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Editor-in-Chief
Alex Carnevale
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Managing Editor
Kara VanderBijl
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Features Editor
Mia Nguyen
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Senior Editor
Durga Chew-Bose
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Senior Editor
Brittany Julious
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This Recording

is dedicated to the enjoyment of audio and visual stimuli. Please visit our archives where we have uncovered the true importance of nearly everything. Should you want to reach us, e-mail alex dot carnevale at gmail dot com, but don't tell the spam robots. Consider contacting us if you wish to use This Recording in your classroom or club setting. We have given several talks at local Rotarys that we feel went really well.

Pretty used to being with Gwyneth

Regrets that her mother did not smoke

Frank in all directions

Jean Cocteau and Jean Marais

Simply cannot go back to them

Roll your eyes at Samuel Beckett

John Gregory Dunne and Joan Didion

Metaphors with eyes

Life of Mary MacLane

Circle what it is you want

Not really talking about women, just Diane

Felicity's disguise

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Classic Recordings
Robert Altman Week

Monday
Sep222008

In Which You Might Want To Save That Move For The Second Date

How To Be Single

by Molly Lambert

Gems culled from the comments on this Jezebel post:

Don't show me your hair plug scars on a first date.

Don't tell me how many girls you fucked on your job as night manager at a hotel.

Do not ask my friend who has an artificial eye, and it's somewhat obvious, "What the hell is wrong with your eye?"

Do not say, "I kind of hate feminists."

A moonlit walk on the promenade is not the time to share your thoughts on the Holocaust being a hoax. In fact, there is no time for that ever ever ever.

Don't tell me you shave your chest and legs because "I'm a serious cyclist" and then have me feel your stubble.

Do not tell me, within five minutes of meeting me at a party, that you get 4 times as large when aroused.

Don't say, "I know women like it when men are forward. I want to take you home and fuck you." when I'm obviously not interested.

Do not tell me that you share a bed with your ex-girlfriend, whom you live with, and that your current girlfriend doesn't know.

Do not come up to me in a bookstore and tell me I have beautiful feet and you would like to photograph them.

Do not start reading the newspaper during the first date.

When hitting on someone of a different race, it's really fucking inappropriate to insist that sleeping together is really our duty, because the mixed babies would be so beautiful.

it’s really sensual when someone touches their face that way

Do not ask me to tell you about my "hot lesbian encounters" when you find out I went to a women's college.

Do not say "Can I kiss you?" at all. It's creepy and it should be pretty obvious if it's okay. If you try and it's not okay I will dodge, no harm done.

Do not tell me what works on Katie. As in, "I don't know why you're not coming, it takes like two minutes with Katie."

When curious about my ethicity, do not phrase the question as "So what are you?"

Don't sit at a table full of hot women and after 5 shots of Patrón announce that you like single mothers because they're "grateful"

Do not assume because I smile and am nice to you in the workplace that I would be amenable to you accosting me in the hallway and trying to make-out. I WILL kick you in the shins AND tell our boss.

Don't tell me you never see your wife anymore.

Don't try to get me to have sex with you because you're a 22 year old virgin. Or at least, don't give me that reason.

Don't ask if my friend is hot every time I mention a friend.

At a work conference, don't show up at my hotel room door in the middle of the night with a Coleman lunch cooler full of Bud Light and ask if I want to "talk."

And absolutely under no circumstances, when I say you look familiar, do you reply you must have met me when you liked black girls.

Do not wait a full 24 hours to tell me the condom broke. Tick tock, buddy!

Don't tell me you fantasized about killing your brother as a child

Do not invite me up for a drink (while I'm waiting for a cab) and, after I tell you we aren't going to have sex, say "Oh, that isn't really how I do things."

Don't talk to me for forty minutes and then ask if my friend is single.

Do not tell me how much you miss your ex-girlfriend, but you're ready to move on with whomever because you want to be married within a year.

Don't ask me if it's a weave (it isn't). Don't insist I'm lying and ask to inspect my scalp as proof. When you discover it's really my hair, don't tell me I must be mixed to "be so dark with such good hair." In fact, don't ever use the term "good hair."

Don't ever bring me to your parents' house on the first date, where your mom will tell me that I'm going to be a great girlfriend, and then make me trudge the snow in non-snow appropriate shoes through an apple orchard to meet your father.

