What Are Your Honest Views Of Internet Porn? [We Ask You]

We Ask You   What Are Your Honest Views Of Internet Porn? [We Ask You]We all know the Internet is awash with porn. Those who aren’t interested in it fool themselves into believing it’s buried well away from prying eyes, while those who access it regularly know that it’s a simple case of typing one or two words into Google. Despite this common knowledge, Internet porn isn’t a common topic of conversation, at least decent, polite conversation.

Perhaps it’s time to change this, to open up about the omnipresence of porn online, and to talk about it openly and honestly. Sure, there are children reading, but if they’re online without supervision the chances are they will have encountered some nudity at the very least. So why not discuss the issue openly and honestly?

This Week’s Question…

What Are Your Honest Views Of Internet Porn?

internet porn graphic   What Are Your Honest Views Of Internet Porn? [We Ask You]

Christian recently wrote a feature-length article about pornography addiction and the efforts of some to wean themselves off this one aspect of the Internet. It’s an enlightening read that should fascinate anyone who is aware of online pornography but unaware of the problems it can cause. If you have anything to say on the subject of pornography addiction then please comment on that article. Otherwise keep on reading.

We want to hear your honest views on Internet pornography. Do you think it’s an integral part of the Internet that has as much right to exist as any other? Would you like to see porn sites shut down, censored, or even moved to their own .xxx domain? Do you think viewing pornography online is a harmless activity for most people that should not be blown out of proportion?

Opening the conversation out even more, would you consider adding content filters to bar yourself from viewing porn? If you have kids do you filter content to stop them viewing porn, either on purpose or inadvertently? Or is education the best way to deal with the issue, letting the younger generation know this stuff is out there but informing them that it should be avoided?

Please don’t promote pornographic websites. The intent of this article is purely to open up the conversation in order to have an honest and adult debate on Internet porn.

Drawing Conclusions

All comments will be digested to form conclusions in a follow-up post next week where we will detail what ‘You Told Us’. One reader will be chosen for the coveted ‘Comment Of The Week’, getting their name up in lights, the respect of other readers, and 150 MakeUseOf points to use for Rewards or Giveaways. What more motivation than that do you need to respond?

‘We Ask You‘ is a weekly column dedicated to finding out the opinions of MakeUseOf readers. The questions asked are usually open-ended and likely to start a conversation. Some are opinion-based, while others see you sharing tips and advice, or advocating tools and apps to fellow MakeUseOf Readers. This column is nothing without you, as MakeUseOf is nothing without you.

Image Credit: Bernard Goldbach

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100 Comments -

Richard Smith

There are a lot of stupid distractions in the world, both on and off the internet. Porn is just one of them. Although I can understand that many people use it for entertainment or as a social network, I personally find it evil, pernicious and disgusting. But, it is necessary for us to tolerate such trash if we are to allow everyone to be free and to make their own decisions–bad or good. The fact that 40% of the internet is taken up by porn is just evidence of the sorry state that the world is in, and of how we need to get off of our gadgets on occasion and socialize with real people.

I have children, and I use OpenDNS to filter our internet access. This may seem at odds with my previous statement about being free, but I also think it’s important to protect kids from that sort of thing until they’re old enough to understand what it is, what’s involved with it, and to make a wise and informed decision. Besides, I don’t filter it very strictly, so, if they really wanted to, they could still get to it, but I do filter the porn sites themselves, and I monitor it. So, if they do get to it, we can discuss porn and what the consequences and ramifications of such indulgence would be. After all, you can choose your actions, but not the consequences.

Dave Parrack

That’s a perfectly sensible approach when it comes to your kids. :)

I will ask why you to expand your reasoning of why you find porn “evil, pernicious and disgusting” though.

Richard Smith

Porn gives its viewers a distorted, unrealistic view of sex and relationships, thus leading to unrealistic expectations in real life relationships. It objectifies its subjects and allows viewers to forget that the other person is a human being. It also is symptomatic of an unhealthy emphasis on sex, and its physical aspects, ignoring the essential emotional and spiritual aspects of human relationships. Therefore, the end result is the destruction of the relationships, and the human soul.

Justin Baugh

I believe the amount of amateure and reality porn sites may disagree with you. They indicate not only that people are well aware of how fake the traditional pornography really is, and also that they aren’t looking for that even given the opportunity.

Richard Smith

I’m not sure how that supports your argument, but I believe that those who indulge in pornography are in for a rude awakening someday. We can choose our actions, but not the consequences.

Esteban

Really? Well, movies, comics, books and almost all types or entertainment offer distorted views of reality, so I guess they’re also evil, pernicious and disgusting. And of course the consumers of all those are in for a rude awakening some day.

Richard Smith

Your statement represents a fallacy of composition:
While it is true that all of these things offer exaggerated views of reality, pornography deals with the highly emotional and powerful realm of sexuality which is especially susceptible to such distortion and unrealistic expectations, along with intense psychological conditioning and has an exceptionally powerful influence on the human mind and spirit.

What makes it so evil and pernicious is the objectification of other human beings and the division of the sex act from the human emotions of love and affection that make the act special. Pornography makes sex common and base. Such cheapening of something so sacred and powerful is disgusting to me.

Esteban

Well, sex is base and common, as any other human emotion. It’s base because we ALL felt or experience it, and it’s common because we do so every now and then.

You’re now talking about ‘spirit’ and ‘sacred’… Clearly your view of the reality is terribly distorted, by a religious belief I would suppose.

There’s no talking sense to people who start mixing metaphysics, beliefs and such with simple biology and chemistry and a bit of sociology.

And I’m not saying pornography is good or bad, I’m just pointing that your veiw is flawed.

YOU find it disgusting, that’s ok, but that doesn’t make your argument any valid.

Also ‘pornography deals with the highly emotional and powerful realm of sexuality’ well, do you read much? Any number of books, for certain people under certain circumstances can be more emotional and powerful than sex. Also movies. Songs. Etc.

Best regards.

Richard Smith

Perhaps sex is base and common, but it doesn’t have to be. If you disregard my argument based simply on a religious framework, then you are not objective, and no less bigoted and judgmental than any religious zealot, and your valediction rings hollow.

Suggested reading: http://www.usnews.com/usnews/opinion/articles/041129/29john.htm

Ulysse Comeau

Can you tell me how to get out of porn? I wish to avoid looking at these porn sites.

Richard Smith

See the other article by Christian mentioned in the text above.

Richard Smith

Incidentally, the United States Supreme Court addressed the issue of pornography and obscenity (see Jacobellis v. Ohio, 1964) and tried to come up with definitions thereof, and they couldn’t, but they (particularly Justice Stewart) said that although he couldn’t really define it, he knew it when he saw it. Therefore, I don’t expect that we could necessarily come up with a definition, either, but, hopefully, we can agree on a general idea of what it is.

Ravi Meena

we all have physical as well as emotional needs, in old days when it was not possible to satisfy those need people used to work hard to get those things. now we search for those on internet, not only porn, you will find so many questions on relationships problems on internet. if you look at these it is more like we don’t care about these things now days because we can satisfy those needs from internet and mobile. everyone feels alone and they excessively use mobile to connect with people far away to feel the company of them and that too creates more emptiness. my conclusion is if we give preference to virtual things more then soon nothing real will be left.

