M/m porn produced for straight women is not as harmful to society as lesbian porn produced for straight men

My fellow science fiction writer Sunny Moraine wrote a post setting forth her frustration with the rhetoric that comes out of straight women who write m/m porn. Basically, Sunny is totally fed up with the way that these women claim to be striking a blow for freedom and equality.

“Redeeming” gay romantic relationships is patronizing. Focusing on cisgender male erotic relationships to the exclusion of other queer identities because you find that stuff hot is erasure. Reducing the significance of characters to gender and sexuality – especially in the interest of depicting erotic sexual activity – is fetishizing. I’m not the first person to say this, but now I’m gonna be another one

So yes, m/m porn (for straight women) doesn’t really change the world for the better. However, I also feel as though it’s a bit harmless. Queer men mostly have no interest in writing m/m porn for straight women, so it’s not as if the straight women who write it are crowding out queer authors. And, as a genre, it also exists so far below the cultural consciousness (and in its own bizarre space) that I don’t think it affects how people view actual queer men in the actual world.

I hold this in contrast to the case of lesbian porn produced for straight men, which does, arguably, been some negative societal consequences in that there’s a certain amount of lesbian behavior in the real world, particularly amongst bisexual women, that’s mediated by the male gaze. For instance, a song like Katy Perry’s “I Kissed A Girl” or a moment like the Madonna / Britney Spears kiss teach their primarily young and female fans that the primary reason for lesbian kisses is to titillate men. And I guess it’s not wrong for two women to kiss in order to titillate men, but the fact that we live in a world where that happens makes it more and more difficult for two women to kiss purely in order to please themselves. The existence of that sort of lesbian porn creates a perpetual double-consciousness that is, to some extent, destructive to peoples’ honest sexual development.

I don’t think that m/m porn does the same thing to gay men, though. Basically, gay men just ignore it. This has everything to do with the differences in cultural and political power between the sexes. However, because of that, m/m porn (for straight women) is not particularly harmful to our society.