Sunday, 6 September 2009

Pondering Porn

I've spent this weekend thinking about porn. Not enjoyable at all. Porn makes me groggy. It's tedious and repetitive.

Why, you might ask, have I been ruminating on the subject? Three things, really:

1) I've been beset by online offers (nay, pleas) to view naked people, mostly through Twitter, but the latest was a comment on my Flckr account which took me directly through to some rather arresting images. Boy, are they barking up the wrong tree...

2) There was a recent newspaper article about a Statistics Canada survey which cheerfully claims that today's teen-aged girls are having sex later. It turns out that that they are, in fact, having (probably giving, she says, jadedly) oral sex, but delaying actual coitus. Furthermore, it seems that teen-aged girls still long for relationship and connection, while teen-aged boys long for....erotic satisfaction. Apparently the lads' expectations come from hours of viewing porn online. As an aside, I'm assuming this is also why today's young women are expected to be shaved up like porn stars with "landing strips" and "Brazilians", something of which I was blissfully unaware until I started reading blogs. I had to google the terms to find out what was being discussed. (Yikes.) When did this trend turn up, sometime while I was out of the loop having babies?

3) I'm reading John Mortimer's biography (which, for an authorized biography, is remarkably warts and all) and much of his court work in the seventies and eighties involved obscenity trials. He took the quite popular position that freedom of expression is sacrosanct.

Well, okay. Noble sentiment. But sometimes I wonder if unrestricted access to porn really improves us as a society. I mean, it seems to me that Playboy, that august promoter of women's rights (coff, coff), had the side effect of making boobs the be-all and end-all of female attractiveness. Even so, the Playmates of a few decades ago, although unusually pretty and busty, were at least largely un-manufactured. From what I can see today, and admittedly, my experience is limited, centrefolds and porn stars are flat-tummied, pencil-waisted ladies with enormous breasts courtesy of implants. Also shaved to within a inch of their lives. If this is what young men feel entitled to, no wonder so many girls seem to have given up and hit the Haagen-Daaz.

As porn is so grim, grinding and humourless, I think we need some witty relief. I leave you with the immortal Tom Lehrer whose songs have become a bit scary because, as the decades roll on, they cease to be exaggerations:

4 comments:

Bwca Brownie said...

oh my dear! merely having 'pron' in your heading will attract the creepy losers who put 'pron' into the searchbox and cruise the buffet.

Statistics Canada is pretty dumb to bother with the effort of a survey to arrive at the conclusion I could have told them for free.
Very disturbing to think of young girls risking their oral health too.

Males in general are obssessed with breasts and they don't care if they are silicon.

The male version of a Brazilian is 'sanga' - how would I know this? From blogs of course. Learn a lot from blogs!

Persephone said...

Don't I know it! Last December, I did a post entitled "Grown-up Sex" and got all sort of interesting searches in my stats counter. Fortunately, the "no Anonymous comments" and "pre-publishing approval" functions that Blogger offers seem to have discouraged creepy comments thus far.

The point I was clumsily trying to make is my main concern with porn, freedom of expression being all very well, is that it warps young men's ideas of what the female body is supposed to look like. If they think hairless torsos with tiny waists and huge breasts (silicon or no) are the norm, then that's the prospect of shaving and surgery for young girls (who, come to think of it, have grown up with Barbie).

chrissie_allen said...

Too true, it is scary and sad that young boys' ideas of females are being kind of hijacked and warped by porn images which surround them.
It does seem to be everywhere.As mother to a daughter and two sons, I have always tried to be there for them when they have needed questions answered about ...well anything that may confuse or frighten them of course but especially apropos of porn...because I think it can be very scary for them at such a young, and crucial time of their lives..in their teens.It is easy to get things tangled up, so to speak, in the mind. Hence when you think of the high number of teenage males exposed to the stuff,it's little wonder that they are a bit jaundiced in their view of the girls they encounter every day..at school and college for instance. It is a huge worry....and sadly, one that doesn't seem to be going away any time soon. Thanks for the post Persephone.

Jane Henry said...

I couldn't agree more Persephone. There was a very good programme (if a little sensationalist about it over here). And yes all the boys on the prog wanted their girlfriends to shave because that's what they see in porn. I'm not particularly prudish but the access that impressionable teens can get to stuff that really is going to warp their ideas about sex and relationships is depressing beyond belief. But genie out of the bottle I think, sadly.