Megan Andelloux is a new hero of mine. Not only did she found the Center for Sexual Pleasure and Health, but her The Three P’s of Porn: Pleasure, Politics, and Personhood workshop yielded one of the best lines of the convention:
“People want to see their genitals on your face.”
Being a straight-A student type, I also have to brag that I won a vibrator from her for having this to say about food shopping as an analogy for porn:
“Well, I try to shop at the co-op for most things, but, there are things that aren’t so good for me, and I want to eat them anyway.”
Her conclusion was that it’s best to work for ethical pornography, that is, porn that represents many points of view and in which the performers have good working conditions and are doing things that they like to do.
(Queer Porn TV is a great example. In a later panel on Feminist Porn, dreamboat producer Tina Horn had this to say about genuine expressions of sexuality: “When people are given the freedom to do what they want, they do the nastiest shit I have ever seen.”)
Megan’s talk also included this video, which reminds me very much of some spanking-related conversations between me and Sweetie.
But what really knocked my socks off about Ms. Andelloux is that she let me ask her a really personal question in the restroom while she was in the middle of brushing her teeth. A friend of mine had texted and asked me to ask the sexperts if there’s anything that can be done about the sexual side effects of antidepressants—in this case, taking a superlong time to reach orgasm.
She said that there are anti-depressants that don’t have sexual side effects, but that people often don’t know that they can ask for them. Often the psychiatrist says
“This has some sexual side effects.”
and the patient says
This makes me feel very pissed off and bratty and reminds me of what the Milgrim experiments taught us about our general willingness to follow authority.
For my part, I feel conflicted about antidepressants anyway. I’ve always refused them myself, figuring that if I was sad, there must be a reason, and I should change the circumstances instead of changing my body chemistry. On the other hand, I have friends who say they’re helpful, and I’m a big fan of my friends being happy and alive.
Either way, though, it seems really counterproductive to take away or impede something as happy-making as orgasms in order to chemically create more well being. It really seems to me that if genuine happiness were made a priority, lots of people could cut out the drugs and produce well-being for themselves.