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kroika's essay: Pornography and Sexual Health
February 22, 2007
11:02 am
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Worried_Dad
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Again,

Who says that it is porn's job to promote true intimacy between men and women?

Aunt Jemima's reduced carbohydrate maple syrup also does not promote intimacy between men and women, nor does it promote "true healthy sexuality." Is it a product without use?

Also, since when do we get to label other people's sexuality as "healthy?" You have to be pretty sick to be unhealthy that way.

And what do we do with the lots and lots of people--including the lots and lots of women who say that yes, porn has dramatic, undeniable, enormous, instantaneous benefit in their lives?

And I still haven't heard a story of anyone being hurt by it yet.

And no, I am not talking about the occasional "addict." with the amount of tobacco and alcohol addiction we have --I think there are more pressing things to worry about there.

XO,

WD

February 23, 2007
11:17 pm
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WD,

{And what do we do with the lots and lots of people--including the lots and lots of women who say that yes, porn has dramatic, undeniable, enormous, instantaneous benefit in their lives?}

I've been on this site for over a year, and have heard a lot of women here talk about how porn has impacted their lives, and not a single one has raved about the "dramatic, undeniable, enormous, instantaneous benefit" of porn in their lives, let alone "lots and lots".

What is your source for this claim?

{And I still haven't heard a story of anyone being hurt by it yet. }

I suggest you open up your ears. Just on this site alone, I've heard a number of women say that they have been hurt emotionally and sexually by their men's involvement with porn. I've also met other women say the same damning things about porn in support groups I've attended and on the radio.

If you refuse to listen to other people's personal testimonies about the harmful effects of porn, I certainly can't convince you of it.

That's okay. Those of us who've experienced it know for ourselves that porn has devastating effects. We don't need to convince you of this.

February 23, 2007
11:26 pm
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kroika,

Thanks for your remarks. I'll answer you a little later; something just came up.

Love,
Wayne

February 24, 2007
1:37 am
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Seeker,

Women here who claim any enjoyment of porn are basically ignored or shouted down--then forgotten. As you are doing now. That is pretty disrespectful.

Have you even looked into the matter? Last time this thing came up I went out and asked some women--I had no problem finding women who liked it--the main benefit? They felt good while watching it--it helped them get sexual satisfaction. It added extra fun to their intimate relationships.

Sorry, I don't feel like it would be proper for me to forward the names of the women who responded positively to my little poll to "prove" something to you. But if you were to take just the teeniest dip into sex-positive culture it would be easy-peasy for you to check my work and confirm what I say.

I have heard women here say that they felt neglected by their husbands. I have heard women here say that they had strong emotional reaction to their husbands or boyfriends watching porn.

That is different from "being hurt by" porn.

Given the prevalance of porn use in the world, I submit that any woman (or man) ought to act under a rebuttable presumption that

1) The person they are getting involves with sometimes looks at porn.

AND

2) Because of the stigma and shaming and blaming that our society lays on the subject that it is going to be difficult for the prospective partner to admit.

My point is, I think that people who have deep emotional reactions to porn ought to select partners who share their distaste for it--and that they have a responsibility to do so.

That is more reasonable than expecting someone whose behavior is typical and normal in our society to change their behavior and their tastes for someone else.

Choose compatible partners, for heaven's sake--is that too much to ask?

February 24, 2007
10:52 am
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WD,

{Women here who claim any enjoyment of porn are basically ignored or shouted down--then forgotten. As you are doing now. That is pretty disrespectful.}

Sure, reply to me by accusing me of ignoring or shouting down these unnamed women and of being disrespectful. You're resorting to guilt tactics and name calling. What sort of scientific approach is that?

As for not repeating the names of these women, why not? This is a public forum. Nothing private is ever said here on AAC. Whatever is said here may be freely quoted by anybody else.

If there is a thread(s) with the results of this little poll you took, kindly tell me its name so I can read it myself. I want to be properly educated on this matter so I don't disrespect anybody else.

For the record, any guy on this site who decries porn is "ignored and shut down" by the other guys, at least in my experience.

I seem to recall a woman or two here saying that they got some sort of thrill watching their guy viewing porn or using it with him. I also remember another who posted that both her bf and her view porn (or was it erotica?) regularly and both enjoy it. This was her choice.

But this doesn't seem to be the typical situation. More often, it appears to be the man's idea to use porn and she's initially reluctant to do so; however, he persuades/pressures her to view it with him, or else she decides to watch him viewing it since he's going to do it anyway. It's often not her first choice; however, women are relationship oriented, they in general want to please their men, and they are good at making the best of an undesireable situation. But this should not be interpreted as meaning that they truly enjoy it.

And even if a few might enjoy it, what about the others who, as you said, "felt neglected by their husbands" or "had strong emotional reaction[s] to their husbands or boyfriends watching porn." If this isn't being hurt by porn, I don't know what is.

