Monday, November 11, 2013

WHY PORN IS ANTI-FEMME, and there's no way around it...

Hi Everyone, I don't normally write explicit content, but, considering the topic it's unavoidable for me.  I've been pretty worked up about this issue for many years, but for some reason just got the thoughts all together in the way I wanted to say it today.  Lemme know if I'm missing something.

Fuck, I'm gonna get a shitstorm for this, I know it.  Well, I guess there's always a chance I'm wrong...



WHY PORN IS ANTI-FEMME, and there's no way around it...


Helen marries Tom.  She is beautiful and has great tits and a tight ass.  Tom loves her body, and she is a helluva woman.  He loves her too.  But, lucky for him, Helen at 25 looks as good as any pinup.  Tom still likes to consume Porn on occasion, and used to all the time when he was a teenager and in his 20s.  Everyone knows there's nothing wrong with Porn and anyone who says different is prude or narrow-minded.  Besides, its liberating for women who like to express their sexuality.  No one is getting hurt.  Helen doesn't get the appeal, but everyone tells her she shouldn't be threatened by a fantasy, so she doesn't bother him about it.  Eventually she decides its normal & natural for men to consume porn.  "Its just a guy thing".  Even tucked away pictures of half-naked supermodels… "it's just a guy thing".

Later Tom and Helen have babies.  Helen nurses them all for about 13 months each.  She gains weight from her pregnancies (Yeah, I know you think you know where I'm going with this, but keep reading anyway).  Her ass is lower.  Her tits are just boobs now-- deflated and worn from suckling children.  Her vagina is looser too.  She's still a helluva woman.  She stays home with the kids and is a wonderful, interactive mother and a faithful, loving wife.  Now she's 38.  She no longer looks like a pinup.  She can't afford buy new tits because she's just a housewife from Minnesota and Tom sells washing machines.  Tom starts to consume more porn than usual-- because it's easy, and because those women's bodies haven't changed.  Because Helens vagina isn't as tight as Tom can imagine the girls' in the pornos are when he squeezes with his hand, and because Helen works so hard with the kids and she's really tired and… it's just easier.  Besides, no one is getting hurt…

Years later, the kids are older and Helen has a lot of wrinkles and her boobs are lower than ever and her vagina is looser and her ass is saggier.  She's still a helluva woman, but Tom watches a lot more porn nowadays.  She's getting older and the girls in the porn videos stay the same.  They always stay the same.  They always stay the same.  They always stay the fucking same.  And Tom is turned on by their young, tight, bodies because they are OBJECTS of desire-- nothing more.  Except now he's conditioned himself to only get an erection by conjuring up images of bodies that have not been through childbirth and age and nursing.

So, she's still a hellva woman, but Tom watches a lot more porn nowadays and Helen is quickly losing her sexual power because she CANNOT… because it is IMPOSSIBLE for a real, living, breathing, aging woman to compete with an image that does not change.  She feels insecure about her sagging breasts and loose vagina-- THAT SHE GOT BY GIVING TOM CHILDREN.  Helen is a helluva woman.  A kick-ass mother.  She takes care of her body.  She takes care of her home.  She gives and gives and gives and it sucks the physical beauty right out of her as the years go by.  Her insecurity gives rise to resentment.  Tom feels shut out.  She doesn't want to have sex because she feels like she's being compared to an eternally youthful image.  When they do have sex she doesn't feel Tom making love to her because he appreciates everything she's done and sacrificed for him-- he is not "pouring out" for her out of unfettered desire to "give back" to her in his gratitude and to reaffirm his commitment to her.  No, she feels Tom fucking the girls on camera.  Or, maybe he does make love to her as a symbol of his commitment, thanks and love toward her… it's just not enough.  He needs to be satisfied by the fantasy, too.  Because HELEN IS NOT ENOUGH.  Because the beautiful woman who sacrificed her beauty for the sake of a creating a family with Tom and who has aged because life is cruel, SHE IS NOT ENOUGH.  Tom hasn't matured to a point of being turned on by these things.  He's still 17.  Poor Tom is just being a "normal guy", right?  Why shouldn't he be able to have his tits and ass? 

Because it's immature.  Because it's selfish.  Because it's disrespectful.  Because it's sends the most devastating message to every woman… "You are not enough.  Everything you give, have given and can give… it's not enough.  I will take ALL of you, but In order to have all of me you must forever look like an object that is unchanging."

Which is, of course, impossible.

Porn is designed to attract a regular consumer-- to keep you cumming back for more (sorry, I couldn't resist)-- to create a "fan base"-- to provide something you can't get anywhere else… something you can't get anywhere else… something you CANT GET ANYWHERE ELSE.  Porn is designed to isolate a man from the woman he loves and create a bond with the man that most men WANT (because we're human and we all want to get away with murder) so many excuse it as "normal and healthy" (for fucks sake!  Jesus!).   They can't get it anywhere else.  They can't get it from their real, aging, sacrificing women.  Have cake?  Eat too?

Maybe it would be interesting if Tom did a little sacrificing.  What!?  Give up his teeny, little, harmless fantasy so he can spend all that energy on the amazing woman who gives him everything?  Yes, dude.  

- Give up your 17 year-old fantasy
- Stop contributing to the objectification of women
- Pay attention to Helen
- Learn self-control
- Set amazing example for your children
- Live long and happy life

P.S. Just FYI, a shitload of those women in porn are trafficked in, so the chances that Tom is watching someone being forced against their will is pretty high.  Gross.


89 comments:

  1. I love you even more for this. So well written, and so true. We need more women like you, who takes a stand, says it as it is. More power to you!

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  2. I bow down to you. Thank you for this.

