Should Men Give Up on Pornography Entirely?

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I’ll admit, I’ve avoided putting this post up for a few weeks.

It’s gotten a lot of internet air play because it’s a juicy subject: man lays out, in a logical (and researched) manner, the six reasons why men must give up pornography.

I can already hear the collective “amen” from a lot of women, and I don’t entirely blame them. Pornography is a problem for men.

Many people drink socially without becoming alcoholics; for most, booze is a source of pleasure, not pain. So it goes with porn.

It can hurt men’s sexual desire and performance.
It can create an unrealistic set of expectations about real-life sex with a real live woman with real-life emotions.
It can become a serious addiction that cripples a man’s ability to be in a committed sexual relationship.

And if you’re a woman who has lost a partner to porn addiction, this isn’t just some abstract concept, but reality. You’ve seen upfront the devastation of the guy who spends lavishly on sex phone numbers, runs up credit card bills unbeknownst to you, stays late at work to feed his addiction to webcams, or to browse Craigslist for something exciting and new. You’ve had a loving partner who didn’t feel up to having sex but would go downstairs in the middle of the night to take care of himself and feed his fantasies.

That’s bad news and I’m highly sympathetic to anyone who has been through some version of that.

But that’s no reason for all men to put down their porn simultaneously. In that regard, it’s a vice like any other vice – fun in moderation, dangerous when addicted. Many people drink socially without becoming alcoholics; for most, booze is a source of pleasure, not pain. So it goes with porn. If a guy does it when he’s single and hasn’t had sex in awhile, it’s normal. If a guy does it when his girlfriend is out of town, it’s normal. If a guy does it within the context of a committed relationship because it’s exciting and kinky and gives him new ideas, it’s normal. If a guy does it during marriage because everyone has the right to maintain a little bit of a fantasy life without actually being unfaithful (that is viewing videos, not interacting with another person), it’s normal. Where it flips over, of course, is when it becomes an addiction that actually impacts his life or his partner’s life. Just like alcohol.

You may not like porn, but you can’t ban it. You just have to trust that your guy can handle it in moderation.

To me, the answer is not prohibition, but moderation and self-awareness. Who should put porn down entirely? Men who are prone to addiction to it. Who can consume it socially? In my opinion? Pretty much everybody else.

Remember, you may not like porn, but you can’t ban it. You just have to trust that your guy can handle it in moderation.

Have you had a relationship derailed by porn use? Do you assume that because of the addicted guy that no man can use it in healthy moderation? Please, share your thoughts below, for a respectful debate.

Join our conversation (383 Comments).
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Comments:

  1. 21
    Jenn

    Porn is not normal, it is common; there’s a huge difference there. There are so many things that are wrong with porn that it’s hard to imagine there being anything right about it. Even with that said, I will admit that I use it about once a week or so. Clearly, I have mixed feelings! But  I have zero interest in the hardcore stuff.  When  I do watch it, what I watch is very tame (one-on-one, intimate “couples” stuff). I’m also really only watching it at all because as I’m waiting till marriage, I have no other sexual outlet.  I’m sure a lot of single guys probably watch it for that reason too, and maybe don’t care to watch it once they’re in a relationship or married.
      
    My problem is that I worry that porn will have a different significance for my future husband. I worry that while I’m saving myself for him and will likely give up the porn once I’m married and having sex in real life, he won’t feel compelled to do the same. I know the man I marry will likely not be a virgin, and that’s perfectly acceptable. But  I don’t know if I can accept a man’s regular porn use. It would feel too much like he’s cheating, even if not in the physical sense. It would be cheating more in a mental sense. Even the Bible says that a man who looks with lust upon a woman who is not his wife, has already committed adultery with her in his heart. It would also be mentally  damaging to me to have a husband who might not be able to fully connect with ME, in all my imperfect glory, during the act of sex itself. I worry that he’ll be closing his eyes and imagining some hot Brazilian babe instead of reveling in having the experience with ME. I don’t want to be just a hole to stuff it in, a place to put it while he has sex in his mind with the women he really desires.
      
    Also I think that it’s kind of selfish in a way. I’d be ready to ravage this guy at any time, dreaming about him when we’re not together, my whole sexual desire being consumed with thoughts of him, and he’s busy siphoning off his desires into a computer. That would be so unfair and a huge disappointment. I may be a virgin but I have a high sex drive and I cringe at the thought that my husband’s libido would be deadened because he’s too busy rubbing one out every time he gets excited rather than waiting, letting the desire build until he sees me.
      
    I guess the important thing for me to do is to suss out early on whether  a guy regards porn much the same way I do, as something to casually “fill in the gap” while single. And it would also be important to discuss the type of porn he likes – if his tastes deviate too far from mine, maybe that’s something to be concerned about. I don’t know. I guess I won’t be able to really deal with it until I’m in a position to. Right now this is all just supposition, but I admit that I do worry a lot about it.

    1. 21.1
      Julia

      I don’t think you have a bad attitude about porn. I think you are almost there. I do think you have slightly unrealistic expectations about sex, your own libido, etc. I love having sex, my boyfriend and I have it about 4-5 times a week. Despite that, there are times when we just don’t have sex. Periods are the obvious time but things will happen in life that will effect your sex drive. One of my best friends died last month. I was simply not there enough to have sex for about 5 days, then we had sex once and didn’t have sex again for about a week. I understand that in those times (and likely right after giving birth) my partner will still need a sexual outlet.  

      I think most men, if they are having regular sex won’t look at porn much but its unrealistic to expect that they will never do so.  

    2. 21.2
      ScottH

      Apparently porn is normal and it’s common too.    The two are not necessarily mutually exclusive or inclusive.   
      And if porn isn’t normal, are romance novels normal?   Are chick flicks normal?   Is The Notebook normal?   Are hot models in tv commercials normal?    Are the Simpsons normal?   Are hot dogs normal?
      I’d say it’s not common to wait for marriage to have sex.   And I guess I don’t care whether it’s normal or not.   Just semantics.    What works for you might not work for someone else.   Sure as hell it doesn’t work for me.
      It sounds like you have a lot of worries and anxieties that, in my book, aren’t normal.

      1. 21.2.1
        Jenn

        ScottH,
          
        Porn is not normal, it has been normalized by society. Over time, it has crept up on us so that we are constantly bombarded with nude or semi-nude, sexualized images of people (mostly women). You can’t watch a TV show or a movie without some reference to sex either popping up in the script or in the ads that play in the interim. You can’t read a magazine without  a barely-clothed model jumping off the page somewhere. You can’t even walk down the mall corridor without being visually confronted with sex in the form of 8-foot tall Victoria’s Secret posters. This is the reason why people accept it. It’s because they can’t get away from it even if they tried.
          
        And I’d also like to point out that watching a film like The Notebook, which centers on a love relationship between two people, is quite different than masturbating to “Suzy Swallows It Whole!”. When you’re watching a film, it is a passive event. It may evoke certain emotions, but it doesn’t have the same addictive effect that porn use can have because you’re not actively pleasuring yourself at the same time.

        1. Cat5

          I would disagree that porn has been normalized by society. It’s been normalized by the media and entertainment industries telling us it’s normal, and we have just accepted it because it’s easier than fighting the system.   Just look at how people who have a concerns about porn are treated here…everyone questioning what is wrong with them.

          My issues with porn have always been about the sex trades in general and the impact it has on the individuals involved in it from the other side, not the viewing side.   I’ve even said that I don’t think the sex trade will go away, but we can try to lessen the impact on those involved…but it always gets turned around about how I’m insecure and/or a prude.

          I asked in another post if anyone had any personal experience in the sex trades…personal or professional and I did not see one person say yes.   Well I have.   I did some modeling in my youth and I was offered a lot of money to do a “tasteful” nude photoshoot.   In my early 40s I was offered a lot of money to do a porn movie.   For the record, it’s not as flattering as you might think.   It’s creepy and demeaning.   I choose to do neither because of what I witnessed happen to people who became involved in that world.   What I saw of it, it was a horrible, degrading, and often involuntary   place to be…not sunshine and roses where everyone got rich while having consensual sex.

          In addition, my work as a child advocate has inevitably led to several cases with minors who have been forced and/or coerced into sex trades, including porn.   Now you might say, oh Cat5 you are overreacting there’s only a few cases of minors being forced and/or coerced into the sex trades.   That’s not the norm or what I look at.   Too which I’d say…really?   Don’t you think one child is too many?   Are you sure? You are naive if you think it’s only a few cases, and that you haven’t watched porn or strippers involving minors.

        2. woah woah

          “Over time, it has crept up on us”
          Wow, that sounds like some surreal horror film!

          Both the ideal you’ve got there (no or hardly any sex stuff in the public forum, hawt built-up passion behind closed doors) and the one we’ve got right now (:) are “normal” in any reasonable sense of the word – they’re on the opposite sides of the spectrum of normalcy.  

          “It’s because they can’t get away from it even if they tried.”  
          Your assumption is that they do try. It’s not like they like it or anything.

          Also, you want more wholesome movies? FREE MARKET, go for it. Some of the most popular, iconic films are wholesome, by the way (Star Wars minus the Jabba segment, for instance), so it’s not that much of a stretch.  

          “When you’re watching a film, it is a passive event. It may evoke certain emotions, but it doesn’t have the same addictive effect that porn use can have because you’re not actively pleasuring yourself at the same time.”
          You can pleasure yourself to a romantic movie like the Notebook (providing it’s erotic, I’ve never heard of it), and not pleasure yourself to Suzy Swallows. Also, the addictive effect, even with “passive” activities, can be giant. I’ve never been addicted to the former – whereas addiction to passive computer activities is an ever-present threat.
          Well, not threat really – the shorter the time I let it go, the easier to get out of it again – so just generally speaking. Arguing on the internet is the most addictive thing there is 😉  

    3. 21.3
      Fusee

      Jenn: I understand your feelings and I think I felt the same way before reading more about people’s experience with porn, and experiencing myself with it. If it worries you it’s a good idea to discuss the topic with your future partner when such discussions become appropriate. Since you’re waiting til marriage, you’ll have time to have several conversations about sex and you can bring up the use of porn at some point. Like a lot of things, it’s about making sure you have compatible views and expectations so that you do not find yourself reacting negatively to something you could have known before hand, or trying to change him after marriage. In the meantime, I’d suggest to continue educating yourself about the topic, and work at being more flexible with it.
        
      Regarding sex in a relationship, I think it’s unrealistic to expect it to be deep meaningful love making 100% of the time, or to never have any other person/fantasy cross your mind during sex, or to wish for your partner to only masturbate by thinking of you. Maybe at the beginning yes, but years in it becomes a bit different and it does not mean anything negative about the health of the relationship in my opinion.
        
      I think this is in this area that I matured the most in the last few years (when I had time to think when I was single actually!), having developed more realistic expectations and stoped equating sex to always being a declaration of love and devotion. A lot of the sex my husband and I have is either solo or a good f*ck. We express our love in many other ways.  
        
      And two more cents: sex does not have to always include penetration. Ladies, if your vagina is closed for maintenance or your libido is down for a bit remember that you still have a mouth and two hands : ) Taking good care of your guy even when we don’t *need* it for ourselves is quite important to keep him happy and satiated, and in less need of porn : )

      1. 21.3.1
        Evan Marc Katz

        Jenn – you have very strong feelings about a subject about which you know very little. Once you have sex, you realize that it’s not that big a deal. I mean, it’s a big deal in that if you’re in a monogamous relationship, you’ll be having sex with only one person at a time. And it’s a big deal in that sex is what separates friends from lovers. But the sheer variety of what makes people tick sexually is so much greater than you can – or want to – acknowledge. As Fusee said: sex doesn’t have to be about sensual lovemaking every time. Men and women can look at porn to fulfill their fantasies – it’s quick, it’s free, and it doesn’t argue with you for having kinky tastes. The only way you’re going to survive your marriage is if you and your husband (who, you know, is cool with not having sex until marriage) are both equally vanilla…OR if your sexual tastes are EXACTLY the same. Don’t you think that’s a bit unlikely? The same way I like spicy food and my wife likes mild food, and she likes white creamy sauces and I pass on them…2 compatible people can have different sexual tastes. Which means that you may like being spanked, but he doesn’t feel comfortable with it. Or he may love blow jobs and you may not like giving them. Or he may like anal sex and you refuse to try. But the point is that your differences don’t make him “wrong” or “bad”; the second you start to pass judgment about what he “should” like is the second he’s going to LIE to you about what he really likes – because you can’t handle the truth. This is the LAST thing you want in a husband. You’ll blame him for watching cumshot porn on the internet at night, when really all he wants is to cum on YOU, but he can’t because you’re shaming him about it. You with me?

        And if it’s not really obvious at this juncture, the fact that you have no sexual experience whatsoever prior to your marriage is going to mean you’ve got ONE chance to figure out how to navigate this with a partner who will certainly not think exactly like you. More reasons to have sex before you get married.