I've also heard of some women who feel pleasureable sexual sensations while being raped. Does this mean that rape can be good? No, of course not. The fact that a woman can have these sensations does not excuse the rapist in the least. Similarly, the fact that a woman can feel some pleasure while viewing porn under pressure from her bf or husband does not necessarily mean that porn is good or desireable.

Seeker

February 24, 2007
11:03 am
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WD,

{My point is, I think that people who have deep emotional reactions to porn ought to select partners who share their distaste for it--and that they have a responsibility to do so.}

You assume that the women always go into a relationship knowing that the guy uses porn. What if he hides the fact from her, as many do, or what if he starts using it after they are married? By your argument, if they enter the relationship and she has reasonable cause to believe that he doesn't use it, then he has no right to start using it afterwards or to continue to use it, unless she freely (and not under pressure from him) gives him permission to do so.

{That is more reasonable than expecting someone whose behavior is typical and normal in our society to change their behavior and their tastes for someone else. }

Okay, so suppose that stealing is held to be typical and normal behavior. Does that mean we don't have the right to ask people to not steal and have to expect people to steal? Or could it mean that society itself is wrong by condoning stealing?

Similarly, maybe society is wrong in by condoning porn.

February 24, 2007
11:20 am
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Hi kroika,

{It is tremendously reassuring to me to hear from a man who gets it that porn is not beneficial to promoting either healthy sexuality or true intimacy between men and women.}

Thanks. I am amazed and saddened that more men don't seem to get it, either. Why they don't when the facts are plainly visible is beyond me. It probably boils down to the fact that it's much easier to have a relationship with a doll or a computer screen or prostitute than to have one with a flesh-and-blood woman. But only a long-term relationship with a woman, and dealing with all the challenges that arise and making sacrifices for her in the process, is capable of bringing real, lasting happiness.

{Essentially it is a consumer product/ activity, and the producers make big bucks off it. And people, lots of people, get hurt from it.}

True. It's all about money and it causes a great deal of hurt. I can't help thinking that if the roles were reversed, that if there were a lot of men who felt they were getting hurt by their partners' involvement with porn, that more would be done about it. Women seem to be more inclined to suffer in silence than men are.

{I did hear one tale of someone calling in to the radio and complaining about being stuck on a bus sitting next to someone looking at porn on their cell phone.}

Exactly. This is what frustrates me the most. I could be stuck viewing porn peripherally because somebody around me chooses to view it. I think at the very least, there should be laws that prevent porn from being viewed in a public place, such as a bus. There used to be a societal sense of shame that surrounded porn which prevented it from being used too openly. However, this sense of shame appears to be eroding and already has eroded to a noticeable degree.

{However, whatever the details, there has been such an immediate outcry about it, that the offer has been withdrawn. So perhaps the general public has not capitulated completely to the sleazebags yet. }

It would be nice if people complained earlier than they did, wouldn't it? But at least the cell phone company got the message.

Love to you,
Seeker

February 24, 2007
12:29 pm
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Seeker,

There is a difference between stealing and looking at dirty pictures, for heavens sake.

A woman who assumes that her man never looks at porn must have been raised in Disneyland by Care Bears or something.

There is no "reasonable cause" to believe a man doesn't look at porn.

And if he says he doesn't he is being shamed into it. Now that IS a form of sexual abuse.

Which is really what I am getting at. All this porn slamming is a form of sexual abuse. People have a right to enjoy and express their sexuality as they see fit. They have a right to be themselves.

Now if a woman can convince a man before marriage to take a solemn vow of pornlessness then fine.

February 24, 2007
1:50 pm
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All this porn slamming is a form of sexual abuse. People have a right to enjoy and express their sexuality as they see fit.

Porn slamming is a form of sexual abuse. But porn itself isn't. The negative effects that pornography has on the sexuality of those with less power in society must be protected at all costs?

I see porn like an SUV. It damages the environment -- my sexual environment -- but those who drive them insist on their right to express their 'driving style' as they see fit. But it's the car manufacturers who are creating the available means of expression, not the consumers.

February 24, 2007
2:37 pm
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"Now if a woman can convince a man before marriage to take a solemn vow of pornlessness then fine."

But- men will and do lie about this.

February 24, 2007
4:06 pm
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Hi Bevdee,

Do men lie?

Yes, sometimes.

See, I think men have a responsibility here too. If they like porn (which the large majority of people do) then they need to make sure they aren't hooking up with a woman who is going to melt down about it.

February 24, 2007
4:08 pm
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Kroika,

No, porn does not constitute abuse--it is just media. You don't have to look at it.

As far as protecting it--I just think it is a freedom of speech issue.

And you have not yet demonstrated negative effect on anybody. Where is the harm?

