I watched The Ring when I was 9 and never slept a wink again until I was 11. To overcome my fears, I had to imagine Hercules stabbing Sadako, the demon from The Ring, every night. Hercules is just as non-existent as the long-haired demon to me, so how did this even work to alleviate my fears?
Despite my persistent fears at night, the daughter of Satan is never going to be able to kill me – what I’m afraid of then isn’t death but of the potentiality of death.
The demon’s spawn had a more fantasmatic structure to her, there was no telling what she could or was going to do, and in that there was the potential, which was filled by my fantasies, which leads to fear. Hercules had limits because I had control of him and by stabbing her she has limits now. She is now ‘realer/more material’ than before. I am less afraid.
The more ‘real’ the fantasy is to you the harder it is to believe it because of your experience and control. The more fantasmatic your fantasies are, the fewer obstructions to direct belief.
To illustrate my point, let’s get onto my favourite topic.
Porn as fantasy, works in the way that you know it’s not true, the act is not really happening right in front of you, but you believe it as if it is real, so that you can act on that fantasy for your own pleasure. For any fantasy to be real enough to stimulate, you must be able to believe.
Tonight’s Girlfriend is a porno that’s simply the fantasy of paying a porn star for a night for her to fulfill your fantasies anyway you wish. Their tagline is: you don’t pay her for sex, you pay her to leave.
There is a bridge in between non-belief and belief, despite knowledge of the truth. In Tonight’s Girlfriend, the bridge is in paying. Payment is the social contract between you and the other to freely agree upon the deal. In fantasy, if you have the ability to ‘force’ your imaginary girl to any position you desire, it wouldn’t be real enough for you to believe it. However, payment gets rid of that conundrum, that paying ‘her’ gives ‘her’ a life of ‘her’ own, she freely chooses to do the things that you desire – it is in the contract. Your imagined freedom for her is what makes her real. In other words, through “payment” one is allowed to believe.
Money – even in fantasy, gives reality to the fantasmatic girl; it is the kill-switch that turns non-belief to belief. The money bridges from non-belief to belief through the transference of control. The money is charged with symbolic value of control. Transferring control to the shrew in your fantasy takes control away from you, which makes ‘her’ more real only in the sense that your fantasy is more fantasmatic, therefore, making your belief in her easier. In effect, you are giving ‘her’ life, which seems like it makes her realer, but no. What the money does is give her a more fantasmatic element.
In other words, for the demon to be less scary – we limit her potentialities to which we gain control over the fantasy of her. Here’s the fun part: on the other hand, for porn to be stimulating, we instead delimit her potentiality, allowing the fantasy to gain ‘control’ over us, in order for it to be more fantasmatic, in which we find it realer and therefore more stimulating. Huh?
Let’s speak in examples. Let’s say you go to a hotel or any capitalistic establishment. To stay in the hotel, there are two things you can do. You can pay for a room, or you can sneak in by picking the lock for the room. The first option – to fork cash over to the hotel allows you to feel that you deserve the room; that you’ve paid for it. The second option – undeserving. In the same vein, to “pay” the porn star on screen instead of behind the scenes gives the first illusory perspective that this is real – that is to say this porn is real porn since you witness the transaction to which porn is made. From the perspective of fantasies, your fantasmatic payment to your fantasmatic girl however has no levels of ‘realness’, yet there is a stronger stimulation.
Perhaps we can categorise all prior porn as Marxist porn – money behind the scenes. Tonight’s Girlfriend is possibly the first capitalistic porn. This is significant. The idea of payment – exchanging money, actually allows you to disavow the payment/money, and only through this disavowal will it make you feel entitled to the thing. That is to say the payment, the giving of money is the part where you can genuinely believe that there is no money involved. A simple analogy would be that after paying for the hotel, the receptionist, the bell boy, the maids in your hotel are friendly to you because they are as such, you really believe that they have good service, that their friendliness is genuine. Your payment and the service of the hotel are categorised separately despite your knowing of the obvious correlation. This disavowal is necessary for capitalism as such. To push the analogy further, when you receive good service you’re not going to be indifferent just because you believed that you paid for the right amount of service, instead every service that you feel is genuine and good is a surplus – a surplus that can only come from the disavowal of payment. To return to porn, to view the payment not only as a real situation, but simultaneously it allows for the disavowal and the doubt as to why that girl would want to screw you.
