Ms. Forums-you're all nuts

Co-option of Women’s Orgasms

So, um, guys aren’t supposed to care if they give their girlfriend’s pleasure or not?

I swear, sometimes I want to put the anti-feminists and the radical feminists together in one room-to see if they cause an explosion-like matter and anti-matter?

I’d pay to watch that.

Will there be jello involved?

More importantly, my boyfriend would pay to see that.

'Cause it’s all about him, you know. I’m just role-playing.

Some women will never, ever, ever be happy. They won’t let themselves be happy. Something always has to be wrong and they always have to be the fucking victim. If the guy doesn’t make giving her an orgasm his goal, then he’s uncaring and All Men Are Evil because they don’t give a damn about women’s sexuality. If a guy does make giving her an orgasm his goal, then he’s uncaring and All Men Are Evil because they try to turn women’s sexuality into their own entertainment. If a guy tries to give her an orgasm but doesn’t make it his goal and just tries to have them both enjoy themselves equally he’s uncaring and All Men Are Equal because obviously he’s being confusing to her just so that she’ll be conditioned to do… something… and nobody knows what but All Men Are Equal and don’t you forget it!

:rolleyes: Saint Peter on a skateboard.

There’s some pretty insane stuff on that thread.

If I suspected that a woman I was having sex with was faking an orgasm for my benefit, I’d hop outta bed so fast I’d get sheetburn.

OTOH, if I thought a woman I was having sex with was debating in her head whether postmodern society constructs a woman’s sexuality such that no act is absent patriarchal domination – well, I’d find my way to the door, thankyouverymuch.

I wanna post in that thread so I can mention “money shots”: the moment in porn (I’ve only seen a couple, with an ex-girlfriend many years ago) when the male ejaculates. My understanding is that this is the most important moment in heterosexual, male-dominated pornography. But these posters don’t think that porn depicts male orgasm?

Yes, Madison Avenue and Hollywood and 42nd street depict sex a lot. It sells well. And they depict a highly rarified sort of sex that doesn’t apply to most normal relationships. And guess what? A lot of us are able to live healthfully and sexually without angsting over fucking shampoo commercials while we’re getting it on.

I consider myself a feminist, no doubt about it. But there’s a difference between wanting to eliminate socially-determined, nonvoluntary gender roles and neurosing about every possible perceived slight, turning male sexuality into the uberbogeyman.


yeah, there was a whole thread on those boards about how sad it was that “take your daughter to work day” was now take your “children to work day.” So much for equality. :rolleyes:

Wow, I never use that smiley. I feel so badass.

So, if you make a noise during sex, then you have to try and figure out whether you made that noise because you sincerely wanted to make that noise, or whether you only made that noise because your evil patriarchal boyfriend expects you to make a noise because he’s been indoctrinated into thinking that the only way women express pleasure is by making a noise by seeing too many Herbal Essences commercials?

Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, you know?

My mum told me about her one and only visit to a femenist meeting in Uni. She got booed cause she signed the guest book with a Mrs instead of a Mz.

I don’t know, a lot of it makes sense to me.

DanielWithrow, the “money shot” as it is usually portrayed isn’t about the guy getting off, it’s about the woman doing something nasty and pretending to like it. It’s about degradation, not about the man’s enjoyment particularly.

Assume much? I know several women who claim to enjoy watching men masturbate.

You’re joking right?


SV, I’ll bow to your knowledge of this unless someone else wants to challenge you: like I said, I’m not a real porn connoisseur. But the way it was explained to me, the money shot is the man’s ejaculation, pure and simple.

Thing is, I really like Gloria Steinem: I think a lot of what she says is right on. And she founded Ms. Magazine. One of her litmus tests for sexism was whether a gender-specific statement, when flipped around to be about the other sex, sounded ridiculous. So statements like, “Women shouldn’t work full-time after they have kids, because kids need their mothers at home,” should be flipped around to, “Men shouldn’t work full-time after they have kids, because kids need their fathers at home.” If the flipped version is silly, the nonflipped version is at least suspect.

In this case, however, the posters clearly aren’t doing the flipping. Every woman I’ve been involved in pays attention to my orgasm during sex, and seems to derive pleasure from my orgasm. i’ve had women tell me that they’re going to make me have certain reactions. Is it coercive? Are the women using me as an object?

