I was on the Reader the other day at the bottom of someone’s blog I’d just finished reading, I saw an… excerpt? – of a blog that got my attention because of the picture of Chris Rock and then the excerpt that said – and I’m paraphrasing here – that he’s one of a bunch of celebrities who are against porn and, I dunno, suggesting that people don’t watch it.
The bad part is that by the time I realized I should have read it, I had left the page and couldn’t find it when I went back to look for it. Mea culpa. But it did get me thinking about it and while porn is once more high on the list of evil things people can indulge in.
We know that porn has been around since like forever and as evidenced by a lot of art that comes from some of the oldest cultures and I’m sure there are a lot of people who are familiar with the Kama Sutra which is up there in the rankings of “best books ever written” but is also a good candidate for being porn since, um, it tells you and even illustrates how to put A into B, C, and D.
History shows that the Victorian Age, a point in time where there was a major shift in things sexual, was rife with porn despite a rather prudish mindset about sex or a totally fucked up mindset, depending on how you care to look at it. Even the more modern sexual revolution of the mid-to-late 1960s, where the watchword was, “If it feels good, do it!” was also flush with porn aka “dirty books” and stuff that many in my generation were very familiar with because they were probably our first, real exposure to sex and not just always in the preferred method.
We have always had a love/hate relationship with porn and there’s been an uproar about porn these days and one driven by women who feel that porn objectifies them even more than they’re already objectified and, ladies, don’t get me wrong here but it’s a point of view I happen to agree with given that it portrays women in a light that my own experiences with y’all says is a bunch of fantasy-laden bullshit interlaced with a lot of truth because, yeah, like it or not, some women do love having sex that way… and maybe it’s also because porn suggests – or heavily suggests – that this is the way they’re supposed to have sex.
What gets overlooked is how men are also objectified and stereotyped, something that as a Black man, I am all too familiar with and something that even I find both amusing and irritating at turns but, yeah, it is what it’s always been.
I’d never say that porn doesn’t cause problems – it has always caused problems because just like we have a love/hate relationship with porn, we’ve always had one about sex – period. We know that people have sex and some of my favorite people are those who have sex… and go out of their way to deny that they do even though, um, some of them have a house full of children. We’ve always been… prudish about sex; it’s private and personal and it’s considered to be in very poor taste to even talk about sex… and that includes talking about it with the person you’re having sex with.
We do it but we don’t wanna talk about it and we sure as shit don’t want to see other people having sex while, at the same time, uh, um, well, what’s it gonna hurt to take a peek? It’s like that terrible, multi-vehicle accident: You don’t want to look at the carnage but you can’t stop yourself from looking just the same.
I’ve seen a lot of stuff written about the evils of porn from both men and women, read stuff about how many people are addicted to it and its ruinous effects and impacts on “normal” sexual behaviors but it’s like I said: These objections have always been around since the first complaint about porn was issued and, again, I can’t think of a time since I’ve been around that porn wasn’t vilified. One of the usual complaints come from women who can’t understand why their guy has to spend any time looking at it and yanking on their dick or, worst, those guys who get an eyeful of some staged sexual act and get it into their heads that they should try what they’ve viewed on their woman and a woman who is, by her very nature, not that big of a fan of sex in the first place – and, no, I’m not talking about those gals who’d eagerly say, “Sure – let’s try that!” and y’all know who you are.
I actually read something the other day where a guy was writing about how his wife digs in his ass about his watching porn and masturbating (and a lot, I assume) and saying that he had no reason at all to masturbate because it was her job to provide him sex… except that’s not what she was doing or not doing to his satisfaction. It’s not really porn’s fault that guys masturbate to it – it’s just a medium that provides us with a level of visualization that makes masturbating… more pleasurable and more so if we can see other folks having sex in ways that we’ve never had it or our imaginative fantasies are “made real” and in high definition.
With or without porn, um, guys have always liked getting themselves off but, yep, it’s been documented and even admitted to by some men that masturbating to porn has ruined them for “regular and normal” sex and it makes sense given porn’s ability to take sex and crank it up to near unimaginable levels. You’ve probably seen me write many times that porn is art trying to imitate life but in a very exaggerated way. It’s staged, scripted, edited and, to the dismay of many, very real since, you know, you can see people doing shit that, as an individual, you may find exciting or disgusting.
One of my pet peeves is gay porn and how so many bisexual men look at it, not wholly because of that “men are visually sexual” way but using it as a primer to learn how to deal with a dick. It causes a disconnect for a lot of guys because, on the one hand, if you can see a thing being done, you can do that thing but tends to bypass some obvious stuff, like, is it really that easy to walk into a room, make a guy bend over, and shove a ten-inch cock into his ass?
