Porn: Friend or Foe?

Porn, we are frequently told, is the enemy of women’s rights.  We are told that porn portrays women as mere objects for men’s sexual gratification.  We are told it educates men into a mentality of treating women like cattle.  We are told it inspires sexual crimes such as rape and domestic violence.  We are told it is a social ill that must be stamped out if civilisation is to progress.

However, we are seldom told that women get turned on by porn as much as men do (anecdotal or scientific evidence).  We are seldom told that women are just as guilty of objectifying men as men are of women.  We are seldom told that high porn consumption is linked to a decrease in sex crimes.  We are also almost never told that societies with the least porn are the worst offenders in abusing women and are leading the way in sexual perversion.

Porn, has always been there, stone age carvings of women have been found by the hundreds but apparently only five stone age carvings of men’s bodies have been found.  Feminists and archeologists like to call this Venus figures proof that our ancestors worshipped female deities, but the large breasts and big child bearing hips like those of the Venus or Willendorf (made approximately 25,000 years ago) suggest they were our species’ first exploration into the porn industry.  Porn inspiring artwork and industry in the stone age, who’d ever thought that porn would be a force for progress?This Venus is Paleolithic statue that was chiselled out approximately 25,000 years ago

What is porn?

Is life drawing porn?  Is life photography porn?  Is photography of naturally attractive women in non-sexually suggestive poses and no enhancements porn?  Is photography of naturally attractive women in sexually suggestive poses and no enhancements porn? And so on and so on: where does one draw the line? (Ever noticed that they’re somehow not ‘life’ drawings if they’re naturally very attractive?)

I know where I draw the line, but I’m still well into the conventional zone of “that’s porn, not art”.  What fascinates me with this whole porn argument is how back to front people who are anti-porn are about the facts: the harder it is to see a naked woman the more depraved and frightening the porn.  Check out who in the USA has the most rape fantasies:  –> that’s not the atheists, that’s the conservative Christians who appear to be so starved of sex they hunger for something a little more risque and if you’re from a Muslim country it just gets worse with Muslims leading the world in Google searches for bestiality.  Apparently the easier it is to see a pair of natural boobies in the flesh, the less likely a person will have a sexual perversion.  Wow, that’s almost rocket science, except it isn’t, it’s common sense.  Covering up sexuality just leaves the imagination to run riot and when it comes to sex it can only get less natural over time.

The other thing is, porn is so cheap now that the only people who pay for it are the ones into the perverted violent stuff, consequently all of the natural nudes sites are struggling to make any money while the hard core porn sites are raking in the dough with rape fetishes, thus giving the skewed impression that most men are into hard core porn because only the hard core sites are making money.  If you know a man, with questionable attitudes towards women, who pays for porn rather than just browse the huge amount of free porn on a Google Image search, worry, because the odds are good he’s either an idiot or a pervert.

But let’s take a moment here to consider something absurd, what is wrong with us as a species if we’re disgusted by our own natural appearance?  Why is it that women can wear dresses that reveal every bit of their boobs except for their nipples, i.e. the only part the men actually have on their own breasts.  It’s pretty damn easy to fill in the blanks and work out what the women actually look like without their cleavage boosting tops, if the women shouldn’t feel ashamed for wearing those clothes, then why should men feel ashamed for watching?  If it’s because it makes the women feel uncomfortable having men stare at their breasts in those clothes then in all fairness’ sake at least let those boys look at porn.  Otherwise what you’re arguing is that men’s sexuality frightens you and you don’t want men to have any sexuality at all.  Well that’s progress for you, women were denied their sexuality so now we’re going to deny men theirs to even it up, even though the men of today weren’t the ones who installed and maintained the horrendous patriarchy of yesterday.  Is it just obvious to me, that if a man has no recourse to discover the naked female body in a natural setting, to deny him porn is to encourage him to seize this experience by force?  I’m not justifying rape, it’s a horrible crime, but starvation can make an civilised person a killer too.  If you cannot imagine what sexual frustration is like, then you’ve been living too long in a Western country and you’re taking your sexual liberty for granted.  Just like people who don’t think they would stoop to cannibalism if they were sufficiently starved.  Sexual starvation and physical starvation are not necessarily as far apart as we’d like to imagine they are.

Regarding the argument that porn is a waste of money, one could argue that about anything: cosmetics is the first that comes to mind, followed by fashion.  But in any case telling people how they ought to spend their own money is is another issue entirely, let’s focus on porn: women generally consent to being involved in it, as do the men, they get paid for it like any other job and if they don’t like it they’re free to leave the industry.  It isn’t different to any other occupation or workplace.

The double standard regarding men as “objectifying” women whenever they consume porn but women don’t objectify men when they get turned on by clothes, car or face.  Dear women who say these things, stop wearing make-up or dressing fashionably and then I’ll take you seriously.  Neither sex  is less objectifying than the other.  Women are not more sophisticated if they find faces more attractive than men (which I don’t think they do) because faces are still an objective part of a person.  The subjective element to a person concerns their thoughts, feelings, dreams, desires etc.. everything one can’t see, hear or touch directly.  So let’s keep it real, women objectify men as much as men objectify women and even worse, women objectify themselves so much with fashion and cosmetics thus making the porn industry the least of their concern.  A decent human being (without any neurological impairments) will see that a person isn’t just an object, but a person.  Any woman who dares tell me as a man that I’m too simple to comprehend what objectification means had better not go to a night club to see lots of women throwing themselves at men purely for their looks.  This kind of thing frustrates me too because I don’t want a woman to just appreciate me for my body, I want to at least know they’re paying attention to me when I rant about them on this website.

