A few years ago, an interdisciplinary group of graduate students and faculty formed the Feminism and Pornography Research Cluster at UC Santa Cruz. Since then, we've investigated the relationship of pornography to feminism through intense research and collective reading practices. In this essay, I will use the experience of the Research Cluster to reflect on existing literature about pornography and controversial sexual expression. With an eye toward building critical yet sensitive research agendas, I will interrogate how feminists have examined and talked about pornography. Specifically, I'll look at how their personal stakes and emotional investments have shaped what gets studied and ignored, how findings are interpreted and reported, and how pornography researchers communicate and fail to communicate with one another. I'm going to start with a review of existing literature on the psychosocial impacts of pornography and of its repression. This literature is a highly charged, politically oriented literature. Often, disagreements among those who study pornography are not only scholarly disagreements. They are political and they are personal. Most feminists working on pornography experience pressure to "take a side." A researcher, whether she intends it or not, will probably be classified by her fellow feminists as either a defender or a critic of pornography. Efforts at etching a middle ground and efforts to achieve some form of "neutrality" have been few and far between, and they have been mostly unsuccessful in breaking the discursive norms of what is a largely bifurcated debate.