I haven’t felt this disturbed since Friday the 13th at the Carlton theatre, 1980.

Last week, I went to a pornography conference. Had lunch with a sex therapist.   She was there to help her 20 somethings with their porned up, screwed up, messed up, lost lives. She had obviously had no shortage of clients as she lived in St Helliers. I normally love a free feed. So sad.

 

I regret being born in the wrong time…. I’d rather car’s still had chrome. Where kitchens had formica and primary colours. Where kids worked on chores without asking for more pocket money. And the centrefolds of Playboy and Penthouse were so brilliantly exciting and arousing. Pornography was back then a genre of photography – a frame of light shining on the taboo secret dark places. Demeaning of course.   But last week i was super totally super stoked totally that I was born in 68. It meant that in the 70’s I had a phone that stayed on a wall and the computer love-children of Jobs and Gates wasn’t even a thing yet. My youth and its innocence was never severed by a screen. My innocence wasn’t corrupted by sound and vision. That portal hadn’t been invented.

 

Yes last week i breathed a sigh of relief. So happy I escaped the high-res bump and grind today’s youth have to contend and can easily connect with willy nilly.   Yes, I loved finding a random Penthouse at a bach at Coromandel. But today’s yoof with smartphones and hormones are just a click of bait (and masturbate ?) away from the portal.  Oh the ease of typing a URL… Google to goggle .   The perfect porn-storm of cheap technology, good eyesight, and bad porno producers have created a tsunami of visual force that kneecaps progressive ideas about respect, mutuality, consent and gender identity. We are screwed.

 

The internet can be a portal to any land of course. I don’t do porn land. I like Trade Me land. I look for records. Is a Fats Domino or a JJ Cale single out there?   I actually just imagine I’m going to buy the object for wayyyy more than i can afford …in 2 days time …and i add to watchlist.   We all know i’m never going to buy it. I am a watchlist troll. It’s fantasy. It’s mildly arousing but it’s pretty harmless. Im lucky I’m so lame.

 

Other people think porn is pretty harmless too.   Shane Jones MP in 2010 was unlucky and got caught buying porn in his hotel room.   In his defence he said ‘ I am a red – blooded adult and a robust dude‘.   Geez, just a good ole boy.   Makes me think of the start of ‘Dukes of Hazard’.   Annette King said at the time “It’s not for me to judge what people do in the privacy of their rooms .”   Phil Goff said the same thing.   I don’t know what I thought in 2010 – maybe I agreed with Goff and King and Jones too.   It’s just porn. It’s private. It’s personal. Whatev’s.   In 2016, when athlete Nick Willis posted on Facebook about his porn use, New Zealand Athletics chief executive Linda Hamersley, said “Our position is it’s a personal issue that Nick has raised. We don’t really have an opinion on it.’

politicians

I think it’s time to call it. Speaking of porn as a personal pet hobby denies it’s power and it’s toxicity.   Liberal tolerance ! Shame on you !   Are the stakes too high for the Goff/King/Hamersley/Jones easy out?

Where methamphetamine is destroying the mental and rental market of our country and capturing the headlines in our media, porn is the stealth cousin – smarter, calculating, the innocuous wallflower.   The awkward elephant in the room. It’s still private and personal ( bit embarrassing ) but the super-accessible aggressive style of porn, the garden variety Weet-Bix of today’s porn users, is the kind of fodder that fuels Roast Buster’s type rape culture. It’s a bit serious.

 

So what’s the serious problem ? Other than the aforementioned all quiet on the western front…..

 

Our young people receive their sex education by porn. And the porn can deftly shape their sexual ideas and gender identity. This is not awesome. It’s effects are nasty.

 

47% of 15-19 year old males access porn daily (Lim et al 2017)

 

And it’s not nudes being nude doing nudey stuff. Today’s porn is rough, hard, aggressive sex:

 

88% of scenes include physical aggression, 48% of scenes uses verbal aggression (Bridges et al 2010).

 

Um …. so what kind of male identity is being constructed as normative ?

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Here’s an advertisement for Dolce and Gabbana created in 2007.   When asked about the ad being banned in Spain, Dolce & Gabbana responded that the “Spaniards were a bit backward.”   I’d rather not pin females to the ground with my greasy bod and sunglasses,   Happy to be backwards and spanish like. Thank you though.

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And 95% of the male aggression has a neutral or a positive response from the female recipient

                                                                             (Bridges et al 2010).  

 

WOW ?   So porn is full of males doing rough anal sex with females smiling going – gee this is so much fun. Dubious consent issues anyone?   Oh but it’s so Bubbleicious !l   ( advertisement courtesy of American Apparel )

 

When you see, they don’t love it, and they are in pain, the Director immediately starts “No, no no… we don’t want to see that kind of face reaction. ..” So i know many times they don’t enjoy it.

                                                        Anthony Hardwood, Porn performer.

 

That’s right. But so Bubbleicious !   What’s the teen scene saying you ask ? So this is what sex is like ….

 

July 7th 2017,   TEENVOGUE release the ‘Anal sex’ issue.   Teenvogue. For teens….. what’s in vogue presumably for teens .   Yep it’s totally a thing. Edgy ? Important information … or does it reinforce gender inequality ?

 

Add a bit of degradation with ‘ATM’ (arse to mouth ) which is pretty much as it’s written but sans hygiene. WOW AGAIN.   That’s what sex looks like right ? That’s how i’d want my own daughter princesses treated.   Is this sex as taonga? Not a fertile breeding ground of mutuality and consent is the new porn.   No one’s asking to be aroused by clips of the Walton’s, but this? Really? What is going on here…..

Pornographic violence deconstructed:

                                                                        gagging       in 54% of scenes

                                                                        choking       in 29% of scenes

                                                                      spanking     in 75% of scenes

 (Bridges et al 2010).

 

 

And the insidious violent nature of pornography leeches into the nuerons and legitimates this kind of malignant sex expectation – specially amongst my fellow younger brothers.   Normative violent pornography constructs male identity as demeaning and misogynistic, and the female as subordinate with minimal agency ( oh she’ll love it ). And she thinks she should love it….. And hey presto, porno for our times!   Add some gangsta explicit ho’s and bitches soundtrack ! BOOM !   We have the seeds and flowers of rape culture at worst, and neanderthal meatheads walking around this planet thinking and acting old (new ?) school macho.   That’s right.   The seeds of eroticisation of gender inequality become the flowers of coercive, painful intercourse. A real case of FOMO for any high schooler.

 

Hey. But our kids know they are watching fiction ! They are too hip and cynical to buy into porn artificiality. They are critical viewers. Sorry. The sex therapist of St Helliers disagrees with you.

 

The first time I had sex, because I had watched so much porn, I thought all chicks dig this, all chicks want this done to them, all chicks want it up here, all chicks love it there. So I tried all this stuff and yeah… it turned out bad.

           Jake, 18 yrs

 

At the end it just became like, I just became an object, just to blow his load on.   I just felt gross at the end of it.”

            Sara

 

 

So what to do.

 

  1. Be smart with smart phones. 66% of NZ porn traffic is from a smartphone. Be the adults. Look after           our kids.
  2. Talk overtly about pornography age appropriately – encourage critical viewing skills.
  3. Warn any young punks… if they want to be good in bed – Stop watching pornography.
  4. Rock the alternative men ! – model mutual, consenting, respectful, non aggressive behaviour to females.
  5. Be Ghandi –   Be the change you want to see in the world.. say no to porn everywhere

 

in short: LIMIT   EQUIP   HELP   INSPIRE !