Do-it-yourself is a cop out

If you’ve ever complained about the near complete lack of porn for dominant women (or the lack of porn for discriminating submissive men), you’ve probably been told ‘you should make some yourself’. If you’re like me, that phrase makes you want to set things on fire, but it’s hard to articulate exactly why it fills you with arsony rage. Conveniently enough, there’s a new post on Adventurotica explaing why ‘just do it yourself!’ is a pathetic fucking cop out.

Here’s an especially good snippet to tempt you to go read the whole thing:

It is a conversational shutdown tactic by people who are presumably happy that the status remain quo, when the status is not quo at all. And it is so handily disguised as a pep talk, a kind of “Well, you should just take your awesome and go make that stuff. Call us when you’re done, ‘kay?”

That’s a dick move for a host of reasons, all of which are conveniently laid out in the post. Make with the reading!

16 thoughts on “Do-it-yourself is a cop out

  1. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I love this blog, and this means a lot.

    That post was oddly important to me. It’s just so damn frustrating to hear that over and over again, and until recently, I was unable to articulate just why it irritated me so much. I knew it was wrong, I just couldn’t explain HOW. Now I have, and I feel so much better. Much less like committing arson. Until the next time someone says that to me, whereupon I will put on my disapproving face and point at that entry.

  2. Yeah, because I have such obviously awesome film-making talents and my past efforts at pron are beyond compare. But my ability to turn ideas into profitable businesses means that I have so many other calls on my time. It’s a tricky choice to make.

    DIY is such a cop-out, I don’t even feel that I can point it back at the moron emitting it. Although usually an opportunity presents itself in short order. Ever noticed that?

  3. Ok, so I already make my own bicycles and furniture. For exactly that reason – I can’t buy the stuff I want and I’ve tried having other people build my designs. You know what? That doesn’t save any effort, it just costs more than doing it myself and changes the work I have to do to get the thing made the way I want it. So yeah, STFU, I do make my own. But I enjoy playing in my workshop, and I like learning those particular skills.

    But should I have the obligation to develop all the skills to do every single thing that I would like done? If nothing else, where is the time for that going to come from? Oh, I should start by making myself immortal? Gee, thanks.

    And you know, we already solved this problem. We call it “society”, it’s a great way to allow people to get the benefit of skills they don’t personally have. It also allows people to develop skills that don’t directly relate to bare survival. And it’s a fricking amazing invention, it’s one of those earth-shattering things that we developed early on that makes us different from the other apes. And you know what, I love that. If you’re the sort of crotch-clutching knuckle-dragger that thinks everyone should do every crotching thing for themselves what the crotch are you doing here? Shouldn’t you be out in the forest digging grubs out of a stump with a pointy twig, rather than sitting in a building you didn’t build, wearing clothes you didn’t make and wasting the time of someone you don’t support?

  4. Exactly!
    I am coming back with my own ranty lil riff on this tune but I don’t have the time to do it right just now.
    I had to comment though, just to let you know I am so with you on this.

  5. Is it too late to get in on this?

    I’m a new Linux user, and I started learning how things work by installing something, tweaking it until it breaks, and then looking on the internet for help. You know, just like what people do in real life.

    Anyway, invariably I find a group in which somebody, in response to a question like “How come there isn’t an application that does xxx?” invariably responds “Well, n00b, that’s the beauty of Linux – if you don’t see what you want, then just write it yourself!” And then comes the inevitable flame war where the n00b says something like “But I’m not a programmer,” and gets a response like “Then you shouldn’t expect other people to be writing stuff that you want.” Etc., etc. It makes me crazy because the DIY types don’t seem to understand the frustration of those who aren’t in a position to DIY.

    Now, here’s the thing: I do, sort of, agree with them. How can we expect somebody else to fill a niche market, when there’s so much (apparent) more traffic doing the same old stuff? Anybody who is going to risk time and money takes less of a risk when they make conventional femdom porn.

    Some people, though, are willing to take those risks because they see it as developing a new market. So, maybe the problem is that they don’t really understand that there is a need, or understand how to fill that because there are so few models to follow.

    Maybe a place to start would be to create a place (online) where people with alternative (or at least, non-conventional) stories could write. Chances are, the porn for domme women gets lost at the big places like Literotica and ASSTR. Maybe by creating an alternative space, and by soliciting writers, you would be able to point filmmakers to it and say “Can you create something that looks like one of these stories?” The success of that place might give them enough sense of security to make visual porn – and from there, we’ll have another genre from which to pick when we’re browsing for something interesting.

