• 0 thru 9
    Bonobos (our closest relatives) are highly promiscuous and use sex to defuse tensions avoid fights, and promote social cohesion. For humans, it is much more a matter of status, and therefore it is socially controlled. Specifically, society is patriarchal and patrilineal, and this necessarily leads to the need to control women's sexual activity, because while the mother is easily known by the fact of giving birth, the father must be presumed. Thus we arrive at the notion of women as property, assets for reproduction that need to be guarded. Religion serves the nobility, the propertied class, to protect their bloodline from pollution. This is why female prostitutes are tolerated, but wives must be virginal. See Charles and Diana for example.

    This is the background into which pornography is projected. Women are already commodified as assets to be owned or rented.

    Pornography is both advertising and product. It functions to create the need that it then satisfies momentarily, and unsatisfactorily. So it induces addiction, and deliberately. And the nature of all addiction and all advertising is that the hunger is stimulated more than it is satisfied.

    You do wonder what the effect must be of digital pornography suddenly appearing in cultures which had previously been characterised by extremely censorious and proscriptive sexual mores, where women are veiled and extramarital sex is punishable by death. It's a long way between that and the kind of sexuality that is routinely depicted in contemporary porn, which nowadays anyone in a remote rural village can access via their new smartphone. I can only imagine that the effects would be truly explosive. You do wonder if it is implicated in the so-called 'rape culture' of the sub-continent.Wayfarer

    It's sad that our ideals don't include our nature - we have to discard that which makes us us to be any good in some people's eyes. Sex is a case in point. We're sexual creatures, our libido being, as is obvious, liberated from the rhythms of the universe; quite unlike other animals, we're arousable 24×7, 7 days a week, 30 days a month, whole year round. That's biological sexual revolution, anticipates and dwarfs the cultural sexual revolution of the 60s and 70s in me humble opinion. We'll always be unworthy in our own eyes.Agent Smith

    The most obvious one giving children a badly skewed version of sex, love and relationships. It's not the sight of naked people that's a problem - in fact, that would be healthy, if the naked people were depicted engaging in normal, benign activities. But they're not, and what they're doing is not simply coupling like normal people. There is a lot of kink, fetishism, deviance - and no, I don't mean same sex couples who are both alive and willing - sadism, etc. That's not the way to introduce children to understanding sexual desire or sexual fulfillment.
    Then, there is the issue of respect for self and others. If the most intimate acts are on display as performance by paid participants, what is the child to think of the dignity and value of persons? How is he supposed to respect anyone's privacy? Or curb his own baser impulses? How is he supposed to think about, talk to, show consideration for potential romantic partners? Pornography won't turn all the little boys into rapists and all the little girls into sluts... but it's not doing much for interpersonal relations.
    Vera Mont

    People get hooked on phonics--a desirable addiction. They also get hooked on Crispy Creme donuts, Coca Cola, coffee, Diet Pepsi, work, McDonalds, the New York Times, shopping at Neiman Marcus, fishing, working out at the gym, watching soap operas, and so on. We will, in due course, become hooked on porn too -- if we happen to like it. Will spending too much time at work negatively affect your relationship? Yes, it will. Can Crispy Creme donuts ruin your life? Yes, if you eat enough of them. How watching football all the time? Heard of 'football widows'?BC

    You're right but it's worth mentioning that sexual energy (libido) can be sublimated into other areas of activity. Culture can be thought of in one sense as a system for sublimating sexual energy (in humans) and directing it towards other means. Before culture emerged most of human energy (sexual) was spent only on biological imperatives (like animals). Consider a simple example such as how certain religions require abstinence from some or all of their members; this would be a strong form of sublimation. Weaker forms of sublimation take on the appearance of cultural norms, taboos, and such. The more sexually liberated a society is the less sublimated energy is available for the social and cultural apparatus. Pornography thus can be understood to be a desublimating agent. What that might mean i have my speculations.punos

    :100: :up: :clap:
    Lot of insightful comments in this thread! These are just a small sample. Thanks everyone.
  • punos
    Lot of insightful comments in this thread! These are just a small sample. Thanks everyone.0 thru 9

    :smile: :up:
  • Wayfarer
    We're sexual creatures, our libido being, as is obvious, liberated from the rhythms of the universe; quite unlike other animals, we're arousable 24×7, 7 days a week, 30 days a month, whole year roundAgent Smith

    Gotta say, there was a book in the 60's called The Naked Ape, by Desmond Morris, which made all these points in abundant detail. God, it was hot 1. It was where I first learned about fellatio. (Parent's bookshelves were a treasure trove of erotica in the 60's - who could forget Burgo Partridge's A History of Orgies? None of it actual porn, although that, and Philip Roth's Couples, was as good as, at that age....)

