Advocating porn

So I came across a TED lecture by Ran Gavriely who talked about the dark side of porn, which I felt was extremely patronising and incredibly ill-informed:
Ran claimed that porn videos is all about male-dominance in which the focus is on the act of penetration so in order not to conceal it, the man has his hands behind his back and the woman is in an uncomfortable position. Clearly Ran hadn’t seen much porn, because there are plenty of porn vids in which the penetration is a small part (hope you got the double-meaning here), equal in importance to the built-up or to oral-sex, not to mention different power structures. it seems to me that abstracting sex to “male-dominance”, albeit very common way to look at it, is missing out the fact that women enjoy the act of sex as well and not every penetration is a proof for male-dominance.
Ran also dismisses pornography because of its name, as it stands for ‘porna’ (prostitution) and ‘graph’ (documented). Well, wether prostitution is as bad as Ran describe it we’ll address in moment but regarding the name -what are “food-porn” or “science-porn” or “competence-porn“? in those names the “porn” stands for “something that you really like” and yes, we can discuss the psychoanalysis of people who like to watch food porn, but let’s agree the “pornography” actually stands for “the enjoyment of watching sex”. what makes it such a bad thing? is it merely our society that decided sex should be done secretly as if it’s a bad thing? The truth it, whether we want it or not – sex is fun. everyone are doing it (or at least most people would like to do it). There’s nothing wrong with consensual sex and don’t let anyone tell you differently.
Ran argues that porn provides young watchers wrong expectations regarding body physics and endurance. Well, This is also true regarding the beauty industry in general, and it’s causing havocs on young girls’ self-esteem. Likewise The same applies for unrealistic action movies as well, and these two are extremely more common. Lucky for us, beauty industry isn’t as taboo as porn so we can talk to girls and explain to them to that beauty consists of good genes, staying healthy, projecting success and using photoshop. If only we could talk to our children about porn, perhaps we could’ve teach them to look at it critically and determine their expectation by other standards.
He also depicts porn videos in which the woman is crying or being chocked, or abused in some way. Yes, sadly there are men and women in the world that find the suffering of others sexually stimulating, but does the prohibiting of such porn will make them any less perverts? or maybe it actually provides them a substitute for committing these acts of torture themselves? The truth is that our society doesn’t know how handle perverts and prefer to shun them out as monsters, simply sweeping the issues underneath the carpet and hoping it won’t get back to bite it on its behind. There are all kinds of videos, for any kind of fantasy. if knitting gives you the tingle – I’m sure you can find videos involving knitting. It is important to remember we live in a capitalists market in which the offered products reflects the demands. Abusive pornography exists because there are perverts out there willing to pay money for it.
I should mention I truly don’y understand why would a person pay to watch sex videos when there are so many of them available for free and are easily-accessible, but the truth is that the porn industry exists because people are willing to pay (a lot of money) for it.
People watch porn for the very same reason they watch anything else – they enjoy it, it stimulate (not only) their mind and provides them with visual reference to fuel their fantasies (just like any other video). Apparently is makes masturbation more pleasurable.
People masturbate mostly to relieve tension. it also makes them feel physically good, like a drug. Unlike real sex, a person won’t say “I’m so happy right now I just want to masturbate!” but it doesn’t mean that the urge is anything less real. At least for non-religious people, masturbation isn’t wrong or bad, but yes, it might be as addictive as alcohol, drugs, fast driving or tv-watching, but it’s more less dangerous. Enjoying it should be a fundamental right just like any other bodily activity that we do. That only limitation we might put on masturbation or pornography is when someone is getting hurt because of it (Exhibitionism is a topic on its own, but not that interesting)
Albeit I tend to believe the majority of prostitutes got into this business from a certain point of despair, I don’t believe there is something inherently exploitative with prostitutions.
And even if it was the case – shouldn’t we help its victims to find other solutions for their despair rather to shun them from society? I believe that healthy society could offer prostitutes alternative answers to their problems and those who choose to stay with this profession over  than earning tenth the money working as a cleaning-person, we should respect and revere just like we respect our doctors, just like classic Japan’s Geishas were respected (This is not to say that all prostitutes earn a lot of money, but they’re in this business because it’s the best solution society could offer them). It is true no person would ever wish his daughter to become a whore, but let’s be honest – nobody wish his daughter to become a fast-food waitress either.
People are watching porn more than ever, especially because it became more available, but can we learn anything about human natural sex-drive from it? Did this sex-drive always existed and pornography only helps it take form or did pornography increased it? I suggest doing this extremely hypothetical experiment and compare between two teenaged boys – one with free access to porn and the other with free access to sex (and not limited to a single partner). Who do you think will exploit his freedom more often?
And if we have a control group of a teenaged boy who has access to neither – who will become more exhausted? more frustrated? more happy?
My guess is that the sex-boy will be much more active and happier than porn-boy and both  will be less frustrated than the control-group. but that’s my personal guess.
The most horrific argument Ran raised, that got me so furious to write this post was that girls participating in amateur porn are destined to ostracisation from society. Basically, instead of embracing the miserable girl that made an honest mistake and helping her re-build her shattered self-image, he condemns her to die before the age of 50 (as he states) while claiming abusively “look what you made me do!” (Ran, YOU are society. YOU are the one to decide the faith of that girl and not these imaginary “other people” you accuse in your behaviour). Our society treats women as sex-objects. Pornography is a very lousy tip of the iceberg.

In conclusion, I believe Ran’s religious-like condemnation of pornography is much like burying the head in the sand, ignoring the need that originally created this industry and rejecting that parts that are harmless and can actually help certain parts of society by deterring them from inflicting sufferings to themselves or to others.

I originally intended to write that porn should not be prohibited, rather than frowned-up, but now I think – “as long as everyone involved are free and happy, who cares? and moreover, who are you to claim to know better and  prevent someone from happiness?”
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