Monday, April 10, 2006

Am I obsessed with porn*? And a clean joke, for a real change.

You knew it couldn’t last. What’s it been, five whole days since I blogged openly on sex or some sex-related topic?

And what do I have for you lovelies to consider today? The fact that porn is ruining lives.

Months back, I blogged about the Italians, who were considering a special pleasure tax on porn. The government figured it was such big business, of course they’d like a share of the pie.

But today, the discussion is about the anti-porn activists. The ones that want to rip the mag out of your hand and whack you with it. Just over the head.

I feel like, as a woman, I should be completely offended by porn. But I just can’t muster the energy. Okay, do I like it? No, not particularly. What would I do if I found a bunch of it in my house? Definitely hide it. Possibly burn it. Just for my own entertainment.

But as far as I’m concerned, there are a number of factors that contribute to the demand for porn.

For one thing, it isn’t like this is an entirely new concept. It was just more tolerated a few hundred years ago for men to go to brothels. People discretely turned a blind eye to a man going elsewhere if he wasn’t satisfied at home.

And it goes back to what came up during discussion on my post on oral sex. That it’s a very legitimate complaint amongst men that women will do certain things before marriage, and then all of a sudden become prudes.

If you don’t want your spouse straying, it’s time for you to do your part.

Yesterday I got this comment from Forrest:
“I think the way you do Porn is truly great: lots of tease and then damn little through-put. It's a lot like most guys' marriages.”

I guess he’s calling me a cock-tease. Gee, hope you aren’t all let down today.

But the remark speaks directly to what I’m saying about what happens after marriage, and why some men are more sexually frustrated after they tie the knot than before.

Truthfully, given an option between affairs, equipment, pros and porn, I’m going to take porn for $800, Alex.

This is not as simple as pro-porn, anti-porn. This is about more than that.

For one thing, people have needs. Deal with it.

I personally can’t help but feel that part of the reason we have so many perverts and sexual deviants is because we have a completely unhealthy approach to dealing with sex in our society that goes right back to childhood education. Sex is, so often, not dealt with in an informative, insightful, respectful manner.

I remember when I was doing my practicum at a school in Calgary. I was with the grade 1 children, so I the only birds and bees I dealt with were the subjects of storybooks and nature walks.

The grade 4 teacher, however, had the sex ed curriculum. And it gets better. The grade 4 teacher was a man.

A single man.

The poor guy used to sit with myself and another teacher at lunchtime and talk to us about the curriculum. He decided to have an anonymous question box so the kids could ask whatever they wanted without feeling embarrassed.

But he’d never really considered what it would be like, as a man, to draw out the card and read, “What is a boner?” Or “How do girls masturbate?”

I give that teacher a lot of credit, though. He really was trying hard to handle things tastefully, respectfully, but not dismiss their curiosity.

The porn activists would have us believe that porn is the root of all evil, that it alone is destroying lives and families.

I’m sorry, but I can’t help but roll my eyes at people who make such sweeping generalizations. This is why so many religious groups aren’t taken seriously. They’re out of touch with reality – everything is on the verge of sending you straight to hell.

Like the old saying. But if it were true, wouldn’t half the world be blind?

I know some people think I’m a bit sex-obsessed. So I decided to take the Am I Addicted To Porn test.

