Porn Is for Wimps

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About Cameron Conaway

Cameron Conaway, Executive Editor at The Good Men Project, is a former MMA fighter and an award-winning poet. He is the author of Caged: Memoirs of a Cage-Fighting Poet, Bonemeal: Poems and Until You Make the Shore. Conaway is on the Editorial Board at Slavery Today. Follow him on Google+ and on Twitter: @CameronConaway.

Comments

  1. Quijiboh says:

    Science also tells us that many of our ‘X causes Y’ assumptions are wrong. Like ‘video games lead to violence’ for example. That isn’t much of an argument there.

    I don’t whether it’s just me, but I’ve never seen masturbation (with or without porn) as a sex act at all. For me, it’s just about physical pleasure and the post-oninism endorphins. Actual sex is a completely different and separate experience, so I bring nothing I’ve seen in porn with me to it.

    • Quijiboh,

      Your first few sentences are actually why I write and why I wrote this piece. X doesn’t always lead to the obvious Y, but sometimes it does. Look at the science of nutrition. Most of the breaking news is about stuff we already knew, but it feels good to have science back it. That said, when science hasn’t backed something should we continue doing an act we know, we “feel” to be harmful? No. We shouldn’t wait for science. Waiting for science is part of the reason we have the wild people out there who believe the way we’re treating the environment doesn’t impact health quality at the individual or Earth level. Just dump it in the ocean or pump the plumes in the air. Who cares?

      I question your final comment. We learn visually. The cues we see in film or in others influence us in ways even we rarely see. Some of us even mimic the posture of others during an interview for example and don’t know we do it until it’s brought to our attention. Someone who watches the NBA is likely to use something – even if just a fraction – of what they watch when they go play themselves…whether they know it or not. Whether they intend to or not.

      Thanks for sharing your perspective.

      ~Cameron

  2. Ah cool. A former MMA fighter telling us we’re all wimps for using porn. But at the beginning of the piece you suggest that porn is used by men who want a quick release stemming from a biological urge. Which is it? I’d really like to know if I’m just scared of committment and romance or just really horny when a readily accessible vagina isn’t around.

    • G.L. Piggy,

      I’ve read much of your writing in the past and I’ve always found I had to tease out the stereotypes and misleading assumptions to get to some of your better ideas. Same goes for your post here. The answer to your question? Neither. It doesn’t have to be either/or and it’s not.

      ~Cameron

      • Cameron,

        Well, thanks for reading. But what do any so-called misleading assumptions of mine have to do with this article? You stated plain as day, “porn is for wimps.” Yet you opened by justifying porn use as a quick and easy remedy to a common “problem”. Look, sometimes men want to get “that” out of the way; we don’t owe anyone – wives, girlfriends – our sexuality or romance. Yes, we should reserve some (most?) of it for them, but the use of porn is not wimpy in and of itself.

        So what you’re basically saying, if I read you right, is that we have to live our lives a certain way and maintain control over our bodies to such a degree that we are not wimpy i.e. given to our base desires. I find that to be a very elitist opinion from someone who thinks that his way is the right way.

        Maybe you didn’t mean to state that point so strongly, but I don’t know how else to read it.

        • G.L. Piggy,

          I totally agree (and understand and have) been a dude who just wants to get it out of the way. I think we’ve got more agreements here than anything else, but perhaps we’re parsing each other too much? You say we don’t “owe” anyone, but you say that we should reserve some or most…so you are saying that we do “owe” but that it need not be 100% all of the time. I understand this too.

          I think maintaining a control over our minds and bodies is a noble, respectable practice and I’m inspired by those who can and do, within reason of course. There are some athletes and trainers who never splurge on their diet, it’s awesome and their physique and health shows it. But I admit that I can’t. I stress eat and I eat and drink things I know I shouldn’t. Same with exercising, same with work ethic, same with my posture as I sit and type a response to you, etc. I slack and am faulted and human. I don’t see that view as elitist, but I have a healthy admiration, especially in a world where things can be so easy, for those who choose to strive to work on themselves to improve their health through discipline (be it mental or physical).

          You’re right. It’s a hot-button issue and I likely presented the topic too strong. Even the title. I’ll give it a rereading and reflect on it.

          Thanks for your comment,

          ~Cameron

  3. I stopped reading after your assertion that porn is for lazy wimps.

    I work 50+ hours a week at two different jobs. My time spent commuting to my full-time job is 8-10 hours a week. Any time at home is spent with my son as I do my best to be the best father I can be with the limited time I have as the sole breadwinner in my family. I don’t have enough time to spend with my family, nevermind a romp with the wife.

    So after the wife and kid have gone to bed and I’m about to start job #2, I take your aforementioned 60 seconds to rub one out to Internet porn. Because that’s all I have time for during the week. I don’t give a fuck about imagination. I just want something mindless so I can quell my urge and get on with what I have to do.

    It doesn’t make me lazy or a bad husband. And it doesn’t make me a wimp either. Why the hell do I need to “develop the craft to control the thoughts that may alter or lead to actions” when it comes to porn. I’m not succumbing to the wiles of another woman. I’m not doing anything wrong. I’m not even doing anything my wife doesn’t know about. Yet I’m a wimp??

    I don’t think so my friend.

    • The Wet One says:

      Bingo!

    • Cameron Conaway says:

      At Daddy Files:

      I “thumbed up” your post several times. I’m a major supporter of your work and your passions, but I think (whereas your passion was amazing and beautiful on camera and against idiotic old ladies during an emotional time) it ran rampant here and clouded your writing and closed your mind.

      I’ll write anyways, regardless of if you’re so closed on this topic that you stop reading midway through, because I believe our topic here and you (a good man) are worth my time. I think we can all learn something from each other, but we first have to at least try. This means not just reading, but reflecting on what we read and not jumping to radical conclusions or assumptions or asking questions we already know the answer to. And this means not just writing something short and sweet that is filled with holes, but writing that actually explores topics in thoughtful ways, not just with the wit or rant of a typical “comment” post.

      (1) For starters, the entire premise of your comment is based on blame and time in a day. So you’re blaming busyness and your constant working for your porn use and suggesting that you need it (the porn, not the rearranging of schedule, not the revaluing of what actually matters in the world, not the fact that you’re a parent complaining about having to work your ass off, etc.). Just that you’re blaming makes it feel as though you’re saying, “Well, I work hard so I need it.” But you don’t need it. And your blaming sure makes it seem like even you question the ethical qualities of your porn use. “I work hard so I need this huge bowl of ice cream when I get home from work.” It’s a crutch, and in this case, a crutch that assumes you need not just porn but also the 21st century conveniences we take for granted – just to get through the day, or night. Just to get some sleep. The nutrition comparison works because it’s junk going in.

      (2) Watching porn is not absolutely “mindless” as you said. It certainly impacts the mind and to be in total denial of this or to be unable or unwilling to recognize and admit that it’s possible is to see the world in the either/or mindset rather than for what it actually is. And yes you are “succumbing to the wiles of another woman.” I’m not saying it’s like you are cheating on your wife, but your statement is one of such complete unrealistic and outright denial – it’s rationalizing to fit your current beliefs and your current lifestyle, and this rationalizing boosts your confidence, closes you down to other viewpoints and makes you feel like superman because you have “good reasons” to back up your every action. It’s the mining family that fights environmental regulators from shutting down the mine because the mine is their livelihood, the cigarette company fighting back against health claims because it minimizes their profits, etc.

      (3) So often I see mothers and fathers with children and it seems as though having a kid was just the next thing they were supposed to do in life. They complain of working long hours, of not seeing their kid, and they are generally miserable. I know this isn’t your case, but seriously, we don’t have to have kids, and very rarely do they just show up, so I’m not all that sympathetic to those who have them and then complain about all the hard work involved. I too work 16 or more hour days and am still buried in unbelievable amounts of student loans and yet my income is so low that I still qualified for a pro bono arts lawyer. Look, I have ultimate respect for those people like me and you who work nonstop and day after day. But at some point we need to back up and reflect on it all, on what’s necessary, on what we’re missing out on and on how we can live life in a meaningful way. If it means a small cut in pay for more time with the wife, so be it. Too often it seems carving out this time to reflect on things just isn’t something people think about, or see value in. But more and more, especially regarding those with families, I’m wondering: What’s the point? What’s the point of having a life and a wife (and especially bringing children into an already overpopulated world) if we don’t spend time with them? I don’t buy the complaints as easy anymore, complaints about working too much and too little time with kids. Organizing time and making sound decisions are also part of being a good husband and father yet this is never considered. All we talk about when it comes to fatherhood is this idea of “working hard.” It’s missing that dedicating time to thought is “working hard” too.

      Congrats to you on being one of the few dudes I’ve met who are open to their wives about porn use. Seriously, good man.

      No, you are not a bad husband or a bad father or any of the other leap-to-conclusions you made. Yes, developing the craft to control your thoughts can make you a better man. You are mortal. You do have weaknesses and areas in your life where you’re a wimp just like me. Rationalizing your way out of everything you’ve ever done doesn’t make you superman – though it can create a superman appearance, especially in our virtual world – it makes you one not willing to look at yourself with honesty. When asked your weaknesses at an interview are you the guy who says the perfect answer, the one that really just pretends to be a weakness, “My weakness is that I’m a workaholic,” or do you actually share something legitimate?

      Here’s to our continued sharing. Thank you for taking the time to write. I appreciate it more than you know, but I hope next time it’s with more insight and less spewed emotion. Sometimes it’s better not to write at all rather than to rush it, my friend.

      ~Cameron

      • Cameron,

        I’m not “blaming” porn for anything. I like porn for the most part. Not as a crutch, but as visual stimulus. If I can have sex with my wife, fantastic. That’s always the #1 option. But that option is not always available. So if I have to, I’ll turn to porn for a “quick fix.” No, I don’t need porn. Just like we don’t need TV, the Internet or indoor plumbing to survive. But it sure is nice to have.

        Maybe watching porn clouds your mind or shapes the way you think about your own sexual relationships. And that’s fine, I’m not knocking that. But you need to realize it’s not that way for everyone. Watching porn does not influence how I am with my wife. I’ve never tried a “porn move” on her in the bedroom. Porn has no deeper meaning to me, nor does it influence the way I view the world or my relationships. Perhaps I’m just need a very deep person, but it’s true. So for you to say it “certainly” does is a little silly. You can’t possibly speak for the entire male population.

        Also, I have to disagree with you that my porn viewing is succumbing to the wiles of another woman. It’s just not Cameron. Not at all. By that rationale every single time a guy masturbates and the image of another woman creeps into his mind, he’s being unfaithful in some way. I don’t think so.

        I’m very much aware of my multitude of weaknesses. And I cop to every single one of them, because I gave up on being perfect long ago. Besides, I find flaws are much more interesting than our strengths. But watching porn is not a weakness for me. I’m not addicted to it. It doesn’t take over my life or negatively impact my existing relationships. Porn is a weakness for others, but we’re all different.

        The discussion about having kids is a whole other topic. Actually you should think about turning it into a column, as I’m sure it would garner a lot of discussion. Suffice it to say I disagree with a lot of what you said, but I’ll gladly wait for the proper forum to get into it.

        In short, the reason I got so miffed at this column is because the crux of it was “if you watch porn you’re a wimp.” I tend to dismiss blanket statements that can’t be proved one way or the other. And that’s what this was. Don’t get me wrong, it was well-written and you’re a good writer. But it felt like you wrote it because everyone else had talked about porn so you wanted to add your two cents. Even if those two cents didn’t make a lot of sense.

        Thanks for the discussion Cameron, and I’ll continue to read your posts with great interest.

  4. Ugh, this article is full of contradictions and general nonsense:
    - Porn is used as a masturbation shortcut…but why exactly does masturbation need to be a drawn out activity? Most men use it for release, not foreplay.
    - Porn takes away from romance and imagination…but if it’s used for masturbation then why are either of those things necessary when you’re alone? (Romancing yourself much, Cameron?)
    - Porn makes sex with your partner boring. You mention watching the NBA, Cameron. Does watching it that make you less likely to play basketball with your friends because their play is SO boring in comparison? Apparently not, since you also claim that what you watch in the NBA shows up in your own court play. Doesn’t that also mean that the “excitement” of porn would also be brought into your bedroom?
    - “the educated know”…that porn rewires the brain, even without scientific evidence to support the claim. So if you disagree, then you aren’t “educated”, right Cameron? That is such a transparent rhetorical ploy. Your MMA title is not a Harvard degree, sorry.
    - The porn most men are watching is violent porn…ANOTHER claim with no evidence or statistics whatsoever. Repetitiveness IS boring.
    - Watching porn makes you a wimp…but as pointed out above, your reasoning for such a claim is greatly lacking.

    • DGT:

      (1) You’re right. There’s no need to drag it out…

      (2) Masturbation takes place when you’re alone, but you’re failing to see that what we do when we’re alone may impact us when we’re not. I read books alone too and that knowledge travels with me.

      (3) Porn makes sex with your partner boring? It may, not always. I never made that claim as an absolute assertion. I said: “can make.” Again, you’re only seeing things as black and white here. And your NBA comment isn’t worth responding to…

      (4) Right, choose whatever definition of “education” you want. Needn’t be formally so.

      (5) MMA is not Harvard, and I didn’t claim it to be. But it was a form education every bit as demanding, rewarding and positive. If you’re going to judge articles based on the bio of writers rather than content then I can only imagination the brilliant pieces of writing you’re missing out on or judging before and as you read them. I can provide you a full CV if that feeds your need.

      (6) Most men watch violent porn? How can you know that for sure? My statement is based only on the top websites and the highest viewed videos, not anything truly scientific. You are claiming I am making claims, and that’s the worst kind of claim to…claim.

      ~Cameron

      • #1 – Yes! Agreement!

        #2 – “…what we do when we’re alone may impact us when we’re not.” That is a possibility in every aspect of our lives in everything we do. So? That statement and your analogy about books does nothing to support the suggestion that porn & masturbation effects our intimate time with others, let alone in a negative manner. In fact, since books provide knowledge and enhance intellectual interactions with others, your analogy could suggest that porn & masturbation would have a similarly positive effect on intimate interactions with others.

        #3 – “I never made that claim as an absolute assertion. I said: “can make.” ” So it might make it boring or it might not? In effect, you’re saying nothing on this point then. Also, my NBA comment just pointed out an obvious contradiction on your part. If you can’t defend a point of argument then just don’t respond to the criticism at all, instead of resorting to the “not worth responding to” nonsense.

        #4 & #5 – I’m not judging the education of others, though you seemed to imply judgment by preceding an unsupported claim with “the educated know”, as if those that disagree are therefore uneducated. That kind of rhetorical attack deserves a sharp response. Perhaps that was not your intention.

        #6 – Considering the thousands upon thousands of sites out there and the number of videos being much, much higher than the total number of sites, even the top sites and videos would only be watched by a small number compared to the total number of all men viewing porn. Based on the misleading evidence of “top sites”, the “suggestion” (since you claim you are making no claim) that men in general who view porn are into or excited by sexual violence is not only false, its offensive!

        • DGT:

          I teach writing, but I also write to teach. Regarding the former, again, I will send you a resume if it helps you take me more seriously. Regarding the latter: I smiled when you said, “That is a possibility in every aspect of our lives in everything we do,” because it seemed as though you simply couldn’t grasp that concept due to (1) Your inability (or maybe unwillingness?) to follow my analogy rather than create your own by using absurd analogic questions you already knew the answer to:

          - “Does watching it that make you less likely to play basketball with your friends because their play is SO boring in comparison?” ←-Of course it doesn’t. C’mon. Part of making a comparison is to compare specifics not generalities. Of course, not everything in the NBA is like porn. Do porn stars usually wear embroidered jerseys with numbers on them while performing? How far do I need to go here? It seems you were begging for me to address this issue and hurt that I didn’t. The comment section is meant to create and deepen the discussion. You didn’t point out a contradiction, you’re simply digging for holes just to dig for holes and maybe even to try to “one up” the writer. Let’s move beyond “one upping” and talk about things that matter. If you want to talk about metaphor, analogy or writing outside of here I’d be more than willing to. Seriously, shoot me an email.

          …and (2) your creation of cut-and-dry comments like “Porn makes sex with your partner boring,” from my suggestion that, “these unrealistic fantasies can make sexual relations with their partner boring.” Look, writers certainly mess up. All of the writing we do here is volunteer work and it’s tough to squeeze it in when we’re working 60+ hour weeks. That said, the areas you point out in my piece are not flawed, they’re flaws you created to fulfill whatever your need is (to be heard, to win an argument, etc.). So rather than enter a piece, skim through it and make your own assumptions from it, please give the writer the respect they deserve and read the piece for what it is and not for what you want it to be.

          ~Cameron

      • GirlGlad4theGMP says:

        I have a question: what about Erotica/ “girl porn”, with sweeping storylines and romantic overtones? SHould more men be watching that type of pornography?

        On the flipside, should fewer women be watching it? Are women learning the wrong things as well? Setting ourselves up for failure in that sex is not nearly as romantic most of the time?

        After reading several recent articles on the GMP site regrding pornography, What I’d like know is where the lines should be drawn….and even better, who should be drawing them? ;)

  5. “men use porn to do the deed as quickly as possible, so they can then do other shit.” ” Some estimates say they log on to porn sites for 30 seconds, choose a video, watch for 60 seconds, get off, then log off.”

    Sounds amazingly like what women use vibrators for. Here’s the female version of essentially the same thing. Yet, they are praised not criticized as wimps for doing essentially the same thing.

    “women use vibrators to do the deed as quickly as possible, so they can then do other shit. Some estimates say they turn on the vibrator for 60 seconds, get off, then turn it off.”

