Porn is often accused of lack of realism – and of being chock full of old clichés.
Well, pornographers deal with fantasies, and of course fantasies aren’t realistic (if they were, they wouldn’t be fantasies). And any kind of popular culture soon develops a certain number of clichés – not due to lack of imagination, but because they work. Yes, the pornographic universe seems to employ its citizens solely in the positions of pizza delivery boys, nurses, police officers and French maids – but evidently, that’s the kind of characters that can easily be coaxed into a sexual encounter. So be it – I have no problem with that.
On the other hand, I feel very strongly about breaking taboos. To me, that’s one of the main sources of arousal. In the days of adult movie theaters, one of those in London had a poster outside saying “If you’re shocked by the sight of actual copulation, please do not enter!” Whoever wrote that poster didn’t understand the appeal of pornography. Somehow, somewhere, we need that slight tinge of outrage when wieving it: “Ohmigod, they’re actually fucking. And ohmigod, I’m sitting here watching it!”
So why, oh why, are so many sex scenes still taking place in bed? Whatever twisted storyline or situation, whatever fancy costumes – they invariably end up in the sheets. This is perhaps even more apparent in the current wave of “porn for women” (or “white porn as a friend of mine calls it, due to its repeated use of tasteful interiors – and of course freshly laundered white sheets).
But there is nothing taboo about a bedroom. Give me a sex scene in a neon-lit alley, a murky dungeon, a coolly lit airplane cabin – anything that’s a little bit different, breaks a bit of a taboo, and brings the “shock” back in “actual copulation”.
Dear pornographers: Can 2016 please be the year when we retire the bed?