In Defence Of Porn...
| July 21, 2017
I recently read this article, and have been inspired (/incensed?) to respond here on My blog...
Porn warps culture. I hope credit-card checks nudge adults out of the habit
by Christina Patterson
Firstly, let Me say that although I (currently) only make non-nude, fetish/FemDom content, I stand in solidarity with ALL porn performers. I very much class Myself as both a sex worker and a pornographer. All of us in the industry are subject to a society which at once consumes the content we produce, whilst also criminalising us and decrying us for producing it. Let Me also say, that I have mixed feelings about the digital economy bill. For those unaware, the bill will require age proof of age *** on all pornographic content. Websites which refuse to comply will be blocked in the UK. This may well include My website, which you're reading this blog on right now.
I have yet to read any real, unbiased study stating that children are adversely affected by viewing pornography. But, I also don't believe that a lack of such evidence means porn is good for children to be viewing. If anyone can point Me in the direction of any such studies, then I would love to hear from you...
Although it will adversely impact Me and My business, I agree with the idea that porn should probably be less available to children. But... I also believe that blocking websites and other such censorship is a violation of liberty. As so eloquently put by activists such as Pandora Blake and Myles Jackson, porn is the 'canary in the coalmine' of free speech. Censorship of porn may well be the thin end of the wedge... What might our government decide we shouldn't be viewing next?
I feel somewhat personally 'protective' over porn. Not simply because I make it, but because I believe it has had a positive impact on Me and My sexuality. I have spent the majority of the past few years either single or in long distance relationships. Porn has helped Me explore and enjoy My sexuality without needing to resort to casual sex with near strangers. Porn helped Me to understand My body and how it responds to pleasure. It has taught Me how to make Myself orgasm more easily, and how to then better instruct My lovers. The sex I have with partners is better and healthier as a result of masturbation, which has been aided in part by pornography (and My hitachi wand 🙂 )
So, now you know a little more about My own outlook, let's dive into this terrible article together.
Christina Patterson makes sweeping statements that children copy what they see in porn. That porn teaches them to disregard consent. That children believe violence and screaming are a normal part of sex. That sexual harassment in schools is becoming ever more normalised by porn. That children are being stripped of their childhoods.
This is presented with NO evidence at all (unless you count those unnamed 'expert witnesses'), but I'll bite anyway.
It may well be that children are copying what they see in porn. That they now believe screaming or violence is a normal part of it. That they are disregarding consent as a result. But in the absence of any real sex education telling them otherwise, where else do you expect children to learn about this?
It's also worth noting, whilst on the topic of violence in pornography, that there's actually much than you might initially think. This article by Psychology Today (debunking a study claiming 88% of porn shows violence against women) looks across 5 peer review studies. They found violence against women in 2%-36% of porn. The disparity between these studies findings is generally a result of what the examiners class as 'violence'. That study that found only 2% of pornography showing violence against women? That was the only study which didn't class consensual BDSM as violence.
I was a female school child before the age of the internet, and I suffered sexual harassment at school. Most of My female friends did too... this is, sadly, hardly a new phenomenon. I don't want to make light of a serious issue, and I accept perhaps porn is now adding to a hyper sexualised culture, but this problem already existed long before hardcore pornography was so readily available. Blaming porn entirely is just scapegoating.
For Me, it's clear that there is a huge failure in our education system. For some reason entirely unknown to Me, there seems to be a moral outrage at giving our children anything more than the bare minimum in reproductive biology. God forbid they might go on to make informed choices about their bodies, their sex lives or their relationships in the future...
Patterson quite boldly claims that 'porn warps'. She states that PornHubs most popular search terms of 'crying in pain', 'extreme brutal gangbang', 'sleep assault', 'step mum' and 'teen' as her evidence.
Here are the actual most searched terms reported by PornHub in the UK last year...
This is taken from PornHubs 2016 Year in Review, which I highly recommend you take the time to browse over yourself, it's fascinating... https://www.pornhub.com/insights/2016-year-in-review
'Step Mum' comes in at #5, and 'Teen' is the second most popular category. The far more offensive and violent search terms of 'crying in pain', 'extreme brutal gangbang' and 'sleep assault' are funnily enough nowhere to be seen. I guess reporting the truth (that people like watching sexy videos of massages and british chavs) just doesn't quite paint the panicked picture Patterson would like.