    • Eric M,

      I agree, but I think there are differences too. You don’t address whether or not porn is also used by the women. If so, you are right on – it’s the same thing. If not, it’s similar (the use of technology to speed it up) but it’s not nearly as “wimpy” (to throw the word around that is ruffling feathers here) as having spouse and kids in bed and logging on…

      ~Cameron

      • Cameron, women do use porn (albeit less often than men, but they are almost never criticized for it). But they also use parallel forms of outside (other than their mate) sexual stimuli to get them to the same place that porn often takes men, but they get to have virtual lover with them to get them there in a short time. Women are more likely than men to use books, magazines, and movies to create images that have the same effect.

        The biggest difference is that there is a virtual third person involved in touching them to bring them to climax. How much more wimpy would a man be if he had a closet full of virtual vaginas that he used when surfing porn sites? But, for some reason, women are celebrated as liberated when they do the same thing. Why? Is it because they select a better time, such as when her husband is at work and the kids are at school?

        Women use steamy/sexy/romantic books, magazines, and movies to the same effect that men use porn for. The difference often is that they have their virtual lover to help them get there. Is that not just as “wimpy?”

  6. The Wet One says:

    So you’re saying that a tough guy uses his imagination to get off? I suppose.

    What about if you got off to pictures of dogs? Does that make you tougher?

    What particular pictures do not make you a wimp if you get off to them?

    Why not just use the bra section in the Sears catalogue (yeah I’m old, get over it) like I did when I was 4 years old? Worked for me then and fundamentally no different than Playboy or much other pornography (not all of course, but much of it). All it has was prices listed.

    Was I a wimp then too?

    Quite honestly, this is insipid nonsense that this author is trying to spread. How does using pleasant images to heighten one’s personal sexual pleasure constitute wimpiness? Are women wimps because they read romance novels and have more selection in sex toys than you can fit in the average boudoir? Do tell…

    • The Wet One,

      What you suggest isn’t wimpy at all. What’s “wimpy” is having the Sears magazine stashed in the bathroom so you can get to it after the wife is sleeping. We’ve used images since the beginning of time to heighten sexual pleasure, but it’s not the only way. And when we’ve made a commitment to a partner in life, I don’t see what’s so horrible with fully committing our minds as well as our bodies to that person. My argument is that technology and our current go-go-go lifestyles are pushing us in the wrong direction – towards speed and “inhumanness” and away from meaningful human connection and the willingness to slow it all down to seek the benefits that can come from doing so.

      ~Cameron

      • “I don’t see what’s so horrible with fully committing our minds as well as our bodies to that person.”
        Since you have already pointed out that porn is primarily used for masturbation, are you suggesting that individuals should give up masturbation when in a committed relationship, or just the porn they view while doing so?

        • DGT:

          I have no idea why you think it worth asking me if people should give up masturbation when they are in a committed relationship. I can’t tell if you are serious or joking. I’m a rational, agnostic liberal yet for whatever reason you are approaching me as though I’m a Westboro Baptist fundamentalist….

          ~Cameron

      • The Wet One says:

        I kinda agree with you Cameron. That’s why I make my position on porn known at the start of my relationships now (a woman’s got a right to choose right?). I tell her I could lie and say I’ll never use porn and I’ll get rid of my stash, but I’d rather be honest and lay it out. I won’t hide it from you and I’ll limit the use as much as I can, but I will not refuse to use it for you or anyone else.

        Am I a “wimp” now?

        As for that full commitment business, um… My sexuality belongs to me. Not her. Just like her sexuality belongs to her, not me. We share our sexuality with each other, but we can never own each other’s sexuality. It’s just not in the cards. What you speak of may be an ideal to strive towards, but I’ll live my less than ideal life (just like everyone else) and try to be happy in it. If that’s too much of a hurdle to overcome for any girlfriend of mine (and I know it’s a hurdle from my present girlfriend and past girlfriends), then she’s not the woman for me.

        Again, am I a wimp now? Or just some closet case loser? Maybe half a loser, or a minor wimp. Do tell…

  7. Again we get sidetracked by the quick fix. How much of this use of porn, vibrators or anything else is tied into our desire or requirement for the immediate ? How much of it is nothing more than society and the media dictating to me what is right, useful or not, or has value. If I am a wimp for evaluating my own sense of values, morals ethics and where I draw line in the sand then I’ll gladly take that label and wear it like a badge. The truth may be, that the same symptom is found everywhere. Has it become easier to find a quick fix to fulfill even natural instincts than it is to do the work necessary to find, cultivate and nurture healthy, happy and mutually beneficial relations with real actual people ?

  8. Cameron-
    Writing your article was courageous, like floating a sushi-buffet through shark-infested waters, if the responses are any indicator.
    Thank you for the thought provoking article. What we intake into our lives as experience is indeed as important as a good breakfast. I equate porn to fast food, and we don’t need science to know where consumption of that leads.

  9. Thank you for this article, it is very good. Any negative responses just highlight what a raw nerve you hit. People who use it as a ‘treat’ at the end of the day are usually those who have developed an addiction. I challenge any male who consumes porn regularly to quit for a few weeks and then see, tell me they’re not a addict, that they found it easy. I believe porn addiction is a HUGE issue and effects a large proportion of men and an ever increasing amount of women (I am a former user and a ex partner of a porn addict).

    It is not the case men spend so little time searching for porn. Its far more intricate and complex than that or they would have us believe….unless on that particular occasion they have to be quick! The main problem is the sense of entitlement that surrounds porn. We feed and encourage boys to use porn from a young age and we always use the excuse of it being for a biological need. There is NO biological need for a brain changing drug like porn. And guess what, women also have a strong biological need for sex but we rarely acknowledge that one! She’s branded a slut. Girls are not encouraged to develop sexuality and the sexuality she does get bombarded with is a very male, one sided, harmful image of women. Now one in three porn users are women, its a huge falsehood that men just want orgasms or porn! However, when we do act sexual and admit to liking, wanting sex, using porn etc we’re branded as sluts and those who don’t or dislike the image porn brain washes us with we’re called prudes. We’re also bullied into accepting men using porn through the old biological excuse of “that’s just what men do” and “well, at least he’s not cheating and he’s coming home to you”. Women reinforce this amongst themselves also. But what I’ve lent about continued porn use and the way many men use it, it is another form of cheating, IT IS NOT simply an image. I won’t go into all the details here but this is another falsehood many reinforce to justify and protect the use of their little pleasure or reward.

    Science can prove how porn changes the brain, brain chemistry, moral beliefs, desires, beliefs about men and women, the image and importance of things like rape and consent etc and how the release of chemicals can be likened to heroin use. For those who dismiss this, it’s true. Look it up, do some research!

    As someone who has used a lot of porn and has seen first had the array of porn images, sites etc you are spot on about the image, language and representation of women. I also know that on any popular website there are videos and images of underage girls. Just go to ANY teen website and you are guaranteed to find underage girls on there.

    After not using porn for a while, of learning more about the psychology and science behind porn it’s clear to me how boring porn is. Repetitive tripe. Women servicing men, constant reinforced lies, useless male lovers, hateful images and language towards women by both men and women. Even for me, someone who felt horrible every time I watched porn because of the representation of women, I found it VERY hard not to use it. I found I didn’t really know what my sexuality was, it was so ingrained in porn and the image of fucked up sex, I watched things I would never enjoy in real life and got off to it and I wasn’t exposed to porn at a young age…..so just imagine how ingrained and powerful it is when the brain has been exposed to this from childhood, which is what we do to boys and now girls. How are girls meant to develop real sexuality when the images are so unhealthy? When our ‘sexual role models’ service cock for money, when we teach boys to just lay there or to force his cock down someone’s throat and she turns around whilst crying and gagging and says she likes it? Or as one pornstar did says “all girls could do it if they loved cock enough” Amia, slut puppies (for your reference)!! Just one of the many porn stars who have also gone mainstream and is featured in music videos, modelling campaigns….yea, what a wonderful role model for girls and sex. To brand sexual women as sluts, to categorise them into teens or milfs. Sex acts like deepthroat and anal are totally normal within porn, I know 8year olds who have been exposed to such acts. How is this a good thing? The average age of first consuming hardcore porn is 11! We’re brainwashing a whole generation of children. There is no other way to see it. We’re teaching girls that the easiest, best way to get famous is to sell yourself on the web. Porn is available and reinforced everywhere. Even when I’ve made the conscious choice to get porn out of my life, I can’t, it’s literally everywhere being slowly fed into everything. It does effect society, its not just about our individual ‘right’ to get off. Its far bigger than that. It continues to uphold the decrepit view of men being studs (now pimps, cause they’ve become a good thing) and women being sluts/whores which is still something very alive and real for women today, I know, I have faced such branding in real life, its not just a harmless fantasy, its a billion dollar industry that feeds off our needs and exploits as all in one way or another.

    • Sara, thanks for sharing your own experience with porn! I agree with everything you’ve said.

    • We feed and encourage boys to use porn from a young age and we always use the excuse of it being for a biological need.
      Its not simply encouraged. Its expected damn near required of boys/men to watch porn. To the point where a guy that doesn’t watch porn has his manhood questioned. And don’t even get me started on actual sex…

  10. Sorry, just make it clear, yes there is a biological desire for image and stimulation. I’m not saying we shouldn’t or aren’t naturally turned on by images and that we should ban porn or anything, but we do need to face up and discuss the real harm porn causes and stop defending it by using the same old cliched arguments. Its also very nice to see liberals finally standing up to this industry and not just going a long with the tripe that pro porn propganda feeds us. We’ve sold prostitution as liberal, it is not, it keeps women unequal, it is a control system and exploits both sexes. If porn was equal and liberal it would be just that EQUAL and liberating, but its not. It’s hyjacked sexuality and keeps us locked masturbating behind our computers, instead of enjoying one the most natural things on earth, SEX.Naomi Wolfs article said it best…..

    • Sara,
      Yes porn usage can be an addition, like anything else, such as facebook, world-of-warcraft, smoking, eating, and even exercising. When something interferes with your ability to conduct the rest of your life, then its a problem that needs to be addressed. I hope your former partner received the proper treatment. Just don’t jump to the faulty conclusion that his problem with porn (which I assume amounted to more than a few minutes at the end of the day while masturbating) means that all viewers of porn are addicts. They aren’t. One of the points that Cameron directly and correctly makes is that porn is used primarily as a tool for masturbation for most men who use it. Masturbation has been deemed as a healthy sexual activity for decades now (I can find links to support that claim if you want them). Your long argument against porn comes off as an argument against masturbation since, for men, the two are so closely related. The images of porn heighten and/or quicken the experience for men. Even when done without porn, the images and scenarios running through our minds would still be considered pornographic. We aren’t thinking of rainbows and unicorns!
      I haven’t seen a single article or comment on GMP that would suggest that women or use porn or masturbate are sluts. Women have a right to their sexuality just as men do. Here’s the kicker. Your position that viewing porn is akin to cheating comes off as an attempt to control if and how men masturbate (i.e. limit healthy male sexuality) since men have a right to masturbation whether they are single or coupled.

      • DGT:

        In your response to Sara you said, “Your long argument against porn comes off as an argument against masturbation….”

        No it does not. At all. You are seeing a place to fight where there isn’t one. I think you’ve got a fight to fight and you’re looking to fight it here even though we all agree with you. Masturbation is great, safe, healthy, etc. We all agree with you and if we didn’t then we mind as well live with some crazy religious cult. Find their forums and go fight them there. I’m all about you fighting your fight, DGT, but you’re fighting against people already on your side….

        ~Cameron

  11. Sorry Cameron, whilst I agree partly with what your are saying (self discipline, I had it at a younger age) I must say I live in reality now which has saw me masturbate for years because it feels good primarily but secondly because it is a solution to the fact that women seem unwilling to meet men in the middle of the bridge in regards to sexuality full stop.

    Far too many men hide this little secret away from their respective partners and whilst their partners probably know what they do at the computer or out in the shed I don’t see any real movement on the female side of town that would suggest they want to understand the male sex drive and want to solve the problem instead of the continual arguing across the sexual gulf that happens to this day.

    When I see some actual movement from women towards a solution I will gladly give up my porn collection and join them in a society that embraces more sex and in doing so probably solves a great many problems with humanity in one foul swoop.

    Clyde

    • Clyde, I do think more women should make sex an active part of their lives instead of letting it go to the wayside. But I also understand that it’s a cycle.

      More men are using porn then ever before. Women know their men have this outlet, they figure “why bother” and refocus their energy on the parts of their life that are going to give them positive feedback and bury their head about the fact that he is looking at porn. I know alot of women that have just given up because they know they can’t compete with the million of different internet girl options men now have available to them. Some of these men are retired and spend their time looking at porn during the day and she feels all alone. Real life women get older, have imperfect bodies, get burdened with bills and kids. They can’t compete. So they don’t even bother. Porn pretty much says that average women don’t really even deserve to have sex lives.

      I even wonder how many men really would give up porn if their partners made more of an effort to meet them in the middle. And I only wonder this because past boyfriends and I had talks about porn use and how it was impossible for them not to use porn because it wasn’t like “I could be around 24/7” and because “men have needs”.

      • Erin,

        Beautifully said. I agree completely.

        ~Cameron

      • Completely wrong here Erin.

        The problem is women look at occasional porn viewing as competition. It’s not. For most guys who aren’t porn addicts, it’s just something we do for a quick fix. Usually when sex isn’t an option for one reason or another. It has absolutely no bearing on how we feel for our wives/girlfriends. Yet if a woman knows we watched porn, she’ll curl up into a ball, retreat and say “Well I’m not even going to bother.”

        And as guys we’re wondering what the hell you’re talking about, because in our minds one has absolutely nothing to do with the other. But now the woman has created a downward spiral because her ego is bruised, she’s made up an imaginary competition with an anonymous porn starlet and then no one is having sex. She’s mad and doesn’t want to have sex, and since he’s not having any sex he’s looking at porn.

        But instead of a compromise, so many women say “stop looking at porn or no more sex” or they tell the man he has a “problem.” Well maybe the problem isn’t his.

        • Or perhaps you’re not considering why the woman feels upset in the first place. You just dismiss her feelings as being “stupid,” but her feelings are legitimate. Human beings feel for a reason, and whatever we’re feeling at that present moment is never stupid, no matter how dramatized those feelings may be. If she’s feeling hurt by your porn use (not “you” specifically), and even after consoling her she still feels hurt, maybe it’s something you need to change because you’re not the one who is hurt–she is.

          • Anonymous Male says:

            I didn’t get the sense that DaddyFiles was saying anyone’s feelings were “stupid” exactly, just that maybe a man’s partner has some experience that she needs to “reframe,” as the psychologists say today. It’s not a binary choice between a) doing nothing that might ever upset her or b) totally ignoring her feelings and dismissing them as stupid. There are other options, like recognizing her feelings, listening to them, and suggesting some sort of compromise.

            Leaving the word “stupid” out of it, I think we can agree that there can be interpretations of events (“he loves his laptop more than me!”) that are flat-out inaccurate. Fearing something, feeling something, worrying about something doesn’t mean that it is true. I think if a man came to similar interpretations about his wife many of us would think there’s something wrong with him. Imagine a man saying, “She knows I get horribly jealous when she leaves the house, but she goes to work anyway. I’m devastated. Doesn’t she care about me?”

            Men have lame sexual insecurities they would do well to get over, so maybe women do, too.

        • DaddyFiles, there is that word again, “occasional”. What even is “occasional” porn use? Because I heard it used for everything from once a year, to once a month, to once a week and I’ve even heard it used in reference looking at porn 3-4 times a week. I find that men often try to downplay their porn use or use words like “occasional” to minimize the topic. Let me ask you this. Do you think men are looking at more porn then 20 years ago, or less? Because I have to tell you, I think men are looking at more. I even think women are looking at more porn then they use to. I don’t think this is healthy.

          You talked about the woman being the one to create a “downward spiral” when I see the actions of both parties invovled equally important. Men’s feelings on this topic matter. But as a man, you need to recognize that women’s feelings matter too. And perpetuating the idea that woman’s feelings on porn are silly when it’s not about giving porn accolades isn’t fair, and that men’s feelings are the right ones, isn’t helping anyone.

          You are darn right that part of a woman’s ego is bruised when it comes to porn. Instead of shaming women for that natural response why don’t you try to understand. That’s all women really want. Some kindness and understanding. Porn represents clearly all the ways men find real women lacking. How many times do you look for porn that are women your own age vs how many times you are looking at porn that are younger then yourself? How many women in porn have the bodies your wife has after having kids? Now you might not be comparing and that’s great but that doesn’t deny the reality of what men are choosing to look at through porn vs what they have in a real female partner. Please stop trying to shame women for things that are inherent to femininity and trying to vilify women for questioning how their men view them when faced with the reality that their men are seeking out women in porn that aren’t anything like them. It is a competition. And that’s proved to us everyday. Especially when men say things like “sometimes I just need variety”, “sometimes I just want to picture myself with other women”, “sometimes I need to escape the pressure and demands of being a husband and father”, in the fantasy arms of other women. The message women get is that she is both sometimes too much and not enough at the same time.

