MILFs and Happy Endings

Is raunch culture invading our everyday language?

For those fortunate enough to plead ignorance to the meaning of the disrespectful MILF term, let me just say I am just plain envious. I’ve not been spared that good fortune since I have a relative who’s a raging sexual compulsive, and his idea of bonding with me is to share his latest sexual exploits with me. Since that’s a non-stop endeavor of his, I hear way too much, stop him though I try. He blames me for creating “distance” when I remind him there’s lots of other topics to talk about besides swinger vacation clubs, best strip clubs ever, and his by-now-ubiquitous “fave porn star of the day” category.

(Note to the disbelievers that sex addiction is real: when an otherwise-intelligent man’s entire conversational and experiential repertoire can only revolve around sexual pursuit, there’s definitely a problem. Ahem.)

Said relative was recently visiting me for the afternoon and we went out to lunch. Perusing the menu items in the French restaurant, I was chagrined by the amount of calories I’d be consuming, since I was trying to lose a stubborn 10 pounds that had mysteriously accumulated on me recently. I tried to make light of it by mentioning my quandary, but my relative interrupted me with:

“Oh don’t be ridiculous! You’re hot! In fact, you are one of my all-time favorite MILFs”

“Huh?” I responded.

“Oh, don’t be coy! You are one hot MILF!” he continued, tearing into a buttery croissant.

Puzzled, I shrugged, thinking how either he’d developed a serious lisp since last I saw him, or perhaps he was lightheaded with hunger also. I picked up a croissant.

“Nah, come on, Lili, you’re kidding me, right? Tell me you don’t know what MILF stands for? Seriously.”

“No, I do not,” I assured him. “Should I?” His charade was starting to irk me. I had low blood sugar and wasn’t at all interested in learning a new word just now.

“Oh my God, Lili, what rock have you been living under? It stands for: Mothers I’d Like To Fuck, and that’s one of the most popular categories of porn, everyone knows that!,” he scoffed, finishing his croissant and eyeing mine.

I sat there dumbstruck.

Stunned gave way to a state of shock. I wondered whether I should enlighten him that even though we’re not living in some backwater homestead, that incest is still generally frowned upon. Or, should I tell him his brain was turning to mush from all the porn he watches non-stop? I started to tear apart my croissant.

Was it just me, or was I being bullied, along with everyone else, into having to accept porn’s invasion into everyday life with its coarseness as the new norm?

Was it just me, or was I being bullied, along with everyone else, into having to accept porn’s invasion into everyday life with its coarseness as the new norm? The new conventional? Contemporary. Vulgar. But always cool.

♦◊♦

Unperturbed by my disassociated staring down at the fleur-de-lis tablecloth, he felt obliged to help refine his definition for me: “Well, it’s like…you are hot! It’s just that the MILF term doesn’t refer to the hot young chicks. Which, given your age, isn’t really your category anymore. You know? Like, now you have your own category. That’s kind of sex-positive, don’t you think?“

Unfixing my stare, I started to look around for sharp instruments on the table. I knew I should’ve saved my visit with him for after my glucose levels had risen sufficiently to afford me better levity. He never fails to push the envelope of my patience.

“See,” he began again, very carefully selecting his words, “You aren’t a hot chick. That’s just the really young girls. You are now more like one of the soup chickens. You know? Like, they’re not as tender as the chicks are, but in my opinion, they’re actually a whole lot tastier.”

Pleased with himself, he wiped the corners of his mouth with his napkin and threw it down triumphantly on the table.

As the room began to spin, I prayed silently: Dear God, please, immediately remove any serrated eating implements from off this table or prepare to accompany me in prison for the next 20 years.

I left him at the corner three short blocks from home and stumbled, narcotized, through the rest of my afternoon. I couldn’t yet identify the traumatizing effects of the newly-installed, heartless meme going around and around in my head, hectoring me relentlessly:

“Lili….you are a soup chicken…you are a soup chicken… you are a soup chicken…you are a soup chicken…”

♦◊♦

You know how you’ve never heard of a word before in your life and then when you do, you just know it’ll crop up again within a few days? Sure enough, two days later, while sitting on a bus, I was leafing through a glossy magazine someone had left behind on the seat. It was one of those high-end “Life in the Big City” types of magazines, complete with endless pages of the Manhattan glitterati posing with cosmos at their important charity balls, all laser-whitened, perfect teeth offsetting Hampton-tanned, Juvederm-plumped skin, ballyhooing the good life.

I thumbed through pages of photos showcasing spectacular penthouse apartments for sale with wraparound gardens and Hudson River sunset views in the 20 million dollar category plus baronial-looking ads from agencies seeking to place butlers, governesses and groundskeepers for employment on your estate. Wow. So, this is how the other half lives. Fascinating! Sure beats the heck out of looking out the rain-streaked dirty window of the bus I was in.

Just as I turned the page, I spot a noticeably large ad for a gym showing a photo of a young woman with a tiny bit of a belly, gleefully jumping up in the air in her workout clothes. Next to her are huge, colorful graphics that scream:

“New Moms! It’s Almost Summer! It’s Beach-time! Is Your Body MILF-Ready?”

What?! 

No, it can’t be. Must be a misspelling. I pull the magazine up closer to my face in the event that my reading glasses have failed me.

There it was, again: Is Your Body MILF-Ready?

A maybe six year-old child was sitting on the bus next to me, leaning in, half in my lap, eagerly looking at all the pretty pictures in my glossy magazine. As I peered down at the ad, I imagined a horrifying scenario: this precocious-looking child next to me, no doubt having already mastered reading the entire Harry Potter series, scrunching up his face at me and asking me,

“Um, what is M-I-L-F?” It wasn’t outside the realm of possibilities; the giant, brightly colored block letters on the page could easily lasso his attention.

Rut-row. Time to switch to a different seat. Quick, before my reverie about this child could become a reality.

I look down at the ad again. Does this gym here actually mean to conflate that nasty porn-derived term with motherhood? Does this mean that within two days time, I have to go from not knowing what this word means, to knowing what it means, to now having to allow opprobrium to chalk up another win? Oh, just damn, Skippy!

Are women ever allowed a break from not looking their dang hottest, not even a few weeks after just having a baby? Good God, MILF with a tiny infant? What have we become?

Are women ever allowed a break from not looking their dang hottest, not even a few weeks after just having a baby? Good God, MILF with a tiny infant? What have we become?

♦◊♦

And I am not alone with these porn-into-mainstream experiences. Recently, my friend Terre went to her Netflix account and checked out the tab labeled, Our Recommendations for You.

First on the list of films they thought Terre would like, was a film called MILF. She never clicked on their second choice.

Instead, she called to tell me and with both of us taken aback, we just sat in silence on the phone together. After all, what is there to say when you’re trying to digest something you find distasteful and dare I say it and brand myself as the uncoolest of uncool ever: crude?

I’m well aware that that descriptor word generally greases the track for big success in any pop culture product nowadays, but I’ll say it anyway: crude fails as an art form for me.

A popular genre film titled, MILF? What?!

It’s not like Terre wandered into a XXX video store, after all. Yeah, she and I get it about humor in films. And we wonder about that kind of humor, the kind that has to keep upping the ante on grossness because last year’s gross doesn’t even earn a chuckle this year.

But, mostly, what we resist is the insistence that everyone just accept that it’s cool to lift and use terms from the increasingly popular lexicon of pornography.

Advertising that seems to say: “It’s so catchy! It’s cute, even! Make these terms part of your daily vocabulary and you, too, can be cool and not notice any class, decorum, or regard for yourself or others slipping away from you whatsoever.”

Painless, this reach for being cool.

In just one week, three references to MILF had invaded my world, and I was filled with increasing heaviness. I’ve only felt this bleak despair while handing tissues to tearful wives of sex/porn addicts as they share their heartbreaks with me during counseling sessions.

Optimism was fast evaporating, and the gloss of the high life I had momentarily escaped into had sunk to the bottom of a big, black dross pit. Uh-oh.

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About Lili Bee

Lili Bee is the founder of an online Resource Center for Partners of porn/Sex Addicts at PoSARC.com An ordained Interfaith/ Interspiritual Minister, she offers spiritual counseling as well as writing and officiating at weddings and other rites of passages. She is a member of Spiritual Directors International. Contact her via email at lili@posarc.com, follow her on Twitter, or visit her blog.

Comments

  1. sex is over rated but its fun

  2. bleepingdeadalien says:

    “Happy Endings” is a term I just learned from reading this article. Who would’ve known?

  3. This author should have taken a few minutes to peruse google to find the actual origin of MILF, which she of course immediately thinks is from porn. The first usage of this word in any mainstream media was in the film American Pie which was a teenage raunch-comedy that came out nearly a decade ago. The proliferation of the word after this movie only served to allow the porn community to rebrand a genre of porn (younger men with older women). Not everything is porn based, sometimes it’s just a dirty joke that’s been co-opted. When I see the acronym actually used in an ad I merely roll my eyes. It’s offensive, it’s stupid, but it’s not a symbol of male dominated porn culture invading every aspect of our lives. Chill out.

  4. The term doesn’t come from porn. It wasn’t even popularized by porn. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MILF_%28slang%29

    • I was going to say that I first heard MILF as a reference to Stifler’s Mom in the movie American Pie. Porn just reflects society, not transforms it. I wonder if there is as much problem to the word “Cougar” in the same context. In the vulgar sense they are synonyms (and porn uses them interchangeably). Yet it appears on mainstream TV.

  5. Intersting topic. I don’t see this as man-hating. Disliking porn is not the same as disliking men. Pornography and sex are not one and the same. People can be pro-sex and anti-porn. Heck, people can even be pro-porn and not think it belongs in the mass media (the stuff our children are exposed to).

    I was also wondering why you would continue meeting with this person. Especially, if you can not set clear boundaries with him about what you are comfortable talking about.

