Friday, June 02, 2006

UPDATE: I hate people: clarification re: dworkinite as an insult

According to the abovereferenced link, Soopermouse would like The Intarweb to know that she wasn't aiming at me.

And further to her credit, she expressed herself with absolutely no impatience or eyerolling or allusion to the fact that I'm extremely hypersensitive and should probably seek professional help.


I am Joe's shamefaced retraction, Joe's uncomfortably-shuffling feet, Joe's blush and stammer and awkward silence.

Soopermouse - I'm sorry I jumped in your shit on a personal level. May I never behave so foolishly again. Thank you for letting me know that I was mistaken.

I suppose I might have raised a couple questions here and there, just sort of non-confrontationally and politely, even if I had not immediately rushed to judgment. But rush I did, and you deserve an apology.

So, lest my meaning be misconstrued, let me make this perfectly clear: Soopermouse, I am sorry. let me know what if anything I can do to make it right.

that said, in the interest of free speech, and so as not to be guilty of revisionism, I'm leaving the original thread up. No sense trying to cover my tracks and pretend I never fuck up...and there's a fascinating discussion of the anal in there that I'm just not willing to banish into the ether.

I hate people: dworkinite as an insult

Again, hurt I am, hurt to the core. I'm pretty sure this was not meant for me personally, but I can't help but take it personally.

Soopermouse - I dig you. I empathized right along with the rest of the blogosphere, I agree with you on many things.

But I don't appreciate being referred to as "the stupidest of my readers." Neither do I appreciate this:

"I can understand why these people felt that Dworkin wa stheir enemy, it's not nice to be shown what you really are, is it??"

who am I really? do you know me? How much porn do I buy? How much anal sex do I merrily have all day, every day? How many people do I attempt to lure into my 24/7 hot-and-cold-running-threesome BDSM dungeon? How many people do I force to knuckle under the supreme will of my sexual preferences?

yeah, that's me, Heidi Porno-seed, scattering my misogynist tributes to patriarchy from sea to shining sea.

Never mind that I'm pro-abortion on demand. Never mind that I think the line between masculine and feminine is entirely arbitrary. Never mind that I blame the patriarchy for just about everything that I don't blame myself for. Never mind that my legs are the hairiest, my hair the frizziest, my shoes the most sensible - I'm just a stupid "other" to you.

it's not the "other" that bothers me. it's the "stupid".

Yes, the issue is consent. And I totally get that although I may consent to do it, you don't necessarily consent to seeing it. I understand that. But have you actually tried having a conversation with me, about anything? Or do you just assume I'll be too preoccupied with shoving all my patriarchal filth in your face?

what I've learned about the porn wars is this - it seems to come down to whether you think pornography is a civil rights issue or a free speech issue. There's some evidence for both, in my opinion. There's got to be a way to protect both civil rights and free expression all at the same time. And I'd really like to work towards that.

I keep repeating that I'm willing to work against trafficking, and willing to work towards a healthier paradigm for sexual expression.

But I'm not willing to work with people who hold me beneath contempt.

>"I can understand why these people felt that Dworkin was their enemy, it's not nice to be shown what you really are, is it??">

Yes, that would be the *only* reason anyone would object to anything Dworkin ever said or did.


these are the same people who bitch and moan about other people calling themselves "sex-positive" on account of they feel like it implies they're being called "sex-negative" or "prude,"* correct?

"It's not nice to be shown what you really are," eh?

that said, for the record? I, personally, have never to my knowledge referred to any of even the more grating online radical feminists (or even their foremothers, for that matter) as "prudes" or "sex-negative," although I am aware that others do do exactly that. Smug, ignorant, self-righteous, hopelessly heterocentric, fuzzy-boundaried, often-bullying, unconscious little nits, yes. Prudes? Not so much.
I wish I could find the individual who first used "prude" to refer to antiporn feminists and administer a stern lecture.

I've never, you've never...but someone somewhere did.

damn it.
I ought to title this post "yet another reason why I need a new hobby."
As an ACLU-card carrying socialist type, really...the answer would be easy if:

1. People knew how to separate issues, because while they're all inter-related, they're not all the same.


2. Well, that's it, really.

And like I said in the previous post, how a person gets to a conclusion is more telling than what the conclusion is. The harder I try, the more I am failing to see any real thoughtful approaches by those most quick to condemn.