Do you sense that your sexual thoughts and/or behaviors are causing problems in your life?
Certainly not if nobody else knows about them. If they find out, well then it could be awkward.
Have sexual thoughts interfered with your ability to function at work or at school?
God, talk about a loaded question! Hasn’t this happened to everyone at some point or other? Unfair! Prejudiced! And if you said ‘no’ and have ever walked around the office with a big, goofy grin on your face all day, you’re a liar. Still, my answer is no.
Do you worry that your sexual thoughts and/or behaviors are more powerful than you are?
What, like they’re going to wrestle me to the ground or something? Um, no. The most powerful impulse in my life is associated with chocolate. But that isn’t porn-related.
Do you sometimes think that you are the only person who has certain sexual thoughts or engages in certain sexual behaviors?
What the fuck? I look like I live in a cave? Well, okay, maybe I do, but seriously? With the educational channels we have on TV these days, hell no! There are plenty of people more perverted than me.
Do you fail to meet commitments or fail to carry out responsibilities because of your involvement with pornography?
Only if you count the fact that I could be sleeping right now instead of writing this.
Do you struggle to control or completely stop your thinking about or viewing pornography?
Nope. I have no interest in viewing pornography.
Do you view pornography in order to escape, deny, or numb your feelings?
No, but again, another loaded questions. Aren’t most of the pleasures we indulge in for the purpose of a bit of escape? I go on holidays to escape routine. Is it a problem if you have sex with your spouse in the morning to escape monotony?
Do you think about sex more than you would like to?
No.
Do you spend more money than you can afford to spend on pornography?
No.
Does it seem as though there is another person or force inside of you that drives you to pornography?
Well, there’s a bit of an alter-ego that has all this sexual obsession. The real Sandra Ruttan is a prude. Guess you got me on this one.
Do you have two standards of fidelity -- one for yourself and one for your spouse or partner?
Yes. Because if my husband had an affair, it would likely be my fault.
Do you feel empty or shameful after viewing or masturbating using pornography?
Should I try doing that and get back to you?
Have you ever promised yourself that you would never again view pornography?
Honestly, no. Feel a bit of a cheater, since I’ve never looked at any. I wonder what women’s porn is like? Hmm, thought gone. Chocolate. Where’s the chocolate?
Do you use pornography to deal with, deny, or avoid problems in your life?
Oh, come on. Didn’t they already ask this question? Talk about stacking the deck.
Do you risk legal problems in order to view pornography?
No.
Do you anxiously anticipate or fear trips out of town because of what you think you might do sexually while you're away?
People do this? I’m getting ideas for a new book.
When you have child care responsibilities, do you put a higher priority on masturbating or being sexual than you do on the welfare of the child(ren) in your care?
No, but that husband on strike clearly did. Wanker.
Do your sexual thoughts and/or behaviors interfere with your spiritual or religious life? Do your sexual thoughts and/or behaviors cause you to believe that you don't deserve to have a religious or spiritual life?
See, that’s unfair. Pretty much everything makes me think I’m not spiritually worthy. And “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” sort of confirms that. These people are total cheaters.
Have you lost a job or risked losing a job because of your involvement with pornography?
No, but I suppose I likely wouldn’t get hired in an adult entertainment shop.
Do you scan printed material (novels, newspapers, magazines) or change channels on the television set just to find something that will stimulate you sexually?
No. Anyone with intelligence has the right channels programmed in anyway. Poor question.
Do you regularly view pornography or engage in fantasies involving self-abuse or other kinds of physical abuse?
Self abuse? When I was a kid I decided to test my pain threshold but there was no sex involved. Does that count?
Do you dig through other people's garbage to find pornography?
Yuck.
Would you rather masturbate than be sexual with a partner?
Depends on the partner. I mean, be serious – have you seen some of the people out there? But it would be more like joining a convent. Although I think that automatically includes a lot more sex than I could handle.
Do you drive around unfamiliar neighborhoods (cruise) hoping to find places where pornography is available?
If you do that, won’t you end up spending more than you can afford?
Do you look at pornography or masturbate while driving?
No.
Have you replaced a collection of pornographic material after destroying one collection and vowing never to purchase pornography again?
No.
Has an important relationship in your life ended because of your inability to stop looking at pornography?
No.

Okay, that questionnaire really bugged me. First off, if you have a problem don’t you know you have a problem? Why else would you be taking the questionnaire, other than to mock it on a blog?

Now, the people advocating that porn is ruining lives are trying to suggest that viewing porn is affecting intelligence.

And I think it’s far more likely that over-indulgence in alcohol, use of drugs and banging your head against concrete walls are far more likely to impact your iq.

Really, in truth, what baffles me is that these people lobby against, saying they’re promoting family values.

Why not just promote family values? The more you encourage the positive, won’t the negative fade away?

Let’s face it. The happier you are in your personal life, the less likely you are to turn to external stimulation for satisfaction because you don’t need to.

And I’d much prefer that somebody jerk off with porn than my picture. Or get so sexually frustrated they go out and rape someone.

Personally, I think the anti-porn activists are a bit obsessed with porn. And they really should get help for their problem.

I had an instructor in college who always used to say you pick and choose your battles. And in the grand scheme of things, I'd rather get girls off the streets and put magazines in hands. We don't live in a perfect world, but getting rid of porn isn't the first step to making everything better.

I actually had a hard time choosing a topic today. Because there are so many rant-worthy topics that were pressing at me, begging for my attention. So this is going to be a week of the rant. But I have to say, some of them are going to be pretty interesting. Sandra in rare feisty form. You won’t want to miss it.

And evilkev’s truly glad I’m venting here than making him listen to me…

A real rarity – a clean joke!
Sister Mary, who worked for a home health agency, was out making her rounds visiting homebound patients when she ran out of gas. As luck would have it, a gas station was just a block away. She walked to the station to borrow a gas can and buy some gas.

The attendant told her the only gas can he owned had been loaned out but she could wait until it was returned.

Since the nun was on the way to see a patient, she decided not to wait and walked back to her car. She looked for something in her car that she could fill with gas and spotted the bedpan she was taking to the patient.

Always resourceful she carried the bedpan to the station, filled it with gas, and carried the full bedpan back to her car. As she was pouring the gas into her tank, two men watched from across the street.

One of them turned to the other and said,"If it starts, I'm turning Catholic."

*I'm not disputing that some people really do have an obsession that they need to deal with. But articles like the one Kate forwarded me, about porn affecting your intelligence... I'm stupid all on my own without any visual aids, thank you very much.

13 comments:

Bernita said...

