By Steve Otto
Just today, I met up with a woman I hope to get to know. This is a good time to remind myself that the women I meet in real life are never like the women I see in porno movies.
So I’ve decided to muse on the subject of porno films. I have argued in the past with people about pornography. Despite all the objections from guys, as well as women, I still think most guys look at sexually explicit materials at least some of their time. And among some of the opponents of my views there is the agreement that there is a difference between straight out porn and erotica. Anti-porn people vary on where they draw the line. But most of the Marxist-Leninists (and MLM) activist I know are against most sexually explicit photos and films.
As my brother pointed out to me the other day, the people in those films don’t talk like, or act like real women (or men) that we know. It is important not to make the mistake of talking to women about what a guy sees on such films and forgetting that the dialog with real women is far different. Forget that and a guy can offend a woman really bad. And the results can be terrible. I actually know a guy who made a bad impression on a woman I knew who dated him. She said he talked about moves he learned watching porno films. She was not impressed—the very opposite.
Still I wonder what motivates a man or woman to expose their private parts in a movie, doing personal things that most people would never do in public? Are they just out to make money? Do they enjoy what they do? One anti-porn woman I talked to said she read an interview of a porn star who said they often had her doing things that were painful. I don’t doubt that. I’m sure there are forms of pornography that no one should really do. It can be painful and unnecessary. I have watch some films, in the past, and wondered how a woman could tolerate such treatment. I’m not in favor of just anything. Abusive films need not be made.
It is easy to see that porn film stars are doing things that look good on the cameras, but most of us would not have those types of sex for fun. Most men in those films ejaculate (the money shot as they call it) out of the vagina, not in as most people would do. There are many angles that a person would use for sex only so the camera can see what they are doing. In some ways it is hard to distinguish between people who simply want to film their sex life and those who are professional porn stars.
So why do people do this for a living? Money would be a big reason. Some people might find the activities they are in as exciting adventures. Some may be rebelling against the puritanical society we live in.
At times there are only pictures of nude people. Some are tasteful, some look candid as in a person who just happens to be out naked in their yard or on a beach. Others may be demonstrating crude poses that most normal people would never do. Again, what is their motive? For example some women like being photographed while they are peeing. These photos are not intended to be tasteful.
Then there is all the non-sense I have seen on line about pornography. Some of the claims are just plain idiotic. For example consider this piece I found on pornography Addiction:
Many seek sexual stimulation outside of the bounds of ‘normal’ intercourse. In most cases, people can keep this urge under control, but serious problems arise when people (especially young people) use porn as an educational rather than a recreational tool, and attempt to apply the fictitious (and often damaging) mores of porn to their real-life sexual encounters."
Many of the articles I found treat pornography as a drug or on par with gambling addictions. Of course there are always those who become compulsive addicts to an activity, such as gambling or pornography or some other activity.
Another absurdity I found was "7 Negative Effects of Porn,"
by BJ Stockman. He claims that pornography causes:
"PORN CONTRIBUTES TO SOCIAL AND PSYCHOLOGICAL PROBLEMS WITHIN MEN."
2. PORN REWIRES THE MALE BRAIN
- As men fall deeper into the mental habit of fixating on [pornographic images], the exposure to them creates neural pathways. Like a path is created in the woods with each successive hiker, so do the neural paths set the course for the next time an erotic image is viewed. Over time these neural paths become wider as they are repeatedly traveled with each exposure to pornography. They become the automatic pathway through which interactions with woman are routed….They have unknowingly created a neurological circuit that imprisons their ability to see women rightly as created in God’s image (Wired For Intimacy, 85)."
This is real pseudo science. This guy writes this crap to make a name for himself. These claims are ridiculous.
3. PORN TURNS SEX INTO MASTURBATION
Sex becomes self-serving. It becomes about your pleasure and not the self-giving, mutually reciprocating intimacy that it was designed for.
So no one in normal society masturbates? How absurd it that?
"4. PORN DEMEANS AND OBJECTIFIES WOMEN."
We see this on both the left and the right. Porn can objectify anyone male or female. Again, it is a weak argument. It also says a lot that a woman is objectified, demeaned or humiliated by sex and her sexuality. Why is sex humiliating.
"5. PORN SQUASHES THE BEAUTY OF A REAL NAKED WOMAN
Wolf, in her own blunt way, confirms this,
- For most of human history, the erotic images have been reflections of, or celebrations of, or substitutes for, real naked women. For the first time in history, the images’ power and allure have supplanted that of real naked women. Today, real naked women are just bad porn (Quoted in Wired for Intimacy, 38).
6. PORN HAS A NUMBING EFFECT UPON REALITY.
7. PORN LIES ABOUT WHAT IT MEANS TO BE MALE AND FEMALE
Dines records how porn tells a false story about men and women. In the story of porn, women are “one-dimensional”–they never say no, never get pregnant, and can’t wait to have sex with any man and please them in whatever way imaginable (or even unimaginable). On the other hand, the story porn tells about men is that they are “soulless, unfeeling, amoral life-support systems for erect penises who are entitled to use women in any way they want. These men demonstrated zero empathy, respect, or love for the women they have sex with…(Pornland, xxiv).”
Most of this is just a lot of absurd crap. Some of these things may really happen in extreme cases, but rewiring a persons brain about sex does not happen that easily. Any person has to be able to distinguish between fantasy and reality. For example the early, 1 AD writer, Titus Lucretius Carus mused:
"Hot pitch, executioners, torture, and all those ghastly diversions the judges impose on felons scare us and let us imagine an eternity of whips, firebrands, and scourges, the effect of which is to make life on this earth a hell for those fools who cannot distinguish dreams from the truth.”
And there are those people who work really hard at repressing their own sexual desires:
"has been a pioneer in dealing with sexual addiction and its consequences for over 35 years. During that span of time thousands of people have found freedom through our counseling programs and teaching materials....
Our 9-month Residential Program,
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Here we see an example of someone who uses religion to try and destroy their sexual desires. I have seen this before. Many religious people treat sex as a sin...pure and simple. They treat it as a curse. Sexuality is a normal part of most people's lives. Sex is not wrong. In some forms it can be wrong. Rape is wrong. We must treat others with respect—regardless of their own sexual practices. We don't want to force ourselves on others. All sex must be consensual. We have no right to force ourselves on anyone.
But sexuality in itself is a normal part of life. It should be treated as such. Some pornography does cross that line. For example it is not normal to watch a women being gang banged. Regardless of the background for making such films, no women should be portrayed as a victim. That is not normal sex. There is nothing wrong with pictures of nude people. Some portrayed sex acts cross the line between what is normal and what is not. But to put blank labels on all porn, as something evil and destructive, is simplistic and stupid. We live in a world were some sexuality is a normal part of life. To deny this is to deny humanity. It is absurd to say the least.