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  3. Finally someone who can eloquently and brutally honestly put into words why porn is one big fuck you to every woman out there. Keep living in your fantasy world, porn watchers. You'll never get a better woman than the one you already have...but you really don't deserve her.

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  4. Hi Joy,

    You have just spoken out on behalf of millions of women. Thank you so much for expressing out what many of us are not able to. This is such a powerful article that ALL men should read. Thank you again!

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  5. Dear Joy,
    this is a really wonderful article and I am so proud of you for writing these words with such an intensity that everyone must love it.

    Its honest, powerful and absolutely true.
    We should honor and love the people we love and not betray them by watching unrealistic erotic movies that can't stand the reality!
    Thanks for your wonderful words :-)

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  6. Thank you so much for blogging about this. Women's rights are so expansive, and this is just a subset of it, but a very important one--and probably one that doesn't get as much attention as it should. Probably because it's so taboo these days to say anything to the contrary, given the highly-sexualized society we live in nowadays it seems. The consumption of pornography (in all forms and variations) by men perpetuates this grossly, unrealistic standard of what women should be compared to.

    Thanks for saying it like it is and for being so blunt; for speaking your mind and really illustrating how deeply pervasive this issue is. You're so inspiring! I appreciate you sharing your perspective with us!

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  7. Hi Joy ! Your opinion is pretty clear about that and we can feel that you've probably been through this .... as we can understand in your song Father knows best ... and i can't agree more with you!! Especially for teenagers who keep doing that when they're growns up and it's so easy for them with internet ! Porn is just everywhere ! You just can't open an internet page without a sexual pop up you can access to every porn website by only clicking yes i'm 18 ! And i don't think we can do much about it sadly except trying to teach our children about it ... yes it's probably a guy thing but not every guy and not all the time .. i know because my man used to go there sometimes when it was complicated for me at a certain time. Sometimes maybe it's better to release the pressure this way then to cheat ! Don't get me wrong i'm not ok with it and the way they're treating women !! It's a really bad exemple for young men and can even put pressure on them for their first time and do bad thing with their girl
    Thanks for this honest post that's one of the many reasons i love support andd admire you this was very well written and the fact that you always trying to set a good exemple for your fans especially young girls is precious ... thank you for being you and don't ever change
    All my love
    Amandine

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  8. I totally get what you're saying. But I'm a 21 year old single female and I enjoy the odd porn or two (although some of them are really gross and disturbing to watch - I cringe at the ones that are derogatory). I think it becomes unhealthy when people need it to "get off" or if it affects the way they view sex. It's also a problem when 13-14 year olds are watching it and think that's the way sex should be.

    I think you might like this video.

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    1. 23 Year old female and I'm the same as you. In fact my boyfriend and I have watched it together. Never been sure how to take these kind of articles, when it's never been a problem in my relationship.

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    2. I totally agree with both of you, and I'm in the same boat. But that's the point. Porn is set for the younger age demographic and should be left to them. Seventeen year old Tom is an avid porn watcher with no other commitments, and that's cool. But Tom grows up, gets married and subconsciously decides "porn women > my woman". I took this article to focus more on that aspect, and that serious, family-oriented, long-term (and I mean long-term, not five-ten years) relationships shouldn't have that elusive third party called "porn".

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    3. You can take this kind of articles seriously. Because not everyone has a great relationship like you. (You are also just 23 years old).
      Get your ego and that brain of yours separate for a second to realize that this things happens! Get some sympathy for others for fucks sake!!
      How is it possible that you can't even try to understand and see yourself in others perspective? You know, walk each others shoes!
      You don't always have to experience the same to understand it..

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    4. The same can be said about your ego and self-righteousness anon. She never said she wasn't sympathetic, and shes equally entitled to an opinion as you are. So relax.

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    5. That was a very negative response anon. I'm 24 now, though I'm not quite sure how my age comes into this, I've been with my boyfriend for 8 years. I never once said this doesn't happen, I'm fully aware it does. I was simply explaining that it is also is accepted in relationships. It was simply another opinion, as the lovely anon beneath you said. I assure you, my "ego" came nowhere into this. As for "how is it possible that you cant even try to understand" well I'm afraid that was a silly narrow minded thing to say as I absolutely do understand and put myself in others shoes. But there is a whole article above on why it can be terrible. I was simply offering my experience of it. Have a nice day, I hope you're not this outright nasty to people you meet in the street.

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  9. Dear Joy,
    Thank you so much for that! I can't ne more agree with that. Porn makes feel women wrong about themselves, about her body, about sexuality.... But I'm afraid because what can we do about that?! Besides porn infustry is very big. I guess some man are smart and know the difference between the real life (and women) and porn fiction girls. But for the other men?
    Love the fact you share that and I love your post yesterday about Miley! You're my queen Joy!
    Take care

    Laure

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  10. do you realize that you are right now probably the worlds most respected person. Everything you said in that post means everything. I love how blunt and right you are. You're one of the most amazing people I know and you know what? Fuck men who think they can go through life thinking it's okay to be this way and treat women this way when they have sacrificed so much for their man. It's disheartening for any woman to have to feel like they aren't good enough or sexy enough for their man. Woman already have to deal with self image issues. Why should our men put more of those issues in our heads or more importantly in our hearts. God damned assholes these days don't know a great, wonderful, glorious thing when they have it and it fucking makes me sick. Thank you for writing this and for saying what has been needed to say for years. So what if your vagina isn't as tight as it was before you popped out a few kids. What the hell do men expect when an 8 pound baby with a head attached to it comes out of there? Honestly?! Jesus. Okay. Anyways thanks for this post Joy. I really hope you know that the things you say do inspire and and help people. It's a part of why I adore you so.

