Sep 10, 2012

an old post, inspired by a new story

"I found myself seated in front of women gradually disrobing as they shimmied, shook and undulated, at one point licked (I kid you not) my collar bone.
And before I go on, I’ll admit I had fun. It was interesting, it was titillating.
And because I was in the company of some critically thinking liberal college sorts, the conversation invariably turned to the political and social ramification of strippers and the porn industry. We all had points, naturally- that these girls were good actresses, that societally women turn to this because of lack of choices, that some women really ARE okay and in control, that some aren’t, that men are victims as well, as their expectations are inexorably altered and their relationships with sex and women potentially permanently damaged.
At the time I was more than a little drunk and thus unable to adequately express my impressions and thoughts. But now I’ll try:
Social inequalities affect society as a whole. There are very few industries that, when built on such inequalities, subjugations and victimizations, leave the participants untouched. It is simplistic to believe that the sex industry only victimizes women. Yes, in the end, the stories of women turning to pimps and being sold and beaten are very sad and moving. But there is also something pervasively and subtly disturbing about what the industry does to men. Many men I know have admitted to me an addiction to porn, or found themselves comparing real life to porn, in all it’s forms. Porn is not sex, though it is drenched and surrounded by the act. Porn is a medium in which women are unrealistically portrayed as servicers of men. As sex dolls. As bodies and body parts and moans and grunts. Porn is fast food fucking.
And much as sugar and processed foods can damage a child’s metabolism and make them immune to the subtleties and beauties of real food, can make them addictively crave the ease in which a milkshake stimulates their pleasure center, the sex industry seems uniquely able to create parallel cravings for men.
And much as an addiction to fast food and sugar is bound to eventually make one feel nasty, unhealthy and let down by the adult world of nutrition and all the bounty it is possible to appreciate (I know quite a few peole who foud it a process to be able to appreciate fruits and vegetables after a lifetime diet of fast food) I believe over exposure to the sex industry is bound to make men feel drained and let down by women, sex and true intimacy.
You know, you can really enjoy a good ice cream sundae from time to time but you can’t expect to live off them.
Sure, this is a broad overly simplisitc over statement. And sure some porn or erotica (or whatever) is beautiful and when viewed in moderation is harmless, perhaps even beneficial. But thats a small drop in the bucket.
I don’t think this would be nearly so disturbing for me I didn’t see the effect of the sex industry in every portion of our society. If fashion ad’s didn’t mimic playboy and pretty prostitutes weren’t portrayed as the ultimate women to save and marry.
But it so happens to be true that at every point in society WOMEN AND MEN are being sold the notion that men should be willing and excited to pay, and often pay big, for any bit of a woman they can get and that women should and can benefit from this reality if they are just willing to turn themselves into a commodity.
Now, I am not one for censorship, and I am not arguing for that or anything else.
I am just commenting that the tendency to see only one side or one victim, in any industry that broadly exploits is unhealthy and unproductive. Not every dysfunction is so simple or so one sided. Sometimes everyone loses.”

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Here here. Well said!