Marxist porn – money behind the scenes – has ludicrous reasons as to why the porn star wants to have sex with you, usually because she ordered pizza or her plumbing is broken and she’s horny at the same time. For this porn to work, the necessary underlying reason is that she wants you. Everything else is a made up reason/excuse to get your attention so she’s able to screw you.
However, capitalistic porn goes directly to the roots of narcissism. There is an issue of background anxiety within Marxist porn: “Will the porn star actually like me? No she won’t, I’m fat and old; she is being paid behind the scenes to have sex, which means she won’t really have sex with me without the money.” Instead, capitalistic porn allows you to disavow her judgement – that is to say after paying her, you really believe that she genuinely wants to do it with you as you disavow the payment – and in such by paying her, her judgement of you is genuinely favourable and not because of the Marxist backroom payments.
Does this work for fantasy as well? Porn is fantasy dummy. To tie the threads together, let’s agree that porn arises out of the enactment of one’s fantasy. Their relationship isn’t that straightforward, so instead let’s just stay out of that and clear our own path. If porn comes first, then disavowal precedes potentiality. It is only through the disavowal by the ‘payment’ that one can truly believe that she wants you for her own sake [instead of backroom payments and anxiety] and only through this can the potentiality fully take effect and it is this potential that is essential to all porn.
To explain how “money” is the bridge from non-belief to belief: In both capitalistic porn and prostitution, you are allowed to disavow the underlying narcissism and you can instead genuinely believe that she genuinely wants to have sex with you. In other words, money disavows. However, you don’t want her to merely have sex with you, you want her to want to have sex with you, and it is this precise desire of ‘hers’ that stems from potentiality. In other words, if ‘she’ genuinely wants to have sex with you, she has to have an identity – which you have given it to her in your fantasy.
Think about it like this, in Marxist porn the pornstar will be called a slut, or a whore or whatever. You don’t really believe it – backroom payments – but you just go along with it. However in capitalistic porn, you get to disavow the payment, and in effect you get to believe in her identity. It is her identity that makes her “real”, and it is precisely this identity of hers (shrew, wanton, etc) that allows you to believe in her genuine ‘desire’ for you. Yet, her identity is a purely fantasmatic one! How can someone’s fantasy gain any genuine belief and an identity? It is through potentiality – to break it down: strive towards potency. The amount of desire is dependent on how potent your fantasies are, and how believable it is. Potentiality is essentially the woodwork of the bridge.
Is there a difference between ‘capitalistic porn’ and prostitution? Of course there is. For prostitution, the potentiality only comes prior to and after the actual sex. That is to say prostitution too is a game of fantasy, in that the fantasies are much more potent – prior to and after the act of the sex. You’re not really paying for the sex; you’re paying for that potentiality which allows you that fantasy that you can actually believe. ‘Capitalistic porn’ of course works differently. The porn segment in itself is where the fantasy and potentiality lies.
In both ‘capitalistic porn’ and prostitution you get this desire fulfilled. You believe she genuinely wants to fulfil your desire – in which you then can perceive her as ‘a slut’ or ‘a shrew’. However, we must remember that this ‘identity’ that you believe her to be is purely based in your fantasy, yet, it is this ‘identity’ of hers that gives her potentiality – her ‘realness’. It is through this ‘realness’ that allows one to have true belief in the fantasy.
In effect, Sadako (Satan’s spawn) became less frightening to me because the identity I imposed on her: a minion, effectively curtailed her potentiality – and therefore she lost her fantasmatical status; I lose my fear for her. Capitalistic porn takes the reverse route, disavow with payments, genuine belief, displacement of identity, high potentitality, and high fantasy – fireworks. Happy New Year.