PORNOGRAPHY

DEFINITION

Pornography

Creative activity (writing or pictures or films etc.) of no literary or artistic value other than to stimulate sexual desire


If you’re a man, you may have looked at pornography at some time in your life (apparently women sometimes look at it too). I’m not going to lie to you and say that I find it disgusting or that I’ve never looked at it. I have.

Most men use pornography as a means to achieve orgasm through masturbation (manual stimulation of the genital organs of yourself or another for sexual pleasure), nothing more. They will not become violent rapists, murderers, or devalue women because of it. They will not love their partners or wives any less either. So why do it?

Let’s start our discussion with me admitting to you the reader that I have watched pornographic films, looked at still images, surfed for various types of pornography on the internet and even gone to peep shows and lap dancing bars. Does that make me a pervert (a person whose behaviour deviates from what is acceptable especially in sexual behaviour)? And while we’re on the subject, I have even been to a prostitute (a woman who engages in sexual intercourse for money).

Do I disgust you? Does the very mention of what I have done make you want to put this book down now? If so, why? Is it because you have been told that it is sinful? Is it against everything in your religion, or your morals, or values, or whatever else you like to call it? For me, looking at images of the opposite sex is stimulating. Like most men, I have a high sex drive, although that doesn’t mean I want to have sex every moment of the day. I have been celibate now for over one year. That was a personal choice.

So, do I feel ashamed of what I have done, or do I feel guilty? I used to. But I have come to accept that what I did was not wrong, that is purely for others to judge. All that it did was draw me further away from love.

Looking at two dimensional images of women showing their vaginas in various poses or showing them having sex in various positions is nothing more than voyeurism (a perversion in which a person receives sexual gratification from seeing the genitalia of others or witnessing others’ sexual behaviour), although that voyeurism becomes (like all things that act on the pleasure centres of the brain) an addiction. The more you see, the more you want.

We used to have to go into the shop and hide the “top shelf” magazines in amongst economics weekly and a copy of gardeners monthly as we left. Although we were old enough to buy the magazine, we felt like cheeky schoolboys ashamed of what they were doing.

The internet has changed all that. You can anonymously sign up for sites using your credit cards, and not satisfied with seeing naked bodies, or a couple engaged in intercourse, we crave more. We (the brain that is) are bored with these images. It now takes more and more graphic images to enable us to achieve orgasm.

I don’t know if you have recently seen what is out there on the net, but you can find images of (mostly) women engaged in graphic sex with animals, videos of women swallowing the sperm of tens of a men at a time, people engaged in “pissing” (urinating on, or in the mouth of someone) and “fisting” (inserting the whole hand into the vagina or anus). People even engage in faeces eating.

Although some of the images are unpleasant, I don’t find it shocking that people pay to see these images, what I find amazing is that people actually allow themselves to be filmed!

As the majority of the viewers are men, it makes sense that most of the “models” in the videos are women. So why do women get involved with such things? It isn’t a small number either.

All around the world, women are allowing men to piss on them, fist them, perform anal sex on them, stick their penises in every orifice, debase them and brutalise them. Why? Are the women involved held prisoner? Are they off their heads on drugs given to them by these men? Drunk? Or are they doing it for money? Or do they simply enjoy the fun of sex. Are they happy to get involved because they like the excitement?

I know most young men’s dream is to star in their very own pornographic video. Young men like to talk about sex a lot, and they like to do it even more. It is like a coming of age. Sex for men is the most natural thing in the world. Just like the bull in the field that tries to “service” every cow, young men would like to “service” every female in the world! When it comes to sex, young males aren’t too fussy who they choose. They may fantasise about having sex with an attractive model, but are happy to put up with anything they can get.

Men like sex. Lots of it. It is in their inherent nature to wish to procreate, to spread their genes far and wide. Whichever way you look at it and however you try to control it with morals and family values, it is a natural process that neither you nor I will ever stop, nor would I want to.

But what about young women? They become fertile in their teens, and are ready to procreate. It is only natural for them to want to have sex as well. But women aren’t so desperate to have sex with every man they meet. Women are programmed to find the best choice of mate. Someone who is strong enough to look after her and has good genes. These are basic biological facts.

Men and women are programmed for sex. So doesn’t it make sense that some women just like lots of sex the way men do, and they like to fantasise about men doing different things with them? And isn’t it a natural process to want to act out these fantasies? For some maybe, for others fantasy shall remain in the realm of the mind. So although I do believe that some women are forced to do these things on camera, I believe that there is a large proportion that enjoy the exhibitionism it allows. Extroverts, exhibitionists, sex addicts, and people who just want to try it once for the experience.
I don’t think we should demonise the people involved. Whoever they are, they are human beings, and unless coerced with threats of physical violence or done through desperation due to drug addiction, they have the ability to say no. “No, I don’t want to do this.”

