Saturday, November 3, 2012

It is Hard to like Sex in America

            I like to think of myself as sex positive. Something things might seem like I am way too strict about. Like my boycotts. And my stance on chromosomes.

            I like sex. I would like to think most people who know me would agree. I want to enjoy sex more and more.

            I also like porn. These can be mutually exclusive. For me, I like both. I don’t need porn. I have plenty of good sex without. It is another, separate like that I have. One can be incorporated with the other so I like to mixed them too.

            Opponents of porn often point to the way that lives are ruined. But the first way that lives are ruined is from judgment by small minded people. That is definitely the most prevalent and lasting way that anyone’s live can be ruined. So the small minded ways of others are the first way to ruin another person.

            Some people point towards drug use in the porn industry. I am not going to deny that usage. But I will point out that industries that are far bigger and more prominent have much bigger problems.

            Very few advocates against porn can actually name an actor or actress that drugs actually affected though. That is like if you ask a believer about the inconsistencies in their holy book, their response to you might be, “Where? What inconsistences?” To which the non-believer should retort, “If you don’t know about them, you should study your holy book a lot closer.” The believer wants to put their head in the sand and not truly know why they should be both for and against something. But that is neither here nor there.

            I will give as an example the difference between the deaths of Kurt Cobain and Shannon Whirry better known as Savannah. Both of these people were tortured artist who died in drug related incidents. Cobain committed suicide using a gun. Savannah committed a form of suicide dying in a car accident. Both had drugs in their system when they died.

            So which is the bigger threat? I would think the music industry which is all over the place. Radio. TV Shows. Music Videos. Why aren’t there strong voices against music?

            Some people will say this is a flawed argument. But this analogy is direct. Mostly because it is not an industry that destroys people. People destroy themselves.

            The big wigs, swells or management that run Porn want to have healthy and active stars. That way they make more money. They don’t want people to die any more than the music industry wants to have the ‘27 club’.

            What would really help is something that helps the artists deal with their issues. So they can make their respective art for longer. Programs that can help people deal with the things going on in their lives. Not just addiction. But the feeling of fame being truly empty. The way they have to question friendships and relationships. There has to be a way to help them deal with all that stuff. [Look at me talking as if I know what it is like.]

            Another thing that opponents will point to is STDs. But there have been very few STD outbreaks in the porn company. Much smaller than in the regular community of people. I am more than willing to bet that both in percentage and aggregate, the number of infected people in porn is way less then in normal life.

            Which leads back to simply being more vigilant about preventing STDs. For everyone. That way everyone is safer.

            I wish there were more sex positive people out there. I wish therapists would not demonize people for their sexual desires. Have a way to deal with the oversexed partner. Especially if they have similar sex drives in the past.

            I am kind of rambling here. I had this thought in my head. I had to get it out. Even if it is incomplete. I just can’t have it rattling around in there. This is far from a complete argument. It is just kind of random ramblings I am putting out there.

I just wish Sex Positive people could all be less worried about being sex positive. Enjoy more sex. Enjoy Better Sex. Everyone should be happy with that, I would think. But, not so much.

            Here’s you those out there that like sex. We need more sex positive people.


AvaAlso said...

I am probably going to regret wading into this argmument but I will anyway.

I like to think of myself as a fairly sex positive person but, despite using it, I do think that the current crop of mainstream visual hardcore pornography can be problematic. I don't think this means it should be outlawed or that people who use it should be shamed or punished over it. First I'll answer to what you put in your post, then I'll add anything else I find problematic.

Drug use: This isn't an argument that I would make against porn, but I think there are some differences between porn and music that don't make your example quite work. Music had been around for centuries before hardcore drug use became problem a large percentage of musicians faced. Even with that said, I'm sure that there was an argument against psychedelic music in the 1960s because the music and the musicians were associated with drug use.

Of course the real difference is that most of the opponents you're talking about are religious and know that music can be used for good or bad, to uplift and to corrupt. I'm sure that they are against music that talks about sex and drug use. On the other hand, they don't see porn as having any positive side, so drug use by the actors and actresses is just another reason against it.

