A friend of mine was kind enough to say recently that she had found the piece I wrote below about the movie Kingsman The Secret Service really helpful. Her 15-year-old daughter had been to the movie with friends and because my friend had read my blog, she was able to raise with her daughter the fact that there is a graphic image of anal penetration in the closing minutes of the movie. Her daughter said “Oh Mum, it’s all right, the woman wanted that done to her.” My friend responded that this scene represented a male fantasy. My friend then went on to say that she felt sorry for all the young women who might be thinking: ‘What’s wrong with me, that I don’t enjoy this?”
The scene is a glimpse into the porno world which I generally manage to avoid. But taking place as it does in a mainstream movie now heavily advertised on TV as a DVD or download - it’s another example of how mainstream that current has become.
It’s a world in which young women are reporting that they feel pressurised into anal sex because men who watch pornography expect that.
Their only power is the power to say ‘No’: sex for them is defined in terms of penetration and possession; of conquest and control.
Young women can be reluctant to disappoint their lovers. They live in a culture which encourages sexual experimentation as way to discover what works for them. They are not supported to move at their own pace, to grow up to flirt and to do the non-penetrative messing about which was once so much part of the journey to sexual maturity. We have slow food, slow travel and slow living, perhaps it’s time for slow loving.
In an interesting aside, reading a book about Greek art recently I discovered that the practice we know as ‘Greek’ is not what is depicted in their art; that was a practice of inserting the member of one partner into the hollow at the top of the other’s thighs, for erogenous frottage.
But the porno society places hammerlike emphasis on penetration. No wonder that boys and young men who have the greatest exposure to this sometimes appear confused about what is acceptable within a relationship and that the incidence of rape and sexual assault among the young appear on the rise.
Our young people are struggling in many cases to navigate a world in which pornography is everywhere. The narrative the sexualised society tells itself of liberation from sexual repression and religious control is bootless as far as these young people are concerned. They are not rejecting repression or calls to abstinence or any notion that sex should be linked with marriage. They have never been here before; all they know is the narrative of the porno society in which they are being raised.