Buyin' Bodies

I've been on a quest for porn lately. Despite my interest in sexuality and sexual culture, I never really learned much about porn. I feel like I'm behind the times, and I want to catch up.

So I've been trolling for websites and generally spending winter vacation being a busy porn seeker. I've had some success, but I'm still feeling tentative. Like so many other people, I've seen lots of porn that was more of a turn off than a turn on. I'm excited, though, to find some things that actually float my boat.

I had a strange experience recently, in the midst of this quest. I had just gotten access to Suicide Girls—you know, the popular website with nude pinup photos of alt-y young women with tattoos and piercings and colored hair. Each woman on the site has a page, informing the public of her age, interests, occupation, etc, and links to each of her photo shoots, with titles like “Red Doll Army,” “Rainy Afternoon Kitten,” and “Lovely Lounger.” There are about a thousand Suicide Girls, and I browsed through, trying to figure out which ones I wanted to look at more closely, who I wanted to see naked.

It was my first real experience with being a consumer of nudity, of this kind of porn. I've done some porn shopping before, particularly in the last month, but never like this. Here, there are so many face shots, so many bios, and I am literally looking through them to decide what I want. “I don’t know if I’m in the mood for a blonde today, I’m thinking dark hair.” “She’s sweet looking, but I don’t think I like her tattoos.” It’s very literally being a consumer. I am weighing the products I’m going to buy—except that the products are women.

As a stripper, I'm usually on the other end of that transaction. Every time there's a shift change at work, all the dancers on the clock get up on the stage and pose and prance around together so the gentleman callers can peruse their options. The management calls it "cabaret." One of my coworkers refers to it as "the auction block." Even given this, some men will wait until the end of the night to buy a dance. They want to make sure they get the product—the girl—they like the most. It’s the same thing. Buying a woman.

It was very weird, then, to have it turned around on me. You don't see women having this kind of choice very often. I haven’t heard much about men stripping for women. There’s Chippendale’s, but have you ever heard of a male strip club where women get to do the tipping and straight men do the stripping? I haven’t. What male go-go bars exist are usually geared towards gay men, and performed at by gay men. Apparently a majority of the Chippendale dancers are gay, as well.

On the Suicide Girls website, there is a new section for Suicide Boys, alt-y tattooed men who put photos of themselves online for women (and other men) to browse through. However, there are no profession photo shoots in this section of the website. There is no official Suicide Boys website, it's simply a subgroup of the part of Suicide Girls that's "like Myspace for adults." Anyone can post his photos. I'm glad it exists, but even on the progressive Suicide Girls site, it's a lesser, less popular section.

I wish that it was a better frequented part of the site.
That more women could and would go check out the hot guys. I didn't feel entirely comfortable with what I was doing once I realized that I was in such a consumer's mindset in terms of the Suicide Girls' bodies, but maybe it was actually an important thing for me to do. I was exploring my sexual tastes and fantasies, and giving myself permission to choose who I wanted to look at. I'm learning to apply that in the real world: choosing who I sleep with based on my desires instead of always just going with those who want me. I suppose that's revolutionary in its own way, not giving in to the desires of men to boost my self esteem. I hope more women begin to do it, so that the commodification of sexuality stops being so gender biased. Let's encourage those Suicide Boys.


On living, loving, learning, and fucking with the materials I've got at hand.

Creative Commons License
This work by is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.