5 Facts About Porn We Should Be Talking About

1.   “Softcore Porn” is basically nonexistent. If you ask someone born in the 1950s for their definition of ‘softcore porn’, chances are you are going to get a much, much different answer than someone who is currently in their early twenties. That’s because, thanks to the Internet making pornography super available, what was once considered ‘softcore porn’ and featured in adult magazines and the like is now heavily featured in pop culture. Topless women and sex that doesn’t show penetration are no big deal in today’s world. They’re so common that the only place you don’t really see them is on Internet porn sites, where the nudity goes far beyond brief flashes of breast and sex without penetration is pointless.

2.  The very nature of the Internet makes violence almost guaranteed. People like to roll their eyes when they hear things about violence in pornography, and it’s the very nature of the whole system that leads to that eye rolling. Porn is a well-established escalating behavior, and the jump to the horrifically violent content that is all over the Internet now was inevitable the minute we first allowed pornographic videos online. The Internet makes porn anonymous, affordable, and accessible, which means that the demand is always growing, and the more porn people watch, the more desensitized they become and the more graphic, nuanced, and extreme content they need for the same effects.

3.  Ever heard of MindGeek? Years ago, a marketing professional in the anti-pornography field clued me in to the giant corporation that owned basically all of the pornography on the Internet, and the shock of ignorance was huge. After surfing their page for a while, where they do not mention that they 1, have anything to do with porn, or 2, own companies like Pornhub, it became more apparent why nobody knows who they are: they don’t make it obvious. The choice to not display it on their website is even more interesting when considering how vehemently Pornhub defends porn’s alleged benefits.

4.  Nobody’s really thinking about the girls. This goes for the females in porn, the females watching porn, and the females who have to live in the society that porn has created. The women in porn are often there unwillingly and experience intense emotional and physical abuse within the industry, all while having to hear highly educated women who will never be in a situation where they have to do porn and men claim that it is “empowering” for them. The women who watch porn theoretically suffer from at least some of the same devastating effects male porn addicts do, although how can anybody really know how porn affects women consumers when nobody is studying it? Let’s not forget the women who have to live in this world, full of rape, rape culture, over-sexualization, sexual harassment, and everything else brought about because of the availability of violence-fueled sexual content online. They would undoubtedly enjoy a world where they can walk to their cars alone at night and not have people telling them men would like them more if they a,b, and c every day.

5.  Porn can cause Erectile Dysfunction. The anti-porn argument that seems to have the most traction is the one that suggests that porn may actually kill a man’s ability to perform. It’s not surprising that in the world created by porn, where women are objects and men are sex machines, this argument would be the most concerning. Although pornographers will deny it up and down, there is a lot of evidence popping up to prove this. Perhaps the most damning comes from a story from Gail Dines, a renowned anti-pornography sociologist. Gail spends a lot of time researching different kinds of pornography, so much so that those algorithms we all know and hate to love, that monitor our internet activity and advertise things we didn’t know we needed until we saw them, or suggest things that we were just thinking about and terrify us all with how creepily accurate they seem to be, have pegged her to be a mid-twenties male who is bored with his sex life. The escalating content that she researches has led to very interesting spam ads- for erectile dysfunction meds. Pornographers can deny it all they want, but these algorithms use data from other Internet users to suggest these carefully cultivated advertisements, so it stands to reason that the young men searching a bunch of different kinds of porn are also frequently finding themselves in need of a little blue pill.

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