Dave Parrack

That’s pretty deep, Ravi. There is a definite blurring of the lines between real and virtual, and I suspect those lines will only get more blurred as time goes on.

Richard Borkovec

Online porn is a double edged sword. An adult should be able to view what they want (as long as it’s legal), but I also agree that it should be easier to filter from children. It’s an outlet for some, but like the article Christain wrote, it can easily become an addiction and/or vice. Used in moderation, it can be like anything else, completely harmless.

Dave Parrack

As with everything moderation is key. Because it’s so readily available it must be hard for those with addictive personalities to temper themselves though.

GABRIEL

It is actually not much different than other bad habits people have. I think its all depends on the person. Gamblings/Alcohols/Gamings to name a few. People just need to learn to realize it and take control of it. Too many people just don’t want to take personal responsibilities anymore.

Yiz Borol

I know of a couple cases where it literally ruined marriages. I think we’d be better off if, it was gone. It just makes people really callus and perverted…

muotechguy

It doesn’t *make* people perverted, it just shows them that lots of others are “perverted” too and that it’s ok – despite years of religious teaching telling them they’re going to hell and feeling terrible about something they can’t help.

Dave Parrack

If porn has ruined even one marriage that’s very sad.

Justin Baugh

Agreed. Does anyone else think that Mariage and relationships are sad? What I mean by that is their role or nessesity in our society? Isn’t the act of being in a relationship or marriage a true testament to our capitalistic nature? I mean of you take a man and woman who are dating or just friends or whatever and then the next day they are both in a relationship. What’s changed? They have made a clear statement to the rest of the world….(and I hate to quote Homer Simpson, but the rules of our society really seem this base)…”you see this ring? It means she is my property and I own her!” it may be an oversimplification. And then again maybe not.

Dave Parrack

In a society in which a lot of relationships are short and tempestuous marriage does at least offer a semblance of commitment. It’s each to their own, other people buy a house together for the same reason.

Scutterman

A lot of things ruin marriages, and a lot of the time they are just a catalyst for deeper problems.

Alan Wade

I believe online porn isnt a necessary bad thing for those of adult age who find that sort of thing interesting as long as its kept well filtered from children. The real problem as I see it is when does pornography stop being harmless fun and becomes perverted and downright disgusting.
For the record I personally do not visit porn sites but am liberal enough not to condem those who seek harmless fun by way of nude men/women pictures or video clips.
But as with all things in life there will always be those who seek pleasure of a more perverted nature, its how do you block the sicko’s from uploading pictures and film clips of children or animals etc?
As fast as governments find and close the hardcore pervert sites, more open so what is the answer? Harder prison sentences for the offenders but would that really work?
Is it possible to filter EVERY porn site to protect our children? I dont believe so. And at what level is a picture not porn but adult fun? To me if a picture shows a person with no clothes on then that should be in the same catagory as a picture showing people having sex, at least that is what I try to protect my grand children from. Now most will jump up and down and say well that is just plain silly but is it? Too many forums and social sites dont regard that as offensive but they all allow children under the age of 16 to be a member. I have seen pictures of naked women on Facebook or even Google pictures (which I searched for while writing this) so should those be filtered from our children as well?

As a footnote, my opinion is that if ALL ISP’s Social sites and Search engines filtered out all content from naked people upwards it wouldnt be such a bad thing, I am sure there will be many that disagree but that’s my opinion.

Scutterman

Facebook actually have a pretty strict policy on nudity. There was a controversy a few years back when they started removing pictures of mothers breastfeeding. But, like all large communities, they can’t police every photo uploaded and they rely on users to report images that break the rules.

Dave Parrack

There’s a big difference between naked people, people having sex, and acts that are both immoral and illegal. I really don’t think you can or should lump them all in together.

I do personally disagree with the opinion in your footnote, but I’m glad you shared it :)

iOS Developers

This is one of the reason why there is so much frustration in kids now days….the get mature before time

The 24

The problem is not maturity, but a distorted sense of what it means to be mature.

Vampie C.

Porn can be nice, but after some minutes, it’s over. :'(

Igor Rizvi?

Sharing this.

Piotr

Internet pornography is a poison for the mind and soul. People who watch Internet pornography become distanced from their family and friends, perform worse at work and eventually fall into depression. Pornography is literally a drug and to get the same effect one has the watch more and more severe pornography.

The only solution is to forbid all pornography because sinister interests poison our minds to make financial profits, all at the cost of ruining lives and destroying people. And no, I am not some religious fanatic or some such. Yes, I even sometimes fall into the pits of watching pornography myself.

It is all reluctantly but the after watching pornography for so many years it is hard to break free. I usually watch pornography once every third week and I can even see what a destructive effect that has upon myself and my family life.

Many years ago I used to watch pornography every day and I did not have a girlfriend, no friends and neglected everything that is truly important in life. Most of my time I spent watching pornography and it was not possible for me to do much else because the craving was so strong.

I urge everyone to read on the Internet what a detrimental effect pornography has upon people and make every effort to break free from it’s grasp. There was a good article on the topic on MakeUseOf not long ago. Also check out this website: http://www.yourbrainonporn.com/

Dave Parrack

Your first paragraph is a sweeping statement that I don’t believe can be applied to everybody. In the same way that most people who drink alcohol don’t ever become alcoholics, most people who view online porn do not become perverts.

It’s an interesting viewpoint though, clearly borne out of personal experience. Thanks for sharing.

themainliner

Pornography is intrinsically linked to sexuality and masturbation. For this reason it’s difficult if not impossible to have a rational discussion of any of these issues. The problem is people will either snigger with amusement, and more likely embarrassment, or become hysterical and condemnatory due to their moral and/or religious upbringing. I applaud your effort to engage with this difficult subject.

The main problem with discussing pornography is that it’s such a valueless term. Pornography is clearly many things so expressing any opinion of online pornography will be both acceptable and unacceptable – to the same person – when applied to various parts of the spectrum that the terms covers. I’m not sure how it is possible to use the same term for a magazine, sold high street shops, featuring naked people (mostly women), and images of the brutal physical and sexual abuse of children. I don’t think the discussion can be valuable. If you restrict your discussion to say the “graphical depiction of human sexual behaviour’ produced by ‘consenting adults’ then someone will inevitable ask if you simply mean pornography and the discussion is again mired. Erotica is an even worse and more vague term and commonly perceived to be an euphemism which attempts to elevate the base grubbiness of pornography to some kind of art.

Until I feel confident about what we’re talking about making I refuse to make a positive or negative statement about so loose an umbrella term. I’d ask you to consider what it is you’re actually asking us about. All the responses you’ve had thus far are in many respects of no value, unless they do address and define what it is they are talking about when they refer to pornography.

Dave Parrack

You make a valid point that pornography means different things to different people, but I’m referring to the accepted use of the term – naked adults performing sex acts. If something is illegal then I’d assume most right-thinking people are against it.

themainliner

Sadly most people’s reaction to “naked adults performing sex acts” is coloured by the use of the term pornography. Why is the term applied so broadly, in some usage to vile and illegal acts of abuse against children, and what effect does that have?