Sometimes I think we live in a neo-puritan age, and then I think we've always had busy bodies
Maybe it's just the "issue" age, where, to be morally sound, one has to advocate something, convert someone, be pro-issue on some thing - whether it's tree-hugging, whale-saving, gun-bearing, whatever.

Stuart MacBride said...

Media - more media means more visibility for pretty much anything. You got a hot-button topic you don't like? Go campaign. If it's a slow news day you'll get heaps of coverage.

I'd rather they saved up their energy for fighting the menace that is white socks and black shoes. FOR FUCK'S SAKE PEOPLE - JUST SAY NO!

Erik Ivan James said...

Adult's enjoying adult porn: Enjoy!

Adult's participating in child porn: Hunt them down, catch them, toss them into the abyss!

JamesO said...

People like to have sex. Sexual arousal is hard-wired into our brains (and other places). It has a valuable function, beyond that of pure procreation, in keeping partners together.

Then along come the so-called do-gooders (foremost, but not alone, the Catholic Church), trying to tell us that sex is somehow bad, or sinful, and should only ever be engaged in for the purpose of making babies.

Now if this was their exact message: 'Do not have unnecessary sex or you will burn in hell,' then I could respect their point of view. Ignore it, yes, but respect it nonetheless. Instead they beat about the bush (if that's not a pun, then I don't know what is) - preaching abstinence, condemning abortion and contraception, attacking pornography and masturbation - pretty much doing anything except saying 'if you want to be in our club, then you must stop all sexual activity.' Because that explicit message runs counter to our biology, and pursuing it will simply lose them their followers.

Every time I hear some misguided zealot ranting on about sins of the flesh, or moaning about gratuitous nudity on the telly, I have to resist the urge to shake them by the throat and say: 'What's wrong with sex? Everyone's parents have done it. Even the Pope's.'



And Mr Stuart, white socks should be banned altogether. There is no excuse for wearing them. Unless of course you're a playboy centrefold and you've got nothing else on;}#

Sandra Ruttan said...

Bernita - I think it's also that we all need to have some "condition" these days. Alcoholics anonymous, fat people's anonymous, whatever. Someone, having a hang-up validates you or something.

Erik, I completely agree. Child porn is a different beast, entirely.

Stuart, aren't you supposed to wear white socks with those funny little shoes people used to wear - saddle shoes or something? But you're right - that's a worthy cause.

James, sex is only sinful if it's done poorly. (Excluding animals, children and lack of consent from the equation.)

Bernita said...

~looking down~
OMG,Stuart, I am a leper - where's my little bell? - I ran the dogs this morning wearing white socks in my black loafers.
The shame!

Sandra Ruttan said...

Ach, running dogs is different. I used to walk them wearing my pajamas - just pull on some swishy pants overtop and nobody knew the difference.

But I'm sensing the need for black shoes and white socks at Harrogate. Once Stuart's three sheets to the wind we'll adjust his attire accordingly.

And that's when my photography experience will come in very handy.

Maybe he'll be the first author in playgirl...

Boy Kim said...

I think a better question would have been "Is it a problem if you have sex with someone else's spouse in the morning to escape monogamy?"

Oh, and how exactly do you get consent from an equation?

"Excuse me x=ya+z(b-c), is it ok if I have sex with you?"

Sandra Ruttan said...

LOL - did I say monogamy instead of monotony?

Oh boy.

Bonnie Calhoun said...

Ohh...ohhh...the joke was great...I'm stealing it for my post...It's 1:30 in the AM and I'm too tired to set one up on my own...LOL...it's great!

For The Trees said...

I think everybody here has wonderful, insightful points to consider.

Me, personally, I wouldn't toss the child porn users into the abyss. I'd rather medicate them and give them treatment. Because child porn users are victims of child abuse, themselves, otherwise they wouldn't be using children as their sexual focus. Same with animal sex, rape/SM/snuff whatever. It all goes back to what happened in childhood.

And the only cure for social ills is completely open education. No morals charges, no bias, no religious agendas.

So education ain't gonna happen. Damn. Then I suppose medication is the only way. Treat the symptom, not the cause.

I wrote a return rant here that sang with intelligence and bonhomie, dry wit and sarcasm in equal amounts. It was a thigh slapper and a coffee-sprayer. And somehow I lost it. Oh, well, the great diatribes are hardly ever worthy of being promulgated.

Suffice it to say I'm glad you chose this topic. It speaks well of your world view. And **I** liked it.

Sandra Ruttan said...

Thanks Forrest - wish I could have read that post that blogger ate. Haven't you been feeding him enough lately?

For The Trees said...

Obviously not enough, dammit. And you don't even have the silly little "type these letters exactly right or you won't be posted" obstacle course. (Mine's only so I don't have to go back and delete comments. When I started this blog I had sixty-seven comments, all of which were spam. Not a viable comment amongst them. So I popped up the screening device. Now I wonder if that's so cool any more. Sherry can hardly get past it.

Oh, well, some comment-rants need to be edited by the Big Boys In The Sky. And it was.