I wanted to write out these thoughts on my other blog (www.katiediamond.com/comix), but I realized that this post, while inspired by questions asked during my artist talk last night, is really about SALACIOUS and representing queer sex in illustration.
And, so, to dive right into it… The cumshot. Last night, a particular audience member was very fixated on the concept of representing cumshots in illustration. I personally don’t have an issue with representing orgasm in illustration and comics, but had referenced that when it comes to two-dimensional art, ejaculation isn’t as much as focus, or as exciting. The questioner was very interested in analyzing this concept–mentioning that in hentai, cumshots are really well portrayed and exciting and artistic, etc. etc. etc. …
I entertained this question for a while, but eventually, I realized we were talking about something else. We weren’t really discussing representations of sex in comics and illustration. We were really, truly just focusing on heterosexual male cumshots–and thereby focusing on the thing that mainstream porn always focuses on–heterosexual male pleasure.
I decided to take a risk–at the chance of speaking too broadly about queers and our sex, I said, “You know, I’m going to go out on a limb here… But queer sex isn’t heterosexual sex. Queer sex isn’t about the cumshot. It isn’t entirely about orgasm–it’s about the process and about the complexity of sexuality. So, for a queer sex magazine, showing cumshots just isn’t indicative of the nature of queer sex. Queer sex really is more than that.” [paraphrased]
[I will add here that the rest of the audience applauded at this time.]
And I woke up this morning thinking about this. I don’t think it’s a new concept to say that pornography at its most mainstream is incredibly sexist and oppressive–and incredibly focused on heterosexual male pleasure. By this means, there is a specific narrative to heterosexual porn–lead in, intercourse of some nature, climax.
Queer sex is, truly, so much more. And so much more difficult to therefore quantify. I’m not implying that orgasms aren’t simply the bee’s knees–I’m just saying that if heterosexual porn has a rising and falling action (a bell curve, if you will), queer porn has ups and downs and side-to-sides and yes and no and maybe. And in the end, whether someone actually ejaculated or came or orgasmed (or whatever variation!) is really par for the course.