It might seem like a weird thing to say, but I’m going to say it. In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I am grateful for internet porn.
Sometimes people will sheepishly ask me if the porn affects my libido or if I get excited while working on it or looking at it. I understand their question but I honestly *personally* feel nothing when I look at porn with the eye of an artist. My favorite area of study when I went to college for my art degree was figure drawing. Maybe my experience has given me an ability to divorce sexual thoughts/feeling from looking at a naked body in an aesthetic context. In those classes I spent hours staring at naked men and women. Attraction was at the bottom of the list of my concerns. I was way way too busy trying to capture a moment, a feeling, a thought, a memory, an impression–SOMETHING–onto a piece of paper. The very last thing on my mind then was sexual excitement.
And that is the same with my porn quilts. The images I use are not beautiful. They have a purpose. To provide fantasy material for masturbation. And I find them problematic. Porn is not pretty. I think it’s an ugly thing to reduce someone to simply body parts for sexual purposes. Human history is littered with war and corpses and injustices in the wake of dehumanization. When I look at internet porn I see something that is ugly. And I see something that I, like an alchemist, can transmute into something beautiful.