For the Vintage Porn Archives

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Players is a porno mag dedicated specifically to African American women. As a woman of color, I find that people who look like me are often under represented when I’m leafing through my vast collection of vintage pornography. I’m Mexican, and once I found a porno called Senorita Suck Off which featured an older Latina woman. At first, it’s always like, ‘Cool! Finally, someone who looks like me being vaunted as a sexual creature and beautiful woman!’ But, then, upon second look, there’s always this feeling of, ‘But why can’t you just put us in the normal porno mags like real people instead of creating a special category that you stick in a corner for us?’ This is a sentiment that I feel when looking not only at vintage pornography, but also vintage fashion magazines, contemporary fashion magazines, and films and media from the beginning of American culture until today. However, with pornography specifically, there’s always this mixed emotion of wanting to be represented but not wanting to be sexually objectified. I want to be an equal on the beauty scale of skin tone, but I also don’t want to be fetishized as the sexual other for the white man to feast upon. I’m not African American, so I don’t know how the African American ladies feel about Players, and not knowing the publication history of the magazine, it’s hard to say whether or not it was a magazine that came from within the African American community, but, as usual, the use of race in pornography, then and now, is something to think about.

From Players, September, 1979

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