‘Now that I’ve reached an age where I can feel my body is poised to fall apart, I think I should purchase my first Speedo.’ –Tim Geoghegan


Why should we deal with pornography from a feminist perspective? The answer to this question is straightforward. Pornography is the key mass media genre in which sexuality is made visible and performed. Sexuality, on the other hand, is one of the main areas where gender and gender relations are negotiated. In this article, I will examine different – and in particular conflicting – feminist positions with respect to pornography which have been developed from the 1970s until today. The focus will be on the issue of the construction of sexual and gender identities. I will analyze how these identities in regards to the pornographic body are negotiated or even shifted within these different feminist discourses and practices. Dildos and cyborgs will be discussed in the final part of this article, which deals with current queer-feminist debates in the field of so called post-porn.

At the beginning of the seventies, in a phase of almost complete legalization of pornography in most of the western countries, the pornographic movie left the underground and was allowed into new public spheres. Pornography as a film genre developed into a mass product and was increasingly available even in cinemas. It was during that period that the sexual revolution came to an end, or rather began to transform itself into something new.

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image { James Victore }