What makes people think about pornography?
On my journey from Yogya to Semarang on September 24, 2005, I took a Nusantara bus. I usually selfishly occupied two seats for myself (so that I could put my luggage on the seat next to me) because the bus was usually not full. Since the bus was almost full of passangers on that day, I chose to sit at the very back seat on the right corner. The seat next to me was empty so that I could comfortably put my backpack on it. When the bus almost left Jombor terminal, a middle-aged man came and sat on the seat next to the seat where I put my backpack.
Mostly there are two things I do on my journey from Yogya to Semarang, or on the way around; reading a book or sleeping. (luckily, I am a kind of person who can fall asleep easily everywhere). At that time, I had a book with me. The book is Jurnal Perempuan (my favorite journal) no 41 with the main topic ‘Seksualitas’.
When the bus left Jombor, I started to read an article entitled “Seksualitas Lesbian”. It talks about how a lesbian couple can satisfy each other. You know, living in this patriarchal society with phallus centris—people believe that to get sexual satisfaction, both sex partners need penis—often makes people wonder how a lesbian couple can get orgasm, as if they forget that other kinds of sex also exists. Let’s say, people also can get orgasm from doing oral sex. When a heterosexual man does it to his partner, he can make his partner get orgasm without using his penis, can’t he?
This article will not talk about that kind of thing. If you are interested, just buy one copy of that edition. Okay?
In fact, without my knowing, the middle-aged man sitting next to me was attracted to me. Well, I am not sure though whether he was attracted to me or to the book I was reading. Some time later, he asked me, “Don’t you feel dizzy coz reading on a bus, mbak?” frankly speaking, I was not a kind of person who liked to be friendly to people (moreover a guy!) sitting next to me. However, at that time, I tried to be friendly by responding to that question, “Oh No, I am not dizzy coz I am accustomed to doing it.”
That man continued, “You seem so occupied with your reading. May I have a look of that book of yours?” Actually I felt uncomfortable to lend the book to that stranger (frankly speaking, it was caused by the main topic of the journal was ‘Seksualitas’. Most people reduce term ‘sexuality’ with only sexual intercourse. That was what I thought.) However, I still gave the book to that man.
I saw him look at the front cover, then flipped the pages at a glance. I noticed that he didnt read the table of contents, he didnt read some headlines printed on the back cover either. I believed he was only interested in the topic ‘Seksualitas’ unconspicuously printed on the front cover. Some minutes later, he gave the book back to me, saying, “A good book.” I looked into his eyes while he said so. I saw lust there. Shit. I felt abused. What the hell did he think about me at that time? I felt like I wanted to throw my thick-heeled shoes to his eyes.
I was wondering if he was thinking that the journal was full of articles similar to those esek-esek magazines or newspapers abundantly found in this country.
After reading another article entitled “Tidak hanya gender, seks juga konstruksi sosial ... (kritik terhadap heteroseksualitas)” I felt my eyes started to be sleepy. I put the book on my lap while I closed my eyes. Seeing me not reading anymore, that man borrowed my book again. I gave it to him. This time, I saw him reading the table of contents and then reading the same article I read before, “Seksualitas Lesbian”. After that I continued closing my eyes again.
Some time later, I opened my eyes. That man disappeared. He just put the book on my backpack without saying anything to me, yeah ... such as thanking me coz I let him read my book. I thought he had got off the bus somewhere.
However, when arriving at Banyumanik terminal, I saw that man in the middle of passangers who were going to get off, including me. It means he didnt get off somewhere before. He just moved to one seat at the front. He pretended not to see me though. I knew he tried to avoid looking at the direction where I was standing.
On the bus to my workplace, I was trying to interpret what that man thought. When the first time he flipped the pages of the book, also read the front cover, his eyes were suddenly full of lust when returning the book to me. Was he thinking that the book was full or vulgar stories, just like in some esek-esek newspapers? The lust in his eyes made me think if he thought that I was a kind of an “easy” girl coz I consumed such stories. J . When he borrowed the book again, he expected to find similar stories in the journal? After he didnt find what he expected, he was disappointed? What made him avoid looking at me? I remember he read “Seksualitas Lesbian.” Here, read the last paragraph of that article:
Pada akhirnya relasi seksual lesbian yang sehat, dimana melibatkan kasih sayang dan kepedulian, jauh dari kekerasan baik fisik maupun verbal, akan menghasilkan kenyamanan dan kenikmatan yang tidak semu. Ada baiknya kaum heteroseksual banyak belajar dari relasi seksual lesbian, supaya tidak ada lagi perempuan hetero yang harus mengalami fake orgasm dan tidak ada lagi laki-laki hetero yang merasa paling hebat dalam melakukan hubungan seksual dan berpikiran jika dia sudah mengalami kepuasan seksual berarti pasangannya juga begitu. (JP 41 hal. 78)
(lastly, a healthy lesbian sexual relationship that involves love, care, and excludes physical and verbal abuse, will result in real comfort, enjoyment, and pleasure. It is a good thing for the heterosexual to learn from lesbian sexuality so that no more heterosexual females have to undergo fake orgasm, and no more heterosexual males feel the greatest in having sex and then think that when they get orgams, their partners will automatically get it too.)
Some possibilities I thought were: First, he thought I was a lesbian. Probably he saw me reading that article too. Since homosexual is still considered abnormal or social disease, he considered me abnormal or socially diseased. As a socially diseased person, I must be isolated. That’s why he moved to another seat, away from me. Second, he was included into a group of men mentioned in that last paragraph. He thought when he got sexually satisfied, automatically, his sex partner would get that too. When he knew from the article that sometimes heterosexual women pretend to get (fake) orgasm to make her sex partner feel ‘manly’ or ‘great’, he felt offended. Third, he thought that homosexual is disease, sinful. As a heterosexual man (a ‘normal’ one, meaning ‘healthy’ not diseased), why should he learn from lesbian sexual relationship?
I stil feel bothered until now. What made his eyes full os lust when looking at me only by seeing my book with the title ‘Seksualitas’ on the cover? I didnt wear clothes that I thought would make me look sexually tempting. I didnt show any body language that would make people around me think that I needed their sexual attraction to me.
The main point is: Pornography is in our mind. Not at the object we are looking at.
How strong are you to control yourself? Free from social, cultural and religous norms?