Casey Calvert: Pain Slut

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As you are by now painfully aware, there two kinds of people in quarantine: the single and the partnered. I fall into the former category and as a result, find myself spending no small volume of time in the company of the very gorgeous Asa Akira.

Google teaches that her many talents include podcaster: she hosts the Pornhub Podcast. For the March 23rd edition, Akira interviews Casey Calvert.

Calvert makes a few very interesting observations. Firstly, she explains that while attending the XBIZ awards, after an unnamed actress received an award, she thanked the press and attendees and then said, ‘Don’t book me for incest, rape or kidnapping scenes – bye!’

Calvert explained that the comment ‘offended’ her. She believes there is a solid line between fantasy and reality and, just as any subject is the appropriate material for art, then any fantasy is the appropriate material for porn.

She also said that judging people’s fantasies is wrong.

I was very disturbed by this, not least of all because it struck me as entirely reasonable. Surely pedophilia fits into the same category of taboo as rape and incest. And if simply downloading and possessing child porn is a crime, why not the other three?

Especially given the link between practising something as a fantasy and eventually graduating to the reality of action?

She also went on to say that getting your ideas about sex from porn is as ridiculous getting your ideas about driving from The Fast and the Furious.

This also seems entirely reasonable.

Personally, I don’t enjoy porn like I used to. Generally speaking, most of the time I’m combing through what I watch, looking for emotional and psychological triggers connected to pretty girls. Most often, I tend to focus on girls that remind me of girls I’ve known or been with.

That’s the measure of my engagement. More and more of what’s available seems to be a kind of freak-show. I find myself wondering the same things I’d wonder if I was watching a snuff film: does that hurt? Is that person suffering – either now, or later?

My instinct is that, as a culture, we are unprepared for this. What ethical framework do we have? I am perfectly willing to accept the proposition that we have evolved socially and as a result, have to reconsider established institutions like marriage and the family, not to mention ideas like fidelity.

But then, is sex a profoundly psychological experience, the way striking the physical keys of a piano keyboard gives rise to the ephemeral music that rises from it? Or is that a sentimental notion?

I accept that we’re all having separate experiences of the same ‘reality’ – as William Blake writes, ‘The fool sees not the same tree that the wise man sees’. However, a tree remains a tree to some extent, doesn’t it? Are some influences corrosive?

And then, the ‘God is Dead’ quotation from Nietzsche rises like the ghost of a haunted house:

“God is dead. God remains dead. And we have killed him. How shall we comfort ourselves, the murderers of all murderers? What was holiest and mightiest of all that the world has yet owned has bled to death under our knives: who will wipe this blood off us?

“What water is there for us to clean ourselves? What festivals of atonement, what sacred games shall we have to invent? Is not the greatness of this deed too great for us? Must we ourselves not become gods simply to appear worthy of it?”

If love and its children, empathy and respect, are no longer the cornerstones of sex, where does that leave us?

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