‘breasts’

Michelle, Her Breasts, & the Male Gaze

I have a close friend in Santa Cruz, a therapist named Michelle, with whom I have lunch once a month. It’s usually pretty glorious, with several conversations going on at once—professional, personal, political, and mmm-this-bagel-is-perfect-isn’t-it. Yesterday we talked about women’s breasts. We were talking about breasts as symbols of sexuality—whether their owner wants that or not. We reminisced back to junior high school—when Michelle (in California) already had adult-sized breasts, and I (in New York) just gawked at such things wherever they were, whenever I could. Like a large number of early-teen boys, I was so overwhelmed by how amazing…

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Nine Absolutely Untrue Myths About Porn—And One Fact We Can All Agree On

Opinions about porn are like noses—everybody has one. But varying opinions are so contradictory, they can’t all be right. We actually do know a lot about contemporary porn’s use and effects, so let’s get some knowable facts out on the table. * Myth: Porn is mostly violent and misogynist. * Fact: Most porn shows happy, smiling people doing fairly ordinary things. A lot of porn shows happy, smiling (and perhaps sweaty) people doing exotic things. And some porn shows adults pretending to play dominance and submission games. Pretending? Yes. The actors and actresses are acting. * Myth: Watching porn causes…

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The Myth of Porn’s Perfect Bodies

Among the complaints I repeatedly hear about porn is that it features perfect female bodies, which supposedly makes male consumers lose interest in normal, imperfect bodies. Normal imperfect bodies, of course, are what most men are limited to in real life. People who watch a lot of porn don’t say this. Only those unfamiliar with actual porn say it, because it simply isn’t true. Sure, many porn consumers seek out and enjoy conventionally perfect bodies—young, blemish- and wrinkle-free, incredibly round where they’re round, as smooth and firm as polished teak where they’re smooth and firm. But an enormous percentage of…

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Talking Mary Out of a Boob Job

I’m seeing this couple, John & Mary. Very nice people. They came in last summer because he’d hardly ever have sex with her. Periodically she would get so depressed or angry that she’d get blind drunk and behave poorly—humiliate him in public, black out at parties, spend a few days in bed eating donuts. “I wouldn’t do this if you’d have sex with me,” she’d say. “You can’t expect me to have sex with you when you periodically behave so badly,” he’d say. They’d been doing this for over two years. Lots of anger, almost no sex. But after six…

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