The Image of a Female Pervert is Too Unrealistic to See as Anything Other Than a Fluke or Parody

Thu, 10/21/2010 - 09:21
Submitted by Christina Cicchelli

A while ago I posted a humorous little checklist for those of you guys who think you might need a pro. But, I want to focus on the ladies. My personal experience has taught me something very special: We need more female clients.

Of course, some of you might think this is absurd. The world’s oldest profession is only made for men, with women as a notable and still segregated consumer. But, in this day and age we’re learning that adult entertainment is meant to satisfy all adults. And, if we have a higher ratio of out and proud women consumers of pornography, erotica, strippers, BDSM Dominas and Masters, etc, then I sincerely believe we can redefine sexuality so it’s on their terms.

-Changes the tone of the market: The very differences that have split the sexes apart to some degree has also changed the narrative completely. And this drives the way sex is advertised to us. Now, women have traditionally been consumers of products and services that make us look sexy; the reasons are irrelevant. We just do. And it bears mentioning that there is a certain sensuality that exists in how these products are sold to us. This same advertising could exist in the adult industry, streamlining a style that is appealing for women.

Even if some disagree with this idealized tone of the market, competing to meet the demands of this demographic will have to change the standards. So far, we’ve only seen monumental changes in the industry correspond to major tech advancements. We haven’t truly seen how major cultural changes affect the industry; it’s always been the other way around. To suddenly introduce a new and growing demographic as one that is the mainstream wouldn’t make women-identified pornography so marginalized.

-Changes in the Conditions of the Industry: Introducing women into the market may also affect the conditions for women everywhere in the industry. Part of the reason why we associate so many forms of social plight with the sex industry is because many of the women working in the industry are working under a cloud of shame. They live in secrecy, unable to tell their loved ones about their private careers. And if their major consumer are meant to be men, then they are catering to a demographic that can completely manipulate the dynamic between a client and provider. Women consumers can neutralize that dynamic.

By maintaining a presence, their opinions and desires can make a difference. Imagine if female consumers found out from sex workers about violent or disrespectful clients. Or they stopped getting serviced at a particular “massage” parlor because of their unethical practices. The presence of women consumers can change the way we perceive sex work.

-Changes in the Perceptions of Men and Sex: This is a pretty powerful transformation. So often we associate a negative image of perversity with men who dabble in paid sexual encounters. First, there’s the instinctive fear of STD transmission among clients and providers. Of course, the exchange between a male client and his pro is typically glamorized or, at the other end of the spectrum, shamed by our society. But, if a woman wanted to pay for some time with a sex worker, does that make her a criminal too?

The image of a female pervert is just too unrealistic to see as anything other than a fluke or parody of men’s sexual prowess. But, to have a female consumer become an equal participant can humanize male clients. For those in a relationship, seeing a provider isn’t another form of betrayal or adultery, but one of many different ways that a couple can explore their sexuality together.

We may even see the sexual objectification of men in new and complicated ways that we haven’t before. When women connect their sexual power to their purchase, then perhaps the power will transfer to the treatment of these men. Of course, it isn’t entirely uncommon to see women objectify men. But, the sexualization of women is so specific to the dynamic we share with men, it’s not a general form of behavior that men can easily expect and get used to.

Again, when it’s done it’s done with humor, because to touch upon what objectification is like for men is just too difficult. And if the male narrative persists (which it unfortunately does), then sexual objectification in its most serious elements isn’t acceptable to the male psyche. And, in the adult industry, I believe this same repression permeates. When the dollar is introduced, it’s power. It’s an uncomfortable power that is akin to the economical inequalities that women have shared with men for years. But, it’s power nonetheless.

There are plenty of other potential benefits to making women primary consumers in the adult industry. And none of them are without their own flaws and miscalculations. That said, humanity can bear to learn from such a turbulent transition. We need to understand why factors like resistance or prejudice or even stereotypes might prevent a woman from being noticed as a legitimate contributor to the sex industry.

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