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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

"Ian, could you go over that thing about porn again?"

I saw a comment over at Athol Kay's excellent blog, Married Man Sex Life that I had to respond to. Some folks thought that it was good enough to be posted as a post on it's own, so I thought, why not?

Here's the question, in response to a dude "manning up" and taking the porn filters off of the computer, apparently placed there at an earlier date by his wife who objected to him watching:

[H]ave you figured out why your wife just might object to the porn being readily available?

Have men absolutely no clue as to why a woman would be unhappy with this idea? Yep, some women watch it,too but would venture most don't and a lot of women have a real problem with a spouse that is heavily into it. So many reasons why.

By the way the sex industry is not so pristine (odd idea anyway for it) that you might be supporting the crime of sex trafficking. Any concerns?

Sorry, I disagree. But then I work in the industry. Allow me to rebut:

Men do know why a woman would be unhappy with porn: it provides an alternate sexual outlet to her, and reduces her ability to control the sex life within the relationship. With the "competition" from imaginary women, a woman has higher sexual expectations to live up to, a more knowledgeable partner who may desire things outside of her comfort zone, and a medium through which to express his sexuality without her permission.

If a man is watching porn at home, he's likely watching one of two things these days (and believe me, I spend a lot of my time examining male porn viewing habits -- it's my bread and butter). The first is homemade porn shot by consenting couples in the privacy of their own homes (well over 50% of total porn viewing). The second is professionally-made porn by a reputable studio. Neither one of these areas encourages "sex trafficking" as you speak of it. And if its the suffering of the poor girls you're worried about remember that a) they are very-well compensated for their work and the vast majority enjoy it tremendously and b) there are orders of magnitude more human suffering, despair, and brutal sexual conditions for the poor women in third-world countries who slave away for less than a dollar an hour with no job security, no safety regs, and where putting out for the boss is an expected part of your job . . . all so the women of the West can enjoy fashionable clothes and shoes at affordable prices.

So let's not talk about "sex trafficking", shall we? Pro porn doesn't do that.

Further, you have to understand that to most men, porn is an important expression of their sexuality. Through porn they can maintain a sense of control of their own sexuality, and they can indulge in cultivating sexual variety and developing a fantasy life without straying from their relationship. To most men, porn serves the same function that romance novels, soap operas and "supernatural thrillers" serve for women.

"Porn addiction" (which is not a real medical or psychological condition) is a handy term that wives can use when they object to their husbands trying to assert control over their own sex lives. True, sexual obsession (which is a real psychological condition) can manifest itself through over-use of porn, but this is far rarer than most women want to believe. Most men use porn responsibly as a way to augment and inform their own sexuality. Trying to take that freedom away from a man is tantamount to restricting a woman's ability to establish her place in the social hierarchy.

The truly amazing thing about the female reluctance to accept porn is that is often used to summarily reject an otherwise good guy, because women in general can't approach the subject honestly. So you can either find a guy who says he watches porn, or you can find a guy who lies about it, but using that criteria to reject a man is just foolish.


  1. As a regular member of a 12-step group for sex addicts, your assertion that porn addiction is "not a real medical or psychological condition" strikes me as naive at best. Since you are a sex nerd working in the industry, however, I think it's probably disingenuous.