Do not tell me after spending the night making out that I was drunk enough that you could have raped me.

Don't tell me I could make a lot of money stripping and then rock back on your heels and smile proudly at me like you just gave me a huge compliment.

Don't tell me you usually don't date girls like me but "what the hell"

Do not invite me back to your apartment and then try to slow dance with me to Lady In Red

Don't tell me over beers that you're looking for a "cuddle buddy". Especially don't then tell me it's not about sex, you really just like to cuddle.

If we are at a party don't say, "You look really good, if I didn't just break up with you I'd hit on you."

Don't call your ex-girlfriend to tell her that you've "got a stone fox now" and "you're over her for real this time", then hang up, start crying, collect yourself, and spend the rest of the evening rhapsodizing about how wonderful she was. I can't imagine why she would dump a gem like you.

Don't ask to take a picture of me so you can put it in your blog. The answer is no.

After telling me you're a plastic surgeon, refrain from telling me my button nose is cute but I "should really lengthen it to sex up my face." and offer your services.

It won't work for you to say to me and another friend of mine, who is pretty but overweight, "I wish I could put your head on her body."

"You really look Jewish," is not a good pick up line regardless of whether I am or am not.

Don't inform me, while we are naked in your bed, that your usual "moves" won't work because I'm bigger than the other girls you've fucked.

Don't practically beg me to go to a wedding with you three months down the road on our first date. Desperate and creepy.

When I'm holding my newborn baby, don't talk about how much you love the taste of breast milk--especially when you're married to my good friend.

Don't ever say, "GIRL DRAMA!" when I'm telling you about a problem I'm having with a female friend.

Don't tell me, a tall blonde woman of northern European descent, that you are really, really into Asian woman and are on lots of websites catering to such.

Don't say, "everyone always thinks I'm gay".

Don't complain at length that your dog shits all over your house because you can't figure out how to train it, and then ask me back to your place.

Don't troll Craigslist looking for someone to have a threesome with, find someone, and give her MY NAME AND NUMBER without even telling me! I got a call last week from some woman who said my bf told her we were looking to have a threesome. I was like WTF?

Don't say "You look like a model from the side, but from the front you have birthing hips."

Don't attempt to have sex with me while pretending I'm someone else. Yes, I can tell.

Please, please do not tell the girl working at the bagel shop (me), "I hope you fuck better than you make that sandwich." Secondly, it's not a sandwich, its a bagel. Fuck.

Don't wake me up in the youth hostel to let me know I can circumsize you with my Swiss Army knife if I'd screw you afterwards.

Don't offer to share a cab home and then say there is something important for me to see in your apartment and then have it turn out that it's actually your friend's apartment and you just live in a weird, closet-type area and then try to read me a bunch of bad, depressing poetry when I'm trying to leave while telling me that you "wrote it about me and didn't even know it" and then leave a bird skeleton in a tin box outside my apartment several days later with a note: thinking of you.

Don't tell me you love me, commit to a monogamous relationship, have a discussion about not using condoms, pay for birth control pills, and then let me find out that during the ENTIRE duration of our relationship you've been fucking random men, women and trannies from craigslist (literally anyone who would have sex with you) and then coming home and having unprotected sex with me.

Don't suggest the possibility of us giving each other enemas someday soon.

Do not tell my friends when you meet them how you are going to get me pregnant. When we have sex do not tell me you are trying to get me pregnant and it's okay because your mom will raise it

Don't tell me that your baby momma is only giving you drama because she's having "dick withdrawals", 'cuz chances are, you're still fucking her.

When in the middle of a fun, flirty conversation, don't lean in and say, "it's ok, I like small tits!"

Don't show up to our first date an hour late because you had to take a shower before you came here because you were helping a friend move, then wait a minute before admitting it was actually your ex-wife. Then wait ANOTHER minute and admit she's not actually your ex-wife yet.

