Porn is about male fantasy. The fantasy is that women like everything you do to them, as man.
So how does this translate into real life? Women spend a lot of time and energy trying to please men. We learn early on that we are being looked at – that we are to be looked at. That we are performers. It took years before I actually started enjoying sex. YEARS. I think what I enjoyed most about sex, when I was younger, was the feeling of being desired. The actual sex part was super boring for the first while.
We learn, as girls and women, that the performance is more important than the actual feeling."
goddamn this is the truth.
so accurate, goddamnit.
Certainly women bare the brunt of social sexual politics, but I don’t think a lot of this article applies only to women, and would say that a lot of these feelings of inadequacy are rampant across both sexes. That last sentence in particular strikes me as being as gender-neutral as they come when it comes to generational bedroom problems. I’ve experienced that feeling myself and talked to a few guys (the few I’m comfortable talking in-depth to about their sex lives) who’ve gone through exactly the same thing. Also, while people are certainly influenced by pornography in the bedroom and will do things out of an obligation to “sexiness” all too frequently, I don’t think anyone actually comes around to enjoying a particular sexual act just because they saw a lot of it in porn; in that regard the author is misguided in her critique of that “my orgasms are a politics-free zone” statement. There are valuable things to think about here but none of them seem terribly well realized.
I know how obnoxious it is to have some yahoo going BUT WHAT ABOUT THE MEN when articles like these are circulated but I think that this issue, in particular, is one that needs to be recognized and attacked in both genders if it’s going to be put to rest.
As an aside, I hate how every article being these days is written in Tumblr-Speak, even at places like The Atlantic. I understand that you’re trying to relate to your audience but…try a little harder. You can do better than writing statements in all-caps and adding “guys” to the end of your sentences.
[I’ve been ranting too much about sex articles recently]
What is Heartbreak?
Heartbreak is a physiological, mental and spiritual condition that halts the human body from functioning in any useful capacity in the areas of mind, body and soul.
What causes Heartbreak?
Heartbreak is caused by the deterioration or termination of affections, or the perception of affections, between one or more parties in a romantic context. The atrophy of affections can be caused by any number of factors, including distance, death, betrayal, hostile altercations and the simple passage of Time. Affections do not have to be mutual in order for their dissolution to induce Heartbreak and are frequently present only in one party, or else present in both parties but much weaker in one than in the other.
What are the symptoms of Heartbreak?
Symptoms of Heartbreak are known to include listlessness, sudden convulsions, unexplained sobbing, compulsive masturbation, shortness of breath, nightmares, urge to self-harm, fear of friends, fear of the sun, fear of reflective surfaces, an inability to remove oneself from the floor, malnutrition, and drooling. Heartbreak sufferers may feel a sensation akin to a melting star burning through the top of their chest and down into their stomach. Heartbreak sufferers may also become acutely aware of their lives as defined by cycles of decay that masquerade as ones of growth, which may cause the sufferer to be overwhelmed by a suffocating aura of hopelessness. Heartbreak sufferers may carry the constant sensation of being mocked by a hateful, unseen cosmic entity whose only purpose is to see that they die in a state of misery and capitulation.
Is Heartbreak contagious?
Heartbreak can cause worry and discomfort in friends, family and passers-by who come into contact with those suffering from Heartbreak, but Heartbreak is noncommunicable from Heartbroken parties to those not involved romantically with the sufferer. Heartbreak can only be spread between parties where there is romantic affection present in at least one person for the other.
Is Heartbreak lethal?
Heartbreak is rarely a fatal condition but can become so depending on how strong the case is to begin with and how long it remains untreated. A lethal case of Heartbreak is almost indistinguishable from depression and in most cases should be treated as such (the causal link between the two is still a source of contention among many medical professionals around the world).
How can I avoid Heartbreak?
You can not avoid Heartbreak.
Is there a cure for Heartbreak?
There is no known cure for Heartbreak; however, it is a highly treatable condition that often abates of its own accord after enough time has passed. Heartbreak can take anywhere from hours to years to recede depending on the case, but there are a multitude of remedies that one can take to hasten the recovery process no matter the severity. Recommended treatments for Heartbreak include listening to good music at a high volume, physical exertion, the company of one or two understanding friends with good heads on their shoulders, reading, screaming, and occasional breaks from stimulation where one can simply stare at the wall and gain some perspective. Contrary to common wisdom, alcohol is not recommended as a treatment for Heartbreak.
Is there anything else I should know about Heartbreak?
