• Shawn
    12.6k


    While I was in college I talked with a guy who knew a few in the adult industry. He said they all smoke dope or snort cocaine.

    I'm sure you can find pornography associated in some way with most vices.
  • Shawn
    12.6k
    I wanted to point out that the greatest danger, whether apparent or not, of pornography is seen through the eyes of the religious and conservative types.

    Interesting, huh? :chin:
  • Agent Smith
    8.9k
    While I was in college I talked with a guy who knew a few in the adult industry. He said they all smoke dope or snort cocaine.

    I'm sure you can find pornography associated in some way with most vices
    Shawn

    Indeed, pornography is a gateway activity - the first domino to fall or the first link to disappear with the anchor into the abyss. Kinda like C2H5OH, oui monsieur?
  • Shawn
    12.6k
    I'm not sure if it's a gateway activity... What makes you say that?
  • unenlightened
    7.2k
    Are there any ethical detriments you can think of in regards to the young being exposed to pornography?Shawn

    I wanted to point out that the greatest danger, whether apparent or not, of pornography is seen through the eyes of the religious and conservative types.Shawn

    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.

    The primary illusion of advertising is to suggest that there is an inner need that can be satisfied by the product, and the inner need is almost always social status. The suggestion is that if you buy the expensive new car, the road ahead will be magically clear, or that if you don't buy air freshener, your visitors will think you smelly and disgusting.

    The illusion of pornography is that women want to be treated as commodities and are aroused by it. The damage done to ordinary men and women is that they both come to believe it. This produces miserable abusive relationships that neither party can understand or improve. One buys the new car, and finds one can never get out of second gear, because of the traffic. One finds one's relationships are ephemeral, and one is addicted to images of sexual violence.
  • Shawn
    12.6k


    So, since the parallels with pornography and advertising is so strong, do you think this potential habit leads to unhappy or rather unsatisfied people?

    The appetite for pornography seems insatiable.
  • Vera Mont
    836
    So, since the parallels with pornography and advertising is so strong, do you think this potential habit leads to unhappy or rather unsatisfied people?Shawn

    Compare it to the production and advertising of junk food. What results?

    To be entirely honest about one's own convictions, it's more useful to imagine the situation from more sides than merely the consumer's well-being. Here is a simple shortcut: Watch a science documentary. Would it be okay if the presenter were your daughter? Watch a musical performance. Would it be okay if the conductor were your son? Watch any number of activities and imagine your children in those roles. Does it change your attitude about the behaviour you want them to learn?
  • Manuel
    3.1k
    The extent of usage and the nature of the porn viewed is probably of significant importance.

    One cannot pretend that male horniness, especially when being a teenager or a young adult, is a very powerful force, so the market for such an audience exists in spades.

    An interesting issue that arises is if it is possible to make such content showing a different side of sex which does not always reduce people (specifically women) to objects.

    Murky area.
  • Shawn
    12.6k
    An interesting issue that arises is if it is possible to make such content showing a different side of sex which does not always reduce people (specifically women) to objects.Manuel

    It seems that Japan is quite ahead of this in their own way. They utilize animated women or manga to this end. Just some knowledge I gained as a teenager. :brow:
  • unenlightened
    7.2k
    The appetite for pornography seems insatiable.Shawn

    Certainly, enough is never enough for long. Last week an avocado suite was the height of bathroom excellence. This week it is unbearably gauche and must be ripped out at once. This week we must all have stand-alone baths with a view and waterfall taps; next week ... The question should really be 'what happens to appetite without commodification?' We live in a world where male sexual appetite is natural and good and violent, and female sexual appetite is disgusting, aberrant and unimaginable apart from as a performance in male fantasy.

