Column: Porn culture: closer than you thought

Anybody who is offended by sexually explicit language, please cover your ears now.

Since I’ve already done a poor job of burying the lead (yes, this is about sex), I might as well be clear from the start: hardcore porn is our generation’s primary sexual influence.

Our generation lives in a society where our parents are too afraid or too embarrassed to bring up honest and open discussions about sex and our education systems do no better. Out of fear for being politically incorrect, and not held to medically accurate practices by law, schools hardly fill the gap left by weak parental influence.

In an era of booming technology, limiting access to hardcore porn for younger and younger people has become increasingly difficult.

The message?: What you see in porn is what sex is. In a culture of vague, puritanical double standards, hardcore porn de facto has become sex education.

Hardcore porn has taught men that women want to be called whore and bitch during intercourse. Hardcore porn has taught men that women want men to come on their face, but even more worrisome, it has led women to believe it’s acceptable, because they’ve never been taught otherwise.

Women must therefore let their partners come on their faces, and they must pretend to like it. Porn has spread the idea that it is ideal for men and women to be completely hairless in their genital area, and that women, no matter where touched, can come at any moment, at any command.

Being that porn is funded, produced and disseminated almost exclusively by men, the aesthetic and message it sells is a one-note exaggeration that hardly paints a picture of what real sex is, and moreover objectifies the women portrayed.

Our conversations about sex in reality are further obscured by less-obvious “byproducts” of hardcore porn. The first that comes to mind is Cosmopolitan magazine.

What men and women are taught to do sounds absurd, ridiculous and almost theatrical, yet it sells, and our concept of sex is sacrificed for marketable gossip.

What is worrisome is that although media, both public and in pornographic realms, disseminates sexual dialogues, it replaces judgment-free, honest conversations about sex with the avant-garde.

It seems we’re simultaneously entertained by sexual matters and shamed to express our own actualized desires and sex lives for fear of not seeming up to par with sexual standards set my the media.

I should say, first of all, I’m not against porn; I think it can be healthy for individuals or couples, it can be entertaining and even an art form. I should say also that the porn activities and aesthetics are not necessarily negative, so long as each individual involved is mutually agreeing to the act taking place; there should be no power dynamics such that one partner is complicit with the other partner’s activity despite disapproval, discomfort or disinterest.

Moreover, I think it’s a mistake to deprive ourselves of the concept of fantasy when it comes to our own sexual acts, so this porn argument isn’t about judgment and it’s not about right or wrong. Sex is the most accepting of the widest range of human experience, and I don’t think we should diminish it.

What we need more than anything is the ability and freedom to talk about any facet of sex and sexuality in a way that does not discriminate, does not moralize and does not judge. Our comfort in our bodies and sexualities cannot come through silence, nor through perpetuating false images, both in media and in common conversation, of what sex is.

Share: Facebook / Twitter / Google+

Article comments

0 comments

This item does not have any approved comments yet.

Post a comment

Please provide a full name for all comments. We don't post obscene, offensive or pure hate speech.