Porn, I Say, Porn!

April 20, 2011 at 5:04 pm 3 comments

Let’s talk porn stars.  Or adult entertainers if you will.  What do you think when I say “porn?”  My answers: fake, blonde, fake, boobs, fake, pouty lips, fake, moans.  Do you see a pattern here? My  image of an adult entertainer is pretty stereotypical and centers all around one word: fake.

Now, why am I pondering porn stars? It’s not due to some deep fascination with the adult film industry or anything.  It’s just that I recently saw one in person, and it was like woah.  I said it: “Like Woah!”

Monday night my college put on one of our most attended talks of the year.  I am talking huge crowds here.  Was our speaker a politician, a humanitarian, a bestselling author?  No.  Our speaker was Bobbi Starr, an adult entertainer.  According to Wikipedia, a great source for all thing 100% true, Bobbi Starr is Big News.  CNBC recently named her one of the “Dirty Dozen: Porn’s Most Popular Stars.”  Obviously, she is someone who my elite liberal arts college was just dying to bring in to talk to their students.  And that was sarcasm.

But here’s the thing.  When Bobbi Starr walked on that stage, I was like, “Hold the phone. Wait, what?”  Where was the fake blond hair?  The fake collagen lips?  The too big boobs? The risqué outfit?  The stereotypical porn star image that I have in my mind?

Bobbi Starr was none of those things.  She’s a pretty, brunette, natural girl next door.  Moreover, she has a college degree.  She’s smart.  She stable.  She has a boyfriend. She’s eloquent.  She’s funny.  My world was seriously rocked.  She was nothing at all what I expected.  Starr wasn’t forced into the industry.  She has other options.  She wants to have a family someday.  She was just a woman, a witty, smart, cute woman.

During her talk, Starr (Bobbi? Ms. Starr? Bobbi Starr? how do you address an adult entertainer?) raised some questions.  Standing up there in front of professors, students, High Brow enthusiasts, she read off a dictionary.com definition:

por·nog·ra·phy [pawr-nog-ruh-fee]

–noun

1. obscene writings, drawings, photographs, or the like, especially those having little or no artistic merit.

Hmmm.  I mean the definition makes sense.  But it seems a little subjective, moral.  Starr used that definition to discuss society’s sexual hang-ups.  Porn is “obscene,” meaning “distributing” or “repulsive.”  Conversely, murder is defined just part of the “law.”  Now, I am not exactly some porn-advocate.  I mean I can honestly say that I had never even heard of Bobbi Starr before this talk.  Moreover, I confess that I have never even seen an adult film.  But I do have some problems with these different definitions.

And this friends is how we go from porn to romance novels….

Are romance novels porn? I mean they seem to fit the definition from dictionary.com.  They’re written.  They deal have content that contains a sexual nature.  My professors and classmates certainly see them as having “little or no artistic merit.”  So by this definition are they pornography?

I certainly don’t think so.  But I’ve met people who do. Once my poor, poor father was brought into an altercation with my friend Lindsey’s parent over my “inappropriate” reading habits.  I had lent my friend a copy of Iris Johansen‘s The Search. A romantic suspense.  Her mom found and it and flipped-out. I mean Flipped. The F***. Out.

My BFF's mom searched for this book and found it under the bed!

She cornered my father when he came to pick Lindsey up, waving that paperback in the air and ranting about “filth” and “trash” and “porn,” telling my father he needed to censor my reading.  My dear father replies: “Good! She can read whatever she wants! I wish it was porn.”   And that is why I love my father.

But come on.  How may times have people called romances “smutty” and “trashy?”  I hear it all the time!  Just yesterday my roommate tried to convince me that they are porn.  She was like, “Lizzie, you read porn all the time.”  It doesn’t matter if all romance novels don’t necessarily contain sex.  They don’t! Don’t believe me? Check out one of my favorite blogs Clean Romance Reviews.  It’s a great site! Romance reviews for books that are romance but without the bedroom scenes.

I read romances for the passion and emotion.  That idea that love isn’t dead and that people can care about each other.  My favorite part is the build-up, the getting to know each other, the dialogue.  I love how the characters express their emotions.  Sure, most of the romances I read do have steamy scenes, but life has steamy scenes.  Romances aren’t about random, meaningless sexual encounters.  They’re about relationships. To be porn or not to be porn that is the question.

Romantic Question: What do you think, dearest friend? Are romances more than just sex or are they porn? Furthermore, why do you read (or why don’t you read) romances?  You know my answer…

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Entry filed under: Ramblings on Romance, Random Life of Lizzie. Tags: , , , .

A Highland Laird….Yum And By Camping You Mean Resort?

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Spencer A. Freeman  |  April 20, 2011 at 7:31 pm

    To hell with the naysayers! Romance books are NOT porn — they’re idealistic, realistic, fun, heart-warming, touching…NOT porn. Maybe, if those who snub their nose actually READ one, they’d realize that there’s a lot more to them than what their little hypocritical minds think. And as for having no artistic merit — I totally disagree. Not only can they be well-written and artistic, but many of them also hold moral value.

    And now I will step off my soapbox 😉

    Reply
    • 2. Lizzie Poteet  |  April 20, 2011 at 9:36 pm

      Lol. It was a nice soapbox to be on. I keep trying to argue that the intent behind reading romances does not parallel the intent behind watching porn. But maybe that’s me in my naivety?

      Reply
  • 3. Stephanie  |  April 21, 2011 at 11:15 am

    Romance is not porn. As you said above, there is a whole different reason to watch porn than there is in reading a romance novel. Romance is about the emotion, the story, the journey between two people. Porn is focused solely on the act of sex. Romance novels have varying degrees of sexuality, and sex is a part of life…no question there. I’ve read every level of “heat” from the sweet to the sensual, to full blown erotic romance. But even with the erotic stuff…there is still a story..a romantic journey between two people (or sometimes three! I read a great menage series where all three were in love with each other.). The sex has a point…it’s not there just to entertain someone for fifteen minutes.

    Reply

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