Molly Lambert is the managing editor of This Recording

"What's Missing Is" - Bonnie Prince Billy (mp3)

"You Want That Picture" - Bonnie Prince Billy (mp3)

"Keep Eye on Other's Gain" - Bonnie Prince Billy (mp3)

PREVIOUSLY ON THIS RECORDING:

Sex Scenes In The Novel

Sex Scenes In David Cronenberg Movies

Sex Scenes On The Interwebs

Friday
Sep052008

In Which You're In Her Talons Now And She's Never Letting Go

Lindsay and Samantha

by Alex Carnevale

Lesbian relationships are better than heterosexual relationships. They are the most life-affirming, jealously inspiring, vagina-focused relationships two people can have. Sometimes it's just fun to peek out the closet door.

Our love of celebrity couples notwithstanding, we can't really decide what opinion to have on this spinning chasm of inertia and co-dependence known as the sexual and emotional intercourse of Samantha Ronson and Lindsay Lohan. Since whatever opinion I have will be more made up than my "feelings" about Jenna Fischer, I will remain impartial, kinda like the way Lindsay and Samantha feel about dick.

Sometimes you just want to chug champagne and do coke privately in your million dollar apartment with your bff, and from that everlasting truth comes this picture of 'Ye, Say and Sam that I see everytime I close my eyes.

Lindsay's passion for her one and Ronly is obvious:

Later in the night Lohan grabbed one lensman's camera and was overheard saying, "I want to show all these people how it feels, so I'm going to take their picture," before going berserk with it.

Running from side to side of the DJ booth, Lohan snapped a few pictures of Ronson while she was spinning before turning the camera on the crowd. Guests seated next to the booth were the subjects of a particularly long series of pictures because Lohan thought, "they look the sketchiest."

At 1am, when the party wrapped up, Lohan grabbed the microphone and declared, "She's taken!" after everyone began yelling Ronson's name. Security moved quick when the crowd of 1,200 partiers wasn't leaving the venue. "Lindsay snapped a little bit, and said she needed to get out of there right away. The lights were on, everyone could easily see her and they were all trying to get a picture," said one insider.

 

The ever-so ginger Lindsay and Sam once entered a Starbucks I was having a panic attack in. A hush fell over the crowd, and then I tried and failed to start a round of applause.

Most people have trouble meeting other people when they're famous, and while there's always John Mayer if you get really lonely, this trend is subsiding now that everyone is famous. Bob De Niro was yellling at some dude in the West Village the other day, and no one even stopped to look. They just twittered it and went on their way.

lindsay's myspace blog

If you keep denying something and never make a big deal out of it, eventually it will go away. To be fair, the first, best indication that Lindsay was a 'bian was her tumultuous relationship with Wilmer Valderrama. I'm too tired to look this up, but I'm ninety percent sure Wilmer is dating Kelly Osbourne or the Obama Girl right now.

has seth green ever not been murdered in Fuck Marry Kill?

Lindsay and Samantha fight a lot because Lindsay is very protective of Samantha and values her highly. (This is similar to my relationship with Lost.) It's too bad Say can't direct all those loyal feelings towards a concept like 'dignity' or at the very least to an organization like Mothers Against Drunk Driving.

To be fair, Lindsay is making steps. She's entered the tumultuous debate over Sarah Palin's daughter's bb with the following entreaty:

I've been watching the news all morning, like everyone else - and i keep hearing about the issues related to 'teen pregnancy'- It's all related to Sarah Palin and her 17 year old unmarried pregnant daughter. Well, I think the real problem comes from the fact that we are taking the focus off of getting to know Sarah Palin and her political views, and what she can do to make our country a less destructive place. Its distracting from the real issues, the real everyday problems that this country experiences.

I am concerned with the fact that Sarah Palin brought the attention to her daughter's pregnancy, rather than all world issues and what she believes she could possibly do to change them-if elected. I get Sarah Palin's views against abortion, but i would much prefer to hear more about what she can do for our country rather than how her daughter is going to have a child no matter what.

This is unrelated, but did you know Raven-Symoné and Lindsay once shared an apartment? How did that not get adapted into a hit sitcom? Do you think they ever open-mouthed kissed? I'm not one of those people that finds lesbians extra-special erotic. I find them intriguing because they're just like us.

