Free-range porn: Shades of grey in the sex-on-film debate

sex1-380x505Recently, two articles regarding the by-now popularised debate over pornography and its social effects, particularly in the Internet and smart phone age, gave me some hope that a measure of complexity is beginning to replace the previously black-and-white, sensationalised and often misleading treatment of this discussion by some anti-porn activists.


The first was a piece in The Age entitled The problem with porn

It prompted me to write a one thousand word Facebook comment, which I’ve included below – largely because I feel that such a long essay rant, composed spur of the moment when I should have been doing more constructive things, deserves at least a blog airing.

Now, this piece features observations from Marree Crabbe, “an expert on young people and sexuality.” In many ways, it continues some of the more simplistic approaches to discussing and critiquing porn’s role in society. For example, as I discuss below, it repeats the oft-cited reference to statistically prevalent violence in today’s pornography, without discussing what is actually defined as violent or degrading behaviour when compiling such data.

Nevertheless, it does at least gesture toward the idea that pornography itself – the depiction of sexually explicit activities for pleasure and entertainment – is not inherently bad. Rather, as Crabbe says:

The point is not whether anal sex is good or bad, or that it’s no good to get ejaculate on your face or parts of your body. It’s that the script of pornography is normalising and misrepresenting the experiences of pleasure of lots of people, particularly women, and shaping a sense of what is expected as part of the sexual experience for many young people when that is not actually what a lot of people want to engage in.”

The second piece, refreshingly, makes this gesture more explicit. Heh.

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Poems on Pyrokinection

Big ShipsThree of my poems have just gone live at Pyrokinection, an online publication from Kind of a Hurricane Press editor and poet A.J. Huffman.




They are “big ships” … “moving through sad middles of nowhere” … and … “Vancouver B.C.”


Check them out here.

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Cats on the Radio

529113_438105219616777_1396257298_nThe audio of February’s “Cats on the Radio” poetry reading for Three D radio is up now over at SoundCloud.

Feauring Avalanche, Anthony Parmee, myself, Nicki Bullock and Kerryn Treadrea, facilitated and hosted by Dominic Clark for his weekly show “Nature Loves Courage”.



Full playlist from the show:

Black Sabbath – supernaut, the doors – soul kitchen, brian jonestown massacre – the ballad of jim jones, Avalanche – take a walk, promises promises, & in the duck pond. the stooges – penetration, joy division – shadowplay, Anthony parmee – stockholm syndrome, next & sexy hospital cops. lydia lunch – tied and twist, don carlos – late night blues, arab strap – stink, Ben Adams – suburbs dusk the creature waits for something & that summer. leadbelly – ain’t goin down to the well no more, nirvana – mv, nicki bullock – poem from chapbook called blood rainbows and the taste of needles & poem from pixie dust epiphanies and glimpses of the unknowable chapbook. brick layer cake – stars, kerryn tredrea – he sends me overtones of bondage…. & we become a rope. julian cope – up-wards at 45 degrees, ramones – she talks to rainbows, gg allin and the cedar st sluts – sluts in the city, john cooper clark – psycle sluts, isolation valve – marion shopping centre, swimsuit – carsick, swans – new mind, cut hands – black mamba, tinariwen – soixante trois, tricky – scrappy love, scott walker – corps de blah.

My featured poem “suburbs, dusk, the creature waits for something” has also been recently published at The Camel Saloon. Also, “last waltz” appears in the April issue of Gutter Eloquence Magazine.

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Waiting for thunder and poems on the wireless

My long poem waiting for thunder is up and ready to be read at The Camel Saloon. Have a drink, leave a comment and hang around for a while…


cats on the radioAlso, me and five other Adelaide poets will be reading for Nature Loves Courage on Three D Radio’s graveyard shift this week, Thursday from 11pm. If you’re awake, tune or listen in online!


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Nik Coppin and the context of race

6020_nik-solo_EFUL_GUIDEThe material in Nik Coppin Is Not Racist concerns an incident during Coppin’s last visit to Adelaide during the 2012 festival, wherein the mixed race Englishman was abruptly cut off air, thrown from the studio and subsequently labelled “racist” in print by local radio host, columnist, and middle class white guy Peter Goers.

Coppin’s use of this material for his 60 minute 2013 Adelaide Fringe set in the Austral’s “Red Room” is effective. His quick-fire, conversational story telling doesn’t overflow with obvious jokes or easy one-liners, but that can be refreshing and, particularly with this sort of politically and socially important material, more appropriate. The humour in this show comes from a building sense of farce and frustration at some of the racially abusive insults Coppin has copped from both white and black (but rarely Indian, he says) aggressors who label him “mongrel” or “half-caste” for his joint English-Barbadian heritage.

The set’s one big punch-line, of course, is Coppin’s recount of the events surrounding his 2012 interview with Goers. This story occupies the show’s second half and Coppin does an effective job of keeping his audience eager to find out more about the “ridiculous events” and “bizarre developments” in question.


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Two Poems

Two of my poems are now ALIVE over at DEAD SNAKES. Suicidal writers and dropped pocket watches: read ‘the truest thing’ and ‘tide-swirl’ after the link . . . sexy, sexy snakes.

‘the truest thing’ has previously appeared on now defunct e-journal Australian Reader. In fact, it was my first poem to be published back in January 2011, for which I’m grateful to editor Phillip Ellis. His web-site is below.

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Greetings from the Camel Saloon

One of my photographs (from a few years back) has been featured on the “postcards” section of Camel Saloon, a literary tavern for “dromedaries, malcontents and jewels in the world.” Check it out and leave a comment at the the link below. Also keep an eye on the Saloon for some of my poems appearing soon.

Johanna Beach, Victoria

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