Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The Horrors of Pornography

For those who haven't been following along, I'm pro-porn. I believe in allowing people to engage with their sexualities in any way they please that doesn't harm others without the fully informed consent of those others.

Alarmist hand-wringing is nothing new. The internet didn't invent it. You need only look at the satanic ritual abuse cases of the 1980s to see how far alarmist hand-wringing can take people.

The one I'm addressing today is, as you've no doubt figured out, about pornography. Specifically the most recent alarm being sounded that because of all their exposure to pornography on the internet, men (always just men, isn't it?) are losing interest in partnered sex. The reasons cited for this are various, and not really the focus of this blog post. No, the focus of this blog post is to make lemonade.

You see, if we accept the current alarmists at their word. If we accept that they are doing real science, and that the issues they are bringing up are real. Then we come to one inescapable conclusion. All the efforts to limit access to child porn have been contributing to the molestation of children.

If all the porn that men (again with the not so subtle sexism from these alarmists) have access to in virtually limitless quantities on the internet really is "rewiring their brains" such that they're no longer interested in sex with real women, then the only morally correct thing to do is to immediately halt any and all efforts to stop or slow the distribution of child porn on the internet, and indeed start subsidizing that industry.

I realize some may object to taxpayer dollars going to support the child porn industry, but to quote an entirely different group of alarmists, "if it saves just one child."

Now, of course, I don't believe that pornography has these horrific effects on the (male) libido. I don't believe the alarmists who attach the term "addiction" as though it can damn a perfectly safe, healthy activity by pointing out that there exists some small group of people who develop addictions and compulsions associated with it. I don't believe access to porn hurts the viewer in any way.

But I figure this argument will either shut up this particular batch of pro-censorship alarmists and provide some measure of protection for free speech by using my own boogie-man status against them, or they'll stick to their guns and start lobbying for government subsidized child porn. Either way, I consider it a win.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. (above comment was removed because it posted before I was done)

    Porn is an addiction. I can personally attest to the fact that removing it from your life makes you far more confident, sociable, and returns you to the animalistic stage from the sub-animalistic. When the vast majority of females you see in your life are naked on a computer screen, you find it impossible to think of anything other than sex when you're around a female normally. Because your mind is so saturated with porn, your brain automatically accepts sex to be the norm. Your behaviour around the opposite sex is distorted, and it is my theory that this overexposure to illusory sexual encounters leads to the Nice Guy Syndrome.

    Many argue that child porn reduces the risk of actual child molestation, but that logic is flawed. Take for example a straight, non-pedophile basement-dweller who will never have sex in his life. There were many of those that existed before internet porn was invented, that doesn't mean they resorted to raping women on the street. In the end, sex is simply a form temporary, material sense gratification that seldom lasts longer than a few minutes. People have gone their whole lives without it and they suffer none of the "severe consequences of repression" that many psychotherapists would have you believe.

    Admittedly, it was only through exposure to a higher taste that I was able to quit it, as it is indeed a very powerful illusory force. Scientific understanding of the detrimental effects is not enough to break the cycle permanently. But since quitting that life of extreme sense gratification I have never looked back.

    1. I would argue that Nice Guy Syndrome is caused by deceptive behavior by women trying to spare guys' feelings during a rejection and botching the job. Also this:

      I think you're arguing with a straw man regarding the argument that child porn reduces the risk of child molestation. It should go without saying that the overwhelming majority of pedophiles are perfectly capable of exercising self control under even fairly extreme circumstances. Likewise there are child molesters who will do what they do regardless. It's only the borderline cases that are impacted at all by policy decisions like this.

      I agree that celibacy isn't nearly as difficult to live with as people often claim, but whenever you make any given choice harder, the people on the borderline will be tipped one way or the other. I'd argue that more people are tipped away from child molestation by child porn than are tipped towards it, but I'm open to arguments otherwise.

      My preference that child pornography be decriminalized is, of course, not based on any potential impacts to the child molestation statistics. That's simply a useful argument. My preference for decriminalization comes from both my view that knowledge is an inherent good, thus my opposition to censorship in all its forms, and my view that most images currently classed as child porn were harmless to the model depicted and that of those images that aren't, the harm was done by the rapist, not by viewers of the documentation of that harm.

      I don't understand what you mean when you say "higher taste". Can you elaborate?

    2. I think you have some good points regarding the Nice Guy Syndrome. The rape culture is definitely a significant factor in it. I believe however, coming from personal experience, that internet pornography is the unseen influence that has caused the Nice Guy Syndrome to become a more noticeable symptom in today's society. It would be interesting to see whether the symptom has been studied in pre-modern society, and if it was as prevalent in the past as it is today.

      I see your point about child porn. I guess if the borderline cases absolutely cannot control themselves one way or another in their sexual ventilation, it's better to be on the safe side of the fence. However I feel that the entire urge can be transcended by tasting a higher pleasure.

      Ok, I should probably explain myself. Like you, I'm a pedophile. For the past several years of my life I've been addicted to the cycle of internet porn (lolicon, etc). It really screwed my brain and even though I remained strong in my studies, I had quite a severe social anxiety, especially around girls. I was disgusted with the sub-animalistic behaviour of our society even during this period and I felt disillusioned with it, but my hypocrisy of being a slave to it only led to frustration.