    • We are helping each other by rubbing up against one another….pushing each other’s buttons big-time. He allows me a look at any places in me I might be compulsive, and I hope his takeaway (from time with me) is a look at his own inner yearning for intimacy, which he’s expressed finally being able to recognize.. That said, I am going to be setting a few boundaries….starting with, “You can share whatever you like about your own life and experiences but leave any direct references to me, out of it”.
      Thanks, Tatyana

  6. Thanks for clearly articulating a very disturbing problem. Though I agree with some of the other commenters that sexuality for both men and women is important through-out our lives, that doesn’t mean that the crass, objectifying, and sexualizing of non-sexual things should be accepted.

    I remember a few years ago when my sister told me that her then boyfriend told her that she was going to be a MILF. She, like you, did not know what the term meant. Even though I am wont to believe that he was trying to say that she will continue to be attractive as she is older, much along the lines of the explanation your relative stumbled over. But I didn’t have the heart to explain to her what t he term meant. But it deeply disturbed me, to have my sister be referred to as such.

    It’s not that I don’t want my sister to have sexuality as a part of her life, or for her partner to not be attracted to her. But within the context of the world that MILF came from, it absolutely disturbs me at a deep level. My sister (and all women) deserves respect and dignity. I can think back when I was married and I would never have described my wife’s and my intimate acts as (ugh, I can’t even type the word) the f-word or whatever. It was much more special and intimate and mutually connecting. Not crass and only self-gratifying.

    But I fear that this leaking of the porn mindset into popular culture is only warping our mindsets of how our relationships, our sexuality, and our lives can be. Everyone can have dignity. Everyone can be sexual and have pleasure in their own way. But it isn’t degrading.

    • If a raunchy acronym upsets you to the point where you feel it’s “warping our mindsets,” one can only ask two things. First, how do you get out of bed in the morning? Second, what would you make of a writer like Henry Miller?

      • Michael says:

        S. Gallo- to have written this to Travis just underscores the lack of empathy evident in many comments posted on so many sex and porn-related articles on GMP. Why would Travis, using examples of his own wife and sister, have trouble getting up in the morning? I think he probably gets up with his head held high. A mature man with a conscience can do that. As JFK Jr. rightly said, “If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem”.

        If some people want to spend their lives in a non-stop rave, girls-gone-wild type of Peter Pan mindset, enjoy yourselves and hope that fulfills you, but I see no need to tarnish those who do not want that. If we felt secure in our beliefs then we would not feel the need to convince others that ‘my way is the best way’, which is a need to validate an insecure-immature belief structure.

        As for Henry Miller, I’ve read a couple books and respect his work, which is quite often lurid. I visited his odd bookstore/museum near Big Sur. To my knowledge Henry has not coined any acronyms such as MILF which have saturated our society. I suppose this is due to the medium of literature not being as pervasive and influential as film, especially film targeted for a teenage audience such as American Pie.

        • I’m sorry but I can’t believe you followed the phrase “a mature man with a conscience” by a quote from JFK Jr. in response to article about porn! LOL LOL
          Yeah, he was part of the solution as soon as he finished banging the two girls in the swimming pool. Not that he wasn’t a good president, but that was pretty ironic. 🙂

          • Agreed Jeni. I’m unaware of that one in the pool but I do know that we have many parts of ourselves, some wise, some not. We can’t always toss out one for the other or we’d be running pretty low on heros. For instance, Mahatma Ghandhi is notably one of the heros of the last century yet he was known to have beaten his wife on occasion. I can’t prove this but it is what I’ve read. If true then it was likely acceptable domestic rules of that culture. That wouldn’t fly at all today, in the USA anyway. JFK, for that era and power status, it was likely common place for such things as those swinging pool parties. And among his peers he was probably normal. I’m not condoning it, just pondering.

          • S. Gallo says:

            JFK Jr. wasn’t president. His father was. He was the one that banged two women in a swimming pool.

        • S. Gallo says:

          Michael, my riposte had nothing to do with tarnishing Travis because he adheres to sexual continence as an ethic. He would have been doing fine if he’d just stuck to being offended by what I admitted from the outset was a crude acronym, directed at his sister. Instead, good little Puritan that he apparently is, he put forth the inanity that this trope of garden-variety demotic crudeness is “warping our mindsets.” That crosses a line for some of us, in ways that his inability to utter the word “fuck” doesn’t.

          As for your opening contention: why do I get the feeling that the ’empathy’ you refer to consists solely, in this case, of agreeing that raunch, porn and racuous bonhomie constitute the Moe, Larry and Curly of societal decline?

          • Michael says:

            S. Gallo, my main course of thought is targeted for the future generations of mankind. I look at how the raunch generation(s) may be able to lead humanity as leaders, parents and role models into the future. As a father I feel this concern with every cell of my body and as a native American I am concerned with how all of our actions may affect our World.
            And what I believe to be a keynote of empathy is the way we afford others common courtesy, regardless of their stance (in communications and not in French fencing terms) but more in the true spirit of the term ‘bonhomie’.

            • S.Gallo says:

              We’re not going to slide off any ethical precipice because a few people casually use expressions like ‘MILF.’ We’ve had more than one generation of youth for whom “mother” is half a word, if you get my drift. Crime is down, despite the dearth of “role models” that supposedly plague these kids, and the seeming—repeat, seeming—aggregate rise in crudity. It’s even down in this, the worst economic climate in the US since the Great Depression. That certainly isn’t the entire explanation, but it’s enough to cause the prudent to take the word of Travis and Lili Bee as something approaching bargain-basement histrionics.

              • Henry Vandenburgh says:

                Cosign. And I’m extremely suspicious of attitudes and comments that imply that sexuality is the opposite of dignity or leadership. Lying at the bottom of this, I think, is the sex is taboo/dirty business. It’s amazing how many of the comments here seem to be rooted in ultimate sex=bad assumptions. With Alex Comfort, I think this is fairly wrong. Sex can and does complicate and problematize relationships. There’s much spiritual energy there and this shouldn’t be made light of. For a great treatment, see Marcuse’s Eros and Civilization. It (and the science fiction novel The Day after Tomorrow) predicted a world where para-sexual representations would be used to sell products but at the same time to deny real sexuality. It’s here.

    • sex is over rated but its fun nice stuff throw ps im a bad spiller.

  7. I thought GMP articles weren’t a place for “man-haters”, but it looks like I was wrong (Lili, you really sound like one).
    And, BTW, if you despise so much that person, why meeting him? Just because you then can talk bad about men? 😮
    — — —
    To all the men: please, stop being ashamed because you like sex or porn, or you would like having sex a lot. That’s totally natural, that’s the way we are “built”, and it’s ok feeling that way. Feelings are never “wrong” (OTOH, behaviour can be).
    Obviously there can be abuse or addiction (and that’s a problem for sure), but porn in itself is just tailored to our male sexual imaginarium (and that’s why is so effective). It’s “unreal”, sure, just as much some female romantic fantasies (and books and movies…) are. They are both fantasies, and playing with fantasies can be good and healthy.
    Regarding MILF: I see it as a getting rid of an old chauvinist cliché (“Only young women are hot”), and as such it can be positive for both genders.
    If you feel offended by it, just ignore it; I dislike some kind of women (shallow or gold-diggers) and I just ignore them… I don’t go around trying to bash them. To each their own.

  8. This writer makes a very big mistake. Too many women think that having a child ends their sexual life. Mom is not supposed to be sexy and a practicing sexual being. Heretofore that was the cultural message to get men to work harder enslaved in the frustration of a sexless or nearly sexless marriage.

  9. Henry Vandenburgh says:

    I had an insight today. As wrong as porn is in terms of its insensitivity, its occasional degradation, and its usual misunderstanding of sexual physiology, we probably like it some of the time because it summons something which is true about good sex– it’s dyonesian. Its excesses, its anti-sociality get us past “reasonable” sex and into realms of real sensuality. To me, good sex has an element of uncontaindness, even if it occurs within the context of a monogamous relationship. I’m not very fetishistic in the traditional sense, but I like sex that breaks social rules, even if I don’t practice it currently. So I often like porn that shows three-ways, interracial fun, and so on. The rule breaking is a turn on, and I think should be one.

    One of the problems with the way sex is often said to be desired here is that it’s too apollonian. It’s too reasonable, too contexualized within monogamy, with too much “right thinking” demanded. It’s probably a good idea for most of us to live this way (believe me, I’ve tried many of the pleasures I allude to above, and they weren’t all that comfortable.) But I think good erotica, not the poirn we have now might point the way to deeper, wilder, more fullfilling sex.

    • To put it another way, Henry:

      We live in an age wherein companionate monogamy is the ideal. Even serial relationships expected to be outwardly monogamous. We don’t exactly denigrate polyamory, but it’s clear we’re not about to teach kids that such is “where it’s at.” And the former ethic of coupling for social reproduction first is seen, in the Western world, as quaintly anachronistic.
      Oddly, though, we’ve joined companionate monogamy to the idea that lasting love is achieved only through work. Previously, efforts to attain and manitain what the Romans called ‘concordia’ centered on remembering given precepts. Now, couples, often with outside paid help, are enjoined to put ongoing effort into fulfilling each other’s emotional needs. It’s become one’s second job. Laura Kipnis hit this nail on the head in “Against Love.”
      This is the context in which sex has been Apollonized. This is why you’re right to point out that porn is where Dionysianism is found for the majority of us. And it’ll continue to be that way for a long time to come. Why? That ‘right thinking’ you allude to. The essence of that right thinking is that no demand from women for “emotional availability” is unreasonable. And lots of men quite correctly see that not every sentiment is emotion. They’ll chafe, women will withold and lots of porn producers will go to the bank as a result.

      • Henry Vandenburgh says:

        I liked your use of Nietzsche on another thread, S. It’s possible that, paralleling Geneology of Morals, women have self repressed in order to repress men. Many women operate with what seems like a sexual governor (such as found on fleet-purchased gasoline engines) even when they are having sex that’s orgasmic. One woman told me on another board (when I suggested the sensual effects of cannibis [which I don’t currently use]) that she didn’t want to lose her personhood. Men probably do this too. We live in such a productionistic and bureaucratically defined society. I see much of feminism and some of eroticism as the bureaucraticism of gender. It all seems to serve very middle-class sensibilities (in a bad way.) I’ve resisted postmodernism up till now (being a social scientist) but I’m pretty much onboard with Foucault at least in terms of sexuality.