Child pornography is as widely accepted a term as ‘Internet porn’ and as the ‘net has become the major medium for the transmission of images of child sexual abuse this discussion does have a real problem.

You’ve made an assume that this is a widely accepted and used definition of Internet pornography but in a reply is the only place you’ve stated it. The responses you’ve gathered may not express a reaction to your narrow restricted definition and may have been different if they had.

James Bruce

I have no doubt that ED caused by excessive porn is a real thing, yet I’m not going to sit on a moral high horse and preach of how disgusting it all is. People have their own limits and unless it’s illegal, shut the hell up and stop telling everyone else what they ought to enjoy. Like all things in life, porn used in moderation is probably a good thing.

I do worry about having kids though; in my day – probably the first generation that truly got to experience the wonders of the internet – you still had to work for porn; scouring down adult passes, or hunting for private ftps. Nowadays, you’re literally 7 characters and a click away from seriously hardcore stuff. I don’t have kids yet, but I’d like one, and I do worry about how I’m going to stop them getting access to all this before they should; whatever firewalls you put in place can easily be overcome.

Perhaps I’ll just show them /r/nofap when they’re 8 and scare the crap out of them. Porn = floppy di*k. ‘Nuff said.

Dave Parrack

Moderation is definitely the key here. One of the problems with online porn is how readily available it is. Imagine if a drinker was provided with alcohol free whenever they wanted it… that would be hard to resist.

Unfortunately I think parents have to accept their kids will at one point encounter pornographic images online. I guess it’s just about making sure they don’t make a habit of it and that it’s openly discussed.

Vipul Jain

Porn Cons
. Addiction in a few cases
. ED in very few cases
. Some categories are inhumane and should be disallowed & shut down

Porn Pros
. A vent for personal emotional Needs, not everyone has someone
. Since it is a vent for those needs, IMO decrease in the horrendous crime of RAPE!

Still all, and i mean ALL porn websites should be moved to .xxx domains so that it can be easy for parents to block it. It will be upto them that they wish to show their kids what porn is at an early stage to show how bad it can be as James said, or keep them away till they eventually find it themselves, and yes THEY WILL FIND IT!

Apart from the online porn topic, porn industry is a livelihood for people in need of money.
Now i am very confused myself on this topic, as no one who enters this industry (atleast majority of women), enter because they want to, but because they have to due to some personal reasons. So its a very double sided place where people who have monetary needs are being paid well but on the sake of their identity. So whether its a fair line of work or not is something only he/she can answer who has been through it.

Dave Parrack

It’s a tricky subject, as your comment proves. There are pros and cons, and I must admit I’m also on the fence over it.

Scutterman

The reputable companies in the adult industry are probably doing more for the protection of women in the workplace than in any other industry. And, believe it or not, there are people who seriously enjoy the knowledge that people are watching them in that way. There is definitely a negative side to the industry, but there is also a positive side too.

Scutterman

First off, I don’t think that pornography on the internet is any different from pornography in any other form. It may be more widespread and more varied, but that can be said of almost anything that exists both online and offline, and comes with ease of access.

I consider pornography in the same way as I consider sex, religion, and many other topics. As long as what they’re doing is legal, and they don’t feel the need to tell me about it, I don’t care what people do / watch / etc.

Many people have talked about children, so I won’t touch on that. But I think the way people perceive pornography can be a problem. It’s okay so long as people realise it isn’t real and it isn’t a true depiction of reality. Viewing pornography is like reading a fantasy novel, entertaining while it lasts, but don’t expect to go out and be able to cast spells.

I’m not sure about .xxx domains, but think that the whole industry would benefit from some kind of certification. Maybe a domain that someone who runs an adult website is only allowed to buy (and renew) if they meet certain standards regarding treatment (and legality) of the people who work for them. This would allow people to view pornography in a place where they don’t need to worry about whether the people in the videos are of legal age and happy to be there. It would be even better if part of this certification was quality of narrative, but I think that might just be too much to hope for.

Dave Parrack

I agree, but it’s the sheer availability that means the Internet has changed how we view pornography.

That isn’t a bad idea about certification, but I think the idea of a narrative in porn has gone out the window with the Internet.

Tom

I have no problem with porn. I watch it sometimes, but even if I didn’t I could not think of any reason to stop others watching it.

I remember finding porn mags in the park occasionally as a kid and we thought they were hilarious. Are today’s kids different?

Dave Parrack

Mags in the park may have been my first exposure to pornography as well, and I guess that’s not really all that different from the Internet. An interesting point :)

jake1212

On my side of the screen, I’m okay with it. That is, I don’t think watching it harms me in any way, except perhaps in giving me a good/bad reason to procrastinate.

However, where I think there’s good reason to worry that is often surprisingly left out of these conversations is… what about the participants in the porn industry? Some are there willingly, even happily. Or so we’re to believe.

But many are not.

They are there because of financial need or, in the worst cases, have been coerced into it by threats greater than poverty. Why do we think so many of these women have Eastern European names? And about this, I think we — even I — look the other way.

Likewise, there is the very dark side of porn that involves clearly underage “models” etc. And then, the sites that pretend to be “casting couches” where what happens on the couch is the only screen time they’ll ever see (some of these are staged, I know, but it’s a misogynistic message just the same). Or the sites that revel in treating the models like “dumb bi*ches” who fall for getting taken advantage of in other ways.

This latter paragraph of stuff plus much more… that’s the part of the story that is repellant, and yet it’s hard for us to accept (again, me included, as I’m a porn watcher myself) that this is at least indirectly supported by one and the same indusry.

Dave Parrack

It’s very hard to consider the other, human side of porn, and I can only assume the ease at which it can be viewed now thanks to the Internet has made that worse. Thanks for commenting.

Tom

I agree about he poverty issue; it is the same with many industries: we do not consider the sewage workers, the underpaid burger servers and the immigrant cleaners. The answer is to give these people an economic alternative, not take away the only economic opportunity they may have.
I also agree on the coercion issue; our governments should use our hard-earned taxation income to police the pornography and other industries to ensure no-one is coerced or abused. People who coerce others to work for them will always find something for them to do, so eliminating all the jobs they might work in will not work.

Tom

I agree about he poverty issue; it is the same with many industries: we do not consider the sewage workers, the underpaid burger servers and the immigrant cleaners. The answer is to give these people an economic alternative, not take away the only economic opportunity they may have.

I also agree on the coercion issue; our governments should use our hard-earned taxation income to police the pornography and other industries to ensure no-one is coerced or abused. People who coerce others to work for them will always find something for them to do, so eliminating all the jobs they might work in will not work.

Justin Baugh

I agree the issue there is coercion…..and….how does that make sex bad?

Tom

It doesn’t. I meant to post that as a response to a post that implied that it does; that way it would have made more sense. In fact, I will go back an do it now.

themainliner

What the financial coercion argument underlines is that pornography is multi-million dollar industry. I am sure exploitation in many countries goes beyond the wage slavery suffered in the porn industry of the heavily regulated West. We need to accept that porn is rampant for a reason and instead of being embarrassed bring it out into the light of day, tax and regulate it.

If pornography is in any way manufactured in conditions which are illegal those criminal acts need to be pursued with the due deligence of the appropriate law enforcement agencies. If goods are produced under conditions of human trafficing, slavery or with under-age children then they need to be aggressive prosecuted whether the product is Nike trainers or pornography.

