Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Glenn Reynolds: Porn Connoisseur?

Posted By on Tue, Jul 31, 2012 at 5:29 AM

This is the art your grandparents enjoyed. So, you can imagine the porn.
  • This is the art your grandparents enjoyed. So, you can imagine the porn.
Tennessee's most famous blogger is complaining about kids today in the New York Post. And, in the process of doing so, he says this odd thing:

In one traditional form of pornography, from the Victorian “A Man With a Maid” to the more recent “Fifty Shades of Grey,” a young woman is initiated — sometimes uncomfortably — into the mysteries of adult sexuality. In the end she is, at some level at least, grateful for the new horizons that’ve opened up to her.

Well, we still have that. But let’s face it — porn has gotten pretty boring.

The sex lives of many average Americans today would shock Grandma. And the depiction of sex in popular media has reached the numbing-point. A 2012 issue of Cosmo would’ve seemed obscene in most places 50 years ago. To most moderns, it’s just dull.

I recently had occasion to spend months looking at porn produced between the turn of the century and 1939 — and let me tell you, if Glenn Reynolds thinks our pornography is more shocking or obscene or mind-numbing than what our grandparents or great-grandparents had available to them, it's because he has no idea what our grandparents and great-grandparents were looking at.

In some ways, yes, we might call our elders more "repressed" than we are, but because they were more "repressed," things we don't in any way, shape or form think of as erotic took on for them incredibly lascivious overtones. Bike riding? Using the typewriter? Holding oranges? A woman reading a book, especially if there's a little dog present? All apparently lead directly to masturbation. Two priests in the presence of a nun? Just pray there's not a donkey in the background, because you are going to need therapy over where the next images in the series go.

But I guess if Reynolds is spending all his time on the stories where "a young woman is initiated — sometimes uncomfortably — into the mysteries of adult sexuality. In the end she is, at some level at least, grateful for the new horizons that’ve opened up to her" — in other words, on stories where a young woman is raped by an older man, he probably did miss out on all the stuff that is one or two or three or seven people all having a great time doing things that would make most of us blush.

But that seems to me to be more about what turns Glenn Reynolds on than what turned his grandma on.

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