        1. Jenn

          Evan and Fusee,
            
          I definitely agree with you that sex is not always going to be this big romantic, all-encompassing, passionate endeavor. I will not always want it that way. I definitely am open to experimentation – to a point – and you’re right that there are certain things that I can only guess on because of my lack of experience. I generally tend to be a try-anything-once type though, so experimentation with sex is something I’m definitely looking forward to. I do agree that communicating about sex and porn use is paramount and I’ve already been  thinking of ways to handle those discussions. It is healthy for couples to talk about their expectations and not just expect that their partner will think or act in exactly the same way. And I know that I will still find other men attractive, and I wouldn’t expect my husband to exist in a bubble so I know he’s going to occasionally find other women attractive. I would just hate that I might  not be enough to get (or keep) him going on my own. A husband should be crazy about his wife, and she should take center stage in his fantasies. Maybe there are some supporting characters thrown in once in a while! But what woman really wants to have sex with someone who’s thoughts are always caught up in some fantasy with random chicks, that’s playing out in his head instead of him being in the moment? A lot of this worry just comes from my own insecurities, I know, and that’s something I’ll have to work on. But I know I’m far from alone in this. There are tons of women who feel exactly the same way.

        2. Evan Marc Katz

          Jenn, you had me until here:

          “A husband should be crazy about his wife, and she should take center stage in his fantasies”

          Nope. She should take center stage in his LIFE. What he does in his fantasies is his business, presuming that it doesn’t impact the relationship itself. Once you accept that having fantasies about other people, watching porn with other people is normal, then maybe you can enjoy your relationship. I’d be shocked if there were too many married men fantasizing about their wives – even if they’re crazy about their wives.

        3. Simone

          I notice that none of the sex examples you give are about things that women typically enjoy–like the man giving her oral or having her nipples stimulated.  The examples are  her getting spanked, giving him blow jobs, getting anal, and having cum on her face. None of these activities is going to lead to a female orgasm, but three are about male orgasm. I think this kind of oversight is why women don’t like porn.  Believe me, we’d be all for it if the main event was a woman getting off. Where is that missing plotline?       

        4. Evan Marc Katz

          Men watch porn to see things that men want to see so that they can achieve orgasm. Why should men watch porn that doesn’t appeal to them? If there is a market for porn oriented to the female gaze, it will succeed organically. No point in telling men what “should” turn them on.

        5. Chance

          Simone, if there is a market something, someone will eventually fill the niche.   It’s the same thing why there aren’t many dating coaches for men.   Please stop trying to pass basic capitalism off as sexism.   Thanks.

        6. Simone

          EMK, the examples you give are not of what people like in PORN but of things that people like/don’t like to do IN REAL LIFE.  The point you were making is that IN REAL LIFE one partner will like one thing and the other partner might not and vice versa. Funny, though, how you are conflating REAL LIFE with PORN. Exactly the point that many of the posters on here are making. The point I was making was that none of the REAL LIFE examples of sex that you give will lead to a female orgasm.

        7. Evan Marc Katz

          Surely, you jest, Simone. You’re conflating what you want to be true with what IS true.

          Male porn doesn’t exist to give women orgasms, and, as such, any bold statement about how “in real life, none of this leads to female orgasm” is irrelevant.

          This statement, therefore, is inane: “EMK, the examples you give are not of what people like in PORN but of things that people like/don’t like to do IN REAL LIFE.”

          I can assure you, if a guy is looking for it online (Google “anal sex” for 23 million hits or “cumshot” of 78 million hits), then evidently it’s something that someone wants or does in real life. You make the fallacy of assuming that everyone is like you. They’re not. Most men watch porn, are turned on by it, masturbate to it, and indulge in their fantasies (which they may be embarrassed to admit to a judgmental girlfriend). Is the industry built on what men want? Of course. That’s the entire point. Instead of arguing with it, why don’t you understand it, accept it, and incorporate a reality-based worldview in which porn exists, men consume it, and you realize that it is, in fact, “normal.” Just because you don’t want something to be true doesn’t make it untrue.

        8. Simone

          EMK: In my comments I  am referring to your comments to Jenn, in which you are talking about what people like in real live sex. The discussion is not about what men like in porn. You said to her that her expectations about sex in real life are unrealistic because  he will like [insert male porn fantasy that does not lead to female orgasm here, e.g.,  blow jobs] and she will like [insert male porn fantasy that does not lead to female orgasm here, e.g., being slapped]. My point: Real women do not have orgasms from [insert male porn fantasy that does not lead to female orgasm here, e.g., blow jobs, slapping, and in most cases anal sex]. Why can’t you find real life examples of sexual incompatibility between two people where both are talking honestly about what they like/don’t like  and have an investment in mutual satisfaction? I doubt very much that Jenn is going to get caught up in a non-mutual relationship.

    4. 21.4
      Gabri'el

      Jenn I understand where you are coming from, I was raised in a very religious environment as well, I still struggle with  should I continue to wait until marriage or should I have sex, lots and lots of it (^_^). Because of all the sports I’ve played and the modeling I’ve done, and the fact that  I’m  in medical school  to be a surgeon,  most people wouldn’t guess I was a virgin waiting until marriage. Evan’s Blog on the subject of virgins waiting  is one that I re-read constantly, because he is right, finding someone who is willing to wait for  me is both selfish and  hard. I continually ask myself after all the woman I’ve lost because of not having sex with them, is it worth it to continue to wait until marriage? Especially since in this day and age the person I marry will most likely not be a virgin.
        
        
      I personally don’t watch porn (because of it’s side effects not because of  spiritual reasons),  but I don’t care what  my partner does as long as she treats me good like Garret said.   Jenn  have you considered if you are going to date a guy and not have sex with him for possibly 18  to 24 months  until you two  are married, that not only will you expect  this man who is use to receiving sex to not seek  it outside of  your relationship, but you will also  expect him to not watch porn for 2 years while you are denying him sex, and as Evan just said, you may force him to lie to you because you’ll make him feel guilty for watching porn while dating you. Just something you should think about Jenn

      1. 21.4.1
        Jenn

        Waiting until marriage is hard, but it’s not selfish in the least. I’d hope my future husband would be understanding and respectful of my decision to wait. I’d also hope he would realize that I’m not doing it out of some selfish desire to make him suffer through years of celibacy. I made a commitment to God, my future husband and myself and I intend to honor it. I can’t control what he does, nor would I want to if I could. But I won’t pretend that it wouldn’t bother me to come across dozens of smutty pictures on his laptop, or try to Google something on his phone and have 16 dirty porn site words pop up in the search suggestions. The truth is, I can’t predict exactly how I’ll feel or what I’ll do if and when that happens. But that’s why I’m trying to sort out my feelings about it now, before (or if) it ever becomes a problem. I think a lot of guys who hear that women don’t like them watching porn are hearing “You can’t do it, because I don’t like it and what I say goes!”, but that’s not what most of us are saying. We’re saying that when our man watches porn, it makes us feel like we’re not enough for him. Like he’s with us because he can’t do any better but he’s always going to wish he could have the hot girl. We spend our entire adult lives trying to live up to this impossible ideal of not only being the best person we can be (nice, smart, funny, grounded, and morally sound), but we are also confronted with the reality that guys don’t care about that one bit unless we’re hot. Even if a woman is doing her best to be all of those things, she still has  to deal with the thought that her man is not only always going to be fantasizing about other women instead of her, but he’ll also, however infrequently, be wacking off to live videos of them. Look, I’m aware that people get bored when they’re married. I’ve seen it happen. I also know that it isn’t just men who fantasize about being with someone else, somebody better looking, more romantic, better in bed, etc. I know that both partners sometimes feel the urge to merge with others. I think a big reason porn use hurts is because it’s one thing to know your partner has fantasies. It’s quite another to come face to face with the physical proof.  
          

        1. Garret

          “I think a lot of guys who hear that women don’t like them watching porn are hearing “You can’t do it, because I don’t like it and what I say goes!”, but that’s not what most of us are saying. We’re saying that when our man watches porn, it makes us feel like we’re not enough for him.”

          And this is the real bottom line. It’s always about how the woman feels. Maybe you should learn to just accept things as they are. He is with you. If you are worried about losing him, becoming his mother, his grade school principal, the angry woman in his life, which will surely push him away, just be kind, sweet and loving. Be the woman he has to think twice about before her giving up.

          “Like he’s with us because he can’t do any better but he’s always going to wish he could have the hot girl.”

          Well now there’s the rub. I will tell you the real truth. The complete truth. Question is, can you handle it? Let me use the example of my truck. It’s a Chevy Silverado. I really like my truck. It serves me well. It’s a very nice truck. But let’s bring in a very sexy car. A very exotic car. A Lamborghini Veneno. It’s an incredibly sexy car. When I see it, I want it. I want to drive it. I want to own it. But you know what else goes through my mind? I can’t afford it. Even if it were given to me, I couldn’t afford the maintenance or insurance costs. Plus, something so exotic requires a lot effort to protect from theft. There would be no shortage of men willing to relieve me of it given half a chance. In short, there is a very high cost for that beauty. But I can always look at it in a magazine and imagine driving it.

          Such is the way of looking at porn. I can indulge in fantasies of making love to a woman I would never have a chance with. But even if I could have her, would I really want her? She may be beautiful on the outside, which is the only thing I am interested in when I am looking at her, but inside she may be a total wreck. She may be as ugly on the inside as she is beautiful on the outside. Actually being with her might be too costly.

          The point is, it is human nature to see a beautiful person and sometimes fantasize about sex with them. And sometimes we indulge those fantasies in our mind. You can’t alter that. You are a woman. Stop trying to tell men how to act. You aren’t a man, you don’t know what it is like to be a man. Doesn’t the Bible say an awful lot about not judging others? I believe it also talks an awful lot about not divorcing unbelievers, etc… Vows such as for in sickness and in health, for better or worse, etc..

          I don’t care how you want to twist it, women are dead wrong, especially Christian women, for divorcing their husbands over porn. But then, it isn’t about the Bible, is it? It’s all about the woman’s hurt feelings.

        2. Jenn

          Garret,  

          It isn’t enough that a person be with their spouse in body. True devotion comes from making the colossal effort of saving yourself, your love, your desire, for one person. People forget about that when they have had multiple partners and developed a habit of using porn over time. But what the hell do I know? According to everyone here, I’m just am ignorant virgin who should accept that no one is capable of rising above their limitations and striving for something better. I really wonder what relationships were like before pornography became the the scourge that it has become. What was it like when faithful men had no other outlet for sexual release than their wives? As a society, we’ve become so plugged in that we’re forgetting what it means to really relate to the people we love. Progress, my patoot.  

  2. 22
    Chance

    Jenn,   you need to prepare yourself for the reality that your future husband will very likely enjoy looking at porn.   However, I wouldn’t view it as cheating (hell, I think it  reduces the odds that he’ll cheat), and I certainly wouldn’t consider it to be competition.   These women serve a very narrow purpose.   They are on the computer, and that is where most men would want them to stay.    I think I would want to gouge my eyes out if I had to spend more than five minutes in the presence of your typical pornographic actress.

  3. 23
    Karmic Equation

    I don’t know about other women. I’m hyper-heterosexual, meaning I get grossed out thinking of getting intimate with another woman.
      
    However, given a choice between looking at a beautiful (e.g., fit not fat woman) and a handsome, fit naked man, I’d rather look at the curves of a beautiful woman than at the naked man. I just think a man’s nudity is for my eyes alone, while a woman’s nudity can be for all, because curves are so much more beautiful than angles (and dangles, haha).
      
    That doesn’t mean I want to have sex with a woman. It just means I admire beauty.
      
    Obviously, men do lust after beautiful women. It really doesn’t matter what the GUY thinks or lusts after. If the object of that lust isn’t accessible or doesn’t lust back, YOU (the gf/the wife) benefits from that extra charge of lust if he’s a good guy that doesn’t ever dream of cheating. Be thankful that there’s porn to “fluff” him up when you’re too tired for foreplay, but unwilling to do the deed. I don’t know how many times I’ve sent a bf off with a porn mag and told him to come back when he was ready. Frankly, I’m not always up for fellating but it’s pretty easy to get me into the mood for sex, which we both enjoy.
      
    Porn is a godsend for those times. And your sending him off with a mag and a knowing smirk does more to bond you two together than the porn mag or video will ever do to drive you apart.

    1. 23.1
      Chance

      I don’t think men use porn as a back-up plan for when their girlfriends or wives don’t feel like having sex.   They like to view it regardless.   Men need variety, and it serves as a good outlet to fulfill that need without any harm done to the relationship.

      1. 23.1.1
        Jenn

        Chance,
          
        Porn does harm relationships. More and more, young men are facing issues like erectile dysfunction, a problem that typically doesn’t start until later in life. Women often feel like porn is the “other woman” that they must tolerate because  their husband  refuses to put the good of the relationship above his own selfish desire for vice.  And men can (and do) learn to survive and to thrive without it. There are many Reddit threads popping up now in which men are posting about successfully swearing off porn.
          