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  11. Hi joy

    Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts with us on this topic. It's awful to see what guys have turned to cause they feel the real experience isn't good enough. I may be young, call me old fashioned, I feel sex should be shared with two people who are in a caring and loving relationship with each other. That really should be enough, they don't have to go off and fill their mind with this non realistic imagine of sex, and all the other crap.

    I also agree with you on the whole sex trafficking issue that plays a part in this as well. Those are normal human beings too and have the right to feel accepted and just want what everyone wants. That is to be loved and cared for by someone, who thinks there is no one better than them. Guys have to remember we are all human with real feels, they may not like to talk about their own. They sure as he'll need to start thinking about the feeling of the women or loved ones that are hurting. Even the women being trafficked have their own human rights that need to be respected by guys. We are all human and have real feelings.

    Love Zara

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  12. There is such a thing as feminist and queer porn....you can't lump it all in the same boat.

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    1. Ah yes, the "fair-trade" "feminist" porn where women all choose the work and women aren't dominated and straight men are submissive… yes… "Feminist" porn. I like how people decide that since the word "feminist" is used, it MUST be pro-femme.

      How helpful is this feminist porn to Tom and Helen's relationship? Tom is choosing to have a sexual experience with someone besides Helen. Usually that's called an affair.

      Queer porn-- ok, Tom and Steve. How helpful is porn to Tom and Steve's lifelong commitment to each other? Having sexual experiences with people (objects) other than each other… is that bonding or separating them?

      The point remains.

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  13. Tom sounds like one of those fat little fucks on house hunters that demands a "man cave" for himself... The truth is, men who watch porn are fucking pathetic, and women need to stand up for themselves. Society puts the image in our heads that being with the wrong one is better than being alone, so we settle. We need to respect ourselves enough to be unwilling to commit to these assholes who think of their wives as breathing blow up dolls, that can be used as props in acting out unrealistic sexual fantasies. If porn is a problem in the early stages of your relationship, it will probably continue to be a problem throughout your marriage. Most relationships fail because we fall in love more with who a person CAN be, rather than who that person IS, and we're not as powerful to change our loved ones as we would like to think..

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  15. Wow, I love it when people make me think about a certain issue, so thank you very much for this. Very insightful.

    I am about to take a PhD in Women Studies and "the porn issue" has been one that we have discussed in class quite a lot of times so I'm just going to put my two cents in.

    I am not completely against porn, even though I recognize how harmful it can be. It depends on the porn and, much like Bex Smith said, it's important to have the notion that there are different types of porn and porn that is especially made for women, with normal and what many would call "fat", "old" women. None of that fake plastic blonde bimbos with huge boobs that are turned on all the time. That is the type of porn that is really harmful, because women's bodies are represented as if they're barbies for the rest of their lives. When we're looking at that type of porn, I completely agree with you and men should know better than that, especially grown-up men that are way past their teenage years.

    However, I think it's also important to have the notion that even though men look at porn, it doesn't mean that all of them don't value their women or feel unappreciated toward them. In fact, I've met men who fight constantly for women equality and they've admitted to watching porn because it's just something they can't control. But they do know who they have at home and even if they could, they wouldn't change the sagged breasts, loosed vagina and wrinkled old Helen for any of the girls they watch online. Because Helen really IS enough. And I think that's where the problem lies, women tend to transfer their way of thinking (which is primitivily different than men's) into men and men do the same thing and that creates big problems, because both men and women have different urges that makes them act in different ways. A woman can never put herself in a man's shoes and a man can't put himself on a woman's shoes, because they are genetically different and their processes of thought are different.

    Having said that, it's only normal that a woman looks at men looking at porn as a way of men not valuing his woman and how she´s not enough, but that is not necessarily true. For a lot of men out there, their women are enough, they just like looking at porn like they like to have beer with friends and make jokes about farts. So, yes, I do believe it's a "guy thing". But that can't also be a free pass for them to do whatever they want (cont.)

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  16. And that brings me to my other argument: it is up to men to be mature and respectful toward their women and, in my opinion, that depends on the type of porn they watch, the way they look at sex afterward and how that affects the way they look at their women. If they're watching unrealistic fake bimbos who do everything in bed, if they start thinking that is what is normal and feel disappointed their woman doesn't do all of those things and if they start wishing their woman was like one of those girls online, then we DO have a problem. If that happens, they're messing with their woman's feelings and having unrealistic expectations that will have devastating consequences in the future. No doubt about it and that's where I fully agree with the scenario that you presented.

    However, I think it's extreme to consider that ALL men who watch porn are disrespecting and harming their women. I think, above all, you need to know the person you're in a relationship with, because there are men out there who aren't douchebags and that are able to see past all of that without feeling their women aren't enough. That's just what us, women, are immediately inclined to believe in.

    But anyway, I do respect your opinion and I must say it got me thinking to the point where I'm not so sure if the way I've always thought about the issue is "correct". But it would be interesting to have some sort of debate about this. I think it would be interesting for all men and women who read this blog.

    Thanks again for this.

    Jane

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  17. WOW Joy!I missed your powerful writing so much!This post is truly inspiring and it definitely stands for what most women think but for some reason do not express out loud.This is not just a matter of lack of respect on the part of men towards their partners and what they have to contribute in a relationship.It also has to do with the self respect every woman should be entitled to.Thanks for sharing this. xoxo

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  18. Brutally honest. I guess as readers we never see this side of you -- not that you haven't been honest before, but this was very powerful. It takes courage to put this out there. You have an incredible voice. We love you, Joy!

