Madita Oeming is a cultural scientist and researches the role of porn in society.

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"Consuming porn is a big part of my job," says Madita Oeming in the ZEIT ONLINE podcast

Fresh to work


The 36-year-old cultural scientist researches the role of pornography in society as a research assistant at the University of Paderborn and holds seminars on it.

In order to be able to work scientifically, she sifts through pornographic content almost every day.

"When I give a lecture, I need good material. Especially when I'm looking for a specific five seconds to substantiate my argument," says Oeming.

Oeming, who first trained as a bank clerk and then completed a bachelor's degree in economics, came to her research area by chance as part of her master's degree in cultural studies: "I wrote a term paper on the novel

Moby Dick

and while researching online I came across porn again and again ", she says.

In doing so, she found that porn as a medium, market and industry is a multifaceted subject of research.

"When I dealt with the Vietnam War, nobody asked me that."

Madita Oeming, cultural scientist

Oeming ended up writing her master's thesis on

Moby Dick

porn, "which was a great pleasure," she says.

Which is why Oeming has devoted itself to porn studies, is currently doing a doctorate and offering seminars.

However, it is not easy to research pornography and its cultural role in society: "There is exactly one English specialist journal on pornography. In Germany, it is only accessible at a university."

She also noticed the lack of scientific knowledge in the public discussion of pornography.

Porn is still often described as in principle misogynistic, even if there has been a growing market for feminist pornography for years.

The misunderstandings about porn went so far that she was asked how she could stand the constant viewing of porn as a woman, says Oeming with amusement.

"When I was dealing with the Vietnam War for years, nobody asked me that."

"Of course a Prono is not authentic!"

Madita Oeming, cultural scientist

For Oeming, criticism of porn is often "almost a lack of media literacy," as she says.

"Porn is a representation, a fantasy is represented, a border crossing, a taboo break. Of course that is not authentic!"

Oeming finds it difficult to require porn to take over sex education: "That is an educational mandate that I do not want to give porno."

She has come to terms with the term "porn scientist", says Oeming in the podcast: "I identify very strongly with my research area."

But some things are also irritating: "Sometimes people send me interesting pornographic recordings. That's funny because it means that they think of me when they masturbate!"