    • While I agree with much of what you say, I do get nervous when people talk about “erotica” vs”pornography”. So often the difference is defined as “If it turns women on, it erotica; if it turns men on, it’s pornography” (I wish I could attribute the quote, but I’ve forgotten the author). Pornography is a element of fantasy. Fantasy is very often the mental expression of things that we KNOW are bad ideas in real life.
      I think people also need to be realistic about the mismatch of libidos between men and women. I know it’s politically correct to insist that women are just as sexual as men but survey 100 married men and 99 of them will tell you it isn’t so for them. So men in committed relationship have to do something with the sexual energy their wives/girlfriends can’t or refuse to handle. In the 19th century it was considered “normal” for men to meet their excess sexual needs with postitutes, so which is the greater evil?

  10. 1. There is nothing wrong with sex.
    2. Therefor, your fear of its becoming involved with aspects of your life outside our bedroom is invalid.
    3.

  11. righteouscordycept says:

    Wow! This article is SOOO incendiary. It just makes me broiling mad! Porn with it’s images, innuendos and slithering euphemisms, has become so virulent in our everyday lives we barely even notice it. Just as women took off their bras in the 60’s and 70’s to proclaim their sexual freedom and emancipation, I want to put mine back on to reclaim my sexual dignity and be appreciated for my good deeds, my heart and my intelligence.

  12. Louie Osbit says:

    Everybody is free to use the language they want.
    Yet if I was a woman and somebody called me a MILF, I would probably head butt him (meaning hit his nose with my head in an attempt to break it and cause pain and confusion).
    Then I’ll probably go and get some ice, say sorry for the pain and explain that sometimes we need to make bad things for the greater good and one day he will understand.
    Unless he is really big and not a friend/relative. In that case I would probably calmly get my heels off, hit it on the knees with a big stick, and start running.

  13. I think the problem here is that people are confusing the lack of tact in conversation with the “raunchy culture” – just compare the state of sexuality in the United States with Europe, and the American forced ideal that “sex is for marriage! And for straight people!” and then they wonder why we have so many pregnant moms (and the glamorization with the variety of shows showcasing teen-moms).

    If you don’t want people talking to you a certain way – then politely remind them as such. But just because something *you* associate with sex becomes a product name, it doesn’t mean that there is some sort of double entendre (well, to you, there always will be) – There’s a tea shop in Ohio called Teabaggers. It’s ran by a bunch of old women. I have a feeling that the name came before the raunchy association (but I could be wrong, maybe those old ladies are more clever than I give them credit). Coupled with other places – like an animal welfare organization called “Dumb Friends League” – it’s a brand recognition aspect from a time when dumb was understood to mean “unable to speak for oneself” and not the general stupidity we refer to it as.

    By no means do I think I’m perfect or always right – but this just reads as overly protective “oh my god shock value!” and less value to a real argument about sexuality and people’s inability to speak respectfully.

  14. This article reminds me of a Philip K. Dick short story.

  15. It is unclear to me what “raunch culture” is. Really. I find definitions can be pretty subjective when it comes to topics like these.
    My daughter is 9 years old. So far, she seems pretty normal overall. She dresses like a little girl. Nothing even remotely inappropriate about her clothing.
    I am a sex-positive parent. I don’t really have a problem with hooking-up or no-strings sex. There’s nothing wrong with it as long as both parties understand and negotiate the boundaries of the relationship. It really does have its place within the spectrum of human sexuality. My goal with her is to give her a strong sense of self and ownership of her sexuality. She should know she has a voice in how sexual situations play out and that she always has the choice to opt out. I plan to buy her a vibrator when she’s old enough (I’m figuring sometime between 12-14) so as to encourage her to get to know her own body, what turns her on, and for her to realize she does not have to rely on anyone else for her sexual pleasure.
    She and her older brother already know I date both men and women, that I have multiple lovers, and am a huge advocate of condom use and other safer sex practices. I’ve gone over the basics of negotiating ethical non-monogamy. I’ve taught both of them about the vulva and all the parts that comprise it. I insist they use respectful names when referring to the genitalia of both genders. We’ve discussed reproduction. They know I use birth control. They know I have sex toys. They know I like soft-core porn and erotic art. I keep my collection of erotic literature in full view.
    I am unsure what sexual acts you are concerned boys will expect from my daughter. I think I will tell her that if she wanders outside of vanilla sex territory to proceed with caution and watch for signs that her lover respects her boundaries and treats her body with appropriate care.
    Finally, since she is only 9, I don’t anticipate many of my friends are looking at porn of girls her age. One or two might be but I seriously doubt it. Generally, I’m not particularly concerned that men look at porn. It’s only a problem once the men start to expect women to look or behave a certain way in order to get off.

    • Oh, and this does NOT mean that my kids are exposed to my sex life. My casual relationships/encounters take place when they are with their father. They only meet long-term lovers/boyfriends who are going to be part of my life for awhile.
      I am honest with my children about my sex life but I don’t bring them into it.

    • Thank you. Great post.

    • Jeni: Your comments are a welcome oasis of reason and common sense on these pages. Thank you.

      • Thank you. I haven’t done as good of a job in explaining my position in the past. I hope I am improving.

  16. Thank you all for the varied and thought-provoking comments….
    and big thanks to The Good Men Project for fostering this discourse, because I truly think men (and women) are capable of a new paradigm for relating to each other, even hungry for it.
    This magazine seems to open up a channel of expression, contentious though it can get about the ever-changing ground of “What is it to be a male today? What is it to be a female? How do we relate to each other in the most conscious ways we can? And beyond our insistence on our own pleasure never, ever being impinged upon, what is our responsibility to participate in making this world better for our children?” To me, the writing at GMP (especially Hugo Schwyzer’s and Tom Matlack’s work) encourages those exact types of explorations. For that I am immensely grateful.

    What I wonder is: if you have a daughter, how do you view the world she is becoming an adult in, with the raunch culture affecting not just the lexicon but the way we dress, with hook-up culture encouraging no-strings sex, with the knowledge that your buddies are watching porn of girls exactly your daughter’s age? Do you really take so much stock in their ability to compartmentalize? (I guess advertising isn’t effective, either, right?) And not to freak you out, but….that the boys your daughter will date will come to expect sex from her, having been already “educated,” courtesy of Internet porn (and all sexual acts portrayed there) ? I am curious…..

    • “Think of the children!!!”

      Since you value an honest dialogue I have to say I’m completely tired of this tired argument. I’m a parent. My son is 3. So first of all I’m curious why you’re only concerned with our daughters. Second, you talk about porn affecting how people dress but this has been issue going back generations. My parents tell me how mini-skirts were viewed as “pornographic” and explicit back in the 50s and 60s. That’s when Playboy magazines served as today’s free porn outlets. I’m sure cavemen were drawing pictures of naked women on walls. My point is, this debate has occurred throughout history. It’s just the medium that changes.

      And let’s stop with the idea that all boys who watch porn are automatically going to expect and mandate sex from women. If they have even semi-responsible parents who have spoken with them about sex, they’ll know you never force intercourse on anyone. I saw some porn in high school and it was not a big deal. Because I knew it was a movie and movies are not real. I think you’re underestimating guys in general if you think we’re just walking boners with no brains looking for a place to land.

  17. You’re so tight its not even funny. Sounds like you were raised in medieval monastery. Go get some life lol

  18. I totally and utterly agree with you. I hate the term…I dislike pretty much all porn terms, and yes they are being forced and used in everyday language. I resent it and I think it’s harmful. And before anyone makes the judgment that I’m prude, I’m not. I used a lot of porn in the past….it was a sickness. I’ve been in relationships with porn addicts and I know exactly what it does to relationships and to your mind. It’s insidious. I’m sick of porn culture and how it is forced as accepted and “cool”. IT’S NOT EITHER.

    • sara: You were with porn ADDICTS! That’s the key. That doesn’t mean all porn is insidious and evil. It means the people you were with had a problem and they shouldn’t have been watching it. It’s the same as when people use drugs and alcohol to excess. But as I’m sure you know, there are those among us who very much enjoy having a few drinks every now and then. Just because some people get addicted to something doesn’t mean we should eliminate it.

      • DaddyFiles..what is your personal definition of “now and then”. Because in my own personal experiences I’ve heard a lot of people use that phrase and it could mean anything from 1 a month, 2 times a month, 4 times a week to everyday. Whenever this discussion comes up we refuse to acknowlege how invasive porn has become in our culture. And we refuse to see how sexuality has changed because of it. And I don’t htink it’s for hte better because I don’t think relationships are any better today then they were 50 years ago. Do you?

        I don’t want to eliminate porn because people get addicted to it. I don’t want to forcefully eliminate porn at all. But I do want more men to *happily choose* to put the porn down and try engaging with real women more. Celebrate real women! Celebrate their partners! Not 18-25 year olds or 25-35 year old MILFs in porn. I want men that want to be on their real partner side. I want men that don’t like seeing women called sl*ts and wh*res while a man uses her , tosses her to the side, for hte next new pornstarlet. Just as no man would like to see his own partner get off to men being used for their money, in film or in real life, while she gleefully masturbates to it and then turns around and tells him how much she really respects him as a man. What man would even believe that! No man would because how could they? I want men that want to discover sex together with a real partner. Not be more interested in viewing it in film. And not be interested in encouraging their female partners to act like and be more like *girls* in porn. But I don’t want porrn banned. I just want men to want to connect with real women and real sexuality more instead of being more intersted in escaping it. It’s much harder to interact with real women who have needs of their own then get your jollies off from women in porn that have no other needs or thoughts but to make the man in the movie happy and the man watching the movie happy.