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  19. Thank you for this post, Joy. Finally, someone put into words what I couldn't.

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  20. Thank you Joy. Seriously, thank you.

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  21. Ugh. You know, I watch porn every now and then. It doesn't mean I hate my wife.

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    1. Of course it doesn't mean you hate your wife. It just means that every time you consume porn, you are choosing someone else instead of her.

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    2. No way.
      If my wife decided to watch a porn, I wouldn't be like, she is choosing another man.
      I have never understood the need to blame. Is porn is really the problem or is it just an easier target?
      Maybe Tom just likes jerking off? Nah, he must want to fuck those girls in those movies.
      Sometimes the problem isn't as complicated as it appears.

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    3. Wow, a little edgy there Anon, here let me help…Cue bad sex and 70's wah-wah guitar track.

      Go hug your wife.

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  22. This article is so powerful, Joy! I love it when you write this way. This is obviously an issue that a lot of woman have to face. Thank you so much for sharing this article with us.

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  23. Thank you very much for this article so strong. It is important to speak about it, and you make it magnificently. I hope that one day all the men without exceptions will know how to make the difference between the real life and the porn, even if it risks to be something difficult has to obtain, because only they can change if they want it. Thank you again for this article, you have everything says.
    Take Care.
    Much love.
    Nathalie

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  24. This was amazing and perfectly said. I have seen porn destroy relationships. Something needs to change.

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  25. Seriously I have so much respect for you. I love you. I think this is a serious topic, and I don't think it is addressed as much as it should be. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. You're the best! xox
    ~Jillian age 17

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  26. Porn in excess can be detrimental. But couldn't you use the same argument for girls/women that read novels or watch tv to escape reality...and become a little emotionally invested in characters of fiction? Females that set impossible high standards for their men? And are in a perpetual state of dismay? I feel like your argument ultimately can be applied to anything of which consumes one's time and skews perception of reality... Aka video games, television, novels. There's nothing inherently wrong with porn. Just like there's nothing inherently wrong with any of the aforementioned things. It's people who do things in excess that make it a problem. Joy, I usually agree with you and I understand where you're coming from but if you wanted to make a stronger argument you should've spent more time discussing your tiny little FYI statement regarding sex trafficking....

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    1. Yes, I completely agree with you. My issue with porn is its connection to sex trafficking. That I have a problem with and I do blame men who know about such connection and decide to ignore it, contributing to the terrible and nauseating traffic of women, and do nothing about it because they care too much about their own obsessions and are too selfish to give it up. That, yes, is a very strong argument to be anti-porn. And that's the only reason why I personally don't engage in watching porn altogether. The rest is really up to each and every guy out there who watch porn. If they do watch it, they have the responsibility to not let that affect their perception of sex and their wives' body and appreciation. And I believe that a mature guy can perfectly watch porn without loving his wife/girlfriend/other half any less.

      Again, it's important not to forget that scientific studies prove that the male species' nature is to fertilize as many females as they possibly can, so it's only natural that men will want to look at other women, just like they can't help but stare at other girls on the street when they walk by. It's their nature. And it's in their nature that they will never just be interested in looking at just one girl. The difference is that a mature, knowledgeable and responsible guy will have enough self-control to respect his loved one and give her his love. But don't ask them to look just at you, they can't do it because it goes against their nature. And that doesn't mean he loves you any less. It's just part of who he is. And the difference between a nice guy and a douchebag is just how well he is able to control his nature. The nice guy is successful, the douchebag not so much.

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  27. This is seriously an inspiring read. Some men do not understand the beauty of a true woman.

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  28. Wow, all I can say is wow.
    I have always grown up and spent time with guys over women, I always found it easier, and I must admit, I never really thought much of it - I did the same thing, they are just guys being guys, its what they do.
    But I think the way you have worded it, makes it stand out and makes me think.
    I wouldn't want my husband thinking like that, especially now we are about to start fertility treatments for us to have kids....
    Thank you so much for wording it like this and making me see it in a different way. I wouldn't want anyone feeling like that.
    Keep up the great words of advice, wisdom, opinions and music. Look forward to more.
    AJ

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  29. This is true and so important!
    Thank you very much.

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  30. This article is brilliant. Your words... just the way you express yourself ... I think this is an important topic and i really think its a brave step to talk about these kinds of things. But its nothing but the truth. And one can tell that you speak honestly. You are an inspiration, thank you Bethany!

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  31. I'm a twenty years old woman, and i've been thinking so often about this.
    This statement "Its just a guy thing" always came to my mind and I wasn't sure, what to think about Porn. After reading your essay it's a clear thing for me (and I hope also for everyone else). Porn is NOT the reality and it's contemptuous.
    According to the traffic, watch this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XGvvUDgZcNY
    sorry for mistakes (I'm from germany)

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  32. Joy,

    I love that are frank about what you feel and believe. Wished more people wouldn't be tamed by agents and managers and show their true stance on issues they feel close to their heart. Those are the people that I admire. Cheers and keep going. We are missing a voice like you in Hollywood!

    M

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  33. I love how passionate this blog post is, but why does this have to be a femme issue?

    Femme Porn.
    Anti-femme Porn.

    Does it matter? Porn is still going to be there even if we disagree with it. The 'men' who consume it are inevitably going to be unhappy with their shitty sex lives and their over optimistic expectations of women. And as for us women, hopefully we have more sense about us than to settle for someone like Tom who would rather jerk off to blow-up Betty than come to us for love and affection. Anyway what I mean is I would much rather focus on femme issues like the division of domestic labour or tearing down that damn glass ceiling once and for all. Somethings just are and unfortunately porn is one of those things.

