Could porn be used to start social change?

By Dr Nikki Goldstein

People often wonder what I do day to day being a Sexologist, and sometimes it involves watching porn (I know tough job hey). My latest viewing was a scene written by our Aussie porn star Angela White, “The weight of infidelity.” However, this movie directed by Bree Mills for Pure Taboo, is being tipped as not just your average titillating movie, but one where arthouse meets porn and speaks loudly to relevant and challenging social issues. But wait, isn’t porn just for getting off? Where we are all so quick to dismiss porn as a tool used for sexual fantasy, even I didn’t think a porn film could have a larger impact like this, and I was wrong.

It follows the story line of a man, Tommy Pistol, who is married to Angela White and puts pressure on her to lose weight. Angela, wanting to please her husband goes to all lengths including purging only to come home one day and find her husband in bed with another woman, BBW star Karla Lane. She is confused and hurt by not only the infidelity but the fact that he wants Angela to lose weight yet is in bed with a larger woman. Porn stars are not normally commended for the acting abilities, but Angela allows the viewer to feel her confusion and pain. In a visually bizarre scene, Tommy being a ‘feedie’ (a fetish for feeding women to gain control), erotically feeds Karla cupcakes whilst engaging in sexual intercourse. Angela also experienced a confusing fantasy where she also feeds Karla whilst having sex with her. Angela eventually confronts this other woman and they soon get their revenge. Whilst it contains themes of infidelity and body shaming, it’s the control this man seeks over these women that speaks loudest, something very relevant today and that many people have first-hand experience with.

I wasn’t sure at first if this was something I could cover in the main stream, but after a few discussions, soon realised how the intent of this film was to start conversations for social change, and that’s the import fact. It was also one tweet from Angela White herself that highlighted how this porn scene is more relevant than what first meets the eye. “This scene explores the ways idealised body types can be used as means of power, control, and dominance.” After many discussions with Angela herself about body image, it’ easy to see how she has used her art form to push such as important issues to such a large audience as those who consume porn.

In a society where we all have a right to an opinion but many choose to keep those opinions ‘safe’. The porn industry, thanks to already being an industry that pushes the boundaries, is not scared to confront an audience for the sake of highlighting common and relevant issues. It’s not sugar coating it (unless we are taking about the cupcakes) and there is no hashtag or campaign attached. Sometimes it takes confronting people to start real change. What’s even more interesting about this movie is unlike many others on the pure taboo website, this scene is being offered for free in the hope that people will watch, not only to be turned on but to be challenged. It’s beautifully disturbing for a greater intent whilst still at times being able to deliver a tingle in your pants. Who said encouraging social change had to be boring?

Many are concerned about the false projection that porn can portray. Whilst the sex scenes are still porn like, the characters display a real representation of many people in society, both in terms of their looks and their issues in relationships and in life. This is leaps and bounds from the days of a blonde buxom beauty banging pirates and pizza delivery men (which, don’t worry, is still available). This represents that within an industry that has being blamed for bad role modelling and negative body image, someone such as Bree and Angela are using this same industry to push important issues and hopefully motivate change.

And instead of reviewing breast, penises sizes and who has the best orgasm face, porn critics are even weighing in on the social matters too. Apache Warrior states that, “Society will be a better place when everyone recognises that women are beautiful regardless of their weight. Don Juan DeMarko also contends that, “This is a film that showcases a subject no one wants to talk about. It is a story that may truly be what defines a generation in certain ways but also is something that may simply break the barrier that so many believe exists within the adult film industry and its members. Patrick Parker also agrees stating, “It’s not often that porn makes you think. The weight of infidelity goes beyond porno fetish and explores the unhealthy effects of body shaming. And the online community spoke loudly too, with twitter flooded of positive comments and praise for the honesty of this film.

In a world where reality TV is at an all-time high, influences are being followed more closely than religion and we all seem to be suffering from a degree of FOMO from the false projections we receive, it’s important to have honest footage that represents real issues. Considering how widely porn is consumed these days (probably gaining more views than any reality show or influencer) it might just be the most effective place to put putting these confronting scenes and important issues.

If you decide to check this scene out, it comes with a warning. You might never look at cup-cakes the same ever again, but maybe you might at least look at porn a little differently too.

Follow MAXIM Sexologist, Dr Nikki Goldtstein:

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