Granny

Wow!!!!!

If most of you are men… ~shaking head~ I have never seen men this prudish, self-righteous, and downright boring, in my many, many years on this planet. I mean I am woman, for Pete’s Sake, with grandkids!! I love porn, I understand the need, I also understand, that most people do not know that porn is NOT NEW!!! Hell they have found pornographic images in caves from the thousands of years ago! Come on now!

When I was young, we used to always go through our parents stash. We meet in each others backyards, or at the park, and look at that stuff for hours! Then again, when the Polaroid came out…. It was on!! I kind of shudder when I think of all the pictures that probably floating around. LOL But that’s okay, we had fun! We were spreading our wings. Some of us, would know anything about sex, if was not for porn! Some of our parents, were preachers or just overly virtuous wind bags, and fucking hypocrites. We saw their stash!

So to see, probably YOUNG men, so sexually repressed, is scary.

Dave Parrack

Porn is definitely not a new phenomenon, but the Internet has made it vastly more available than ever before, and to people of all ages.

There has been a wide range of opinions expressed, and that isn’t a bad thing.

Mike

But, murder and dead bodies on prime time TV is OK?

Laga Mahesa

THIS.

MerryMarjie

The older I get, the more liberal I am, and though I have never seen any porn in any form, I would certainly never deny a person that particular pleasure. Personally, I think it would get boring after a while as there are just so many body parts, but to each his own.

The Internet is so filled with information that there is never enough time in the day to read all I want to learn, and often one article will send me off to see that much more about subjects, so watching writhing bodies (or whatever “porn” consists of) would be low on my list of Things To Do Today. People have different needs, however, and just as some would take drugs or smoke or drink, others may need to be sexually stimulated beyond what real life offers, perhaps a sad commentary on real life, but who am I, or for that matter, YOU, to judge what others do?

It seems that certain individuals are way too interested in what other people do and would like to prevent whatever gives others pleasure, but people would be better off saying, “It’s not for me, but you should be free to do what you want.”

allan jay monteclaro

Education is still the best way to protect the kids from pornography. It turns out the porn industry has one of the largest profitable internet business and whatever we do (ban porn sites or move them to .xxx) there will be people who will target anyone to get that profit. It’s a business and they will do everything to earn.
What pushes kids nowadays to view porn is because it’s thrilling. When my mom says I can’t do something, it makes it more exciting to do the opposite. When we share a personal relationship with our children and explain to them what porn is, the chance of them viewing it on their own is somewhat lessened. Of course, there’s peer pressure but if you can get your child to tell you their secrets, then you’ve won half the battle. In the end, it’s being truthful about sex and explaining to them that it is about the emotion and love and not about the pleasure.

Les Siewert

Adult porn should be safe and legal and easily accessible for adults. The Internet system should change to keep children out until the age of consent, and no porn should ever be available which is based on exploiting children, animals, or poverty-stricken or drug-addled adults. The only remaining issue is that viewing porn is a lonely activity which leads to further isolation and loneliness, but banning porn isn’t going to change that problem.

BoloMKXXVIII

Your porn watching my be a lonely activity which leads to further isolation and loneliness but I usually watch it with my girlfriend. We don’t watch it all the time but when we do it can add a little something to the evening.

Emma Jane

I’d like to not think about porn at all, but it’s probably okay among consenting adults. After all, we have had the magazines around for a long time. I think even the ancients had their version.
Porn is probably more of an issue in the US because we are so dishonest with ourselves about our basic nature. It’s largely because of our Puritan, conservative Christian roots and pretensions.
A special domain for porn would make it both easier to find and easier to filter.

Dave Parrack

It’s only “probably okay among consenting adults?” That would imply you’re not convinced. I’d be interested to know why.

Emma Jane Reed

It depends on your definition of porn. Some is art or good literature, but should still have an audience restricted to adults or very nearly adults. For other stuff, i have have a difficult time seeing its value, hence the reluctance.

Dave Parrack

Thanks for expanding on your thoughts. Does everything have to have value to be allowed to exist? I play video games for hours on end, which some people would feel is a pointless activity without merit or value.

Mike Vaz

Hmmm….the internet without porn? No sir, I don’t like it. Porn, much like a lot of other things online, certainly needs to be regulated but everyone needs to freely explore their perversions in one way or another. Internet porn, if anything, keeps the perversions inside the privacy of one’s home. No longer do you have to drive to your local smut shop wearing a trench coat with your head hung low in shame! No longer do you have to sneak into your dad’s room and steal his porn or rip out pictures of girls from non-porn magazines! You can freely access whatever fetish you like from the world wide web, hunch over in front of your glowing monitor, jack off into a sock and cry shamefully behind closed doors! Internet porn is the greatest, most used and awe inspiring yet secretly shaming invention ever!

Dave Parrack

Well, that’s one way of looking at it… one that made me laugh ;)

jarjar

Real talk. I have some opinions on porn in that I think like anything, it should be viewed in moderation. Like once a month. The study of people’s porn preferences and what they say about the psyche deserves deeper insight though, and until that study is conducted to my satisfaction, porn must stick around. Porn is the one sphere of life that is so completely private, personal, and not subject to anyone’s judgment or skewed by outside perception of our “picks” (unless we explicitly invite a person into our porn world, as opposed to sexual roleplay etc which necessarily involves another person and is thus unavoidably subject to and manipulated by outsider perception), thus the choices people make in this ultimate sphere of secretiveness must have a lot to say about who we really are deep down and about some of our more suppressed outlooks on and motivations in life. What else in life is more private? Everything else we do in life is inherently affected by how others might see us and how we see ourselves. But not porn! The only time anyone reaaaallly lets their hair down yaknowhatimsayin.

Cary

I believe there was a working party put together by “the great and the good” in UK some decades ago to clarify the legal definition of “obscene”. It was a group of bishops, judges etc.
They divided porn into 3 categories: erotic, explicit, obscene.
How I understand that is:
Erotic may be sexually stimulating and may have a postive/beneficial effect in some situations, does not necessarily involve nudity.
Explicit is comparatively cold could be kind of sex manual stuff “here are the bits” and “how to” – frankly not the kind of stuff you want to see, part of the reason we wear at least a swimming costume in public.
Obscene is degrading acts. Even if the participants are being portrayed as “willing” then a (subective) opinion is that there is a high probability that poverty, coercion or drugs play a part in their apparent compliance. It may involve subjects unable to give knowing consent – e.g. the young, animals, those with low mental capacity. Anything involving physical damage (mental damage too but that’s hard to assess from a photo.)

Of course the boundaries are not clear, it’s a spectrum – I guess that ranges from those societies where it seems the men are judged to be unable to control themselves to the extent that a square inch of visible female skin must be covered lest it set off their animal urges to the most extreme porn which I’m not inclined (or qualified) to describe.