Hell no. People say shit during sex to turn each other on. Part of sex is about losing control – or it can be – and if someone says, “I’m going to make you scream,” they’re saying, “I’m going to give you so much pleasure that you won’t be able to control yourself.” They’re not, for the love of Mary, threatening violence against you.

I get the impression that some of the posters are assiduously looking for anything that might, possibly, in some weird bizarro world, constitute sexism. Once they find that potential, though, they don’t look at it skeptically and ask if it might NOT be sexism. Nope – once they find that potential, they sit back, satisfied that they’ve found the real McCoy.


Jumping in here on the money shot/female O disparity. For the record, I like porn, I have no problem with it and don’t think it is man’s tool of oppression. However, to play devil’s advocate…

The money shot consists of the man’s ejaculation, with the focus being on the penis, the ejaculate, and where on the woman it’s landing. They don’t show the man’s face with much regularity, stripping the moment of most emotional context. Female orgasms, on the other hand, are shown in almost exactly the opposite manner. There are no close ups of the girly-bits at the peak, instead it focuses on the face, the moans, the thrashing arms. There is a big difference in the way the two are presented, with the man’s POV being ‘look what I’m doing to her’ (coming on her face/ass/chest etc.) as opposed to the woman’s ‘look what he’s doing to me’ (making me moan/thrash/gasp). Now, seeing as how the majority of porn is made by men, for men, this doesn’t surprise me a bit; and I think we need to be careful about claiming that it says something about gender relations in our society as a whole. However, we can’t pretend that a money shot in any way portrays the experience of the male actor in the same way that an extreme close up on a flushed face and screaming mouth does the female’s.


Thanks for the intelligent analysis, bella. I think you’re quite correct.

The lesson here, boys and wymyn, is that it is possible to deconstruct sexual practices within a radical feminist context without going the “all women are victims all the time” route.

Personally, regarding the ‘money shot’ thing, I think it’s because on average (through my highly unscientific study entitled ‘Watchalottaporn’) there is much more obvious genital type activity when a man orgasms than when a woman does.

If women squirted white goo all over their partner every time they orgasmed, maybe they’d portray female orgasms differently. Physiologically though (aside from the chicks who can ‘squirt’) it doesn’t work that way, and the expression of pleasure on a woman is in her face, her noises, her hands. Men, well, it’s obvious when they’re playing semen-shooter. No need to show their face to tell they’re getting off when we have creamygoo evidence.

As for the emotional aspect, I don’t really look at porn in terms of emotional orgasms. It’s about raw physicality, that’s why I’m watching it, and I really don’t wanna contemplate what’s in their minds/hearts when time for the money shot comes. At that point my deepest thought is: <WARNING: TMI>
‘I hope I don’t skewer my clit with a fingernail.’

Thanks for the info, belladonna – it makes a lot of sense.

I read someone’s theory recently about why porn men are so ugly when the women are so pretty: since porn is made for & by men mostly, they show ugly men so that men don’t have to be afraid of having a “homo moment.” Wish I could remember who said that.

It occurs to me that there might be another reason, though. Maybe porn is the Every Man fantasy: totally hot women that you don’t know will throw themselves at you and screw you sideways! If they showed hot guys, then the viewer would think, well of course strange women throw themselves at him, he’s a hottie! But when it’s ugly hairy fat blotchy guys, then the viewer can think, hey, I look like that, and hot women are throwing themselves at him – maybe I have a chance!

That jibes with something I read a long time ago, that men who watch porn tend to identify with the actors, whereas women who watch porn then to contrast themselves with the actresses. I have no idea how true that is, but it’s an interesting idea.


PS Guinistasia, do ya feel like directing the Ms. folks over here to see what we’re talking about? I’d post over there, but it looks a little too disagreement-shy for my tastes.

I spent most of my time reading that thread trying to find situations where someone used the term ‘Society’ without adding ‘Patriarchal’ to the beginning of it.

It was like the news a few years ago always referring to ‘Young Elian Gonzales.’ Was he Korean? Was Young his first name?

Re the money shot - I agree with catsix. If they could show more physiological aspects of the woman’s orgasm, they would. With men, there’s an obvious reaction to an orgasm, which can be captured on film, so the producers film it.

I don’t really see the money shot as being any grosser or demeaning than everything leading up to it.

I totally agree, speaking as someone who had to yell at Catharine Mackinnon all semester long in my sexual ethics course. Sallie Tisdale has a great feminist non-victim analysis of the stupid parts of porn in her book Talk Dirty To Me.