agree with some of what she says. (Yes, some pornography is abusive and disgusting.) It simply grows tiresome to listen to a woman whose favorite phrase, repeated ad nauseum, is "body-punishing sex."

An article by Dines, “Time to Start Telling the Truth About the Porn Industry,” posted on the Australian Broadcasting Company’s Website, offers a concise summary of her views. In the piece, Dines takes on the authors of the Australian Porn Report, whom, she says, want to “sanitize porn as a bit of harmless fun” and “seem willfully detached from the realities of how porn functions as a global industry and as a storytelling device.”

In other words, these Australian “academics, public intellectuals, and plain old pornographers” disagree with Dines’s suggestion that, according to her research, the most popular porn sites display a “mind-numbing repetition” of “gagging, slapping, verbal abuse, hair-pulling, pounding anal sex, women smeared in semen, sore anuses and vaginas, distended mouths, and exhausted, depleted, and shell-shocked women.”

Or, to put it simply, “body-punishing sex.”