    Imagine a woman of seventy having sex and that being ordinary. It's not in the business of being arousing, or even interesting to anyone but the participants - and that is the magic of advertising, to twist the mundane of human coupling into an endlessly fascinating obsession. Like any sport, it should be of great interest to the participants and of very little interest to the rest of the world. But alas :

    I can see that your head
    Has been twisted and fed
    With worthless foam from the mouth
    I can tell you are torn
    Between stayin' and returnin'
    Back to the South
    You've been fooled into thinking
    That the finishin' end is at hand
    Yet there's no one to beat you
    No one t' defeat you
    'Cept the thoughts of yourself feeling bad
    I've heard you say many times
    That you're better than no one
    And no one is better than you
    If you really believe that
    You know you have
    Nothing to win and nothing to lose
    From fixtures and forces and friends
    Your sorrow does stem
    That hype you and type you
    Making you feel
    That you gotta be exactly like them
    — To Ramona, Bob Dylan
  • Manuel
    3.1k


    :rofl:

    I don't know man, it's kind of like sure, that's fine use cartoons if you want, no problem.

    But then you have people complaining that these people need a "real flesh and blood relationship", when often porn is not made as a substitute for a relationship.

    Yet if someone watches "real porn", it's exploitation - which it is - though it's not the only job that does this, by any means.

    So, getting a real-life partner is the solution. I'm skeptical if this is the solution. Probably some kind of education on the topic is the best bet.
  • Ciceronianus
    2.5k
    If only Anthony Comstock was here to protect us from it. Or at least John Ashcroft.

    I wonder whether this "problem" is peculiarly American. Or perhaps Christian.
  • 0 thru 9
    1k
    Most cities have an area where one can go for things that are usually frowned upon or just difficult to get. Even if these things are still illegal, in these (usually rundown) areas one can obtain them with less risk than elsewhere. The hypocrisy of the situation, and class and racial inequities aside... for whatever reason these places exist on the margins. Never in the center, unless it’s Las Vegas or something.

    These physical places have their counterparts in both the cultural and individual psyche. Is the individual who gives into such temptations “going astray”? Or are they just being a human being with regular human needs? Could be either or both, depending on the situation. It’s a difficult and potentially dangerous situation in any case. Addiction, arrest, shame, violence, the cost of time, energy, money, etc...

    The dominant culture (I use that term intentionally) has little regard to such things as balance, harmony, the sacredness of all, and “having enough”. (So little regard that such terms seem idealistic at best, wacky at worst). Also little or no respect for animals and nature, both of which are seen as the uncouth ground on which we stand, to be covered up. Or they’re seen as mere raw materials, to do with whatever the hell we want. There is still (amazingly) a large number of people who don’t want to believe in the reality of the theory of evolution. Possibly because they can’t accept that humans are related to lowly animals, even distantly?

    Therefore, a culture of this type will not put human needs at the top of the priority list. Those things that feed into the fantasy of absolute dominance over “dumb” and “crude” nature, and dominance over “those weird / backwards / wrong people from other lands” are the priority. They get the lion share of everything. Every other aspect of human nature has to try to get its fill after the lions have eaten most of the food, so to speak. Those people and things that symbolize weak and unrefined “nature” will usually be exploited or ignored. Women, children, brown-black-red-yellow people, the eldery, tribal cultures, etc. This is the imbalance and very foundation of our civilization. The insatiable devouring Machine. The Death Star. Mordor. The land of hungry ghosts. The Wasteland. The hatred of the Yin.

    Why should we live like lowly and simple furry mammals and primates... when we can conquer and rule the world and build titanium towers to the heavens? (irony intended)
  • Philosophim
    1.3k
    Like anything, its excess that is the problem. I think pornography can be very healthy for people for situations in which they are unable to be in an actual relationship. Even then, if the relationship is healthy porn can be used correctly by both parties to add flair to sex.

    If porn becomes a replacement for a real relationship, or real sex in a relationship, then its a problem. Which now we consider young teenagers and run into a problem. Society forbids them sexual exploration with real people, yet they arguably have the strongest sexual urges they'll ever have in their lifetimes. How do you teach teenagers to be responsible with porn to not replace a real relationship while forbidding them from having real relationships? Is it porn that is the problem, or societies terror at teenagers have sexual relationships?

    Porn is a tool, and a powerful one. I believe its the fact that we do not teach teenagers how to use it properly, but let them figure it out on their own, that leads to widespread abuse and mismanagement of it.
  • BC
    11.5k
    ↪BC Your posts crack me up.Tzeentch

    Make 'em laugh.