Probably I am just jealous. Top five lesbians I would hit on successfully if I was also a sexy and discerning lesbian candy treat:

5. Ellen DeGeneres. I have wished this betch was str8 since With Friends Like These. I felt so betrayed. Every time she interviews former Bachelorette DeAnna Pappas, I hope it ends in a chaste but delicious kiss. Seriously though, I was crying like a baby when Ellen came out, but for a much different reason. I really thought she and I were going to run a bed-and-breakfast in Star's Hollow.

Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi wed this summer. We are always attracted to people that look like older, more butch versions of ourselves. Why do you think Paul McCartney was so into Heather Mills?

4. Bette on the L Word. Since I probably have a bette-r chance (see what I did there?) of getting with a fictional, lesbian version of Jennifer Beals than her actual str8 self, I'm going with Bette Porter. We both love art, and Marlee Matlin. How can this relationship not work out? Seventeen reasons why.

3. Barbara Jordan. As you saw in my recap of the ten best political speeches ever, Barbara Jordan and I almost fell in love and spent the rest of our lives with each other. There's just something about a person who breaks down barriers. Do you have any idea how much ass Rosa Parks got?

2. Post-Taxi Driver era Jodie Foster. I have gone to the trouble of constructing an elaborate LTM (Lesbian Time Machine). This machine does the impossible - not only does it send you directly back to the time of your choice with Terminator rules, but it also tuns you into an attractive Elisha Cuthbert-esque lesbian. I would bring this marvelous invention to market, but I'd probably get sued by the RIAA.


1. Tina Fey. But for Tina's butch "husband" Bob Tuna, I can't help but feel she and I would already be together. Most likely it would end with me crying in bed for two days like when pocketnovel flew to New York to bang Peter Knox

.

 

Alex Carnevale is the editor of This Recording. He is currently traveling back in time to get Joan of Arc's digits.

IMPORTANT LESBIANS IN HINDSIGHT

My high school english teacher

Either Tegan or Sara

Gertrude Stein

Willa Cather

Tucker Carlson

The rest of the cast of With Friends Like These:

Patton Oswalt

Alice B. Toklas

Lily Tomlin

Topher Grace

Mary Poppins (she used that snow globe as a vibrator, duh)

Barbara Bush

Mary Magdalene

Golda Meir (probably)

ENJOY THE MUSIC OF THE ONE KNOWN AS RONSON

"Kiss Me (edit)" - Samantha Ronson (mp3) (mediafire)

"If It's Gonna Rain" - Samantha Ronson (mp3) (mediafire)

"99 Problems (Sam Ronson remix)" - Jay-Z (mp3) (mediafire)

"Stop Me" - Mark Ronson (mp3)

"Valerie" - Mark Ronson ft. Amy Winehouse (mp3)

PREVIOUSLY ON THIS RECORDING

how come I never get to have a three-way with the cast of One Tree Hill?

No Cunnilingus For Oil Men

Woody Allen Sequels

Selma Diamond, Tallulah Bankhead, & Mary Tyler Moore

Sunday
Jun082008

In Which Amy Winehouse Oughta Be Ashamed

Dear Amy Winehouse

by Molly Lambert

Please stop doing drugs you're going to die soon

You are talented and you need
to stop throwing your life away
didn't u see Trainspotting?
did u not see the second half or something?

ur husband is a git and
he's not even that attractive

I promise u could find some other hot dude
u need to get away from him

he is going to go bald soon like
Jude Law went bald after
he shagged the nanny
Blake Fielder Civil is a Bobby Brown
u need to ditch him

also u need to stop smoking crack
and get a good dermatologist
because ur skin is coming off and
it's freaking everybody out
seriously

and don't say racist shit
come on now
seriously

are u mad
woman?

The damning scenes were filmed by her husband Blake Fielder-Civil, currently in prison facing trial for GBH and conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.

We were handed the explosive material by a former friend determined to show the world just what power Blake wields in manipulating the vulnerable young star.

On the word "Nips" Amy pulls her eyes into slits then pushes her boobs up in a gesture to her nipples. The girls' efforts are greeted warmly by Blake, who pledges: "Well done. I promise I wasn't recording it."

As the camera pans back we see a coffee table in front of Amy. On it are SIX cigarette lighters and what appears to be HEROIN on a foil - a typical druggie scene set for "chasing the dragon" by heating the drug from below then inhaling the smoke through a tube.

