Following on from today's Heresy Corner article on the impact of ubiquitous hardcore porn on the nation's children and teenagers, I'd like to share with you a little talk by Cindy Gallop, delivered at the free-thinking but ever-so-slightly cultish TED.
Drawing on her personal experience with younger lovers (she cheerfully admits her cougarish proclivities) Cindy tackled a standard pornographic cliché: "My concern is particularly with the young girl whose boyfriend wants to come on her face. She does not want him to come on her face, but hardcore porn has taught her that all men love coming on women's faces, all women love having their faces come on, and therefore that she must let him come on her face, and she must pretend to like it."
That sounds plausible enough. But I can offer an equal and opposite experience. A close friend (all right, it was me) was once in bed with a woman and enquired what turned her on, sexually speaking. She replied that she liked it when men came on her face. "Surely not," I protested. "Men only come on women's faces in porn." My theory, I continued - I talk more or less how I blog, I'm afraid - was that the whole coming on women's faces thing was an invention of the porn industry, serving the practical function of externalising the act of ejaculation. I believe I actually used the verb "externalise". And now (by this time I was channelling Cindy Gallop) young girls habituated to porn pretended to like it when their boyfriends (who, equally cluelessly, got the idea from porn that coming on the girl's face was just something they were meant to do).
"Oh no", said my companion, who was no ingenue and, like me, remembered the days before internet porn, "I like it when men come on my face." "Not really my thing," I lamented.
Needless to say, the relationship was doomed.