          I’m also curious how do you know most men aren’t porn addicts? I’m not saying that to put men down or to even claim most men are because I don’t really know. But I want to know how you know most men aren’t porn addicts. I look at our country and I see so much addiction in general. Addiction to material things that partially drove this country into debt. Addiction to food that has created an obesity epidemic. And these things are things you have to actually pay for. That you have to make the effort to go out and get. You don’t even have to leave your home to have porn. And you don’t even have to pay for it as long as your paying for an internet connection. And it’s completely anonymous. I see people addicted to Tivo, reality TV and even Facebook. They still maintain their everyday lives, they still work, but these other influences are an addiction for them. Do you honestly believe we are a sexually healthy country when we can’t even manage our Facebook addictions and we have sweeping debt and food addictions? I don’t! I just think when it comes to things like porn, it’s more easily hidden. And I think because unfortunately men do learn of porn early in their lives and start a relationship with it right there and then, that years of grooming with porn changes male sexuality. So much so that I think men start to think part of their sexuality is porn. But I think men’s sexuality is much better then anything porn is. And that it’s not nearly as connected to men as it appears men think. It’s like wearing swimmies when you also have a life preserver on. I feel like men consider porn a kind of life preserver. I can even make a connection to porn branding at early ages to marketed and branded Coke or Pepsi advertising that gets sold to us early in life. Growing up I was branded to like Coke. Is coke better then Pepsi? It is only to me because that’s what I grew up with. When I go to a restaurant, I want a coke, not a Pepsi. I suspect there is a fair amount of similar branding that goes on when young boys discover porn in their early teen years.

          • jesuscrunk says:

            How many women in porn have the bodies your wife has after having kids?

            My friend just yesterday told me about the day she came home after giving birth to her son.-She found a porn disc in the dvd player…and was devastated.

        • Daddy Files- You seem to feel licensed to speak for all men. Would you please keep your attitudes and opinions on yourself please? You do not know, or seem to be concerned with, what other men (and women) may have been through around this porn issue. You also seem to believe that as long as you deny that you have an addiction that your denial acts as a magic charm to make it so. That’s magical thinking (and a sign of addiction). You also have an auto-response saying that your wife knows about your use and would therefore seemingly support it (?), and that she isn’t available for you whenever you need to do your thing, or “rub one out” I believe you say, which you’ve just written as being nightly as well as previously saying that it is a rare, once a month scenario.. a few discrepancies in your researchable story (which is a sign of an addict). But you are often the first to blast on anyone who is trying to heal a relational malady of the times. If you do not have a problem then why all of the hostility and defense towards others who do? (another sign of an addict) Why don’t you just read and respond to topics that pertain to your interests and concerns? None of us are going to take your porn away.

          • Kenny: Wow, you’re wrong on so many fronts it’s kind of hysterical.

            Who said I was speaking for all men? I sure didn’t. I presented a hypothetical scenario, but it’s also one that I’ve seen first-hand in other people’s relationships. Second, it was pretty clear I wasn’t speaking about all men since I explicitly wrote I wasn’t talking about those who are addicted to porn.

            Third, I never wrote anything about “nightly porn use.” Now you’re making things up. Fourth, you imply throughout the article that I’m a porn addict. Now who’s being judgmental? You’ve never met me, yet you’re ready to assign the “addict” label to me? Talk about the pot and the kettle.

            I notice you’re not taking Erin to task for “blasting” all those who don’t believe porn is harmful. Why is that I wonder? Oh yeah, because she shares your point of view. You’re such a hypocrite for coming on here and telling me to keep my opinion to myself just because it doesn’t jive with your own. It tells me everything i need to know about you. Close-minded and only interested in similar opinions. Have fun with that. Me? I like disagreements and I think people learn more from them then agreeing all the time.

            Have fun in your bubble with only those telling you how right you are.

        • Daddy Files-
          Your persona on these threads is fascinating, like the depictions of characters in textbooks. And by textbooks here I refer to those written by Dr. Patrick Carnes, notably the godfather of sex-addiction therapy, who has stated the more common tools which addicts use in their denial of addiction are minimization, rationalization and justification. Your defensiveness and aggression are addiction signals as well, which is what I mentioned in my post that riled you. I have never said that you are an addict, just that you are showing the same signals that therapists take note of. Your own diagnosis can only be done by a professional. Your tone invokes Shakespeare who famously said, “Me thinketh thou doth protesteth too much”.

          You wrote: “For most guys who aren’t porn addicts, it’s just something we do for a quick fix”.

          Are you qualified to diagnose whether anyone is an addict and to speak for “most guys”? Do you actually ask men about their porn use the same as the many surveys which clinicians have meticulously undertaken for statistical evaluation and treatment studies?

          You wrote: “It has absolutely no bearing on how we feel for our wives/girlfriends”.
          Too rich, no comment needed here.

          You wrote: “And as guys we’re wondering what the hell you’re talking about, because in our minds one has absolutely nothing to do with the other”.
          Again, a very high-calorie statement which is speaking for all men. This clearly is not hypothetical as you claim. You also feel obliged to speak for all women in that comment post. I do not need to state that you’re going way up the wrong tree there.

          The next item you deny, your #3 regarding nightly use. You wrote:
          “after the wife and kid have gone to bed and I’m about to start job #2, I take your aforementioned 60 seconds to rub one out to Internet porn. Because that’s all I have time for during the week. I don’t give a fuck about imagination”.
          So I guess this does not clearly state that you relieve yourself nightly, so my apology there, but it does read more like you do this often or at least throughout your workweek, which varies considerably from older comment threads where you’ve said “once a month”, “a few times a month”, etc. I can dig that up for you if necessary. The tone of these comments seems to be the minimization of your usage and who really cares about that here, except perhaps your wife? You seem to be having a lot more sex than she is and your comments only refer to your needs. I doubt anyone is too concerned as that is a personal issue of your own.

          And lastly, regarding your critique of Erin and many others; these people seemingly attempt to stand up for honesty and ethical concerns. The Good Men Project does seem to be a meeting ground to inspire such things in us, and rarely, if ever, do I recall Erin or any other commenter blast anyone in the personal sense besides Erin being forced to defend herself against you, who blatantly tell people like her that they are “Wrong” and then go about speaking for entire genders.

          There are perspectives to stand for and give a voice to, on all sides of these issues, and a mature form of communication is to simply state our opinions and let the readers ponder them. I cannot speak for other people here but I do attempt to stay focused on the topics. Distractions from the topics that denounce the opinions of others, evidenced by your saying that they are “wrong” only obscure the issues. After reading dozens of your comments on recent porn-related topics, it seems you’re interpreting that others’ opinions somehow negate your own right to use porn, which no writer has ever stated!

    • Hi Clyde, I agree with Erin, I think couples can get into a downward spiral where the woman feels so grossed out and insecure about her partner’s porn use that she loses interest in sex. I feel excited about the idea that my partner is excited by me. If he’s off looking at porn, my interest in him evaporates completely. I feel like he’s not really aroused by me or my body, he’s aroused by some fantasy women who I absolutely can’t compete with, and it starts to feel like he’s just using my body as a masturbation tool. (if that makes sense). So this cycle starts where, yes, often the woman is not as interested in sex as the man is, for whatever reason, the man starts using porn, the woman knows he’s using porn, the woman feels icky and upset about it and loses even more interest in sex, he starts using more porn…. pretty soon you are in a sexless marriage.

      Maybe if the couple communicated better about their sexual needs, this wouldn’t happen. I agree women need to meet men halfway, but men need to meet women halfway as well. It’s a relationship, not a competition. It’s supposed to be about meeting both your own needs and the other person’s needs. Both men and women can fail at that.

      • That’s how it is for me too. When I know my partner has been looking at porn, I am not as motivated in having sex with him. I feel a gap between us. I don’t feel like I can be in a safe and vulnerable place with him.

        The truth is that real women CAN’T compete. That’s really the truth that no one wants to say. We can’t be blondes, brunettes, redheaded lesbians with perfect big breasts and tiny little waists and no thoughts in our head except how to beg for another load on our face. And those images are clearly 10x more titilating to men that anything a real woman can be. What happens when we are on a continuous reel of those images since our young teen years? How can you not think that doesn’t affect your sexuality? Am I saying that men don’t love their partners? Not at all. Am I saying men don’t have many sides to them? Not at all. But the truth is that the real woman a man deals with everyday where he sees her faults and imperfectoins and the demands she places on him requiring he give something of himself for their relationship clearly isn’t as attractive as the projection of 20 year old girls getting banged in pornos. Porn makes men feel like men witout actually requiring men to do anything.

        Further, shaming women both for feeling insecure about this and being hurt by it is so unfair. Yes, sometimes women are insecure about porn. Sometimes issues of insecurity are big problems. But when it comes to things like porn, and we shame women for daring to feeling a little nervous about projected images of feminiity in porn, we are asking women to be “stronger” then men themselves can be when it comes tp porn, I hate that whole “you’re just insecure argument”. And other comments that talk about how women need to work on themselves while men are allowed to indulge themselves. And it’s not because women that are insecure about porn are weak little minded ninnies that only have tons of issues. The themes and stereotypes often shown in porn about women are just awful. They don’t celebrate us. They pretty much tell us that apparently “porn stars” are the epitome of how men really want women to be and if you don’t live up to that you can darn well expect your man will be looking at women that can infact live up to that image even in fantasty. And when he’s bored with the porn he will come to you. But when he is bored with you he will go to the porn. So it’s not really about you and him. It’s about him using two different means for his own gratification.

        Actually, I think there actually has been a higher incident of women in relatationhpis apparently being the ones that aren’t getting the sex they want from their partners and trying to encourage more sex but their men aren’t interested. I just wonder why their men aren’t intereted. Despite clearly there being many reasons why, i wonder if porn isn’t also part of that.

        • I guess the question is, Erin, why men, or anybody really, should feel the need to repress or retool their sexual desires based on the insecurities of women like you. I think your long rants on the subject could be boiled down to one statement: “I’m cold, everyone put on a sweater!”

          • IamCuriousBlue, thank you for showcasing the kind of shaming that some men engage in when it comes to some women’s feelings on porn. You prefectly projected what happens sometimes when porn becomes a discussion.

            How long have you been watching porn Iamcuriousblue? Since your young teens? Most men seem to discover it around then. Why don’t you ask yourself what possible ways your sexuality could have been retooled at that tender age with images porn projects. Unlike you, I think male sexuality is so much more exciting and wonderful then what porn tells us male sexuality is. And if men are going to buy the mirage that porn is about masculinity, then I might as well get my sweater because that’s a cold boring way to look at it.

            • Erin, you can bitch and whine about being shamed all you like, and there’s a simple reason I could care less. Because you yourself engage in some very shitty shaming tactics toward men and male sexuality, and really, anybody who disagrees with you, and are equally quick to play the victim whenever somebody calls you on it. This combination of dishing out scorn on others while at the same time being absolutely unable to take criticism speaks to very low character in my book. I suggest you work on it. If you’re going to heap criticism on others, basic reciprocity demands that you grow a backbone and learn to take it as well.

              As for this conversation around watching porn and its *interaction* with my larger sexual history, that could be an interesting conversation to have with somebody who was discussing it in good faith. *Unlike you.*

  12. Cameron, I really enjoyed your response to The Wet One and agree with it 100%.

    Thanks for taking the time out to comment on common words used in porn in your 5th paragraph. For me, porn isn’t just about lust. It says something specific about women and men. And unfortunately, usually the words used in porn to describe women are negative. And it’s rare for us to be that honest and raw about that.

    Despite the way porn projects women, I don’t think most men think women are worthless. But I don’t understand why a lot of men seem to get off on porn that 9 times out of 10 describes women in negative terms of their worth. I try to understand but I just don’t get it. I don’t even think most men feel proud of those things that are being said about women in porn. But it still excites them. And it’s a confusing message as a woman to receive. Because on one hand, men want you to trust that they love and respect you and women in general, but behind close doors they are indulging in something that says something pretty specific about women and our role.

    It’s difficult seeing how women are often portrayed in porn. It’s difficult knowing that *this* is men’s fantasies. It’s difficult to know just how much a portion of your man enjoys seeing women treated a certain way. It’s difficult living with the idea that the only thing getting your man through his relationship with you is if he has the option to indugle in internet beauties when the desire strikes.

    Cameron, you were also honest about how often in porn the man “couples physical abuse with verbal abuse by belittling the woman.” If you are a man that doesn’t treat women like that, that has a beautiful wife or girlfriend and a family, why would it even turn you on to begin with to see that? I try to understand but I just don’t. I don’t understand why men want us to be happy that they like seeing 18 year old girls slapped around while getting bleeped. That men are dreaming about doing their babysitters or ejaculating on a woman no better then you would with a rag. It’s not cool supporting a medium that’s about our verbal, physical and emotional humilation. Or when it’s all about the standards on how we need to look to be worthy enough to have sex with. Because lets be honest, that’s pretty much all a woman is worth if we go by porn.

    I also look at things we have today like Facebook that create a fake idea of friendship. I’ve had people “friend” me from high school that I wasn’t even really friends with in high school. People spend more time checking up on each other and commenting about their fabulous lives, but they aren’t making real connections or friendships. It’s just a mirage. I think porn has a lot of the same tendencies. We think we are satisfying certain needs that we really aren’t. We are just taking the short cut and we are expecting our real life relationships to be healthy maintained. If I spend a chunk of my day posting nonsense on Facebook then that’s time I’m not maintaining real friendships by calling people on the phone or meeting up. That’s time I’m not doing my hobbies or things that would actually make me a better person. Maintaing real relationships IS harder then just hoping on Facebook and posting in between work or school. There are only so many hours in the day. And Facebook makes it cheap and easy to satisfy surface needs with no long term positive affects. And I see porn much the same way.

    I understand that men are very sexual. And as a woman, how sexual men can be is such a raw, exciting and powerful thing. But through porn and porn use, I don’t see the best parts of men and their awesomely powerful sexuality being truly shared or celebrated. I just can’t express enough how exciting men are when it comes to sex, they have an awesome power in that. More so then I think men know. So it really hurts as woman to see so many men get off on so many things about women through porn that in reality couple sexual excitment with the verbal, emotional and physical humiliation of women in general. To me, porn is telling women they need to be ashamed. They need to be ashamed when they are too sexual because then we are just sluts. And we need to be ashamed when we aren’t sexual enough because we are just uptight bitches that a good pounding would fix. And we need to be ashamed because we don’t remain 18 forever and we don’t have big fake boobs, butts, eyes, hair…the list goes on. It makes me feel like I should be ashamed to be a woman because apparently men are just better people and women are just here to provide a place to masturbate on.

    People don’t want to talk about the rate at which we receive information today and who it changes are mental landscape. I’d like to see people stop defining their sexuality through porn and really find value in the things that aren’t so quick and easy.

    It use to be that I heard guys say “hey I just look at porn once-in-awhile”. It’s been a long time since I heard that phrase. Guys no longer say that they only look at porn once-in-awhile.

    • The Wet One says:

      The real world really sucks doesn’t it?

      Clearly, the Internet changed everything.

      I hope our species is able to survive this interlude. Given the talk here, I sometimes doubt it.

      I also wonder why women feel they are in competition with men’s fantasies? I suspect it may have something to do with women’s desire being stoked by being desired: (see here for reference http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/25/magazine/25desire-t.html?adxnnl=1&pagewanted=6 and in particular at page 7).

      Men don’t let their competition (be it real or imagined) get in the way of their enjoyment of sex. We don’t need to be desired quite as much (but it sure is awesome when we are. That’s one of the tricks of the pros I learned when engaged in the trade). Given that our thinking about sex is so different on this level, this is the source of much difficulty for men being sympathetic to women’s complaint’s about porn. I, for my part, literally didn’t get what bothers women about porn in the past. I still cannot readily conceive of what it is about porn that bugs women. It’s a two dimensional image that I’m beating off to. If you don’t get that I don’t get that it’s basically imaginary nonsense (all the rest of the bagage that goes with porn), I have to question your intellect. Do you really think I’m that dumb? As a 15 year old, your wondering is relevant, as a mid 30s year old man, not so much.

      However, when I learned that much of women’s desire and enjoyment of sex is tied up in BEING DESIRED, well now, something about the complaints about porn made sense.

      This pretty much made it clear to me (quoted from the above referenced article):

      “The generally accepted therapeutic notion that, for women, incubating intimacy leads to better sex is, Meana told me, often misguided. “Really,” she said, “women’s desire is not relational, it’s narcissistic” — it is dominated by the yearnings of “self-love,” by the wish to be the object of erotic admiration and sexual need. Still on the subject of narcissism, she talked about research indicating that, in comparison with men, women’s erotic fantasies center less on giving pleasure and more on getting it. “When it comes to desire,” she added, “women may be far less relational than men.”

      Women’s desire is dominated by the wish to be the object of erotic admiration.

      That’s why porn is competition and is so off putting to women. From my experiences with women and discussions about the topic over time, this is what I think it’s really about. One girlfriend was so much into this particular concern (forget the porn, as she was a big porn consumer as well), that me even looking at other women was cause for fury on her part. The weird part to me is that women will compete with a two dimensional image and not a real live person (but they’ll compete with that too). However, if the man is not actually involved with a real live woman, what are you competing with? Pixels and paper? Really?

      I always found that last bit to be very confusing, but it’s quite real (you hear it over and over again in complaints about porn). Women really do feel themselves to be in competition with these images. Sometimes to what seems to be an unreasonable degree (at least to me). But understanding that this competition to be the center of a man’s erotic attention is critical to understanding a woman’s objection to porn (at least for me). It doesn’t make sense otherwise to me, because I really do not how women, in general, really are threatened that much by images of people I’ll never meet. It just doesn’t make sense. It’s like me hating images of George Clooney because Clooney is going to come to my neck of the woods and steal my woman from me. Completely unreasonable, until you understand that I don’t have my sexual desire tied to being the center of attention. Women do. It’s fundamental (apparently) to women’s desire, in a way that it’s not for men. Now it makes a bit more sense doesn’t it, or can’t it?

