Should Pornography Be More Regulated?

http://www.thedrum.com/news/2013/09/03/why-regulating-pornography-harder-it-sounds – Why regulating porn is harder than it sounds…

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/news/8314648/Internet-porn-regulation-could-be-the-only-answer.html – Article about how/why porn should be regulated.

Pornography is probably one of the most searched, most watched and most engaged with thing on the internet today, and it has been around for so long most of us consider it to be a fundamental part of sex and sexual activity within young boys and girls and men and women today. However, can you ever have too much of a “good” thing?

Pornography, in my opinion, was probably created as a form of expression of sexual desire and pleasure. As with all ‘art’ forms, there is a need to express emotion and feeling through a visual nature as this is a stimulus that we, as humans, are most responsive too. (If you don’t believe me, just think about how many more people will watch the 50 Shades of Grey movie compared to reading the books) There is nothing wrong with this demonstration of sex, and it serves a legitimate purpose. In theory there is nothing wrong with pornography and in fact the idea behind it, the free expression of love, lust, desire and attraction between two people, is actually appealing too many. I understand both the attraction towards watching it and the reason why so many people do.

However, the main problems I have with pornography both demonstrate why the industry has become such an issue and why we need to do something about it. My first issue is the fact that porn is not real life sex, yet so many people rely on it so heavily as a guideline for all their sexual experiences. What we need to remember and remind ourselves is that the porn we are watching is not someone else’s home movie in most cases. These videos have been directed, the actors and actresses in them have been told what to do, how to do it and when. They are told how to look and dress, and how to act, and how rough or gentle to be with each other. We must remember that the people in the videos are being paid to do a job and that many people do not do this as a job because they’re nymphomaniacs (sex addicts), but simply because we as a society have made it such a lucrative business that people can make highly successful careers from it.

Not only does pornography perpetuate incorrect versions of what real sex is like, it also gives viewers false ideals of what men and women should look like naked, or how their sexual relationships should be dictated. Typically the content of porn is targeted at a male audience, therefore will focus on making the women within the videos the most appealing to men. This means they will most likely have large breasts, or bum, be completely hairless except for their head, and be willing to let the man do anything he wants to them whilst pretending that everything he does they are enjoying. I do not really have to tell you that this is not the case, as it is fairly obvious that in real life, more often than not, this is not what you will be experiencing during sex. And, it’s not just women, it’s men too. Pornography today teaches young men that they have to be in control, that sexual experiences should be catered mainly towards their own pleasure, and that they have to encapsulate the image of ‘hyper-masculinity’ by being muscly, rough and fairly emotionless.

These ideas are damaging enough in the central watered-down media, but in a business where everything is taboo and full of stigma, such stereotypes become even more darkly tempting. This brings me on to my second issue, which is the abundance of violent and graphic porn available to so many on the internet. The more we expose people to this type of porn, the more it becomes the norm. As with the amount of violence and graphic scenes in all media today, we no longer bat an eyelash when guts spill out all over the screen, and the amount of violence that there is isn’t regulated because the more of it there is, the more people want to watch it. We have to keep escalating the levels of violence and gore because people become number and number to initial shock of seeing it, and the same thing is happening in the porn industry. The sex we see becomes more and more violent, dominating, and graphic, because the shock that this inspires in people also inspire curiosity to mimic the actions to see what it would be like in real life. This is the stigma that surrounds the BDSM lifestyle, and the 50 Shades trilogy that perpetuates the idea that relationships incorporating that lifestyle are always dangerous, beautiful and intoxicating, which may be the truth, but not necessarily the whole truth. The reason why this side of porn needs to be regulated is because young children can so easily access it. It becomes easier and easier to lie about our ages online, and it becomes easier and easier for young children to view these types of sexual relationships with violence and gore, and think this is the norm because it is the first of these relationships that they see.

Mostly, we just need to remove that feeling that comes with sex, the idea that sex is somehow sinful or wrong, that it is dirty, seedy or sleazy. We need to stop over-sexualising the naked body, to stop being afraid of our own genitals. Sex is a simple biological need. Humans are the only species that have attached such baggage to sex, who treat it as the beginning and end of our whole worlds, who create such massive stigma around an act that is simply about pleasure and enjoyment. If we stopped treated it as something forbidden, if we chose to educate each other about it properly and if we talked about it openly, there would be such a massive demand for porn. Porn is created so we can indulge our fantasies in private, scared to tell other people what it is we want. If we could talk about it without having to feel as if we had committed some sort of great crime, we would be more comfortable with our sexual identities. Sex is not a secret, it is a shout.

I agree, to a certain extent, that we should not ban pornography. We all need some sort of platform to express and indulge in fantasy (whether that be a sexual fantasy or not), and if pornography is conducted in such a way that it does not promote intentional harm to sexual partners, and does not promote misogyny and unattainable stereotypes, I believe it could simply just be another enjoyable thing in the cauldron of modern day life. However, it does need to be regulated and I think that all violent/graphic porn should be eradicated from the internet. Even better, the making and perpetuating of that type of porn should be illegal as it poses a serious threat to the sanctity of our sexual relationships. However, my attitude towards the regulation of pornography is as such; trying to control it is like trying to control the flow of the tide, no matter how hard you try there will always be a wave that slips through.

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