And the only woman I have ever referred to in all seriousness as a prude was my mother, when I was 13, and I am all to owning my wrongness about that one.
There are a lot of spineless, pathetic assholes lurking around in the blogosphere, that like to write a whole lotta bullshit about people they don't know, and of course would NEVER say the same to that person's face. Sometimes they get me down, too, because they like to come over and piss on my living room floor (ie, blog) from time to time. But you know what? Fuck em. I know it's easier said than done. But you rock, and that's all there is to it. I say, give these fuckwits just enough rope to hang themselves... I'll buy the popcorn and we'll watch.
I do appreciate the backup.

to be fair, no one has come to piss on my living room floor...although there are a couple who could be said to have had an accident I suppose...

Although I fully understand that one woman's fuckwit is another woman's tortured and misunderstood genius, it's nice to know I am not all alone in the world.

that said, I struggle with the correct response. I don't feel right calling names right back. Yet I don't get the sense that any restraint I might show will have a positive effect either way.
antip--that's why I stopped worrying and learned to love the flame.

Some people--hell, more people than not--do respond to logic and/or emotional appeal. If I think someone's willing to meet me halfway--hell, even a quarter of the way--I put away the blowtorch and try to hear what they're saying.

But if people are gonna be all "blah blah blah GINGER" then, yeah, may as well entertain myself; it's not like they're hearing me anyway.

Not that I'm trying to convert you or anything, antip--I get that that isn't your style and you don't feel comfortable with fightin' words, and I will try harder to restrain myself in your space.

I just, you know, have concluded, arguably cyncially: the fact that some people are exquisitely sensitive to themselves does not, of itself, mean that they are or will ever be sensitive to anyone else, much as it might seem like it should be the case.

or, at any rate, if they are gonna change, it's gonna have to be of their own volition. Not my table, sorry.
hey anti-p, i came here via belledame, and i have to say that i'm enjoying the blog thus far. good stuff!

i'm just a little confuuused by soopermouse's argument against anal sex. she makes a distinction between consensual anal sex and non-, but where does she get this idea that people are being forced into anal sex more than into any other kind of sex? why focus on the bum?

anyway, yay new blog to read!
oh, lord, is *that* what she's on about today? i couldn't be bothered.

You know, I must really say another reason I wouldn't use the word "prude" for these people is that, in several of these blogs, now, I have seen way more explicit and frankly prurient talk about all kinds of shit than I have on a number of "sex-positive" sites --Anthony K, for instance, pretty much sticks to talking politics as far as i've seen, without ever getting into such piquant phrasing as I've seen at the Den, for instance ("gagged by cock" and other charming turns of phrase). I guess as long as it's all done under the umbrella of righteous disgust and disapproval it's all O.K. (hmm, where else have I seen that sort of disgusted, detailed fascination with particular sexual acts? let's think...)
goddamit, i had to go and look. "most women" don't like it, anal sex, apparently, is the problem; hence, porn is bad on account of it makes it look as though most women *do* like it and hence causes men to make unpleasant demands. it is nice that someone is on top of the statistics, I expect.

more to the point: um, why is it porn's problem especially if yer man is an unsocialized fuckwit who can't tell reality from fantasy, and won't listen to what you, the supposed S.O., do and don't actually want? I mean, do you blame Grand Auto Prix for his lousy driving?
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Maybe she had an unpleasant experience with a partner who got all "life-imitates-art" one night and tried to initiate anal sex and instead of her partner saying "oh, sorry about that! I guess I won't do that again!" her partner tried to excuse his behavior by saying "well, I saw it in a movie, and the movie chick dug it, so why don't you?"

But I wouldn't want to conjecture too far on a total stranger's sex life, any more than I'd want a total stranger making wild-ass assumptions about mine.

That said, I'm a big fan of anal.

Despite some disastrous and excruciatingly painful but wholly consensual experiences, and some equally unpleasant and nonconsensual experiences, I remain a big fan.