  6. Maybe I’m a little late too, but this is why I started writing my own Femdom fic. I would peruse the shelves in the erotica section of my local bookshop and be met with TONS and TONS of male top/female bottom stuff and – well -that’s just not my thing. So, I thought I’d be proactive and start writing my own, which was fun because I do feel like I’m filling a gap that needs to be filled, however, I read it myself. I know what’s coming. Which gets old really fast as a reader. We read because we want anticipation and when there is none then it sort of defeats the point, doesn’t it? So it’s quite a dilemma. I agree entirely with your point in that more needs to be done to fill that gap in making porn for women who are tops and that it is a, vey narrow minded cop out when people say D.I.Y. because it’s no where near as easy as they think. The experience of being a producer of porn and a consumer or porn is completely, utterly different.

  7. @Tom Allen

    I would love to do something like that! In fact, it occurred to me some time ago, but I kind of just assumed an archive like that existed somewhere already, and I never got around to actually looking for it. I’m not familiar with Literotica and ASSTR, but poking around over there now I can see what you mean about stuff getting lost. Also, the site designs and user interfaces suck. If folks would be interested in participating in various ways, I might go for it – I suspect it would be too big a project to do all by myself, though.

  8. but I kind of just assumed an archive like that existed somewhere already, and I never got around to actually looking for it.

    Yeah, between Rule 34 and the rest of the internet, there should be something like that already 🙂

    And while there might be some archive, I dont’ know about it, neither do you, nor (I surmise) your other readers.

    I think that you nned to define – generally speaking – the qualities of the erotica that you’re talking about. Then maybe contact other femdom and femdom-friendly bloggers to see who might be willing to contribute. Ask for stories now, so when you’re ready to set it up, you’ll allready have content.

    It could be something simple at first, like a free web forum setup, or even a multi-user WordPress blog. If the idea takes off, then you could look for something more full-featured.

    I could probably be talked into helping in some capacity, because I’m starting to like the idea.

  9. It’s a really good article by Amanda Gannon.

    I’ve definitely come across ‘Do it yourself!’ as a shut down tactic, used by people who are quite comfortable with the skewed present state, and want dom women to be marginalised, silent about our own inner desires, tokenised.

    Visual porn: Marketing it to its intended audience does have its real difficulties in the present environment, both in our larger cultures and kink subcultures. I’ve learned this from DeLano, a man who does awesome, beautiful rope bottoming photos (he bottoms and tops). He’d be able to say more about it. But it does not have to stay this way.

    A marketing strategy that definitely does not work is to expect het dom women and discerning sub men to go to venues where there is also porn of the sort that alienates us and turns us off. If my product were visual porn showing beautiful, attractive male submission and bottoming, with female dominants who look like amateurs who are themselves into what they’re doing, I would not market it on the very websites and in the very print media run by the very companies where potential customers have already looked, seen, been turned off and repulsed, and gone away.

    Written porn: Stories I read online in English language at present mostly aren’t in any centralised archives. They are written by people who use the technical means available to have a certain control over their own texts and their visual presentation. That’s mostly blogging platforms such as WordPress here, and Livejournal, with links to content specific LJ fiction communities. In the LJ fiction communities where I read, people are usually happy to see writers creating female characters who are in charge, as most of the stories are still M/m (which I enjoy too, but I prefer reading F/m, provided the characters are three-dimensional and interesting). Centralised archives have pitfalls, especially when it comes to formulating definite criteria for what goes in and what stays out. But archives can also be yet another part of plurality, appeal to people who don’t want to manage their own web venue, and also link to external individual sources.

    I had to smile when I saw the preceding ‘Femdom and Intimacy and Porn’ post by Amanda Gannon. That Kostja Ullmann picture sure gets around. 🙂 Though the fact that images from that one film get around so much is yet another scarcity symptom. 🙁

  10. Written porn in non-centralised venues:

    I omitted to mention that various of the authors whose porn I like reading online mirror their entries on Dreamwidth, or have the main accounts for posting their fiction on Dreamwidth, which by its own diversity statement is a pluralistic venue, including being kink friendly.

    Various people who write non-fiction blogs on their own domains, or on WordPress, Blogger, Tumblr etc. already have special sections for fiction somewhere on their personal sites. Ranat on Beyond the Hills for example, and Tom (hi!) on The Edge of Vanilla as well.

