A Critique of Porn Criticism

“Porn-bashing” is a popular theme in new rightist movements including the Alt-Right and Alt-Lite. It is verbally put down as an expression of degenerate leftist culture. To a large extent they are right. The widespread proliferation of pornographic material is harmful to traditional values, I’m not going to deny that. But this criticism falls a bit short, it doesn’t cover significant and important aspects of pornography’s relationship to human sexuality.

First of all, I wish to briefly make the case that porn in general is bad for you. We all recognize the harmful effects over-consumption of other vices has on the human mind and body. Caffeine, alcohol, sugar, calories, drugs, tobacco, mindless consumerism and so on all harm the health and aspirations of a human growing up in our modern world. Studies have shown that pornography usage alters the brain/brain chemistry. Usage also involves diminishing returns, wherein users have to seek out more explicit and “hardcore” material to get the same rush. Getting their “fix” involves ever more degenerate depictions. Young men in particular seek out the easy gratification of porn instead of going out and seeking out a flesh-and-blood human to “get it on” with.

So far the opponents of porn have a solid case. Porn undoubtedly can have negative effects, some of them rather severe. That being said, not all porn is equal. As a consumer of pornography in a similar manner to how many people enjoy the finer aspects of wine, I believe that I can offer some illuminating insights to the wider public on this issue. First of all, there are many ways people can get their jollies. In recent times, the most known form is of course the pornographic video prevalent all across the web. We also have still-pictures, magazines, audio recordings, literature (written stories) and adult toys. Brushing all of these with the same comb is disingenuous and not helpful in furthering the discussion.

Let’s look at erotic literature as a case study. One of the lamentations about video porn is that the men and women depicted creates a skewed perception in the user about what the average Jane and Joe look like and their willingness to engage in certain “activities”. That is perfectly true. A man fed video porn from a young age might have unrealistic expectations about his dating prospect’s enthusiasm for engaging in a ménage-a-trois with a quadruple amputee, hugely endowed black dwarf. Erotic literature on the other hand depends on the reader’s imagination. The visual part of the above criticism falls away, although the activity part can be amplified as the writer isn’t bound by the laws of physics or realism.

Audio porn falls somewhere along the same lines as literature, while pictures and magazines does the same with the activity and visual part flipped. We can thus see that generic criticism of porn fails to cover all variants of modern erotic materials. Back to video porn. Video pornography is a wide term. It encompasses everything from premade videos made by porn studios, amateur recordings to online livestreams (camgirls). The amateur recordings are probably not going to be too over the top in terms of exceeding the bounds of what one might realistically expect a partner to look like/wish to engage in activity wise.

Livestreams, especially the camgirl culture that has become prevalent is a valid target of critique. The users pay money to the actress in exchange for the actress performing certain degrading/enticing activities. This is actively paying for and encouraging degeneracy. It directly funds these women’s fall from grace into the pits of degenerate behavior. The same goes for those that pay for video porn (the premade variant). Without the demand, the supply would dry up.

At the end of this discussion, my elaborations don’t wash away many of the core points of the porn detractors. The scientific changes to a person are real, the detrimental effects on pair bonding, dating and so on are still real. I hope that this discussion can lead to more informed usage of pornography for those so inclined and more accurate criticism and discussion of the effects pornography usage has on society.