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In porn, why are women ejaculated in the face?

“Moneyshot” or “Cumshot”, classic straight porn follows a clear choreography which usually ends with the female party being ejaculated in the face. Is it really just a show of force or is there more to it than that?
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It may be a bit of a stretch to try and answer the question thanks to Adorno’s words. But it is a favorable approach to tackle the phenomenon from an intellectual-bourgeois approach and to take the porn out of its so-called “dirty corner”. One conversely lets the shameful aspect and solid philosophy meet.

This resolution takes place through alleged and always verifiable authenticity, which is important in porn and thus proven by the proud representation of the ejaculation. 

Theodor W. Adorno says the following about authenticity: 

“Among the concepts into which bourgeois morality contracts after the dissolution of its religious norms and the formalization of its autonomous norms, authenticity ranks first.”

(Adorno 2003: 173)

Authenticity is the last reliable point of reference when the norms and values ​​of a known world dissolve. And what better way to prove the authenticity of porn than to show the final ejaculation. 

The first reaction to “cumshot” would have something to do with the humiliation aspect of the woman by the action of the man. This may be partly true, but is certainly not the only reasoning when circling the phenomenon. Because if you see the act only as humiliation, then the ejaculation is something dirty and the woman is soiled by it. The thought that a woman could be polluted by consensual sex, no matter what it looks like, is really not a particularly progressive idea nor one by which women would ascribe their own kind of lust, pleasure or needs. 

That’s the exciting thing about the world of pornography: it’s a safe place. One in which fantasies are as close to reality as they possibly could be. Because fantasies – and this should also be kept in mind -, are absolutely not only satisfied when they are fulfilled. On the contrary, just because someone has the fantasy of sleeping with many men at the same time during a so-called “gangbang”, does not mean that they have to want to implement it in reality. 

Well, the basic foundation of porn is that everything that happens in it is real. It’s about two people having sex for real, where you can see the penis and vulva, butt holes, sweat, body folds and fluids. As the grand finale and absolute proof of authenticity lies the ejaculation. The dramaturgical and physical climax are also the end points of the narrative. Because in classic heteroporn the end comes with the male orgasm where with a traditional drama structure the story changes after the climax, the porn then comes to a halt and finish. The narrative moves from climax to climax. 

But why does the climax always land on the woman’s face? That a man would use himself or his surroundings as a canvas for these Jackson Pollock-like paintings does not actually occur – at least in straight porn -, and neither does it seem intended that the man comes on the woman. Something would be withheld from the audience. 

In classic porn, the bodies are smooth, the butt holes bleached, penises trimmed and nowhere is there a hair. As elegant as gymnasts and panting like boxers, the actors perform a highly demanding round of athleticism and sport. In this setting, which is often more reminiscent of a gym than the dark erotic thicket in which reality moves, the free-flying ejaculation is perhaps also a final anarchic greeting from a force that cannot be captured, controlled nor regulated.

In a world which sells control over the body as an aesthetic, one must probably understand the free shot as the final bastion of the inexplicable mystery of the human body. In addition, coming on the face leaves a feeling of being accepted. Because if you come on your partner’s back or breasts in shame, then that has a different effect. The face due to its openings, is vulnerable. We become infected with diseases, exchange non-verbal information, speak and are in contact with the world through it.

At the moment, we are  having to cover our face with masks in order to protect ourselves and our environment. This also makes us aware of how much we actually communicate through the face. Just being able to see someone’s eyes is not enough to read the person in front of you. And so the gesture of the sperm flying into a face is also an act of absolute surrender to the partner, and one that requires strong trust and perhaps is because of this, so erotic for many. 

Because porn – as it was known until now -, suggests a sporty performance rather than real sex, it seems like coffee without caffeine or butter without fat ; deprived of its real substance, as the philosopher Jean Baudrillard describes hyperreality, often used to interpret the state of the image-fixated media and intense information society. In this case, the sperm is the only thing that anchors the film in a real human world. Because without sperm, two sex robots could also interact. The semen suggest humanity. 

Baudrillard explains the world as a reality show that has lost its essence and is now made up of ciphers. The semen can then also be read as such. A code for humanity, for freedom and a final greeting from a world in which bodies despite all self-optimization, are still strange and sometimes disgusting and we find them exciting and yes, also erotic.

In a world which is moving further and further away from the human body, and which may soon be enlivened by artificial intelligence, companies where social freezing is the norm and completely controlled smart cities : the freely shouted secret is perhaps the last rebellion of a slowly disappearing anarchy of the body. 

Ready for some visual inspiration? Then check out Jay Meets Nia

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