    I do like to get a laugh, and there are a number of topics, like porn which are serious enough, but not so serious that humor must be avoided. the 7-11 victims murders in California this past weekend (Lunar New Year) are not appropriate topics for humor.

    Sex is clearly an impossible topic if one must be 100% serious.
  • Wayfarer
    16.7k
    I wonder whether this "problem" is peculiarly American. Or perhaps Christian.Ciceronianus

    I vaguely recall a story some years ago to the effect that there was a very high concentration of porn searches from internet cafés and kiosks in Pakistan.

    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.

    (I found a very balanced and lucid book on the effects of pornography in Indian culture, Pornistan.)
  • Wayfarer
    16.7k
    The appetite for pornography seems insatiable.Shawn

    Took me decades to rid myself of tobacco. The adage that really struck me when trying to quit was 'one is too many, a thousand is not enough'. All addictions are like that. 'Insatiable' means 'incapable of satisfaction'. That should tell us something.
  • BC
    11.5k
    With all due respect, BC, your opinion is essentially meaningless here.Noble Dust

    Now, now; let's not be dismissive.

    If my personal taste in porn hasn't changed much in in 50 years, that doesn't mean I haven't observed any developments in the products available outside my own interests.

    Yes, I am aware of extreme presentations of torture (real or faux), assault and rape; cheating; incest; animated porn; faux-or-not teen age porn--even bestiality. I've observed extreme behaviors in bathhouses and sex clubs, and I've heard reports from participants in various 'scenes'. I've also read a few reports.
  • BC
    11.5k
    O
    for whatever reason these places exist on the margins. Never in the center0 thru 9

    There are reasons.

    1) Low overhead is one of the hard-core values of marginal businesses. It wouldn't pay to have a store in between Macy's and Neiman Marcus. The rent would be too high.

    2) Urban renewal is a factor. Locate your porn shop in an area that is likely to be bought up and bulldozed, and you can probably get a pretty good price on your property by refusing to sell, unless the price exceeds the market rate.

    3) The Law, in many cases, requires that porn stores be located a certain distance from desirable or sensitive locations. That forces them into marginal territory.

    4) The margin isn't a disadvantage. Customers often prefer to patronize dive bars and porn shops that are in out of the way places, so that they will not be seen coming and going by 'respectable' people.

    5). Porn is profitable, and so is tax evasion. Better to run a down at the heels operation that doesn't look like it is successful, then to have a fine store that requires high profit to maintain. At least in the good old days, porn stores operated on a cash basis--no credit cards, no checks. Easier to hide profits that way,

    6) Mobility. An operator wants to be able to shut down an unprofitable operation without losing much on the closed up property.
  • Wayfarer
    16.7k
    I have often read criticism of porn based on it often depicting violence, real or simulated assault and apparently non-consensual sexual acts. But I happen to know that in a great deal of mainstream product, all involved look like they're consenting and willfully engaging. Does that mean, therefore, that in the absence of coercion and/or violence that these activities are morally wholesome?
  • BC
    11.5k
    @wayfarer; Over the last 150 years, give or take a few, huge changes have occurred in society. Electricity, telephone, radio, automobiles, film, and television. The society has been becoming increasingly liberalized in many areas of 'private life'. Among others, contraception; birth control pills; the sexual revolution; women's lib; gay lib; black lib; etc. Abortion became legal. The society continued to be mobile in a variety of ways, some good, some bad. There were two world wars, and several local wars. There were significant changes in class structure. The economy has changed drastically.

    So, into the last 150 years of change and shifting values, pornography developed from a tiny industry, producing images on glass photo plates; to paper photographs; to silent film; to sound film; to video; to the Internet. It began, and remained, in the cultural margins until changes in the law during the 1960s lifted the bans on distribution (in the US). Just a few years later, the industry had thousands of outlets across the country. At some point in the 1990s, the internet widened the channels of distribution. New gadgets--cheaper computers, tablets, and smart phones finally allowed pornography to become ubiquitous.

    An assertion: the vast changes that occurred in society during the previous century and a half are far more significant than any one particular development over this time. Television was / is significant, but it is just one of many disruptive influences. Sexually explicit material was / is significant, but it is just one of many disruptive influences.