One of the new dossier of Amy pictures shows her in a smart flat surrounded by all the familiar junkie paraphernalia. On a table in front of the snarling star is a home-made crack pipe fashioned from a small brown bottle.

Silver foil-used for heating deadly rocks of crack cocaine — is strewn about. Amy, who has a worrying history of self-harm, is clearly seen with a mystery cut on her left hand.

Amy is out cold on a dog-eared purple couch in broad daylight while Blake records her slumber.

He says: "This is how you sleep when you haven't slept for two days. "I just want to film you sleeping. I think it's fascinating when people see how they sleep."

Eddie says: "Bit of E (ecstasy), little bit C (cocaine), and a few beers, watched telly, smoked crack." Some of the most bizarre photos show Blake and Amy horsing around on a bed, their faces almost touching, and swapping white tablets from mouth to mouth.

Another catches Amy, obviously out of her head and clutching her homemade crack pipe, as she turns hooded eyes, deadened by the drug, to the lens. In further scenes the depths the couple have sunk to is illustrated by the seedy sex scenes Blake was eager to record on video.

One shows a disinterested Amy pleasuring him with one hand while chatting matter-of-factly on a phone held in the other. Our source said: "What's really telling is Amy's clear lack of enthusiasm. From her demeanour, she looks under the influence and it appears Blake probably is too. Videoing something like that is so sleazy."

There's more shocking footage filmed in the public stairwell of a hotel. First Blake asks Amy to perform oral sex on him. A woozy-looking Amy asks: "Are you vidding (videoing)?" and Blake tells her to wink at the camera.

THE GREY GARDENS OF YOUTUBE FT. PETE DOHERTY

[youtube="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C4Yoa4cjw4o"]

THE WHEEL OF POWER AND CONTROL

"Now I Want To Sniff Some Glue" - The Ramones (mp3)

"Here Today, Gone Tomorrow" - The Ramones (mp3)

"I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend" - The Ramones (mp3)

Molly Lambert is managing editor of This Recording

PREVIOUSLY ON THIS BRITISH RECORDING

Steve Coogan

Ricky Gervais

Estelle

Wednesday
May282008

In Which Women Are Changing The Sex Industry From Inside

Lolita Talks

by MOLLY LAMBERT

"I am in the adult film scene for mainly one reason. On average, most of the porn I see is boring, and does not arouse me physically, or visually. There are only a handful of porn stars that continue to push the boundaries of what women are supposed to like, or be like in bed." - Sasha Grey

Sue Lyon and James Mason in Stanley Kubrick's Lolita

Pornography is a forty billion dollar a year business made largely by and for men. But the most famous porn stars are women, and the fact that they work in a studio system which treats them as largely replaceable and disposable commodities isn't lost on them. The people who make major money off of porn are mostly still men, but the industry's biggest stars are nearly all females.

Hannah Montana, naked teen in public posing for Annie Leibovitz

The sexually explicit porno-chic aesthetic that crossed into the mainstream long ago is still mostly engineered by gross old perverts like Terry Richardson, Larry Clark, and Richard Kern. But what about the young women being objectified by their cameras? The Miley Cyrus mishegoss was a rehash of the Britney Spears cover of Rolling Stone controversy. A manufactured scandal meant to titilate as much as to provoke outrage.

Miley Cyrus, bra-flashing in "private" (the internet is never private)

It is not (and never has been) shocking that people sexualize children, especially girls. It is not the pictures that rob these girls of their agency, it is the discussion around them. When an actually shocking story like the Austrian guy with the incest dungeon breaks, the public's repulsion is matched only by their lust for sordid details. The flip side of disgust is fascination.

Alice Liddell as "The Beggar Maid," photo by Lewis Carroll

The internet is a Pandora's Box for pornography, and shutting down provocative preteen modeling sites like Lil' Amber will not stop pederasty or the sexual exploitation of minors any more than banning Lolita would have. Shows like To Catch A Predator play on the desire that morally outrageous crimes be stopped, and encourages the public to think that modern society and its evils are somehow responsible for outbreaks of sin.

from American Apparel's children's section

But none of these problems are new. They occur behind closed doors in purposely antiquated settings like the FLDS, and reading any of the true crime records widely available online (or The Bible, for that matter) makes it obvious that most transgressions, no matter how hideous, have been happening for thousands for years. Which is not the same as deeming them acceptable.