      I think that this is why so many women want “passion” from their lovers or mates. That passion is the expression of the woman being the object of erotic desire. Men don’t have this same need in the same way. Yeah, we all want a women who’s actively engaged in sex and enjoying it (i.e. not a dead fish), but we’ll take dead fish (especially really hot dead fish) over nothing and if that’s all we’ve ever had, we’ll be more or less satisfied with it historically. Not so much in today’s world because now we know that other things are possible. Of course, the dead fish are probably a product of the whole slut shaming idiocy of the past and thus the patriachy’s own fault, but I digress…

      What’s my point? Eh… Migh have been lost in the discussion above, but I’m not convinced by these arguments against porn. Normal men who relate to women normally don’t get their understanding of how to treat women (even treat women in bed) from porn. They get it from how their fathers treat their mothers and how their mothers teach them to treat women.

      My views of women and how I relate to them are not (IMHO, knowing myself much better than anyone here) shaped by porn. It’s as much fantasy to me as playing real time strategy games on my computer and being the general of massive armies. I know it’s bullshit and I know its stupid, but damn, I enjoy it and I get my jollies from it. If that makes me a douchebag, a loser, an evil man, a misogynist (a much overused term, Willy Pickton was a mysogynist, not me) etc. because I don’t kowtow to women’s need to be the center of erotic attention, well then I’m pretty sure you are the one in the wrong not me. You don’t know what evil or mysogyny really is (read some of Steig Larson’s books. Those bad guys were mysogynists and they aren’t the majority of men), you just like beating men up with multisyllabic terms.

      Anyways, I’ve blathered on enough.

      Cheerio!

      • The Wet One, I agree women feel excited by the level of desire their mate as for them. Because we all know that to be feminine is to be beautiful. We all know that men want a beautiful women and women tend to be more forgiving about men’s looks then men are about women’s looks. It’s the reason women wear make up and do their hair in salons and it’s the reason that most men don’t wear make up or do their hair at a salon. I also agree that men don’t always have the same desire to be desired for their beauty like women do. Which is the reason why a man might be fine with their woman going to a strip club as a viewer of the entertainment. He might even be okay with her getting a lap dance. But if that same woman wanted to be the one to do the stripping, and giving the lap dances, the man would probably not like it nearly as much. Because it changes the dynamic to be more in tune to how women feel desire and are are desired.

        Now while I believe that women do have an innate desire to be desired, I do not think this desire is as narcissistic and it’s being portrayed. Women live with the daily pressure that their beauty is what makes them women. We get that message from our mothers, We get that message from our fathers, we get that message from society and we certainly get that message from our boyfriends and husbands. So to represent female sexuality as the be all and end all in selfish narcism is completely misrepresentative of women as a whole and the pressures society generally places on us from birth. It also seems like we are shaming women for taking pleasure in even being beautiful. When lets be honest, men want us to be beautiful to even consider us worthy of affection.

        You mentioned that you didn’t understand why a two dimensional image that you’re beating off to bothers women. But you do. Your even said so in your first paragraph. You do understand why it bothers women. You just wish that the desire you get from porn would negate any bad feelings a woman has for porn.

        You can downplay the use of porn by saying it’s just a two dimensional image. And it is just a two dimensional image. But that two dimensional image holds enough power to still titillate and excite you. That image on a flat screen still evokes very strong masculine feelings, right? So much so that you reach the finish line. Why then would you be confused by that same two dimensional image evoking other natural feelings in other people if it’s clearly enough to draw out hormones and feelings from yourself? This argument has always bothered me. Because a lot of men don’t want women who are bothered by porn to be bothered by it because of it being a flat image. Yet men are happy to use it to bring out strong masculine and sexual feelings and responses in themselves. And that’s hypocritical. Claiming your emotion to it is *right* because it’s a two dimensional image and that her emotion to it is *wrong* because it’s a two dimensional image is grossly not right.

        It is not the threat that you are going to run away with a pornstar that bothers women when faced with partners looking at porn. It’s the threat that he is showing clear interest in other women. And typically these women tend to be younger, perkier, surgically enhanced and the likes of that. It also offers a level of variety that no one woman can compete with. That’s just the simple truth. We then become just part of the pack of his masturbation fodder. Where it’s not a matter of the real woman being better. We are just different from what he can get from porn and sometimes he wants to use us and other times he wants to use porn. Yay for women. It is also a matter of the content and the general treatment of women through porn that is bothersome as a woman. If I enjoyed images of men being slapped around, called names and used for their money then kicked out the door, would I really be a woman you would take seriously? Probably not. Why then do so many men expect us to take them seriously when the are showing a clear happiness and enjoyment in the complete objectification and belittlement of women through porn?

        It’s not a matter of women finding men dumb. I certainly don’t think men are dumb for looking at porn. I certainly don’t think men are dumb for being turned on by porn. Why then would you in turn insinuate women are the dumb ones for being bothered by porn?

        You talked about the difference between a 15 year old watching porn vs being a 30 year old man. Well I have to tell you, I totally get why a raging hormone filled young man would turn to something like porn . Porn fulfills all his adolescent expectations. Would I still be concerned about what ideas he was forming from porn? Yes. But I would understand more why a hormone filled 15 year old turns to porn. I don’t get why 30+ year old men do. Porn is stuck in an adolescents wet dream. Doesn’t male sexuality at some point transcend porn? As a man, wouldn’t you want it to?

        You mentioned that normal men who relate to women normally don’t get their understanding how to treat women (even treat women in bed) from porn. But is that really true? If the average boy starts viewing porn at 11, don’t you think it’s common sense to recognize that that’s a number of years he is using some private material to form attractions and connections in his brain about women? Especially with all the material that is available now today? Lets at least be honest about that much. Relationships with porn and young boys start early. If men acknowledge that porn isn’t even a good way to treat women in the bedroom, why does it even excite you to begin with? Isn’t sex about men and women? Women aren’t here to act like your service toys. And when men say things like you just did where you acknowledge that porn isn’t even a good way to treat real women, but men are still excited by it, and you throw out how much you really love women despite how you still want to get your jollies off at their degradement, I’m just reminded about how negatively men perceive us to begin with if that’s the true real case.

        Despite all the conversations on this site about porn, despite listening to what women have to say, you’ve managed to reduce women’s entire feelings and opinions on this subject to a blurb of information you found in an article about how women feel good by being desired by their partners. Which tells me you don’t know nearly as much about women and how to relate to them as you might think. Hey, but keep investing all that time to get your jollies in porn. Because at the end of the day, I guess you can say that you had a long fulfilling life with lots of jerk off sessions behind your computer and damn those awful women for having the nerve in wanting to be sexy and desirable to their partners! Women are just selfish narcissists who want to suck all the fun out of your life because they question porn. And you are the kind, wonderful, gentle man that knows how to treat women in the bedroom even if you sure do like seeing women treated a certain way in porn. And who cares if that way isn’t even how you should treat women? You respect women after all.

        • The Wet One says:

          Just a question Erin, did you read the link?

          Second point, both 15 year olds and 30 olds enjoy the same thing. It never really changes. It’s just that a 30 year old should be more cognizant of the fantasy than a 15 year old.

          You should also talk to my sister about these things. She’s validated many of my views about women and she’s a smarter person than I am.

          Do you know what kind of porn I like? I’m curious…

          Also, I did not intend to insuinuate that I think women are dumb. Merely that I did not understand the source of their anger about porn. The direction of erotic attention away from the woman I’m with made me understand something that I did not before. Do you see? Perhaps I mis-stated my ideas above.

          Could you explain to me what the threat is from, for all intents and purposes, imaginary women as opposed to the hot chicks at the grocery story? I did have one girlfriend who grew incensed when I looked at the hot chicks in the grocery store too. Even when they were the cashiers (talk about a no win situation, what was I supposed to do, not look at the person saying hello, that’ll be $49.95, and here’s your change?). I’m not saying you’re that person, but I know that I have dated that woman. I suspect she’s not the only one.

          Also, I think it is fair to say (at least based on my experience and talking to my male friends and discussing the matter with males of all sorts), that men DO NOT NEED TO BE THE CENTER OF EROTIC ATTENTION. Sure, we all love the idea of having 2 or more women on us all at one time (a staple in porn), but the reverse gangbang (a guy with 20 women for e.g.) basically doesn’t exist. Which isn’t to say that we don’t want to sure that the kid is ours.

          Also, in reply to jesuscrunk below, does the mere fact that a man find other women attractive mean that you’re not attracted to your partner? Very curious that in my view.

          Finally Erin, could you please explain granny porn to me? It’s fairly popular in Japan (see here: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1818203,00.html ) and is definitely a niche market in North America (along with BBW and all the rest of it).

          Finally, I’m merely quoting something a female researcher (Marta Meana, a professor of psychology at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas. Meana) who said that female desire is mainly narcissitic. She may be right, she may be wrong, I don’t know, but the idea she put forth certainly made sense of some of what I was experiencing and hearing from women. It helped ME to understand something more about women than i did before reading about her work.

          Also, if you agree with my understanding (which you say you do in one place and then disagree that I understand in another) well then I think you’ve intentionally confused me.

          As for your last bit of ad hominem attack, I won’t worry about that. The love of my life and I will have a marvelous time for (I hope) years to come in and out of the bedroom. I sincerely hope you enjoy the same in your life.

          Cheers!

          • Finally Erin, could you please explain granny porn to me? It’s fairly popular in Japan (see here: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1818203,00.html ) and is definitely a niche market in North America (along with BBW and all the rest of it).
            At its base granny porn is a class of porn that features old women. Along with Japan its has quite a base in Europe as well (in fact a lot of the granny porn that American watchers are into comes from those two places). But here the niche market appears to be a result of a fear of admitting that one is sexually attracted to old women, namely old women that don’t fit the MILF category (which most of these women do not and a lot of the fans of that niche prefer it that way) ie women that are older but are presented as if they are trying to old onto their youth (personally can’t stand MILF porn myself). Some try to lessen the stigma by calling it GILF porn (yes that’s just what it stands for too).

            • The Wet One, I read the portion of the link you directed me to. I didn’t really have the time to read the whole thing.

              I don’t need to talk to your sister about these things any more then I need you to talk to my brother who has validated a lot of my views on this. Was that comment suppose to strengthen your argument because your female sister agrees with you?

              I also don’t think that 30 year old men are no better then 15 year old boys. I’m not sure what favors your really doing men here projecting that image. My sexuality has grown along with the rest of me. At 15, I liked 15 year old boys. At 20, 15 year old boys were gross. I think male sexuality has the ability to grow along with them too. But our culture doesn’t really promote that kind of sexual grown in men. Men are told that they are only as good as their most base instincts. And I don’t think that’s true. When you have something like porn that encourages men to only approach sex and sexuality like a adolescence wet dream, you place the expectations so low, that it’s not really about real men’s sexuality.

              I don’t know what porn you like. But whenever this topic comes up a lot of men suddenly turn into the very small segment of porn users that only looks at the most respectful stuff or the stuff of women their own age or whatever it is that men think makes them fit out of the stereotypical porn style stuff. Never mind that most of the market is about a very limited and specific kind of young woman. And most of the market is pretty specific about it’s level of degradation and humiliation toward women. But hey, I guess we should at least be happy that even though men picture us being worthless then them in porn, in our real lives they muddle through treating us like equals. It kind of feels like men want female adoration because of their ability to put women into little boxes based on their use to him.

              You asked me if I could explain where the threat is in an “imaginary” women vs a hot chick at a grocery store. Well first, I think you ignored all the comments i made previously to the concept of women in porn and I ask you go back and read them. Second, that “imaginary” women isn’t all that imaginary is she? She is a real person. She is playing a character in a movie but she is still a real person turning you on. She is setting up expectations about femininity and sexuality that you are buying into. If you weren’t buying into it, it wouldn’t turn you on. A woman sees her man enjoying something like that and it does make us question what he’s really thinking and feeling when it comes to other women and to us. As for the grocery store, I can only say for me that when I’ve been out with boyfriends that were checking out other women, I felt like asking why he was even spending time with me if he was more interested in seeing all the hot girls he could. When you’re out with your guy you are there to spend time with him, to strengthen your connection. But if I’m more titillated by everything else that is going on around me then him, how do you suppose a relationship to fair? It seems to me that it has increasingly become about how many other women a man can look at or masturbate to, to exert his freedom, then the actual relationship he is in. Heck, i’ve even seen articles on other popular male sites that gave tips to men about how to condescendingly get around checking out other women while your woman was around. Things like “giver her a big hug and look over her shoulder while you check out the hottie walking away”. So pretend affection for your girlfriend just so you can get your visual rocks off to another woman. Of course there will always be attractive members of the opposite sex out in the real world, But there does seem to be a special focus on this when it comes to men. Cut us women a break please. We deal with it everyday. We go out in the real world and we see our men noticing other women, then we have to come home and we don’t even get a safe place there. We again, see him turn to a medium that’s about his lust for other women. Help us girl out. Be on your girlfriends side for a change. Instead of looking at the issue of you vs her in your visual pleasure. Think about the ways you can connect to *her*. Not disconnect from her by your interest, even if just visual, in other women.

              You said your own girlfriend grew incensed when you looked at hot chicks in the grocery store. Even when it was the cashier. Clearly she noticed that you noticed the cashier was hot (how old are cashiers usually anyway? Teenagers usually right?) There is of course a point where it can get ridiculous. If you are mearly dealing with an attractive member of the opposite sex in your everyday life. But there are also times when men do things that make their partner feel disrespected. I’ve gone out on dates with boyfriends to restaurants and have had attractive waitresses. It wasn’t how attractive the waitress was that bothered me. It was my boyfriend’s response to her that did or didn’t. Did he flirt with her? Did he smile at her? Did he check out her ass as she walked away or was he about being there with *me*. I’ve been on dates with both kind of guys.

              I understand that men don’t need to be the center of erotic attention. are you trying to say that this makes male sexuality better? I think you can agree with me that the world places more pressure on women to look a certain way. It’s not just a matter of women being selfish and wanting to be a beautiful. Do you really expect for your girlfriend to not want to be beautiful even as you check out other beautiful women?

              Of course a man can be attracted to other women and his own partner still. But we all know that first interest that interest in how a woman looks, is very important to men. And we know that men do compare women and their bodies to each other.

              You mentioned granny porn. I’m aware that such fetish porn exists. As you said, it’s “nitch”. Generally porn is about a limited type of woman, usually white women, usually young women, usually women with tight little bodies. You can point to every other kind of porn out there and cry out “see see!” but it doesn’t take away from the fact about what most porn incorporates. Oh also on the topic of granny porn in Japan, isn’t Japan also know for it’s cartoon porn? I forget what it’s called. But the girls in it look like 13 year olds with super huge boobs. You want to talk about granny porn, then lets also talk about this kind of porn.

              You keep reducing female sexuality to mearly in term of narcissism. Why? Because women want to be beautiful to our partners? Because we see how beauty in other women captivates him? I’m sorry but that’s plain crappy The Wet one. By reducing women to terms of being narcissistic in their sexuality, you aren’t understanding anything about women. you’re projecting what you wish to be true so you can paint women poorly. To clear up any confusion on this part, I agree that women get off for being admired for their beauty. I disagree that this makes women narcissistic. Especially when men are getting off to our beauty as well.

              I hope you and the love of your life do have marvelous years to come. But if you can only facilitate that kind of relationships because you have porn as a crunch, I wonder what that is saying. And I think that’s the question many women are asking themselves. Why even get into a relationship with me if you need porn to get you through it.

            • Erin, I’ve been thinking this myself but you said it so concisely:

              “But whenever this topic comes up a lot of men suddenly turn into the very small segment of porn users that only looks at the most respectful stuff or the stuff of women their own age or whatever it is that men think makes them fit out of the stereotypical porn style stuff.”

              It sure seems that when this conversation is brought up, those who enter it are always the perfect minority who make some sort of Santa’s list of porn users:

              (1) Yes, they’re always legal
              (2) No, it’s never violent
              (3) Of course I told my wife (and she’s 100% okay with it!)

              etc.

              To you I say “Thank you.” To them I say “Please…”(with sarcasm).

              ~Cameron

            • Or maybe its because they are the only ones speaking up?

              The one’s that break those three things you mention (especially the first) aren’t exactly going to be rushing to chime in. Yeah I’m sure some of them are lying but I don’t its as bad as you and Erin think.

            • Thanks Cameron! That’s a good way to describe it, “The Santa’s list of porn..” where it’s all sweet, nice and everything spice.

            • The Wet One says:

              Cameron, you’re welcome to come and peruse my collection. I know it fairly well. You’ll find one clearly unpleasant scene where the woman clearly does not enjoy what’s going on (I’m not too fond of that scene myself, but you knew that already right?) and there’s some stuff that illegal here (but legal in Europe, go figure). The illegal stuff might be 5 – 10 vids out of 4- 5 thousand.

              Oh and you’ll also find all kinds of parts of it offensive (but we knew that already), but not violent or abusive in an objective sense (i.e. my past girlfriends had a grand ‘ol time doing much of what was on screen where there was two heterosexual partners which is most, but by no means all of the collection. Fantasy is a big part of it after all right?). But I digress. No one is going to be looking at anyone’s collection and we’ll all live on in our own happy or unhappy little worlds.

              So it goes…

            • Oh also on the topic of granny porn in Japan, isn’t Japan also know for it’s cartoon porn? I forget what it’s called. But the girls in it look like 13 year olds with super huge boobs. You want to talk about granny porn, then lets also talk about this kind of porn.
              What you may be thinking of is hentai (and eechi). But if you wanna talk niches that stuff is a niche of the greater world of anime.

      • jesuscrunk says:

        Yeah thats so unreasonable…..wanting to be desirable to your partner than a two-dimensional image.