        It is a destructive industry which is corrupt from top to bottom. There is no OSHA, no worker’s rights, no unions, heck, a lot of the workers aren’t even paid. Or they’re forced to work 15 hour days for peanuts.  A lot of the women who are attracted to the porn lifestyle have come from broken homes where they were neglected, abused or even  cast out on their own, so they don’t often see that they have a choice not to do it. To many of them, it’s all they know how to do. They might start stripping in a bar only to move to porn, or even prostitution. These are the facts. Think about it next time you decide to sit down at your computer for a good, long fapping. Even as a light user of soft-core porn, I know (and feel very guilty)  that by clicking on a free porn site, I am contributing advertising revenue to an industry which is responsible for the abuse of the men, women and children it features in its films. It also contributes greatly to the spread of STIs, human sex trafficking (which is not just a third world issue, it happens right here at home), drug abuse, prostitution and the perpetuation of rape culture.
        But nobody thinks about that while Jenna Jameson (one of the very few women in porn who managed to thrive in the business) is on the screen getting vaginally pummeled by some larger-than-life stud.

        1. Evan Marc Katz

          Jenn – you’re repeating what the original article said. I will therefore repeat myself. Porn is only a problem if it’s a PROBLEM. It can be consumed in low doses without any negative side effects – which is, in fact, the way most people consume it. The issue here isn’t whether porn is the “other woman” for most men; it’s not. It’s a tool to get off. The issue here is how strongly you feel about male consumption of it; your fears and judgment and jealousy about something that, again, for most men, is relatively benign. No one is telling you to marry a porn addict. We’re all telling you to accept the fact that the vast majority of men use it, the same way the vast majority of men have sex before marriage. Your stances may be authentic, but they’re going to leave you very few men from which to choose. And then, as I just said, you’re going to be forced to discover after you’re married whether you are, in fact, sexually compatible. What happens if you’re not?

        2. Jenn

          Honestly, I think that way too much emphasis is placed on sexual compatibility. You guys say it all the time: once you’ve had it, sex really isn’t that big of a deal. But then in the same breath, you insist that you’d die before saving sex for marriage because you wouldn’t want to chance having a crappy sex life. So which is it? Either sex is such a big thing that you yourselves would never risk marrying someone without having it first, or it’s not such a big thing because the mechanics are not all that different from person to person; insert part A into slot B, pump, repeat. It’s the intensity of the feelings you have for the person that makes the difference.  I may not have personal experience with it, but that doesn’t mean I’m blind, deaf and dumb. I’ve observed things in my own life which caused me to come to that conclusion.
            
          Sure, I’ll acknowledge that some couples have a hard time matching up their sexual tastes and drive  – one partner wants it more, one likes it when you do this, one doesn’t want to try that. But that’s why you talk to each other, and figure out the best possible solution for both of you. And for the record, the percentage of people who wait to have sex before they marry may be low, but statistics show that those folks have as much of a chance at a long, happy, fulfilling marriage (and sex life!)   as those who choose not to wait. And judging by the many personal accounts I’ve read from happy couples who chose to wait, there is definitely hope for me. I don’t really care that there aren’t hundreds of men I can date who abstain from sex and porn use. In the end, all it takes is one.

        3. Evan Marc Katz

          Once again, Jenn, the reason everyone is adamant about this is that they know more than you do.

          Sex itself isn’t a big deal, in that virginity is a distant memory for most of us. Once you have sex, it’s like you’ve been doing it forever.
          Sex IS a big deal in that – if you get married – there’s only ONE person you’re gonna do it with for the rest of your life. And if you can’t figure that piece out – even if it’s only 5% of your marriage – you don’t really have a marriage any longer.

        4. Clare

          Jenn,

          You said: ”  Honestly, I think that way too much emphasis is placed on sexual compatibility.  ”

          And: “he mechanics are not all that different from person to person”

          Sex does actually vary a great deal from person to person. It varies in many ways, and not just your kinks and preferences. The most significant ways it can vary from one partner to another is in your sex drives. The best way to be happy in your marriage is to marry someone with a similar sex drive to you, and the surest way to be miserable is to marry someone whose sex drive does not remotely match yours.

          Also, some men are more thoughtful lovers. For some it’s over quickly. Some love lots of kissing and foreplay. Some don’t. Some instinctively seem to know what you like and be in tune with you. Some men see sex as more perfunctory. Some revel in it and put a lot of time and effort in. Some need lots of kinky experimentation, some are more conservative. From my own experience, being sexually compatible makes you much, MUCH happier in a relationship than constantly being out of sync.

          Sex is a big deal in a relationship.  

        5. Jenn

          Clare,
            
          That’s why you compromise. You work on it. Just like anything else in a relationship, if there are problems, you talk about it. You figure out ways to give each other what you each want. If you love each other and you are committed to making your spouse happy, then you should be able to work it out. And from what I’ve learned through my own observations and through reading about others’ experiences extensively, I’ve come to the conclusion that things are rarely completely perfect in any relationship. Yet people seem to have this expectation that as long as your sex life is good, nothing else really matters. They seem to think that sex shouldn’t take any effort, that you should always be perfectly in sync with your partner, otherwise the relationship is doomed. But from what I’ve gleaned, that just isn’t a realistic expectation to have. Sex takes work. Relationships take work. If you’re not committed to making it work in all aspects of your marriage, you will have problems. Yes, I’m sure  it’s nice when you and your partner are in sync sexually. But that’s not the most important part of a relationship. My friend and her husband had a very healthy sex life. Then he up and left her. Right after he told her he cheated on her twice during their marriage, when he was away in the Navy. Their good sex life  didn’t prevent him from cheating, nor from leaving. There are other things that matter far more in a relationship than whether or not two people are exactly in sync sexually.

        6. Karl R

          Jenn said:
          “Just like anything else in a relationship, if there are problems, you talk about it. You figure out ways to give each other what you each want. If you love each other and you are committed to making your spouse happy, then you should be able to work it out.”  

          Spoken like someone who has minimal relationship experience.  

          I dated a woman who wanted sex twice a month. I wanted to have sex every other day. There was no happy medium. There was a mid-point between those two points that neither of us was happy with.

          Jenn said:
          “Yet people seem to have this expectation that as long as your sex life is good, nothing else really matters.”  

          You’ve got it backwards.

          If the sex is bad, everything else matters. The little things that both partners should let slide become points of contention.

          Sex won’t solve any of the big problems in a relationship. It just smooths most of the small problems out of the relationship. For most of us (in healthy relationships), big problems are few and far between. Small problems can crop up almost every day.

          Jenn said:
          “Sex takes work.”  

          Sex takes effort. If that effort feels like work, the relationship is probably not going to last.

          Jenn said:
          “Relationships take work.”  

          Relationships take effort. If the relationship takes work on a regular basis, then why bother getting married?

        7. Jenn

          Seriously, I wish you guys would stop harping on my lack of experience as a way to attempt to poke holes into every single good point that I make! “Work”, “effort”, what in God’s name is the freaking difference? Semantics, that’s all it is! It is not unrealistic to expect that a relationship that has been built on sexual chemistry alone will self-destruct and it is not unrealistic to expect that in a healthy, loving, passionate and committed marriage, a couple might still have an imperfect sex life. The point that I was trying to make is that if there are problems, in ANY aspect of the relationship, if you and your partner have a bond that is based on trust and good communication, then you should be able to work through them. Who says that just because I don’t want to have sex before marriage that I would never want to talk about it? I’ll talk about it until the cows come home! Why? Because it is such an issue if things are so wildly out of whack. I’d discuss my expectations with anyone I’m in a relationship with. While I agree that there are some things you just need to experience to know for sure how you feel, if you develop the ability to talk and RELATE to your partner, that is what is going to keep your relationship strong in the long run. Not just a hot sex life.  
            

    2. 23.2
      Jenn

      Karmic,
        
      LOL Angles and dangles, I love it! I’m totally going to steal that. I agree, I think women (of all shapes and sizes) are much more beautiful than men  to look at naked. But it does matter that  men are actively  lusting after women. It’s one thing to appreciate the vision of a beautiful woman, but it is a sin to engage in fantasizing about doing her six different ways to Sunday. That’s not me saying that, either. That’s God.
      Truth to tell, I know there will be times when I’m married that I won’t feel much like doing the deed. There will be times when he doesn’t either.  But when it does happen,  I’d rather that it’s the thought or sight of me that gets my guy going, not some random chick he saw on a porn site. Call me selfish, but I want my man’s thoughts to be first and foremost, centered on me as the object of his desire, which is how it should be. So the sight of some random chick in some porn clip gets him randy, and now he needs an outlet, and I just oh-so-conveniently happen to have the right equipment for him to satisfy his craving? Yeah, that’s not really what I’m thinking of when I think of good sex. Sure, there’ll be times when you both just want to “git ‘er done!”. I’m not unaware that things can become routine and boring after a while. I just want my guy’s thoughts of me to be what gets him going and sustains him, not some clip from “Busty Anal Babes 6”. I honestly don’t think it’s that much to ask.

      1. 23.2.1
        Fusee

        Jenn: It’s reasonable to wish to be the center of your partner’s sexual attention most of the time. It’s not reasonable to expect it 100% of the time. Thinking that way will lead you onto a path of suffering, especially when you realize that you occasionally fantasize on someone else than your spouse. And I’m not even talking about porn, just old-fashioned homemade fantasy. Don’t get me wrong, I’d prefer it if my husband would only think of me when we have sex and when he masturbates (I’m a little possessive like that : ), but I’m not fooling myself by expecting it. Actually I’m refraining from asking him any question on that topic because no good would come from the answer. However I pay attention to our sex life, his sex drive, how he looks at me/treats me during the deed, so that I can identify potential issues in time. The thing is, it looks like I’m the less vanilla one of the pair and I might have a richer/kinkier fantasy life than he does, so he might be the one not liking the answers if he were to ask : ) As Evan said, that part (the occasional fantasy) of your sexual life is personal and allows partners to differ slightly while still remaining monogamous and sexually satisfied together. It does not mean that they are using each other, or loving each other any less.

  4. 24
    Cat5

    I hesitate to comment because I’ll get the same old comments about being a prude and secure, but what the hell.

    Strong feelings about porn and male consumption of it -I don’t discriminate I — have strong feelings about anyone’s consumption of it…male or female, adult or child.   It is not a male issue, it is a people issue.

    It is a benign issue for most men — maybe it is a benign issue for most viewers or porn.   It is not a benign issue for most participants in the porn or sex trade industry.   In fact, is is very damaging to most participants.   Watching porn to get off is more analogous to the Romans cheering while gladiators kill each other or watching christians be fed to lions, except now you can do it for free in the privacy or your own home or on your smartphone rather than having to make the trek to your local coliseum and paying for it.

    Sexual pleasure at the expense of others may be fine for many people, but some people choose not to participate in it.   Remember the old saying that evil triumphs when good people doing nothing.   Well, you can choose to do something to help others, or you can   choose to get off.

    Saying Jenn’s stance may be authentic but she’ll have few men to choose from — really?   Why? Because so many men & woman are selfish creatures that care more about their own sexual pleasure than the harm caused to other people in the making of porn?   That is really sad if true.   I hope not and despite what we are being spoon fed by the media and enterainment industry, I don’t believe that.    In the last year or so, I have met more and more men and women becoming involved in working/volunteering for organizations that investgate, prosecute, and help people in human trafficking around the world, including the United States, a major player in the human trafficking business.   Most of them have had it touch their lives in a very really way through a child or family member involved in the sex trades or making of porn.   They have seen first hand the damage it does and can no long sit by and get off to porn without care or concern for those involved in making it.

    To the comments about watching porn is common — so what?   You can choose to be common and follow the crowd, but you can also choose not to be common and stand up for others.   Some people choose not to allow the media and entertainment industry to continue to push our boundaries further and further and go along with it…and choose to stand up for something they know is harmful to others.   Why should those people not be praised for having the courage of their convictions instead of ridiculed as insecure and prudish.

    How many of you commenting and talking about the benefits of the porn or sex trade industry have actually had any experience with it in a personal or professional capacity?   I’m mean other than watching it and getting off to it.   I mean had or been offered jobs in the sex trade? Had jobs where you are dealing with children and adults in the industry or used to be in the industry? Had a family member in the industry?   Porn may be all the rage and romanticized by the media and entertainment industry, but unless you have seen how the industry works up close and personal…the arguments for porn appear to be rationalizations for behavior that causes significant harm to other people in the making of it so others can get off.   But what do they care, it’s not hurting them or anybody they know or care about.    They may choose getting off to porn, telling themselves it’s fine because nobody gets hurt and anyone who has an objection to it is insecure and prude, but many people know different.   

    Hopefully, more and more people take off the blinders they have on, and start to see and understand the difference also.   Although I don’t believe porn or the sex trades will ever go away, at least maybe we start to decrease the damage it causes if more and more people understand and acknowledge the damage it does to others.

    1. 24.1
      Jenn

      Cat5,
        
      That’s kind of where I’m at. Because I’m a curious person by nature, I tend to do a lot of personal research on topics that interest me. Things most people wouldn’t really think about or care to dig deeper into, such as our corrupt food system, the vast influence of the media  on culture, and other things. As you can see from my posts above, porn does affect me negatively, even though I am not personally involved in it. I’ve done a lot of my own  research into what goes on behind the scenes in porn, especially hardcore porn. While there are a couple production companies which more strictly regulate themselves, most Internet porn is produced  by independent entities.  This means  any  slob with a  modem and a video camera can find some girls and start producing their own videos. Because there is very little real regulation in this industry, very few producers of porn even have an incentive to self-regulate, but a few do. There are a few laws in place, such as mandatory use of condoms, but it’s rare that those laws are actually followed or enforced. What I’ve found through my own digging would sicken most people, and maybe turn more people off from it if they were confronted with the cold, hard facts. What would people do if they sat down to masturbate to porn only to have their clips be suddenly intercut with images of the women retching after being forced to deep throat to the point of gagging because the guy wouldn’t stop pummeling their face? Or what if instead of a close-up anal penetration, they were to show the woman’s rectum  bleeding and prolapsed after too much sodomy had sent her  to  the hospital?  How would they react if a sidebar suddenly popped up in the middle of their favorite clip announcing the list of STI’s each performer had contracted during the filming of the sequence because no protection was used?
        