Sex crimes and Silence in the FLDS, Big Love it is not

As with other things still somewhat socially entrenched as being "strictly for men" (sports, beer, video games, comedy, cars) women are equally interested in porn. It is an unavoidably widespread cultural phenomenon, and it's not like the people who most vocally criticize pornography aren't having (deviant) sex behind closed doors.

"Porn porn porn...This is some really good porn"

The reason Bettie Page is still so popular, especially with women and rockabillies, is because she sells fantasies with a smile that reminds you it's just fantasy. You still feel like Bettie's the one in charge. That's what makes it empowering rather than merely objectifying or degrading.

Bettie Page, strong sexuality without sadness

I find the actual brass tacks business aspects of the porn industry to be fascinating as it acts like a microcosm of the Hollywood studio system, with its own cults of personality and associated ego clashes. Maybe it's because I grew up in the San Fernando Valley, (the heart of the porn industry) as did Paul Thomas Anderson, who funneled his own obsession with the history and folklore of Porn Valley into magnificent opus Boogie Nights.

Traci Lords, fully clothed in the eighties

One of the things about Sasha Grey that makes her so fascinating is how she bucks the traditional porn star narrative. She is not on drugs, does not come from an abusive background, has not had any plastic surgery. Sasha is like a legal version of teenage porn star Traci Lords, who was able to gain control of her career (and bank account) by taking her producers to court while letting critics decry that she had been manipulated by the business.

Jenna Jameson, putting her porno war paint on

The porn industry traditionally builds its stars by offering them in progressively more outré scenarios. Some actresses will do strictly solo and lesbian scenes for years before ever having onscreen heterosexual sex. This allows publicity-hungry porn studios to market the increasingly more intense plateaus of a porn star's career as "events," in order to hype the films in which they occur. Jenna Jameson, the most mainstream porn actress, had a long list of things she would not consider doing onscreen.

Sasha Grey, way more than barely legal

The stages of a porn star's career are usually that as she gets older (and more famous), she gets blonder, the implants progressively bigger, the make-up more caked on, and the sex acts become more degrading. But Sasha Grey started her career doing the things Jenna Jameson still won't do onscreen. Since Grey already does nearly every hardcore thing consumers might want to see her do, she is selling a new kind of porn stardom.

Miley Cyrus, totally still so underage

You cannot degrade Grey, because she has already "degraded" herself. And while porn is a world where violence against women is explicitly coded in the amount of pain and submission involved in some sex acts, Sasha exudes control even in the most sadistic situations. And in doing so, she rejects the idea that what she is doing is degrading. Because although much of her work still has her playing Lolitas, what she is selling is a ubiquitous fantasy, and everyone involved is (in reality) a consenting adult.

Britney, not a virgin when this was taken

Besides, Sasha is doing all this within the context of porn. She is running for AVN star of the year, not the Senate. Rape fantasies are not the same thing as actual rape, nor do they actually encourage rape as a practice. Women's pornography as a genre is still in its infancy. But maybe girls wouldn't feel so weird and conflicted about their sexuality if there was porn made for them instead of just about them?

Lolicon, controversial pedophilia-themed manga genre

Some feminist critics would argue that this is a horribly dangerous idea, that empowerment through taking one's clothes off on camera is not a great long-term strategy for garnering respect. Diablo Cody's journalistic experiment with stripping and sex work divided Jezebel commenters into two oppositional camps, many of whom could not reconcile innate writing talent with a desire to disrobe for strange men.

Diablo Cody, feeling sexy looking steampunk

I don't really think Diablo got into sex work specifically with winning an Oscar in mind. She's most similar to other famously witty ladies of burlesque like Lili St. Cyr and Gypsy Rose Lee (and flapper writer Anita Loos, who didn't strip but was an awesome slut as I discussed here), in that she seems well-aware of all the conflicting messages this sends out. I imagine she endorses that young women hoping to write movies jump on the powerbook rather than the pole. Or as I like to put it, do as I blog, not as I do.

Gypsy Rose Lee, you gotta have a gimmick

Sasha Grey's plan for world domination involves her desire to unionize the industry and to direct porn that is more cinematic. As far as feminist porn goes, I predict it becomes the next boom in the adult industry (the current popular trendlet is POV Porn). Women are a huge virtually untapped audience for pornography and it's not like they aren't already watching it online anyway.

