Adrienne Rich: “Compulsory Heterosexuality and Lesbian Existence”

Capital Video’s store in Northampton portrays itself as gay-friendly, but this is just a fig leaf over the true nature of the bulk of today’s porn industry:

Adrienne Rich describes the reality in “Compulsory Heterosexuality and Lesbian Existence”, published in The Signs Reader: Women, Gender & Scholarship (The University of Chicago Press, 1983, page 149):

The function of pornography as an influence on consciousness is a major public issue of our time, when a multibillion-dollar industry has the power to disseminate increasingly sadistic, women-degrading visual images. But even so-called soft-core pornography and advertising depict women as objects of sexual appetite devoid of emotional context, without individual meaning or personality: essentially as a sexual commodity to be consumed by males. (So-called lesbian pornography, created for the male voyeuristic eye, is equally devoid of emotional context or individual personality.) The most pernicious message relayed by pornography is that women are natural sexual prey to men and love it; that sexuality and violence are congruent; and that for women sex is essentially masochistic, humiliation pleasurable, physical abuse erotic. But along with this message comes another, not always recognized: that enforced submission and the use of cruelty, if played out in heterosexual pairing, is sexually “normal”, while sensuality between women, including erotic mutuality and respect, is “queer”, “sick”, and either pornographic in itself or not very exciting compared with the sexuality of whips and bondage.[24] Pornography does not simply create a climate in which sex and violence are interchangeable; it widens the range of behavior considered acceptable from men in heterosexual intercourse–behavior which reiteratively strips women of their autonomy, dignity, and sexual potential, including the potential of loving and being loved by women in mutuality and integrity.

[Footnote 24: The issue of “lesbian sadomasochism” needs to be examined in terms of the dominant cultures’ teachings about the relation of sex and violence, and also of the acceptance by some lesbians of male homosexual mores. I believe this to be another example of the “double-life” of women.]

See also:

Herbert, Brooks and Osayande on Misogyny, Money and Power;’s War on Women and Blacks (explicit)

Capital Video’s Magazine Rack: Bondage, Racism and More

Childhood Spanking Linked to Coerced Sex and Risky Sex in Adulthood; Milks Pain for Profit (explicit)

Intense Fetish # 724 300 Strokes For Spanky
Three hundred hard strokes using six different instruments! With assistance from his slave Nicole Master Len picks three instruments from the wall! Spanky picks three more for a total of six. Spanky is given fifty strokes from each instrument. The strokes are spaced out every three to five seconds. There is only a small break between each new instrument. Every stroke is applied to her tender ass. See her ass get red and bruised with small blood blisters forming. Spanky is a real pain slut. You will see her writhe in pain and then smile in ecstasy.

Details from box cover:

Spanking Desires
Where pleasure meets pain-watch as Mistress Erzsebet teaches her submissives a lesson… stores also sell sadomasochistic magazines:

Now Showing at The War on Privacy and Consent (explicit)
Kimberly Princess of Pain
Pain became her pleasure… Watch every stimulating moment of the young Kimberly’s metamorphosis; from head strong captive to a willingly submissive student of pain and torture!!!

Maid For Master Prelude To Pain
Master Aaron needs a new maid and the interview procedure is an arduous one. Bebe Licious and Shadow try
to keep up with Aaron’s rage but he always wins in the end. Bebe suffers an unbelieveably painful piercing and
Aaron even makes a string corset out of Bebe’s big natural boobs. Not for the squeamish!

Pain 27
Can you withstand ninety minutes of S & M madness?! It’s an hour and a half of whimpering chicks burnt nipples
endless suffering. But some people think your taste in erotic cinema is sick. Well guess what? They’re right. But
that’s okay you don’t need them. You have plenty of friends. Your therpist calls them “the voices in your head…

Pain & Tolerance
4 hours of whippin’ good fun! Non-stop spanking binding whipping and domination. This is filled with perversion and mayhem! Subjugate those pathetic little pigs and make them obey!!!

Pain Factor (4hr)
4 hours of stupendous spankin’ and submission! Ball gaggin’ hot wax pourin’ paddlin floggin and other luzurious forms of pleasurable pain pack this DVD to the brim. Submissive slappin’ good!

Sessions #8
Mistress Sonya takes Magdelyn to new heights of sensual awareness. Helplessly bound to an antique dental chair Magdelyn is submitted to various forms of punishment. Electro-shock therapy and flogging are the order of the day. However Magdelyn is subjected to a more intensified session as her breath is totally controlled while other punishments are taking place… Making Nazis Sexy (explicit)
Plenty of movies have been made about the Nazi regime, but only the porn industry expects you to orgasm to it. Now on sale at, you’ll find Nazi Torture Castle (explicit link). We blurred the genitalia on the woman below, but otherwise here is the box cover as we found it, complete with crematorium:

Now on Sale at The Swirlies (explicit)

Hampden Superior Court Lets Capital Video Reopen Viewing Booths in Springfield; A Proposed Solution
How much does Capital Video care about the health of its customers? A
search of the term barebacking on its website today brings up the following and more:

Bisexual Barebacking #6
Barebacking Tag Team
Unsafe Sex with Transsexuals Barebacking #2
Raw Bois #3 – A Twink Barebacking Adventure
Adventures in Barebacking

The title below was prominently on display at an store in Massachusetts on September 28. The character at the bottom of the box cover says, “Go Forth And Be Unsafe My Son!”