Under the digital economy bill, you may to need to jump through a few hoops to get your porn. They may ask for credit card details and charge a small fee. You'll be leaving a bigger 'porn footprint' as a result. Patterson especially relishes in how this might show up on bank accounts and be seen 'by wives'.
Not only does this insinuate that only men consume pornography, but it also ignores some more dangerous personal implications. Imagine how homophobic parents of a 19 year old teen might react if they see a bank statement with a payment to a gay pornography website? Or how highly traditional parents might react to their adult child's donation to a kink or trans website?
Just under 1/4 of PornHubs visits are by women. Men are clearly not the only ones who consume pornography...
Patterson claims that she doubts people who consume porn remain loving partners and pillars of society. I am both a producer and consumer of pornography. By Pattersons standards, that probably makes Me the lowest of the low. The reality is a different picture. I am a very loving partner, not only in My personal life, but to My paying slaves. Open communication and consent is at the forefront of every interaction I have, sexual or paid. I educate about consent at every chance I get.
Perhaps there aren't many people would class Me as a 'pillar of society', but I am certainly not a menace to it. I was able to financially, physically and emotionally support My parents through My dads illness thanks to My work. I've also supported past partners/friends through tough times when they might have otherwise fallen through the cracks of this 'society' Patterson cares so much about. I get lots of free time, and I spend some of that giving my time to a charity which works to support some of the most at risk women in My city. Maybe it's irrelevant, but I also paid more taxes in 2014 than Facebook (like many Pro-Dommes I imagine). But hey, fuck all that, because every now and again I like to watch sexy videos.
I don't say any of that to win any accolades. Almost everyone I know, including My own fans, are loving, kind and generous people. They care deeply about the people around them and about society as a whole. The fact they like to get their rocks off to porn on occasion doesn't make them monsters. To shame the viewers of pornography and paint them as demons to society is both wrong and disgusting.
Patterson says the internet inventor Tim-Berners-Lee probably didn't dream of a wild west that would do us so much harm, and that she can't wait for the day when we're all a little bit less free. Funnily enough, when the 'porn filters' came out back in 2013, they didn't just block adult content. They also blocked helpful sex education websites aimed at teenagers, such as the charity Brook. Blocked websites also include support forums for lesbians, gays, trans, queer and intersex people. They even blocked NHS pages aimed at providing teenagers with sexual health education. That doesn't much sound to Me like the 'open platform that would allow everyone, everywhere, to share information, access opportunities, and collaborate across geographic and cultural boundaries' that Tim Berners-Lee imagined either.
What Patterson handily misses out from the NSPCC report is...
"Children and young people want information, advice and support about porn that is suitable for different ages and genders. They want to be able to easily get safe, reliable and private information that is fun and relevant to them"
My advice to those with Christina Pattersons view is this... how about instead of spending all that time and energy blaming pornography, and decrying all porn producers and porn consumers as deviants, you start canvassing for real, innovative and comprehensive sex education to be mandatory in our schools? Because honestly, without that, what other frame of reference have children got for sex other than porn? The digital economy bill may well stop kids stumbling across porn by mistake. But it won't stop them searching for it using VPN's because they have no other information about sex to learn from.
I imagine we would all be much happier and healthier if we have gotten real sex education at school.
Imagine sex education classes for our children which don't just teach about biology, but help children to learn about their relationships to other people and to their own bodies. How important it is to recognise and set your own boundaries, and to respect other peoples. Teach them all about the nuances of consent, and give them tools on how to navigate it.
Certainly teach them about the risks of STI/STD's, but also teach them about the unfair stigma attached to many of them. Give them advice about contraception which will protect them, and the importance of regular STI testing and cervical screenings. Teach young women they shouldn't feel shame about their sexual desires or their bodies. Teach young men to respect women, and to embrace and vocalise their emotions. Have them learn about the entire spectrum of alternative sexuality. Teach them that falling under the LBTQIA+ umbrella is both normal and natural. Give them resources for further support if they need it.
Most crucially, teach children that porn is a fantasy made by and for adults. That sometimes, what we see in porn is not what is most enjoyable. It's about what looks best for the camera. That porn often bears as little likeness to real life sex as the latest Quentin Tarantino film bears to real life in general. I know for a fact how much I would have personally benefited from such an education.
I am hopeful, but sadly I think we are a long way off this being the reality.
Advocating for proper sex education, instead of inciting moral panic, just wouldn't get as many clicks through to the Guardians website...
(Image credit for this beauty goes to John Jonik)
Until next time…