As regards censorship, yes I use OpenDNS to protect my family at least from “accidental” internet porn, those explicit pop-ups some websites used to deliver. I’m sure if teenage son wants to he can find his way around that obstacle but the key point is that he knows it’s “wrong”. Yes censorship is a slippery slope, where do you stop? For example OpenDNS gives a whole range of choices so I can choose to block lingerie and swimsuit sites. In my opinion that’s going too far. In an ideal world everyone would understand what is morally acceptable and would “self censor”. There always has been censorship and always will be. I don’t see any of the “no censorship” brigade arguing for newsagents to bring their top shelf magazines down to the bottom next to the kids comics. I don’t see them standing up for the rights of paedophiles. There is a line that most people won’t cross. The arguement is not whether or not to censor, it’s about where to draw the line. What do we do about those without a moral compass? They represent a risk to society. It’s all very well to dismiss “morals” by sniggering at the dirty priest stories as it’s they whose role ostensibly includes promotion of moral values. That is to introduce a misunderstanding of the word as something to do with religion. Most if not all traditional religions do include a set of moral guidelines not vastly different from the Christian ten commandments which is an indicator that morality is not “to do with religion” it’s to do with humanity. It’s the UN declaration on human rights. Read it in the context of this question about porn.

My preferred approach would be to require ISPs to provide OpenDNS style filtering blocking some porn as standard but for those who request it (i.e. not openly promoted as an option and subject to some validation so my teenage son can’t impersonate me to request a change in filtering). Those who want porn will find it regardless but they will get the message that they are doing something that much of society regards as unacceptable, that it is shameful.

Is porn damaging? I’m not an expert. To find an answer would need the testimony of psychiatrists and criminologists who had completed peer-reviewed scientific research on both viewers of and participants in a range of pornography. Personally I find it hard to believe that, at the more extreme end in particular, participants are there because of “their right to freedom of expression and the love of their art”. I think that by portraying some acts there is a risk of “normalising” them. There’s pressure on the parties in normal girlfriend/boyfriend relationships to get involved in activities they find distasteful because they now think that it’s “normal” and one party has expectations the other is not comfortable with. One might argue “just say no” but bring youth, inexperience, drugs or alcohol into the picture and freedom of choice is compromised. And what about the effects on those disenfranchised from normal sexual encounters (such as sociopaths) when they see the possible and want to participate?

This may seem contradictory but that’s why I’m in favour of legalised properly controlled prostitution. Among other things it provides a means for those creepy guys that stand no chance otherwise and might be induced to find an unwilling partner. And the girls – well can I refer you to “Belle du Jour” as an example. I accept that there’s a big difference between high-class prostitutes operating hygenically and in safe locations for very substantial earnings and the girl on the street charging the visiting truck driver a few quid for a quickie in his cab. But I think I’m drifting too far from the question of porn so let’s leave that debate for a different time.

Dave Parrack

Wow, that’s an epic comment. You raise a lot of interesting points but seem unsure on many of them. Which I’m not condemning as I’m the same. The range of views, both from experts and us normies, is vast.

Cary

“…unsure of…” I do tend to err on the side of equivocation with postings in places like this. That’s because, in my opinion, strident dogmatic statements kind of slam the door on the possibility of a mature discussion, it’s also an acknowledgement that I’m not infallible and others may raise a valid point I’d not considered. I might take that on board and adjust my stance.
For example there are a few dogmatic comments here along the lines of “all censorship is bad”. I’d be very concerned if those persons really do condone kiddie porn but once that statement has been made so stridently there seems little point in trying to engage in a dialogue. I don’t wish to appear similarly dogmatic about my opinion that there is a line to be drawn somewhere.

By the way, when I was a teenager in rather more innocent times a very long time ago I found a porno magazine at school. The photos were B&W and although the ladies were totally naked those parts of the anatomy which might otherwise have been concealed by a bikini were airbrushed so there was absolutely no clue as to what happens in the genital region. Even the nipples were airbrushed out. I have to say this misleading education was no handicap when I encountered the reality.

BoloMKXXVIII

Sex is part of being human. If we didn’t enjoy it the human race would not exist. Pornography is just one manifestation of our sexuality.It is also one of the largest businesses on the internet. Most people just don’t talk about their watching habits for fear of being called a pervert by those people less honest with themselves. The definition of pornography is not exactly clear either. Is a well composed picture of a well endowed woman who is showing a lot of cleavage pornography? What if she is topless? While porn addiction may exist, it must be very rare as I have never heard of a clinical case of porn addiction. This term seems to be dreamed up by the anti-porn lobby. Unless your porn watching negatively impacts other parts of your life, who should care what you watch?

Marco Martinez

Pornography is such a widespread epidemic, but it is far from being new. Pornography on the internet just simply makes what once was taboo and behind closed doors and brings it out into the open, to computers, laptops and now cell phones. Internet porn is simply supply and demand. If there is no demand then the supply would ultimately dwindle and would force them to close the doors. While we take pride in freedom of speech and the liberty we have to choose what we will, it does dehumanize the art of relationship building. It degrades the beauty of the individual into simply body parts.

A man can get stimulated by virtually anything that is visual and that is partly why internet porn is so rampant and not only there but in advertising. As the saying goes, sex sells. But if it did not sell, then they would be bankrupt like any other business.

Addiction to porn, while many will justify it as entertainment or will say, it is only affecting me, will ultimately cause ruin and destruction in many areas of their lives. People, whether they decide to drink and drive, watch porn late at night or during the day on their work computer, always say “I never thought it would hurt anyone.” We never thought it would hurt anyone, but it does. We only say that after the crap hits the fan and their spouse is filing for divorce, they kill someone on the road or they lose their job because of it. But it does hurt someone.

It makes men look at women as body parts, it makes women judge men for what is in their pants rather than looking at the individual for who they are and how they can make you better and vice versa. It is almost amusing to say that someone is getting stimulated by a body part, but they are.

Ultimately, it is an issue of the heart. We try and fill a void of loneliness with something that is immediate. We mortgage our future with the pleasure of right now. When people are angry, sad or whatever, they turn to what makes them feel good rather than dealing with the issue. Rather than fill the void with trash, fill the void with something that will benefit you, your family and those around you. Be productive instead of wasting our time on “body parts.”

Out of the mouth speaks the abundance of the heart, guess that is why “F*&$ You” and “sh*t” is so popular in our culture. It is up to the individual to make good or bad choices. What will we choose to do…

themainliner

Pornography can only hurt you if you are deceitful and accept puritanical, religious ideas of what is acceptable human sexuality. Porongraphy could definitely damage your life and destroy your marriage if you are deliberately going behind your spouse’s back and engaging in behaviour she abhors.

I would never do that. I would also never marry anyone who thought that online pronography (depictions of adult, human sexual behaviour) was unacceptable, vile, degraded or degrading.

For the record I have been happily living with my partner for over twelve years. I would leave her though, if she voted for the British National Party I abhor that behaviour.

Laga Mahesa

Smut, filth, obscenities, depravities… porn. The favorite enemy of politicians and religious leaders when the latest release of Grand Theft Auto has started to get a bit ripe. This war is not new, not by a long shot. The inquisition was reknowned as being a sexually unhappy bunch – the irony is that their solutions and sentences would sit quite nicely in certain fetish sites these days, and, what they considered porn then, we would consider fashion now.