Kara Nox: Adult Movies I Have Been In
The Violation Of Melissa Lauren
Melissa decides she needs to take a break from her suburban lifestyle and journeys out to the Ozarks looking for some fun. But what begins as a ligh hearted adventure soon becomes a nightmare when redneck locals descend on poor Melissa and have their way with her.

Hustler Cartoons: Racism, Misogyny, Anti-Semitism, Homophobia, Pedophilia, Incest, Ridicule of Disabled People… (explicit)

A small, nervous man going door-to-door for the “A.I.D.S. Relief Fund” is greeted by a large man holding a beer bottle and a crowbar. The large man has a swastika tattoo and a shirt that says, “Death To All Fags!” The caption reads, “Sorry, wrong house!”

I Was a ‘Self-Esteem Vampire’: A Woman’s Journey Out of Watching Porn (explicit language)
…I began to question the things I was seeing. I began to wonder why I despised those women and yet was using them, even in my own head, to get off to. Slowly the veil began to thin and the guilt and disgust I would feel afterwards would grow stronger than the compulsion to lookat the stuff in the first place…

I asked myself honestly, what was I getting out of porn? The answer surprised me. It terrified me. It shamed me…

I was getting a sense of power from watching the humiliation and degradation of the women on the screen.

I was claiming power, the all-elusive power that women strive for the irentire lives, from degrading and enjoying the degradation of other women. I had absorbed a lesson from the patriarchy: women are easy to degrade, weaker, and more vulnerable, so much so that even another woman can take their power. Watching women being slapped and hurt was filling that void within me that was taken so many years before by men.It allowed me to feel powerful and in control…

It wasn’t some sort of biological excitement from seeing two people having sex (although, that’s what I told myself for a very long time). It was the power that is inherent in degrading and humiliating another human being that brought me climax…

And I hated them for it. I hated them for reflecting my own weaknesses back at me…

At the same time I hated MYSELF for using them. I hated myself for being a vampire of sorts, a kind of ‘self-esteem vampire’. A creature which was incapable of making her own self-esteem and who therefore took it from other humans. But self-esteem garnered at the expense of another human being does not, and never can, replace your own…

D.A. Clarke: Women Adopting Men’s Bad Habits Is Not the Answer
For women, including lesbians, have absolutely nothing to gain from nihilism, fascist chic, self-conscious decadence, and a romanticisation of the crimes of dead privileged men. That is not the way to legitimise our lives and lovers. When life is valued cheaply and pain is in vogue, it is women’s and children’s lives which will be valued cheapest of all, and women’s and children’s pain which will be the raw material for entertainment. When fantasy is valued over truth, it is the truths about our lives and deaths which will be hidden, and the fantasies of others which we will be made to serve. When brute force is admired and bullies are cultural heroes, the vast majority of women and children will be the losers.

The conflict of values can be represented as a struggle between ethics of excess and moderation…

To accept that the costs borne by strangers in far-off lands make our way of life unaffordable implies that we learn to respect those people and that we become ashamed of living at their expense; to accept that we are responsible for the damage that we do to our soil, water, and air means that we learn to clean up after ourselves; to accept that resources are precious and should not be wasted is to learn that the world is not a consumable, an expendable – and neither are its people. To accept that our way of life is costing too much means accepting less: giving up excess, resolving to live within our means. Shoving off the costs of your behaviour onto others, expecting someone else to clean up your mess, blowing away the household economy with irresponsible spending, treating other people as objects to be used and discarded: are these not some of the traits for which feminists have persistently criticised and confronted men, the habits of privilege and arrogance?

Grabbing all you can while you can get it is an expensive way to live. It may turn out to be an expensive way to die. A generation which took this lesson to heart would be less likely to use up, despise, abuse and discard women and children as sexual toys…

The symbols, language and style of lesbian sm chic are the symbols and language and style of male supremacy: violation, ruthlessness, intimidation, humiliation, force, mockery, consumerism. Words like respect, tenderness, gentleness, are boring and pass­e, according to our new fashion leaders. What we want is excess, and lots of it: extreme experiences of every kind, a great bazaar of fantasy for our shopping pleasure…

Ruthlessness, hardness, force and intimidation have characterised the successful businessman, soldier, gangster, politician and pimp from the very beginning. If we admire those qualities, we implicitly endorse the world these men have created – perhaps we subscribe to the fantasy that women can become hard enough and mean enough to compete with men on their own turf. Suppose we do so, and suppose some of us win: will a world that contains a token handful of lesbian aristocrats among its ruling class be a better world?