Entertainment, Guest Authors, Humor

Pissy About Porn (for Women)

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We’ve noticed something really interesting here at the Cambridge Women’s Pornography Cooperative (CWPC). Like proud but nervous parents headed to a parent-teacher conference, we read our first book’s reviews on Amazon with bated breath. Hearing what people think of our work is more than mildly obsessive. But we just don’t know what to make of our baby’s grades: all A’s…and F’s?! Talk about extremes. In Amazon’s five-star rating system, Porn for Women has received zero lukewarm 3-star ratings, just resounding applause or jeering boo’s. Guess you either love it or you hate it.

So, our book gets some really negative reviews:

“In a world where real progressive women are out to demonstrate that their sex can have ambitions as grand and respectable as men, this book decides to step in and say ‘All women care about is housework *tee-hee!*’ One page features the model saying ‘Why don’t I buy a minivan so you can drive something fun?’ What’s the message here? That it’s better to be dependant on your partner’s income than to go out and earn a car by yourself?

Um, no. The message is, why should I drive the rumpus room on wheels? Let him drive it, and I’ll take the Audi TT convertible.

Is that sexist? Do I even care when the wind is blowing through my hair and my husband is kicking away empty juice boxes? The message is, let’s not assume Mommy is going to get the short end of the stick just because she’s Mommy. I think you’ve got it completely backwards. That review continues:

“No, I’m not going to buy a book of trite jokes that perpetuate gender stereotypes in order to deliver a passive-agressive [sic] point to you, honey.”

My! I think we could use a little porn for women in our lives, couldn’t we? This book may be exactly what you need. That, and a spell check. Fortunately, not everyone misunderstands this book. Here’s another review from a more clued-in reader:

“As an ardent First Amendment supporter and a feminist scholar who has done lots of research on sex work, porn, etc., I fully support women who enjoy ‘regular’ porn, or feminist porn that includes, well, sex, as this book does not. But to the reviewers who slammed this particular book for its ‘offensive’ assumption that women only find housework sexy, I think you’re missing the point. The book is not reifying…”

Oooh! “Reifying!” We like her!

“…the notion that women do not like sex. Nor are they claiming that ‘regular’ porn and this brand of ‘porn’ are mutually exclusive, or that women can’t appreciate both.”

Amen!

“They are merely expanding the concept of what’s considered sexy, what can be considered a turn-on, and what can be defined as sensual. Rather than narrowly define what is sexy as that which is explicitly sex-oriented (and such a narrow definition would be more offensive, I would think, than any photo in this book), this book evokes a spectrum, and encourages people to find the sensual in the everyday. And c’mon, anything that can make dull chores more exciting should be celebrated!”

Exactly. Isn’t having a partner who does the laundry, cooks dinner, changes the litter box, and generally shares in the household responsibilities a turn on? Damn right. If for no other reason than it lets me not worry about that stuff. And FREE TIME is sexy. Because when I’m not worrying about making dinner and cleaning up the house, my mind wanders to things that are much more fun…

—Betsy, Research Assistant, CWPC

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5 Comments

  • Carol July 23, 2007 at 5:04 pm

    I only had to glance at the cover to ‘get’ what this book was about (and to be amused). Now I’ll have to go read it so I can write a review on Amazon!

    Reply

  • Tracy Morris July 24, 2007 at 8:12 am

    As a single and formerly-alone mom, I gotta say that nothing turns my head like a man who is good with children. Part and parcel of that package is being able to perform and teach survival skills, like the things the guys in this book are pictured doing. Sure, I can do it all without anyone’s help. But why the heck would I want to?? I share Betsy’s opinion on the sexiness of free time.

    Reply

  • Betsy of the CWPC July 27, 2007 at 11:47 am

    If paternal prowess is what you’re after, just wait til you see our next book: Porn for New Moms. It’s coming out this spring – stay tuned for steamy shots of dads doing what every mom dreams about.

    Reply

  • Aicila October 16, 2007 at 9:13 am

    We won’t be able to move beyond the gender stereotypes that exist if we don’t take acknowledge them without giving them power. Your book does just that. I don’t think I have ever laughed so hard. What’s even funnier is that I spent 9 years in a lesbian relationship and ran into a lot of the same things with my wife that I’ve seen between heterosexual couples. We have a lot of work to do, and I love that you are out there doing it in a way that doesn’t embrace rage or fear. Keep up the good work!

    Reply

  • Emily August 16, 2008 at 4:36 am

    Love the idea of this book and what I’ve seen of it is very funny.

    I find it incredible that some women think it un-feminist to want to keep your house clean or be able to cook, or whatever is traditionally considered as “housewife” territory. To me, being able to take care of myself is part of being independent, and that includes cleaning and cooking, etc. And I think a man who can take care of himself and cooks and cleans and is kind and thoughtful is very sexy.

    Reply

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