      If people were  able to think about these things instead of just letting themselves get lost in the fantasy of it all, I wonder how it might shape the general attitude toward porn? Would it still be seen as an innocent, harmless vice if more people cared to find out the facts behind what they watch?

      1. 24.1.1
        Simone

        Jenn, you are my hero!!!

      2. 24.1.2
        Jeremy

        Jen, I’ve read all your comments (and those of others) and understand your feelings.   But what I think you need to understand is that they are just your feelings.   They are not necessarily rational (and frankly, Evan and others have done a more than adequate job of disproving the rationality of your arguments).   If feelings are not based on rationality but rather are purely based on emotion, then a person is quite entitled to their feelings but not to try to impose them on others – including her future husband.

        That is, frankly, my problem with this whole thread.   Evan asked the question “Should men….give up porn.”   The only person who can answer that question is the individual man being asked.    NOT society, NOT this blog, and NOT that man’s wife!   His solo habits, the habits he has had long before he ever met his wife, are his business and no one else’s.   They do not constitute adultery (obviously), they do not constitute thought crimes, and do not reflect on a man’s ability to be an excellent husband or father.

        Jen, forgive me but you sound very young.   In my experience (and frankly, that of just about everyone I know and have read about), the chances of a perfect libido match in marriage is non existent.   Thus, there will always be a higher and lower libido spouse – and statistically the higher one is usually (though not always) male.   Do YOU believe that the lower libido spouse should put herself at her husband’s perpetual disposal?   If he is feeling horny first thing in the morning and she is busy doing something else, should she be obligated to drop what she is doing to service him?   Most women would disagree with you if you did suggest that.

        Ahh, perhaps you mean that if the man is feeling horny but his wife isn’t, he should exercise self-restraint and wait for her to be ready, whenever that may be?   He should deny himself his needs and pleasures because his wife isn’t in the mood?   Because, I think most men would agree that that is ridiculous.

        Masturbation is the happy medium.   It keeps husbands off their wives’ back while allowing them some modicum of pleasure and relief.   Porn makes that masturbation more enjoyable.   So unless you believe that women should be at their husbands disposal, or that men should live in a perpetual state of frustration, you need to rethink your views.   And if you say that your ideal of marriage wouldn’t be as I described, speak to some real-life married people and realize that life is not fantasy.

        1. Jenn

          Jeremy,  

          Should the husband and wife be required to submit to sex even though they might not be in the mood? With a few exceptions, such as illness or temporary injury, the short answer is: yes. You might be surprised by this revelation, but it is actually mandated by God that sex in a marriage is actually required. The most obvious reason is of course reproduction, but the other reasons are; because it reduces the chances of infidelity occurring (any type of infidelity, by both spouses), and because it brings spouses together emotionally. But masturbating to porn is inherently a selfish act. What it tends to do is cause people to put their own pleasure first, which is totally against God’s design for sex. His vision of sex is such that the man and the woman give themselves without reserve, and the husband’s body belongs to the wife, and the wife’s body belongs to her husband. This doesn’t mean they have the right to take their spouse against his or her will. It means they give themselves freely to each other because that’s what is required of them.   Your argument that a guy should be able to go wack off to porn anytime his wife isn’t in the mood is evidence of the attitude that most people hold about sex: that it’s first about the pleasure of the individual, and then about the pleasure between the two people.

            So he expects instant gratification and if he doesn’t get it, well why should he wait when he could just go to his favorite porn star? What he doesn’t stop to consider is that maybe waiting a few days, abstaining from porn in the meantime, will increase his desire for his wife and cause him to amp up his efforts to get her in the mood so that she will be more receptive to his advances. Women can’t always just turn desire on like men can – sometimes you gotta preheat the oven before you stick in the turkey! But the availability of porn has stunted men’s desire to put in the effort to woo their wives. The logic is, why should they bother trying to flirt and do nice things to increase her desire when it’s easier to  take their smartphone into the bathroom for ten minutes? Are you saying that people are completely incapable of compromising when there is a mismatch in libido? I tend to think that masturbating is a pretty poor substitute for sex, and if people were smart they’d be more willing to accept waiting, delaying gratification a bit to experience a bigger payoff. Why settle for a McDonald’s hamburger when you can get a nice, juicy steak cooking?

          But that’s the culture we’re living in, I guess. “I want it right NOW.” Apparently so much so that you’re convinced that masturbating to porn is a great way to have the sex life you really want.   

        2. jeremy

          Jenn, I just read your reply and wanted to respond.
            
             First of all, let us please leave your concept of God out of the conversation – realize that you are arguing with people who do not necessarily share your religious beliefs, and that, again, your beliefs are only beliefs – important to you, but not rational reasons for others who do not share your beliefs to do anything.   Let us please focus on rationality.
            
             Second, you state that spouses should submit to sex even when not in the mood.   Excellent.   Fact is, that beyond the first few weeks/months of marriage that doesn’t happen often.   Don’t believe me?   That’s your prerogative…..but ask some real-life married people – especially ones with kids.   Think that other people may fail at this, but YOU will be different?   That’s what everyone thinks.
            
               You believe that men should deny their wants/needs because that would encourage them to better consider their wives and “amp up” their ability to serve?   Listen to yourself!   Entitled much?   So men should deny their basic wants, the wants and needs that they have indulged for their own sanity and peace of mind/body since adolescence, so that they can better serve their wives???   Is that what men are for now?
            
                   You seem to have a very romanticized vision of what sex is.   Sex IS about meeting our own needs, and also about meeting the needs of our partner.   A generous and giving person spends a great deal of attention on his/her partner’s needs…..but at the end of the day our own needs are of primary importance.   Your entire second paragraph proves your ignorance, because the answer to the questions you ask are a resounding YES.   YES, if the wife is not in the mood the husband should go into the bathroom for 10 minutes with his smartphone.   Did you think he should deny himself, wracking his mind for better ways to serve her so that she will eventually relent?   Jenn, I guarantee you that if this is your idea of marriage, it won’t last long.
            
          Given the tone of your remarks, I doubt that I will be able to convince you of anything.   Life will have to do that.   For whatever it’s worth, my views of what marriage SHOULD be were quite different from what I now view as realistic expectations of marriage in hindsight.   And I’ve never met anyone who is or has been married who felt differently.

        3. Jenn

          Jeremy,  

          I’ll thank you to allow me the freedom of expression to which this country entitles me. You’re entitled to your non-beliefs just as I am to my faith, and please take note of the fact that I am not rebuking anyone for not believing. You can believe what you want but that doesn’t change the facts. Also notice that nowhere in my post did I say a word about a husband denying himself sexual gratification. I said that DELAYING it in favor of waiting for sex with his wife would be more satisfying in the end than a ten-minute wank in the bathroom. And yes, delaying their own release in favor of putting more of a focus on sex with their wives is exactly what men can do, because it will heighten the experience for BOTH spouses. In this way, he can better serve his wife and she will, through his attentions, be able to more fully give pleasure back to him.  

          I do have a romanticized vision of marriage. And I am sick of people here telling me that I’m an ignorant fool for believing that human beings can rise above “reality” and strive for something better. I have allowed the negative nancies here to continually drag me down with their derisive, patronizing, and self-centered world views to the point where I could be convinced that pursuing the kind of devoted marriage and generous sex life that I would want is not possible. If it was not for my faith in God’s plan for my life, I might believe that. But I don’t. And I’m able to maintain this positive attitude precisely because I have not been jaded by the experiences that many people who don’t wait for marriage have had. If the idea of a man who attempts to build a better connection with his wife by abstaining from pornography offends you, I am truly sorry. But you don’t need to listen to me. Just read the many, many articles and forums which are now popping up on the Web in which men are exhaulting in their newfound freedom from porn and masturbating. There, you will get it straight from the horse’s mouth that pornography did nothing to help their sex life, and did everything to drain them of their natural desire for real women. Even so-called casual users report that swearing off porn and masturbating has improved their relationships with the women in their lives. But I’m done debating this. Choose to educate yourself. I won’t be here anymore because I’m sick of trying.  

        4. twinkle

          Jenn,
          Respectfully, I think this shows we all have blind spots. You say ‘negative nancies’ are dragging you down and patronizing you, but I think most of us pro-porn readers are not judging you, we feel judged by you. (And feel like we can’t debate, we’re just automatically Wrong because the Bible says so. ) Which is also the way you feel about other readers. Just something to think about. (& something for everyone to think about, really, because we’re all prone to this. ) Peace.
            

    2. 24.2
      Simone

      BRAVO, Cat5!!! I agree with you and Jenn wholeheartedly. It needs to be said.
      But even for people who just watch porn selfishly it’s a losing proposition: 1) Wives, rather than husbands, initiate most divorces, and the man’s porn use factors into a high number of these divorces. 2) Women are gaining more power in the world and are using their influence to push back against rape, harassment, and sexual exploitation, which porn glorifies and yes, “normalizes.” These women and some men are educating the world about what these things are, and mass consciousness about these things shifting rapidly. People who apologize for or condone certain behaviors are losing in the public sphere, and in the private sphere women are finding the right words and actions to condemn those behaviors. 3)  As time goes on, women are going to gain more and more influence in the world. They will demand more egalitarian marriages and if men don’t rise to the challenge, these women  will opt not to marry or will not to stay married. If men are not able to negotiate private spaces with women whose careers and orgasms demand as much consideration as those of their male partners, men are not going to be able to have those women. Which means, men will have to foot the financial and emotional bills that come with having a traditional woman.

      1. 24.2.1
        Evan Marc Katz

        1) Wives, rather than husbands, initiate most divorces, and the man’s porn use factors into a high number of these divorces.

        Wrong. Wives initiate most divorces, but where is the statistic that indicates that a “high number” of them stem from his excessive porn use? I’ll wait.

        2) People who apologize for or condone certain behaviors are losing in the public sphere, and in the private sphere women are finding the right words and actions to condemn those behaviors.

        Another fallacy. Condoning moderate porn use isn’t condoning rape. You only weaken your argument when you suggest that men who like to masturbate (ie all of us) are therefore more likely to think rape is okay. I rarely watch porn, but I’m forced into defending it because of your holier than thou purtanical attitude towards it. Porn is 30% of the internet. Tell me when the public sphere eradicates it.

        3) If men are not able to negotiate private spaces with women whose careers and orgasms demand as much consideration as those of their male partners, men are not going to be able to have those women.

        Who said a woman’s orgasm didn’t matter? I only said that in porn that is designed for HIS pleasure, her orgasm doesn’t matter. In the context of a marriage, of course her pleasure matters.

        The article was about whether men should quit porn or if it could be consumed in moderation. Your argument is that porn is wrong, women are powerful, men don’t care about orgasms, and men who masturbate will not be able to marry. Huh?

        1. Simone

          EMK: Shame on you for twisting what I said.
          1) If you don’t believe that husbands’ porn use factors into a high number of divorces that’s OK with me. I’m not going to do your research for you.
          2) Referring here to a) the  tremendous  backlash against Republican politicians’ ignorance about sexual harassment, birth control, abortion, and rape; b) websites like Jezebel and Huffington Post that call out male ignorance in general on same; c) Congresswomen using their authority to filibuster anti-abortion legislation or to confront the military and government  leaders on sexual assault  in the military; d) CDC’s recent findings on the prevalence of rape; e) lawsuits against the Catholic Church for protecting rapist priests; f) Anonymous in Steubenville; g) new laws against stalking, cyber-voyerism, and  public knowledge about same  are  growing; etc. etc. etc. Fifteen years ago these mass movements against sexual crimes–almost all of which are committed by men and which heretofore have been silently condoned or ignored–were not happening. Now they are.
          3) My argument is not at all that porn is wrong, women are powerful, men don’t care about orgasms, and men who masturbate will not be able to marry. My argument is that porn is male-centric and a poor education for anyone interested in women’s actual sexual response; that women are a rising force politically and socially at this time in history and are asserting the truth about their bodies and their experience of   sexual abuse–much of which seems to stem from the same sense of entitlement that male-centric porn promotes; that the majority of men  in general either don’t care  about  the female orgasm or are clueless about how to  give one; and that young women  in general are saying that they want egalitarian marriages and would rather do without marriage than be under a man’s thumb–a statement  that has big implications  for men who are found  lacking  in their knowledge of how the female body works or who  think that male pleasure is more important than female pleasure.             

        2. Evan Marc Katz

          And any woman who finds that her man doesn’t care about the female orgasm has a right to dump that man. That doesn’t mean that men can’t watch porn from time to time. Stop with the black and white shit, okay?