(TMI? eh. sue me.)

midwesterntransport - hi! I dig your blog!
o-kay, apparently I am the "pro-porn lesbian" faction here, and I have a "porn addiction." Fabulous! Now we're pathologizing people from the safety of our armchairs!

Lemon drop: there are those of us who don't take kindly to the term "addiction" being thrown around for anything and everything, not just subtance abuses that actively interfere with one's life, much less "anything someone else does that I don't like." Nor do I take kindly to straight gits making pathologizing remarks about what I like to do in the privacy of my own bedroom, including looking at consensually made porn by and for me 'n' mine.

Does the term "heterosexual privilege" mean anything to you?

I suppose now I have a "drug addiction" too, because I think most drugs should be decriminalized and that (gasp) the odd toke of maryjane is not especially harmful, of itself.

oh, and btw: i also like gay male porn (as do many of my gay male pals, duh, and some straightwimmmin pals as well). would you like to explain to us, the unenlightened, how male-on-male porn "hurts women?" ta ever so.
Well, I think I'll take this opportunity to try to distribute the salacious talk a little more evenly. Because, fascinated though they might be with all things sexual, the anti-porn feminists and fundamentalist Christians are a real snoozefest.

So, anyway, last night my boyfriend and I had anal sex. I initiated it. He though we were just in for a messy, fingers-in-various-orifices 69, and then some good old fashioned (patriarchal) penis-pounding-my-vag sex. But no! I got a wild hair and decided I'd like to be pounded in the ass too. Afterward there was all manner of paraphernalia strewn about... lube, condoms, latex gloves, the requisite sex towel, etc...

And you know what? Politics, feminist theory, or the nebulous patriarchy didn't enter my mind even once. Mostly my mind was pre-occupied with thoughts like, "This is so awesome ohmigod this rules I want more more MORE NOW!!!"

Also, interestingly, despite the copious amount of porn my boyfriend watched before we were together (and continues to watch now that we are together), he never once pushed me to have anal sex - he never even brought it up at all. I was the one who decided I wanted to give it a try a few months ago, so I mentioned it to him, and he was game. Funny, ain't it?
antip: one could speculate endlessly. One could for instance speculate that some people are particularly fascinated by the anal orifice on account of their head is rather firmly ensconced there. but, as you note, it would not be appropriate to dwell for too long on such matters.
Thank you, amber, for that reality check. yes they are boring.

I've never really had much of a frisson about the butt one way or the other, although I get that a lot of people do. I like the way it feels, light penetration at least; but I never associated it with "oo dirty taboo, that's HOTT." The first woman I had sex with was inclined to turn it into dirty talk when I made that request: "oh, are you a nasty girl? you want it up the ass?" and so forth. Which was fine, you know, in itself; just, on the whole the experience would have gone much MUCH better if she'd, like, cut her nails, first, so that we didn't have to just *talk* about it...

(on the whole the experience was a terrific counter to the still-apparently prevalent-among some idea that a woman will just automatically know what to do with another woman).

I was pleasantly surprised to discover that I quite enjoyed rimming (with protection) (on a gay man, no less), which was one of the few acts I had been pretty sure had no appeal whatsoever, at least in fantasy.

there, Heidi, i think i beat you for tmi, if such it let us know, it's your blog...
"Heterosexual privilege."

Nail. Head.

Seriously. And second the emotion on throwing around the term 'addiction.' Though actually, the use of the term as applied to porn would be enough to get someone labeled a penis apologist, for the simple fact that even radicaler feminists---with whom I don't agree on almost anything, but who tend to be generally reasonable, well-read, and armed with actual data---think that 'addiction' lets the oppressors off the hook too easily. Then again, they'll never kick someone out the door as long as they agree porn is eeeeevul either.

