the gaze in sex CharlieX

The Gaze in Sex or Kink Prompt #154

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CharlieX speaks- As someone with an interest in photography I like to read the theory around the subject. There’s a lot of theory centering around the meaning of photos, and obviously around the subject of any given photo. But there is also an area of theory that deals with the position of the viewer. For example, it’s possible for you as the viewer of a photo to adopt a new role just for the time you that you’re looking at the photo, because of what the photo contains and implies. This is something that greatly interests me.

Prompt #154 ~ The ‘Gaze.’

Probably the most famous example of this is Laura Mulvey’s 1975 paper “Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema.” In this she argues (some would say ‘proves’ and I have no argument with that) that cinema audiences are forced to assume the viewpoint of a heterosexual man because of the way that women are portrayed as sexual objects in film. Women become passive objects to be enjoyed by – a) the characters in the film and b) the audience in the cinema. This in turn both embeds and reinforces gender stereotypes and the power of patriarchy in society. You’ve probably heard this referred to as ‘the male gaze’.

The Gaze – thoughts to consider

And so when I was asked to host a prompt 4thoughts_fiction I started thinking about the viewpoint of the observer – the ‘gaze’ – in sex and kink. But not in pornography or erotica, in real life. I invite you to use these questions and prompts as a jumping off point. Perhaps to tell us about real experiences you’ve had. Experiences you would like to have. Fantasies you would like to share. Opinions on the subject you’d like to discuss. Or even a story based around them that you’d like to write.

Questions ~ the Gaze in Sex

In these questions, I’m going to use ‘sex’ as shorthand for sexual play or intercourse, whether solo, with a partner or in groups. Or any activities around your BDSM or D/s lifestyle, whatever those terms mean to you:

  • At the most basic level, how do you feel about watching sex, or being watched whilst having sex?
  • Would being watched make any difference to what you did, or how you did it?
  • Is there a difference between intentional and accidental watching; for example, being invited to watch someone have sex versus accidentally viewing someone who was having sex outdoors?
  • If you are into sex outdoors, what part does both intentional and accidental viewing play in that?
  • And similarly, what do you think are the ethics around having sex outdoors with regard to potential accidental viewing?

I look forward to reading your posts…

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