    I feel sorry for Helen, but I'm no Helen and I sure as hell aren't settling for a Tom.

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  34. Wow! I'm so happy you spoke up! You're such an inspiration and I really hope that people out there hear your voice and you're message.Both men and women. You're strong and you're amazing. Thank you!

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  35. The world should have more Bethany Joy Lenz for THAT for music and acting too ;) ♥♥

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  36. You should be a professional speaker outside of this blog. Such an inspiration. Thank you

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  37. Amazing Joy! There's actually men who does appreciate women just as they are and please do not settle for anything else. You (women all over the world) are amazing just the way you are.

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  38. Joy, I completely understand what you're saying and to an extent I do agree with you. But surely the problem here is with Tom, an immature dick who doesn't care about his wife's sacrifices and whatnot? The man chose to be unappreciative of his wife and think of her in this way, and I think he is to blame, rather than porn "teaching" him how to behave. I know plenty of guys who watch porn and don't treat their wives or girlfriends in this way and I also know women who watch porn. Grown adults are responsible for their own behaviour, not something on tv. Other than that, I do agree with what you are saying about exploitation and whatnot.

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    1. The only flaw in what you are saying is that we don't know that tom actually felt this way towards his wife. We only got to see what Tom's wife perceived of his actions. She never directly confronted him and told him how she felt nor asked him how he felt. What reason would he have to stop watching porn? For all we know he could be perceiving her actions as though she is cheating on him and no longer interested. There is a huge lack of communication in this scenario and that is the problem.

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    2. Thats a good point actually, you're completely right. I suppose I didn't think about that because my fiancee has always been open and honest with me without having to be asked about things (maybe I take that for granted and forget that a lot of partners aren't like this). Lack of communication can be one of the biggest problems in a relationship and that sounds like the real problem here. Either way, its a fault of the people in the relationship rather than the porn.

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  39. Thank you! I love this and your are still my favorite idol.

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  40. Thank you for voicing your views on this topic! I think when we are younger it is easier to look at guys and think it's just a phase. However as we get older I think it can become an addicition in many ways. In many relationships I have been in my boyfriend watched porn and it always bothered me, but my friends would try to make me feel better by telling me it's a common thing. I engaged now to someone who never saw it as a problem. It wasn't until I was in tears one day pouring out my thoughts on how awful it makes me feel that he needed another woman to fullfil his needs that he agreed to stop. I hope that he has held strong to that. I don't want to be a woman in my 30s or 40s not feeling like my husband wants me as much as the 19 year old he will never meet!

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  41. Preach. The problem is that people don't feel love is enough anymore. People don't feel that their significant other is enough. And if you want to be in that kind of relationship where you "need" the extra "excitement" then knock yourself out. I just have never understood the need for porn when you have an attractive and loving REAL PERSON sleeping next to you. If the person you share you life with doesn't turn you on enough, you have a problem.

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  42. People here are talking about how they would never settle for Tom and how "the nice guy" wouldn't watch porn, and even if they did, they wouldn't become Tom, per say. However, we need to take into account the fact that since porn has become so mainstream, more people than you know are subject to it. The majority of society watches porn because "we" (society) deem it as acceptable. When we send this message out, people who aren't like us, who don't think in terms of human rights and who don't think through their everyday decisions will see porn as perfectly acceptable and slowly their lives will turn into Tom's. Or a version of it. Porn (as any media) affects how one thinks, most of the time it affects the subconscious. A person may not think the images are affecting them, but in the long term they can have a detrimental effect. There are more Helen's out there than we may realize and more Tom's out there than we know. We have a social responsibility to advocate for what is right, and when we accept porn and the culture that surrounds porn, we fail the Helens and even the Tom's of the world. Porn, the porn industry and the culture we have established around it does more harm than it does good.

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  43. How far can this argument go though? If Tom looks at pictures/videos of young, barely-clothed celebrities and masturbates, is it equally harmful? If he jerked off to a Rihanna/Katy Perry/Beyonce video or to an actress that dare take off her clothes in a film, is the entertainment industry to blame for isolating Tom from his wife? If so, are those singers, actors, or the greater entertainment industry also anti-femme?

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  44. "Of course it doesn't mean you hate your wife. It just means that every time you consume porn, you are choosing someone else instead of her."
    That quote is exactly what I agree with. If it's something you are doing together - great, then it is a part of your sex life together. Otherwise, it is a sexual experience you're creating without your significant other. People will make their own choice on how that affects their relationship, but for me, I would feel awful knowing my boyfriend would rather watch someone than physically being with me. - Chelsea, 26yrs, in an 8.5 year relationship

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  45. I completely agree with you! My ex looked at porn and I had the WORSE self-esteem. I could never live up to those women. I am now married to a wonderful man. He NEVER looks at porn. He knows those woman are not real. He also loves me, all of me. We have two children together and he sets a wonderful example to them of respect and love. He even goes as far as to look away from half naked woman on TV during movies, commercials etc. He says lust is a sin and even if it wasn't, he would never want to make me feel insecure or that I wasn't enough. It took years for me to gain my self-esteem back. I am so thankful that there are good men out there, even if it isn't the majority. I pray my daughter finds one. I think porn is an awful thing and it is wrong for boys, teens, or adults. Greatly written! Thank you!