    Fiction communities are moderated, tagged and centered on common themes, for example on Livejournal ‘Women in Authority’ and ‘Original Slave Fiction’ and ‘D/s Fics’, or on Dreamwidth ‘Kink Bingo’ and ‘Original Fiction Bingo’.

    Communities don’t duplicate existing content. The entries are mostly links to posts on the writers’ personal pages, be they accounts on that same domain or elsewhere, including professionally published works. Fiction communities work similarly to an aggregate blog for real life entries centered on a common theme, like Keyheld – only the aggregation isn’t automatised. Thus, one versatile author who writes stories with a variety of content can create tagged link posts from a variety of fiction communities, depending on what’s in the individual stories.

    As the text on Adventurotica eloquently points out, ‘Quit moaning, make your own!’ is what people who have no interest in changing anything say. I do try to give feedback here and there to people who do create stuff I’m into.

  11. @Tom Allen –

    Ooh – I might just take you up on that offer! Whatever the platform is, it needs to be easy to manage and free (at least to start with). I like your idea of gradually stepping it up. Let me give this some more thought, and I’ll try to get back to you maybe sometime later this week.

  12. I’ve been a terrible slacker about keeping up with discussion on my own blog lately, but I’m really excited by the talk of creating a space just for fem dom erotica. I bet my boyfriend could be persuaded to help, he already hosts my blog on his server.

    I totally agree that the platform needs to be free and easy to manage – I may be a web application developer by trade, but if you want me to build a custom content management system, you’re going to be waiting a while 🙂 I think a fairly basic CMS or a plain old blog multiple users and everything tagged / categorized carefully would work just fine.

    I also like the idea of a collection of links to especially good fem dom stories on places like literotica and ASSTR. I largely gave up on finding good femdom on literotica – I assume it is there, but I just wasn’t motivated to search for the needle in the haystack.

  13. I’ve been part of several groups that used the free WordPress platform. You can have multiple authors, set up different pages and sub-pages, and the linking widgets are easy to use for the HTML challenged.

    That said, I recently was on a group and heard from somebody looking for chastity porn that wasn’t all about cuckolding and forced fem. As you might imagine, I happen to like good chastity or orgasm control porn, and there is a similar issue to what you’re seeing with the lack of good femdom porn: Most of it seems to be written by men with a humiliation fetish. Not all, but quite a bit of it centers around “locking up your pathetic dickie” because it’s too small to be worth anything. This leads to the “need” for the partner to take other lovers, which then leads to the lockee taking on a more feminized role. It’s all so formulaic that you wonder why people (men) still read it. This trope is reflected in most of the captioned picture porn that you see on various groups.

    So, yeah, it would be nice to have a place that is friendly toward erotica that didn’t look like the same-old, same-old.

  14. OK, I am so excited about the upcoming erotica site you all are going to make I am distracted from my ranty mood.
    BUT
    the previously promised rage must be produced!

    So here;
    Yah yah, Tom has a valid point, there is market risk, etc. blah blah blah
    (omg, I just blah blah blah-ed Tom Allen, may the gods of kinky blogging forgive me)

    but that is NOT the whole story. There is a market. The problem is not that no one will support it; there are LOTS of people buying the shitty stuff available now, does it really seem possible that if you make better quality femdom porn suddenly that market is going to shrink??

    Tom is being extraordinarily kind in his characterization of the underlying attitudes
    (but then he is a sweetheart, so I guess that is to be expected).
    I really don’t think the problem is lack of understanding in a benign way.

    I think it is a lack of understanding in the way (as an admittedly extreme example) Southern Whites in the 50s didn’t understand Blacks why wouldn’t be happy with the drinking fountain next to the Whites Only fountain.
    It is the lack of understanding demonstrated by people who didn’t understand why Don’t Ask Don’t Tell was an offensive policy.
    It is the lack of understanding we see among Santorum supporters who are not offended by his remarks about single mothers being the downfall of the american economy (as opposed to say… greedy, dishonest corporations who get billion dollar handouts from taxpayers just before they foreclose on the homes of those taxpayers).

    Ie. It is the sort of narrow-minded response you might expected from someone who is completely comfortable with some discrimination just so long as it doesn’t effect them.

    It is about discrimination and

  15. oops, part 2!

    It is about discrimination and the people in a position to effect some change being unconvinced that it really matters… because it doesn’t bother THEM.

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