That, then, begs the question: what, exactly, is porn? Thus far in this comment thread this topic has been purely black and white. We all know this is not true; nothing is so clear cut. So what is it? Where are the boundaries? How are the boundaries defined? Women in Ethiopia bear the breasts all the time, and in many tribes the men play fighting sports completely naked. Is that porn? In the West, a frequent sight is that of a mother nursing her baby, baring a breast. Is that porn? What about Japanese game shows where people swim naked in a vat of eels, or where people try to run on a catwalk covered in sperm? Is that porn? How about fashion shows, with the transparent ‘dresses’? Porn or not? How about Venus del Milo? Was Alexandros of Antioch a perv?

It’s all a matter of perspective, both social and cultural.

Porn exists, and it will always exist. 40% is an underestimation, in my opinion… mostly, however, its presence is not ‘in your face’. In most cases you have to either engage with one of the more seedier websites or actively search for it, especially nowadays with search engine filtering and prioritizing. The .ru sites only show up if you’re exploring the more dodgy torrent sites and are trying to load a screenshot of a porn torrent… well, that’s what you wanted anyway.

Censorship is a big no. That’s a rabbit hole we don’t want to go down. Filtering is fine; as it is, there’s too much already. As for children: teach them, warn them, show them… raise them. If you’re using the internet as a surrogate nanny, you have other problems that need to be dealt with first.

On a more personal note, like a few here I grew up finding magazines in hedges, chuckling for 20 seconds then moving on. The most interesting part of the whole experience was trying to decide the origin of the various stains on the paper. Usually we prodded them with a stick, as they were so soggy and dirty with mud.

I have viewed millions of pornographic images, from the tame to the depraved. I have watched thousands of videos – ranging from ‘meh’ to ‘WTF’. Whether it’s the latest cover from Cosmopolitan, the super-photoshopped exaggerations on .ru popups, or some random BangBros or Amateur Creampies production, they all elicit the same reaction from myself and ALL of my online personal friends: boredom. They’re all the same. Hardcore porn videos all use the same script, probably written sometime in the 20s[1]. Oh, and they’re all acrobats.

The only ones I’ll actively seek out now are the ones with high comedy value, and the number of people who consider these fap-worthy are roughly equivalent to the number of people who consider vehicle exhaust pipes or man made structures equally fap-worthy.

Objectophilia exists, by the way.

[1] If you can, check some of these out. Early silent movie porn is HILARIOUS.

Laga Mahesa

Wow that took AGES to get through your filters. I removed 2 paragraphs’ worth before MUO/Wordpress would accept it – it spouted a “please wait” message then did nothing. Removing certain words and href links did the trick. Better feedback needed!!!! :p

Dave Parrack

Sorry about that, I guess this topic is pushing the boundaries a little.

Dave Parrack

I really respect your honesty as there have been few people willing to share their own personal experiences with pornography.

I find it most interesting that you’ve reached the point at which porn has become boring and predictable, and we can assume that’s because of the sheer amount there is available. I’m not sure if that’s a good or bad thing, but it’s intriguing.

Austin Halsell

Being someone who experienced pornography at an early age, I, personally, wish my parents had filtered access when I was growing up. Not that I blame them at all; I had actually never even considered that before reading Christian’s article on P&M addiction. Without getting into it too much, I was 11 when I first saw pornographic pictures and only a few years before video was easily streamable. I did not even begin to get a handle on it until I was 22. Eleven years of sexually forming years where my ideas and perceptions were shaped by an industry that strives to represent anything but sexually realistic situations.

I once saw a one panel comic that said “Porn and Disney are responsible for the most frustrated people I know.” There was a woman and a man standing next to each other; she says “Where the hell is my prince charming?” and he says “Where the hell is my insatiable whore?” It’s sad how true this is for so many people.

Even with all that, I think it would be wrong to deem the industry as “evil”. I’ve heard sex therapists recommend it to help married people reconnect. I truly believe that, like alcohol, it is something that needs to be controlled by the one using it. Self-control is something that too many people lack, myself included. To deny an entire industry just because people don’t want to have the masturbation talk with their kids or because they can’t control their urges is stupid. Those who are addicted need to seek help, everyone else just needs to find away to protect themselves and their family. If anything, the .xxx solution seems the most practical, but I’m sure their are others.

I don’t have kids yet, but when I do, I will certainly take measures to limit the potential of my children coming across it. However, I think it is of the utmost importance that parents level with their kids about sex, sexuality, porn, masturbation, etc. especially in religious house holds. Otherwise, the teens/kid ends up wondering about the “spiritual” consequences of his or her acts and will draw their own, often misguided and frustrated conclusions that could be very damaging psychologically.

Parents talk to your kids. It’ll be awkward. But it’ll be more awkward for them if they develop an addiction and have no one to turn to.

Juan Carlos Espinosa Agudelo

That’s a really great comment.

I do think that self-control and parenthood are the best ways to prevent pornography addiction. Any type of help usually makes prevention or rehabilitation a lot easier and faster to go through.

About the consequences. Wasn’t it the Christians who used to keep their children from masturbation with the tale of masturbating children going blind? Still makes me smile to think of it :D

Dave Parrack

Thanks for sharing your personal experience and offering a little advice as well. As with most things communication is key, however awkward it may be.

Juan Carlos Espinosa Agudelo

I’m a bit annoyed that many the comments here avoid the actual question of the article and just go talk about the effects that pornography has. Actually, a lot of the comments here should be placed in the Pornography Addiction article or in some other article that discusses the effects of pornography.

The very first comments talk about how pornography is either great or horrible, but don’t even mention the internet. It isn’t until Cary’s comment, that there’s anything about internet porn. I mean, the Fifty Shades trilogy by E.L. James could be seen as pornography, yet it’s a book which has sold 31 million copies(Source being Wikipedia) worldwide. That shows that pornography isn’t stuck to the internet and that human behavior.

Now, I just went to http://www.alexa.com and saw the top 200 sites. In the top two hundred most visited sites in the world, I found 6 porn sites. I think that shows that many people actually visit these sites.

I personally think that the internet covers all sorts of themes and in doing so, it makes pornography a part of it. When most people hear internet porn, they tend to think of porn-websites, but not anything else, while internet porn goes far beyond those websites. I can easily find websites that aren’t directly about porn, but do have it.

I remember one of my classmates thought she was perverted for going on DeviantArt. As most of us will know, that site has NOTHING to do with porn, yet she can’t separate the two. I personally can think of sites like NewGrounds, which have it.

I’ve now mentioned two non-pornographic sites, that include pornography and I think that by doing so, I’ve shown my thoughts of pornography being a part of the internet now.

Now time to include the .xxx conversation:
.xxx is a great idea. It makes it easier to filter/block pornography(if wanted). This could be someone blocking/filtering it on their own/home computer or a chat/forum developer filtering it to prevent unwanted links.

But now it becomes tricky: There’s still sites that allow pornography, but are NOT about pornography. Take websites that focus on art like DeviantArt, (flash) movies and games like NewGrounds or services that allow us to share files.

All of these would still include pornography and to put these sites in .xxx domains isn’t the right thing to do, since these sites don’t focus on pornography at all. Shutting them down also wouldn’t seem right to me, for the same reason. A lot of sites ‘just have’ porn and even though some might not like it, it’s just the way it is.