    1. "In February 1976, the book was removed from high school library shelves by the board of education of the Island Trees Union Free School District in New York." -wikipedia.
  • Agent Smith
    Our education must be complete whole.

    It became necessary to publicly discuss sex after the STI disaster, the HIV/AIDS pandemic that swept across the globe. I found it rather odd that in a country like USA - at the leading edge of the sexual revolution - still had to tiptoe around the issue of sex education.
  • BC
    \ I collected a few sex hygiene manuals published around 1900. They weren't so much for young men and boys as they were for their parents. pastors, and advisors. There was very little lewd lasciviousness and a lot of preachy verbiage.

    Did anyone benefit from the cleanliness lectures? Precautions again self abuse (masturbation)? Did anyone come away any wiser about their burning desires? Most likely not. These books were, after all, written for the comfort of the advice giving past-their-prime elders, not for the needs of the actual subjects of the books.

    The advice boiled down to exercise, fresh air, "cleanliness", avoiding any kind of temptation or unwholesome stimulation (like rubbing cloth), and getting married ASAP. What were girls advised to do? Practice chastity protection by gripping thin coins between their knees, I suppose. They developed powerful abductor muscles.

    In our efforts to do effective HIV/AIDS prevention work in the gay population, we put together sexually explicit messages and handed them out in the baths, bars, adult bookstores, and so on. Quite reliably, some kid would find one of these messages on the sidewalk (or in whatever back alley they were poking around in) and bring home the prize. Mother then would call the Health Department to complain about the fascinating obscene, perverse, and extremely well-designed objects their children had found so interesting.

    They would call us and warn us to be more careful. Well sure, we are careful, we'd plead. The guys in the bars, though, who take this filth from our hands, tend to be reckless, sex-positive militants. What are we to do?
  • Wayfarer
    Morris' book was ostensibly scientific - he had been (just looked it up again) keeper of primates at a zoo. But he made a lot out of the sexuality of h. sapiens - basically that was the main subject, or at least the only bit that made an impression. :yikes:

    I recall barely anything about 'sex education' at school but I vividly recall my encounters with erotic magazines and literature.
  • Agent Smith
    What are we to do?BC

    I don't have answers to good questions like yours.
  • BC
    I don't have answers to good questions like yours.Agent Smith

    It's a great mercy that this is no longer my problem. My successors in sex education did pretty much the same thing as I did, but then the treatment of HIV/AIDS greatly improved, and AIDS "ceased to be a big problem" so it was said. The air has gone out of strenuous public health work, seems like. Covid 19 received a vigorous response, but a lot of people resisted vaccination, isolation, masks, social distancing, etc.

    Sexually transmitted diseases are not getting appropriate attention. especially since the antibiotic resistance of Chlamydia trachomatis and Neisseria gonorrhoeae is quite advanced. Syphilis remains curable with penicillin, but left untreated it is still a serious disease. Human papilloma virus (HPV) can become a chronic genital wart problem, and type 16 and 18 (if I remember correctly) cause cancer. I had throat cancer which was caused by HPV.

    A state of crisis is always helpful in building public health capacity. Never let a good crisis go to waste! Unfortunately, a lot of serious health problems seem to have become routine, part of the scenery. Very fat people, for example. Vaping. Drug use. etc...
  • frank

    Did you know that when Psycho first came out there was great consternation because it presented the sound of a toilet flushing in one scene?
  • BC
    On the one hand... Why are you telling me about flushing toilets in Psycho?

    On the other hand... That's very interesting. I suppose the sound of a toilet flushing reminded people of urination and defecation, Horrors! :scream:

    Wikipedia says that Psycho, 1960, was loosely based on the 1957 true story of Ed Gein, a man in central Wisconsin who was found to have a lot of body parts in his house -- never a good sign. He had murdered a couple of women and dug up several bodies. It got a lot of news coverage. I was 11 at the time.

    I didn't associate Psycho (when I finally saw it many years after it first came out) with Ed Gein.

    There are "shocking pictures" on line taken at the time of Gein's arrest. For instance, here's a picture of his kitchen. It's a mess, for sure. But shocking?


    Here's a chair found in the house made with human skin. It really should be shocking, but a lot of shocking water has gone under the bridge since 1957.


    Gein died in a Madison, Wisconsin mental hospital in 1984.
  • frank
    Why are you telling me about flushing toilets in Psycho?BC

    Because I figured you'd post a picture of a chair made with human skin. :up:
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