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Dian Hanson: To Boldly Go Where No Pornographer Has Gone Before, Part 2

Paul Redmond
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  The Catbird Seat

Over the course of her impressive career, Hanson has been in a unique position to observe the nuances and expressions of male versus female sexuality. Addressing the lessons learned from pornography about the similarities and differences between the sexes, Dian draws on a career of appealing to the libidos of both via erotic texts and images. “Men are the romantics, even if they combine sex and romance in a way that women often fail to understand,” she notes. “Most women think of romance as cuddling and long walks to the beach. Men think of it as giving a woman the best orgasm of her life.”

Hanson theorizes that on average, males really do have higher sex drives than females because they have more testosterone, the hormone responsible for arousal in both sexes. “Men have a greater capacity for odd, non-procreative sexual fixations, like fetishes and transvestism than women,” she says.

In her experience, Hanson reports that how we relate to the erotic on an emotional and intellectual level really does fall along gender lines. “Women are genuinely aroused by the trappings of wealth and success as much or more than appearance,” she says, “while few men will accept a woman who doesn’t meet up their appearance [criteria]. Men generally respect nude models and porn actresses far more than women believe, and are fully capable of falling in love with them through repeated bouts of masturbating to their images, since sex and love are far more intimately tangled in the male mind than in the female.”

The old adage goes that men are visual and women are cerebral when it comes to sexual stimuli, but recent studies show that women viewing more porn than ever before. Rather than viewing this dichotomy as a contradiction, Hanson sees it more in terms of supply feeding demand. “Though the numbers of women who are wired to be visually responsive to sexual materials are lower than for men, there are still quite a few who respond visually in the same or near same way as men. With porn just a safe discrete mouse click away, these women now have the opportunity to explore and find just what they like.”

Unknown, from the Dian Hanson collection, The Big Butt Book (Taschen)

Through her work, Hanson has also had a front row seat for the evolution modern adult media, which she sums up with the term, “The pornification of America.” The current generation, she notes, was raised with porn as an accepted part of life. “Porn has taken a position above ground, where it is now a casual reference in art, literature, and daily commerce,” she says, but frets that this ubiquity has its drawbacks. “The biggest danger I see [with online smut] is that it’s putting many of my friends out of business, and devaluing what used to a precious and scarce commodity. There’s something to be said for having to work for your porn.”

Ultimately, though, sex is everywhere. Efforts to censor porn and deem sex as legally obscene have failed. “Porn has lost much of its stigma,” Hanson concludes, “so more people are piling in, wanting careers, cutting the slices of the pie even thinner—but porn cannot be stopped. It’s way too late.”

(Click on book covers for more information)


Bold lady, fascinating life. *like* =) Very nice job, Cole. I'll be sharing this one.


Very very nice cover of the "Big Butt Book"



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Interviews with Cole Riley

  • Just who is Cole Riley? And what kind of life lead him to write about the streets in such vivid and sometimes gritty detail, while weaving in steamy sex and believable intimacy? Surely there are great stories, from his apprenticeship to beloved mentors, to his start at Holloway House publishing, to his current anthologies and projects.

    Back in the 1970s, Cole Riley says he was a lost soul. A young black man who used to run the streets, hang out with the bad guys, and do things that were a thugs’ foolishness – these are his words. But it was from those people, whose lives he shared, which formed the substance of the stories Cole Riley would later write. Cole discovered reading and writing, he discovered his love for words, and language and the art of storytelling. He apprenticed with some great people and got his life straightened out. Two of the people who helped Cole on the road to erotica were Dian Hanson, and Peter Wolf with Cole’s job at Oui Magazine. Cole became well known for his brand of urban fiction, and gained a portion of the large and dedicated fan base there. In his recent book, Making the Hook-Up, Cole Riley explores the depth and variety of black sexuality. Cole is inspired by the writing that makes you feel, the old masters and the young rebels. He finds that his imagination sets him apart from some writers; he approaches everything from a creative slant and with the goal of going further each time than he has before. Cole’s mission, through his work, is to inspire the readers. Now in his fifties, Cole has seen a lot and lived quite a life. His experiences only serve to make his writing richer, more detailed, and more provocative. As he pushes the envelope further, Cole is changing the way African American erotica is written, and thus opening up new possibilities for the genre as a whole. What will the next offering from Cole Riley bring? Let’s find out!

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