      • Wet One, I think you Make some good points. I’ve read that NYT article before, and I even asked my boyfriend to read it because I thought it would help him understand why women act in ways that men often find so perplexing. I also think it is important for readers not to get sidetracked by the word “narcissism” which has negative connotations in the popular sense, but is basically neutral as a psychological term of art. Narcissism can be healthy or unhealthy. We all have narcissism. The point of the research is that women get turned on by the idea that we are sexually desirable and unless we feel that our partner really, truly wants us, we have no interest in sex. Men have to understand that women, from a very early age, get the message that what other people think of how we look is central to who we are. If we are pretty little girls then we are loved. If we are ugly trolls, we are unloved outcasts destined to a life of misery. In that sense, our boyfriend/husband watching porn may feel like a total rejection of who we are. It’s not that we think he’s actually going to run off with porn stars, it’s the idea that our man is not really attracted to us or doesn’t really want us, he wants some other women who are more desirable, that can be so devastating. (Obviously I’m generalizing since there are certainly women who don’t feel threatened by porn, or even enjoy porn, but I think there are probably more women who dislike porn and find it threatening.)

        I had a long talk with my boyfriend about this once and it was very interesting. He said he never understood why women, who can usually find opportunities for sex very easily, don’t take advantage of the opportunity. He said, “you could just walk up to a guy you are attracted to and ask for sex, and he might say yes, even if he wasn’t that attracted to you! You wouldn’t have to work for it at all! Why don’t women ever do that? I don’t get it!”

        Putting aside all the issues women having with being a “slut”, which of course is a big factor, I explained to him that I would never want to have sex with a man who wasn’t attracted to me. I don’t see the point at all, whereas my boyfriend would happily have sex with an attractive woman who thought he was a total dog, as long as she was willing. I think this explaims why there will always be prostitutes serving men, but there will probably never be much demand for male prostitutes serving women.

        For my part, though, my biggest issue is with the demeaning and woman-hating nature of so much porn that’s out there, which is an issue you left out of your discussion. I’m not terribly insecure so while I don’t really like the idea that my boyfriend might look at porn (fortunately, he doesn’t use it often, as far as I know), it is the content of porn that concerns me more. I think there are valid reasons for women to be concerned about their significant other’s porn use that go beyond just feeling insecure or in competition with porn stars, although those kinds of feelings can certainly destroy a woman’s interest in sex.

        • Also, I want to add that if women understood the male point of view better, maybe porn would be less threatening. A lot of guys have posted comments to the effect that being aroused by the image of hot young porn stars has absolutely nothing to do with how they feel sexually about their less-than-porn-star-perfect wives or girlfriends. But don’t you compare? Doesn’t your wife/girlfriend seem less desirable, less sexy or less appealing compared to what you see in porn? How can watching porn NOT have an impact on how you feel about her? This is something that is hard for women to understand, maybe because we have been taught to believe that men will always chase after the most attractive woman available.

          • The Wet One says:

            Yeah, but we compare when we’re in the gym, at the store, at the mall, at work, at school, etc. What’s the difference with porn? Especially when you KNOW IT’S FANTASY.

            Also, men will not always chase after the most “attractive woman available.” That doesn’t make sense and smart men know this (see the movie “A Beautiful Mind” for a fine example of this, or the song which gets down to the essence of it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qh9ZZgDqzAg ). A better wife is one who you think is beautiful (or is your idea of your teenage wet dream like my honey is WOO HAA!!!) and who you can live with. I suspect there’s a reason that some very beautiful women are divorced multiple times (Christie Brinkley immediately comes to mind). And of course, there’s the old standby wisdom, popularized by I don’t know who, that goes “Show me a beautiful woman, I’ll show you a man who’s tired of fucking her.”

            I guess what I’m saying is that what seems to be women’s innate desire to be the center of erotic attention is one that will necessarily be foiled. Life ain’t fair that way. It’s what the play Medea was written about (at least in part) more than 2,000 years ago. In case you don’t know, Medea’s husband Jason (of the Argonauts) leaves here for a younger woman after bearing Jason several children and going through thick and thin with him. Needless to say, the shit hits the fan in a most collosal fashion. Some women respond to porn the way Medea did to infidelity.

            Basically what I’m saying Jill is that no, men worth having (not all men are so wise, but men worth having do) do not always go for the most attractive woman. There’s a lot more to be had from a woman than just her beauty. A whole lot more.

            • For goodness sake, we all know porn is fantasy. Stop acting like that should be reason enough alone to shut women up about their feelings when it doesn’t even stop you from behing turned on by the fantasy.

              Further, Christie Brinkely was cheated on by her husband and their freaking nanny. Are you really blaming her for that?

              I love your atttitude toward women’s needs “oh well life isn’t fair”, While you get to walk along taking all the pleasure in the world you want from whatever woman. Funny that. Also funny how you preach about how women’s sexuality is reduced to terms of their supposed “narrissicm” but you as a man can carry on objectfying women for the most shallow of reasons.

              I am also sick and tired of men talking about how they understand how much more there is to women then their looks but then turn around and use whatever source they can to use women for just their looks. If you want women to understand that you as a man like her for more then your looks, then you should be willing to forgo yourself some of your own pleasure to stop and objectfying women for their looks. Because it’s completely hypocritical to preach about how women shouldn’t worry about the way they look while men even in reltaionships, exploit women for them.

              If you want women to see that men see more in them then their looks, then your actions need to consistantly reflect that. Not just reflect it by asking women to understand and be the strong ones because life is unfair while you get to indulge yourself silly in all the availble women you can visually.

            • FFS, Erin! So if men indulge in being turned on by women’s looks at all via pornography, they’re reducing women to appearance at all time in all situations? And that to be morally consistent, they must work to purge “objectifying” fantasies about “hot” women from their mental inventory?

              Well, Erin, thank you for once again proving just how extreme the agenda of so many anti-porn types really is. It is clear arguments about porn are never really just about porn, but about larger agendas around sexuality. And one doesn’t have to look far to find just how repressed and repressive that agenda is.

          • Jill,

            No, I honestly don’t compare. I’ve never watched porn and thought “Man I wish my wife looked like that.” Mostly because not a lot of the women in porn are super-hot. If we’re being honest, I prefer “real” women in porn. I detest the huge fake boobs to the point I’ll sometimes turn it off if they’re just so ridiculous they don’t even move. My wife and I laugh at them when we watch together.

            So, if anything, I appreciate my wife MORE after watching porn because the actresses (and all women) pale in comparison to how I feel about my wife.

          • While I’m not married (meaning the porn star/wife comparison doesn’t apply) I am a guy that watches porn (meaning the porn star/real woman comparison does apply).

            I can safely tell you that in my experience while I do watch porn the majority of my sexual thoughts are about actual everyday women

            (As I said above I’m not married nor in a relationship so my responses here are from the angle of comparing women in porn to regular everyday women.)
            Jill:
            But don’t you compare?
            To a small extent yes. But again I say small extent no more than comparing this woman or that woman or this porn star or that porn star. Its not as if I’m lifting that porn star up on some pedastal (although there are guys that do that).

            Doesn’t your wife/girlfriend seem less desirable, less sexy or less appealing compared to what you see in porn?
            At best you could argue that I find one more appealing than the other at that moment. Thinking a porn woman attractive is not the same as thinking that porn women are more attractive that regular women.

            How can watching porn NOT have an impact on how you feel about her?
            As I’ve said above its a matter of different women not trying lift porn women on a pedastal. It would be to the effect of a married couple in which the wife joins a reading club with several men, while the husband has little interest in reading. Over time that wife begins spending a lot of time with one guy from the club. Does this mean that she’s taking a shine to that guy or is this a chance to share something that she isn’t sharing with her husband? Does this mean that the husband is correct in feeling hurt by this? (And mind you when I’ve seen situations like this a lot of real people, like in media portrayals play it out as the husband being insecure.)

            This is something that is hard for women to understand, maybe because we have been taught to believe that men will always chase after the most attractive woman available.
            And that is certainly unfair to said women/girls. “Attractive” is a pretty broad word that encompasses a lot more than physical looks. Its entirely possible to find a woman physically attractive but not think she’s overall attractive.

            • There have been studies done that say men are much more critical of their own partners after viewing porn. Both in performance and their bodies. And frankly, I tend to believe that. I think men are comparing. I think they just expect women to not care despite the comparisons are being made. And I think they think if they say porn is “fantasy” enough, that women will not have any more reaction to it despite the reactions it draws from men. Men want women to know they like them for more then their bodies but they don’t want to be consistant in their actions actually proving that. You can’t just preach. YOu need to actualy practice what you preach. And it’s full hardy to not think that looking at porn since your young teens doens’t shape your expectations a bit. Oh yes, men are certainly comparing. But porn isn’t going anywhere. That’s what is more important to anything else. Porn. Not real women. Not real girlfriends. not real wives. It’s all about the porn now. And each time men fight for that, I’m reminded about it and saddened. But that is the world we live in. A lot of men don’t stand up and fight for real women, they stand up and fight for their porn.

        • The Wet One says:

          Thanks for that Jill.

          As for the porn of which you speak, that’s not the stuff I watch (in fact I hate it).

          I’m a fan of Peter North and that’s about all I watch. Yes, I am a fan of guy. Check his stuff out. Not much of it is particularly “degrading” unless you find facials degrading (which I don’t see why it has to be, but whatever…).

          Max Hardcore is a douchebag and not what I find interesting at all.

          Older porn was much better than today’s garbage. However, the same arguments were advanced then as now. I still don’t buy those arguments.

  13. “Men know that repeated exposure to these unrealistic fantasies can make sexual relations with their partner boring, the educated know that repeated exposure to anything really, but particularly here regarding porn, can, as Hugo said, “perhaps… rewire the brain.”

    And why it is that anyone would willingly subject something as precious as their life partnership to that risk??
    I stay away from porn because of how unfair it would be to my partnership.
    Let’s say I surf online and find, for example, hot young Brazilian guys, most of whom will be in their early 20′s, hung like donkeys, spending their days between the gym, tanning booth and waxing salon.
    I know it wouldn’t be even remotely fair to my partner, who is 50, blonde and blue-eyed, watching his hairline slowly recede, getting a few wrinkles, and unhappy with some belly fat. Would it be a sensitive action for me to be masturbating to those other buff, young men’s videos which will show every good feature to best advantage, in best lighting, airbrushed, surgically enhanced, etc.?
    Do I need science to tell me my partner is going to come up short because the human mind cannot help but constantly weigh and compare our experiences as a method of sorting all the stimuli that enters it in any given day? Um… That’s a big fat DUH to me….. I don’t need science to tell me that my fantasy life isn’t watertight from my “real” sexual life with my lover.
    I don’t get to zip that compartment “filled-with-hot-guy-fantasies” shut, the way one zips up one’s pants after a release.
    Yes, porn is the easy way to a hollow “release”. The more difficult path, but the one with ultimately higher rewards for me and my partnership is to commit to a sexual life without supra-stimulation.
    One of the rewards is that my lover gets to be just HIMSELF, ‘warts and all’. He doesn’t get to be himself, only compared to all the “hot” beefcakes out there I am salaciously filling my head with and then reinforcing that with a big orgasm after he goes to bed.
    That’s worth something to my Lover, and he’s sensitive enough to acknowledge that gift. He enjoys being the star of my “show” and I enjoy being the star of his. Aging is something we can approach gently, not as an enemy, a nightmare; we are not putting ourselves at odds with every new gray hair or wrinkle that sprouts up, because we know the other’s getting off to some “hot” 18-year old online who’s being paid to enact a “script” of some industry-sanctioned ‘hot act’….. and then directed by some cretin with a camera. I think my Lover deserves way better than that, and so do I. And so does our love life. Thank you, Cameron. Great courage to write this piece. Glad you came out to write it.

    • Lili Bee, I congratulate your on your restraint w/r/t porn. Do you just as urgently avoid romance novels, movies, magazines, sex toys and similar other material that would have a similar effect of romantic arousal by someone or something other than your partner.

      • How did porn start equaling every stereotypical female media alive? Men have plenty of mainstream media that caters to their whims and desire. Men have mainstream movies. Men have mainstream magazines.

        Romance novels to women is as video games is to men. Both have strong sexual themes sometimes. Both are enjoyed by one gender over the other. Neither are usually something most people are masturbating to.
        Magazines to women is as magazines to men are. Hello Cosmo and Maxim.
        Female centric movies are to women as male centric movies are to men. Hello Bridesmaids and Transformers.
        Dildos are to women as fake female vaginas are to men. Sex toys to sex toys seems like a more fair comparison right?

        • “Romance novels to women is as video games is to men.”

          Men don’t sit back and masturbate while playing a video game, but women do while reading steamy romance novels, fantasizing about the scenario in the book.

          “Dildos are to women as fake female vaginas are to men.”

          Just as men consume porn far more than women, women use sex toys (dildos, vibrators, both) far more than men as a sexual outlet. Sex toys do for women what porn does for men, provides a sexual outlet other than one’s partner. It’s the very same thing.

          • Eric – Women sit back and masturbate while reading a romance novel? I am not fully convinced on that. We should do some kind of poll. I use to read romance novels when I was younger but the older I got, the less interesting they got. But I never masturbated to them. And I know many other women that don’t either. So that’s why I tend to think video games to romance novels is a more fair comparison.

            Further, you can’t go wrong with comparing sex toys to sex toys right? There are sex toys that could provide men with a sexual outlet. Comparing a toy to media that shows men and women relating to each other sexually are two different things.

            • Erin,

              The only reason I every read romance novels is for the masturbatory materials. I don’t even read them to the end. I stop reading once the main characters have had sex twice. After that, what’s the point? All the best sex in the story is finished.

              Comparing what men use versus what women use to masturbate demonstrates a fundamental ignorance of human sexuality.

            • “Comparing what men use versus what women use to masturbate demonstrates a fundamental ignorance of human sexuality.”

              You have demonstrated that what I said is 100% accurate. Men and women use these things as a shortcut to sexual satisfaction or as you put it, “masturbatory materials.” To deny that “demonstrates a fundamental ignorance of human sexuality.”

      • Hi Eric- Thanks for the question….I have to correct one erroneous adjective you used to describe my abstinence from porn, and that’s your use of the word “urgent” when you asked, ‘Do you just as urgently avoid romance novels, etc…”

        There is zero urgency in my approach to my sexuality and lover. Why would there be? It’s all about my keeping my eye on the prize, in this case, what I consider a mutually respectful, loving, honoring sexuality.
        Similarly, I have a goal to be in peak physical shape. Do I go to the gym with urgency in my quest for a strong and toned body? No. There are days I might not really feel up for the workout, but in my keeping my eye on the prize, I go anyway, always the better for it after I fulfill my commitment to myself.
        That’s not a perfect comparison, because no one else has to suffer a blow to their self-esteem or has to question my affection and loyalty, if I don’t go to the gym. In my cosmology, that’s not the case with having a lover I respect and adore. As Jill and Erin have pointed out, it’s not just about us, it’s about the other person, too.

        I hope that answer makes sense.

        • Lili Bee, thanks for your comment and clarification. Let’s substitute the word “urgent” with “conscientiously.” I hope that is a better fit. So, now, would you mind answering the question?

          Do you just as conscientiously avoid romance novels, sex toys, etc. that c/would have the effect of romantic arousal by someone or something other than your partner?

    • Lili Bee,

      This is the most raw, practical response yet. You boiled this entire discussion into how it all translates into the actual human world.

      “I don’t get to zip that compartment ‘filled-with-hot-guy-fantasies’ shut, the way one zips up one’s pants after a release.” So true. Unfortunately, people think they are superheroes and that things they take into their mind and body are completely eliminated seconds later…not part of them at all.

      It’s beyond my comprehension why someone would read your post, then hover the cursor over the thumbs down and press it. It makes me wonder just how bad society’s uber-acceptance and lack of questioning of this issue has corrupted us. It makes me wonder what some of the other beliefs are about racism, the economy, the environment, etc. Reminds me of the lyrics from the song “Propaganda” by Dead Prez:

      You can’t fool all the people all of the time
      But if you fool the right ones, then the rest will fall behind.

      ~Cameron

    • I’ve seen in several posts now the idea that one’s partner will feel bad if you watch porn that shows people who are physically more attractive than your partner. I’m starting to see a good general rule shaping up here:

      Rule 1: Only watch porn that shows people who look far worse than your current partner does.

  14. To all –

    First, I don’t see why masturbation *should* be some long, drawn-out process where we spend 3-4x the amount of time fantasizing that we could do with porn. A visual image can help to focus the mind much more easily…and create a sexual vibe that just standing by myself in the shower flat-out does not. Sure, sometimes the long experience is better but sometimes it’s nice to meet your needs and move on. I love gourmet dinners with people I care about, but that doesn’t mean that I want to spend 2-3 hours every single night eating foie gras and filet mignon while discussing existentialism. Sometimes just grabbing a burrito and eating it in front of the TV is what I want.

    I agree that if porn use entails neglecting one’s partner, it’s wrong. But I reject the idea that being reluctant to give up porn for weeks (particularly if one is unpartnered) means one has a “problem.” If you asked me to commit to cooking all my meals at home for weeks I probably would not do that, either. I’m not “addicted” to Chipotle; it’s just good and sometimes makes life easier. Because, like most of us, I have other shit going on…and masturbation (to me) is just a pathetic way to regularly invest large amounts of time. Why waste time trying to make masturbation poetic when I could read or write actual poetry?

    Additionally, I’d add that for those of us who are unpartnered and would prefer simply not to bang our way across every bar we enter — because we try to treat actual people ethically, and our own bodies with some respect — have relatively few outlets. I’m getting out of the military and preparing to enter grad school soon. I’m studying for numerous tests, writing papers, reading, etc. I don’t have the time or the inclination (or the money) to start hunting for a girlfriend just so I don’t have to be a “wimp” and use porn to get off. In fact, I’d say that the men I know who maintain girlfriends for steady pussy (or because they’re lonely) are usually the worst to women. Serial monogamy and perpetual terror of being alone is at least as wimpy to me as spending five minutes a night masturbating to some woman’s dubious orgasm.