To me, what is problematic in the drug use, both in the porn industry and the music industry, is that many people drawn to both of these professions are tortured by past traumas and/or other mental health issues. Then, they use booze or drugs to self-medicate, to deal with both the trauma/issues and the way that they feel doing what they're doing. But as long as they can still perform, there are people counting on them to still do this job, which they might not do if they had the help needed to clear up those traumas/issues. Often, there is a greater incentive for those around them to just manage their drug/alcohol use than there is for those people to get them the real help that they need. There are plenty of musicians who's music went to shit once they got clean and some who got out of it altogether. I'm sure that the same would happen for some porn stars. I think that many people in the industry, not just the people making the movies but the agents and such, desire money-making stars who look good, which is not the same as being healthy. This is often true of most industries.

I agree with you on the STD thing. The major porn companies have pretty strict policies about that and require testing, though I'd honestly like to see more companies that use condoms in their scenes, for reasons I'll get into further down.

AvaAlso said...

Part 2
I think the bigger problems are tied up in our culture. Just like almost everything in our culture, it does create an unrealistic ideal of what people look like and how sex happens. It's an easy out to say that adults know that it is just fantasy, as much as romantic comedies are fantasies, and no one should base their expectations on that. But that isn't how life works. Also, most of us don't start watching porn when we're an adult. There's a scare statistic that says the average age people are exposed to porn is 11, but a recent study says that it is still 14, which is unchanged from previous generations and an age appropriate time to be curious about sex. On the other hand, what a 14 year old can see online for free is much different from what a 14 y/o in previous generations could see in their dad's dirty mags or even his vhs pornos. Fourteen year olds don't know that you should do foreplay to get the woman in a better place for sex or that you can'd just slam a dick in an asshole with no prep. Straight men of my age group and younger seem to expect all their female partners to be either completely shaved/waxed or mostly shaved/waxed and what little hair might be there to be groomed to death. Yep, just as soon as you shave/wax your balls the same amount, buddy. I didn't know that most real women don't have "clean-looking" (bleached) assholes and no fat on their mons until I was with a thin lesbian who complained that she didn't have any fat there, no cushion, who told me all about those porn tricks. Of course porn uses tricks, just like all advertising and modeling and movies, but because porn is hidden, we don't have anyone talking openly about the tricks that they use and how unrealistic it is, especially to younger people.

While I agree that it would be nice to have more sex positive people, I think that the real problem is that we don't have a sex positive culture. We don't have a culture were we can talk without shame in an age appropriate way about informed enthusiastic consent between adults (or same-aged people), about how to have sex, all kinds of sex, in a safe and healthy manner, how to educate ourselves about all kinds of sex. We can't talk to our kids about the unrealistic expectations set up by porn because we can't even address the fact that they are masturbating in the first place. We can't have healthy discussions about it in straight couples so that (usually) the woman can understand that her male partner doesn't love or desire her less because he rubs a quick one out by himself because our monogamy-focused culture has taught her that it means he wants another woman, which is obviously forbidden. I could go on and on, but I think you get the idea.

AvaAlso said...

Part 3
And as for couples counseling, I'm not sure what the best idea is there, regarding what couples with differing sex drives should do. Therapists, and people in general, are taught to compromise, so they look for a medium ground. When it comes to sex, that's tricky because no one wants to say "You should have sex when you don't want to," because that sounds pretty rape-y. If both people compromise, their usually both unhappy and sometimes resentful, though it's harder to be resentful when the other person is unhappy too. If one person does all the giving and the other person gets what they want, the giver is always unhappy and resentful. At least as long as both people continue to look at the situation the same way. Dan Savage has an interesting take on the situation, " Here's what you should do instead: You commit to great sex at least once a week. He deals. But you also commit to making sure your boyfriend is thoroughly milked—with your cheerful assistance—three times a week. You commit to being his full-blown sex partner once a week and his life-size, ambulatory masturbatory aide at least three times a week." Rest of the post here: