feminism / men / porn / women

Where is the Female Gaze?

I just read this Erika Lust blog post: Let’s exercise our female gaze and it made me reflect on how very difficult I find it to come across actually sexy images of men from a female perspective. Take, for example, this Porn for Women book with its gag worthy caption: Have another piece of cake. I don’t like you looking so slim. Or this one: Want to snuggle? I mean, this book must have an audience or it wouldn’t have warranted the sequels: Porn for New Moms and Porn for Women of a Certain Age. But like the supposed sexiness of Chippendales, the only reaction these pics elicit from this gal is—are you effing kidding me? But regardless of whether these images are sexy to other women, I’m sure they are and I don’t mean to belittle whatever floats a lady’s boat, what occurs to me is that it’s hard to find sexy images of men that aren’t tongue-in-cheek or self-consciously exuding: Hey look, world, we can objectify men too! We simply aren’t accustomed to looking at men that way–at least not to the extent that the popular gaze is fixed upon sexy women. There is, officially, no better way to sell beer.

Once upon a time, I used have more qualms with the male gaze. Then again, I was the type of twenty-something who flew to Peru and Spain alone. Not surprisingly, I found myself fending off whistles, stares and the occasional street corner grope. Then sulking at my lack of nighttime autonomy in my hotel room. In my thirties, I’m much more comfortable being objectified (within limits) and I’d be fibbing if I said I hadn’t used that gaze to my advantage from time to time. Okay, I once had a well-paid, cushy summer job that was entirely predicated on being a cute girl. Incidentally, it was also incredibly boring.

Nonetheless, back to matter at hand, where to find sexy images of men? Erika Lust’s films (NSFW link) are a good place to start… But other than that I’d say most of my eye candy comes from my head. Oh, and that Leonardo sex scene in The Departed. Yes please. Erika is asking us ladies to send her links to examples of the female gaze. Now to see if I can find me any on the Interweb. This may take a while…

2 thoughts on “Where is the Female Gaze?

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