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September 01, 2016

Pam Anderson: Take the Pledge. No More Porn.

I tried this a year a two ago. I found it a mixed bag. On the plus side, porn is a time waster. It's also an opportunity cost: Sexual energy spilled out into a gym sock is not sexual energy used in the real world.

Porn is a very easy and convenient method of release.

How did my abstinence from self-abuse work out? Well, I had a bit more time and sexual energy for the week and a half it lasted.

A question I keep asking myself lately is: Are easy and convenient always unmitigated goods? Aren't there some things that should be a little more difficult?

Any married feller knows how hard it can be to get a wife (especially a working wife) into the mood for sex. And then the guy decides he doesn't feel like putting that much work into it, and a sexual chill descends. Sex doesn't stop when the woman stops making it easy; sex stops when the man stops asking at all.

Still, while it's easy to see why men (and women) use porn for sexual release, one has to wonder if maybe if it's better that more effort were put into something that most would agree is damnably important.

Pam Anderson is an unlikely spokesman for this point of view, but she's worth a read.

If anyone still had doubts about the addictive dangers of pornography, Anthony Weiner should have put paid to them with his repeated, self-sabotaging sexting.

And if anyone still doubted the devastation that porn addiction wreaks on those closest to the addict, behold the now-shattered marriage of Mr. Weiner and Huma Abedin....

[W]e are a guinea-pig generation for an experiment in mass debasement that few of us would have ever consented to, and whose full nefarious impact may not be known for years. How many families will suffer? How many marriages will implode? How many talented men will scrap their most important relationships and careers for a brief onanistic thrill? How many children will propel, warp-speed, into the dark side of adult sexuality by forced exposure to their fathers’ profanations?

...

Nine percent of porn users said they had tried unsuccessfully to stop—an indication of addiction that is all the more startling when you consider that the dependency rate among people who try marijuana is the same—9%—and not much higher among those who try cocaine (15%), according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information.

But it is a fair guess that whereas drug-dependency data are mostly stable, the incidence of porn addiction will only spiral as the children now being raised in an environment of wall-to-wall, digitized sexual images become adults inured to intimacy and in need of even greater graphic stimulation. They are the crack babies of porn.

Much of the article is a bit over-the-moon alarmist, but there is no denying that such a profound social experiment -- easy, breezy sexual gratification just a mouseclick away -- regarding a very core human function is going to have some profound effects on society.

I really wonder about kids today. Porn existed when I was 13, just sixteen years ago, but in the form of girly mags, stag party films, Swedish nudism documentary materials, and racy Kodak ViewMaster slides.

It was hard to get. I remember one thing we used to do is camp out behind the 7-11 on the day they tore off the front covers of magazines and put the rest of the mags in the trash; you could pick up some free playboys and penthouses that way. (Back when 7-11s sold dirty magazines -- or any magazines, for that matter. I just realized: who the hell sells magazines anymore except specialty shops and kiosks at airports?)

There was an adventure to it, but also -- importantly -- a sense that this was forbidden.

When I say "importantly," I guess I don't mean its forbiddenness was necessarily positive; I suppose we might have all grown up sexually-kinked headcases because of the forbiddenness we associated with pornography.

But whether a positive or negative effect, the forbiddenness was definitely an important part of the package: You could not think of pornography without also imagining the dumpster diving spycraft that had to be executed to obtain it.

And now? Do kids think of forbiddenness when they think about porn and free sexuality? Or do they think of it as mainstream and mundane?

I have to think the latter.

Open thread.


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posted by Ace at 07:48 PM

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