    I, personally, find most of the degrading language in porn to be off-putting. I say that as a sexually dominant man who actually likes women and doesn’t find it “slutty” that women enjoy sex as well. Look at RT or any of the other big free sites, and you’ll read video titles like “Bitch gets slutted.” WTF does that even mean? It’s just bizarre. I don’t deny that images I see in porn can affect what it occurs to me to try in bed, occasionally, but I understand the difference between fantasy and reality. And, frankly, I learned my way around a vagina better from a few minutes of porn than I ever did in my first few sexual experiences (or even reading how-tos, or even asking sexual partners to show me).

    How can women think that the women in porn are “perfect”? Are we seeing completely different videos? I’ve seen nearly every body type, ethnicity, breast size, cellulite level, grooming standard, etc., represented in porn. And even the “checklist-perfect” women who have large breasts, a small waist, and blond hair (or whatever makes women feel insecure) are rarely highly attractive. I agree that a 15yo being regularly exposed to this could be damaged, but a grown man whose ever had sex with an actual woman won’t unless he’s an addict (in which case he’s internally broken).

    • I don’t think women in porn are perfect. I do recongnize that there are many body types in porn when it comes to the smaller sectors of porn. However, the most popular kind of stuff, the stuff that shows up the most, is usually about a very limiting age and body type of women. I really dislike this idea of trying to portray porn as some equal oppurtunity of respect for women.

      You also said that you agree that a 15 year old being regularly exposed could be damanged, but that a grown man whose ever had sex with an actual woman won’t unless he’s an addict. What age do you think men start looking at porn? Statistically they start around age of 11. And the boys today aren’t looking at just their fathers’ (thanks for looking at hot 18 year olds while mom cooked your meals dad) Playboy. These young boys grow up into adult men that already had some portion of their sexuality and ideals shaped by porn. As for the topic of grown men and addiction, do you think men are looking at more porn today or less? Am I saying most men are addicts? I can’t answer that. But men are certainly looking at more porn today then ever before.

  15. Anonymous Male says:

    I think the author is onto something, if a little indirectly. Although I don’t think laziness or wimpiness is the issue, I kind of see where he’s going. He can correct me if I’m wrong in my interpretation.

    It’s a little sad that for some people the pace of modern life has made masturbation into something that is perfunctory, over as soon as possible, and squeezed (sorry) into a busy schedule in front of a computer that consumes most of your other time as well. I don’t think rubbing one out quickly is bad in itself, but there’s more to life, and more to masturbation, than that one particular variation by itself. I think masturbating as furiously as possible to get it over with as soon as possible because you’re in a hurry is kind of sad, if that’s what pleasuring yourself has become reduced to.

    I wonder if this is where shame still plays a role. Perhaps many men feel the need to get it over with, or only see it as a forgettable biological function, because there’s still stigma about enjoying it. After all, touching yourself is right pervy, so best not do it too long because people might think you like it. Fear of getting caught or interrupted no doubt plays a role, ingrained as an instinct from puberty for many of us.

    Sure, sometimes a person just wants a little release or a little rush or a little break in the tedium. Sometimes a quickie hits the spot. I think what the author is getting at is that it’s good to have more than just quickies. Take your time, set some time aside, try some variety, loosen up on the speedy deathgrip before you hurt yourself. There is more than one kind of fun.

    Again, I don’t think this about being lazy or cowardly, exactly. Maybe he’s suggesting that instead of being in a hurry and looking for shortcuts, take your time and do it right. Masturbating quickly in a minute of porn viewing, racing to the finish, is like getting your food from a microwave. Nothing wrong with it, really, but you shouldn’t get all your food that way. Put in a little effort, make some time once in a while, to eat something home cooked from scratch with fresh ingredients.

    I can see here a sort of appeal to a rugged, manly self-sufficiency. There’s something primordial about using just your imagination and no technology at all, sort of standing on your own two feet, as it were.

    • I just think it’s strange to romanticize masturbation. It’s like romanticizing showering or defecating or brushing your teeth. I have no guilt issues with masturbation but it’s not an emotional experience for me.

      • So you are recommending taking time with masturbation. Given some of the commentary on this and other threads, I’m getting the impression that if men started to run a bath, light some candles, play some romantic music – all towards taking time to masturbate properly, that we would be in a worse conundrum of opinion than we are now.

        Darling – you’ve been in there for two hours. Do you want to borrow my Marie Claire? – we’re going to be late for dinner!

        • Anonymous Male says:

          In response to both Rick and elissa:

          It was wrong of me to suggest that all men masturbate for the same reasons or see the activity the same way. Some men do see it as a kind of necessary hygiene, and they have every right to do so. My own view is that masturbation is a kind of individual sexual activity, and I tend to think of it in terms of something that is supposed to feel good. Feeling good is a major reason for doing it, not just as some sort of safety-valve milking.

          As with many forms of sexual activity, a little variety and a little novelty and a little less hurrying to the finish often helps to make it feel even better. To my mind, saying that I’m romanticizing masturbation is like saying I’m romanticizing sex. I admit that I am. One could also see sex with one’s partner as a totally perfunctory, functional, regular ritual without any real sensuality. (See John Cleese as a sex ed teacher in _The Meaning of Life_, for example.) I find that sad, but others may not.

          (I’ve never found brushing my teeth to be very pleasurable, but I would say once in a while the defecation experience can be transcendent. Perhaps I am too easily amused.)

          Really, though, why NOT run a bath and light some candles if that makes the experience feel better? If your relationship or your home environment or your schedule prevents you from having a pleasant masturbation experience, then maybe those things need to adapt to you instead of only you adapting to them. (I would find Glamour more stimulating than Marie Claire, but that’s just me.) And, really, would it be so horrible if you missed a dinner party once in a while because you set aside some time for yourself?

          If modern manliness means treating masturbation like it’s some sort of household chore, then I’d rather take the risk of being thought of as less than manly. You could try candles scented with sawdust, grass clippings, and old leather, if that makes the scene more masculine.

      • Perhaps romantizing is the wrong word all around. Porn isn’t about romance and it’s clearly not creating lovey dovey feelings. But to say that porn creates no feelings in men but to act as a function of a bodily release seems a bit naive. I use to work in advertising. Advertising works because of it’s hidden ability to generate good feelings without the viewer even realizing it. I think porn acts much the same way. It’s generating some very strong masculine feelings in men for men to even be able to respond to it the way they do. These feelings aren’t full of unicorns and cupcakes but these feelings are certainly important and sometimes are at the heart of a man.

  16. Y’now I can understand the responses mentioning that women feel unloved etc when there partner looks at porn vice them but really in 2011 is that really an excuse?

    I say to women, if you want genuine equality in this world then it time to get off your rear ends and compete with the porn stars that you seem so afraid of. If women want a genuine challenge why not take on the female role in porn and out compete it so that men realise that their woman isn’t someone to just drop their bundle and have a cry.
    The days of just sticking your head in the sand have got to cease.
    This is the way forward in my humble opinion. Men get to live a life proud of their sex drive instead of hiding it away as will a woman standing shoulder to shoulder bringing 50% of passion, spontaneity and romance to a relationship.

    That is real equality and that is what we as a race of two separate genders need to work towards. It is high time we took a step forward vice the constant bickering which has got us nowhere and never will.

    Clyde

  17. A little bit of Skittles porn – please guys, no wanking to it

    http://www.worldstarhiphop.com/videos/video.php?v=wshhX7eK9VzbDs1IxJ62

  18. One thing I don’t see being addressed is why men can’t depend on women for sexual release. When I’m not in the mood for sex, and my fiance is, it takes almost zero energy from me to get him off. He doesn’t like doing it himself. Perhaps he’s one of the rare men that constantly wants emotional intimacy tied with sexual release, even if I’m not in the mood. It’s like, “Oh, my wife doesn’t want sex. Let me go to porn,” instead of, “Well, maybe she won’t mind getting me off. It doesn’t take much from her to do so, I can still get a quick release, but it’s my wife doing it to me, so it’s better than porn.” I can even get him off when I’m dead tired. That’s how my fiance and I meet halfway when I’m not in the mood. And if he’s not in the mood, I know how to shut myself down quickly. I enjoy sex, but it isn’t that big of a deal to me. But I can promise you if she’s not in the mood, there’s no shame in asking for a handy from her. Unless she’s horribly out of shape, it won’t take that much energy, even when she’s half asleep.

    • The Wet One says:

      Ummm…. 30 odd years of training is kinda hard to undo. Males masturbate while they are in the womb (girls do to I imagine). Imagine asking your female classmates in grade 1 (or grade 9 for that matter) to get you off? See the problem?

      Should we not be at least somewhat autonomous sexual beings or, as you are implicitly suggesting, should we be completely enslaved to your willingness to get us off? I think that everyone needs a bit of sexual autonomy.

      Also, what if she doesn’t do it right?

      Again, I come back to my point made above. To understand women’s aversion to porn, I think it’s important to understand that women’s desire is dominated “by the wish to be the object of erotic admiration and sexual need.” Porn breaks that down. I think I hear echoes of this in your suggestion that even when the wife’s dirt tired and half asleep that she beat the man off rather than him discretely rubbing one out (with or without porn). That keeps her at the cenre of the man’s erotic desire.

    • Amber:
      When I’m not in the mood for sex, and my fiance is, it takes almost zero energy from me to get him off.
      From my perspective if I’m in the mood for sex and she’s not yes it would take no effort on her part to get me off but it would probably affect me too because at that point I know she’s just lying there waiting for me to finish. Not that pleasurable to me.

      But I can promise you if she’s not in the mood, there’s no shame in asking for a handy from her.
      That mixes with the thought that asking for a handy from a partner that’s really not in the mood is bordering on coercion.

      Sounds like you and your guy are able to function in that manner and more power to you. But honestly I think you are a rare woman that would really have no problem just laying there so he can get a quick get off.

  19. Ugh…ya know folks, there’s a LOT of bad, unimaginative porn out there. There’s also some good, sex-positive feminist porn out there that features women with real bodies and real orgasms who still do all sorts of kinky things. I do agree with Cameron, porn is often used by both men and women as a crutch that allows them to avoid real intimacy and vulnerability with real partners.
    At the same time, it would be nice to see women take some responsibility for their insecurities. Yes, women’s bodies age. No, we’re not all supermodels. However, we can be sexually attractive to men regardless of our imperfect bodies if we have confidence in ourselves, our inherent loveablility, and our sexuality. It is NOT the job of our male partner’s to make us feel confident or good about ourselves. A man pretending he cannot even see or desire another woman is unrealistic. I wouldn’t trust a man who tried to play that game with me. I don’t believe women actually work that way either. I certainly don’t.
    I enjoy porn with my male lovers or by myself. Usually I choose erotic photography or short stories. I like porn that pushes my edges of what is acceptable because it forces me to look at what turns me on and why. It also gives me the inspiration and courage to try new things. For me, life and sex is about pleasure. The more I open myself to new ways of experiencing pleasure, the richer my life is. Yes, you can call me a hedonist.
    I guess that’s what bothers me most about DaddyFiles’ initial response to this article by Cameron is his description of his life. It doesn’t sound like his life is characterized by pleasure. Instead, it is characterized by work, chores, stress, etc. Everybody gets to choose his/her own life but I do feel sad when I read that. I also wonder if he’s running from something with all his busy-ness.
    Similarly, I feel sad when I read what Erin writes over and over and over again in her comments. She appears closed off and shut down to me. She imagines that the only reason why women who engage in sex work do the things they do is because they’re getting paid to do so. She’s not even open to the possibility that some women are capable of enjoying a version of sexuality that is different from her own. As far as I can tell, her sexuality can only flow when certain conditions and rules are met. She’s looking to others for sexual validation. That’s okay but it doesn’t seem like a very powerful way to live…and it certainly cuts her off from pleasure. But, ya know, just like DaddyFiles she gets to choose her own life.
    Whatever…

    • jesuscrunk says:

      You’re right Jeni, there is “some” feminist porn out there but it is very much in the minority, and I think it’s pretty safe to say that most porn users (men) aren’t looking for it or using it.
      Yes, we can be confident and self loving, but suggesting that it’s unreasonable to draw positive feelings and confidence from a partner is well, unreasonable. That’s a large part of a healthy reciprocal relationship. No one here has suggested that they expect their partners to not see, or even not be attracted to others. That’s human nature. It’s great that you have found erotica that you can enjoy with your sexual partners. Calling someone else closed off, shut down, and sad because they don’t do things the way that you do? not so great.

      • I have to disagree.
        I found Jeni’s comment refreshing and her different approach positive.
        Not everything must come.to peoples lives on silver platters. Sometimes one hato do some work on him/herself instead of just throwing the blame towards the other end of the field.

      • jesuscrunk,
        Both you and Cameron make the very valid points that most porn users are not watching feminist porn. That is likely true. I don’t argue with you there. I’m just tired of generalizing about it.
        I guess I come at relationships from a different perspective since I don’t really engage in monogamous ones. Yes, you can draw positive feelings and a certain amount of emotional support from a partner but to expect that partner to only one to validate your sexual attractiveness and self-worth is a tad excessive and co-dependent. When your partner goes off to spend the night with his other lover, it does not mean you’re no longer sexy or attractive to him. It means he also finds someone else attractive and worthwhile. For me, this applies to porn as well. If my partner looks at porn and wanks off it has nothing to do with me. He’s doing what he wants to do with his time, his energy, and his body. What I do expect is that when he is with me, sexually or not, that he be fully present.
        I didn’t say that either DaddyFiles or Erin were sad because they made the choices they made. I said reading their comments have made me feel sad. They may be happy as clams with the choices they’ve made. If so, good for them…doesn’t really seem like it though.
        And yes, I think Erin is closed off and shut down. If it’s any consolation, I think DaddyFiles is too…and so are a lot of the people commenting on this issue. My observation that Erin is closed off and shut down may be incorrect but nothing I have seen in the past few weeks of reading her opinions on the topic of porn indicates that she is open to much when it comes to sex. Over and over again she has claimed that what happens in porn is not enjoyable to women. I guess I find that a difficult stance to accept because I know women who do find it enjoyable…maybe not played out precisely as seen in porn films but definitely similar.
        Here’s the honest-to-goodness truth of the matter: male or female, an individual can make sex a blissful, loving, enjoyable, and even spiritual experience regardless of the type of sex or who it is being done with. THAT is openness. THAT is freedom…at least, in my opinion.
        You or Erin don’t have to view porn with your partners if you don’t want to. That’s not what makes Erin closed off or shut down. What makes her shut down is that she can only be turned on if her partner makes her feel a certain way by doing certain things. Sex with her has to remain with a set of restricted behaviors. Maybe only feeling like you can be sexual when your partner has done X, Y, and Z first and then when it is done a certain way is your definition of openness but it sounds awfully conditional to me. I could be wrong though.

        • Jeni, I think what younger saying works for some people who have a lot of options, but try being a woman who has had a couple babies, or is in her 40′s or 50′s while your husband goes off to spend the night with a younger or perkier woman he finds “attractive and worthwhile,” and wait to see if he ever comes back…. :-)

          • Jill,

            I’m 37, have had two kids, and am, by all accounts, flat-chested. Believe me, I know I don’t look like I did at 20, 25, or even 32. Yes, sometimes I feel insecure about it…but the people I am in relationship with value me for more than my physical appearance.
            Also, younger women often look great but they can be high maintenance, don’t know who they are, and aren’t very good in bed. Aging is not easy for anyone but it does have certain perks.
            Lastly, if your marriage is in such a state that the only thing keeping it together are rules and a commitment to them, then your relationship is in a very sad state. If that’s the case, then according to Sternberg’s Triangular Theory of Love, what you’ve got is Empty Love…maybe you should work on your relationship rather than blaming things going on outside of it.

        • Seems to me Jeni, that what is the topic here is the general sense and feeling of respect within a relationship. That is determinable by, and only by, the ones who are in the relationship. However that relationship looks to be from others on the outside is never accurate. Or is even shared between partners within the relationship! Perspective creates the relational experience and each is unique. You seem to have a very open perspective and a almost disassociated sense of how you bond with your partner(s). Few people seem to be able to maintain, or want that. I also feel curious what would create such a perspective with you, but I’m not asking, I just like to ponder the mysteries of the human psyche. Be well.

          • Kenny,

            How I got to this point is a long story. My philosophy on bonding with my partners is fairly common amongst the polyamorous. I recommend reading The Ethical Slut and even googling Polyamory to find out more.
            You’re right, I could be wrong about both DaddyFiles and Erin. All I have to go on is a few weeks of reading their posts. This is what I have taken away from that. If my impression is wrong, then it is wrong.

        • jesuscrunk says:

          Yes, absolutely, sex is and can be a blissful loving experience. And everyone arrives there in their own way, just as you said. However, labeling Erin’s or anyone else’s opinions as “shut down” simply because they differ from yours pretty much invalidates your argument. Congratulating yourself for having an open relationship and enjoying mainstream porn comes of more as self-satisfied and smug than open minded. Especially after referencing a condition in your own relationships, and then disparaging Erin for doing the same thing. You said it yourself. Everyone gets to choose their own life. Please stop suggesting that you are somehow happier than the rest of us.

          • LOL
            I’m not labeling her opinions as “shut down”. I’m labeling her sex life as “shut down”.
            I think I am happier than many of you…at least when it comes to sex. I certainly have much less to complain about.
            As far as open-minded is concerned, well, I did monogamy for a number of years. I’ve also done being sexually “shut down”. I was anorgasmic for many years. I’ve been there so I do think I can make comparisons.
            Open relationships are not for everyone. I don’t claim they are. But I do think that approaching monogamy from a conscious and self-responsible attitude would help eliminate a lot of suffering here.
            I guess I am just surprised that people are upset because I disparaged Erin but not because I disparaged DaddyFiles. I have to wonder why. Is it because he’s a man and she’s a woman? Is it because what I found sad about his life is too common to be mentioned? Is it because I have touched an actual sore point here? Maybe it’s something that a lot of women don’t want to deal with and would prefer to have stay in the shadows? I don’t know.