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  46. It sounds, to me, like the problem with this relationship is a lack of communication. She never spoke up, so how can she expect him to know how she felt. As far as I k ow no human can read minds. Be open in your relationships and talk it out. That will greatly help in avoiding these situations. I also think that it is extremely selfish of the author to call the people who watch porn selfish when she is only taking into account the female perspective of the situation. Only once did she mention how Tom felt and the feelings he was having were obviously his fault for watching porn in the first place, according to the author that is. No matter what the issue is, talk it out. The sooner the better. I have dated way too many girls who won't share how they feel yet expect you to know as if I'm attuned to their psyche and know everything about them. Some women, much like some men, have very skewed ideas of what a relationship should be. It's your job to identify that early on and decide if it's worth it to stick around or not. Don't sit around in a shitty relationship because you never spoke up for yourself and then blame your partner when you're unhappy. It is your own fault that you wound up there and no one else's.

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  47. Wow, that was some great reading. I love that you speak out so clearly on what you think, and I really feel like this is an important topic, so thank you for writing this Joy..really loved it.

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  48. Wow, this was some great reading. I love the way you speak so clearly and honest from what you think, and I agree that this is an important topic. Thank you Joy, for being so genuine, really liked reading this..

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  49. This article is Assuming that without pornography "Tom" would just somehow be hot-wired or accustomed to find his ageing wife attractive, realistically, no matter what, our physical shape is going to change greatly from the day you've met someone, especially say after 20 years. This article is also assuming that "its a guy thing" which, is sexist. Both men and women share a demographic in the interest of the porn industry. To me the article sounds like the wife is being selfish considering the fact that she mentions quote: "maybe he does make love to her as a symbol of his commitment, thanks and love toward her… it's just not enough". Now, im not defending the porn industry saying its a gift to relationships, of course not, atleast not for all of them. But if both parts of the relationship are comfortable with watching and can still express love to each other, beyond just sex, then it is fine, as long as its not being prioritized over their significant other in which case it becomes an issue. Im sure if a man wrote an article about how women need to stop using dildos once their significant other loses their erection it would get no attention or even be frowned upon as anti-femme.

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  50. No shit storm here. I'm loving you telling it as it is. Speak your mind, go for it!! I can honestly say that I've never heard/read you say/write the word 'fuck'. Is it weird that I like the fact that you're just as human as rest of us? ;-) Let it all out Joy, apart from some of the anonymous replies... All I see is love and understanding in the rest of the comments. No shit storm. Never. Al though discussions are good. Have Faith. And love yourself, supposedly saggy tits and all.

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  51. This is amazing. Thank you for saying what I've thought my whole life but like you, have always had a hard time putting into words. A resounding AMEN from my neck of the woods. I have seen marriages destroyed by the powerful addiction. Thank you for speaking up about this. You are fantastic! Bravo! If I keep going on I'll sound crazy so I'll leave it at that.
    :)

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  52. Wow! Joy, I would say you hit the nail but I have to tell you, you are a little off. Men who consume porn become addicted to it and become disinterested in sex with Helen. You are right about a lot of it though. Porn destroys lives, marriages and families. It effects both men and women. We all can become addicted to it, it is more addictive then heroine. My husband and I have battled these addictions together and still continue to grow in love for one another. Anyone who watches/reads porn must be told, it is not a victimless crime. It destroys families, what about the STDs the actors are susceptible too? What about the women who are completely isolated from their husbands, or the children who stumble on it at very young ages due to parents not understanding parental controls? Porn destroys lives. Great post. Porn is not victimless.

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  53. Porn is addictive, more so then heroine. It isn't victimless. It destroys families, marriages and a healthy sex life, not to mention the lives of the people in these films. Porn leads to all sorts of sexual dysfunction, ask any divorce lawyer.

    Great blog, almost hits the nail on the head.

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  54. There's a great article that happened on the GQ blog, though it is ironic since a lot of things in GQ mag contradict and end up contributing to the problem.

    http://www.gq.com/blogs/the-feed/2013/11/10-reasons-why-you-should-quit-watching-porn.html

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  55. Bethany, firstly can I just say that it is so refreshing to read an interesting, opinionated and educated blog post from a strong woman in the media. I have just spent the last 30 minutes scrolling endlessly through your blog.

    The pornification and over sexualisation of women in the media is something that we as a society need to question and change. I wrote an article on my blog just recently concerning the same thing. I'm an Aussie songwriter and music artist, I sat through countless meetings recently concerning my image and the changes that should be made. Needless to say, as an educated strong female myself I was appalled at the idea of my profile being greater than the art I create and that profile being enhanced by 'edging up my look'.

    As women we are expected to maintain this perfect image our entire lives. Many of us struggling so much with the ideal that we undertake risky surgeries and expensive beauty treatments to cope. I wish the media and society itself would pay more attention to strong females in the media such as yourself who set a wonderful example of how to conduct themselves, be successful and happy. Instead we are obsessed with shock tactics, objectification and ultimately watching the demise of young impressionable women in the media due to new age 'ideals'.

    I have idea if you actually read through the comments here, but if you do thank you for having an independent, educated mind.
    When ever you feel alone in that opinion, know that a little Aussie songstress is thinking the same thing.

    Lizzy

    p.s thank you also for being a part of one tree hill. I grew up watching the show, and I get a chance to grow up all over again every time I watch it. X

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  56. Wow... Just wow... Thanks so much for putting that out there!!

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  57. Dear Ms. Lenz,

    before I start, I want to say two things first:
    1. Please forgive me my clumsy english, it's not my mother tongue.
    2. This is just a intellectual game, so please, please don't take this personal.

    The main point of your article is, if I got it right, that men, who watch porn, don't respect and aren't satisfied with the women they have in real life. In addition, to quote you, that men who watch porn choose someone else instead of their women.
    To say it in general, that the genre "porn" changes the conscious of men (and women).
    But now a thought occured to me:

    Didn't you do the same thing with people?

