I don’t watch porn. Really. I mean, I watched the odd soft core movie, rented from Blockbuster and accompanied by cheap wine from the college bar, when I was at uni, a lot more on Channel 5 when I was babysitting as a teen for the crap families who didn’t have Sky, a few hardcore clips the boys on my corridor downloaded onto my laptop, and a full length hardcore film three weeks ago in a hotel in Paris, out of sheer curiosity. And because it was free. That’s honestly the full extent of my porn watching. I’ve wanked to porn perhaps once. Because I discovered good erotica pretty young and because I’ve only ever seen porn with terrible and distracting plot lines, I’ve never really felt the need to seek it out.
That doesn’t mean that I’m not bothered by the new UK porn regulations. I’m very much with Myles Jackman, the obscenity lawyer quoted in this wonderful post by Girlonthenet, who said “Pornography is the canary in the coalmine of free speech: it is the first freedom to die. If this assault on liberty is allowed to go unchallenged, other freedoms will fall as a consequence.”
Plus, even the Independent is citing the anti-feminist argument (“More worryingly, the amendment seems to take issue with acts from which women more traditionally derive pleasure than men,”) so I think it’s safe to say that being pretty fucked off at this is not overreacting.
Lots of people will write about a lot of the acts on the banned list a lot more knowledgeably than I possibly could, so I’m not going to go there, much as my initial dismay was caused by the fact that bruising is no longer allowed. Instead I’m going to write again about something I’ve written on before: female ejaculation.
I stand by my original take on it. Personally, I don’t like it. That’s if I’ve even ever done it properly. I’ve certainly got very, very wet during penetrative sex, wet enough to soak my clothes and the bed underneath me. For me, that counts. For others, it may not. Either way, I don’t the sloshing noises my cunt makes when he fucks me that way, even though he seems to. I don’t like the feeling of being uncontrollably wet, I don’t feel *lady-like.* And therein lies my problem with banning squirting in porn. It’s not that squirting *isn’t* lady-like, that’s just my perception of it. Which might be partly down to personal preference, but also, I think, has a whole lot to do with the way society polices women’s bodies and the fluids they produce.
Lets go way, way back to when I was eleven. I got pretty good sex-ed at school. My parents had been open and honest about puberty. I was staying with a kind-of friend, the daughter of one of my mum’s mates. I was on a thin mattress on the floor and aside from anything else, I remember being unable to sleep because I was fucking freezing. And then I woke up properly in the early hours of the morning, soaked. In blood.
From there on in, it got worse. I was pretty scared of my mum’s friend, who wasn’t exactly warm and approachable. In fact, based on a later incident where my sister got drunk on cooking wine on a camping holiday and vomited everywhere, I’d say she’s a judgemental bitch. Anyway. My clothes for the next day involved cream jodhpurs (don’t ask). I didn’t dare tell her my periods had started, so I wore the cream jodhpurs and did my best to fashion an impromptu sanitary towel from loo roll. You can imagine the state of me, and the state I was in, by the time I got home.
And so it continued. Later the same year, someone in my class had the famous swimming party at the local pool, complete with massive inflatable for climbing on. Yep, you’ve guessed it, I had my period. My mum gave me a tampon, explained how they worked, and left me to get on with it. The swimming party lasted an hour. Nobody told me you need to change a tampon immediately after you swim. By the time I did change it, an hour or so after the party, it had leaked, staining the beautifully 90s body-with-poppers-between-the-legs (also in cream) that I was wearing. For the second time in less than a year, I was mortified by my body. I’d also learnt a lot about not wearing pale colours during my period.
At 30, I’m obviously much less bothered by my menstrual cycle, except it’s more irregular than ever, and in some ways, more disruptive. The problems of being a woman on her period don’t go away: I keep tampons in my desk drawer at work, but do I then slip one into my handbag and take that with me or do I clutch one in my fist and hope that no one stops me on the way to the toilets? If I sleep with someone who’s happy to fuck me while I’m on my period, I still hate that moment when you have to slip away to take your tampon out. Even if the guy in question *is* happy to fuck me at that point in the month, it’s undeniably less messy to avoid blood during sex, which means I back-to-back packets of the pill way more often than I intend to.
We’re no more open-minded about urination and I don’t mean in a watersports sense. Or UTIs for that matter. I don’t get cystitis often, thank god, but every time I do, it’s a battle to get the doctor to accept that I’ve tried the over-the-counter salts and they haven’t worked, and I need antibiotics. On one particularly memorable (for all the wrong reasons) occasion, I paced the floor of the emergency GP surgery to try to distract my bladder as he wrote me a prescription, on another I thought my entire birthday trip to Latitude festival was ruined because I was bleeding every time I peed and couldn’t get more than a metre from the toilet block before the stinging desperation forced me back again. For some reason, you can order antibiotics for cystitis online via Lloyds pharmacy, but can you do the same in a physical store? Of course not.
Likewise, when I looked briefly at Mumsnet earlier, to see what they had to say about squirting, there were lots of *hilarious* gags about how they could pass off urination caused by a weak post-partum pelvic floor as ejaculation. Very few women seemed to have anything positive to say about female ejaculation in its own right. How did we get like this as a society, and why can’t we be more like the French, who offer pelvic re-education as standard after having a baby? I could go on, because there are still more things about women and their need to piss going unrecognised that bug me, including the fact that city centres often now have pop up urinals for men who’ve been drinking. Is anything similar supplied for women? No, love, we don’t want to think about the fact you piss, so go and crouch behind a wall somewhere where we can’t see you.
And lastly, there’s the stuff that *never* gets talked about, or certainly never did when I was younger – like the fact that vaginal discharge is acidic and can therefore bleach the crotch of your black knickers to a garish shade of orange over time. It took me years to figure out that that wasn’t just me.
I have no idea why female ejaculation has been banned in UK poem – this post is an educated guess, at best. When I read the Independent article, it made me think of this passage, from Kristina Lloyd’s Thrill Seeker:
‘You’ve got to really work it.’ Liam slammed his middle fingers into the pad of my G, his elbow shunting as if he were trying to tug something from me. ‘It can look quite violent.’
‘Ach, I dinnae mind that,’ said Baxter.
I wailed as the pressure swelled within me. All too soon, my walls loosened and I was slushy around Liam’s pounding fingers. I slumped in Baxter’s supporting arms, crying out as liquid rushed from me in a hot, unstoppable fountain.
If squirting’s been banned because the censors associate it with fisting, something which they, insanely, consider to be ‘life-endangering,’ I can almost see the twisted logic behind the decision, much as I still disagree with it. If it’s been banned because someone objected to women’s bodies behaving in that way – well, angry doesn’t begin to cover it.
*The title of this post is a music-related riddle. I think Girlonthenet once used to send her readers a Twix as a small prize for getting questions like this right, and I liked that, so if you’re the first person to guess the link between the title and the post topic, I’ll send you something chocolatey.