Abstract

Notwithstanding the academic debates that have raged over pornography, analysts of the genre have formed an analytical confederacy about the sort of world it envisions: perfection. Positioning my argument against Steven Marcus, I argue that pornography issues a sustained attack on the perfectionist archetypes of the restrained gentleman and the modest virgin. Impotence, syphilitic outbreaks, torn foreskins, severed rods, soiled cocks, and slack vaginas shatter the utopian topos. Far from envisaging a world of endless potency and pleasure, the genre of pornography grapples with the terrifying prospects of bodily decay, suffering, and mortality.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1527-2052
Print ISSN
0042-5222
Pages
pp. 423-432
Launched on MUSE
2015-10-07
Open Access
No
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