Anti, I was about to have an accident on your living room floor, but self-control has prevailed.
watersports: only O.K. if consensual, kids.
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anti-p, thanks!

i've been reading more and more of your entries, and following the links and whoa. whoa. frankly, it's enough to make me glad that i haven't kept up with the blog wars on this because it just makes my blood fucking boil. not your posts, really - the unreasonable comments and then that comments section on witchy-woo's site? lord above.

it just feels like hatred. your attempts to have conversation are met with dismissal and what i think is misplaced rage. i'm seeing rage directed at women by women. that CAN'T be the goal of radfeminism, but that's sure how it's coming across.

i applaud you for trying to understand, for trying to expand, for trying to increase your knowledge of the world despite basically having people spit in your face.
>just, on the whole the experience would have gone much MUCH better if she'd, like, cut her nails, first, so that we didn't have to just *talk* about it...<

AHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! hoo boy, tell me about it. the day i started fucking women i learned about cutting my nails right QUICK.
and also: has anyone else noticed a conspicuous lack of expanded discourse? i don't love getting involved in the feminism wars because geez, there's more than one oppression and geez, lots of folks aren't *just* affected by sexism. where's the critique that includes racism and gender deviance and classism, and homophobia, etc. etc.? isn't this why WOC have had to develop their own feminist organizations? because they are silenced by a worldview which believes that Every Bad Thing comes from the Patriarchy?

and you know, twisty's response to accusations of racism was the proverbial straw for me. it wasn't thoughtful, it wasn't sincere, it was dismissive and kind of fucked-up. i'm trying to find the link. i'll get back to ya'll.
found it ici:

now that i reread it, i see what bugs me. her argument seems to be that any perceived racism in the remark was satire and just a way to point out misogyny, and that if a person had read her whole blog, they'd see she's not racist.

and now that i reread it, i see that while twisty's response was offputting, it was the comments section that was truly repulsive. mea culpa.

anyway, i'm off-topic. sorry, anti-p.
Yup, that was (one of the) other Big Blow-ups on the femblogosphere. and yes I found Twisty and particularly her commenters snide and dismissive as well, in that. and didja catch the whole "gender trumps race" business, separately, sometime after that? i mean, the author of that particular comment is a *raging* frootbat, but even so: much creepiness resulted. some truly startlingly nasty and patronizing shit from supposed "feminists" (and thus, progressive, enlightened, yadda, one assumes, of cawse) directed toward nubian, among other feminists of color.

and then, too, piny at feministe and his (completely justifiable) increasing irritation at the transphobia coming from yet another radical feminist (this one a lesbian. that's the other watershed, of course, or has been. Janice Raymond and her whole "Transsexual Empire" bullshit).

yeah; for people who rabbit on and on about loving women and sisterhood and all that happy crappy, it is amazing just how much nasty shit toward other women comes pouring out of some peoples' mouths/fingers, isn't it?

And it's not even just that they're being nasty to the women who don't toe the party line; scratch a little and the real misogyny (yes) comes bubbling to the surface My first encounter with Biting Beaver, wherein I did come to their blog and snark at her lameass boyfriend, she respond by calling me and two other kink-pos women posting there "shrieking harpies."

ginmar may well be suffering from some sort of post-traumatic decompensation from her time in Iraq, but that still doesn't explain the *way* she goes into crazy mode: at least several instances of calling other women "bitch" and "cunt," and in one memorable meltdown, snapping at a woman who'd (completely out of context of the current dicussion) been public about her decision to not have intercourse until marriage, called her "that professional virgin" who had no right to an opinion on, well, anything, on account of she'd "had her vagina embalmed." mad shit.

and I'm still very unimpressed with Twisty's casual resorting to "sexbot" and "whore" to define any woman who dresses or acts in a way she doesn't approve of.

and so on, and so on, and so on.

I mean, personally? I have no qualms about flaming a woman any more than a man (or vice-versa) simply because she's a woman: fuckwittery is universal, and I have utter faith that these people can hold their own just fine and thus need to especially delicate handling from moi or anyone else. but then, I've never claimed to be a "radical feminist," especially...
>her argument seems to be that any perceived racism in the remark was satire and just a way to point out misogyny, and that if a person had read her whole blog, they'd see she's not racist. >

More or less. Certainly there was no real effort to address nubian's (or others') concerns (there was a series of intrablog follow-ups); just, there there, you'll get more hits if you're just patient.

Of course, there was a somewhat parallel blowup on Daily Kos and some others--those wacky feminists! always complaining! can't they see they're missing the Bigger Picture! they must just want attention, patronizing chuckle. and THAT, now, THAT was an Outrage, amongst the femblogosphere (not without reason). but turn that around when someone ELSE levels similar charges against YOU for some OTHER concern...


does not compute. for a *lot* of people, anyway. Who, what, huh?