      I've always been very skeptical of spirituality and I thought that, having studied astronomy, I already knew all the answers. I came across the Hare Krishnas in the new city I moved to and, being a poor student, started going along for the free meals. The people there resonated such happiness that I couldn't think of any rational explanation other than that they were under the influence of some delusional placebo effect.

      It wasn't long before I started to realize that there was something about the Bhakti Yoga (devotional service) that reciprocated genuine pleasure. As I started to spend more and more time with these people, experiencing the transcendental sound of the music, tasting the spiritually purified food, chanting the mantras in meditation, I noticed a change in myself and my consciousness. It was like taking the red pill in the Matrix - I suddenly saw all these social constructions from a higher platform.

      It was one very specific day that changed everything for me though. On Krishna's appearance day there was a festival with the most highly charged spiritual atmosphere. I can hardly describe the experience - a two-day super dosage of devotional service that reciprocated more pleasure than the temporary gratification of any masturbatory climax I'd ever achieved.

      In the days following that extreme exposure to a higher taste the most bizarre things happened. Food that was not spiritually prepared tasted bland. The musicians I had previously listened to and adored now just sounded uninteresting. Films without spiritual depth seemed unimportant. And, in the initial weeks, I had almost no desire for sex pleasure.

      I essentially lost the taste for material sense gratification, including the most powerful of all which is sex desire.

      Of course, since that time the forces of illusory material desires have returned to influence me, but I can suppress it now by drawing on that higher taste - something I tried and failed to do in the past.

    3. (continued)

      Anyway, apologies for the rather long response to your question. I don't mean to give you my life story or preach religion, but the fact is, this isn't about believing anything. It's about experiencing it. I want to tell you that I haven't been indoctrinated, this isn't some crazy bullshit. The pleasure is real, and it genuinely transcends material sense gratification which our entire society is structured around and which seems to lie at the center of many of your views. I've followed you for a very long time, since you were Demon of the 4th Shadow on Gaia, and I agreed with everything you say because, as a fellow outcast, you sounded like the only sane person in the world. I don't want to see your incredible mind go to waste fighting for a cause that is ultimately based around temporary sense gratification that brings us down to the animal platform. The “on the fence” people that struggle between two different courses of action for sense gratification can actually transcend the whole thing by realizing that it is just illusory, and real pleasure is found in something totally different. Wherever it is you live in the world, if there is an ISKCON (Krishna Consciousness) centre nearby, I urge you to at least visit it. Anybody is welcome there and they won't force their beliefs down your throat. They usually have feasts on Sundays with Kirtan - an upbeat meditative musical session with traditional instruments. If you try this and experience it, I guarantee you'll never look back.

      - Your longtime fan

    4. Regarding Nice Guy syndrome's apparent sudden appearance, I think a big part of it is that the rise of internet pornography came alongside the rise of the internet as a medium for cultural communication. The Nice Guy Syndrome is a meme. Any examples of this behavior that pre-existed the meme wouldn't have been described in the same terms.

      As for my causes, I don't tend to think of them as about temporary sense gratification. I think of them in terms of justice. I've always maintained that my access to materials and partners potentially improving after society's been successfully reshaped is a pleasant side-effect, not the actual goal.

      If feminism can be described as the radical notion that women are people, my core cause is to make just as obvious the radical notion that children are people. Not pre-people as they're currently regarded.

      Regarding your experiences with pornography addiction, I hasten to note that it isn't that I don't believe there are people for whom pornography can become an addiction with negative side-effects. I do reject the idea that this is universal, and I absolutely class anyone who would use the experiences of such individuals as fodder for advocating censorship as the enemy.

      I personally believe a lot of the negative effects that pornography supposedly has are actually caused by the shame that gets heaped on people who use and enjoy it. Much like the negative effects that get attributed to sex in general in this society. I've managed to talk myself out of feeling ashamed of my sexual desires and the various perfectly legal and harmless things I do to sate them, and I'd like to think that's contributed to the general lack of negative effects I've experienced. Of course, I could just be lucky and lack an inborn susceptibility to compulsive behaviors in general.

      Regarding your spiritual experiences, I'm glad that you've had these experiences and that they've had a positive impact on your life. My religious status and positions are probably sufficient material for an entire other blog post, but suffice it to say, I begrudge no one their faith so long as they're not using it as a bludgeon against me or anyone else.

      As for your recommendation, what you've described actually sounds awful to me. I avoid altered states of consciousness like the plague. I don't drink alcohol for that reason. (Again, no objection to others doing so, but it's something I personally avoid.) Part of it is me just generally being a control freak who worries about what I might say with something reducing my inhibitions. Another part is that I've actually had a bad experience with meditation in my youth, experiencing a temporary loss of identity that sounds very similar to what a lot of meditation proponents advocate and seem to value, but which I found terrifying and generally unpleasant besides.

  3. You want to decriminalize child porn,next is rape. Have you heard of how brutal it can be? Oh wait why would you care if kids get brutally hurt or even killed. You probably think "if it is a small percentage those kids are taking one for the team". I keep forgetting that pedophiles can't hurt kids and if a child gets hurts then a "bigot" made it up.

    1. Love the slippery slope fallacy.

      But I'll speak my own views, thanks.