    What i want to say is: The series "One Tree Hill" contains various characters, which are all getting extremly sucessful in life. Nathan becomes a famous basketball player, Brooke raised a multi million dollar company, Haley becomes a famous singer...
    So you, playing the character Haley, are becoming extremly sucessful as a singer, you got your love of your life in highschool having a cute and healthy son. Everything turns out incredibly good for you.
    But now there are thousands of girls and women watching this series and watching you. Don't you think that maybe, these girls and women might loose their appreciation of their own life which isn't that sucessful? With wishing of being a great singer with a great husband since highschool, they might feel sorry for themselves for just being a normal girl with a normal life.
    I'm quite sure that these girls exist, because ( okay, I'm a man but nevertheless) I felt that way sometimes.
    And maybe there is some girl or boy, getting so obsessed with the sucessfulness of the "One Tree Hill" characters, that this changes his/her conscious so drastically that there might be no appreciation of the own life left?

    So the question still stands: Didn't you do the same? Probably change the conscious?

    I'm very curious about your thoughts so I'd be grateful for your answer.

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  58. Amazing article, beautifully written. Thankyou for putting what we all think into words . Wishing you a Merry Christmas all the way from India:)

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  59. It's funny, I read this and just kept thinking of that scene in One Tree Hill where you ("Haley") let Nathan have it when finding porn on his computer. I always thought that scene was amazing. "All the guys do it." "I don't want you to be a 'guy', Nathan. I want you to be a MAN." That was so awesome and so true.

    But honestly, I think the problem is a lot bigger than just porn, but society's projection of what women are supposed to look like in general. Men are constantly comparing women to the magazines and movie screens and other impossible ideas of what women should look like. Many of them would never admit it, but many of them actually do. And whether or not they will say it, women to feel the effect of it. The whole idea that "women are harder on themselves than men are" is bull. Women are only hard on themselves because they know the truth is that men value them for the most part based on how they look. Unless you find another way to fit in which puts you immediately in the "friend zone" where you are ignored the second someone more attractive enters the room. The fact that women are compared like this in general just makes me sick when I know this message is being passed on to younger and younger girls. I saw a video last week of 10 year olds on YouTube asking "am I pretty or am I ugly?" Society sucks. And I'm not sure what we can do about it.

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  60. But to be honest- besides men creating this unreal picture of how a woman has to look like in their head- there's the other thing: What women are supposed to do/can ...
    I've heard younger boys talking about how easy it is to get a girl and girls also see those porns and what those guys are expecting from them. To do it now- those times where you got to know eachother before even kissing are OVER. And that's the saddest thing!

    I am lucky to have a husband who has the opinion that those porn movies are kind of unreal- because no human being wants to have sex 24/7 ...
    But I have friends where there boyfriends/husbands would be like: Oh ok you don't want to have sex, I'll watch a porn then. Or they say: But those girls do it in the movies, why don't we do it, too.

    WE ARE NOT THOSE GIRLS!!! We are women- natural women!

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  61. This is my life. This is my marriage. Except I've said over and over that he makes me feel like I'm not good enough because I'm not young and beautiful anymore and I've had three children. I can't compete with those women. They're always there when he needs them, and I'm not. I get tired from a hard day of cleaning house and caring for the kids and running errands, and those girls don't. It cuts me to the core. It's not fair.

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  62. Lots of support here, but I'm afraid I think you're off-base on a number of points.

    First - why do you think porn is a "guy thing"? Yes, historically, there has been more cultural pressure on women *not* to consume porn, but (happily) that is changing, society is starting to - a little - get over its fear of female sexuality. I wouldn't *exactly* call it porn, but look at the runaway success of 50 Shades.
    I know a lot of women who are avid porn consumers. I know one person who makes (as in, directs and films) porn, who happens to be a woman.
    Yes, porn has historically been mostly aimed at men, but that is also changing.

    Second - people are going to masturbate (men AND women, but you seem to be focused on Tom wanking. Not sure why you assume Helen isn't, or why it's a problem that Tom is, but not that she is!). You'll never stop that. Hundreds of years of religious disapproval didn't stop people masturbating, I'm afraid no amount of blog posts is going to. It's natural, it's healthy, and it's past time we got over feeling guilty or judgemental about it. Take away porn (as if that were possible!), and we will masturbate to swimsuit calendars, music videos, *fantasies in our heads*. Here, you are Canute, ordering the sea to turn back. Not going to happen.

    Third - we all get less attractive as we get older. You focus on Helen, but Tom is growing a gut, losing his hair, starting to stoop. I sympathise, because I'm doing all that too! You might be blown away by your partner's appearance when you meet, in your teens or twenties, but realistically, when you've been together for a long time, it's not about appearance. My lady isn't as hot as she was when we met (and *neither the hell am I*) - but that doesn't mean I don't love her above all others, that I still don't want to spend my life with her, that I don't treasure being with her. A relationship, *love*, is about so very much more than appearance.

    I could go on, but I do realise I'm not going to make much of an impact in this crowd :-\ I avidly support equality, but I think the feminist objections to porn *in toto* are massively misguided. (Although *specific* types of porn, the demeaning/degrading stuff, we could well do without)

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  63. I agree. But I also think we need to realize that it is not our place to judge others who may have a problem with this issue. We should be encouraging these people to stop watching porn instead of pointing a finger.

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  64. Thank you. I am 29. After 7 years of living with a porn-addicted, sexually abusive husband I finally chose divorce in 2012. (with the help of years of counseling and a few friends who held me up through it). Because I am a Christian and worked for a Christian non-profit organization at the time, I lost my job, I lost my position on the worship team at my church, and I nearly lost my life. I wish pornography and the way it dehumanizes women was as "unacceptable" as divorce is considered in church.