No realization that, say, there are some parallels here; and no subsequent realization of, gee, maybe this is how some of the leftie white men are interpreting our wanting more representation and empathy. Hm. Just more aggrieved self-righteousness. That's what's so maddening. Hello, yes, intersections? it is possible to consider more than one framework to look at the world? it is possible to change one's mind from time to time? "gee, you have a point, there, I'll have to think about it." Nur.

Mostly, Orwell's quote about all the "smelly little orthodoxies competing for our souls" leaps irresistibly to mind.
ok, so...obviously it's primarily a free speech issue for y'all... ;)

heh - someday I'll try to come up with words to describe my first consensual f/f experience. It's defied description lo these many years...but yeah, nobody comes with an instruction manual, that's for damn sure.

and then there's fisting - that's a mindblower whether pitching or catching.

obviously, explicit content is okay with me. but no name calling. keep it civil, stupids!

(get it?)

(nobody understands my sophisticated and multilayered humor stylings...I'm a tortured genius, I tell you! tortured! genius!)

my blog, my rules.

in my RL living room, I have but one rule. you can smoke what you want, drink what you want, wear what you want, put your feet wherever you choose, say/read/watch whatever your raging little id desires - but no yelling. you wanna yell, go outside.

I'm a little pathological about the fightin' words thing. maybe I should see someone about it.
Without knowing much about the whole "downloading movies" business alluded to, I will say tangentially that hypothetically at least it'd probably be worth going into the differences between the UK zeitgeist and that in the US, wrt feminism and other things political.

i'd probably be less directly concerned about the radical (Christian) religious right if i were Over There, I expect. lord knows most of my pals from the other side of the pond have expressed bewilderment and concern about the regressive direction the U.S. seems to be going in.
Belledame: I hate to butt in this late in the ballgame, but it I have a quick question. It sounds like your position is: pornography has no significant effect on its viewers, their outlook on sex and female sexual availability, or their behaviors in that realm, unless said viewer is already an "unsocialized fuckwit who can't tell reality from fantasy, and won't listen to what you, the supposed S.O., do and don't actually want?".

Would that be an accurate characterization of your beliefs on this matter?
Stating the Obvious,

I know you were speaking to belledame, and obviously I can't answer for her, but I just wanted to say that's a fairly good synopsis of my beliefs on the matter. It's the executive summary, you understand. I do think porn plays a role in societal perceptions of sex overall, but I think the reasons for that, and the effects themselves, are much more complex and nuanced than anything I've read on any of radfem/antiporn blogs.
No, not really. I think it has about the same amount of influence as any other form of mass media (which is to say: mileage varies). In any of those cases, while I think that it's certainly subject to critique, demonization of the media itself doesn't ultimately accomplish much. And as far as socialization toward boundaries and so forth goes, what people learn from their families, schools, peers, and so forth is far more important than something they see on the teevee or the internets, yes, that i do believe.

And particularly when it comes to porn--again, I have a problem putting *more* emphasis on explicit porn than on oh I don't know beer and bikini ads, certain mainstream television shows, Maxim or Cosmo magazine, and so on. I believe that context is more important than context. And when people (feminists or otherwise) go on and on about "porn," without bothering to differentiate between different kinds of pornographic/explicit images, and talk less about some of the other media influences, I come away with the strong impression that yes, in fact, there is an underlying belief that *representations of explicit sex in itself is the problem.* Which, that, I do not believe, no.
slip; amber said it better, actually. Yes, there's a lot of nuance and complexity that gets missed in the overheated, sweeping denunciations of all things pornographic.
I should correct myself; actually I think, mostly,

>I think it has about the same amount of influence as any other form of mass media (which is to say: mileage varies)>

actually, if anything it has somewhat less influence, overall, because of the stigma still surrounding it. Yes, more people have access to porn now than ever before; but there are still plenty of people who've never seen any and still somehow manage to have terrifically misogynistic worldviews and behaviors.
gah, i meant:

"context is more important than content."

by which i meant to say: it's not the explicitly depicted act of (for example) penetrative intercourse that's sexist/problematic in itself, for me.
I mean, look at it this way, okay:

A straight man sees various pornographic videos wherein the women are all shaved and waxed, have enormous silicone tits, and thoroughly enjoy anal sex without preparation or even lube. Unrealistic? Sure. Let's say this really turns him on, and he wants to try it out, or at least some of it, with his wife/girlfriend.