        • Erin, it is a legitimate request that the man you’re in a relationship with actually be in a relationship with you. That’s not a problem at all.
          While I am not going to deny that a certain amount exploitation does occur within the porn/sex industry as a whole, I think we need to be careful about generalizing here. When you say, “I want men that don’t like seeing women called sl*ts and wh*res while a man uses her , tosses her to the side, for hte next new pornstarlet” I get nervous. Some of these women are in the porn industry because they want to be, to make themselves happy. Nina Hartley and Annie Sprinkle would both be examples. I am not in the sex industry but I call myself a slut and have no problem with my lovers calling me a slut. Furthermore, you seem to be inferring that, if a woman has casual sex with a man, he is using her and tossing her aside. That’s a very disempowered way to look at female sexuality (it’s not particularly flattering towards the man involved either). Women can approach their sexuality from a very similar standpoint and have sex because they want to have sex. They’re using the man as much as he is using her. As long as both parties are clear about what’s happening there’s nothing wrong with it in my book. Also, some women like, within certain, negotiated contexts, being “used”. Again, as long as it is negotiated on some level, there’s nothing wrong with it.
          I would much rather be in a relationship now than 50 years ago. As a woman, I have far more rights now than I did then and marriages are far more egalitarian.
          In response to your statement about frequency of porn viewing, I’ll say that I look at porn daily. I only masturbate to it a few times a year. However, the porn I view stimulates my mind and imagination. It opens me to new possibilities and helps unearth my own secret longings. I don’t consider myself addicted because I don’t need it become aroused or to orgasm. It does not interfere with my sex life. It enhances my sex life.

          • Jeni, I am confused by your connection to my comment you qouted and a woman’s choice to be in porn. I don’t see what the two have to do with each other.

            Yes most women in the sex industry on there because they made the choice to be there. However, that doesn’t do anything to address why men making their own choices in watching porn that. A woman’s choice to be in porn has no baring in reasoning why many men choose to enjoy porn. I would say a high chunk of of the general male population watches porn. A high chunk of the general female population does not make porn professionally or aim to be a porn star.

            My second comment on this is that yes, these women choose to be in it. But what kind of women are making the choice to be in porn? Usually women that have been abused in some way. Or if not abused, come from such poor economic situations that they think they can make money this way. Or thirdly, are bright eyed young girls that get themselves invovled in a world they don’t fully understand the ramifications of. How many of us at 18 made choices we would never make now? Most of us, as women AND men understand that people that get into the porn business aren’t exactly people that have the heathiest self esteem or mindset. Because none of us would want that for our own children. So yes, women choose to do porn. But there is more at work then just that.

            Let me be clear and say that I am not making claims that some pornstars don’t enjoy what they do. But the image of the females loving everything that happens to them through porn is part of the fantasy too. There are also many pornstars that have come out of that industry being vocal about the abuse in it. I don’t know of the examples you cited in the women you said are good examples but I do know that porn is about fantasy first. And if a woman is trying to sell videos through the industry, she isn’t going to go against that industry and speak up about what she really sees behind closed doors. Is that to say the women you cited are like that? No. I’m just saying that porn is about fantasy first.

            If you enjoy your partners calling you a sl*t in the privacy of your bedroom, that is between you and your partner. But when we use it as a staple in an industry that represents ways men and women relate to another sexually, then I think it’s just to examine that and see issues with that.

            Further, I never once inferred that if a woman has casual sex with a man, he is using her and tossing her to the side. You seem to be confusing real life with my comments on the porn industry specifically. What I clearly stated is that is what the industry of porn does. Women are used and discarded for the next new face. The average girl in porn lasts 6 months to a year. The average girl. Most girls. Not the ones we hear about like Jemma Jaminson who actually make it big. And despite making it big, she is a perfect example of a young woman from a very troubled past. And personally, if you really want to get into a discussion about what is empowering for women and their sexuality in this day and age, I don’t think it’s this hook-up culture we have. Although I will agree that I rather be in a relationship now then 50 years ago. I just don’t think we’ve reached exactly “empowerment” status yet.

            I am not convinced that most women want to be “used” on a certain level. While I do think women enjoy exploring the different ways they can be sexual. There are also deeper sexual physiological issues on why people like the sexual things they do. But that is a much deeper conversation then what can be explored here. If they set those terms up within their relationship, that is great. I don’t mind being a little bit dominated in the bedroom myself. But what happens between me and a man I already have an established relationship with that I knows cares for me is a far cry then what happens in a porn movie or how women are often depicted through porn. No woman wants to be used for just sex. Just as no man wants to be used for just his money. If a man buys a really expensive meal for a woman he is in a relationship with, its a far different cry then a man buying a really expensive meal for a woman that only wants the meal and not the man. No man would feel good in that situation. And most women don’t want to be used for just sex of their body.

            • The connection is that you seem to think that women who star in porn are somehow victims and that men who enjoy porn want to turn women into victims.
              Men watch porn because it turns them on. Period. Guess what? A big chunk of the general male population does not make porn or aim to be a porn star either.
              Yes, there are wounded people in the porn industry. There are wounded people everywhere though. I would say that the music industry, the fashion industry, and the mainstream film industry have a lot in common with the porn industry. Young people are attracted to the fame and fortune a few people achieve and more often than not, it chews them up and spits them out. Hollywood is just as predatory towards attractive young women as the porn industry and has been from the beginning. The only reason we don’t hear an outcry from people is because of sex.
              Sweetie, my partners call me a slut in the bedroom. My friends call me a slut out of the bedroom. I AM a slut. I am promiscuous. The only place I am uncomfortable being called a slut is at work.
              It is difficult for me to speculate on whether or not most women want to be “used”. What I am saying is that an empowered woman who engages in casual sex is using the man as much as she is being used by him. They’ve agreed to bring each other mutual physical pleasure and very little else. Nobody is a victim.
              I recommend you read The Sexual Life of Catherine M. for a prime example of a healthy, intelligent woman who has enjoyed being “used” for sex. The truth is, there is a level of surrender and spirituality to the process. Furthermore, what I think *perhaps* turns men on about porn is (simulated or not) the female porn stars are surrendering, shutting down their minds, and losing their inhibitions in a way men rarely encounter in real life. I think men crave women who will open and receive them and accept their sexuality just as it is.
              I believe that when a man buys a really expensive meal for a woman he is not in relationship with, it’s called a business transaction. 😉

              • Jeni, some of the women that star in porn are infact victims. There is a high incident rate and connection between women that have been victimized and become workers in the sex trade. It’s not exactly a big secret. There are also other reasons why women do porn, which I clearly stated above and don’t find necessary to repeat because I’m sure you caught it the first time around. . But despite that, that wasn’t even my main point to the discussion. It was a side discussion brought in through your first post to me.

                You said: “Men watch porn because it turns them on.” Ohhhhhh, I understand now. Men like porn because it turns them on. Oh okay. Well then that sure clears up a lot and you know what, it’s okay. I think men should look at more porn. Because if it turns them on then it’s okay. And if it calls women names or shows women performing acts that aren’t actually all that pleasurable for women, well gosh-darn who cares! After all, it’s all about how porn turns men on so that should be a good enough reason why objectifying, stereotyping and belittling women is okay. And we shouldn’t ask any questions about the whole topic because heck, it turns men on.

                Sarcasm be damned! 🙂 I couldn’t resist.

                Yes, there are wounded people everywhere. But most people don’t get into the fashion industry because they’ve been sexually and emotionally abused. Sex, especially for many women, is deeply connected into how they feel about themselves. There is a facet to porn that has to do with basic human connection, or rather disconnection, sex and relationships between the genders that no one can deny. Which is why we all get heated over the porn discussion no matter what side of the coin we are on and it’s why we aren’t talking about how Steamboat operators are debased. So making silly illiterations about how men watch porn because it turns them on and acting like that should be the end of the discussion is purposely deceptive.

                Oh i agree that Hollywood can be predatory toward young women. But not to the degree that porn is. In Hollywood, The Merly Streeps and Natalie Portmans are valued for more then their T&A. And the Helen Mirrens are working hard to buck the trend that older women are invisible.

                You’re personal preference to want to be called a slut is your own personal preference. Just as my personal preference to not want to be called a slut by my friends and henceforth is my own personal preference. It still does not change the way porn debases women on a regular basis and name calls women in ways it doesn’t with men. Despite the attempt for some to turn “slut” into some twisted positive term for women, we all know that that term holds a negative connotation first. And that word is never going to be able to shack that tarnish despite pop cultures desire to try and make it seem like “slut” and “whore” are good and healthy ways to talk about women.

                Again, you continue to confuse real life and real life interactions with what the original discussion was about. Which was porn. I am not hear to discuss the pros and cons of hooking up or f*ck buddies. Who is using who when two people decide to sleep with each other in the confines of their personal relationship in the heat of the moment. As I said before to you about the whole “used” business. I think women want to feel so sexually desire and attractive that their man can’t help themselves. But again, that is within the bonds of a safe place she feels she can display that. Most women don’t want to go out with a man and be used by him for sex. Just like most men don’t want to go out with a woman and be used for money. And if you were honest, you would admit the truth in that instead of making cute little comments about it really being a “business transaction”.

                If men are looking for women to toss their inhibitions to the wayside and open themselves up, making themselves more vulnerable toward them, then men need to create the environment for that to happen in. It seems rather foolhardy to think that that’s going to be accomplished by turning to a medium that is all about debasing women and not really being sincere in their encouragement of real woman sexuality vs pornstar sexuality.

                I think there are many piece of the conversation we were having that you ignored in favor of repeating comments you already stated in your first post to me. And that’s unfortunate.