Absolutely Fabulous's Dirty Old Women

In her Richard Kern Vice shoot Sasha says what she intends to do as a director and Kern basically laughs it off. He claims no one would want to see narrative porn when what he means is "I, Richard Kern, do not care about narrative in porn." It's not that women hate hardcore (they don't), there's a way to do it so that it isn't totally exploitative. Even something like queening can be filmed in a way that won't demean the participants. What makes the bulk of what's available so unappealing to women is the humorlessness and self-seriousness, the continuing focus on money shots as the be-all and end-all point of pornography.

Sasha Grey, the birthday girl

It's not even the sex acts in porn that are really degrading, it's the way the girls are treated on (and off) screen. All we're asking for really, are more attractive male porn stars (the least creepy one is Lex Steele), just some cute non-tatted dudes without gross spray-on tans or ponytails, and for better made porn that appeals to a wider range of interests. Is that really so much to ask?

Female Friendly Porn Stars Making Female Friendly Porn

(NSFW, obviously, unless you work in an Adult Bookshop)

Belladonna: Grew up in Salt Lake City, Utah in a Mormon household. Has appeared in over 250 adult films, most of them anal-themed. Retired from performing in 2007 after getting herpes only to unretire a few months later. Just won her first AVN award for directing Belladonna: Manhandled 2.

Tristan Taormino: Anal sex expert, graduated with a Bachelor's degree in American Studies from Wesleyan University and edits the occasional compilation of queer erotica. Former editor of lesbian porn mag On Our Backs. She is the niece of Thomas Pynchon, and probably sees his rarely glimpsed face at Thanksgiving (this is speculation).

Joanna Angel: Runs her own alt-porn empire called Burning Angel, was raised in northern New Jersey as an Orthodox Jew, went to Rutgers University and earned a BA in English Literature with a minor in Film Studies. Occasionally mistaken for fellow Hebraic sex enthusiast Sarah Silverman.

Molly Lambert is the managing editor of This Recording

Feminists For Free Expression

Eva Angelina

Melissa Gira

Rachel Kramer Bussel

Annabel Chong

Being Amber Rhea

Gracie's Playground

Violet Blue's Tiny Nibbles

Dana DeArmond

Susie Bright

Betty Dodson

Heather Corinna

Nina Hartley

Annie Sprinkle

Joani Blank

Candida Royalle

Carol Queen

Inga Muscio

Sexerati

A Feminist Defense Of Pornography

Babeland

Blowfish

Good For Her

Scarleteen

Essin Em

Bound, Not Gagged

Mint Jelly

Smitten Kitten

The Sex Carnival

Boinkology

make/shift

Feminism Without Clothes

Sex Workers Outreach Program

Defend Our Porn

Objectify This

MARY MAGDALENE WAS A NEW WAVE HOOKER

"Darklands" - The Jesus and Mary Chain (mp3)

"Head On" - The Jesus and Mary Chain (mp3)

"Blues from a Gun" - The Jesus and Mary Chain (mp3)

PREVIOUSLY ON THIS RECORDING

Voluptuous Pink Braniac Jayne Mansfield

Lena Chen Defines The Overshare

Alex Used To Post Mad Pin-Ups

Friday
May232008

In Which That's Probably Just Ice Cream On Your Mouth

It Is Only Sex

by Alex Carnevale

Yesterday Harvard sex bloggeur Lena Chen posted a picture of herself with her boyfriend's semen on her face.

This image called the collective bluff of people who pretend to be open-minded. It proved that the Victorian streak running through those educated at higher institutions, while largely irreligious, is still trumpeting a dated, outdated conception of female sexuality.

Camille Paglia made this point about feminism in her critique of their critique of pornography. As she told Playboy, "The problem with America is that there's too little sex, not too much. The more our instincts are repressed, the more we need sex, pornography and all that. The problem is that feminists have taken over with their attempts to inhibit sex." It is astonishing that this still goes on today.

Posts by other sex bloggers lambasted Chen. "This time she's gone too far!" The reaction of the prudes was mind-numblingly predictable. Liberals and conservatives have finally found common ground in the War Against Semen!