          • Jesuscrunk – Jeni is being “self-satisfied and smug”? I think this is simply you lashing out at your own projections toward sex-positive types than anything, because I don’t see “self-satisfied and smug” in anything Jeni has written. If there’s an unwillingness to look outside of one’s narrow framework anywhere here, that would be in Erin’s long rants.

        • I think what Jeni is suggesting is that some of the problems with porn in a relationship are deep down problems with monogamy in a relationship. What I mean is that for some partners porn feels like cheating, something that triggers jealousy. Viewing it is like being non-monogamous in your mind or imagination somehow. Maybe it is, but in that case maybe there’s a problem with the way that people think of monogamy. Maybe the expectations of monogamy in that relationship or with that person are not healthy or realistic.

          I think it’s unrealistic, could be even a little sick and controlling, to expect your partner will never fantasize about anyone else, will not notice anyone else’s body, will only be attracted to you. A lot of men here have been saying that attractiveness is not necessarily finite. Just because he finds someone else attractive does not mean he will find you less attractive. Same with love. If he loves someone else, it does not automatically mean he loves you less.

          I question why romantic love and/or sexuality has to be absolutely exclusive, which is unlike all other forms of love. No one thinks your heart will be spread too thin if you have multiple friends or multiple children. You can have multiple teachers, bosses, employees, doctors, and coworkers in your life, so why not lovers?

          Is it really so awful if your partner has imaginary lovers?

          I wonder if there is any part of anyone out there who likes the fact that her porn-viewing partner has found something that he enjoys.

          [One of many possible caveats here: it could be that monogamous denial-of-pleasure is your particular kink, and the no-porn spouse is the role that you like to play as part of your ongoing role play because it makes the sex more exciting. Go for it, I say. For many people, absolute monogamy is their kink, and I say more power to them.]

          • I think jealousy is usually rooted in a fear that if the person you care about has divided their attention, you will not get your own needs met. The main reason that people get into relationships is because they have needs. Needs for companionship, needs for emotional support, needs for sexual release, needs for general help in life and all the rest of it. At some level, people fear being alone, being abandoned, and being rejected.

            Polyamory, I would argue, is one strategy for dealing with fears of abandonment simply by spreading your needs around among several different people. Monogamy is another strategy, which takes the opposite approach, by trying to ensure that your partner keeps his/her attention undivided.

            Not everyone has the ability to attract a lot of partners. As a middle aged woman who is not really in the cougar category, it doesn’t really seem like a feasible option. If I were 25, or even 35, I’m sure it would be a different story. So at this point I’d rather stick with monogamy and work on the relationship with my partner to keep things fresh and exciting.

            • You’re right. Jealousy is rooted in fear.
              There’s nothing wrong with being monogamous if that’s what you choose for yourself. If one of the rules of your monogamous relationship is that porn is cheating, then neither of you should view porn.
              I just don’t want to be told that I am bad for viewing porn or that someone else is bad for viewing porn or that porn cannot fit within the context of other people’s relationships or even that all porn is bad.

            • Gosh Jeni..you’re kind of like my little stalker aren’t you. I kind of like it. Truly, I am flattered …..but…if you are going to use me as an example in your postings, at least get what I’ve said right. I’m going to have to ask you that any future comments you make on this subject, that when you’re discussing this subject with other people, you’ll leave me kindly out your commentary because you can’t get a handle on what I’ve actually said. You’ve projected an idea of me that has nothing to do with anything I’ve ever said…over and over and over again.(I love that little bit of childish mocking you got in there.)
              Now you’re just forcing me to point out your flawed comments toward me. I have NEVER said that the only reason a woman engages in sex work is because they are paid to do it. However, to ignore the fact that these women are paid to provide the fantasy would be fool hardy. Infact, I’ve actually said that there are many reasons why a woman engages in sex work. And I’ve given those reasons in the past. I’m not going to restate them here because it’s really just a silly discussion to have in this post.

              I will say this because your rather confused on it. My point has always been that porn is fantasy. The actors in a porn movie are paid to project a certain image about sex and the situations that is going on in the movie that is to show the fantasy of the situation, not the reality. For us to proclaim that every woman in porn looking like she is having a grand time actually is, seems to go against the idea that we recognize that porn is infact “fantasy”..a projection of an unreality. If you want porn to be defended on the idea of “fantasy”, you can’t all the sudden turn around and talk about how much fun the actresses are having in it and how “real” it actually is.

              I completely recognize that women are capable of enjoying a version of sexuality that is different from my own. I’ve infact said that some women enjoy porn. I’ve infact said that MORE women today enjoy porn. For someone who claims they know about what I’ve been saying, you are doing a good job of butchering it up.

              Further, you can personally attack what *you* have theorized in your head about what my sexuality is but it seems rather pointless. I was not the topic of this article. Lets be sincere enough to discuss the actual article instead of making thinly guised slights against other posters because we don’t like them or what we theorize their sexuality to be.

              Finally, I’m happy for you that you don’t seek sexual validation from others. That kind words said to you by your boyfriend and husband have no impact on you. That your boyfriend or husband telling you how sexy you are just makes you shrug your shoulders and tell him that his validation of you is completely insignificant. But I’m inclined to agree with Kenny here who said that few people seem to be able to maintain, or want to maintain, that kind of disassociated relationship with other people, especially romantic relationships. I am not ashamed that I do feel validated when complimented by a boyfriend or told I’m beautiful or sexy. Is it the be all and end all of my worth? Of course not. Does it mean I skip out on my responsibility to work on myself ? Nope. It just means that sexual connection to me isn’t about me being on an island by myself.

              You live your life anyway you feel gives you power. I have no issue with that. But usually people that feel strong and powerful in their own lives don’t attempt to cut others down. When you tell others that their sex live appear “shut down” and that you are “happier then many of you..”, that isn’t about true strength and aptitude or even happiness.

              Lastly, no one has said you are “bad” for viewing porn. Infact, it’s been said a dozen times that good people watch porn. It doesn’t mean we stop discussing the issues porn present. And clearly you recognize this enough to be on this topics as much as I am.

            • Erin,
              In the past you have said that the women who are involved in sex work were somehow abused or had something wrong with them. You have inferred that they are somehow victims and that normal, healthy women would not be involved in sex work.
              I have told you repeatedly that is often not at all the case. I have given you examples of well-known women in the sex industry who actually enjoy the work they do. I have also informed of the many friends I have who work in the sex industry who are pretty normal, healthy women. You choose to ignore this.
              Regarding this fantasy vs reality concept in porn, well, you’ve demonstrated that you haven’t the foggiest idea of how this stuff works. Yes, porn plays upon human fantasies. Depending on the actual porn film we’re talking about, the amount that is fantasy varies. People can have fantasies about having anonymous casual sex and watch a porn film that portrays that. It doesn’t mean that the porn actors in the film are actually strangers who have never had sex before. People can have fantasies about being tied up and flogged. They can watch a film about that. They can engage in that activity themselves and find it super arousing. The porn is often a way for them to explore that fantasy before actually doing it themselves. Some women really enjoy sex work for a variety of reasons. Some women actually enjoy the sexual activities they portray in the films. Yes, they are creating a product for an audience but that doesn’t mean they don’t enjoy doing it. Most of the time, porn scenes are negotiated before filming starts.
              My husband never told me I was sexy. He told me I was beautiful. I could understand why he thought so…and I was rather attractive in my late teens and through my twenties. Do I think he really saw me or valued me for who I was? No, and in part that was my fault because I wasn’t honest with him about who I was. My boyfriend will occasionally tell me I am beautiful. Depending on the context I will believe him or I won’t. If I think he’s talking just about my physical beauty, then I don’t and I do shrug it off. Why? Because I’m aware of my physical looks at this point in my life. I am attractive but not beautiful. If he tells me I look good in a particular outfit, I accept the compliment gladly. If my boyfriend tells me I’m sexy, I smile and tell him I know that. Sexiness is a very different thing than physical beauty. It’s true what they say about the largest sex organ in the body being the mind. I’ve got a very sexy mind. It is precisely why men want to be with me. Not my face. Not my body.
              My relationships with my lovers are not at all disassociated. My relationships with my lovers are deeply intimate. They involve the mutual sharing of fears and other dark truths about ourselves and finding we love each other anyways. We are very interdependent and connected. We understand that what connects us is not our physical appearance.
              I believe I have illustrated why I think you are shut down sexually. It’s because (as far as I can tell) you only allow sexual interactions to occur with a set of very rigid boundaries. I also said I could be wrong. Maybe I am.
              But yes, I think my sex life is happier than yours and that of many people. Why? Because it is something I am passionate about. Just like someone who is passionate about cooking probably enjoys cooking than someone who is indifferent about cooking or will only allow themselves to cook certain types of food because they have value judgments about the other kinds.
              *You* have shamed men over and over again in the past few weeks because they watch porn. In your opinion, nobody should watch porn because it is degrading to women. Am I not “bad” for watching porn because I am a woman? I am confused.
              What I dislike deeply about your posts are the following:
              1) Despite claiming to be a feminist, your anti-porn stance does not serve or protect the women who work in the industry.
              2) You consistently shame and belittle the men who admit to watching porn regardless of what porn they watch or how often. You tell them that if they are turned on by what they see in porn that they are misogynists. You shame them for their sexuality and their fantasies.
              I have been on the other side of that sweetie. I have held sobbing men in my arms after sex because of the shame they have felt about their sexuality and their desires. Shame they had put upon them because of women like you. They are so thankful because I embrace and rejoice in their desires. It breaks my heart to see such beautiful men feel ashamed and unlovable because they are human.
              Feel proud and pat yourself on the back if you want. Continue shaming men because their sexuality doesn’t mesh with yours. It just means there will be more and more heading my way.

            • Jeni –

              I understand that you don’t agree with my assessment that many of the women involved in the sex work industry come from abused backgrounds. Just like I don’t agree with your assessment that many of the women involved in the sex work industry are perfectly happy and healthy individuals who just really love sex. Especially considering the amount of problems in the industry with drugs and alcohol. I think the sex industry prays on people who are infact victims from their past. I think most men and women recognize that most healthy people don’t get into a line of work that is sex traded for money. Yes, you’ve given me examples of women in the industry that you described as pretty normal and healthy women. I do not dispute that there aren’t women like that in the industry. I just don’t think it’s the norm. In turn, I have also given you examples of women in the industry that have come from abused backgrounds. This isn’t a matter of either of us “choosing to ignore” what the other says. It’s a matter of us being on opposite sides of the fence and believing in what we both individually believe in.

              I understand the concept of fantasy just fine. It’s misleading for people to say it’s “fantasy” and then talk about how much the people in the movie are possibly really enjoying the actions they are portraying. No one can actually tell what the reality is behind that movie and if the people really are enjoying what’s going on or not. They are paid actors, there to portray a situation. And that’s all we can logically go on. I understand that people use porn to arouse themselves with things they wouldn’t do in their real lives. That does not change any of my previous comments about what the product of porn is. I do not dispute that some porn scenes are negotiated before filming starts. I also do not dispute that many young women get into porn and find themselves in situations they didn’t dream of because they get persuaded into doing something they didn’t really want to do. There is a foundation called Pink Cross. You should check it out. There are a lot of horrible stories out there.

              I’m glad you have deeply intimate relationships with your lovers but I never said that the sum of all relationships where looks. I however do not think there is anything wrong with a woman wanting to feel beautiful to her partner either.

              No, you haven’t illustrated why you think I’m shut down sexually. You’ve just made this completely erroneous statement based on absolutely nothing but have continued to ridiculously carry it on in conversation for no other reason then some pissing game you have in your had about our individual sexual practices. Once again, these topics are not about my sexuality or even yours. This isn’t some stupid comparison game about who is having wilder sex or who isn’t. You might be hanging from the chandelier in a g string and pasties for all I care. I don’t even think having more kinky sex means your necessarily even having better sex. Continue to make lame ass comments about what you think my sexuality is but you aren’t talking about the topic at hand. I don’t care if you think your sex life is happier either. The horrors I know, but it’s true. Infact, I don’t think anyone here really cares that you think your sex life is better or happier. No one is here to talk about your sex life even though you insist on going on about it trying to force us to believe how much better your sexuality is. We get it. you like sex. You’re passionate about it. Congratulations. If there are any other accolades I can give you, please let me know. Then maybe we can feed your need to self congratulate your sexuality and move onto the actual discussion.

              I have shamed no one for watching porn. I haven’t even said that no one should watch porn. Discussing behaviors you consider negative and the ramifications of those behaviors is not the same thing as “shaming” someone. I do not look down on men or women for viewing porn. I do not think I am better then them as a human being. I have however been honest in my assessment of how porn portrays women and the questions that leads me to. I have said more the several times now that men are not “bad” for watching porn. I’ve made this statement all over this board. Way before you and I had this conversation where I also informed you that I don’t consider you “bad” either. The only people that seem to be drawing such a black and white line of our goodness and badness are people that seem to enjoy porn. And just because I don’t think people are “bad” for enjoying porn, doesn’t mean I think porn is good to watch. There is a clear distinction and I think other people are able to see that even if you can’t.

              The things you deeply dislike about my posts are once again, things I never even said. Infact, in other posts, I have already made comment to the exact opposite. I never claimed to be a feminist and I actually did say that despite my thoughts on porn I do think there should be more laws to protect women in the sex industry. Puts a little cold water on your accusations doesn’t it? To know that despite my opinion on porn that I fully support regulations to protect sex workers.

              Once again, I could care less how many men are coming your way. You are in some imagined competition with me where you’ve gone from competing our sexualities (which you know nothing about mine) to making erroneous comments about how many more men you will be getting. Have at it for all I care. I am not here to compete with you.

              I think porn does more of a greater job of shaming men for their sexuality then I do in my evaluating how porn has affected both men and women. Porn certainly does more of a job of shaming women for their sexuality then helping women freely express it on their own terms.

              Perhaps you should spend more time on what I actually say then trying to figure out my sexuality or trying to compare yours to mine. (we get it, yours is “bigger”) Maybe then you would actually get what I really have said right.

            • Erin,

              Maybe you have a wild and crazy sex life. I don’t really care either. The point I have been trying to make is that it is all pretty subjective and making judgments about porn or men or women who view porn is not very firm ground to stand on. Just because you or even ‘most’ women don’t enjoy the activities portrayed in porn doesn’t mean that there are not lots of women who do.

              Lastly, research has shown that women who have cast off a lot of the social programming around sex generally have higher sex drives, fewer inhibitions, are more empowered in bed, and more pleasurable sexual experiences than women who haven’t. Your views about porn and the sex acts portrayed in it indicate to me that you live within the social programming around sex. Hence, the ‘shut-down’. In hippie-speak, I don’t know how your sexual energy can flow freely if you have erected so many roadblocks within your psyche. I could be wrong about you though. If I am I apologize.

              What I see a lot of on here though from both men and women (but on topics of sex and beauty mostly from the women) is a tendency to complain about how crappy the box is and how folks aren’t getting their needs met within the box. All I can say is, ‘Step out of the box.’
              So, if I am correct in my assessment of you, then I’ve just apologized for telling you you’re in a box. Either way, it is irrelevant. You’re going to be how you want to be. You’ve been fairly combative and disrespectful towards a lot of men on here. You’re not the only person I have been tracking in these conversations. There are a number of men who I also track. These men have earned my respect with their intelligence, consciousness, and openness. Some of them have taken the risk to live authentically. I’ve been horrified by your responses to them and your utter inability to see things from the perspective of a man (whose sexuality generally does run differently from that of women). I don’t take too kindly to that sort of behavior. Ideally, I’d like to see you apologize to them for being such a jackass but whatever…

              It’s li

            • Erin,

              You know what? I want to apologize for the arguments I have been presenting to you, etc. I just realized my sexuality is fundamentally different from that of most people. This is why I am not offended by porn or much else. I want something much different than other people do. Expecting others to want or do the same things is silly.

              Other than that, I’m tired of this conversation.

            • jeni – I’m glad you are tired of the conversation because you haven’t really said anything about the actual topic of the thread. All you’ve done is make erroneous comments about me. All because of my views on porn. Not because of anything I’ve said about men because I’ve never said men were awful people for liking porn. You calling me a jackass says more about the kind of person you are then it does the kind of person I am. You’re horrified by my responses? I don’t think you are. I just think you got it in your head that you’re in some ridiculous petty competition with me. And I have no idea why. Good luck with that.

              Lastly, you’re the only one here being combative and disrespectful. You are clearly unable to have a discussion acknowledging that we might disagree without reducing yourself to name calling and imaginary slights. People can disagree and still debate a subject. Yes, I am going to be how I am going to be. Just as you are going to be how you are going to be. And acting like I’m performing some kind of slight against humanity for standing up for what I believe in while you are doing the same is facinatingly disburbing on your part.

  20. Oh, and sorry for typos, etc. I do have other things I’m trying to get done today. ;-)

  21. The Wet One says:

    A most interesting discussion. Thank you all for that.

    Cheers!

  22. weightless says:

    so masturbating to your imagination rather than porn makes you “strong”?

    • That seems to be the implication.

      • traveller says:

        It shouldn’t be about using your imagination either. Porn on a screen or Porn in your mind is generally the same thing. Rather, healthy masturbation where you simply enjoy the sensation will better prepare you to fully enjoy your time with a woman.