Now, the question is: how does he go about proposing this?

Does he go, "say, honey, y'know, I've been thinking, I'd really like to try fucking you up the ass?"

Or does he just abruptly start doing it while they're in bed one night?

And if her response in either case is, "No!!! What the hell?? Stop that??" and he keeps pushing (either physically or just verbally), what do you suppose the factors are that led him to think he could get away with that sort of behavior?

And if another man instead says, when his polite verbal suggestion is rejected "Oh, okay, it was just an idea, sorry honey," (as often does happen, yes, even among men who have been watching the evil pr0n)--tell me, what d'you suppose the difference is between this man and the other one?

And, in the case of the man who keeps on pushing:

1) Do you think that he *only* disregards his wife's wishes and desires when it comes to the bedroom? if so, why?

2) How do you propose one should go about getting him to change his abusive behavior?
I can acknowledge that mainstream guy-marketed porn does place an unhealthy emphasis on anal sex, especially in an unsafe and possibly painful manner. But I myself, though I have never asked for anal from any partner, HAVE found that both can enjoy it. In fact, the first time I tried it, it is because I was ASKED to do so, by the recipient herself.

It's all about set and setting, I think. The fetish itself can be misogynistic, but hardly the act.
For that matter, fetishism in and of itself isn't necessarily misogynistic or even dehumanizing. One can be possessed of a fetish for a particular act, or body part, or object, or aesthetic, and still have a full relationship with another person. And one can even have heightened sex with the other person whilst (consensually) indulging in the fetish. As you say, it's all in the presentation/communication.
Belledame: You are really a fascinating and intelligent person. Thank you for that thorough response!

I don't think you're still reading this old thread at this point... I was sort of sick... so I guess that'll have to be the end of the discussion for now. Which is a pity; I doubt I'll get another good chance to ask your opinion of Social Learning Theory and Operant Conditioning anytime soon. :)
belledame rocks, STO.

learn it/live it/love it.

she's a thousand times smarter and better at this stuff than I am.
oh pshaw pshaw.

and yes I'm still reading it.

operant conditioning...why do you ask?

we covered it in human development class last fall.

generally wrt behaviorism I think, sure, there's something to it, but it only goes so far. for one thing those guys were definitely not at all interested in the subjective (i.e. what's going on inside you), just in observable results. which as far as I'm concerned ignores a good 95% of what's really going on in the world.
Are you familiar with the work of Albert Bandura?

I ask about Operant Conditioning because I'm curious as to your opinion of how rewarding a certain behavior affects that behavior. Do you think there's some truth to that, or is there something else involved?
I definitely think there is something else (also, at minimum) involved, yes.

Bandura I think we covered in passing, but I wouldn't be able to cite his stuff off the top of my head. I can dig out my old textbook if you like...
anyway if you want to talk about O.C. specifically in relation to erotic development...hooo, that's potentially fraught, but I'm game.
That was sort of the direction I was going in, yes. It's frighteningly easy to condition people to find certain non-sexual stimuli erotic simply by having them orgasm in the presense of such stimuli. One study I'm thinking of off the top of my head showed that pretty conclusively by showing men's work boots to non-foot-fetishists accompanied by erotic images.
Curious. If it were that frighteningly easy to condition or re-condition peoples' sexuality, though, STO, don't you think that for example the ex-gay ministries would have better success rates than they do?
I doubt ex-gay ministries are using orgasm as a reinforcment tool. Would sort of defeat the point of their whole sexual purity dealy-o, I'd imagine. :D

The point is, when it comes to positive reinforcement, there's no bigger reinforcement than orgasm. Between the nerve ending stimuluation, the endorphin release, and the norepinephrine signature imprinting, it's second to none for rewarding positive behavior. Why do you think so many people put the persuit of sex at such a high priority?

