July 3rd, 2008

She must go through so much white underwear…

I mentioned recently I read Audacia Ray’s Naked on the Internet, a great intro to issues of female empowerment, porn, and technology. One of the sections that really struck me was called “A Bloody Business: Independent Period Porn.” In it, Dacia talks about how a handful of female pornographers, including Heroine Sheik favorite Trixie, have used the open space of the internet to explore bleeding as part of their online sexuality:

“As a rule, menstruation is generally not something that’s seen in porn, which is a peculiar omission in an industry that fetishizes everything from shoes to stuffed animals to exeretory functions. Though credit card companies seem to have no problem with double- and triple-penetration sites, bukkake, and electrical play, most of them regard menstruation and other forms of blood play as out of bounds.”

While two of the three menstruation sites Dacia mentions have had to shut down (including Trixie’s Bloody Trixie) she reminds, “Period porn is a significant example of the power of the Internet for female pornographers who want to put something different into the world.”

Another interesting point: there are some male-run sites in this bloody vein (yes, ouch). However, “the vast majority… do not focus on menstruation as a sexual interest or fetish, but rather are sites run by men that focus on the refuge of menstruation: soiled underwear, dirty maxi pads, and tampons… Though this apparent disinterest may seem to some that the focus is in the wrong place, it is in keeping with the traditional trappings of fetishism, where an object becomes the erotic focus.”

Wait, we get to talk about Freud’s concept of fetishism? OMG, dork-out!

Okay, so according to Freud–who isn’t so much a valid psychological reference anymore as a really awesome person to use for literary and cultural analysis–a fetish object serves to both block and remind of a site of trauma. So, for example, a young boy first peers up a dressing gown and sees a woman’s genitals. Around them, he also sees her pubic hair. In response, he develops a fur fetish. Similarly, we could say the menstruation fetishist who focuses on the bloody tampon is both ignoring and returning to the original image: a bloody vagina.

Wait, is this getting too weird for you guys? Could anything really get weirder than Sporn?

Tags: books, feminism, porn

8 Responses to “‘A Bloody Business’: Period Porn”

  1. The Guy Says:

    Could anything get weirder than Sporn? My dear, I don’t think you realize you’re on the internets q_o

  2. Anon Says:

    Doesn’t seem that weird to me in all honesty. Thought it does surprise me that there is a market for the by-products of menstruation, but less so for the real thing. If I was presented both I would have bet on it being the other way around.

    I feel like a bit of an idiot but I’ve never explored any of Freud’s theories. Thanks for the lesson, it’s helped me make an unlikely connection with my own fetish.

    As a side note, in China a women paints with her menstrual blood. I think the idea has been ripped off by other artists since.

  3. Bonnie Ruberg Says:

    Interesting, Anon. Some of Trixie’s pictures actually seem to involve painting her own body with her menstrual blood. In general, it’s so interesting that we’re sexually fascinated by some bodily discharges and so turned off by others.

  4. Soulofaqua Says:

    I have read about thousands fetishes one might find odd without being affected by it… This I find creepy. I already feel uncomfortable about menstruations but to find the shedding of the endometrium sexually appealing really is something I can’t imagine. where as I never thought a fetish for peeing or taking a dump odd being creepy but as I already am discomforted by menstruation, to think of the fetish really creeps me out.
    It is not so much that I find it very weird like Sporn.
    Now I must say that I do not find those whom have a fetish for this are weirdos.

  5. Bonnie Ruberg Says:

    Ah, see I think your initial (negative) reaction to the very idea of menstruation porn is fascinating. You don’t say you *like* scat or water sports, you say you aren’t bothered by them. Menstrual blood, however, stirs up a response–and even if that response is revulsion I think that’s important. Our sexual responses are, in a way, similarly automatic, unthinking, bodily, so I’d say right there there’s a link between the sex appeal and what you feel to be so completely opposite…

    Do other people have a similar reaction to menstrual blood? I can’t say I want to finger paint in it, but I also can’t say the idea of it makes me uncomfortable–though that may well come from being a girl.

  6. Soulofaqua Says:

    Where there is one there most certainly would be another. As you already said it is more likely to occur with males than with females. Though I do think the first time can be a shock. Especially if one has not been educated about it. I think it being normal to see my own excrements makes it less horrifying and that it is not the blood of the menstruation but the chunks of the endometrium take makes it discomforting for me as I also have seen enough blood.

  7. Darkpen Says:

    I’m suddenly reminded of a “camwhore” entry from wikichan of some girl who was dubbed “rabbit-chan,” who would take photos of smearing menstrual blood onto her face, amongst doing other things.

  8. rusty Says:

    The internet is a special place.

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