I stopped watching porn for two reasons. First: It brought so much anger and violence into my fantasies. Anger and violence that were not there originally. This was not me. I felt that I have to put an end to it. Second: I realized that by watching porn I take part in creating a demand for filmed prostitution, because that's what porn is – filmed prostitution.
Porna = whore, Graphya = documentation. And: Prostitution was nobody's childhood dream. It is always a result of trouble and distress. I gradually became aware of all that when I was volunteering at the field with people from the sex industry, some of them victims of human-traffic. But on the personal level, you don't really need to serve aid in brothels or in street corner and under bridges in order to understand how this mechanism works.
Porn is never about erotica or healthy sexual communication. It is all about male domination over women. The only free will a woman is allowed to have in porn, is the will to be dehumanized as a sexual object for the use of men. Catharine Mackinnon wrote that if we were to ask pornography ‘What defines something as sexual?’, pornography would laugh at our faces and answer: ‘What defines sexual? Whatever men find arousing!’
If it arouses men to have brutal sex without even one hug or kiss or tender caress – than it is sexual! It arouses men to choke a woman? To see a woman or a child cry? Ok, than that's sexual. It arouses a man to beat up a woman? To abuse her? To ejaculate sperm all over a woman's face along with ten other guys? To rape women? Well, it is sexual!
Every mainstream porn gallery on the web has a rape section. It is considered to be a legit category. Just like the abuse category, the violence gallery and the humiliation titled flics. As if regular porn in not full of these motives already.
Even in its mildest version, what porn is showing us 80 percent of the time or more, is actually sex with no hands involved. I want to repeat that for a second. Sex without hands. If you are not going to give up porn, please notice the next time you watch, that porn cameras have no interest in sensual natural behavior. Such as petting, caressing, making out, kissing, hugging. No. What porn cameras are into is the penetration.
And therefor, most of the time the composition is a man and a woman. His penis is inside her. It does not really matter where inside her: mouth, anus or vagina. And in order for the camera to get the close-up on the penetration the man stands with his hands behind his back.
The women is supposed to handle the penis inside her without blocking the camera or disturbing his aggressive action, so the result is two people having sex when the only body parts that touch each other are the penis and the area being penetrated. That's all. This is not how we authentically desire.
Before I started to watch porn, all my fantasies had a strong narrative in them of sensuality and mutuality. I had always imagined what I will say to her, what would she possibly answer, what will the setting be, the location, the circumstances of the two of us being alone all of a sudden, how will the bodily inflaming between us emerge, step by step? This was all super important in my mind.
After porn-watching on weekly basis? I found myself masturbating filled with anger, grinding my teeth, trying desperately to imagine something more human and not making it because my head was bombarded with images of women being violated, subordinated and forced into pretending they enjoy diabolic sperm rituals. I would resent myself afterwards. I knew I had to stop, but easier said than done.
We are all vulnerable to porn. Not just young people. I'll give you an example from everyday life: I came home at night like a year ago, and my beloved one was watching a karaoke show. Auditions. The one with the chairs turning. I know it's a cultural junk. It is not about music, no Johnny or Carol King is ever going to come out of these two minute singing five minute blabbering about karaoke things. But still, you need to turn off your mind from time to time. First audition was not that horrible, two others were almost as boring as the judges so I decided I had enough and went into the shower. For five maybe more, maybe even 10 minutes, I was standing under the water, and pondering severely, what would have been my song for the audition? Arab song? Hebrew song? Mercedes Sosa one? Perhaps a cover of Dylan's "Blind Willie McTell"? It took me around ten minutes to get over myself and realize I am an idiot. What was I pondering about? What song will I never sing in that audition that I would never go to? It was never ever a wish of mine, to be a musician, but what can I do? I watched 20 minutes of it so it entered my brain for a while.
Now if we think about the impact of this one time in front of the TV for 20 minutes, we can only imagine in horror what is the impact of watching porn for 20 minutes, two or three times a week. Nothing un-moderated.