        3. Simone

          EMK: First of all, people watch porn. All sorts of people watch porn. Not just men. From your statement I could conclude that your understanding of porn as a male-centric form of arousal and entertainment is more limited (black/white) than mine. Second, I very much appreciate your appreciation of the female orgasm, and it’s very clear that you keep your wife happy. So I’ve no problem with you. It’s the weekend, and I hope you and your adorable family have a great one. (I know, it’s very hard with little ones, but they are the cutest, aren’t they?)

    3. 24.3
      starthrower68

      The culture does out a great deal of hope in sex.   Sex is a good, wonderful, necessary thing. But it has become THE thing.   I am not so naive as to think that will change and people are going to do what they’re going to do.   I kinda like being part of the counterculture though. 😃

    4. 24.4
      Lola

      I have been in porn. And while I won’t tell you it is all champagne and roses, I will strongly disagree with you that it is harmful to everyone involved. (Some maybe, and many girls in the industry may need counselling afterwards, but my experience was that it was a temporary exchange). There were quite a few hoops to jump through to do it. Proof of my age, signing model release forms, even taxes on the income.

      I live in a country where prostitution is legal. The only thing that is illegal is negotiating the terms of the trade in public. I can tell you this based on my porn experience, I’d much prefer my daughter to be an escort to a pornstar. Why? Because I can find the online evidence of my 23 year old self spread eagle with a huge grin on my face. It’s not something I want out there forever and ever.

      Now for the reason I did it. I made $2ooo for 4 hours of work. I couldn’t afford to get into debt at the time, I wasn’t getting enough hours in my minimum wage job, and it was a small trade for the financial security that money offered me for a few months.

      Was I exploited? Yes, but I allowed myself to be. I’d argue that the vast majority of porn you see is consensual, even when it’s a really brutal blowjob scene and tears are streaming from  her eyes from gagging so hard.  We could argue whether $600 is really enough to do that, but  wages are pretty consistent across the industry,  and I think it’s  very fair for  unskilled labor. There aren’t a lot of things you can do  as a young woman to make comparable wages.

      1. 24.4.1
        Adrian

        Hi Lola,

        You said, “Was I exploited? Yes, but I allowed myself to be. I’d argue that the vast majority of porn you see is consensual, even when it’s a really brutal blowjob scene and tears are streaming from  her eyes from gagging so hard.  

        I agree with everything you are saying but remember that the majority of women who condemn porn are basing their arguments off of emotion not just facts.

        Everything is centered on how her boyfriend/husband’s “personal” pleasure makes her feel.

        Many don’t see a difference between a man who doesn’t have sex with her but loves getting off on porn and the man who only watches it occasionally when his wife is not in the mood for sex or is away on trip.

        To women who are against porn, it is all evil regardless of the reasons. You can’t fight emotions with facts.

        1. Maria

          Oh, so you want to take feelings and emotions out of relationships, Adrian? How is that working for you? That’s mostly what a relationship is about, you see? Feelings and emotions. Learn to deal with that.

          But if you wants facts, here’s a fact for you: My ex-boyfriend   tried anal penetration on me, without previous discussion or warning. Without lube. I managed to disentangle myself before he succeeded, and he just left me on the couch and went to bed in a huff, refusing to speak to me for the rest of the night.

          Yes, he was a closeted porn user: I found out one day when he needed some information from his computer and directed me over the phone to look for it.

          The overarching FACT here is: Porn has a brutalizing effect on men. It positions boys and men, from an increasingly younger age, to have wrong expectations and assumptions about sex.

          Most of porn is savagely misogynistic and it teaches men to avoid the things that give most women pleasure (like breast and clitoral stimulation) , while enshrining repugnant and demeaning sexual practices   such as “cream pie”,   anal sex without preparation or lubrication, etc.

  5. 25
    Still-looking

    Simone stated, “I notice that none of the sex examples you give are about things that women typically enjoy—like the man giving her oral or having her nipples stimulated.  The examples are  her getting spanked, giving him blow jobs, getting anal, and having cum on her face. None of these activities is going to lead to a female orgasm, but three are about male orgasm. I think this kind of oversight is why women don’t like porn.  Believe me, we’d be all for it if the main event was a woman getting off. Where is that missing plotline?   ”

    Simone – I’m going to assume I’ve been with quite a few more women than you so I’m speaking from experience.   I’ve been w women who have their most intense orgasm w anal sex, women who only orgasm w rough sex, women who orgasm from giving a BJ, and one who would orgasm just from me talking dirty in public while gently pulling her hair.   Different strokes …..

    1. 25.1
      Simone

      Any women on this board have orgasms in the way that Still-looking describes? Haaa!!! Based on what you’ve just told us I believe that “Deep Throat” is due for an update.
      No, seriously. All of us women who have female orgasms obviously have no clue about what really turns us on and makes us come. Oh,  and we never ever discuss it and no  biologist or doctor or sociologist  has ever studied it or written about it or anything like that. Thanks for filling us in.

      1. 25.1.1
        Karl S

        Why is everyone so focused on the orgasm? It’s not just about physical stimulation remember. People do these different things for the psychological effects and sense of power play it gives them. To dominate or be dominated, to be a giver or receiver. We see things in porn that people do enjoy in life, but porn only shows us the action whereas life has (and needs) the conversation that precedes it. And since it’s a mastabatory aid, why wouldnt it just be action?  

        1. Simone

          Karl S: You don’t have orgasms when you have sex because you prefer the psychological effects and the sense of power play? Personally, I like having orgasms when I have sex. I don’t like to watch of have sex that’s all about the guy’s orgasm. Seems kind of one-sided and selfish of the guy, don’t you think?

        2. Simone

          Karl: Love ya, but I doubt that the majority of women are BDSM.  I wish people (OK, men) would stop using these outliers as exemplars of the female population, Fifty Shades notwithstanding. I  mean, to paraphrase Freud, what do men want? Women who come from hair-stroking or  fellatio just don’t exist (sorry, Still-looking). If  a man wants a good  sexual relationship with a  woman it has to be equal, unless he wants to take care of that discrepancy in other parts of the relationship (e.g., by being rich). Again, as with Evan, I don’t  put you,  Karl, in that douche-guy basket.  You both break the  entitled white male stereotype. But sometimes you defend the male-centric status quo, as  if you’re going to benefit  from it. This is a public forum, sort of. You might want to consider being on the right side of history.

        3. Simone

          Oops. Freudian slip. Ha!! Most women are NOT BDSM!! (That was a good one–sometimes I amuse myself!)

      2. 25.1.2
        Karl S

        Simone,

        I’m pretty vanilla myself, but I’m telling you now that I’ve met a number of ladies in and out of the BDSM community who are definitely interested in things beyond stimulation to orgasm.

        It seems to me that most women are at least slightly submissive, in that they’re attracted to a man who is bigger and stronger than them – someone who could potentially overpower them. But a lot of women also like to take it a step further. Remember, sex is often a place to get weird and freaky; to unleash your inner child or your darker self. People in high powered jobs ask to get tied up and hit with riding crops. Others like to drip hot candle wax on themselves or their partner. Some want you to pin them down or even choke them a little bit while you have sex. People are weirder than we give them credit for. You have no idea what your friends and co-workers are really into. Someone who seems ultra conventional during the day might well be swinging from the chandeliers at night.

        Evan makes a good point about porn being mostly male-centric, but my point is that the activities you see in porn aren’t purely made up by men to satisfy men. You think women haven’t explicitly asked me to spank them, to give them anal and yes, even to cum on their face? They have. And these were highly intelligent, socially aware feminists. They weren’t just doing what they thought was expected of them, they were doing what they wanted in their sex lives. It might seem baffling to you, but you have to remember it takes all kinds to make a world.

        1. Karl S

          I will concede that porn too often neglects to show people giving their express consent before submitting to certain acts. There is definitely a callous attitude towards women that runs through porn that I don’t like. But I maintain that the activities themselves are something real people indulge in. Even the degrading ones.

        2. Simone

          Meh. Take away the porn and who is going to think that stuff up themselves. Plain vanilla is more reliable, probably. I’m sure your wife is happy. But I think that men seriously underestimate how strong the  conditioning to please men is.   Women, too, use porn as a primer for what is “normal.”  From the day you’re born as a female, it seems, you are  given all sorts of messages about what your sexuality is supposed to be. Believe me, it  isn’t about  YOUR pleasure. There’s this funny  video that modernizes  the behavior of   fairy tale princes (Buzzfeed, maybe?).  Sums it up.  To  Jenn’s earlier points, these fairy tales are about normalizing abuse, slavery, and rape. Blech.         

  6. 26
    Chance

    This thread discussion is starting to go down the road that I originally expected:   by trying to squash porn consumption by trying to tie the problem of human trafficking to porn consumption.   Obviously, no one condones human trafficking.   I am very interested in this.   Could people please provide articles that demonstrate that human trafficking is pervasive in the porn industry?   

  7. 27
    twinkle

    I’m a little tired of how women sometimes discourage porn by saying porn actresses are basically pitiful exploited people. I’m not convinced that that’s a big reason why so many women don’t like porn, I think it’s more insecurity–which is a human thing and isn’t horrible per se. (This is why my older male friend told me, ‘Never marry a man who u love more than he loves you’. I think one is less likely to be insecure this way. Lol)
      
    Porn actresses are more likely to have had problems with alcohol and abuse drugs and marijuana, but “The porn stars were no more likely to have been victims of childhood sex abuse than the control group, the study found. What’s more, the porn actresses reported significantly higher sexual satisfaction, positive feelings, social support and spirituality.” (Journal of Sex Research, 2012).
      
    The porn stars are fine, ladies. Problems exist in every industry and of course their job isn’t perfect. Are you not buying goods made in developing countries because some of their workers work in difficult conditions for very low wages? (Actually we really shouldn’t, now THOSE workers truly have hard lives) Unless you are, it makes no sense from telling men to stop watching porn because some women apparently only turned to porn to escape poverty.
      
      

    1. 27.1
      Cat5

      “The porn stars are fine, ladies. Problems exist in every industry and of course their job isn’t perfect. Are you not buying goods made in developing countries because some of their workers work in difficult conditions for very low wages? (Actually we really shouldn’t, now THOSE workers truly have hard lives) Unless you are, it makes no sense from telling men to stop watching porn because some women apparently only turned to porn to escape poverty.”
      Are you kidding  with this statement?
      The next time I represent a 13-year-old who’s father forced  him with threat of violence  to go down on  the father’s  best friend while his father  filmed it to post on a gay porn site, or a 20-year-old whose boyfriend drugged her, took money from four or five  men to have sex with her at the same time, and then took pictures to sell and simultaneously threaten to send them to her parents to keep her in line, I will send them to you Twinkle.   You can tell them to suck it up and stop their sniveling and whining…it could be worse.   They could be living in a developing country working  in really difficult conditions for very low wages.

      1. 27.1.1
        twinkle

        And are You kidding with this statement? “You can tell them to suck it up and stop their sniveling and whining…it could be worse.   They could be living in a developing country working  in really difficult conditions for very low wages.”
        That sounds like you’re trivialising the widespread overwork for shockingly-little pay that goes on in developing countries as some western corporations try to squeeze out every last dollar in profits they can. Foxconn (which produced Apple products in Asian factories) was violating workers’ human rights for years so I hope u’ve been giving an earful to every person u see using Apple products.
          
        Those examples u mention are violations of the LAW, the victims will have to seek help and that will be for the Legal System to handle. It’s not an indictment of Pornography itself. Btw for the 13 year old u mentioned, that’s Child Porn, with vulnerable victims which is why even Watching child porn is a serious legal offence.
          
        For other porn, the actors/actresses are presumed to be willing participants, which is why it’s Fine. U and other anti-porn people are confusing the issues. I notice noone has replied to Chance 26:   “Could people please provide articles that demonstrate that human trafficking is pervasive in the porn industry?   “

        1. Jenn

          Twinkle,
            
          The illegal sex and drug trades are all interrelated with porn. If you did your research, you’d see that there are many third-world young women, especially poor Asians,  who are either kidnapped outright or simply lied to and brought into this country through human sex trafficking. Those women are ripped away from their families and  stripped of everything they once were. Often they’re  forced into prostitution in “massage” parlors, but they are forced into making porn films as well. Why? Because of the market for Asian and other types of porn. Many of those girls  are drugged,starved, beaten into submission, given next to no food and forced to sleep in spaces that would make a prisoner in a state penitentiary look like he’s at the freaking Hilton. They don’t see a dime of the money they make for their pimps and have no real means of escape because they know no one on the outside. This is not something that is just happening in some far away place. It’s happening right here, in our own backyard. As to why the girls are mainly being kidnapped instead of choosing to go into these “professions”, it’s because the demand (by OUR men, the main consumers of porn) has far outpaced the supply. Purveyors of porn and prostitution find it easier to just steal the girls and force them into it. Haven’t you ever seen the movie “Taken”? That kind of stuff happens all the time. The girls are kidnapped, their identification, money and often even their clothes are stolen and they are given forged passports and fake IDs so that no one can trace them. They disappear in a matter of days. It’s true that not every woman in porn is really an unwilling participant. But the question is, can you tell the difference? I’m betting no.

