Wednesday, February 18, 2009

porn is for lovers

Firstly and unrelatedly, an interview with Amanda Palmer about her song Oasis. I love how honest and insightful she is. And totally watch the music video linked to the article, it's pretty awesome.
But here's something my friend Kenny pointed me towards: Porn for the Blind. The website is run by a nonprofit that uses volunteers to record play-by-play audio descriptions of the short clips you see on porn websites so that blind people have access to porn. The readers aren't supposed to "talk dirty" or use any sort of language except descriptive and anatomical. You can actually volunteer to record yourself from home using their program and upload your description to the site.
I listened to a few clips last night, and... Yeah. Not terribly sexy. (During one of the ones I listened to, the reader started cracking up and talking to another person mid-description. Ah, relying on volunteers...) I'm not entirely sure what the intent is, honestly. A frankly boring description is not a crime, but what would a blind person do from there? The site doesn't provide audio descriptions of anything but "teaser" clips, and they way that they are read is not something that I think most people would want to masturbate to. According to this article, there's another website you can visit that is a bit more interactive, and frankly sounded a lot more awesome. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to actually track down what the article was talking about, which is a shame because I imagine that audio "plays" of erotic writing would be fun.
Anyway, regardless of the silly factor of Porn for the Blind, it's an interesting concept. At a recent dinner party, there was a bit of giggling about a Trivial Pursuit question involving Playboy and a lawsuit to enable them to print in braille. (It's for the interviews, duh.) But really, isn't erotica kind of an ably-centric business? It's not only present in the bodies portrayed (although it is most certainly present there, and which is the way that most things I've read have approached this issue), but in the bodies catered to. What if you are vision impaired? Hearing impaired? The article I linked to earlier ends with the thought that (gasp) blind people have as much right to their sex drive as anybody else. There must be channels of information for all kinds of erotica and such that I can't even imagine.

5 comments:

StarInaPaperCup said...

I listened to a few clips, and I can't imagine blind people getting turned on by them. I certainly wasn't. :P

I have an inkling (just an inkling; I don't actually know any blind people) that blind people listen to audio books often, though, which makes me wonder about audio book versions of erotic novels - do they exist? do people actually get turned on by them?
If some form of erotica were created with blind people in mind, I think that would be it.

Alicia Dabney said...

Huh. I'm a bit baffled by the intent behind the audio clips because they're not terribly sexy, but it is interesting to wonder what, if any, other avenues are available for those with disabilities. They are no less of a sexual being than anyone else.

ammie said...

I suspect that there must be audio versions of erotica, if nothing else than because the porn industry is eager to make money in any way possible. But that website... Interesting idea, weird realization of that idea. I'm still planning on poking around on the other one to see if I can find the "interactive audio plays" that the article described, but so far no dice.

Emilyon said...

Actually, apparently there is a good amount of erotica out there that caters to disabled audiences. I don't know about vision and hearing impaired (although I'm sure there's some kind of outlet for those audiences too, beyond what your post describes), but I know that there are erotica sites that address the sexuality of people who have paralysis, degenerative diseases, etc.--and I'm not talking about sites that fetishize disability, because I'm sure those are out there too (ick!). I have seen such things on Jane's Guide, and heard Dan Savage talk about them before...

PS there is audio erotica out there--Susie Bright, or Violet Blue (can't remember which) records some of her stuff--I wasn't super impressed with the stuff I heard, but it is out there, and I can only imagine it's as good quality as most video porn (don't know 'cause I don't really watch porn, so).

ammie said...

I love how many people chimed in on this! It's another topic I probably won't ever follow up on in any serious way, but that I'm glad to have thought about. Either that, or I'll go back to school and write a dissertation on it.