Open Sauce: A Critical Conversation

Nor: Not at all, I think that there is forever a tension between the two. We are never fully autonomous, and we are never fully merged. The point at which we hover between the two is, for me, the definition of eroticism. The 'interface' with an other, if you like. I like this definition of the erotic because it expands to include the political and the spiritual, too. And so, to try and create such an interface in the writing of porn seems like a fitting way to tackle the subject of sexuality.

rocky1690 (Respected Member Lvl. 4) joined the room

rocky1690: hi Lasophielle

Nor: We expect erotica to be an escape - people even talk of 'using' porn, as if it's a tool. And yet, the movement for more realistic erotica that appeals to women - e.g. that which includes 'real' emotions, people, etc. in some senses contradicts this wish for an escape.

rocky1690 left the room

Nor: The process, which is happening in Open Sauce too, is, as I said, messy. It's more like real sex, where you actually have to confront other people's desires and decide whether to incorporate, ignore or adapt them. Perhaps it's less of a turn-on, but perhaps there is more power in it than 'plugging into' a pre-fabricated fantasy.

Lasophielle: On that note - by the way - I was just oscillating on the cusp of saying hello to rocky1690. Interesting that s/he didn't want to speak to you, Nor.

Nor: (Yes - I think it's because I set my gender to 'male' whereas you are claiming to be 'female'! I guess that is a good example of the 'filtering of fantasies' we were just discussing.)

Lasophielle: That way of defining an interface between two humans, and that way of defining the erotic, makes a lot of instinctive sense to me. Escapism versus realism is also an extremely pertinent line of apparent conflict to bring in. In many spheres of representational life - advertising, film, fiction - "feminism" seems to carry with it a certain injunction against the divine, the extra-human, the aspirational of fantastical. It carries with it visions (still! in 2011!) of hairy legs (which aren't coded as all that great) and above all of compromise.

chris99999 (Respected Member Lvl. 4) joined the room chris99999: wow! Nor: hi chris :-) chris99999: hi!

Nor: go on Sophielle

chris99999: way way over my head here

Nor: how would you define 'the erotic', chris?

chris99999: me? i wouldn't

Lasophielle: What bores me most of all is the idea that adventure, madness, frenzy, scandalous, active, knock-about sex isn't good for women. Sex for women is - by implication - snuggly, breathy, perhaps even a bit hippie/pseudo-tantric ...

Lasophielle: Hi Chris!

chris99999: hey las !

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Nor: (This is exactly what i mean - this is becoming like a complicated threesome!)

Lasophielle: The "feminism" of that vision is - presumably - that the hetero male involved compromises on his desires for all kinds of adventures, in order to reach his lady.

Nor: Yes - M&B tell their writers that the heroine has to subdue the hero, ie seduce him into domesticity.

chris99999: wow i think that happened to me

Nor: yeah?

chris99999: sounds a whole lot like marriage

Nor: ?

chris99999: seduced him into domesticity

Lasophielle: The feminism I find interesting is a libidinous, monstrous, polymorphous kind ... I'm personally kind of interested in submission, Mills & Boon would be pleased to know. I'm learning how to trust myself sufficiently to subdue and awe my lovers ...

chris99999: bye guys, have fun

chris99999 left the room

Lasophielle: Bye Chris! Sorry this wasn't so much you cup of domestic tea.

marisha28 (Super VIP Member Lvl. 6) joined the room

Lasophielle: oh boy. Marisha. We're discussing feminism and the erotic.

marisha28: whats opensauce?

marisha28: oh cool

Lasophielle: Hi!

marisha28: hie sophielle

Nor: take a look -

marisha28: okie

Lasophielle: Brilliant. We'll keep on discussing then - feel free to dip your fingers in to the discussion!

Nor: This forum is great Sophielle, I think your instinct was right.

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Nor: There's a saying that sex is like getting someone else to blow your nose for you. I think using these open fora to try and articulate something sexual really illustrates that - whether it's chat, like this, or a wiki like Open Sauce. You start to get into the groove, go off on a tangent, and there are all these interruptions. The reality, and the otherness, of the other always intrudes!