Different Perspectives: Pornography

Amber Casperson and Daniel Kilkelly, News Editor and Editor-in-Chief

Is it Sometimes Okay?

By Daniel Kilkelly, Editor-in-Chief

Albert Einstein once said “Only two things are infinite: the Universe and human stupidity.”  If he lived in the modern age, he would have to add “pornography sites” to that list.  The internet’s absolutely overflowing with what has become a multi-billion dollar industry.

Yet it’s rife with abuse.  Who knows how many adult films involve unwilling participants?  The internet consumes nude celebrity photo leaks with gusto.  Why would they care if the woman in the video they’re watching is being held at gunpoint?

Which brings me to the big question: is it ever okay to view porn?

In the context of the above situation, or a thousand others—rape fantasy porn, child porn, leaked personal videos—we need to classify what kind of pornography we might consider even a little okay.

The first necessity is consent.  If we take on the task of trying to justify our porn consumption, instead of just pretending that no one watches it, consent is something that no viewer should ever compromise on.  The people involved must consent, not just to the sex but also to the filming and distribution.  This should be non-negotiable.

Because, believe it or not, porn-viewers aren’t all sweaty creeps in their mothers’ basements.  According to a 2014 survey by Digital Journal, 64% of American men view porn at least monthly.  That’s 2 out of 3 guys you pass in the hallway.

Are they all misogynists who objectify women?  Some of them may be, sure.  Others might just be looking for an outlet for their sexual needs in a society that represses sexuality.

If you posed this question to these men—“if you could make it so porn was always consensual, would you?”—most of them would probably say yes.  Wouldn’t that ease so many consciences?  Knowing that awful things didn’t have to happen in order for them to “get off” would dispel plenty of guilt.

But that’s not quite enough on its own.  Even if we create safe environments for everyone involved, it doesn’t change the fact that most of the stuff going on in porn is pure fantasy.

The moans are fake, the orgasms are fake, and the movements… fake.  They have to exaggerate the back and forth so you can clearly see it on camera.  But try that with your girlfriend, and she’s bound to be bruised.

If men are to justify porn, then we have to make it more realistic.  That way we won’t breed these fantasies of non-existent women that cater to our more aggressive tendencies and respond very vocally.  Instead, wouldn’t it be beneficial to show something honest that we can actually see happening in our lifetimes?

Which brings me to my third necessity: romance.  I know, how cheesy, right?  How can romance have any place in pornography?

Well, it wouldn’t be so bad if it did.  Something consensual, realistic, and romantic sounds ideal for a real-life sexual encounter, so why not watch that?

Might be a nice opportunity to pick up some authentic tricks to use in the bedroom, unless you plan on squatting in front of a computer for the rest of your life.  I’m sure it would get a few more ladies on board with pornography if it serves to inspire new romantic gestures instead of inspiring him to try a position that will get his parts in a sling.

There are some romantic pieces of pornography, but as a single subsection alongside a long list of others like big booties and blondes.  Most sites don’t even have it.  But the only way I would find pornography acceptable for viewing would be if I could actually look at the woman’s face and not feel like I’ve just punched her in the stomach.  Seriously, what’s the appeal of that?

We don’t have to live in this age of extremes: puritanical celibacy or the raunchiest porn the human mind can imagine.  There is some middle ground; something to cater to the majority of men that need some outlet for their desires without being as awful as it currently is, and that is through consent, realism, and romance.


Never Okay?

By Amber Casperson, News Editor

The pornography industry, according to Forbes magazine, grosses as much as $14 billion dollars annually. Only California and New Hampshire have Supreme Court rulings that allow making adult films legal. (Finally, a good use of our First Amendment, right?) Which means we should all quit our day jobs to become adult film stars. Right? Not exactly.

While porn stars can make around $600 per go, or up to three times that if it’s gay porn, what’s that really saying to the world? With enough money, anyone will do a sexual act in front of a camera? This brings around the fact that porn devalues people.

We are taught from a young age that everyone is unique and irreplaceable—priceless, if you will. Our individuality is what makes us.

But to those watching porn, how many of them care if the person they are watching is an individual? Are they watching for the plot, or are they watching for the sexy chick and the toned guy with a ridiculous hairstyle to bang? Or whatever type of porn that floats your boat.

Eventually, the mindset of the watcher becomes blurred. The image of people getting intimate changes into “Yeah, you do that!” as if we are telling an object to do it’s designated function. People in porn then become objects. We lose sight of other people’s humanity and begin to think of everyone else as objects.

“Misogynists, men who dislike women, objectify them, as do rapists. Prison wardens can easily fall into objectifying prisoners. Slave owners objectified their charges,” wrote David Straker, with a masters degree in psychology, in “Empathizing vs. Objectifying people”.

I’m not saying that most people who have viewed porn are going to turn into jerks by society’s standards. I am saying that watching other people have sex enough times is going to eventually start to have an effect on how you view the world and think.

For those who are thinking about joining the pornography industry, I say this: Please evaluate all your options, but if it’s really what you want to do, move to California or New Hampshire where it’s legal.