Did you know that pornography is still the most popular thing to look at on the internet! More people browse for porn than any other topic! That reminds me of my time in information technology, when we would monitor the internet usage of employees. I was utterly astounded at (a) the number of people looking at pornographic images and videos, and (b) who the people were that were doing it. People in high positions like managers and senior executives.

I had to laugh. These were people who were putting themselves above all of us. These were people who espoused values and morals. “Ha! Got you!” I thought; and I took great pleasure in informing them that due to company policy (which they probably wrote) they were to cease looking at pornography at work!

A long while later, I started to reflect on this situation, where people who held high office such as politicians or members of the clergy, people who dictated the values and morals of the country, were being exposed for the use of pornography, sex abuse, and involvement in prostitution. People who talked about family values, but did the opposite in real life.

I realised at that time that values (beliefs of a person or social group in which they have an emotional investment (either for or against something) and morals (motivation based on ideas of right and wrong) didn’t actually mean very much.

Here were people who were telling us all how to live our lives, and not following the advice they were giving! These values they were talking about were idealised concepts of how they would like to live, but were too fallible themselves to adhere to them.

Again and again we hear stories in the popular press about how the “mighty have fallen,” and deep down, I guess it gives us some satisfaction to know we aren’t evil or bad for doing it too. I have a word of advice for anyone who wants to enforce some idealistic value or moral system on others. Don’t. If you want to adhere to something that’s fine, but do us all a favour before you stand up and preach – keep it to yourself.

Prostitution

Offering sexual intercourse for pay

On reflection, perhaps paying for sex in a drunken moment whilst out with the lads is worse. I didn’t consider this at the time, but performing the actual sex act with someone you do not care for, have no love for, and who is probably in a deeply troubled state due to alcohol, drug addiction, or physical and emotional abuse makes you think. Why did I want to pay someone for sex?

It wasn’t that I couldn’t make love to my girlfriend, it was the excitement brought on by alcohol, and the cheers of drunken friends after a night out after work. There was no thought for the feelings of the girl who offered one small part of her body to me for a fleeting moment and £30. No empathy. No love. No compassion. Prostitution cuts through all of those things with a sharp knife. The knife of money. The knife of power and control.

I didn’t think I was doing any of those things, I just saw it as a drunken opportunity to have fun. And it was exciting. I had never ever thought of doing anything like this before, but like lots of people, I’m easily led (not that it excuses action). I didn’t even enjoy it. I think I was nervous and embarrassed. I certainly didn’t feel powerful or dominant. In fact I think it was the other way round. The woman I had sex with was a professional. There was no small talk or messing around.
“Right, £30 quid before you start. No kissing on the mouth. Twenty minutes max!”

This was not how I had imagined it at all. In fact I had no idea of how it would feel. She gave me the condom to put on and I rolled it back to cover my penis. I then inserted it into her vagina and gave a few half-hearted in-out movements. I ejaculated. I put the condom in the bin, got dressed and left. I can’t even remember if I said goodbye.
All that trepidation and excitement before the act, and then after ejaculation, nothing but emptiness.

No love, no cuddling, no holding, no facing your partner and whispering into their ear or looking into their eyes. Just a physical act and a financial transaction.

As with all potentially addictive behaviour, I went back several times when I was drunk. It seemed a regular thing to do. Except this time I wasn’t with my friends.

I started going to lap dancing bars first, ogling naked women dancing on poles. During the course of the evening I would start by giving pole dancers a tip as they were dancing, then progress to the private rooms where they would rub their breasts over me getting me really excited. I would then move on to a brothel, or just pick up someone on the streets and get oral sex, or even full sex in a dark alley somewhere.

The addiction was beginning to take root in my brain. Suddenly, I realised I was actually addicted. I no longer just went out for a drink with my friends. After they went home or on to a nightclub, I would jump in a cab and go out to the red light areas.
I never did this sober. Whether or not this was a way of mitigating what I was doing or because sex and alcohol together felt doubly good, I will never know. I do know that the brain likes pleasure. As much pleasure as it can get. Mine was no exception. This only lasted six months or so, until I think I either ran out of money or got bored. I think it was the latter.

It was only recently, when I reflected on these events, that I started to consider them from the woman’s side.

