Response to Lena Dunham’s response to porn’s response to Girls’ response to porn

So, I dig GIRLS’ discussion of the effects of porn on sex in society. I was certainly influenced by porn in my teenage years and early twenties. I might have easily been one of those boys Lena observed experimenting with maneuvers learned from porn. And I think that’s fine. You gotta start somewhere.

Whether you’re a guy or a girl, when you start learning how to give head, for instance, you’re either going to start out imitating porn, or guessing, or using some weird metaphor somebody told you about. Eventually you will have to learn by experience and feedback what intimacy is, what pleasing someone is and all that. Anyway, you’re probably going to be not so great at first. You’re plotting points in the Venn diagram of fucking and lovemaking. And I think porn can be a cool, valid part of that learning process. It’s goofy, and it’s still consistently shat upon by society, but even though it’s not for educational purposes (it’s for inspirational purposes), you can learn a lot about yourself and about sex from porn.

Modern porn is the result of a sexually maturing society. It’s only been truly legal in the US for forty years. Explicit, legal, publicly available porn is younger than Rock & Roll, younger than the Civil Rights Movement. ‘69 or ‘73, depending on which Supreme Court case you go by. Porn in its current incarnation is barely older than Hip-Hop. It’s not done transforming with help from its promoters and its critics.

Porn isn’t a monolith. You get bombarded with the mainstream, heavily masculine stuff just like you get bombarded with Iron Man 3 ads when you’re thinking about going to see a movie. But the mainstream of porn profoundly splintered around the same time popular music’s mainstream splintered. Had a lot to do with the internet. Thanks to that new diversity, I’ve had the opportunity to work with all kinds of bodies and styles of sex, and only porn’s willfully ignorant detractors still believe porn promotes only one kind of fake-breasted, impossibly skinny, submissive duck-faced beauty. Though that can be very beautiful too.

The GIRLS parody has a good variety of sex in it, and I think Alex Chance and I did a pretty cool scene. We had been wanting to work together, and what we did was authentic even if we were role-playing. I’m glad this is happening and that I’m part of it. Still, it bothers me that Lena no like. I understand her misgivings, I wish her all the best, and I would totally hit it.

In fact, what bothers me most are the people in comment sections of news items writing negative things about Lena in relation to this parody. I’m sorry about the tragically low self-esteem of these folks, jumping at the opportunity to knock a successful woman down a peg. On the other hand, I’d prefer to have any given maniac venting misogynist garbage on a website rather than wandering the streets bothering women or worse.

And now I will send this along despite my own fear of being bullied on the internet.