Friday, August 13, 2010

Pornography and Erotica

Today's Erotica was yesterday's Pornography. Historically, male pornography is Penthouse and Hustler magazines whereas female pornography is Harlequin Romance novels.

Nicholas Cage's movie, 9 MM is a classic discussion of the negatives of pornography, especially the 'slippery slidy slope'. Playboy, in the early years of Hefner could hardly be called 'pornography' because it was essentially simply a picture of a semi naked women. The white statues of the 'great art' of Greece were indeed painted in their day so that great art was essentially Playboy Centrefolds in sculpture in Athens.

Sexual Addiction looks at pornography as a 'gateway' drug. To pornography, the internet pornography is the one armed bandit of the gambler or the crack cocaine of the chemically addicted.

The trouble with pornography beyond the naked woman or naked male is that once there are more than one in the picture the viewer becomes "voyeur" and the primal family scenes are played out. Further if drugs or alcohol is involved the ability to separate fantasy from reality is blurred. At least 50% of cocaine addicts are sex addicts.

It is not "normal" for a man to watch another man and woman or even two women having sex. In this 'threesome'' the voyeur becomes the child and the parental dyad is observed with denigration of the adult male to child voyeur. Pornography does little for male self esteem as a result.

Intercourse and normal sexual relationships are relational. If female pornography, now increasingly sanitized under the heading of 'erotica' is 90 % foreplay and 10% actual intercourse, male pornography is 90% intercourse and at most 10% foreplay.

Pornography and erotica are fantasy and projection and create for both men and women a comic book reality with mutually unrealistic goals and desires which naturally result in failure of real sexual interplay, romance and intimate relationships.

In the movie 9mm the movement of pornography was increasingly towards increasing risk and death with the ultimate in pornographic experience the 'snuff movie', actual death whereas in true intimacy the 'death' is 'symbolic' and 'spiritual' as egos are lost in the moments of passion. True sexual intercourse and intimacy are regenerative and healing whereas the pornographic masturbatory experience is ultimately degenerative and wasting.

In sexual addiction studies a recurrent question asked is 'do you feel badly after sex'. Pornography is described as leaving one feeling 'hollow' whereas the act of making love causes a sense of increased vitality.

Increasingly pornography sites are 'bundled' and what is marketed as an 'adult' site with supposedly adult subjects of heterosexual or homosexual adults is increasingly coupled with sites for child pornography or bestiality or extreme sadomasochism causing those who order pornography to their computer to suddenly have child pornography and other forms of illegal material downloaded to their computer without necessarily their being knowledgeable of this occurring.

The seductiveness of the 'illicit' can further cause a person who once sees an illicit image such as child pornography to become obsessed with this taboo object to the detriment of their mental health and quite possibly as a gate way to worse behaviour.

Pornography further creates an unfair comparison to the realistic sexual partners. It's already sad enough that Brad Pitt, Sean Connery, Sandra Bullock, Angelina Jolie and Nicole Kidman all have the movie lives of international intrigues, gunfights, and even space travel. The average life can't compare with the movie lives of stars. Now with pornography not only are we as men not as handsome as Robert Redford or as smart and muscular as Arnold Scwhartzenager, now my penis can't compare with "Long Dong Silver". Further women of pornography are not only chosen for their exceptional and usually very youthful and acrobatic capabilities they are psychologically like wind up duracell bunny dolls. At the most vulnerable men and women in the bed room are comparing each other to celluloid silliness with the depressing consequence of decreasing function and capability.

There is little doubt that some of priapismic rise of Viagra sales is due to the devastating effects of pornography on male sexual stamina and function especially in reality. Even men who frequent real women prostitutes become habituated to false sexual behaviors with the consequence that they are off put and sexually commonly dysfunction with normal women as so well depicted by Jack Nicholson in the classic movie Carnal Knowledge.

Patrick Carnes book "Out of the Shadows" discussing sexual addiction in general is already a classic. Three 12 step programs exist as group self help for sexual addiction. Sexaholics Anonymous is one that is commonly most beneficial for married couples, encouraging monogamy as the focus of 'sobriety'. Sexual Addicts Anonymous is a broader based program in which each individual identifies the behaviour that they wish to address. This locally is mostly men and is definitely gay friendly. Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous also individually identifies the behaviors which individuals wish to address but more commonly includes an equal proportion of women to men with the focus on intimate relationships in general. The ideal of all these programs is for individuals to grow in true intimacy and each individually can help to address pornography or erotica as a problem behaviour.

Santes in Texas is a in treatment centre that specializes in addressing more severe sexual addiction cases as well as helping those who subjectively are most bothered by something like dependency on pornography or erotica.

Given the presence of sexual "art" in all cultures at all times in history the whole area of 'pornography' and 'erotica' have to be considered in an international cosmopolitan sense as well. This must be considered as well with the realization too that present day North America for instance is an extremely perverse culture with tremendous deviance especially in the area of censorship and the sexual perversity of those who relish controlling the sexual behaviour of other adults. Therapeutics is directed to dysfunction with consideration of subjective distress and behaviour that interferes with normal life and relationship. It has taken many years for an international consensus that beyond three ounces of alcohol is physically 'unhealthy' and that no cigarettes are good for you. No such evidence is even on the horizon regarding pornography perse however individuals, couples and even communities are recognising that pornography and erotica are not without their dangers and indeed are downright unhealthy for some and perhaps for all at some particular 'dosage'. Research is ongoing in this regard but thankfully now there is hope and therapy for individuals and couples who want a way out of this velvet trap.
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