What’s So Wrong About Porn?

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I will state this right from the start: I am a fan of porn.


 


I like watching it. I don’t think it’s degrading to women or men or animals or inanimate objects. I believe adults have the right to watch it or not, and I don’t want anyone telling me that I can’t or shouldn’t or that I’m sick or perverted for liking it or watching it. I don’t mind if my lover watches it; I’ll watch it with him.


 


I know I’m not alone in this—!—but I am getting the feeling (well, I’m reading lots of comments on blogs) that porn is the root of all that’s wrong in relationships. And they are getting validation from people like Dr. Phil, whose Web site states:


 


It is not OK behavior. It is a perverse and ridiculous intrusion into your relationship. It is an insult, it is disloyal and it is cheating.

Clearly something is ridiculous and perverse, but it’s not porn.


 


A lot of women feel very conflicted about porn, and that conflict manifests itself in some interesting ways: 


  • Some women think it’s cheating if their husband or boyfriend watches porn.
  • Some women are jealous because, thinking they could never have the “perfect” bodies of the porn stars, they feel they are constantly being compared with that perfection.
  • Some women believe that they can’t satisfy their partner like a porn star could, or that somehow they are expected to act like a porn star.
  • Some women are horrified to suddenly discover porn on their partner’s computer.
  • Some women think that it’s disrespectful to them if their partner likes to look at porn.
  • Some women think that there’s something wrong with them, and that’s why their partner watches porn.
  • Some women know their boyfriends watch porn before they get married, but they marry him anyway and then they wonder—why is he still watching porn? 


To all of that I say, porn is not the problem. Just because someone likes looking at naked bodies exchanging bodily fluids does not make him a pervert, disrespectful, an infidel, disinterested in his lover or dissatisfied with his lover. It makes him human. It’s about fantasy, imagination, desire, lust. And what, please tell me, is wrong with that? Most men (women, too) can separate fantasy from reality. Do you think Jenna Jameson is going to fly off the screen and do to him what she’s doing onscreen? Not a chance, and he doesn’t think so, either. And if you believe he thinks so … either you’re sorely underestimating his intelligence or you need to ask yourself, what in the world is a smart gal like you doing with a fool like him?


 


And, quite honestly, look at all the nudity in the movies and on cable TV—is Tell Me You Love Me any less pornographic because it has a plot line?


 


If you truly believe your lover is expecting you to look or act like a porn star, do you ask him if that’s so? And if you don’t think he’ll tell you the truth, or if he tells you the truth but you still don’t believe him, well, what’s that about?


 


Do you ask him, “Is there anything in that porn that you’d like us to try?”—and would you be willing to do it?


 


Do you ask him what is it about porn that he likes?


 


Or do you just tell him to stop?


 


If you accidentally find porn on his computer, well, were you snooping around in places you shouldn’t? If so, that’s just as dishonest as him hiding it.


 


When you watch porn (and you should, especially if you have some sort of judgment about it—there’s no other way to understand it), what exactly is it that you object to? Are you projecting your own insecurities or messages of shame from your childhood onto it?


 


If you truly believe that you can’t compete with a porn star, do you just stop at that or do you ask yourself, what can I do to make sex more exciting for me and my partner; how can I increase my pleasure and his?


 


If you’re the kind of woman who thinks your partner’s watching porn because there’s something wrong with you, do you also think there’s something wrong with your cooking if he likes to eat out or that there’s something wrong with your DVD/TV set-up if he likes to go to the movies or that there’s something wrong with your driving if he wants to drive? Is it always about you?


 


If you’re so in love with him that you want to marry him and spend the rest of your life together and you don’t like porn, have you had an honest conversation with him about that? If he says he likes it, would you marry him anyway knowing that this is something you find distasteful and disrespectful?


 


The problem, of course, isn’t porn itself. If something, anything, is done in secret, in excess, if it’s somehow compromising the relationship, well, then there’s a problem—just as if you were dealing with alcohol or drugs or gambling or even a golf addiction. If anything involves deception and you can’t talk about it openly and honestly and it’s reducing intimacy in the relationship instead of enhancing it (and porn can enhance it), it’s just like any other addiction. (And all addicts have enablers and co-dependents, and if your man is spending hours and hours in front of the computer or TV jacking off to Reign of Tera, you might want to look into whatever role—however small—you might be playing in that).


 


But you guys don’t get off the hook, because many of you (from what I read and hear) are spending way more time in some sort of fantasyland instead of the real world of flesh and lips and touch and smell. If you’re really giving all that up to watch instead of experience, why aren’t you working on making your real-life sex wonderful and exciting?


 


So, I will ask the men this, so beautifully put by columnist Mark Morford last year (he was talking about online porn viewing at work, but it’s the same for your porn habits in general):


 


“… If you have that much to hide, if you are living some sort of secret and embarrassing and family-endangering double life, if you are constantly burying images and hiding data or altering your persona to the point of endangering your work, if you cannot let someone, say, cruise through your personal sex-toy box without massive blushing and fainting and humiliation, perhaps you’re living the wrong kind of life. You think?”


 


Not that I have any opinion about it or anything …


 


Photo Source: darkphoto on flickr (cc)

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