How many of you would ignore/hate a person for owning/purchasing a porn magazine? I know I wouldn’t and even though people should be careful with their behavior and try not to get an addiction, I don’t think that porn(or drugs, since some of you are comparing it to that) is some sort of abomination.

After all that, I think it’s time to tell you guys about my first porn experience:
On the TV when I was about 8 years old. Yes, an extremely young age to encounter it, but realize what I said. TV. Not the internet, but on something else. I also know that a lot of the people(if not most) around my age(18) have learned of porn, earlier than 10 years old. And before you go pointing fingers at the internet, most of these people also knew of sex/porn from something else, like accidentally watching there parents do the act or like me, seeing it on TV. Internet porn is often seen as guilty one, but the possibilities for encountering porn goes further than a computer.

Juan Carlos Espinosa Agudelo

Never mind the Cary thing, I keep thinking of first comments popping up on top :D

Jonh

Like any other thing in the world, if done moderately it is ok…..

Tom Sobieski

Even though I’m 65, I have a very active sex life. I honestly have never had any use for porn, internet or otherwise.
I have watched some, after all, I’m human and curious, but, flesh and blood is the only worthwhile venue.

Joel Lee

Porn is one of the main signs of our changing culture–that is, a culture that LOVES and CRAVES instant gratification. It’s just an extension of the Internet phenomenon, really. It’s a shame because you can really see its impact on people.

Dave Parrack

Christian’s article proved that it’s harming some people, but I still think that’s a small group. Most people dip in and out and don’t get addicted, thankfully.

Louis

Completely awful, over sexualizes society, ruins our relationships and trivializes the intimacy and bonding of sex. Emphasis only on pleasure, that’s it. Slowly eroding everything good about our sexuality.

slywlf

Porn is an interesting subject – and in fact one i tackled many years before the web when I was in college. My views on it have changed somewhat as I matured, but oddly not that much. Porn has been part of human culture in one form or another since the beginning of human culture. It has gone through many forms and levels of acceptance – from accepted as public art in ancient Roman times to total denial in many Christian and Islamic regimes.
On the web it has simply come into its own as it is so readily, and anonymously available. No more need to duck into a store and hope your car isn’t recognized in the parking lot – no you can order online and nobody is the wiser. Makes no real difference actually – the ‘damage’ will happen or not entirely depending on the existing mental health of the viewer. Yes, I think there should be adequate filters to shield young minds. Yes, I think the .xxx domain is a good idea – in fact it should be mandatory, to avoid finding it by accident. Of course that is a slippery thing too, as then it must either be voluntary or someone has to decide what IS porn and that definition – the subject of that long ago college term paper – has been an ongoing problem.
As a fairly educated, intelligent and open-minded female I can honestly say I have sampled some of the best and (bleah) some of the worst the porn industry has to offer. I have no problem with its existence as long as all the participants are of legal age, are fully consenting with no coercion of any kind, and human. For those who want the furry – stick to anime! Animals cannot consent!
Most of what I have seen was at best interesting, more often laughable, and sadly too much simply boring. However, if you are an adult, and it makes you happy – have at you – I will not condemn you for it. Yes, there are sex addicts/porn addicts and they should get help, just as any addict should get help – but for the average porn fan it is simply a means to an end and I have no problem with it. It provides an outlet with no attendant risk to the health except possible carpal tunnel ;-)
As for the argument that it isolates the viewer – the web porn is no worse in that respect than the old magazines and pictures and super 8 videos we found while cleaning out the garage after my FIL died. It simply offers more variety at the touch of a mouse.
This all is not to say I think porn is, of itself, a great thing – it is simply a human thing. We do it to sex, we do it to food (Micky Dees anyone?) and we do it to interpersonal relations (soaps, the cult of celebrity). I tend to steer clear as a rule of all forms of pandering to human nature taken to ludicrous excess – which is the most basic definition of porn IMO, but in moderation it is not intrinsically a bad thing.

Justin Baugh

I’m sorry but shame on all of you who agree on any kind of regulation or censorship of the Internet. This includes the .xxx domain. Parenting is hard, I know. Equally hard is overcoming personal temptation. You may not want to….you may not like it….but please….be responsible for your own life.

Ulysse Comeau

I am just as guilty, I did look at those sites especially the Lesbians sites.and it turned me on not off.
I wish the good Lord would give me the strength not to see them. ever again.
I do not need this.
Am I sick, I need to have my head examined. Can you help me with this.?
Please direct me to the right person.
I am hoping that this will be added to the comments.

Ulysse Comeau

I did send you an E-Mail My question was: Why would they allow Porn sites on the Internet?
I am just as guity. I did look at a few porn sites of MILFS and Mature and to be honest with you, it turned me on not off.
Will you be able to help me to prevent me from ooking at these sites again.
Will you be able to help me with his?

Jonathan

It is one of the regrettable realities of the 21st century, up there with global warming, terrorism and financial inequality.

The simple fact of the matter is that internet porn is fantastic. It is unbelievable. So much free pleasure. The problem is, that things that look too good to be true, generally are. Our sexual natures evolved for a reason, and porn amounts to the explotation of that nature. It is like the strip-mining of sexuality. With environment destruction, the consequences are obvious and external. With porn, they are subtle and internal. Basically they come down to the inability to express love through sex. We are breeding a generation of emotionally impotent people who will give rise to a lot of silent misery. I speak from experience. I am no longer remotely interested in having sex with my dearest, who is 50-something and bears the scars of cancer surgery and caesarians. Fortunately, we are best of friends, and find a lot of fulfilment in just living life. But porn ruined my ability to relate sexually, even though it seems to be doing the opposite. Now my challenge is not to give in to it. The easy pleasures in life are never worth pursuing. They are only there to be overcome.

Edmar Diego

i personally dont watch porn on regular basis. but i think internet pornography is as permanent on the web a email itself you just cant beat it. no puns intended.

David McCracken

An Honest Look at the Pornography of Women and Children

Pornography is all around us. To state that something is pornographic is a value judgement; it is difficult to pin a definition to it and extremely difficult to eliminate in today’s society. It needs more attention. Everyone needs to understand what it is and what happens on the inside, hidden from public view, so that governments can be forced to take action to control this accepted form of exploitation.

Magazines designated as ‘soft porn’ are on the top shelf for a reason, but what about topless girls in newspapers with no restrictions on purchase? What about the bikini or underwear clad models with legs spread, thrusting hips towards the camera? Can these be considered soft porn? The girls who pose for such photographs have been sexually objectified for profit.

Critics say that pornography can be beautiful – that it’s an art form and that women have the right to display their bodies. However this ‘art form’ reduces the value of women to their excretory and sexual organs for the sexual gratification of men. Many people believe that such women choose to engage in pornography and that they are well paid.

Pornography emphasises sexual inequality. It has its roots in sexual discrimination and is the basis of sexual subordination of women. Most pornography of women comes from the US and Europe and has very strong links to human trafficking. It is a multi-billion dollar industry in which criminals profit and the women suffer. Pornography occurs when someone (usually male) has power over women.

Pornography also emphasizes racial inequality. Magazines, books, film and sex shops generally portray Asian women as subservient to their sex partner and black women as animalistic with an insatiable appetite for any form of sexual activity. Some producers exacerbate this by introducing ethnic, cultural and religious hatred into the making of pornography.

