"Between Vulnerability And Indifference"

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Natasha Vargas-Cooper exposes what hardcore Internet porn can't show us:

Even the crudest of online porn captures only a slice of the less-than-uplifting aspects of the sexual experience, because porn not only eschews but actively conceals this singular truth: the most brutalizing aspects of sex are not physical. This is made plain by the great, filthy, but far from pornographic Last Tango in Paris, which Pauline Kael described as the “most powerfully erotic movie ever made.” ...

What makes Last Tango so devastating and resonant is not the sex acts, for which the movie is often remembered, but rather the common but annihilating emotions that fuel them: desperation and loneliness. It’s the clash between vulnerability and indifference that transpires after sex that is so savage. This is what Kael called “realism with the terror of actual experience.” The most frightening truths about sex rarely exist in the physical, but instead live in the intangible yet indelible wounds created in the psyche. Go try to find that on the Internet.

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