    Society was already quite disrupted (compared to 1923 or 1953, say) by the time it became available across the internet. "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold." Yeats said. If we look for ultimate causes, we will only find one contributing factor after another. Society may seem to have become one big pile of manure. If that is so, it took many loads from many places to achieve the present state of dysfunction.
  • Wayfarer
    16.7k
    :ok: Personal note: my dear departed father was a world-renowned Prof of gynae/obstets who was one of the generation of doctors that released the Pill. He was deeply involved in global plans to introduce birth control to India and Africa (I still remember his angry fulminations about Catholic opposition to birth control.) My family home was very much swinging sixties, so in a small way I was right in the middle of the sexual revolution. I suppose I became swept up by it, or carried along with it, in my teens (I was born the same year as Playboy magazine). I found it irresistible, but I also always felt guilty about it (not an uncommon plight.)

    Anyway - one thing I have come out of it all with is, at least, awareness that there has been a 'sexual revolution'. A lot of people younger than me don't even know what it means. (Fish: 'what do you mean, "water"?) Sexual self-expression and identity have now become central to the modern idea of the person, almost an equivalent for religious affiliation (not least because 'sexual orientation' is now routinely checkboxed alongside 'religious affiliation' in all manner of application forms.) Sexual acts are now routinely treated not as procreative but recreation. Criticism of it is nearly always associated with fascism - on Dharmawheel forum, I ventured a post along these lines, and the response was a picture of Hitler and Goebels.

    But my spiritual side tells me this is all based on a fallacious idea of freedom. The reasons why are deep and difficult to convey, but there it is. I sometimes reflect that this phase of what amounts to complete and total sexual freedom facilitated by advanced techology is an inevitable consequence of history, but I still recall a wise saying by one of my first spiritual teachers. 'It only exists', he said, 'in order to be overcome'.
  • Vera Mont
    836
    But my spiritual side tells me this is all based on a fallacious idea of freedom. The reasons why are deep and difficult to convey, but there it is.Wayfarer

    I have a secular and practical reason for sharing an aspect of that reservation. My problem is not with freedom, sexuality, or the frank expression of it, but with exploitation. My problem is the parallel I drew earlier between junk food and pornography. The production, deliberate lacing with addictive substances and aggressive advertising of "snacks" turns a necessary, healthy and pleasurable activity, eating, into the harmful consumption of junk. So does the commodification and vulgar packaging of sex turn it into trash. It's a degradation and diminution of something we, individually and culturally, ought to understand, value and celebrate.
  • BC
    11.5k
    How porn sites stack up against other sites

    I'm surprised that Amazon's retail site doesn't attract more visits, and that Yahoo attracted so many.

    Top_50_Websites_2022.jpg
  • ssu
    6.6k
    The production, deliberate lacing with addictive substances and aggressive advertising of "snacks" turns a necessary, healthy and pleasurable activity, eating, into the harmful consumption of junk. So does the commodification and vulgar packaging of sex turn it into trash.Vera Mont
    It's a good observation how the two are similar.

    Snacks, junk food and porn are simply cheap substitutes that try to hide things that are important. Especially in porn the emphasis on casual sex is done on purpose: otherwise for those without an intimate, loving relationship, it would be a far too stark reminder of what they are missing if sex would be connected even in porn to long term relationships and attachment to another person. In snacks and junk food they might today desperately try to show that the food is actually healthy, has so and so many calories and so on, even if it is obvious that the food has to be as cheap as possible. And snacks simply ridicule the meal, you don't have time for eating properly.
  • Vera Mont
    836
    It's simply one more step in our alienation from nature, one another and our authentic selves that started 6-7000 years ago with walled cities and stratified social structure.
  • Noble Dust
    6.3k


    Apologies BC, I was a bit toasty last night.
  • Ciceronianus
    2.5k
    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.Wayfarer

    Yes. I shouldn't assume that Christians alone would condemn pornography. I prefer the view taken of sex in antiquity. Visit Pompeii if you haven't already, and see how the frequent depiction of the phallus (a good luck symbol) and frescoes displaying various sexual acts make modern visitors nervous.
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