        I was one of those guys who fit the mold of what the author illustrated. 30-60 seconds finding the right clip.. then a few minutes.. finish and off to whatever I was doing next. Then when I got into a relationship, I ultimately was just all about get off and get done.. Which ultimately turned into me solely concentrating on her pleasure (oral), when a few minutes of actual penetrative sex. Because I couldn’t maintain and share, in the moment, the pleasure that we both felt at the exact same time, sex further separated us as we were drifting apart in other areas of our relationship rather than bringing us together.

        Learning how to extend the pleasure you feel can’t be done using a fantasy or trying to be as efficient as possible in getting off. Porn reinforces the “just get it done”. Healthy masturbation where you relax and cultivate your ability to feel pleasure will ultimately allow you to better connect with the woman in your life.

  23. Porn is a chore for some, and for others it’s a quick fix. Let’s face it: not all men are the same. We look at the feminist movement and see, rightfully so, that not all women are the same, but men… Oh, we all suck at housework, think about sex non-stop, and worry about our favorite sports teams… Except, we don’t. My fiancee is a porn actress, not a famous one mind you, but that illusion is for another article, but porn for me ends up being about marketing and research. We watch together mostly, for hours at a time, and while it isn’t academic per se, it also isn’t all just about getting off. If she is working with someone new, especially a new director (because they control the scene) we watch as much as we can before getting riled up enough to screw each other’s brains out. I like to think that, minus the reseasrch part, we aren’t too unlike other couples who watch porn together. Having seen her fan mail, and hearing about her conversations at conventions, I know we aren’t. Porn, for some of us, is about finding that scene that will get both people turned on. See, we often forget that our brains are our biggest sex organs, and that fantasy is healthy. Sure, some people use it as a quick way to get off. Others click, look, and run away before they can do anything for fear of getting caught. We can’t know what these 2-minute surfers are really doing, so assuming that they all get off in that time is as foolish as assuming all guys are the same.

  24. SnakeEyez says:

    @CameronConaway

    So if watching porn makes men “wimpy” wouldn’t watching MMA make men just as “wimpy.” In a way it gives men and it’s audience as much of a violent rush as porn does a sexual rush. MMA’s hardened bodies that are ready to do battle are even more unrealistic than porn (most fighters have dieted, dehydrated and trained their bodies so they have dropped weight before the fight). Their is the dehumanizing language (i.e.: “being p’owned”) in mma. Finally it is as readily available as porn… So admit it watching MMA/UFC is as ‘wimpy’ as watching porn. Just make sure to tell the editors at Sherdog!

    • SnakeEyez – I don’t see your point at all. I’ve trained for over 17 years and at 49 am in great or better shape than ever. I am involved in MMA training and teaching for over 12 hours a week. Those that do the watching MMA with no knowledge of what is going on are probably looking for the violent knock out… that rush you mention. Masterbating to this seems quite a stretch…. Pulling up porn to get a quick nut and then move along has no rational comparison to MMA/UFC events…. unless of coarse the person pulls up the fight to get a quick nut and then move along….. Don’t see it…….
      Watching MMA/UFC is however more wimpy than training or getting in best shape and seeking best health…. As wimpy or lazy as a quick porn look to masterbate to.. I think not…. Sherdog editors would find your supposed point as quite funny.

  25. Erin – “Women sit back and masturbate while reading a romance novel? I am not fully convinced on that.”

    Indeed they do. At least many have said that they do. They use the mental images and scenarios from those novels. They aren’t all the classic Fabio novels. As women get older the may move onto more realistic ones. My point is that they create masturbatory fodder. Moreover, they also use their battery operated, chargeable or even plug-in virtual lover that no man can compete with. We don’t vibrate and don’t have 16 settings.

    “Further, you can’t go wrong with comparing sex toys to sex toys right?” Except that men hardly use them. Would it be fair, then, for both men and women should give up the use of sex toys?

    The commonality between women’s use of sex toys and men’s use of porn is is using someone or something other than one’s mate for sexual pleasure and release. To that end, women using sex toys and men using porn have the same effect. Except that feminists (and other women) seldom if ever object to women’s use of sex toys because they are the ones getting off by themselves.

    • Ummmm…Eric, I just want to clarify that there are different types of feminists. I am a feminist, a sex-positive one. I have zero problem with porn or sex toys.

    • Eric – I am not fully convinced on women masturbating to romance novels but I’m not saying it’s impossible. In my experience most women that read romance novels just enjoy the actual romance in it and aren’t getting sexually off to it. I’d love to see a poll on that one.

      Again, I think a more fair comparison is comparing male sex toys (fake vaginas or blow up dolls) to female sex toys and masturbation material to masturbation material. Sex toys don’t support social and sexual themes between women like masturbation material might. THat is if we really get deep into the comparison.

      • The comparison is very apt because:

        1) Women use sex toys as a means to be touched by a virtual someone other than their partner. Men hardly ever do that. Almost no men would even care if such things were banned.

        2) Just like many women feel about competing with porn, mo man compete by vibrating and having 16 different settings. No matter how skilled he thinks he is, he can’t do what a multifunction sex toy can. And, he only has one penis. It’s always the same size. He can’t compete with a toy that’s bigger, if she enjoys that.

        3) Regarding social themes, sex toys are sometimes made in the shape of a real porn actor’s penis. Other times they are ethnically colored, named, and marketed so that she can imagine she’s with a black man, for example.

        4) In both cases, a married or partnered person uses something other than their mate to arouse them sexually and climax.

        It’s hypocritical for a woman who uses a sex toy on her own to objects to her partner using porn on his own. For the individual, they accomplish the same thing, except men don’t always masturbate to porn as women do in using vibrators and such. But, I won’t hold my breath waiting for anti-porn feminists to object to any sexual vices women have.

        • Sex toy is to sex toy as masturbation material is to masturbation matirial Eric.

          While both sex toys and masturbation can be under the broad idea of “tools used to reach orgasm”, you do not encounter relational issues and sexual portrayls between the genders with a dildo or a fake vagina that you do with material that portrays interactions between the genders in highly sexual situations. Ignorning that is dishonest.

          So if you want to compare a sex toy to a sex toy, please do. If you don’t think it’s fair for a woman to have a sex toy, then it’s unfair for a man to have one. Both genders have these “tools” availble to them. And if you want to compare masturbation material to masturabation material, please do. If you don’t think it’s fair for a woman to have masturbation material, then it’s unfair for men to have it too. But don’t act like toys used to reach orgasm hold the same social themes and depictions that modern porn movies or magazines do.

          Women do not use sex toys “as a means to be touched by a virtual someone other than their partner”. “Virtual” actually means something that is not physically existing but is made by software to appear as it is”. So “virtual” can’t even apply to porn movies anymore then it can to sex toys because the people in porn really do exsist.

          You are probably right that most men wouldn’t care of sex toys for men were banned. But they would certainly care if porn was. Men aren’t thinking about “virtual” partners, they are indulging in real women, with real complete full bodies, not just vaginas with nothing attached.

          I do have a question for you concerning number 2. What if his woman was looking at young, hard bodied men with giant penis and even bigger paychecks then what her own man could pull. And instead of using a dildo or vibrator, she likes these images and used them to indulge herself. Would men feel like they couldn’t compete just as you say men feel they can’t compete with a sex toy? Or is the image of a real men who is clearly more successful and sexy then the boyfriend or husband a touch more difficult to deal with since the man is actually a real person. Because I have to tell you, I am less bothered by the idea of a man using a sex toy just to get ride of some pent of energy then I am with men buying into a mass market of media that portrays real women in themes and sexual situations.

          As for your number 3, I’m sure men can by a variety of vaginas themselves, some of them black themselves too.

          • Women use sex toys to get off by themselves, just as men use porn for the same purpose. Bottom line. Except that that is the express purpose of sex toys but not necessarily porn’s purpose.

            A dildo is a substitute sex organ, something that far, far more women use than men. They are made to look and feel like the male sex organ but better because of extra electronics. A huge difference is that they “touch” sexually, whereas porn does not. It’s a virtual lover. Porn is pictures or movies. Porn is not always used for masturbation, sex toys are used specifically for that purpose. Ignoring those facts is dishonest.

            Men and women have porn available but men use it far more often. Men and women have sex toys but women use those far more often. So, the comparison is apt and fair. You want to allow women to keep their alone, imaginary virtual lover sex play but take away men’s imagination. If your concerns were really based on consistent principles you would have concerns with both not just one.

            I am not defending porn but you are defending virtual lovers, which can have some effect except that he “touches” her. Porn can’t do that. Also, I said nothing about social themes, although 12” realistic shaped black vibrating dildos called “mandingo” do have social themes.

            “But don’t act like toys used to reach orgasm hold the same social themes and depictions that modern porn movies or magazines do.”

            Don’t act like men have virtual lovers who can “touch” them and bring them to orgasm like women use sex toys to do. Sex toys physically bring women to orgasm often through penetration. Penetration. Porn doesn’t/can’t touch anyone.

            “Men aren’t thinking about “virtual” partners, they are indulging in real women, with real complete full bodies, not just vaginas with nothing attached.”

            So, she can imagine that man you speak of touching her (the rich handsome successful one), feeling him as he penetrates her and brings her to orgasm. Women do the same thing, in their minds, imagining it.

            I understand you are bothered and am not defending porn, merely pointing out that women’s use of sex toys is no better. It’s an issue of a partnered person getting off using someone/thing else. Of course women aren’t bothered by sex toys because they use them. It’s the same issue.

            I have no idea what men can buy but do know that they seldom if ever do, so it’s irrelevant.

            • Eric M,

              I think you’re missing the point here: Porn’s impact on the mind. Again, it comes down to analogies making sense within the context they are used. Comparing sex toys to porn simply doesn’t, in the way you’re trying for.

              ~Cameron

            • Cameron, what is happening in the mind of a woman who is using a 10″ realistic vibrating sex toy when her 6″ husband is at work or asleep? Her grocery shopping list? You are and Erin are (perhaps intentionally) missing that point.

            • Eric,

              I see that point and I agree with you 100% on it. But I think you’re using it as a way to counter rather than as the separate point that it is.

              ~Cameron

            • Eric – perhaps you could write an article talking about the issues you feel are important regarding sex toys. I would be interested in reading such a piece like that. And then we could have the conversation you are more interested in having.

            • Erin – Thanks for the suggestion but Cameron has already written the article. Beginning with the paragraph that reads “Porn is for wimps because . . . ” Simply replace “porn” with “sex toys” and you’ve got your article, with very few changes needed. The points that Cameron makes apply to the use of sex toys just as they do to porn.

            • I’m calling you out on this Eric. Cop out. Most artciles ever written have been written before. Especially when it comes to age old gender or sex issues. What makes the articles interesting is each person’s personal perspective. You can’t steal Cameron’s words and apply them to your personal viewpoint of sex toys. Maybe he would agree with you, maybe he wouldn’t. But it’s unfair to take another’s work and act like it would be the same exact ast yours.

              Apparently you feel passionately about the role sex toys play, right? Otherwise, why would you mention it right? If you feel that passionately about it then you should be able to write an article in your own words addressing the issue specific and individual to tools that act like gender body parts. But my guess is you don’t have much to really say about sex toys and you’re really using it, not as a means to approach a serious topic, but to distract from the unique issues that can crop up from video media and downplay those unique issues.

              While you think the outcome is the same whether it’s sex toys or masturbation material, even you can’t deny the different social messages and relational messages we receive from video imagery vs. objects. It’s like me saying my blender alone, by it’s use, tells me the same message that the pretty commerical of the colorful Cuisinarts blenders and the happy, healthy, pretty mom’s using them do. They don’t. The feel good Cuisnart commericals send a bigger message then anything my blender could do alone.

              I do not think that means that sex toys don’t need to be part of the discussion. Lets talk about them certainly! But to imply they are exactly the same thing as erotic material that sends specific messages about the role a man plays and the role a woman play is disingenuous . And if you can’t write an article specfic to sex toy use, then I can only conclude that you don’t feel nearly as passionate about it as you imply and you’re mearly using it as a means to distract talk about the specific and unique circumstances that involve erotic visual media.

              Lets talk about sex toys. I’m open to it. But lets not use it as a reason not to talk about how visual media shapes our culture.

            • “You can’t steal Cameron’s words and apply them to your personal viewpoint of sex toys.”

              Come on, Erin – I own a couple copyrighted terms. Not a single of the words or terms Cameron used are copyrighted, so it’s not possible for me to “steal” them. And although I wouldn’t use the exact same phraseology, the points he made clearly apply to the use of sex toys.

              “Maybe he would agree with you, maybe he wouldn’t.”

              There’s no maybe about it. He already said he agreed with me about the use of sex toys. Which is perfectly logical because they are largely based on the same objections he raised regarding the use of porn.

              “Apparently you feel passionately about the role sex toys play, right? Otherwise, why would you mention it right?”

              What I feel passionately about is hypocrisy, double standards. Don’t criticize women for doing something men do all the time. That is a major feminist argument. I don’t agree with all of their positions, but that is one I do agree with. EXCEPT they seldom if ever turn it around, which is hypocritical in itself.

              “But my guess is you don’t have much to really say about sex toys and you’re really using it, not as a means to approach a serious topic, but to distract from the unique issues that can crop up from video media and downplay those unique issues.”

              Should we count the number of times that I typed that I am not defending porn? Wrong. I am merely saying to not be hypocritical about this. Let’s stop all the misandry and deal with the core issues, not just attack men.

              What I would love to hear from you is why you castigate the use of porn but defend a woman using sex toys?

              “While you think the outcome is the same whether it’s sex toys or masturbation material, even you can’t deny the different social messages and relational messages we receive from video imagery vs. objects.”

              I am not arguing against that. Images can be powerful, which is why sex toys are often made to look like a real penis, except bigger than her partner’s. Moreoever, porn is usually 2D. Sex toys are 3D. You can not only seem them, you can feel them. How would you feel about porn that could be not only seen but also felt? That could bring a man to orgasm faster than any woman ever could? That is what sex toys accomplish but for some reason you refuse to recognize that. That is a double standard. That is hypocritical.

              Are sex toys and port EXACTLY the same? No, but most of what Cameron wrote about applies to both of them.

            • One more thing about the article you propose: it would never be published here or on any other feminist web site because it questions and accuses women not men. That would be considered anti-feminist misogyny here. Would never happen. The same thing done to men is considered pro-feminist and treated as sport.

            • Eric – Really? Copyrighted? Come on. That comment was purely manipulative. Do you have your own thoughts or not? It’s lazy to use Cameron’s ideas as a backdrop to yours.

              I don’t have an issue with you wanting to discuss the role sex toys play with women or in a sexual life. What I do see an issue with is using the position of sex toys to distract from the topic of porn. Both of these issues can be discussed and exsist at the same time. Despite both being tools used to reach sexual gratification, these tools are absorbed and utilized differently.

              Guess what? I don’t even own a sex toy. But I sure have experience enough relationships where getting a man to leave his porn behind was like pulling teeth from a cageyTiger.

              Further, I never defended a woman using sex toys. I just don’t like using *this* as a reason to not talk about the issue porn plays. And that’s why I suggested you write and article addressing the topic you really want to address. Because going about it this way seems like you don’t want to sincerely address the topic discussed here. You want to distract from it by means of “look over here! Look over here!”. Once you write that article, I will be happy to chime in on it and let you know exactly how I feel about the whole thing.

              Further, men have sex toys available to them. Wouldn’t a man’s sexual experience with a sex toy be the same as a woman’s experience with a sex toy? Both mimic the sexual experience in the 3D fashion you talked about yes? If I remember correctly, you mentioned that men probably use sex toys less then women do. Why? Why is it that men use sex toys less but use porn more? Could it be because porn provides a variety of women that his own woman can’t provide? Could it be that the visual medium provides a variety of sexual acts that no one lone sex toy could? Could it be that he is more happy to indulge in 2D images of various women that aren’t his partner then use a fake vagina and pictures himself with his partner in the times she isn’t available?

              Write the article you really want to discuss.

              Stop distracting from what the topic is here.

              And don’t use excuses on why you can’t write such and article. I think your article would be exactly the kind of thought provoking, and different article, Good Man Project would be happy to post.

            • “Eric – Really? Copyrighted? Come on. That comment was purely manipulative.”

              You said I was “stealing” Cameron’s words, as if they were copyrighted.
              “Do you have your own thoughts or not?”

              Yes. But Cameron and I happen agree on the issue of the use of sex toys.

              “I don’t have an issue with you wanting to discuss the role sex toys play with women or in a sexual life. What I do see an issue with is using the position of sex toys to distract from the topic of porn.”

              I point out hypocrisy where it exists. It’s too bad that that bothers you. Guess what? I don’t use porn. Wife won’t stand for it. She doesn’t use sex toys. I won’t stand for it. Both for the same reasons.

              “Further, I never defended a woman using sex toys. I just don’t like using *this* as a reason to not talk about the issue porn plays.”

              I am saying that the issues are largely the same. You disagree. That’s OK.

              “Wouldn’t a man’s sexual experience with a sex toy be the same as a woman’s experience with a sex toy?”

              No. If that were the case men would use them. Similarly, women and men’s experience with porn tends to be different. Men and women are different. Women tend to be either indifferent or dislike porn, even find it repulsive. Men have the same feelings about sex toy use.

              The issues are very similar with men and porn and women and sex toys. Further, the GMP would not/does not publish articles that question/are critical of women in the same way it does men. There would be no use.

  26. Cameron, if the GMP posted 1 article a week, every week on the “evils” of women’s use of sex toys but not a single solitary time even acknowledged the very similar “evils” of men’s porn use, it would no doubt be perceive as completely reasonable and even expected if someone pointed put that inconsistently. Why the difference in the converse?

  27. Some women use sex toys because their mates are so desensitized by pornography that god forbid I can’t get off in three minutes, oh well he is done so you must be done too.

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