                • Ahhhh! I’ve been waiting for this one to come out:
                  “And if it calls women names or shows women performing acts that aren’t actually all that pleasurable for women, well gosh-darn who cares!”
                  This is where the insecurities are. Tell me, which acts are the ones performed by these women that are NOT actually pleasurable.
                  What are you afraid of – anal sex, facials, spanking, being degraded?
                  Here’s some news for you: there are women who like that. There are women who rejoice in that. There are women who yearn for that.
                  Okay, next: you seem to think that porn stars are acting like they enjoy the sex acts they are performing in order to help sales. According to the New York Times, “The online availability of free or low-cost photos and videos has begun to take a fierce toll on sales of X-rated DVDs. Inexpensive digital technology has paved the way for aspiring amateur pornographers, who are flooding the market, while everyone in the industry is giving away more material to lure paying customers.” (http://www.nytimes.com/2007/06/02/technology/02porn.html?ex=1186286400&en=44fec624a5ad874b&ei=5070)
                  Most of the free porn sites like PornHub and YouPorn offer videos by amateurs. These folks are not making these videos because they think they will become mainstream porn stars or to help sell anything. A lot of them are making these videos because they want to or because they enjoy it. Heavens!
                  Furthermore, I have a LOT of friends who currently or previously worked in the sex industry. Most of them are healthy, functional, educated people. Please stop stereotyping folks in the sex industry. I’m getting tired of it and it’s becoming offensive.
                  There are plenty of girls who enter the fashion industry who are fucked up. They believe their value is based on their appearance. They have no idea who they are beyond their face and body.
                  I don’t confuse real life with porn. What I do say is that some people really like sex and that’s why they enter the porn industry. It allows them to make money doing something they’re passionate about.
                  Truly, I have no idea about women wanting to go out with a man and be used for sex vs. the men not wanting to be used for money. I don’t understand modern dating/courting techniques. I look at a man, maybe have a conversation with him, decide if he’s relationship material or fucking material or neither. If he’s relationship or fucking material, I tell him I want to fuck him. Then, we’re usually off to the races. Sometimes they want to have a few non-sexual dates first. If it’s guy I think is relationship material, I humor him. If not, the guy goes out the door. He has no reason to be there if he’s not fucking me.
                  Based on the following comments, I am going to state that you and I have very different ideas about female sexuality:
                  “Sex, especially for many women, is deeply connected into how they feel about themselves.”
                  “If men are looking for women to toss their inhibitions to the wayside and open themselves up, making themselves more vulnerable toward them, then men need to create the environment for that to happen in.”
                  How a woman feels about herself should not have anything to do with her partners or who she is having sex with. It’s her job to love herself. It’s not the job of her partner to make her feel good about herself.
                  In my opinion, most women don’t toss their inhibitions to the side for a variety of reasons. They’re afraid of being considered a slut. They’re afraid of surrendering to the power of sex. How uninhibited you are has very little to do with the man you’re having sex with. All you need is to be relatively confident that you will not be physically hurt by him. After that, let go.
                  My philosophy on sex is that the more you allow that energy to flow through you without placing value judgments on it, the more pleasure you experience. The more you close up around that and stay in your fears and your concerns, the less pleasure for you and for your partner. Your need for boundaries and security takes away from your relationships probably more than your partner’s desire to view porn.

        • Erin: What do I consider “now and then” when it comes to porn viewing? For me it’s a half dozen times a month. So right in that area is what I consider now and then.

          And I advocate for sex in marriage too, first and foremost. I’ve never said differently. I don’t think porn should take the place of real human connections. Show me where I ever said that. The problem is you hear “porn” and you automatically assume all guys are watching it, becoming obsessed with it and having it take over their lives. Not the case at all.

          It is entirely possible to watch porn and still have great sex with your wife. But you don’t even consider that possibility because it doesn’t fit your argument.

          And has it ever occurred to you that the women being called sluts or whores in porn videos are playing a part? Seriously Erin, they are ACTORS! They are hired to play a part and they are compensated for having sex with one another. It is not real. The overwhelming majority of men know it’s not real. We don’t watch porn and then expect the same from our wives. That’s just silly. We watch it for a variety of reasons: to temporarily escape, to knock one off quickly, because our wives are going through something where sex is not a possibility, etc.

          Please stop thinking that every porn viewer is a skeevy pervert who lacks the ability to connect with other human beings. It’s just not true.

          • DaddyFiles, thank you for defining in your own terms what you consider “now and then”. When I hear someone say “now and then”, to me, it’s maybe half a dozen times in a year. We all have different ideas on what “now and then” means. I’ve often heard men use the phrase “now and then” when they describe their porn use. But when we dig deeper we find that that term can apply to once a day, a couple times a week, a couple times a month or a couple times a year.

            I am going to ask you a series of questions as you go through my posting and I would sincerely love an honest and sincere response to each question I ask. Because this is a discussion after all and I’d like to break beyond the comments of me saying how much porn as corrupted society and you disagreeing and telling me that you think I am crazy. We both tend to fall into a repetitive commentary and I think if we answer each others honest questions, we can get in some new fresh dialogue on the subject.

            Please try to understand, we’ve had this conversation before and I’ve articulated to you many times that I don’t think only skeevy perverts look at porn. Infact, I’ve said directly to you many times that “good men” infact do look at porn. Fathers, brothers, uncles, grandfathers, doctors, lawyers, teachers and janitors alike. Do you realize how daunting that is as a woman to live in a world where infact MANY good men like this whole other world that really doesn’t do much to project any really good images of women? Could you imagine what it’s like to watch the man you love look at the same age group of girls as you get older? Do you realize how daunting it is that so many men are infact conforming their sexuality to an industry that isn’t known for representing or treating women nicely? How do you suppose women should feel about all that? Do you agree or disagree that men aren’t infact giving women a clear message about what they really like when it comes to women vs porn women?

            I don’t qualify men that look at porn as “bad’ or “good”. Infact, you keep doing that and it really hinders having a good deep honest discussion when you are more worried about men being perceived as “good” vs “bad” then human who just like women, aren’t perfect. This conversation was never about defining men as “good” or “bad” for their porn use. Good men look at porn, that doesn’t mean porn is good to look at. And when you make it into that, you take your eye off the real discussion. You make it about not offending men by getting real about a tough subject. And you’re so concerned about men being perceived poorly for their porn use, you totally ignore the fact of how women are perceived through pornography. Which I hate to tell you, isn’t positive. Infact, it’s so not positive that even you admit that you wouldn’t treat your wife the way a woman is treated in porn. Why is that okay?

            I do think there is something going on where men think it’s okay to treat women a certain way because it’s their “fantasy” to do so. Many men openly admit that they would never do the things they see in porn to the real women in their lives. What exactly does that kind of rational say to you? Because to me it says that men recognize that the treatment of women in porn isn’t good for women, wouldn’t feel good for women, but men still like to see it happen to women through porn. If men know porn isn’t real, if men know they shouldn’t do certain things they see to real women that they see in porn, why are men excited to see it happen to women in porn in the first place? And just for example sake, if I know that calling a man a degrading name and doing something degrading or humiliating to his masculinity isn’t right in real life, is it right for me to fantasize about it through media? Is it right for me to watch this form of entertainment, be excited about it and then turn around and tell my boyfriend that I really do respect men as a man? How many men would believe their partners respect for him as a man if she did such a thing? It’s not fair to sit there and say that the argument is about how good men are are outside of porn and to ask women to ignore the messages men are giving us through their usage of porn. It really just isn’t. And there is a twisted type of logic in a man wanting to be respected as a man, seen as a good man while asking women to accept their objectification and degradement through popular male entertainment. I am going to say it again because I think this is a really important point.

            There is a twisted type of logic in a man wanting to be respected as a man, seen as a good man while asking women to accept their objectification and degradement through popular male entertainment. We are suppose to have this superhuman love and faith in our men that they see us as people worthy of respect when a lot of men are turning to an industry that is pretty limiting of women. That no man in his right mind would want to see his wife or girlfriend or daughter in.

            I do think that in this day and age, there is a a bigger issue with addiction to pornography then ever before in history. And I think many men are beginning to recognize this themselves. Do I think it’s taking over men’s lives to the extent they can’t function in real life? Nope. But that doesn’t mean there it’s not pervasive or affecting how real men relate to real women within relationships and sexually. We are talking about a product that is directly streamed into homes for free (discounting internet provider costs), anonymously , at any time of day or night 24/7. There is no other product in the world that you can get that cheap, that free, that long, that anonymously. Not food. Not drugs. Not drink. Not candy. Nothing. We have to be honest about how information is received. And porn is information being received at a higher rate in history then ever before and it’s become more misognistic. Why would men even want to be associated with porn to begin with?

            My own father was a workaholic and alcoholic growing up. But he wasn’t mean or abusive or other stereotypes you would associate with those dependencies. He managed to run his own very successful business, support his family and spend time with the family. He juggled his dependencies with his real life. And I suspect many men are doing the same when it comes to porn.

            I have no doubt that its possible for many people to watch porn and still have good sex with their partner. I also have no doubt that porn has deeply scewed male expectations in the bedroom about the kind of acts women should be doing and how our bodies should look. It’s not about real sex being better to people anymore. I think it’s a matter of having two sets of different outlets to fulfill oneself with. One where a man can go to his wife/gf and she serves one set or purposes to him and then he can go to his porn and that fulfills another set of purposes to him. It’s not that real women are better. It’s just that we are different from the the outlet porn is. And most men want to use both outlets at their will and as women, we should just shut up and accept that or get in on our own gender debasement and watch porn with him.

            You made the argument that it’s okay to refer to women as sluts and whores because the women in porn are being paid to be that for men. You seem to think that as long as a woman in porn is compensated for her work, then it’s okay to represent women in anyway men desire through porn even if that representation is degrading to women. My own issues have never been about what a woman in porn is compensated or not. That’s never been the discussion. So I am confused why you are using this rational now. You know enough to make the distinction between what you see in porn not being a good way to treat your own wife, but you somehow think it’s still okay to treat women in general this way through porn. Why?

            Even if a male actor was being paid to be called names and treated with little regard for self by a woman, that doesn’t do anything to address why women like to see men treated like that. And it wouldn’t do anything to address the truth in how she liked seeing men debased and used for her enjoyment.

            I do not question that most men know porn isn’t real. However, does that stop you as a man from being turned on by it? From maybe suggesting things you’ve see in porn to try with your own partner? In my own experience porn not being real doesn’t stop men from liking it, getting off to it, being excited by it and asking their partners to be more like it.