        2. Cat5

          Twinkle,
          And I think you are trivializing what happens to people in this country – and by this country I mean the United States of America.   At least in the countries you mentioned they get wages – low though they may be.   In the examples I mentioned above – neither the 13 or the 20 year old got paid.   They just got sexually abused and physically abused if they didn’t comply with the sexual abuse.  
          I’m only one person who can only take on so many things at once.   Currently, I’m taking on the issue I see all the time in this country.   I’d be exhausted and likely wouldn’t have  many friends.   Plus, I personally believe we (as in the United States of America) need to clean up our own house before we go telling other countries how to live.   We still have a lot of cleaning to do to get there.   I mean we are supposed to be the greatest nation on earth — I expect a lot more from us.
          But I’m curious Twinkle, what would you tell those people in my examples above?  
          As for Chance’s request at 26, I  missed it.   But, I’ll say a couple of things — first, I’ve mentioned a bunch of articles and studies before on this blog, and second I’m not Chance’s freaking research assistant.   It’s call the Google and it’s an amazing thing.   Type in a few search terms and you might actually find what your looking for…but be sure to read both sides of the issues, because there is a lot out there that misleads both ways so you have to gather information, maybe actually go meet some people who have been there, and think for yourself.
          And since I’m feeling benevolent this evening — Hey Chance why don’t you start with looking up the Polaris Project, and go from there.

        3. Cat5

          Darn it!   I accidently hit post comment before I finished.
          And what does the fact that it’s a serious legal offense have to do with anything?   Do you think that means it doesn’t happen? Or that everyone who does it actually gets charged, let alone prosecuted and goes to jail for it?   That’s pretty naïve.   I see cases all the time of parents who beat their children to the point the child has to be hospitalized – what happens?   Sometimes the state takes away their child, sometimes they don’t.   When they do take the child away, they often return them to the parents later.   But, I’ve never seen any of the prosecuted.
          I’ve seen parents who have sexually abused their children – same thing.   Sometimes the state takes away their child, sometimes they don’t, and sometimes they return them home.   But again, I’ve never seen any of them prosecuted.
          In the case of the 13 year old I gave you the example of above…I fought like hell to keep him from having to go back to that hell hole and he never did.   His foster family wanted to adopt him, but the father wouldn’t terminate his parental rights — kept hoping he’d get the child back.   But, they never prosecuted the father either.

        4. twinkle

          @Jenn and Cat5:
          Argh I thought I’d typed a reply earlier, but somehow it wasn’t submitted. I’ll briefly type it again.
            
          I’m sad for these victims of human trafficking and I want justice to be served and the perpetrators punished, but I can’t agree that this means pornography is wrong in general.
          Cat5: “And what does the fact that it’s a serious legal offense have to do with anything?   Do you think that means it doesn’t happen? Or that everyone who does it actually gets charged, let alone prosecuted and goes to jail for it?”
            
          I mean that these are violations of the law that the police should be dealing with, instead of trying to ban porn altogether. It’s like how in 2011, there was an Australian expose of the animal torture/cruelty happening in some Indonesian abbatoirs. I think in response, Australia stopped exporting their cattle to Indonesia.
            
          Some vegetarians have argued that because of cruelty that sometimes happens in some cases, there should not merely be a localised response (dealing with the specific companies or countries involved), but that people should stop eating meat altogether. Majority of us, however, feel eating meat from humanely-killed animals is not wrong, and that the abusers/offenders of animal rights should be punished…I think a similar principle applies here.
            
          In the US, for eg, pple can petition the govt to do more to fight these human trafficking abuses, to devote more funds to the cause. Sadly, some other countries don’t have good law enforcement to devote to the fight vs human trafficking. Perhaps we arguably shouldn’t watch porn produced in developing countries, since there are more likely to involve unwilling victims. (But u’d be depriving those who Do want to earn the money of a much-needed source of income)
            
          Overall, on a utilitarian basis, I can’t agree that all porn is wrong because there are some unwilling participants though. There is a Lot of porn with willing participants, these are big industries which provide jobs to many people. We have to weigh the pros and cons, and porn does provide pros to many many pple worldwide, I agree with Chance that it reduces cheating/affairs. There are also guys who can’t find sexual partners and porn provides an outlet or solace to them.
            
          I hardly even watch porn, maybe once a month, so I don’t really have a horse in this race; I can do without it.

        5. Jenn

          Twinkle,

          Seriously, you really think that porn use is a form of solace for lonely men who somehow can’t get a girlfriend? How would it be for those guys if they were to put their all into meeting women in real life? Or maybe if they took up a hobby or a volunteer activity to fill lonely nights instead of sitting at home, wacking off in self-induced isolation? Sounds more like a surefire way to get depressed rather than find peace.  

          As to your assertion that porn provides many, many jobs – yeah, not so much. It may be a big industry but for most workers,   it’s not a steady stream of work at ALL. Plus,   if a performer catches a disease (which of course, they all do), they’re out the pay for the entire period of the illness.  

          To your other point, the parallel you attempted to draw with the food industry, I will just reiterate my previous point: how do you know? How do you know for sure that your food was raised and processed humanely? Do you know your local animal-raiser (“farmer” is a loose definition by today’s standards) raises the animals with loving care? Do you know where he sends his animals to slaughter? Do you stand over the slaughterhouse worker’s shoulder as he processes your meat? No, I’m guessing you probably don’t and that’s why vegan and vegetarian advocates advise against eating meat. By the same token, you don’t have any way of knowing for sure if the porn you use has been produced legally and humanely. So why take the chance? That’s what I was trying to get at.   

      2. 27.1.2
        Chance

        Cat5,
          
          
        When someone tries to tell other people that they should or shouldn’t do something for a specific reason, and makes supposedly factual claims to support his/her case, it is generally his/her responsibility to provide the evidence to support those claims.   Refusing to do so by claiming that you’re not someone’s research assistant simply makes it look like you don’t have anything to support your claim.   If you cared about these people as much as you act like you care about them, you would be happy to spend a few minutes to provide me with evidence to support your case.  
          
          
        As a courtesy to you, I did go to the Polaris Project website.   However, I couldn’t find anything there demonstrating that human trafficking was pervasive in the porn industry.   Could you please help me out with this, and direct me to the right spot on the website?   This is a very serious offense that you are trying to use as justification for people to stop viewing pornography, and I very much want to give it full consideration, but I need evidence.
          
        Until then, I believe we are back to square one:   you stated that porn is not a benign issue for most people involved in it, and you keep tying the issue of human trafficking to the porn industry as the main justification for why people shouldn’t view it.   You provided some isolated examples, one of which involves child porn, which would not be allowed on mainstream porn websites.   I believe this problem of human trafficking could most effectively be combated with more money and other resources devoted to stomping it out as opposed to making a blanket statement that people should not watch porn at all.   Could you, or anyone else, please provide evidence that human trafficking is prevalent in the porn industry?

        1. Jenn

          Chance,
            
          It shouldn’t matter how prevalent it is. The fact is that  trafficking does happen, and you would have virtually no way of knowing for sure whether you are watching porn made with trafficked individuals or fully consenting adults. And even those fully consenting adults can be abused. I’ve seen the behind the scenes footage on Youtube of women begging the men to stop because it hurts, and the men keep going while laughing and making fun of them. Just because someone might consent to be in the video, that doesn’t mean that they’re never harmed. And in some other cases, the female performers aren’t just required to put in a full day’s work on the film, they’re also forced to submit to servicing the crew or they won’t get paid. That kind of forced prostitution is disgusting, and it’s one more reason to abhor pornography.

        2. JoeK

          She can’t support the claims she makes Chance. She argued this with me a year ago, and I quashed all the numbers presented.

          There’s very little evidentiary support that porn supports trafficking.

          I too looked at the Polaris site, and it’s clearly devoted to getting the message out, but not supporting it with accurate data. They tend to come to unfounded conclusions by conflating things like prostitution and porn.
            

  8. 28
    Elle

    Today our local newspaper published an article with the headline “HIV Case Rocks Porn Production” in which an advocacy group for the porn industry has called for an industry-wide production moratorium after another performer tested positive for HIV. Apparently, the AIDS Healthcare Foundation successfully fought to require condoms for porn actors in Los Angeles city and county, but the adult film industry has bitterly battled the condom rules, claiming it will ruin their business. “During the past year, a plethora of porn producers have pulled up stakes from its traditional southern California home and moved production to places like Las Vegas, San Francisco and Miami where the condom rules are not in force.”   It’s interesting how the consumers of porn apparently want the fantasy aspects of it to take precedence over the health of porn performers, thus bolstering the argument that pornography is exploitative. Your thoughts about this, Evan?

      

    1. 28.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      Elle, this isn’t about the consumers of porn. The porn performers themselves don’t want to use condoms. This is a matter of the state trying to protect them from their own choices. And as liberal as I am – a believer in the nanny-state, if you will – there are consequences for forcing people to do things they don’t want to do. And thus, a lucrative Los Angeles industry (however icky it may seem) is leaving town for states that don’t impose such laws. Again, I’m no porn expert…barely even a consumer. I just think I’m an advocate for common sense. As long as porn actors are tested regularly (and they are), they should have the choice of using/not using condoms. If porn is about fantasy, few men’s fantasies involve condoms, you know?

      1. 28.1.1
        Jenn

        I just want to point out that the performers are usually only tested once a month, that is, when they are actually required to get tested (many off-the-radar producers skirt  the state’s mandatory-testing  laws). HIV has an incubation period of 2 weeks to 6 months. Meaning that a performer who is infected can have up to 5 negative tests before they finally get a positive result. In the interim, that’s a lot of people he or she  could be  infecting! They might not just spread it to other performers either – people outside the industry who they hook up with or have relationships with are put at risk too, if they also  prefer not to use protection with them. And need it be said again that not all incurable  STI’s are protected against with condom use (*cough* herpes *cough*). The state isn’t just trying to protect the  people who participate in porn, they’re trying to protect the community at large, too.

      2. 28.1.2
        pat

        But isn’t this a public health issue? This wasn’t a law created willy nilly to stifle male fantasy. It was implemented because there was an increase in HIV transmission among actors in the porn industry – clearly regular testing wasn’t enough. There are also problems with relying on testing in high risk populations, such as false negatives and compliance issues (people sliding by without getting tested or not getting tested often enough). Even if the performers are willingly exposing themselves to the risk of HIV, if they contract it, it becomes a public health issues because they can spread it (especially if they don’t know they have it and their livelihoods depend on unprotected sex and also those people have sex outside the workplace). Testing alone doesn’t seem to be effective, actual prevention is needed. Just like your kids have to have their shots to go to school and you need to prove your immunity status and get annual flu shots to work in a hospital. Porn actors need to wear condoms. It’s all about herd immunity and prevention.

        It might be an unpleasant change at first for viewers, but with time condom use could be normalized and people would eventually accept it. It just seems a little petty to be arguing about the threat against male fantasy, when people’s health and lives are at risk. If a subset of the population were willingly or unknowingly exposing themselves to TB or Rubella and driving those transmission rates up, it would also be a public health issue and the state would have to intervene to limit the risk of transmission to the rest of us. I don’t know about you, Evan, but I’m all for it.

        Just wanted to say that otherwise, I love your blog, your posts and everything. 🙂

      3. 28.1.3
        Maria

        There is a 6 month window where the HIV virus may be present in someone’s body without showing in tests. Porn actors are modeling risky behavior to the masses and endangering themselves, contributing to the HIV epidemic.

        The legislation here needs to go this way: you want to be a porn actor? Fine. You have to model behavior that is consistent with public health directives. Wear a condom. Don’t want to? Fine. Not allowed to work in porn.

        This approach is consistent with current Health and Safety legislation which forbids workers from performing risky duties without appropriate safety equipment. In the case of porn actors, wearing a condom is of paramount importance because it’s not just about their personal safety or the safety of their coworkers. It is a true public health issue because, without condoms, they are contributing to a growing epidemic and influencing other people to do the same.

  9. 29
    Morris

    Wow. This thread took a weird turn. Sorry but porn is here to stay. I think it would be better to understand the role it has and work with it.

    But what DOES worry me is the future. I work a lot with technology companies. And the advances of virtual reality, and other technologies that I won’t mention, does make me worry for the future generation of relationships. What will happen when men/women simply don’t need the other gender for sex?

    Some people think a lot of what is bad in relationships today can be blamed(at least partially) on the relative availability of sex. So what happens when it’s completely on tap? And with the fantasy man/woman of your dream? Scary.

    1. 29.1
      Isa

      Already happened.   See: Vice,
      The Japanese Love Industry

      1. 29.1.1
        Morris

        Just watched it on YouTube. Depressing. I can only image as technology improves it will only get worse .(Or is it better? Since everyone is doing it willingly?)

  10. 30
    Jay

    For something that is merely ‘fantasy’ this subject has certainly inspired an energetic exchange here on this blog.

    I applaud those comments which look at the reality around the culture of the industry and I applaud those who are honest about their own lives.  

    My view is that, coming from the UK, a culture which is historically repressed and ashamed on sexual matters and which therefore as a   kind of backlash has now become culturally obsessed with it, we need to look at the whole subject. We need to ask why women and increasingly men look down from roadside billboards with vacuous facial expressions and bulging torsos to sell products entirely unrelated to their sexualised bodies. How young people might be encouraged to value themselves above the surface gleam of flesh which is waved at them from every music video (which is so powerful to teenagers because great music is powerful). There needs to be a conversation in my country about sex and what it means to us all and what we want young people to really know about its meaning and context in every kind of relationship. Pornography is merely an aspect of that conversation.

