Pleasure/pornography

Ryan Gosling on the MPAA’s decision to give Blue Valentine an NC-17 rating over its inclusion of an oral sex scene.

A) Ryan Gosling is a perfect human specimen and B) this is so incredibly poignant. Derek Cianfrance– the director of Blue Valentine,  who also directed Gosling’s newest movie The Place Beyond The Pines— and The Weinstein Company very publicly accused the MPAA of extreme sexism and they got the rating reversed to R. So hooray Ryan!

This really reminded me of a project called “Hysterical Literature” by art photographer Clayton Cubitt.

Basically, the beautiful ladies above read an excerpt from a book of their choice while under the table where we can’t see someone is pleasuring them with a vibrator. The black and white video continues as they can no longer read and orgasm.

So many of the YouTube comments dismissed this as gross and dirty for what I assume are similar to Ryan’s reasoning above: woman are portrayed has having no interest and deriving no pleasure from sex. We are there to service the men who we are with. I think these videos make people uncomfortable for many reasons: These women are servicing no one. She is focused only on her own body, this is only for her enjoyment. The audience doesn’t get to see what’s happening, only how it makes her feel. It’s not staged for the viewer’s pleasure. It’s actually very dismissive of the mainstream (straight) porn industry and its intended audience (straight men) in that it’s not about the viewer at all (unless the viewer is solely interested in voyeurism and not at all into participation). I find it fascinating.

Anyway, you can see the videos here at Clayton Cubitt’s YouTube page. Kind of NSFW given the subject matter, but you can’t actually see anything. I recommend headphones.