Porn: The Real Reason It Should Offend You

Jennifer Cullen

Pornland: How Porn Has Hijacked Our SexualityI like to watch pornography with my husband. Particularly when we're on vacation. It's just a little something different to add some spice to our sex life. Like role-playing.

But the porn that we watch would be considered soft-core: Erotic and sexually suggestive but leaving a lot to the imagination and usually involving a storyline. Think Wild Orchid or Like Water for Chocolate.

I've watched hard-core porn before. Once, or maybe three times, and that was enough. Hard-core porn is extremely graphic, explicit, and, oftentimes, violent. And the violence is usually against women. Just not a turn-on for me but okay for whoever likes that kind of thing.

Then I read a book by Gail Dines, an anti-pornography activist and professor of sociology and women's studies, titled Pornland: How Porn Has Hijacked Our Sexuality. The book focuses on the growth of the hard-core porn industry and how this growth has changed the way both men and women interact in their sexual relationships.

Dines' theory is that men who view these hard-core films may think that this demeaning treatment of women is okay. And women may feel that in order to be sexy or attractive, like the buxom and submissive stars usually featured in the films, they have to allow this kind of behavior.

Okay, so now I'm re-thinking the whole hard-core porn thing because her theory makes sense to me.

The few times I watched hard-core porn, my reaction was mainly to laugh at the absurdity of the plot line, or lack of one. But I wasn't grossed out or offended. I should have been.

I don't think of myself as someone who has been desensitized to violence or the mistreatment of people in movies, but I guess I have been. And I bet I'm not the only one. And I have to go beyond not just liking it for my husband and me.

Hi, my name is Jennifer and I am anti-(hard-core) pornography.

What are your thoughts about pornography's effect on society? Do you differentiate between hard-core and soft-core?


Image via Barnes and Noble

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