  11. 31
    Ames

    Simone–what are the financial and emotional bills associated with a traditional woman? A woman has to be somewhat traditional to want marriage in the first place, no?  

  12. 32
    Shaukat

    I actually tend to agree with Simone and Jenn on this issue, leaving aside the latter poster’s bizarre citations of “God” as an authority. If we look at the political economy of the porn industry, then it becomes clear that the content of porn does not simply reflect the autonomous fantasies of male consumers, but rather that the major companies within said industry actively seek to shape and mold the sexual ‘tastes’ and preferences of young men (and women) in order to increase their bottom line. This type of motivation underlying porn production becomes patently obvious when applied to any other industry-for example, the tobacco industry doesn’t simply produce a product to satisfy the wants and tastes of a given population; rather, tobacco companies actively seek to generate addiction and acquire new customers by framing the consumption of their product in a very specific manner. Likewise, if you google porn, the vast majority of sites tend to be ‘gonzo’ porn, which depict sexual acts in which the woman is in a subordinate position (i.e, being ejaculated on) while being referred to in derogoratory terms. I seriously doubt that men (and I am a 33 year old man) are born hardwired with this type of ‘fantasy.’ This is the essence of what economists refer to as “demand production,” and we only need to cite the existence of a multi-billion dollar advertising industry to corroborate the concept.
      
    In addition, although it is a controversial and contested topic, I think there is substantial evidence which suggests that the majority of female porn performers have very few options and are exploited in the industry. The study cited by twinkle above, from The Journal of Sex Research, was not , I believe, working with a representative sample. A 2011 study published in the medical journal “Psychiatric Services” compared the mental health of 134 femal porn performers in LA to the mental health status of   1,773 women of similar ages, and found that 33% of the former met the criteri for current depression, compared to 13% of the latter respondents, and that 50% of the porn performers reported living in poverty and 34% had experienced domestic violence, compared to   36% and 6% of general female respondents.
      
    That said, I agree with EMK that it is futile to demand that men not consume porn at all, or that limited porn consumption is harmful. There is very little evidence to support the latter claim. Although some experiments by social scientists in the 1980s did report increased levels of aggression in males after extensive porn consumption, the participants were all college aged males and the experiments were conducted in a lab setting, and therefore could not be extrapolated to the real world. However, I also don’t think there is much evidence to corroborate Chance’s claims that porn can serve as a cathartic outlet.

    1. 32.1
      Chance

      Shaukat, your first paragraph doesn’t disprove the notion that businesses try to find and capture a target customer base, and that this customer base ultimately decides what is useful.   While businesses do actively seek to generate addiction/obsession/perception of need, and frame the consumption of their product/service in a specific way, they will not apply these strategies to a target customer base unless they think it will work.   The population doesn’t have to be cognizant that they want or need something at a given point in time, such as before a product/service is introduced.   The population didn’t know they needed a tablet to complement a smartphone and a laptop just like they didn’t know they needed clear Pepsi.   One product thrived and one product flopped because the population ultimately decides what is useful.
        
      Second, while the numbers in the study you cited are not surprising, I cannot tell if you are trying to illustrate where the causation lies (i.e., what is the independent variable and what is the dependent variable).   Are you trying to say that depressed, poor, and abused women are more likely to get into porn, or are you trying to say that porn is the cause of this?   If it’s the former, you’re probably right.   However, these people are adults and they make these decisions on their own volition.   This is no where near the same thing as being a victim of human trafficking, which is what a lot of people today seem to be using as ammunition in their crusade to eliminate porn consumption.    
        
      Finally, you said:   “However, I also don’t think there is much evidence to corroborate Chance’s claims that porn can serve as a cathartic outlet.”   It would be interesting to see if there has been any empirical research on this topic.   I’ll leave it to you to provide it.   In the meantime, from an anecdotal standpoint:   are you telling me that men don’t look at porn to get some kind of release?

      1. 32.1.1
        Shaukat

        @Chance,
          
        I’m sorry for the long delay in my response; you’ve raised some interesting points which I would like to address. First, on the issue of trafficking in pornography I agree with you that there is no evidence to suggest that this is happening. I did a search using a university database for peer reviewed studies and articles on this subject and found nothing outside of the phenomenon of trafficking in child pornography. Even though there is some evidence that illegal (and sometimes legal)prostitution is tied to trafficking, even in this area the data is far from conclusive. What’s interesting, as even researchers who are staunch opponents of all forms of prostitution and pornography will attest, is that it is impossible to select a random sample of prostitutes and very difficult to select one of porn performers, and so as of now no one can draw statisitical inferences from sample data to make genralizations about the entire population of these two professions.
          
        Regarding the study I cited, I was not arguing that participation in pornography was the cause of depression or social dysfunction in those research subjects, but only that the choices such individuals make are constrained by their histories and material conditions. It is true that they are adults and in the end make their own choices, but those fighting for a more meaningful form of equality would likely argue that the choice between dire poverty and industrial grade sex is not much of a choice.  
          
        On the issue of catharsis, again there is not much data on this topic, but I can only say that intuitively it does not make much sense to say that, for example, someone who has a predisposition to commit adultery would find an alternative outlet in pornography. On the contrary, it would seem likely that if such a person were repeatedly exposed to images of individuals committing such acts, even in the context of a sexual fantasy, then he or she would want to eventually act out the scenario as well.

  13. 33
    Misaka42

    I will confine my answer to my experiences or the stated experiences of people I know.   While the porn of the 70’s or 80’s may have been acceptable for light use, the general film now is quite violent and includes quite a lot of practices that are very very very dangerous for the average couple.   My male friend related this weekend that he had to cut out pron entirely recently, as his girlfriend stated he was becoming more and more and more violent with her.   He was unaware of it, but then traced back type of consumption vs. complaints of violence and found a pattern.
      
    I saw the same pattern with two different men.   One (an ex boyfriend) would also become more violent to the point that my crying didn’t affect him after light consumption.   When he wasn’t watching, normal.   I could actually *tell* when he had been watching.   Another man decided to reenact a film that shall remain nameless without my consent.   Yes, I managed to get raped according to the friggin plot of a porn film.  
      
    I think that in the end it’s the type of porn that matters.   Anything that helps men become desensitized to sexual violence is abhorrent.   If they want to get their jollies buy a lad mag and watch showgirls.

    1. 33.1
      Joe

      What do you consider sexual violence?   Most porn doesn’t involve violence.

      1. 33.1.1
        Isa

        Lack of consent/simulated rape.   Most gonzo stuff as well…   I’m not really talking about the skinemax stuff, but the escalation that is currently occurring as more tame stuff becomes more and more and more boring for men.

      2. 33.1.2
        Isa

        Googling rape porn gives you 49 million results (or about 10% of all porn hits).   Basically that is my problem, there is a market, people will fill it, but it is completely abhorrent.  

        1. Joe

          So, 90% of all porn hits don’t involve rape porn?   Sounds like “most” to me…

      3. 33.1.3
        AllHeart81

        Actually, out of the top grossing movies , 88.2% had acts of verbal and/or physical violence. 94% of those acts were primarily targeted at women. Porn has grown more violent against women and it does numb people. Only 9% of porn showed couples laughing, kissing and being affectionate.

  14. 34
    LouWho

    Porn is a sore subject with me having endured a 16 year marriage to a man   addicted to it. Yes, it affected our finances adversely, it affected our sex life (what sex life?), enhanced his “extra-curricular” activities, and it destroyed my self-worth.   Two years after the marriage ended, I’m finally figuring out that it was never me who lacked; it was the weak, addictive man I was stupid enough to marry. Fool me once….

  15. 35
    Clare

    Very lengthy debate which I have not had time to read yet, but just wanted to add my own experience.

    I used to be very much against porn use by men when they were in a relationship (when I was in my early twenties) and I pretty much hit the wall when I found lots of porn pictures on my boyfriend at the time’s computer.

    I have to say, I have considerably mellowed on this issue, mostly due to the guy I am now dating. He looks at porn off and on – exactly how regularly I don’t know, and don’t need to – in a purely “looking” way, and not in an interactive way. And we have an amazing sex life, very intimate and connected, best sex of my life. He is also a loving and attentive boyfriend who I feel is very emotionally connected to me.

    All this is to say my views about porn have largely been cured because it doesn’t impact negatively on my relationship at all. For all I know, it might positively impact our relationship – being an outlet for him when I am not around, or fuelling his desire for me. I’ve never really had cause to question his porn use because as I say, we have a great intimate life that I wouldn’t change. Now and again we watch porn together and it adds an exciting element occasionally.

    It does have a lot to do with the fact that I trust him – I know him to be a principled man who would not let porn use get out of control or negatively impact our great sex life. I trust that he knows the type of person he wants to be, and I don’t need to monitor his porn use, or even worry about it.

    I just urge women who are against their men using it not to advocate a blanket ban on porn, but rather to consider the type of man they are with.  

    1. 35.1
      ScottH

      Seems that this comment sums up exactly what Evan and the more moderate posters are saying.   Casual use is not a problem.   Addiction is a problem but it is not casual use.

      Also, to the more religious posters, isn’t porn a creation of God?   And if you say no, then it must be a creation of Satan.   And if so, how would we know, is it because you assess it against your values?

      And to the comment about how a woman feels regardless of why she feels that way, all  I  have to say is, REALLY??   Can she feel however she feels and it’s ok?    Feelings are not facts.   One of my favorite Evan quotes is something along the lines of:   if your feelings become your BF’s problem when he  hasn’t done anything wrong, it’s on you to  examine your feelings and  to express them in a more  healthy way.   (TWEET THAT!)      

      1. 35.1.1
        Jenn

        ScottH,
          
        “Also, to the more religious posters, isn’t porn a creation of God?   And if you say no, then it must be a creation of Satan.”
          
        You may not have meant to, but you just hit the nail on the head. Sex was designed by God to be an expression of love in a marriage, and a pleasurable way to procreate to assure that the couple would “be fruitful and multiply”. Satan continually tempts the  human mind away from God’s will because  he thrives on taking people away from  God’s  Light and turning them toward the dark. One of the biggest ways humans are tempted is, you guessed it, sexually!  
          
        So it seems we are getting to the heart of the issue: if you don’t believe that pornography is wrong or immoral, then it’s harder for you to understand or appreciate why your partner might  be upset by your use (however casual it may be). As such, you might  think that her feelings don’t matter because you don’t see a problem with what you’re doing.  In fact, you think it’s normal because a lot of other people do it, too.  This is what happens to some nonbelievers; instead of keeping God at the center of their moral compass, they  tend to compare  themselves and their behavior using a social barometer (“Well, I’m fine because I’m not that guy who’s addicted.”). The problem with using comparison to others as a moral compass is that they are also human, and are prey to the frailties and sins of being such. We all have our own private confessions to make, and no one is perfect, least of all me.  But that’s the first step to healing – admitting you have weaknesses, sins,  and faults. The next (and probably most important)  step is how you choose to deal with them.
          

  16. 36
    Fusee

    Jenn: I agree with you about having a moral compass independant of social norms. I also agree about the importance of challenging one’s own weaknesses and trying to do better. This being said self-improvement is a personal choice, a choice we can inspire in others but can not require or demand. Also the list of things that human beings can make progress on is endless so I find most effective to focus on the most important, because life is about happiness and feeling good enough too : )
      
    When I was looking for my husband I decided to evaluate carefully my non-negotiables because I knew that I could only keep a few if I wanted to end up in a life-long relationship with someone compatible to me. If some of my non-negotiables were for my partner to have the same general relationship and life goals than me, someone I could communicate non-defensively and resolve conflict promptly and fairly, someone I was attracted to and who was to me, someone who was responsible and loyal, etc I was going to have to be flexible with pretty much every other aspects because it’s not that easy to meet and connect with someone presenting all these criteria.
      
    Placing occasional porn use as a non-negotiable is fine if if really, really means disloyalty to you (and not just triggering insecurity), but please realize that you are going to have to give up other nice-to-haves in the process, nice-to-haves that might actually be much more important for the long-term viability of a marriage than occasional porn use. So hopefully you can either become a bit more flexible in how you grade ocassional porn use on your “sin scale”, or be extremely lucky and find a man who on top of everything else you wish for can also commit to a complete abstinence of porn. As other commenters have said, ironically someone abstaining from sex until marriage might inadvertently select for partners who are used to rely on porn to satisfy their sexual needs.