The proof is in the pudding; formerly non-kinky, het men were getting raging hard-ons at the sight of muddy workboots in less than two weeks of half-hour a day porn-n-boots sessions, to the point that they had to stop the experiment prematurely, IIRC. I may go back and dig that one up again (ack! libraries!).

(Disclaimer: Starving people or suffering from hypothermia can be conditioned better with food or heat, respectively. Obviously.)
Yeah, but in the follow-up, were alla these formerly nonkinky manly men now hopelessly enslaved to muddy workboots? did this cause a major change in their lifestyles? *was* there a follow-up study?

I mean, based on what you're saying here, in theory, one good orgasm would be enough to permanently alter one's sexual orientation from Kinsey 0 to 6 or vice-versa. Based on my own experience and that of um informal research as well as what I know from more formal studies of human sexuality, I do not believe that it works this way. I think instead what happens is that humans in general are much more complicated erotically than they are inclined to think; that they/we are capable of being turned on by much more than we would have supposed, based on our self-and-society-limned "identities." I also am aware that physical signs of arousal, even orgasm, as measured in scientific studies, are not terrifically accurate measures of what really makes up peoples' "lovemaps," which are formed over a lifetime and are much harder to measure in concrete data.

And I would not be sure that the ex-gay folks have never tried erotic stimulation to heterosexual images as positive reinforcement; they have done and (more covertly, but) still do all sorts of unethical, unconscionable shit. And all it does is fuck with peoples' heads.

I will say that "ohmygod, I once was a normal guy but now I'm hopelessly attracted to men and their sweaty workboots! and it's all because of these evil scientists who FORCED me into it with their diaboloical experiments!" sounds like a terrific set-up for a porn fantasy. in fact I've seen a number of stories with just that set-up. It's a great fantasy: indulge the desire while relieving the burden of guilt and responsibility: it's those OTHER, external forces who "made" me like this. hott.

and STO, there are other ways of both positive and negative reinforcement that are arguably much stronger than orgasm. (there are also many kinds of orgasm, as I'm sure you know, from ecstatic transcendance to "ah, that's better, snore.") torture, for instance. certain addictive substances. the promise of love and acceptance where formerly there was none.

and even so, those aren't foolproof.

it's a very mechanistic outlook, the whole behavioral approach, I must say. I mean, I gather Bandura was more sophisticated than some of them, but...
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The other thing is: there's no way to guarantee that someone's going to be erotically aroused in the first place. I don't know what they did in that study (I'd be curious to see the details), but when you say "erotic images:" well, that right there, not a universal. How'd they know they were going to be erotic for those particular men? For all we know, the men were secretly already aroused by the very fact that they were being observed. (one of the problems with getting useful stats in sexual research is that ethics require you only use volunters who are informed of what they're participating in; but because of sexual mores and other cultural factors, you tend to have a rather self-selecting pool of participants, who may well overrepresent certain demographics).

anyway point being, you can't mechanistically induce arousal or orgasm through stuff that's "supposed" to be arousing, even as defined by the individual in question; if you could, there'd be no need for Viagra or FSD medication.
I'm intrigued now. Tonight when I get home I'll see if I can't dig through my notes and come up with the study and methodology. I thought I might have had it in my work computer, but alas, I do not.

I really can't answer your critiques without having the study because they get into more detail than I remember. I would, however, point out that saying "one good orgasm" is a an inaccurate oversimplification; conditioning is always about repeated exposure to paired stimuli, not just one exposure to paired stimuli.

Of course, that's rather academic, as I don't really know anyone who orgasms to pornography only once in a very great while; it's usually a habit of some regularity.

While I'm at it, I'll also try to dig up the study that linked violent pornography with increasingly violent sexual fantasies in the exposure group, but that one's VERY fuzzy to me atm.
I'll see if I have any related material myself.

And yeah, I know it's more than "one" orgasm; I still think...mechanistic, overly simplistic, doesn't really answer much.

I mean, it depends partly on how you define sexuality: is it *only* about measurable, observable *behavior*? That's pretty much what behaviorism is predicated on. It's not what I believe (about sexuality or a lot of other things). I think it can be useful in some contexts, behaviorism, but...
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