Gettin down with…good old porn

By The Elm - Nov 30,2012@5:04 pm

By Kristen Hammond
Staff Columnist

Porn. It’s there. Actually, it’s everywhere. So gone are the days when boys had to steal their dad’s “Playboys” and men had to buy them from the back counter of a stop shop. Nowadays, it’s free on the internet, at this point you don’t need to give an email address. Do people still even buy magazines, let alone whole videos? Also, when did the “O” drop off porn-o and why did we lose the funky 70’s music and hilarious story lines?

That’s beside the point. While I think it is great that porn has broken the puritan barrier into becoming mainstream and acceptable and that we’re getting to the point of being okay with sexual acts, I think we’re getting to be a little too okay with it. We’re losing the fantasy aspect of porn. Porn used to be a fantasy act, but now with the demise of story-line and the rise of amateur style porn, we have lost that porn is entertainment and that it is not real life. It is staged and these people are actors.

It’s great in the way that it helps us accept what turns us on but horrible in how it’s affecting our romantic relationships. It changes how we view our partner in attractiveness, what we expect from them sexually, and on a larger scale it objectifies women and in worst case scenarios can become an addiction (there are horror stories of broken up relationships due to porn.) And, in all reality, it is the same thing as prostitution. The only difference is you’re paying to watch sex, not have it.

Porn severely messes with our expectations. Through the constant viewing of porn, the expectation for your partner to physically look like these actors can increase, as well as the expectation to do the acts seen in the videos. We now have the expectations that bodies need to be perfect: borderline hairless, abs, and endowed in all the right places. On websites like Jezebel, women complain of men doing certain porn acts (like finishing on their faces) that they are not comfortable with without even consulting them about it, thinking that they would totally enjoy it.

The porn industry is predominantly a male focused industry, and I hope that’s not a surprise. Most porn is marketed for straight men. Men are getting the women, who are often way too good looking for them, to do acts that most women may not commonly accept. The sex that goes on in porn is centered around pleasing the men, the women most often do not get “the reward.” The woman’s sole purpose is to satisfy the man’s sexual urge. With no talking, no interaction except for the physical sex. Male porn stars sometimes do humiliating acts to women. It is even a porn industry fear that this degradation of women is translating into real life.

Bill Margold, a long time porn star, stated “whole reason this industry is to satisfy the desire of the men in the world who basically don’t care much for women and want to see men in [the porn] industry get even with the women they couldn’t have.” I think that’s just one extreme angle. A more accurate representation is of one writer for porn movies who said that pornography creates the illusion “that women are really in their rightful place” as the submissive one to the man. As a woman, and for any self-respecting man, this should make your blood curdle.

Biologically speaking, the cycle of watching porn and the activities that go with it can diminish your sexual pleasure. New activities stimulate brain receptors, in this case, pleasure receptors. But after repeated exposure to the stimuli, your pleasure plateaus. But this only begins a vicious cycle in which you must seek ever greater and more intense stimulation to return to your initial pleasure level. Eventually you overwhelm and numb your pleasure receptors. Too much of something is never good, and the buildup of anticipation is more pleasurable than instant gratification.

This probably sounds like I’m out to ruin the porn industry; I’m not. I think it’s great that it helps people explore their sexual interests and I am totally for the essence of porn. If you can use it in moderation and does not interfere with your real life, ain’t nobody judging you. It’s healthy. I watched a documentary on porn called “Naked Ambition” which gave a non-smut outlook on porn and the people that are in the business.

There were women who genuinely wanted to be in porn because they loved it, but there will always be women who do it because they feel that is their only option. This is what I am against. They presented issues on censorship and the right to use your body as you please. So I think walking the porn line is a thin one. We must always remember that it is entertainment and not real situations we are dealing with.

It may be best explained by renowned porn star Jenna Jameson, “The funny thing about being a porn star is that everyone automatically assumes that they can sleep with you. This is what I do for a living. I don`t just let anyone get into my pants.”

The Elm

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