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Conservatives Love Porn -- Surprised? You Shouldn't Be

Lots of porn dovetails nicely with the conservative view on sex: that good girls dislike sex and bad girls who get down don't deserve respect.

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This world view permeates both purity balls and porn videos, especially the more misogynist ones that I described.  If you're a man who buys into the right wing world view on gender, odds are you married a good girl and you know she's a good girl because she's a little hostile towards sex, and really hostile towards sexual experimentation.  But you're a man, and you're supposed to want those experimental behaviors.  You can't do it with your good girl wife, and you don't really want to, either, because you know that women who do that don't deserve respect.  So there's porn, mediating the conflict for you.  You get your fun and freaky sex acts, like a man wants, and you have porn actresses to disrespect so that you don't have to put that on your wife.  It's the classic virgin/whore dichotomy, except done with a credit card on the internet instead of down at the brothel with cash, like in the past. 

Is it possible that a more sexually liberated, feminist culture has less need for huge amounts of porn, particularly of the sort that promotes objectionable views about women's humanity?  Seems like it.  Maybe there's an inverse relationship between the number of feminist sex shops in an area and the number of subscriptions to porn websites.  It makes sense. The more sexually liberated a culture is, the more the people in it are able to access sexual fantasies in diverse ways than people in more repressed parts of the country.  And perhaps when straight men aren't crippled by virgin/whore complexes that cause them to seek out some of the more hostile porn, they get to have more sexual adventures for real, because they don't give off the vibe to partners that they're going to call you names for experimenting with them. 

Amanda Marcotte co-writes the popular blog Pandagon. She is the author of It's a Jungle Out There: The Feminist Survival Guide to Politically Inhospitable Environments .

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