            The question isn’t that men don’t know it’s not real. The question is why so many men like to see women treated a certain way through porn they openly admit wouldn’t be good ways to treat real women. And how do men expect women to process that kind of information? How do you expect women to feel that men LOVE a medium that has nothing to do with giving women real pleasure.

            Please stop projecting the misconception that digging deeper into the porn discussion and male porn habits means that anyone is saying men are skeevy perverts end of story. As for the ability to connect with other people or not, porn has nothing to do with connecting to women. And I think you know this yourself since you clearly made a distinction between how you treat your own wife vs how women are treated in porn.

            Why is it okay for men to treat women or enjoy seeing women treated one way through porn that wouldn’t be right to do to a real woman?

            What do you suppose that says to women about how men think and feel about them?

            Why are so many men concerned with their self image of being seen as “good men” or “skeevy perverts” but they don’t think of the image porn sets up and places women in?

          • I disagree, a lot of men do expect their wives/girlfriends to act like porn stars. I’ve been sexually active since my early 20’s, back in the 1980’s, and although I haven’t had sex with scores of men, I’ve had enough to tell you that sex has changed. It has. Too many men who have watched tons of porn act like they are putting on a performance. I can tell when a guy is really into porn. He focuses on specific “moves” and much less on talking, connecting and exploring on a personal level. Obviously that’s a generalization but it’s based on my experience. 20 years ago, most guys would ask how I liked my clitoris touched. Foreplay involved a lot of massaging and kissing. Now they ask me if I have fetishes or do I like being slapped. Things have gotten a lot more extreme and very mechanical.

            • Henry Vandenburgh says:

              Jill, that’s the impression I get from listening to my students, too. Wow. I think that there’s something to be said for acquiring one’s sexuality pre-porn.

  19. There seems to exist a social dis-ease which is pandemic. I would not classify this disease as porn, and then eradicate porn from the face of the earth. Porn is only a symptom. If all porn was instantly evaporated there would still remain a deep social ill, only without an outlet of expression. How I would express this disease is through an overall meaninglessness in life, selfishness, lack of gratitude for what we DO have and that we, as a people, suffer of dissociation from each other- a disconnection with others resulting in a lack of overall intimacy and the breakdown of family values. Of course so many of us would argue that “I’m OK, stop telling me what to do”, as if someone writing about offensive language is stripping you from your rights and liberties. Lili Bee only seems to be wanting people to be more respectful. There does seem to be a quickly growing percentage of us who remain unsure of how to cope and relate with others, so we creep towards porn and hook-up type stuff, and I’m not saying everyone who does lean towards porn is screwed up, but many certainly are, and porn trains our brains that we are connecting with others, just without vulnerability, intimacy and love.

  20. I found this article to be a great read, and provocative on many fronts. While I’ve long been familiar with the term MILF (I have teenage sons), I laughed out loud at the thought that Friendly’s was marketing a porn-derived Sundae. That particular term was new to me (and I checked with a male friend, and it was new to him as well, though MILF was not).

    I will say that I’m not particularly offended by the term MILF, though it isn’t something I would say. I wonder if we have all grown so accustomed to certain language that we simply tune it out, or at the very least, lose its impact. This is becoming so widespread in our culture that I am concerned not only for our kids and the way they express themselves, but for ourselves. Language shapes us – what we perceive around us, and how we perceive ourselves.

  21. Seriously…what other people are saying here is true. While I deplore the mainstreaming of porn culture as much as anyone else. Friendly’s has been calling their small sundaes “Happy Ending Sundaes” for a long, long time. The derivation of the term really is from fairy tales, not from porn.

    Sometimes the smut is truly in the eye of the beholder!

  22. Well, this article demonstrates to me how much I have checked out of mainstream culture. I don’t live in Manhattan. I don’t have cable, rarely listen to the radio, and get most of my news online from the BBC and the Economist. I don’t feel bombarded by raunchy porn stuff in the media. I also recognize that people can be addicted to porn and sometimes even sex. Yes, sometimes porn depicts rage and misogyny. Not all the time.
    I enjoy porn on a regular basis. I generally avoid conventional porn films and magazines and stick with amateur porn, erotic photography, and short stories. I find it is more real, more creative, and more open.
    Within the context of my friends and sex-positive community I happily refer to myself as a slut, a MILF, a cougar, and sometimes a sex kitten. I have dated and had sex with men of a variety of ages. There have only been a few who I sensed had a disrespect of women. I walked out on them in the middle of the date. I have zero tolerance for that.
    The young men who have dated me do so because they appreciate my experience, confidence, and directness. In my experience, the younger men usually want to be topped rather than dominate the older woman. Older men usually do an excellent job of dominating but their overall aim is to enjoy bringing sexual pleasure to a woman.
    Power exchange is an inherent part of most sexual encounters, even the vanilla kind. So pathologizing a man’s desire to dominate a sexual situation just feels wrong to me. Furthermore, I think there’s plenty of evidence to indicate that women are turned on by the idea of submission and ravishment regardless of how politically incorrect it sounds. Lastly, in the words of Mistress Matisse, “Someone has to run the fuck.”
    Personally, I don’t think the problem in our society is pornography as much as it is an inability to discuss sex in any sort of deep or meaningful way. Generally-speaking, our society is actually quite sexually repressed which is why it comes out sideways in conventional porn and the media.
    Lastly, I don’t appreciate the notion that woman who defends porn is doing so to agree with men or has given up and refuses to stand her ground. Believe me, I’m a woman who knows how to negotiate sex and has no problem calling a scene to an end when I’ve had enough. My porn viewing is part of my overall sexuality and I don’t appreciate having it described as deviant.

  23. The term MILF bothers me less than the way the user uses it. Your relative’s compulsive objectifications of you, while oblivious to the impact on you, makes him seem pretty perpy.

  24. Lili, your relative sounds like an absolute douchebag, judging by this conversation (it’s almost too awful to believe, but I can only take your word).

    But if you have a relative who openly regales his relatives with his sexual exploits and calls one of them a “MILF,” I think you have a bigger problem on your hands than the terms MILF and happy ending entering mainstream parlance.

  25. I think it is safe to say that porn has abrogated the term MILF (regardless of its reputed origin). And that there is a darker dimension to the porn version: that it hides a deep and unremitting rage towards women. Am I making this up? Nope. I am quoting Michael Dunn, CMA, LMFT, MAC, CSAT, an expert in the field of porn and porn/sex addiction. When Dunn hears that a client gravitates towards that porn category, he knows that he is dealing with a client with extreme rage and hostility towards women.

    The frightening part of the MILF category is that so many porn users mistake a power-over rush for sexual excitement and the internal conflation makes power-over a stronger-than-ever requisite for relationships. It is NOT about being attracted to older women, it is about dominating older women (read: mom/teachers/women in authority/all women).

    A long time ago, I would have defended the rights of pornographers to publish whatever they wanted to. I would have sided with the free speech/consenting adults argument. The truth is, I was trained at a very early age to agree with men and it took me years to sort out what I really believed. Then I saw Hustler’s cover with the woman shoved in a meat grinder. If that is not gender-directed rage, what is? Where was her consent? What kind of monster would think such a thing is a turn-on?

    For the most part, we women WANT to trust men. We want to feel safe around men. We are tired of the deep divisions that rob both genders of intimacy. And the extreme violence and behaviors in porn that make mockery of sexuality.

    Every time a man defends porn usage, my heart breaks all over again, for him, for the women in his life and for all us discouraged women who see the real numbers out in the wild. It cannot be easy for men. Men are becoming addicted to porn and sexual acting out (massage parlors, prostitutes, hook-ups, sex tourism, etc.) at alarming rates.

    When a woman defends porn and porn use, I suspect that a part of her has given up, that she has probably settled for acceptance rather than take on the monumental fight of standing her ground.

    So add my voice to Lili’s. I want to be able to live without rage being projected onto me vis-a-vis porn/raunch terminology. And I yearn for a cessation of the hostilities. Certainly there are men (and women) out there that can understand that?

    • Terre, your views are truly insulting and not at all enlightened.

      So every time a man defends porn you feel bad for him because he must be into massage parlors and hookers? And every time a woman defends porn you feel bad for her because “a part of her has given up” and she has “probably settled for acceptance rather than taken on the monumental fight of standing her ground.” You’re kidding me right??

      Just because a guy watches porn doesn’t mean he’s a woman-hating, skeevy john. I watch porn occasionally and I’ve managed to always be faithful to my wife of nearly six years. And I know this will come as a shock to you, but I’ve managed never to pay for sex. Not even once. And my wife also engages in some porn viewing. Although she’s a successful, intelligent and independent career woman, I’m sure she’s ever so thankful for your condescending pity.

      Has it ever occurred to you that some people watch porn because—gasp!—it’s a turn-on?!?! Just because someone’s preference is different from you own does not mean they’re bad or wrong. Yet according to your ignorant statements, anyone who disagrees with you in that camp.

      Certainly there are men and women out there that can understand the concept of “different strokes for different folks?” You don’t like porn. Fine. Don’t watch it. But how can you negatively judge the people who might like certain porn, and worse yet, how can you classify those people as sex addicts who make a mockery of sexuality?

      I’ve watched “MILF porn.” It wasn’t violent or degrading (unless you count the “script” and choice of synthesizer music). It was a younger guy and older woman having sex. Yet because I enjoyed watching that, you’d classify me as a person with “extreme rage and hostility towards women?”

      Wow. Your arrogance is more upsetting than any porn I’ve ever seen.

      • Daddy phile, since you seem so defensive, protective and supportive of porn, and you seem to be a proud Daddy, how would you feel if your daughter was a porn ‘actress’ and people like you were getting off on her? These women are all somebody’s daughters, and sons. Love, sex and intimacy sure seem to be a part of a healthy relationship. That is how I’d like to imagine my children as having. So how would they want that if their role models are not expressing that?

        • Are you asking if I’d want my daughter in porn? The answer is no. But if she’s 18 years old and enters the profession against my advice but of her own free will, what can I do about it?

