The texts from the back covers of pornographic
films we quote in this pamphlet are all taken from films that
are distributed in ordinary video rental stores, not from specific porn shops.
"She's got long, blonde, straight hair.
A sweet, childish smile.
Slim waist. Soft, firm breasts.
She is purity. Youth. Innocence.
It sounds like a description of Barbie
- and that is just how Savannah is.
The cute kind of doll
that it is every girl's dream to own.
Instead it is the boys who get hold of her.
'Get them rags off, Barbie!
Get your ass out, Barbie!
Down on your knees! Spread your legs!
Zip up my flies, Barbie!
Keep quiet, Barbie, don't talk
with food in your mouth!'
Never before has such a sweet and pretty
doll been taken so hard by real men..."
Text from the back-cover of the porn film
"A Virgin on the Run".
don't give a shit what I sell as long as I
make a profit.
and the sex traffic taken together constitute one of the world's
largest industries. And Sweden is one of its favourite countries.
The restrictions on pornography are very few, and pornography is
sold everywhere; in foodstores, at newsagents, in video rental stores
and at petrol stations.
porn industry works deliberately, cleverly and professionally. Just
like people in advertising the people who run the porn industry
know their task: to influence people.
Just like all businessmen, the men
behind the porn industry want to make money. One of the prerequisites
for the porn industry is the contempt for women already existing
in society. They combine this contempt with the curiosity and also
ignorance about sex that there is in a puritanical society. Men
buy women to use as sexual objects, that is the business concept
of the porn industry, which they then vary in different ways. And
the more they can stretch the limits of what we think is normal,
the more they can sell.
Leif Hagen is a Norwegian porn producer
who moved to Sweden in the mid-80s, after he was banned from carrying
on a business in Norway. He launched what was then a very clever
business concept: his "men's 'entertainment' magazines"
were also to work as mail-order catalogues. Others soon followed
his example. In these magazines there are often girls/women on "pin-up
pictures" and in special picture features with captions to
go with the pictures. The captions allegedly include "quotes"
of what the girl/woman is saying. Sometimes she is saying that she
particularly likes "bondage" (mainly pornography where
men tie women up and use/abuse them sexually), anal sex, "fistfucking"
The captions, which are made to look
like brief "comments" to the "innocent" pictures,
touches upon everything that there is to buy on the porn market.
And on the advertisement pages at the back of the magazines there
are magazines and video films available by mail order which include
all this: piss, shit & anal, bondage, fistfucking, rubber porn
When mail-order business became more and more common in the "men's
'entertainment' magazines", all sorts of por-nography became
accessible all over our country. Pornography is no longer something
to be found only in the porn shops of the bigger cities; it can
reach every little town and every little cottage in the country.
more and more people started buying their own video set, the sales
rates for men's "entertainment" magazines/porn magazines
have gone down slightly. On the other hand, other magazines, for
example the music magazine Slitz, have become more pornographic.
When the video rental business ten years ago made a count of the
number of videos people rented, one out of four was a porn film
(1). The rates have hardly gone down
since then. Furthermore, the number of videos for sale and not only
to rent have increased over the years.
On top of this, more and more people
get pornography straight into their living-rooms, more or less against
their will, via the cable channels on TV.
Research carried out by Folkaktionen
mot Pornografi (The People's Organisation against Pornography) and
one of the reports the book Tre rapporter om pornografi
(Three Reports On Pornography) (1993) by RFSU (Riksförbundet För
Sexuell Upplysning) (the Swedish Association for Sex Education),
show that almost 100 per cent of 15 year-old boys in Sweden today
have used pornography, most of them more than once, many are already
regular consumers. Among the girls of the same age between 55 and
60 per cent had already come in contact with pornography.
In recent years pornography has also
come to be distributed through CD-ROM, different BBSs (electronic
bulletin boards), and on the Internet. This development has made
the spread of pornography including child pornography
quicker and harder to control.
and the viewer
The word pornography is derived from the greek words porne,
which means "prostitute", and graphos,
which means "writing, etching, drawing". Pornography thus
means to depict women as prostitutes, commodities, sexual slaves.
The photographs used in pornography
are constructed so that the consumer can fantasize that it is him
using the girl/woman in the picture. Even if there is a photograph
showing a couple - man and woman the photograph is taken
with the intention of including the spectator as the important part.
The woman's sexual parts are turned towards the viewer, open to
him; the man who is actually there in the picture is only playing
a minor part, he is using the woman while not taking away the power
to control from the spectator. This applies in general, but of course
there are exceptions, photographs which do not fit into this concept.
But the focal point for pornography is the perspective of the viewer.
The texts and the pictures in pornography
are supposed to inspire fantasies in the viewer/reader about what
he can do with the objects/women, in order to get more, and more,
satisfaction. Fantasies that he can then choose to put into practice.
Masturbating to contempt for women
We live in a strongly hypocritical society. This means that even
though there are hardly any restrictions at all on selling pornography
in Sweden, it is not allowed to publicly speak or write about what
pornography actually is. That is why there is hardly ever any mention
of how men and boys use pornography: to masturbate to (and/or to
"make themselves horny" before either having sex with
a partner or abusing someone).
The american sociology professor Diana
Russell has written:
"Because men's viewing of pornography frequently culminates
in orgasm, the lessons of pornography are learned much faster
and more tenaciously than when they view non-pornographic media."
The male ejaculation/orgasm becomes
closely connected to images of degraded women. Just like we all
learn to get turned on by memories of past sexual experiences, the
consumer of pornography learns to associate sexual desire with degradation
of women; the degradation in itself becomes sexually arousing.
violence and control
women used in pornography are objects. Replaceable objects. While
masturbating, the man can flick through the pages of his magazine,
let hisgaze travel across one body after the other. The women have
no desires or wishes, no will of their own, each and every one of
them is there for him. He, the viewer, has the power to pick and
choose; watch, use and discard.
Pornography signifies power and control,
sexualised domination and subordination. Pornography objectifies
women, i.e. asserts that women are objects for men to use.
From that perspective we can get closer to an understanding of the
commercial child pornography as a mass phenomenon. It is easier
to objectify children than adult women. And to dehumanise women
and children, to objectify
someone, is the first stage in the process of violence. When women
and children are no longer looked upon as human beings, the violence
they are subjected to in pornography becomes "normal"
violence becomes a turn-on.
And so the porn industry can sell
1. The Magazine "Film &
Video", nr 7/8.
2. Diana E.H.Russel: Making Violence Sexy. Teachers College Press,
USA 1993, p.18.