If you're going to say what happens, you say what happens. Semen is a part of life.

The outrage to the photograph is all the more pathetic when taken in concert with the explicit nature of Chen's previous musings on the subject of sex. Sex scene:

His name was what I said the most, and I ground it out between my teeth with a ferocity reserved for sex that happened for sex’s sake. Behind me, he breathed hard and I squeezed my legs together and he sucked in his breath even harder. He was large and slick and filled me deeper than comfortable. But I liked it that way. Half-breathless he asked, “Is this okay?” and I silently winced but nodded at the courtesy. Straddling him would have made it easier, but the only time I was happy on top was when my mouth was on his cock, taking him down inch by inch and lapping him up again with the tip of my tongue. So instead, I found contentment on my stomach, on my back, and on my knees, as I dug deeper into his sheets and asked him, gasping, to fuck me harder.

Through Chen's prolific blogging, you get to know this young, ethnically Chinese woman. She is dating some kind of native German graduate student whose apartment she lives in, and she finds herself deeply in love. Yet she is a young one, and she has trouble drawing boundaries. Her dabbling in bulimia and sex and abstinence all suggests that she feels most comfortable when she is made comfortable in some way, by someone. She also has a sweet dog.

chen and julia allison

"All Fall Down" - OneRepublic (mp3)

Ms. Chen's current website, The Ch!cktionary, is a fairly comprehensive picture of her life. The revelation that she has an even more private blog than this one is shocking. What could she put in it?

Although at various times she appears chagrined at the connection between her public life and private life - even swearing that her best friends don't even read her blog - if someone as smart Emily Gould can be naïve about that perilous intersection, so too can Ms. Chen. She posts images of her paramour, and yesterday she contrasted her awesome facial with an unfettered declaration of the meaning of love.

She reacted to the outrage:

Is this really such a big fucking deal? Compared to some of the other things I’ve written lately, a photo of me with semen on my lips is not exactly deserving of controversy. I’m not even naked. Sure, some people might find it gross and consider it porn regardless of nudity (that’s up to every individual), but you really find cum more objectionable than my views on religion? Maybe that means everyone agrees with my views on religion but no one agrees with my post-blowjob photo. But somehow, I doubt that the silence on the religion issue is because everyone concurs. I think sex is just easier to get upset about.

[snip]

Look, I have no “mission” in writing about sex, but I sure hope that by the time I close up shop as a sex writer, the act is considered a little more common and a little less sacred. If I’m going to piss people off, I hope it’s because I proposed something radical in terms of the way our society deals with race or gender or religion. There are so many things WORTH getting upset about, that are worth sending me angry emails, that are worth your disagreement and outrage. This photo? Not so much.

To break down cultural taboos about sexuality is a noble act, and Chen devotes her life to it. There is really nothing so mysterious or wrong about a naked woman. There is a vicious rumor we are all like that under our clothes.

Her critics, meanwhile, compare her to interpretive abortionist Aliza Shvarts. Giving a blowjob isn't like faking an abortion, and it's shameful to suggest there's a similarity. "That doesn't change the minds of people we want to convince," the faux-open minded whine. I have no idea who they believe they are engaged in battle with, but the fact remains that they spend most of their time preaching to the choir.

We are primitives, thinking sex could still hold mystery in itself. It doesn't. It's the basic reproductive function of human life. Other beings enjoy rich sex lives without shame. Thanks to organized
religion for providing us with that ancient concept.

"Won't Stop" - OneRepublic (mp3)

lena's tat

Talking about sex in an honest way has a psychological benefit to our culture. The men who run this country - Clinton, Spitzer, JFK - continue to sacrifice whatever good they might have achieved at the expense of their desires. If we do not demystify sex, it controls us. Those in the public limelight will emerge unscathed with their wealth. It is young men and women without means who can't afford to be its victims.

In the meantime, it will be the most purportedly liberal people who prove to be the most closed minded. There's just something wrong with that, they sneer. Their inborn sense of the moral objects. It takes a lot of balls to be snobbier than a matriculating undergraduate at the dumbest university in the world.

Alex Carnevale is the editor of This Recording.

"Say (All I Need)" - OneRepublic (mp3)

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