Technology has enabled pornography to be made anywhere, by anyone, involving anyone. Control of the illicit industry has now become impossible. This boom has made conditions unimaginably worse for women and children trafficked into the pornography industry and more profitable for organised crime. The use of children in pornography is endemic, especially in developed countries.

There has been a massive increase in sex offenders producing pornography in developing countries, by simply video recording their sexual exploitation. These videos are widely available on the internet and are stockpiled in private collections. Hard-core Western-made pornography is now widely used in developing countries to train children to perform sex acts. This same video footage is often used by groups of predatory male youths to get ‘into the mood’, as they get high on alcohol or drugs before assaulting a pre-selected victim. Worldwide the viewing of pornography has been directly linked to instances of rape and gang rape, as men get stimulated and desire to enact what they have been watching. It is also linked to the increase in male hostility towards females, and the increase in sexual violence and rape of females – all of which demonstrate an abuse of power.

Imagine someone learning about human sexual relationships from the videos available in sex shops and on the internet? They would learn that sex acts are acceptable with everyone, including members of the same family. They would learn that sex has to happen within minutes of meeting someone for the first time, that sex can involve several people simultaneously, that violence administered to the genitals is mandatory and that ejaculations have to be carefully aimed and choreographed. They would learn that all openings in the body are involved in sex acts, that any object can be inserted into any opening and that everything has to be filmed so that it can be sold around the world.

Arguably the most talked about pornographic film ever made was ‘Deep Throat’. To quote Linda Boreman, known as Linda Lovelace in the film: “every time someone watches that film, they are watching me being raped”. Viewers watched it for the pornography and were not interested in what it took to make the film. Linda was coerced into making the film and was frequently held at gun point. She cannot have the film removed from circulation because it’s protected by law. Thanks to make-up the viewer can’t see the bruises on her body that were used to control her behind the scenes. During filming she was held captive, like so many victims today. Women, like Linda, are in a vulnerable position and can easily be exploited, through pornography, for money.

Too many women in pornography are trapped in poverty and easy to exploit. Socio-economic conditions compound their desperation and make them more likely to take risks. Many have been trafficked for the sole purpose of making pornographic films, and there is much evidence to show that many of them have been sexually abused as children. Many victims trafficked for pornography are indeed children.

Should we believe that all women and children in pornographic films and images chose to be violated by strangers and have sex with animals? No! They are there because they are victims of a heinous crime. After such exploitation most victims are coerced into prostitution, with the images and films they were forced to make subsequently used to blackmail them. Pornography is available everywhere on earth. Although some societies prefer it to remain discrete, people can find it everywhere. If it can’t be bought openly, there is a thriving black market controlled by criminal syndicates. Although the law acknowledges the damage done by pornography, it continues to fail to monitor it effectively. Pornography has destroyed lives for too long. Anything that condones the rape and abuse of women and children to cater to the fantasies and sexual gratification of viewers is evil.

Pornography makes sex disgusting and women dirty. It removes dignity, enforces discrimination at many levels and forces women and children to be prostituted. Normally associated with total sexual subordination, pornography can also reflect a woman’s subordinated position in the workplace, at home and throughout society. Violence has also become sexualized, leading to an increase in pornography involving children, extreme violence in perverted sex and ‘snuff’ films.

Proof of harm is required before restrictions can be considered, but isn’t child pornography, bestiality, sexual violence and murder enough? Should every occurrence be treated on an individual basis when they are so frequent and difficult to trace? Extensive research has concluded that pornography is both physically and mentally damaging, with much evidence of coercion and exploitation. There is also evidence that pornography has a strong correlation with violent copy-cat sex crimes, substantiated by perpetrators’ confessions. To be free of all forms of discrimination, degrading treatment and violence is a fundamental human right. Pornography is totally incompatible with human rights, dignity and equality. We will never witness sexual equality as long as pornography exists, so it is vital that it is eliminated. It preys on the poor and the vulnerable and gives organised crime the opportunity to flourish and become financially powerful.

People who oppose pornography need to fully understand that some of your predecessors have lost their jobs, have faced victimisation in the workplace to the point of having promotion blocked and some are literally too frightened to have their name linked with it, so they would rather remain anonymous. Opponents (especially women opponents) must appreciate that pornography is a very powerful part of patriarchal society; vilification will occur just as it did when women were fighting for their right to vote.

To critics of this article, undoubtedly a small minority of ‘performers’ do make a substantial income from pornography and it is their choice to do so. However, this article is to inform people about the harsh reality of the vast majority of women and children engaged in pornography. It is about trying to convince people not to turn their backs on the women and children who are exploited on a daily basis and who have been victims of ruthless human traffickers.

Public action and political will must be stronger if these routinely accepted crimes against humanity are to be stopped. Everyone needs to give it much more attention. Anti-pornography campaigns need a revival so that society can ensure that there are fewer victims.

David McCracken
Anti-human trafficking activist.

Giggity Goebbels

Porn is boring crap.i rather build a computer,though my friends say its porn as we need to put the processor into the socket and insert the audio jack etc.

Bud

Sick voyerism!!!

Hunbuhbhuygb Ygygbgybygb

Porn should be made illegal

Mike Gotteri

There is obviously a HUGE demand for this type of content on internet sites – there is also NO reason why sites with ‘Adult’ content could not and should not be put into a *.xxx domain – this would serve several purposes. 1. Those wanting this content would know if a given site contains the type of content that they are wanting. 2. It would make content blocking for parents/schools etc. a whole lot more simple. This would result in things being simpler for the minefield that pornography is currently.

I am am not ‘pro’ or ‘anti’ porn – just someone who believes that this issue could be ‘controlled’ and/or dealt with much more efficiently than is currently the case. Surely this would be better for all concerned.

This approach would also make things easier for website hosting companies as well as law enforcement agencies and organsisations/institutions who want to protect there own networks and isolate themselves and their users from accessing any undesirable content.

I fail to see why the *.xxx domain system has NOT been put into place -this would ‘clean-up’ so many aspects of this controversial issue for so many.

william

It’s so frustrating reading all this…. If moses really was given the commandments by God; the one and only God would need to give is “Thou shalt not steal”… Generating definitions of porn is pointless… If something is stealing from others then it is wrong… We really must get away from such definition to allow the separation of what is entertaining and what is torturous gratification… sex is ok, violence is beyond the pale in whatever definition it’s placed… While religious edicts try to define evil; evil becomes lucrative… If someone is being hurt; it could be your son or daughter so do the right thing. If nobody pays/supports it may go away.
Many things have a negative effect on humanity… to deny that is addiction in the making… Porn is a pretty meaningless word which never the less shields inhumanity by it’s very existence

Ashly Lorenzana

I think porn is fine on one hand, but my biggest problem with it is how jaded it can make a person who watches it regularly over time.

You get burnt out on it. It’s harder to be impressed by anything sexually in real life after so long. You seem to always look for something better, more intense, more closely matched to EXACTLY what it is that you want to witness. You can waste hours scouring the web looking for that video, sometimes never even finding one that suffices.

It just sort of eventually sucks the thrill out of sexual experiences altogether. It makes sex plain old boring when you watch too much of it.