How did she feel standing on the street corner, waiting to pick up a man, any man who was willing to give her a few pounds to invade her body. To perform an act of love, minus the love. How did she feel when I entered her? Was she disgusted with me? How could she stand my alcohol soaked breath? The stench of alcohol oozing out of my pores, the smell of tobacco covering my clothes, and my heavy body lying on top of hers, fully clothed, save for the zip undone and her skirt lifted up. What must she think of me, and more importantly what must she think of herself? What is going on in her mind? Is it tormented by abuse and drug addiction as I suspect, or is she full of joy and love, and merely enjoys sex?

Although I believed the causes of women to get involved in pornography as varied, and believed that yes, they could be doing it because they enjoyed the thrill of having sex on camera, I could not believe it of the women who worked in the brothels or walked the streets.

Several months later, on my way home from work in the city, I saw the same woman I had sex with; it caught me by complete surprise. I was with a work colleague, and suddenly I was in complete shock. I couldn’t speak, I just hoped that this woman wouldn’t recognise me. Her clothes looked poor, she was thin, her eyes sunken and tired. Her hair was held in place by a can of hairspray and her lipstick looked casually applied. As I’d hoped, she didn’t recognise me.

I felt strange as I passed this woman, feeling myself almost looking down on her! Yet months earlier I had been inside her. I had my erect penis between her legs, and I ejaculated inside her. How could I possibly be judging her now? I didn’t want to, but I was. In my mind there was nothing the two of us had in common.

I tried to imagine introducing her to my friends, this bedraggled woman with so many problems, probably addicted to drugs, dressed for quick sex. How could I introduce her? I would feel so much shame that I even knew someone like this. What would my parents think? What would my friends think, or my colleagues?

But we did have something in common, we shared a bond. She wanted money and I wanted sex.

She was prepared to offer me her body for money and I was prepared to pay for it.

It only came to me recently that the only person I was thinking about in that situation, was myself. I didn’t care anything for her. All I cared for was what people would think of me. I was happy to pay her for sex at the time, but to get found out would be disastrous. I saw her as no more than a worthless piece of trash. And I had treated her with utter contempt.

They say that prostitution is the oldest profession in the book, but the more I study the people who sell themselves, the more sadness I feel for the people involved. These are people who for one reason or another, from childhood abuse to drug abuse, turn to selling their bodies. Bodies that should be held in love. Bodies that give birth to life.
More often than not, violence accompanies this “profession.”

Desperate people are often accompanied by violent exploitative men. The two go hand in hand. These women sometimes end up raped and murdered. Not only are these women desperate, and have probably led unhappy lives, now they have someone (a pimp) who wants them to go out to sell their bodies for a major share of the money! How can people do this?

How can life get so bad that this is where you end up?

Despised by men and women as the lowest of human beings, but discreetly embraced by men who want to satisfy their sexual urges.

They say that while there are men, there will always be prostitutes, but they also say that not all women are trapped in desperation, but see themselves as the ones wielding the power. The power to open themselves up to men – for a price. These women say they are making a lot of money, that is all, and that no one is exploiting them…

But let’s move away from the word exploit and return to the word compassion. How can compassion flourish when the most important act between men and women, the one that is love, has been reduced to a financial transaction? How can we have empathy with others when we use the feminine form for no more than a receptacle for semen? How can there be love without a kiss?

Shhh! It’s a secret

As men, we must start to understand ourselves and our sexual urges. We believe ourselves to be civilised, and we have morals and values, but when given the chance, and when nobody’s looking, we can’t help ourselves. We secretly buy magazines to masturbate to; we secretly use our credit cards to join sex sites on the internet; we secretly watch dvd’s when our wives and girlfriends are out; we secretly pay women for sex, or secretly go to places to watch women gyrate up and down poles.

I think we should all take a vow of celibacy until such time as we understand our own minds and how the sexual urges can be understood. We need to understand that being a human male carries responsibility. We cannot expect to be the most intelligent beings on the planet if we give in to our sexual urges as quickly as a dog or the bull in the field.

Just because you see an attractive woman does not mean you have to have sex with her; just because you are thinking about sex does not mean you have to instantly masturbate.

We are wired to have sex, but we need to concentrate on developing our key skills in relation to it. Love, empathy and compassion. Could you ever say you experienced all three when having sex? I will not have sex with another woman unless I feel those things.

I have felt both sides of the sexual experience; the emptiness of sex with a stranger, and the fulfilment of making love to a partner. So men, please stop for a moment before you masturbate to pornography again, or go down to the local brothel, or pick up a woman on the street, and ask yourself one question “Am I compassion, or am I violence?” The answer will dictate your action.


by alan macmillan orr

‘the natural mind – waking up’

2009

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