I will tell you what is the impact: 90 percent of twelve year olds are watching porn regularly. It has both an addictive effect on boys and a paralyzing effect. Porn teaches us that as a man, you are solely valued in sex by having a large penis with an eternal erection. It is not about sensuality, communication or generosity. It is not about being attentive or passionate or well-coordinated. The only thing that counts are those two unrealistic qualities: immense penis and eternal sunshine. If porn does not paralyze boys, it means very often that they become imitators of what they saw in the movie, which means they turn into aggressors. Even when there is emotion involved. We have got so much sexual abuse going on today under the radar because it is taking place in what we perceive from the outside as a teenage love story. So a healthy grown–up relationship.
Porn influences in our main stream culture - like reality-tv, commercials, music videos - is passing the message to young girls and women, that in order to be worthy of love you must first be worthy of sexual desire. And the definition of sexually desirable woman is a porn star!
Amanda Todd, RIP (Anmerkung: die amerikanische Schülerin Amanda Todd hat 2012 Selbstmord begangen, nachdem sie monatelang von ihren Mitschülern wegen eines Nacktfotos im Netz gemobbt wurde. Kurz davor hat sie dieses Video auf Youtube veröffentlicht), is not alone. I work in dozens and dozens of high schools and junior highs, and in each and every one of them I find girls that searched to please some guy they loved and agreed to be documented for him in intimate situations. But their trust was misappropriated, and he sold the images on the internet and on wattsup. Nobody addresses him. It is solely the girls who suffer shame and mortification. Girls are being haunted on social networks because, they get clinically depressed, develop eating disorders, and become isolated to the level of social death. Some, just like poor Amanda Todd, even end up committing suicide.
Pornography is not a minor phenomenon in our society. It is a capital case. Porn is in our households, and it does not agree with our well-being. In some cases, as we can see, it is even a matter of life and death. It is especially a matter of life and death for those who participate in it. Porn is not an embodiment of freedom of speech. It's an embodiment of sexual exploitation, working side by side with solicitation, pimping, forced manipulation, rape and human trafficking. For every porn star with a book contract, we have thousands of girls and women which don´t survive out there. Literally they just don´t make it. The sex industry just picks them up and spits them back into broad house, into hooking in the street, escorting, massage parlours with happy or unhappy ending – depends, who you ask. This is the whole spectrum of prostitution. Why so many of them don't make it to the age of 50 in countries averaging over 75? Four main reasons: Drugs, Sexually transmitted diseases, murder by a john\pimp\boyfriend - and suicide.
Because if you are a prostitute – on camera or off camera – you are in the situation that can be referd to a social death. We have all sat at the dinner table with people who probably consumed prostitution, once, twice at least. We never set down to a table with a prostitute. Not with the declared one. So that´s social death. It is not glamourous, not at all.
When I seat in front of my laptop at the privacy of my room and I watch porn, even without paying for it, I create a demand. And wherever there is a demand – there will be supply! If I watch black older women – someone is going to go out and pimp black older women. Was it under 18 Asian girls I was watching? Someone is already trafficking them to shoot more films. Was it all-American college girls you like? Israeli women? Palestinian ones? The scum of the earth are on their way to prostitute them on camera.
I stopped watching porn in order to reclaim control and responsibility over my personal love life, my well-being, and yes, it has an effect on the lives of others.
I want to propose a notion of physically and emotionally safe sex. Lets dedicate some time and effort in our homes and in our schools for this subject.
Emotionally safe sex is not about being conservative or unliberated sexually. It is very much for sexual freedom. It just means we need be respectfully human in our sex life. If two souls are all alone, in private, can they please have a laugh together? If we don't manage to laugh and feel comfortable, what good can possibly grow there?
I really wish we will start talking about these issues more often. Our history of silence never did us any good. Silence only perpetuates more silence, while talking normally gives birth to more and more talks, more shares, more identification, awareness, change, real change in this world. In our small, humble life, but a true one.