Naughty naughty

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At the risk of attracting the wrong clientele, or worse, offending the current hangers on… um… devoted readers, I thought I’d tackle a subject close to my groin.. er.. heart. Actually, that’s a lie. Sort of… ohh balls, I knew this would happen. In trying to retain a sense of dignity and political correctness I could spend the next few paragraphs trying not to offend. Arsehats to that then.

Let’s talk about pornography.

Ohh before we do though, I’m “hiding” the rest of this post so if you are easily offended, please stop reading. Mum, Dad, I know you’ll probably keep reading but, for all our sakes, please don’t comment!

Firstly, you can blame Steve for this, not the topic itself, but for the prompt behind this post. You see when I mentioned that I have a “Download Them All” extension installed for Firefox (it allows you to right-click on a web page and download all the links or images from it) he commented that:

I’m always quite worried about admitting to having “downthemall”… It is pretty much a “porn button” isn’t it!!

Now, there are two things to take from that comment, one is kinda obvious so I’ll leave Steve to make his own arguments about HIS usage of the functionality (heh) but the other got me thinking, as these trivial things are wont to do…

Update: Steve has made his own arguments. The dirty pervert…

An aside, Clare has touched on the male bloggers habit of over-analysing things, and of course she’s right. I can hardly lay claim to the contrary as the evidence is overwhelming but I will quote her if only for the chance of some cheap innuendo:

you are a bit full of yourselves sometimes, aren’t you? And you do go on at great length about the most mundane of things

“Great length” phnar, phnar.

Recently there has been a successful move to have “lads mags” moved out of the view of children. As Inspector Sands rightly states, when the first of these magazines was launched it featured insightful writing and interesting articles. It wasn’t all about the latest silicon-enhanced bimbette, and whilst it did celebrate the female form it was a good deal more subtle about it.

Whether or not you regard such magazines as pornographic is part of the argument I guess, but let’s gloss over (see what I did there) such trivialities, and reach up to the top shelf.

Mind you, before we can do that we need to discuss what we consider pornographic. Is a photo of a naked man pornographic? What if his penis is erect? Is a photo of a topless woman pornographic? If so, why isn’t a photo of a topless man judged to be the same? (I’ve seen people lust over photos of topless men… rugby players I think… so why is it consider different if it’s a topless woman?) Why is one video of a couple making love considered art, if another video of the same couple fucking is consider porn? Is pornography purely about attitude, camera position and lighting?

Admittedly there is a seedy underbelly to pornography. As the industry is largely dominated by, and aimed at, men, the exploitation of women is an issue but as the general acceptance/tolerance of pornography rises, so does the legislation surrounding its manufacture and it’s probably fair to guess that the majority of women who choose adult entertainment these days are well treated. I’m not au fait with the industry itself so it’ll have to remain a guess, feel free to correct me of course.

Recently I caught a documentary about a brothel.. sorry.. kitty ranch (or whatever it was called) in America. Essentially it’s an out-of-the-way place for men to go to be entertained by ladies or, to put it more bluntly, it’s a place for men to pay money to have sex. It’s run as a business, security is tight and it’s largely used by wealthy businessmen and couples. It’s not a low-cost environment and the women who work there are under no duress to stay. It was a genuinely interesting look at that part of the ‘industry’ but, despite the business-like approach taken, there remains a slightly sordid undercurrent to the whole thing. Even when a married couple were interviewed and explained that they both wanted to experience a threesome, I couldn’t shake off the feeling that I was witnessing something slightly dirty, and sad (and no, they didn’t show the threesome).

The experience seems to be the same with the attitude towards pornography. I’m an adult of consenting age, I have the mental ability to make choices about things which may, in the eyes of some, have an effect on my mental well-being. I am more than able to understand the difference between the realities of having sex and the imagery of the same offered by pornography, so why should I feel like a “dirty old man” if I choose to view it. What is it about our society that deems this topic so taboo? Presuming, of course, that it still is… the number of taboo subjects appears to be dropping as our knowledge of them escalates, yet it doesn’t remove the tarnished image that pornography has.

So, hands up those of you who have, at some point, enjoyed pornography? (watching or participating, let’s not be prudish here).

Ohh come on now… ok, I’ll start. I have, and on more than one occasion.

Next question, why were you watching it? For personal pleasure, or to use the vernacular, wanking? Did you watch it with a partner? Do you watch it because it turns you on (although I’d be worried if you were watching it for any other reason)? What about pornographic literature? Do you prefer a steamy novel to a few glossy photos or a badly scripted movie? Just what is the appeal anyway?

The adult entertainment industry is huge and the internet has fuelled it’s growth. Yet many people, the consumers of the products, don’t want to admit that they partake in such carnal pleasures. We all know that people have sex, most of us know that sex is pretty damn good fun (or at least harbour vague memories to that effect) and surely there is more than one girl with a one track mind out there.