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Getting Off: Pornography and the End of Masculinity Paperback – September 1, 2007


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 200 pages
  • Publisher: South End Press; 1 edition (September 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 089608776X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0896087767
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.4 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #352,565 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Robert Jensen is a professor of media law, ethics and politics at the University of Texas, Austin. He is the author of Heart of Whiteness and Citizens of Empire. He also writes for popular media, and his opinion and analytic pieces on foreign policy, politics and race have appeared in papers and magazines throughout the United States.

More About the Author

Robert Jensen is a professor of media law, ethics and politics at the University of Texas, Austin. He is the author of Writing Dissent: Taking Radical Ideas from the Margins to the Mainstream, among other books. He also writes for popular media, and his opinion and analytic pieces on foreign policy, politics and race have appeared in papers and magazines throughout the United States.

Customer Reviews

It made me think "Gee, I really wanna read that."
Megan Hewins
It will make men better human beings, and enable them to imagine a masculinity that isn't rooted in domination over women as a source of sexual gratification.
Jennifer Kline
He also approaches the topic autobiographically, (a very feminist approach) and his arguments are stronger and more poignant because of it.
Jessica Teel

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

155 of 180 people found the following review helpful By Jessica Teel VINE VOICE on December 22, 2007
Format: Paperback
I wish I had this book when I was teaching undergraduate Women's Studies courses! Jensen uses the topic of pornography to cover the most pressing issues facing feminism, and society at large, today. He has built upon the work of radical feminist scholars in regards to applying feminist theory to pornography. He looks at how the industry, its violent content, and access to pornography through new technology, has changed since writers like Andrea Dworkin first tackled the problem of how porn turns violence against women into a vehicle for sexual pleasure. Jensen is successful at attacking the problem from every angle. You can tell he is an experienced lecturer by the way he addresses the typical, and also atypical, arguments that are thrown at feminists in regards to pornography, sexuality and gender. He also approaches the topic autobiographically, (a very feminist approach) and his arguments are stronger and more poignant because of it. Because of this autobiographical angle, his tone is not just analytical, but also one of remorse and sadness about the state of sexuality and masculinity in today's world. But he offers up a new vision, one which I believe male readers will be receptive to.

I wrote my thesis for my Masters in Women's Studies on sex work, so I can wholeheartedly say I've read most literature on pornography. Getting Off is one of the best books on the subject, and he brings the feminist argument against pornography into the 21st century. I admire and appreciate that he does not merely copy the work of female scholars, but rather builds upon them all the while showing how they paved the way for his analyses. I highly recommend it for course reading material for college instructors. This is an excellent text for anyone interested in understanding power, gender and sexuality.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Respectyourself on February 21, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a radical feminist I found Robert Jensen's book validating. I have read a lot of material on pornography addiction, pornography, growing up in a sexualized culture, etc. Gail Dines "Pornland" is also excellent but I found the insight into the male experience of pornography that Jensen addressed, incredibly helpful on a very personal level, particularly the chapters he addressed specifically to men. As a woman it enabled me to better understand why men cannot see the pain, degradation and humiliation of pornography, not just to women but to humanity. I have also read a lot about sex-trafficking and there are some very strong connections between patriarchy, pornography, men's sexual attitudes towards women/children, and sex-trafficking. It was helpful to me to see that there are men out there who have the same emotional reaction to pornography as I do. One of Jensen's anecdotes struck such a deep cord because it could have been describing my own experience. If you ever listen to some of his lectures on Youtube, you can hear his depth of sadness. I too carry this sadness. The personal impact of this book aside, I believe many will find it thought-provoking at the very least. I agree with arguing against pornography from a "harm" perspective more helpful than a "censorship" perspective which is somewhat futile. His talk of "masculinity" being culturally defined (and femininity too) is helpful for both sexes to think about and try to understand. When we define ourselves in such limited terms, we ignore the core of who we really are. Humans with the same basic needs, wants, and desires - one of which is to be equal. Thank you Robert Jensen for your brave and valuable contribution to these sensitive issues. You have given me hope where there previously was none. I too have cried "I don't want to live in this world." (Jensen, p.45)
Be warned that there are graphic descriptions of pornography in this book and it definitely should not be read by anyone under the age of 18.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By angrybunny on May 18, 2012
Format: Paperback
When I bought this book, I wanted to better understand the mentality and the motives behind the consumption of porn. Never did I think that it would change my perception of sex, improve my relationship, and completely transform my partners attitudes towards porn and women. I especially loved the section that discussed what role sex actually plays in our lives, I became more conserned with intimacy and affection during sex as opposed to mere friction or the superficial aspects of sex. the result is that me and my partner are having more sex (sometimes 3 times a day!but definately 7 times a week) we are more open and less insecure, and our new found level of intimacy during sex has spread from the bedroom to every aspect of our relationship.

My partner stopped watching porn after reading this book, he says it made him question why he ever watched it in the first place. It inspired him to start writing about feminist subjects and he has adopted a more empathetic, and less gender biased attitude towards all people. I never expected one book to create such a dramatic effect on him! I think that in jensens description of the "king of the hill" games that boys play in childhood pressured him to adopt a persona that fit with society's perception of manhood. This was something my partner could relate to and it helped him to better understand himself and the true reasoning behind his porn consumption.

For me the book showed me the reasoning behind the fetishising of dominance over women which is a recurrant theme in porn. I am thankfull for Jensen's graphic, and informative descriptions of scenes and sex acts in porn, alongside the disection of the apeal of such acts to men. when i first saw porn I thought men where monsters, seeing titles such as "use my daughter.
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