    1. 36.1
      Jenn

      Hi Fusee,  

      I can agree with that and I am not an unreasonable person. I don’t think occasional porn use is equal to physical infidelity but it is still a form of cheating to me, even if it’s a less serious and not fully recognized one. But I can’t even really wrap my head around the fact that full-grown men, men who have active sex lives, would actually argue about their right to jerk off to porn. I mean, that’s something you do when you’re an awkward, pimply-faced teenager who can’t even talk to girls. These are full-grown, married men with loving wives, who are trying to justify their “right” to go closet themselves away, pull their pants down in front of their computer and make sweet love to their palm instead of reserving all their desire for their wives. It’s natural to be drawn to beauty in all its forms. But lust is different than simply momentarily admiring a gorgeous woman. I just hope the man I marry will understand the difference and will make the effort to guard his heart from that temptation. I can’t force a man to do anything, but then again if I had to, I probably wouldn’t want to marry that guy. But who knows?   I may feel differently once I get married, I don’t know. I guess I’ll just have to cross that bridge when I get to it. I just hate the assertion that any time a woman is upset by something her man does, it’s automatically something she just has to “deal with” because it’s only her problem. So any time I might have a grievance, nothing will ever change so I should just put up and shut up? That doesn’t seem healthy or effective to me.  

        

      1. 36.1.1
        Evan Marc Katz

        And what you’re not acknowledging is that just because you feel a certain way doesn’t make it valid to your partner. Not all arguments are created equal. You can argue for Creationism and it will fall short of the evidence behind evolution, no matter how you may feel about it. And if I “feel” that it’s disrespectful for a woman to walk next to me and that she should stand six feet behind me as they do in Saudi Arabia, you, as my girlfriend, would have every right to kick me to the curb. Your rarified standards about what a man “should” feel about his wife – as if marriage means he is no longer attracted to anyone else on the planet – are simply naive. I’m sure you’re a nice person and I hope you find everything you’re looking for. I’m just afraid you’re in for a rude awakening – and, not only that, but I’m afraid you’re going to pass up a lot of decent guys along the way who occasionally watch porn or believe in premarital sex. Guess you’ll have to see for yourself. Good luck.

        1. Jenn

          He may not think it’s valid but that doesn’t mean he should totally disregard her point of view. Shouldn’t it matter to a husband that his behavior could be breaking his wife’s heart? That seems kind of selfish to me. Sex is supposed to be shared freely between a husband and wife and porn use doesn’t do anything except take away from that.  It isn’t that I would never expect my husband to feel a momentary attraction to another woman. Attraction is a human response and it’s only natural when in the presence of a beautiful woman. I know i wouldn’t feel guilty about appreciating a beautiful man. It’s what a guy would do with those feelings that matters. If he chooses to acknowledge that he finds other women beautiful and he is a little attracted to them, fine. But I would not feel comfortable if my husband chose to let his imagination run wild all the time, nor do I think seeking out porn to satisfy the resulting urges is okay. Cheating behavior doesn’t start with the groin, it starts with the brain.  

      2. 36.1.2
        Fusee

        Jenn: Women don’t have to just “deal with it”. If a certain value or lifestyle choice is essential to you it’s fine to not “deal with it” if the other party does not share your views. If such incompatibility is revealed in dating (or in friendship, or even in the workplace) the only thing you can do is a graceful exit. Trying to change the person with the different value or behavior is pointless and it’s also dangerous to have unrealistic expectations about how things “should be”. In dating I find it effective to constantly question your non-negotiables to make sure that you really, really need each one on your list since each one of them will make finding the right partner that more difficult. Keeping occasional porn use on your do-not-fly list is fine so long as you understand how this limits the pool of prospective partners available to you. Given that you already have some very limiting requirements that also involve sex (which I’m not judging by the way), I would be careful to add something that most people report as not being a huge deal in their marriage when kept as occasional.

      3. 36.1.3
        Nathan

        Jenn, although I’m not Christian, and honestly feel that a lot of what the church has to say about sex and sexuality is totally wrong, I support your right to stand behind your values. I’m guessing a fair amount of others here also support you in that sense.
          
        At the same time, I get the sense that you’re arguments are driven by a hell of a lot of “what ifs” about your possible future husband that essentially give you a platform to indulge worst case scenarios. First off, you yourself stated that you use softcore porn occasionally, so it’s highly hypocritical to expect potential partners to not use it, or have any history of use.   Secondly, you seem obsessed with the idea that you’ll run across a man who will respond to your concerns about porn use during marriage with a “love it or leave it” kind of attitude. If you actually do a good job of focusing on finding a man who listens well, shares most or all of your core values, and is open to sharing and compromising, I doubt this will be the result.  
          
        Overall, though, from your comments here and elsewhere, you do come off as far more rigid than open. And wagging your finger at “nonbelievers” attitudes about porn, while using it yourself, makes you look pretty unsympathetic at best. However, as someone who’s views are often far out of the mainstream, I feel compelled to offer some sympathy. Because I know what it’s like to be bombarded on for thinking and acting differently from the norms. It’s totally fine to hold out for a man who will wait until marriage with you. It’s totally fine to want to find a man who holds similar moral views as you do. In fact, it’s even totally fine to think that porn use during marriage isn’t desirable. You don’t have to give up your voice or sense of agency for any man, or anyone else for that matter.  
          
        At the same time, given the numerous things you’ve said you want in a partner – here and elsewhere on Evan’s blog – you really need to sit down and consider which of those are most important to the lifeblood of a marriage, and then opt to focus the majority of your effort on finding a man who has those traits, skills, or behavioral qualities. Otherwise, everyone you find will eventually disappoint you greatly. In addition, I wonder how much of your concerns about porn are tied to guilt or shame about your own use of porn. Instead of seeking perfection on this issue in another, perhaps looking in the mirror and reconciling your feelings about your own actions are in order.
          
          

        1. Jenn

          Nathan,  

          Thank you for your perspective. I do admit to occasionally using soft porn myself, because that is as far as it goes for me, for one thing. For another, it’s only because I am not married and therefore not in a sexual relationship that I use it at all. Third, I at least know it’s wrong – most guys who use pornography, however rarely, not only use much harder stuff, they think it’s totally okay. They also likely have not bothered to educate themselves about the porn industry and how it preys on not only the people involved in making it, but the ones consuming it (mostly men). That said, I am trying to stop, but this particular habit is a hard one to break. So if it’s hard for me, someone who did not masturbate at all until after age 17 (and then only occasionally), then I can’t imagine how a man who’s done it constantly since puberty would feel. See, I don’t judge people for their sins because I know full well that I’m not perfect. But how could I expect a guy to see that his behavior is wrong if he doesn’t think it’s a sin? I don’t expect perfection and I don’t have a mile-long list of must-haves in a man. As far as my worry about a man having a callous attitude, that was mainly a concern brought about by certain men on this blog who seem to think that since they don’t see using porn as any big deal, then their wife has no right to get upset and ask them to stop. That is a worst-case scenario to me, being marked.

          … married to someone who invalidates me and won’t take my feelings into consideration. But far from allaying my concerns, talking about them here on this blog has done nothing but amplify them thanks to the myriad of people here who seem to think that a husband being capable of only having eyes for his wife is completely impossible. It’s not. I have had real life examples of people in my life whose marriages were that way. It’s not that the men involved never found other women attractive, because I’m sure they did. But if asked, they’d say it didn’t matter because they found their wife to be the most beautiful woman in the world. That’s what I want. And I don’t think it’s too much to ask.

        2. Jenn

          Nathan,
            
          I’d also like to add that your one comment has done more to help me than any on this particular topic thus far. I appreciate your constructive criticism and thank you  from the bottom of my heart for  offering me a balanced, compassionate perspective on this. I will most assuredly take your advice into consideration. Did you ever think about starting your own advice column? You might want to, you have very valuable insights. Thanks again!

  17. 37
    CaliforniaGirl

    In my opinion, a lot of people and not only men but women also, are attracted to something that they cannot accept and it goes against society or their personal standards.   For example, I have a friend who is obsessed with fitness and has a very fit and thin wife and she is beautiful by our society standards but he is attracted to curvy women and every time he sees one he is mesmerized with her. I am very sure he watches porn with curvy women and fantasizes about them but he is afraid to admit that he actually likes women with some flesh and not just muscles. A lot of people are afraid to accept what they really like and they find it in porn.  
    My boyfriend told me that he always dated tall, thin, blond, and young girls and then he caught himself that he always watches porn with older, small, and curvy brunettes. Then he just started to date them and now he is happy because he accepted it.
    A lot of people like something that might look wrong or they are afraid their partners will think they are crazy or kinky, they are not open enough or at all and they just watch porn and fantasize.   Me and my boyfriend watch porn together and separate but we always share our fantasies and try to fulfill them even if it’s something we never did before. We learned a lot about each other sexual preferences and tried new things, some we liked a lot some not so much but if you can accept your partner and not judge him by some things he likes (of course there are personal boundaries, like child porn), then I think your partner will never hide or lie about watching porn and it will never be an addiction. If you can find such partner, you won, if not sooner or later you will go back to your little secret.
    I was married for 10 years and was very attracted to female domination but my husband never wanted to try, he always said it will emasculate him and he will feel not man enough after. I watched movies on the topic and fantasized about it. I was sick to my stomach to clear browser history every time and really wanted to share. My current boyfriend agreed right away though he never tried it before and he liked it so much that now he asks me to do it all the time. He discovered another world and I fulfilled my fantasy.
      

  18. 38
    Shepherd

    I have mixed feelings about porn. I am a professional ballet dancer. When I first started my dance career, I was getting paid pathetically little. I tried to support my self with restaurant jobs or cleaning positions. I got my nursing assistant license and worked in a hospital. It was rough. After rehearsing all day, I had little energy to dedicate to extra work. I was going crazy with exhaustion and stress from worrying about how I was going to pay my rent. Long story short, I   started stripping and then performing in porn films. I could work very few hours and yet make lots of money. I now have a stable position with a ballet company that pays me a living wage and while I don’t act in porn regularly anymore,   I’m still open to it. I still strip one night a week, sometimes more. Not because I need to, but because I want to. These things are my dirty little secrets. I’ve told very few people and thankfully the crowd I run with is very removed from that kind of thing so my privacy is somewhat safe. I’m grateful to the sex industry because it has weirdly allowed me to achieve my dreams. On the other hand, the consumption of porn and the like is disgusting to me. I’ve seen this world in an intimate way from the inside. It can be very ugly, but not in the way that many people assume. It’s different than you might think. It’s different than I thought. Its fun and rewarding and interesting. The money, holy crap, the money! And yet it kills you, but not because of being naked or engaging in sexual activity in front of a camera. It’s very complicated. You become a product, a thing to be bought and sold. A price is put on the supposedly priceless. It hurts and it takes certain things away. I’ve never had truly awful things happen while doing porn or stripping, but still there is a strange, nagging trauma. It’s not necessarily life-ruining or the worst thing ever, but a subtle kind of loss, I guess. It’s  difficult to articulate. I  feel very dramatic going on about all this,  but I must say from what I’ve seen and from my experience, porn is not a good thing. I would encourage people to refrain from looking at it. I can’t judge anyone as I’m still involved in it, but if there ever were a perfect world, there would be no porn in it. It isn’t ethical. It is demeaning to everyone involved, to both the one that watches and the one that is watched. And not because of sex and nudity and genitals and being sexually aroused. It’s more than that. I don’t say any of this to be confrontational   or jam my opinions down throats. Honestly,   when I saw this post I couldn’t read it for several days, where normally I read the entries to this blog as soon as I can. Obviously, I’m ambivalent about the whole subject. I just wanted to give my two cents as a person that is involved in the sex industry.  

    1. 38.1
      marymary

      Shepherd
      a friend of mine was a dancer who struggled with money, she got some work as a podium dancer, it’s far removed from stripping and porn but I was concerned that, at the age of 18, she might be meeting nightclub owners and the like who were a lot older than her and might persuade her to do things she wouldn’t otherwise choose. I don’t think it’s a real choice when you’re very young, inexperienced and strapped for cash.
      If porn was so great a career we’d be encouraging our sons, daughters and nieces to do it. I agree, it’s not about sex, it’s more subtle than that. You put it well.
        

    1. 39.1
      JoeK

      “To reiterate, if porn weren’t completely male-centric I’d be all for it.”
        
      Nice strawman there…evidence please – you made hte claim, you provide hte evidence to support your claim. Starting from absurd assumptions is, well, absurd.
        

    2. 39.2
      Karmic Equation

      Simone,
        
      Men and women value different things in life. Men and women perceive life differently. Men and women find different things “fun.” Men and women solve problems differently. Men and women get turned on/off differently. There are more differences between men and women than simply different genitalia.
        
      Until you understand and accept that men LIKE porn for reasons that have ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with you or any other woman in his life, past or present, you’re NEVER going to have a happy relationship. You simply don’t understand men at a basic level. And that basic understanding is what is necessary to build a strong and enduring relationship.
        
      Do yourself a huge favor and don’t date. You’re wasting your time and his.

      1. 39.2.1
        jeremy

        @Karmic, best comment on this whole topic IMHO.   Kudos.

        1. Karmic Equation

          TY, Jeremy 🙂

  19. 40
    Simone

    Shepherd: How cool that you are a ballet dancer. Such a gift.
    I read a  memoir by a woman who passed as a man for a year and she said a similar thing about strip clubs and prostitution, from the male client perspective. She said that those places and the men who visit them are so sad and depressing. It would be so great if we could have erotica that isn’t soul-crushing.
    All the best with your art!!

    1. 40.1
      Jenn

      Simone,
      Do you remember the title of that book? I’d be interested in reading it. Thanks!

        1. Jenn

          Thanks, Simone! I’ll definitely look it up. 🙂

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