No, it isn’t… but porn will make you believe that it is. Do you really believe that women in general are head over heels to have, say, three enormously endowed Black men laying the pipe to them and in every orifice they have? I hope not but porn will make you believe that this is every woman’s dream when, in fact, it’s a nightmare for the average woman. Sure, girlfriend might think about it… but would never do it just because it looks like fun.
Still not talking about those ladies who happen to know that it’s fun. But it begs a question, doesn’t it? If porn is once again being vilified and some of our cherished celebrities are speaking out against it, the question is why. A lot of blame is placed on the Internet, which has made all kinds of porn available with one click of a mouse (or a tap with a finger if ya got a touchscreen device); back in my day, the only way you could get your hands on a dirty book was to steal them from your parents and, get this: Ya might wanna blame Dad for having such a stockpile of porn (and you’d be right about that) but, um, ya gotta know he wasn’t the only parent with a secret stash of stuff that could be considered as porn, like all those “romance” novels that many women love to read, even today.
There are those who say and suggest that if we were more open to having sex with each other, it would greatly diminish the need for things pornographic to exist. Others says that were we, as a species, of a mind to not be so parochial and even immature about sex, bleh, porn just might find itself on a shelf gathering a lot of dust. The reality is that stuff like this ain’t likely to happen any time soon; women aren’t going to stop feeling wrongfully objectified and men, well, shit, we’re not gonna stop choking our chicken even if porn gets abolished for all time.
And you gotta know how people are: If you tell them, implore them, and even demand that they not partake of anything that remotely resembles pornography, it’s gonna get partaken of… just because society says not to. Porn was more of a DL kind of thing; you knew it existed but access to it was limited and even illegal in some places – not to mention religiously immoral to read, watch, or hear of people having all kinds of mad, crazy sex… and just because it’s mad, crazy sex.
Indeed, many of the forms of sex we “normally” enjoy are, in fact, legally illegal, from sodomy to oral sex – and even between married folks. Many of these laws are still on the books but are also deemed to be unenforceable unless, um, you and the little lady are on the side of the road and going at each other lustily and hungrily and a police officer happens to tap on your steamed up windows and catches you in the act. Otherwise, we hold true that what one does in the privacy of their own home (or some other private place) is nobody’s business; that nosy and prudish neighbor might call the cops because she heard your man yelling, “Yeah, suck my dick, baby! Suck it!” or she’s screaming at the top of her lungs, “Eat/fuck your pussy, baby! Tear it up!”
And the cops can’t do shit about it other than to knock on your door and tell you to keep the noise down. I know… you’re thinking or saying to yourself, “That’s different!” Except, um, having sex is, in and of itself, pornographic, if you really think about it – you just don’t have a million XTube viewers watching you go at each other.
Whether porn is a good or bad thing is something best left to individual points of view. A lot of people are very much aware that porn is just some improbable, corny, and predictable bullshit but, um, sure, it’s still kinda in our nature to want to see other people having sex even if it’s sex we’d not do and I’ve heard of people watching it so that they’re informed of whatever it is they’re not gonna do or, I guess like many people actually do, they’re looking at the kinds of sex that they have reason not to ever engage in. It can be problematic and porn sends all kinds of bad messages, invokes way too many stereotypes, so on and so forth.
It does a number on women, impacting their self-esteem and makes them as nervous as a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs because porn paints a target on them as sexual objects and, again, ladies, I don’t disagree with this but at the risk of pissing y’all off, you were always sexual objects and specifically designed to be one but, sure, even as a man, I get it: You want to be wanted for more than sex or, perhaps, really, you don’t mind being wanted for sex as long as it’s not the first (and only) thing on the list… and porn takes your sensibilities about things sexual and just trashes them.
I don’t know what Chris Rock and any other celebrities hope to accomplish by speaking out against porn. They can speak out against it because they can speak out against it but at the end of the day, money talks; the porn industry is like a multi-billion dollar industry that employs a shitload of people, from the “models” who are either stimulating or disgusting you to the people behind the scenes who make it possible for you to point and click and even make some money because ya wanna point and click.
Legal entities are cracking down on porn and doing their best to regulate it and in as many ways possible including what kinds of porn is legal to watch – and I think we all know what kind is very illegal. Those legal entities could, if they get enough votes, make all of it illegal while levying heavy-duty fines and terms of imprisonment but given the capitalistic nature of things, well, that’s a lot of money to turn their backs on in terms of taxation, operating fees, etc..
And they know that even if such legislation passed, porn will just go back underground… and just as it has in the past.