February 24, 2007
4:17 pm
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WD,

Reread my essay. Read the references cited in my reference list. I'm done talking to you about it, at least for the moment. I have some other stuff going on and no energy to go over this with you again.

kroiks

February 24, 2007
4:32 pm
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Hi Kroika,

Maybe later.

I don't think I could bear to re-read it now. Or the references--the ones I checked were pretty awful.

What I know is--if porn were so darn harmful, say like...thalidomide or something, then by now you would think science would have proven it and it would not be freely available anymore.

Instead, anti-porn hystericists are a fringe minority group.

February 24, 2007
4:33 pm
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I have had this great revelation WD

You like porn.

February 24, 2007
6:07 pm
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if porn were so darn harmful, say like...thalidomide or something, then by now you would think science would have proven it and it would not be freely available anymore.

right.... you mean like, the way science proved tobacco was harmful (after decades of having research results suppressed by the tobacco lobby) and so therefore tobacco is not freely available anymore?

I still can't figure out if you are truly naive or just being disingenuous... but I'm done.

February 24, 2007
8:21 pm
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Hi Bevdee,

I posted my porn inventory on one of the original threads. "Liking" porn wouldn't be really accurate in that I don't look at it. I am 44 years old you know.

February 24, 2007
8:28 pm
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Kroika,

What I am saying is that the very idea that it is some great evil harmful things is ridiculous--it is madness, it is bizarre, it is outrageous, unsupportable.

I find it astonishing to believe that in this day and age anyone would believe that media can in and of itself be harmful.

And what passes for "argument" on the subject is astonishing.

There isn't a scrap of the faintest evidence of it--that it is impossible to even conceive of a mechanism for harm.

At least we could observe that some smokers had problems and guess, that maybe it was damaging DNA and that led to cancer.

There is no reasonable scholarly work--no good writing, not one slim essay, not one decent paragraph, no good research out there to even vaguely support, much less prove. that porn is harmful for adults.

I am suggesting that the porn hystericists are letting their own idiosyncratic sexual values blind them to common sense.

Really, it is worse than arguing with "intelligent design" proponents.

February 25, 2007
1:30 pm
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WD,

{There is no "reasonable cause" to believe a man doesn't look at porn.}

Oh yes there is. If a man and woman enter into a relationship, and the man uses porn but lies about this fact, she has reasonable cause to believe he is not using it because she should be able to trust his word. Relationships cannot exist without trust.

Even if she doesn't think to ask him about porn use, he has an obligation to tell her if he does because it could very well impact their relationship, and she has a right to know this up front.

February 25, 2007
3:20 pm
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I think of a persons relations with pornography as part of their sexual identity. I think of it as something that deserves to be protected--even from your spouse. It is called privacy.

Really, the only thing a guy needs in order to view pornography is a functioning brain. He does not even need eyes or ears or hands.

What next, we will have chips implanted in our brains to make sure that we aren't fantasizing about the wrong thing during mastrubation?

Oh, that's right, in the brave new world, there will be no masturbation--that's a form of infidelity.

February 25, 2007
3:29 pm
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Now for the ugly part.

I have done a lot of research since the porn wars started here. This morning I googled the phrase "how many men look at porn"

Seemed like a reasonable question.

The second item on the list took me straight to a kiddie porn site called Boys Updates dot org.

Their logo is a Tele-Tubby!!

I reported the site to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children--they have a form for that.

I hope I am not the only one who has complained about them.

Really, right now. I just want to find the bastards and personally beat them senseless with my own mighty hands. I am so pissed off, and so sad.

I think I'll just go lay down or throw up or cry or something.

February 25, 2007
3:32 pm
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WD
Interesting that you say this -

"Oh, that's right, in the brave new world, there will be no masturbation--that's a form of infidelity."

You probably know of this sentiment since you made the offhand remark about it!! , but I know people who actually think like this!! (I am not one of them, of course:))

February 25, 2007
5:33 pm
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WD,

{I think of a persons relations with pornography as part of their sexual identity. I think of it as something that deserves to be protected--even from your spouse. It is called privacy.}

Since it takes two to have a sexual relationship, and since what one partner does/doesn't do affects the other, I think that privacy does not apply to sexual relationships. You have the right to know anything about your partner that might reasonably affect sex life.

February 25, 2007
7:41 pm
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"I think that privacy does not apply to sexual relationships"

I think that is sick and wrong.

February 26, 2007
9:10 pm
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Hi Seeker,

I feel like I ought to apologize for, or at least explain my harsh language in the previous post.

It is true that you and I are very different sorts of people, and I do confess to having various judgments and labels that I attach to you in my mind. (For example, part of me finds you guilty of the offenses of being "square," "innocent," and so forth.

But I also believe that you are a decent guy, and I wouldn't want you to take "sick and wrong" personally. I don't think you are evil or anything.

I guess I am easily "triggered" RE the sexual identity thing and the privacy thing. Which all relate to my triggers RE the abuse thing.

Oops. Sorry about that.

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