          I’m not protective of porn so much as I’m upset about the dangerous generalizations from narrow-minded people trying to blame a few smutty videos (and the people who watch them) for all the world’s ills. People who judge others negatively based solely on the fact that their sexual proclivities differ from their own.

          Take yourself for example. By saying “So how would they want that if their role models are not expressing that?” you’re implying that because I watch porn, I’m not a good role model for my son. That is ridiculous. My (very) occasional porn-viewing habits have absolutely no bearing on my abilities as a father. I don’t watch porn with my son nor will I advocate for it. If he asks me about it I’ll discuss it openly and honestly, but I’m certainly not a bad father because my wife and I sometimes watch it in the privacy of our own bedroom.

          If you don’t watch porn that’s fine. I don’t make fun of people who make that choice. You, however, have called me a poor role model despite having never met me, solely because I watch porn.

          Now who’s the bad role model?

          • Folks, some people like sex and some people like to be watched having sex. They’re called exhibitionists. If my daughter wanted to be a porn actress I’d tell her be safe, don’t do anything she doesn’t want to do, and have a back-up plan because this is not a viable long-term career choice…and, of course, she’d have to be 18 before I’d allow it to happen.

    • “And I yearn for a cessation of the hostilities.”

      I only see one hostile party in this comment…

    • Henry Vandenburgh says:

      I remember watching Kay Parker (probably around 40 at the time) in the classic Taboo when I was in my early 30s. I think most of the men she made love with were much younger. She had a wonderful, classy sensuality that was informed by great intelligence, one could tell. She was a trained actress. I watch a small amount of porn these days, but I probably prefer MILF porn (after all, I’m a DILF these days.) I don’t care if the man is younger (maybe a slight turn on.) Some of these yearnings are Oedipal, of course, and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. Probably not a good idea to have actual sex with a parent (men who survive M-S incest are said to be pretty angry.) But the overtones are frequently there in normal relationships.

      Sure, there is a component of agression in porn (just as there is in “normal” sexuality.) The mechanisms for male arousal (even for very languid sex) are close to the agression mechanisms. The most aggressive porn one sees is neo-porn (generally with young people) where there is name calling, facial ejaculation, mandatory anal, etc. I think that this mirrors (in a strange way) things like the institutionalization of feminism, the end of good jobs for most people, and male fear. I don’t think 80s porn did the same thing (just as an example.)

      I think porn is a bad sexual teacher, but I’m not sure it’s pure hostility.

    • The frightening part of the MILF category is that so many porn users mistake a power-over rush for sexual excitement and the internal conflation makes power-over a stronger-than-ever requisite for relationships. It is NOT about being attracted to older women, it is about dominating older women (read: mom/teachers/women in authority/all women).
      Well its a good thing that I know enough about my tastes in women to know that this is not universally true.

      Then I saw Hustler’s cover with the woman shoved in a meat grinder. If that is not gender-directed rage, what is? Where was her consent? What kind of monster would think such a thing is a turn-on?
      As for the consent do happen to know if that picture was taken against her will? And also are you really offering a Hustler cover as proof that porn is about abusing women?

      Every time a man defends porn usage, my heart breaks all over again, for him, for the women in his life and for all us discouraged women who see the real numbers out in the wild. It cannot be easy for men. Men are becoming addicted to porn and sexual acting out (massage parlors, prostitutes, hook-ups, sex tourism, etc.) at alarming rates.

      When a woman defends porn and porn use, I suspect that a part of her has given up, that she has probably settled for acceptance rather than take on the monumental fight of standing her ground.

      So add my voice to Lili’s. I want to be able to live without rage being projected onto me vis-a-vis porn/raunch terminology. And I yearn for a cessation of the hostilities. Certainly there are men (and women) out there that can understand that?
      So at the same time you yearn for a ceasing of the hostilities while declaring that any and all porn is demeaning to women? You seem to be aligned with Lili in her desire to not want to watch porn or be talked about with such terminology. You’re free make that choice for yourself. But that doesn’t mean porn in and of itself is bad.

      And I find it odd that your heart breaks for men and women who actively want to indulge in porn without giving any nuance. According to you the couple that watches Nina Hartley’s series on sex advice is just as bad as the couple watching any porn video and both of them are just as bad as the couple that’s watching actual rape scenes recorded and distributed.

  26. Henry Vandenburgh says:

    Well, as a sociologist, I think these terms are actually funny. My niece and nephew use them, sparingly, usually in the context of something humorous. I have more of a problem with the term, “Wig*er,” describing a white person who is heavily into black culture. Only because of the word’s derivation, of course. The phenomenon is funny.

  27. MILF came from American Pie, not porn. And Friendly’s has been serving Happy Endings sundaes ever since I can remember.

    It’s not surprising that in your rush to blame porn for just about everything, you didn’t even bother to get your facts straight.

    • Kirsten says:

      I’d like someone to kindly post the timeline….. American Pie MILF usage vs. porn MILF usage….. although we shouldn’t be distracted by which came first…. either way, it’s gross. Porn is helping to take us down a path. Many women I know, whose husband’s watch porn, tell them they don’t mind the porn. Yes, they’ve even watched it with them. And those women eventually ALL have cheated on their husbands. I wonder if there’s a correlation? I’m definitely NOT saying every guy who looks at porn has a wife who cheats on them…so please, don’t go there.
      Some men, in the grips of “addiction”, will stop at NOTHING to defend porn. They buy their wives’ lies completely. Totally BLIND to the fact that their wives are faking orgasms and going elsewhere….. but holding onto the marriage for security.

      • Kirsten says:

        I must reply to myself here… I won’t accept Yahoo answers, Wikipedia, or any other information site with questionable , at best, information. I’d like the date of the first porn video that referenced the term.

      • Kirsten, in my opinion, if a relationship requires either party to fake orgasms or lie about anything then there are serious problems in it. If one of the parties is addicted to porn or anything else s/he has checked out of the relationship with their human partner and is totally involved with something else. The addicted partner is technically cheating as well.
        Personally, I’d prefer everybody just be honest rather than cheat. If one person is opting out of the relationship emotionally, then the other person should be free to do so as well. There’s not a problem with people staying in relationships/marriages for security or other reasons as long as they are both honest about the situation. It may not be ideal but everybody gets to choose how they live their own life.
        Also, porn has always existed in some form or another. This “path” simply exists as part of human nature.

        • Kirsten says:

          Thanks for your response, Jeni. Yes, if the women were totally honest about their husbands’ porn use…. telling them I really don’t like you using it…then their husband will simply stop looking at it completely…. not look and lie and keep it hidden… just stop. Is that what I should believe?
          Many women do think of using porn as cheating. Many think that women feel that way because of insecurities, prudeness, a bad exposure to it, etc. etc. In fact, many women just think that marriage is between them and their husbands, that their sex life doesn’t have to include some outside influence. I’m glad there are still many men who’d like their marriages to be the same.
          I’ve seen porn, obviously…. just wondering…. why do so many of the girls do that “lamaze” breathing stuff?? It just looks to me like a woman in pain.

          • First off, I’m not going to tell you what to believe. You get to figure that out on your own. I’m going to catch a lot of heat for what I’m about to say next though…LOL
            Let me clarify what I meant about honesty in my last post. If a wife is faking her orgasms with her husband, then she is lying to him. She is being dishonest. If she were to be honest, she would tell her husband she’s not having orgasms. If she were interested in having orgasms during sex then she would request her husband do things differently to assist her in the process. If she’s not having orgasms at all (even on her own) and wants to have them, then she should start masturbating and maybe see a sex coach/therapist to deal with whatever is going on there. Women often suffer from sexual repression and/or sexual trauma that occurred in their past that disrupts their ability to orgasm and enjoy sex. It’s her responsibility to deal with that so that she can have a good sex life with her husband.
            Now, if a wife is uncomfortable with her husband using porn at all she should be honest about that as well. She should try to figure out and explain why she is insecure/uncomfortable about him viewing porn. If she’s worried he’s not in love with her or no longer desires her, then they can work out a way for him to reassure her that he is, indeed, invested in the relationship. It may be an opportunity for the husband to be honest about his sexual desires as well. The underlying problem here is not the porn, it is how she feels about the porn and, possibly, the needs he is getting met through the porn.
            In my opinion, unless the porn usage is incessant and interfering with the husband’s ability to get off without it, a wife’s request that he not view it simply because it makes her uncomfortable is out of line and controlling. This is what I really dislike about monogamy. It forces one person in the couple to give up part of themselves (the husband’s sexuality in this case), in order to remain in the relationship. This leads to enmeshment and other codependent behaviors. Not healthy!
            I think the idea that marriage occurs in a vacuum to be gloomy, unrealistic, and unsustainable. If that’s what you and your husband choose, however, I wish you well.
            Regarding the “Lamaze” breathing done by the women in porn: I cannot say with any certainty what’s going on there without actually seeing the example to which you are referring. A lot of women in porn fake their orgasms. Maybe that’s what’s going on. I don’t know. I do know that certain kinds of breathing help both women and men control their orgasms either to stave them off or enhance them. I’m supposing you’ll find that more in tantric sex videos though.

            • I’m not going to give you heat…just talking here, no flames. It’s interesting to me that the man is giving up some part of his sexuality if he gives up porn. If women truly are more intimacy driven, and they don’t like their husbands using porn…could that not cause a mental block thus leaving her feeling disconnected to him …leaving the end result leaving her unable to achieve orgasm with him? Who’s giving up their sexuality in that case? Seems to me it’s the woman who ends up giving in…..and in a sense being controlled. I’ve talked with many women whose husband’s use porn… they simply cheat on their husbands and the men never know.