Porn Ain’t All The Same

There are hundreds of different varieties of porn: from naturally-figured unenhanced fully-clothed women to brutal acts of bestiality.  Some forms of porn, such as the ones that depict violence against women, are horrendous and I am sympathetic to banning these.  But porn that depicts women as beautiful, confident and powerful beings is actually good for boosting women’s status in society.  I’ve never come across a person that said all porn was good, but I’ve come across legions of people who think all porn is bad as though it was a black and white issue.  These are usually the people who deny that women enjoy porn, that deny that gay porn even exists, deny that women set up their own businesses to sell photos of themselves voluntarily, deny that sex workers can even enjoy their work.

This needs to be said, called out and screamed out loud: “Women like porn too!”  There is heaps of porn out there for women and I’ve dated women who watch porn.  Also if anyone here wants to complain about those poor exploited sex workers then why don’t you listen to them before speaking on their behalf?  Go to swaay.org and actually read wht sex workers really think.  Pay special attention to how much they despise other people telling them what they thik about their work when they don’t know what they even do!

When I was researching this article I came across heaps of examples of porn depicting women beating, crushing, humiliating and destroying men.  Honestly, I didn’t think about porn like that being degrading to men until today.  So I can’t say this has actually affected me psychologically, now that I know about this anti-men pornography I feel confident I can say it won’t bother me for the rest of my life because I just don’t care.  It’s only a fetish, it works for some, for me it’s just hilarious to think about, but not arousing for me.  Women who complain about porn, if you don’t worry about it, it doesn’t hurt you, or better yet, indulge in some of this type of porn.

This ignorance about porn and human sexuality frustrates me as 5 minutes in front of Google Image search would easily prove to these people they are just wrong.  However, they can’t see it because they are terrified of men and women actually expressing their sexuality openly and in a natural way.  They’re used to this culture of shame and they can’t adjust to world where people don’t feel ashamed of their bodies and the simplest and most beautiful pleasures of human existence: sexual pleasure.  Personally, I don’t mind it if you hate yourselves and your bodies, but lease don’t upset other people with your negativity!

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Categories: Beliefs, Morals, Entertainment, Gender issues, People

Author:Jason Sutherland

Resist the temptation to assume that you're always right or wrong. Never succumb to thinking you're so insignificant to trust your own thoughts and feelings. Always be responsible and listen carefully to others before passing judgement. Don't trust governments bearing stolen goods.

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7 Comments on “Porn: Friend or Foe?”

  1. August 26, 2011 at 11:29 pm #

    Interesting article and well written. Sex has been around ever since God made life and if we were not supposed to enjoy it He wouldn’t have made us this way. I personally prefer my sex in private and a monogamous relationship, (my wife and I have been together for nearly forty years), but a well filmed movie or a well written story of a man and a woman enjoying themselves and each other appeals to the voyeur in me.

  2. August 26, 2011 at 11:41 pm #

    Censorship! This is why pornography became an issue of contention. I ran a class on pre-modern eroticism and pornography with my undergraduate literature students, which led to some very colourful comments and debates; thoroughly enjoyable. I miss those classes… but to the point:

    When you think of how pornography emerged between the sixteenth and nineteenth centuries, it was predominantly a literary practice; a category of knowledge that was linked intimately to the birth of Western modernity and culture’s democratisation. That’s right, pornography helped create the modern world. Early modern writers and engravers of pornography (some engravings are priceless – I should look them out again from the old BL MS manuscript files) were part of the hedonists (accounting for the heretics and libertines) of the ‘dark side’ of the Renaissance / Scientific Revolution / Enlightenment. At its root, pornography began as an attempt to shock (with sex) to test the boundaries (and regulation of) between the decent/obscene, dissenting and subverting from the religious and political authorities as well as social / sexual norms. By these standards, the pronographic was not focused, foremost, on the sexual object / act – it was only a vehicle through which to make a political judgement / action. The importance when discussing any issue of the expression of human desire is to keep the distinction of the erotic and the pornographic in mind. The pornographic is sex without any kind of representational frame. I agree with your key point here, that porn is not always the same. I would never be one to condone the kind of objectification that damages people, but when a person, whatever the gender, chooses to be involved in the pornographic side of the entertainment business, what of it? Art, empowerment, independence, representation, money; whatever their reason, it’s valid. As for why men are less objectivified than women? On a basic level, the female body is simply more beautiful. As for this ‘issue’ of objectification; it’s always inevitable, as you say. It’s not exclusive to the porn industry. G-d knows, I objectify myself as much as anyone else might…

    The human body is there to be celebrated! So is sex!

  3. LuciB
    September 11, 2011 at 11:23 pm #

    I’m a feminist, and I like porn. Nothing wrong with it as far as I’m concerned. If it offends women, they can choose not to watch it or participate in it.

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