Heartbreak is rarely as serious as the sufferer may perceive it to be and frequently leaves the sufferer with a stronger immunity to it once it has passed. It should be noted, however, that even though symptoms may recede entirely, this should not be taken as 100% indication that Heartbreak has fully left the body. Frequent introspection and a willingness to trust without leaving one’s emotions entirely at the whims of another party are the surest ways to leave oneself prepared for future cases of Heartbreak.
Further information on Heartbreak and its effects and treatments can be found on your MP3 player and in drunken conversations with your friends.
David Brothers’ Django Unchained essays have been really great.
When asked to imagine the future, we have the tendency to take the present as a baseline, then produce speculative destiny by adding new technologies and products to it and what sort of makes sense, given an interpolation of past developments. We also represent society according to our utopia of the moment, largely driven by our wishes — except for a few people called doomsayers, the future will be largely inhabited by our desires. So we will tend to over-technologize it and underestimate the might of the equivalent of these small wheels on suitcases that will be staring at us for the next millennia.
A word on the blindness to this over-technologizing. After I left finance, I started attending some of the fashionable conferences attended by pre-rich and post-rich technology people and the new category of technology intellectuals. I was initially exhilarated to see them wearing no ties, as, living among tie-wearing abhorrent bankers, I had developed the illusion that anyone who doesn’t wear a tie was not an empty suit. But these conferences, while colorful and slick with computerized images and fancy animations, felt depressing. I knew I did not belong. It was not just their additive approach to the future (failure to subtract the fragile rather than add to destiny). It was not entirely their blindness by uncompromising neomania. It took a while for me to realize the reason: a profound lack of elegance. Technothinkers tend to have an “engineering mind” — to put it less politely, they have autistic tendencies. While they don’t usually wear ties, these types tend, of course, to exhibit all the textbook characteristics of nerdiness — mostly lack of charm, interest in objects instead of persons, causing them to neglect their looks. They love precision at the expense of applicability. And they typically share an absence of literary culture.
This absence of literary culture is actually a marker of future blindness because it is usually accompanied by a denigration of history, a byproduct of unconditional neomania. Outside of the niche and isolated genre of science fiction, literature is about the past. We do not learn physics or biology from medieval textbooks, but we still read Homer, Plato, or the very modern Shakespeare. We cannot talk about sculpture without knowledge of the works of Phidias, Michelangelo, or the great Canova. These are in the past, not in the future. Just by setting foot into a museum, the aesthetically-minded person is connecting with the elders. Whether overtly or not, he will tend to acquire and respect historical knowledge, even if it is to reject it. And the past — properly handled — is a much better teacher about the properties of the future than the present. To understand the future, you do not need techno-autistic jargon, obsession with “killer apps,” these sort of things. You just need the following: some respect for the past, some curiosity about the historical record, a hunger for the wisdom of the elders, and a grasp of the notion of “heuristics,” these often unwritten rules of thumb that are so determining of survival. In other words, you will be forced to give weight to things that have been around, things that have survived."
Not a big fan of that “textbook signs of nerdiness” crack but otherwise a good piece.
As someone who reads comics, watches art film and listens to metal, I’m in a unique position to be driven totally insane by neophytes dipping their toes into the things I’m into and having the nerve-the gall!-to call themselves “fans.” I spend a significant amount of time researching the things I’m into and going on excavation digs to find hidden gems in the various forms of art that I love, and so when someone says they’re a huge Batman fan after only having seen the Nolan movies, or when someone says they’re really into “indie” movies when the only non-blockbusters they’ve ever seen are a smattering of Wes Anderson films and Juno, or when somebody tries to claim membership to the Metal Club by holding up a Disturbed album as identification, my gut reaction is to get a little irritated, maybe even to retort with a catty putdown. After all, I’m the one who’s spent hours, years, of my life plunging the depths of the things I’ve loved. I’ve earned the right to call myself a “fan”-how dare you exercise the same privilege after such nominal involvement in that which you purport to love?
And then, once that initial wash of indignation has subsided, I climb down off my high horse. I keep in mind that there are people out there who can name every title that the Buscema brothers have ever worked on, down to the issue numbers; I remember that there are film buffs out there that would laugh in my face if I told them that I had never seen a film by Bela Tarr; I consider all the black metal kids with their fathomless collections of demo tapes culled from all over the world and reflect that I will never in my life match their dedication. Fandom is a curious thing: You can’t seem to claim membership if you don’t try to kick someone else off the docket, and a lot of the time, if you’re to believe your peers, your credentials don’t seem to be as sound as you think they are, especially if you’re a woman or a teenager. Everyone is going to have to take part in a Beta-Male Headbutting Championship over the things they love at some point, but for those two groups it can practically be a given before entering a conversation.
