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October 25, 2012

Cosmo: Is "Porn Star" the New "Skank"?

For years, Cosmo has been slut-shaming women and calling them names like "skanks", so we're hardly surprised anymore when we notice shit like that in their magazine. However, there's a new level of slut-shaming that we've been noticing lately and it's directed at women in the adult film industry.

First, the magazine's new editor Joanna Coles was asked in an interview whether she feels at ease talking about sex:
"Yes, I do actually. I think it's an important part of our lives. I feel some regret at the pornification of culture. I think that does us a disfavour because people forget that, actually, sex is this great connecting tool between men and women."
Aside from the fact that sex isn't always strictly between men and women (nor is it solely a "connecting tool"), we're confused by her regret at the "pornification of culture". How exactly is our culture being "pornified"? We won't deny that the media has a messed up relationship with sex - it avoids it, shames it, but then also exploits it - but pornified?

Doesn't Coles think that Cosmo - with its monthly dose of ridiculous sex tips, incomprehensible sex positions and photo spreads of models in revealing outfits - is contributing to our hypersexualized society? We don't always agree with the way Cosmo addresses sex-related topics mainly because of their sheer hypocrisy. They give endless sex advice, then shame women for being too sexual. They talk about being fun, fearless females and then do all they can to foster their insecurities. Yes, there's something wrong with our culture, but we don't think porn is the problem.

We might have just passed over that comment if we hadn't also flipped through the November 2012 issue. We couldn't help but notice that there seemed to be a recurring anti-porn theme...

In their famous "Sexy vs. Skanky" section, they've yet again called out an adult actress (this time Jenna Jameson) for being skanky based on her outfit. Of course, we really know that it's based solely on the fact that she's Jenna Jameson, a former adult actress.

Then we saw this advice from the charming Ky Henderson in "Ask Him Anything":
Q. My boyfriend wants me to be on my knees while giving him oral. It seems disrespectful....Isn't that what porn stars do?

A. It has nothing to do with disrespect. To be honest, those concepts are far too complex for the caveman level on which male brains operate during sex. And it's exactly that porn association that makes guys think it's so hot for a girl to be on her knees while pleasuring him. But if it feels weird for you or makes you uncomfortable, don't do it. You can create a similar thrill by giving him oral when he's not expecting it, like when he's watching TV. Surprise sex from a woman who can't keep her hands off a guy? That's the plot of just about every porn flick.
We've always assumed that all of the "questions" that Cosmo receives for Ky Henderson are made-up and this one seems to prove that. Is that even really a thing, that giving oral sex on your knees is "what porn stars do"? We kind of thought that was the standard for blow jobs. Yes, of course, we know there are many lovely positions from which you can suck dick, but we've never heard of being on your knees as being strictly a thing from porn. And while we've heard some people claim that giving head is demeaning (we disagree), we've never heard of one position for it being more or less disrespectful. We also don't understand the leap from "disrespectful" to "porn star" or Henderson's suggestion that the porn association has anything to do with why men might want a woman on her knees.

It's interesting how Cosmo manages to imply that porn is shameful and disrespectful, while at the same time advising women to emulate porn stars. Mixed messages anyone?

Then again, in "25 Ways To Blow His Mind With Your Mouth" (no really)...
#5 - With a flat tongue, lick the underside of his penis like an ice pop. A little porn star-ish? Yes. Still hot? Definitely.
Again, what...? This is Cosmo, they've written entire articles on ways to please a man - many many times - and yet they're going to refer to licking a penis as "porn star-ish"? And we're confused by the "Still hot?" question. We don't agree that this move is porn star-ish, but if it is, wouldn't that be part of what makes it hot? It wouldn't be hot in spite of the fact that it's porn star-ish.

We're not sure exactly where the Cosmo writers are getting their information about porn. Is there some specific genre of porn that's just women on their knees, licking penises like popsicles? If there's anything we've learned over the years is that people can have fetishes for just about anything and there are plenty of videos out there to cater to those fetishes, so we're sure this does exist... but we're just unfamiliar with the concept that this is a porn standard. And even if it is, we're definitely not convinced that there's anything wrong with that.

We don't think that people should try to emulate everything they see in adult films, but that's just because we think some pornography can be unrealistic, not because of any "moral" objections.

Cosmo throws around terms like "skank" and "stripper" as if they were synonymous and now it seems that they've thrown "porn star" into the mix as well. I don't know if the magazine is going to get better or worse now that Coles has replaced Kate White, but we've got some news for her - STRIPPERS AND PORN STARS AREN'T SKANKY. It's a job, just like any other job.

Women are allowed to be sexual (for pleasure, for work, or both) and there's nothing wrong with that!

4 comments:

Yandie, Goddess of Pickles. said...

I always thought the 'on the knees' position was just logistical common sense.

Samantha Rae Millard said...

I don't really know anyone that reads that magazine. However, as a woman i'v literally told lovers if they want a dumb girl to do that go, go right ahead find someone while im at work or practicing my hobbies whatever , which has aways resulted in more dedication from them. Kinda like the hall pass movie in theory. In mag's like this, guys are given this automatic right that isn't deserved in most cases. Is oral sex bad? Not always, If it is fair and under empower situations that both parties can appreciate. I agree in such cliche articles where the reader is enticed* to do such to be loved or liked that it is horror for a relationship and to women. Nice blog.

For actual nice women empowerment web article check out what i listen to today is one of may women empowering messages: barbaramarxhubbard.com/site/audio , the august audio on cultivating woman's wisdom

Anonymous said...

Anyone else bothered but this idea that men will always enjoy "surprise sex"? Non-consensual sex is non-consensual sex, I don't care who initiates it.

Epiphora said...

I HATE THE "WORD" "PORNIFICATION."