              • I didn’t expect you would be the one giving me heat…I figured there would be others who would do that.
                I guess I don’t believe women are more intimacy-driven than men. I believe that’s a bunch of Victorian poppycock fed to us for generations to help keep our sexuality under control and under wraps. Hmph! Check out the book, Sex At Dawn, for further information. They make the point better than I ever could.
                Again, what is it that the wife doesn’t like about her husband viewing porn? Is it because of fear and insecurity? Experience has taught me that the only way to really get over fear and insecurity is to bring it out into the light and explore it. Does she fear that his interest in porn is an indication of his diminishing love/interest in her and that he will eventually leave? What is the underlying assumption here? That the wife isn’t good enough? That the husband will find someone else because he watches porn? Does she really believe that the only holding her marriage together is a piece of paper? Does she really value herself and what she brings to the relationship so little as to believe that the only way she can keep the marriage together is by controlling his porn use?
                Honey, if that’s the case, the best thing the wife can do is deal with her own self-esteem issues rather than forcing her husband to prop her up. She’s not being controlled. She’s being manipulative in the same way an alcoholic or codependent person is. Believe me, the marriage would be better off if she took responsibility for her stuff before she started projecting it onto her husband.
                Also, I’m confused. ..these women who cheat but can only orgasm with men who are strictly monogamous with them…are they having orgasms with their lovers? Are their lovers committed and monogamous with them? Is the affair about intimacy or about getting sexual needs met? Just curious…

                It seems to me that some women and conservatives have used the Victorian poppycock to turn around and shame men into giving up their sexuality as well. It annoys the heck out of me when men decide to make themselves miserable by accepting those rules.

              • It’s interesting to me that the man is giving up some part of his sexuality if he gives up porn.
                I think that may depend on why he’s watching it. Is it because there is something in his sex life that is not being fulfilled with his wife? Is it because he wants to try things that she is against? But yeah I can see that as a man giving up part of his sexuality if for no other reason than taking refuge in porn to fulfill something that’s missing in his actual sex life. And as a result his sexuality overall is affected. In fact I think porn can (and in some cases does) actually result in both of them (meaning I agree with how you say it can affect the woman) giving up some of their sexuality.

  28. From whatever these terms originate does not really matter, to me anyways. What seems to be the point here is how raunchy we, as people, are becoming. I live in a crowded city and whenever possible I adjust my commutes on public transportation to avoid being held hostage on a crowded bus or train with packs of teenagers getting out of school because of the crude and vulgar language so many of them broadcast proudly at way too high volume. It’s as if they are really trying to offend everyone. It truly saddens me to see the tormented looks on the faces of kind-looking grandmother-types and all manner of sophisticated people. I know I’m likely old-school but when we were kids there was respect for elders, a sense of morals and common courtesy. When I spend too much time around todays youth I begin to feel a deep sense of hopelessness for when this generation become parents and community leaders. Although this negative ‘trend’ of our culture (or lack of it) also inspires me to intentionally raise my level of courtesy, I’d rather this be a natural act of mine and not an act of desperation for the future.

    • Kenny,
      This means you’re old. You don’t remember being a teenager and experimenting with crude language and social boundaries? I do rather fondly, and I swear I have always been old at heart, even if my age is only barely catching up.

  29. Impressive Lili. As kryptogal points out the whole MILF thing started with American Pie. When a legitimate sexual preference suddenly became “cool” (versus a sign of being weird before). Lots of men are attracted to older women, its just that until that movie came along it was a dirty little secret. But with it there are three other things I’ve noticed.
    1. The rise of the term MILF has very little to do with being attracted to older women (much less “old” women) but more specifically being attracted to older women that still look hot.
    2. Therefore being attracted to older women is still tabboo unless its the “right” type of older women.
    3. Even if American Pie was never made or even if MILF did not catch on the attitude is still there.

    And I wonder. If men are supposedly so free to express our sexuality then why do so many men have to prop up their sexual preferences with prop culture? You’d think it would be okay for a guy to say that he finds a older woman attractive without having to make sure everyone knows he’s about a MILF.

    Erin:
    Could you imagine if women came up with a term similarly minded? “Men I’d Love To Use For Money”. MILTUFM. Or for short, MILTs! And then tried to project onto men that this was really a wonderfully fabulous thing! Yikes. That wouldn’t be cool. Why do guys think it’s cool to do to us?
    While there’s no fancy term for it that projection does happen. Telling men that their usefulness is defined by the power, status, and money they have. Not a cool thing to do either but it does happen.
    And no Erin I’m not trying to argue over which one is more prevalent. Just pointing out that it does happen.

    • Danny, this article was about the influence of porn-connected words to mainstream society. I never disputed that men are not infact judged for shallow themes. However, within this article, within in this specific issue being addressed *here*, that is where my comments are directed. I don’t understand this need for people to always have to qualify discussions when talking about one gender over the other. I’m aware the world isn’t perfect for men. And those topics are sound ones to discuss. However, I think we can grasp the message in this article enough to specifically talk about it and not gunk of the core message by pointing every other direction in the meantime. Fact remains that there is no term that specifically calls men names while women try to pass it off to men like it’s a *good* thing. If any woman dared to use the term I hypothecially made up, she would get a verbal beat down for it. How come it’s okay to use those kind of words toward women?

      I however do agree with you in terms of what “MILF” porn entitles. Most of the women seem to be surgically “enhanced” and some aren’t even that “old”. So its not exactly the pro-positive thing that many try to pass off.

      • I don’t understand this need for people to always have to qualify discussions when talking about one gender over the other.
        It comes from dealing with people who try to speak for one side or the other.

        Fact remains that there is no term that specifically calls men names while women try to pass it off to men like it’s a *good* thing. If any woman dared to use the term I hypothecially made up, she would get a verbal beat down for it. How come it’s okay to use those kind of words toward women?
        Sugar Daddy. Personally I think being referred to as a Sugar Daddy is basically being referred to as a sucker but sure enough there are guys that actually do go with the term. I think it may have to do with the notion that men are supposed to be providers therefore to them being a Sugar Daddy means taking care of their significant other.

        Your exaggeration of a verbal beatdown aside It think the reason its seen as okay to use those words about women is because there are a lot of women who embrace the term themselves (this holds true for lots of different groups of people who have words attached to them).

      • I’m sorry, have we never heard the term “Sugar Daddy” used to describe men??

        • Miranda says:

          Hmmm….slut, wh*re, c*nt…..sugardaddy. Gee, you guys are right. The word sugardaddy is so much worse in its widespread usage and derogatory meaning!

          Or is this just one more example of distraction from and diminishment of a woman’s thoughts/opinions/feelings? It’s so hard to tell sometimes…..

          • I’ve called men dicks-on-sticks, man-sluts, and boytoys, pussies, and probably some other things. 🙂

          • The word sugardaddy is so much worse in its widespread usage and derogatory meaning!

            Or is this just one more example of distraction from and diminishment of a woman’s thoughts/opinions/feelings? It’s so hard to tell sometimes…..

            No its responding to this by Erin, “Fact remains that there is no term that specifically calls men names while women try to pass it off to men like it’s a *good* thing. If any woman dared to use the term I hypothecially made up, she would get a verbal beat down for it. How come it’s okay to use those kind of words toward women? ”

            So why are getting all pissed off because Erin made a statement and I responded to it? Oh and who the hell said that it was worse?

  30. kryptogal says:

    I have some sympathy for Lili’s emotions, in that our culture really no longer allows one to truly avoid raunchy imagery/references if one so chooses…I can’t drive down my local highway without being confronted by billboards with massive images of cleavage, advertising cosmetic sever, the twourgery, for instance. Now wonder my poor very conservative grandma basically no longer leaves the house.

    However, the two examples used in this article really evidence a more general bewilderment with pop culture, which does now take a very high level of cultural literacy to fully understand. For example, the term MILF did not originate in porn and then migrate to movies, it was the other way around. It started in the teen sex comedy American Pie, when one of the characters has sex with another one’s mother. And Friendly’s has been serving Happy Ending sundaes since at least the late 80s, so that name also did not derive from porn. I think the author is generally confused and upset about porn’s place in our culture, and driving herself a bit mad with it, afraid of seeing the porno boogey man around every corner.

    • Kryptogal, MILF porn was around way before American Pie was made. I am not so sure about where Happy Endings came from but you can’t ignore how heavily controlled our society is by porn. It wasn’t until people started seeing shaved privates in porn that that became a popular way to mold your privates at home.

      • But American Pie is what made brought the term into the mainstream. Before it was a just another category of porn (likely to get you shunned by even other porn users who think being sexually attracted to older/old women is disgusting). But now not only is it hip to be attracted to MILFs but its also hip for women to claim to be MILFs.

        Same thing with cougar (which seems to be a woman that’s is technically not a MILF because she’s not a mom I guess).

  31. Tom Matlack says:

    Another wonderful piece Lili, thought provoking and true. Erin just please be careful how broadly you sweep in your generalizations. Obviously the whole point here is to have a discussion that liberates men, and the women who love them, from 2 dimensional superficiality.

  32. Lili, I enjoyed your piece and insights and agree with you. And I really loved your comment: “…I need to remember that porn is an imitation of life (at its very best). And I commit to living a real, fully-dimensional life in defiance of the inanity of what I see around me. “ I don’t think men seem porn as a “imitation of life”. I think they want it to be real. i will also add that I think porn is a “limitation of life” and sexuality.

    I think the fact that the term MILF has caught on like wildfire shows how deeply imbedded our culture really is with porn. It shows us our easily our culture is influenced by things like porn. And as a woman, you’re suppose to smile and giggle and give it two thumbs up and act like it’s great to be categorized as women by a term defined through porn, that really is just about you being “meat”.

    Could you imagine if women came up with a term similarly minded? “Men I’d Love To Use For Money”. MILTUFM. Or for short, MILTs! And then tried to project onto men that this was really a wonderfully fabulous thing! Yikes. That wouldn’t be cool. Why do guys think it’s cool to do to us?

    What happened to calling women beautiful? I guess that’s not good enough anymore. I guess it’s about men wanting women to find their worth through the hierarchy of looks and ages they judge us on..teens, MILFs, Grannies…. Funny how the ways men judge us in the real world seep from LALA Pornland .

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  1. […] I read this really great article: “MILFs and Happy Endings” (You should read it too.) “Was it just me, or was I being bullied, along with everyone else, […]

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  3. […] I read this really great article: “MILFs and Happy Endings” (You should read it too.) “Was it just me, or was I being bullied, along with everyone else, […]

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