— I wrote this article for Comics Bulletin. Like everyone else in the world I was inspired to write something about Tony Harris’ absurd outburst on Facebook. I do think that elitism has a tendency to be kind of inherent in any subculture but you fight against that, for God’s sake, you don’t revel in it.
— Steven Grant, “In Search of Bad Comics”
I’ve refrained from writing about this movie for a few days for a couple of reasons. I wanted to wait until I had enough time to write something meaningful about it, first of all, and secondly I wanted to wait until I had come to a concrete conclusion as to what I actually thought of the movie, as I can’t remember the last time I had been so conflicted about a work of art. The former desire has been fulfilled but the latter refuses to resolve itself; every time I come to a definitive statement something about it seems to contradict itself. So this isn’t so much a review as it is an attempt to work through my thoughts on the film and come up with a solid opinion on the movie’s various merits and flaws, both of which it has in spades.
I should star by saying that I don’t consider Punch Drunk Love to be a romantic comedy, or even a dark comedy. Certainly it has moments that are so gut-churningly hard to sit through that they might compel someone, somewhere, to laugh in response, but this is not the same thing as being a comedy or, really, even having comedic elements. There’s no humor to be derived from the “awkward” situations that this movie presents because the viewer is given no reason to believe that there is anything in our protagonist’s life but these situations. Adam Sandler’s Barry Egan is not a Michael Scott or a Roger Greenberg; he isn’t smart or charming or actively good-natured. He has nothing, and he is nothing, a vacuum whose only purpose is to beckon a truly sickening level of abuse from the people around him.
I don’t use that word-“sickening”-lightly when I talk about this movie. For the first forty five minutes I had a near-constant desire to leave the room. It’s hard to put into words how deeply I was affected by the way in which Barry is casually terrorized by anyone who stays in a room with him for longer than a couple of minutes. His life is a perpetual humiliation, and the way in which misery so thoroughly cakes itself into every aspect of his day was more than I felt I was able to take. I had a feeling that it was going to be a movie that was just horrible event after horrible event, but unlike A Serious Man there would be no humor to be found, no statement about futility or middle-class complacency. I’m not exaggerating when I say that the first half of Punch Drunk Love was less something that I watched and more something that I felt was inflicted upon me. I felt as though the movie was putting me in this man’s situation for no reason, offering no light at the end of the tunnel, giving me nothing to learn from. In some ways I would have gone so far as to consider the film a work of evil, an entity that existed for no reason but to cause distress.
This takes us to the romance aspect of the film, and the redemption that all of this emotional torture was supposed to have brought to us. Put simply, I needed the movie to give more to me than it took away, and there was absolutely no way that was ever going to happen, not after being so traumatized by the first act. Lena understands Barry better than anyone else, and there are some hints that she, once upon a time, may have been as broken as he was. To that extent it’s not an incredibly unrealistic romance, and the more I think about it the fewer problems I have with it. But it just isn’t enough. The idea that she could “fix” Barry in a matter of weeks, after decades upon decades of ceaseless abuse, is not only laughable but vaguely insulting. Something to work towards is not, in itself, an antidote. Love can make a good roadmap but it cannot be the vehicle. That she gives Barry motivation to fight is one thing; that we are supposed to accept that he is all better after Lena walks into his life is another matter entirely. It’s the most common problem with any romance-that one can fix their own heart simply by wanting to badly enough-and in a film that already asks so much of the viewer, such gaffes in understanding become completely unforgivable.
I won’t spend a lot of time talking about the cinematography because it is in many ways the only reason this movie stayed in my mind long enough outside of my immediate, visceral disgust with it. Days later I’m still thinking of the car crash that starts the movie, the chase through the grocery store parking lot, the sun’s refraction through a window in a Hawaiian hotel. And truthfully, its aesthetic qualities have lead me to reexamine a lot of the problems I had with the film, and I don’t feel as strongly about its deficiencies as I once did.
But, as I told my friend, in the final analysis I feel as though Punch Drunk Love stole my luggage and punched me in the lip, and made up for it by giving me bus fare home. The level of agony that the movie put me through in the beginning needed to either have some incredible lesson to teach or build to something uniquely and overwhelmingly beautiful, and in the end it did neither. It’s a visually beautiful film with a painful and ultimately aimless core, both difficult not to admire and absolutely impossible to reconcile with.