During the four years I have been writing this blog I have regularly received emails from one particular contingent of the internet. It doesn't take much guessing who: porn sites who want me to link, plug and promote their products. Usually I just scan these emails and deposit them straight into my spam folder. Why? I'll explain, using an email I received last night as a good example.
"Dear Abby," it begins, "Like you, I am very interested in getting discussion of sex, naughtiness ad [sic] all things deeed [sic] taboo by the Great British public [sic] into the wide world."
Even given the atrocious spelling, this sounded promising.
However, the email then continued and asked me to plug a certain satellite television station where there would be "lezzed-up action," "two girls will get seriously hardcore," and where the show would include "full-frontal bean-flicking, boob bouncing, cunt lapping fun."
As soon as I read that the email got junked, along with all the other offers to extend the size of my penis or buy generic viagra.
So, what were my issues with it? First off, the writer was assuming that just because I write about sex, that that means my objective must be to titillate my readers. Sure, some people (many, even) may click here in search of some one-handed surfing material - and they might find it - but overall, the writing here is far too neurotic, self-involved and analytical to sustain eroticism. I've had scores of emails from men telling me that they arrived here with an erection and lost it, because they stayed to read: they were interested in sex, rather than just wanking about it. Anyone taking a look at this blog can see, unlike many other sexblogs, that it's not full of explicit images or adverts for porn; those looking for titillating wank-fodder can easily seek it elsewhere. This is not a porn blog: never has been, never will be, regardless of the fact that I could have made shitloads of money from advertising with the huge amounts of traffic I have had (it's gobsmackingly nearing 5 million unique visitors and counting). The only sex-related company I promote is Lovehoney, who sell sextoys that I both use and recommend - and if one more woman or man is able to enjoy their body a little bit more as a result of my plugging Lovehoney, then great.
Secondly, the writer who sent me that email made the narrow-minded assumption that because this blog is about sex, therefore its default readership must be straight men, or somehow over-represented by a keen lesbian readership: why else would they recommended content that solely featured women? Oh, I forgot: straight women don't consume porn/masturbate/enjoy sex (delete where applicable), so there is no need to feature men, or penises onscreen, because god forbid it might put off a few of the male viewers, poor little homophobes that they are supposed to be. Seriously, are we still having this stupid debate? Are women still ignored in porn unless we are the providers of the sexual content? Need I ask? Yawn.
Thirdly, and this is what annoyed me the most, I might be willing to plug some porn, if the stuff recommended to me wasn't so dreadfully offensive and insulting to my sex. Clicking on the link the porn webmaster (and yes, besides wonderful people like Ms Naughty, there are very few porn webmistresses) sent me, I found the following titles:
"Hotel Bitches" "Bitch in a box" "Cunt suckers" "Babe spotting" "Dirty pig"
And this is a sample that is relatively pleasant; there's also the usual labelling of women as sluts or whores, alongside the bitches, babes, cunts and nymphos. Whichever it is, it's the same thing overall: if there is sex onscreen, it's likely to be focussed on the women, and those women have to be insulted and degraded (in words and/or perhaps actions) in some way. To my mind, this is just as offensive to men as it is to women - suggesting that men can not get off on explicit imagery that is not disrespecting women. Excuse me, but I think that is utter bollocks. Naked people fucking are naked people fucking and it's hot to watch - so why bring in the sexist and misogynist titles?
It's this position that most porn defaults to, that I find so offensive. And, let me be frank, a turn off too. There's nothing like a bit of sexism (and racism) to put a girl off her stroke - and this girl likes her stroke very fucking much, thanks, hence why I am so particular about the porn I consume.
So, Mr Porn Man, if you seriously want me to consider recommending you and sending some of my high-quality traffic your way, perhaps it'd be an idea to offer me something I am going to enjoy. Some equality onscreen would be nice; some sensual objectification of the men even nicer; but what would top it off would be if you could stop calling women bitches and sluts and actively challenged the sexism and misogyny in the industry - both onscreen and behind the camera.
Until that point, I'll just continue to dump your emails in my spam folder and, perhaps even more sadly, once again resort to using my own imagination to find imagery that is focussed on getting me, a woman, off.