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James K. Beggan

Abstract

External ejaculation (the cum shot) is considered a central component of heterosexual pornography and is often used to visually mark the end of an action of sexual intercourse. Critical analyses of pornography have asserted that external ejaculation can be conceptualized in terms of the maintenance of heteronormative expectations of male dominance as expressed through hegemonic masculinity. The present analysis adopts a broader view of external ejaculation by considering the phenomenon in terms of contamination, performance, and discipline. The polysemic analysis presented suggests that in some cases the conventions of pornography as represented in the external cum shot can represent a threat to masculinity and male spectators by creating unrealistic expectations for male sexual performance.