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  65. Thank you so much for posting this. After 7 years of marriage to a porn-addicted, sexually abusive, spiritually abusive man (boy), I finally chose divorce. It was a difficult decision after years of counseling and several trial separations. Because I am a Christian and worked for a prominent Christian author, I lost my job, my position on worship team, and nearly my life. I was told I was stepping out of the hand of God and became suicidal.

    I am now quite healthy, advocating for other women in similar situations, and remarried to a wonderful man who treats me like a princess and refuses to even have internet to make sure we never have that stuff sneaking into our house. I'm also now a very happy instant step-mom to two precious girls.

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  66. You go girl! It is absolutely anti-femme to encourage women into the notion that they are only loved or equal if they look or behave in a certain way. It is also disrespectful and unloving for men (or women!) to intentionally engage is immoral behavior. Relationships aren't based on what we can have or want, they are based on what we DO have and can/will treasure. The human trafficking argument - yes, choosing to engage in looking / watching absolutely contributes to the growing "industry" and anyone who supports the porn industry is directly / indirectly supporting the growth of human trafficking. This is no longer a hush-hush topic anywhere in the world, so lack of education or ignorance is no excuse. If you support porn you are saying "I am not committed to my partner / spouse" and "I am okay with the slavery / sex slavery of other human beings." There is no longer a disconnect between these issues.

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  67. Dresden ElizabethMarch 8, 2014 at 8:35 PM

    I have been married for a tiny five years. My husband and I have a married friends, and one couple is going through a rough patch. The wife keeps catching the husband watching porn. They have been together since high school, and now have two kids. So, naturally, her body isn't what it used to be. It doesn't look like it did in high school. Anyway, she constantly catches him watching porn. At least once a week, and he gets put in the dog house. Naturally when he gets put in the dog house my husband hears about it, because they are best friends, and then my husband tells me because we are best friends. And I always used to think; "oh c'mon (we'll call her Helen) Helen*, don't be so uptight it's no big deal." I personally do not watch porn. It makes me feel dirty, and I also feel it takes the intimacy out of sex. That being said I never had a problem with anyone else watching it. Now, however, I see where Helen* is coming from. Maybe *Tom watching porn upsets her because she feels like it holds her to an unrealistic idea of what and who she should be in the bedroom. My husband and I also have two children so my body isn't what it used to be either. So, I guess my main point is that I finally understand what was upsetting Helen* all along. Thank you for that, Joy.
    Also, I did not know that most of the girls were trafficked into that industry. That honestly changes everything for me. I can no longer see it as "OK", or "just a guy thing" after this.

    P.S. I apologize if this comment is a little scattered, my kids are chatting my ears off as I'm trying to type this up.

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  68. Wow - That was amazing, and being an aging sagging 44 yr old awesome mother of 2 breast fed gorgeous little boys - I wish every man in the world could read what you said.....Agreed with everything you said, so well written.

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  69. Dear Joy
    Thank you so much for your powerful message. It's so sad how the "world" has made pornography to something good and natural. To something everybody needs. And those people who are not this opinion are to prude. This kind of view breaks my heart everytime I hear something about this lie.
    If you watch porn it will change your heart and it will change you as a person. A wonderful man or woman made by God. It will destroy every marriage (one of the greatest things God has created). And it twisted the great idea of God's idea of sexuality. We have to start as women. We have to stop the hatred of our self, the hatred of other women and the society's hatred of women. And the first and best thing we can do is pray. We can pray for a revolution of the men and women hearts. So can healing begin and transform us back to this women and men God originally has made. Please will the real men and women stand up. Let us stand together. Let's finish Human Trafficking. Let us change the world for the affected children and women. Your voice matters.

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  70. you are absolutely right: porn is anti-femme, and there's no way around it... thank you so much to tell it and to speak about it. I always tought the same as you but some people tell it's something about the freedom of women: I completely disagree with this last idea. thank you again.

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  71. I haven't been married or had any children, and I'm still pretty okay in all the "okay" ways a woman should be, and I have had serious problems with the men in my relationships abusing porn. (Yes, abusing). It has created hurt, resentment, frustration...and destroyed relationships for me. I would honestly rather be alone than be with a man who consumes porn. I'm really glad you've written an article about this; it's a really important issue, and it is affecting women, young women, older women...more than most men are willing to realise. "It doesn't hurt anybody" is absolute bullshit for all the reasons you've mentioned. I have ZERO, absolutely ZERO respect for any man who consumes porn. I'm really glad you've written this article.

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  72. Your insight is articulately presented and the thoughts portrayed were astute. I would only like to point out that the condition, while exacerbated by the proliferation and availability of abject sexualization, is not entirely a product of the internet. The philosopher Sam Keen wrote about the same topic in the mid 70's in "The Passionate Life: Stages of Loving". It has been a few years since I read the book and at present it is buried in a box along with the rest of my undergrad library so I cannot quote directly. Mr. Keen wrote about the "Phantom Lover" that men create in their imaginations based on imagery in magazines like Playboy and Penthouse. This feminine ideal was the impossible competition that all flesh and blood women would always be compared to in the subconscious of every man they would ever meet.

    Here we are some 40 years later with pornography a part of our popular culture on a scale unimagined even 10 years ago. I think the most impactful aspect is the accessibility to adolescents. Anyone who can type Porn Hub into a search engine can watch acts which by the standards of polite society should be private and not recorded for posterity. Keen was writing about adults not 8,10, or 12 year old boys so if anything has changed I would say it is the stage of the maturation process that the imprinting begins to take shape.

    The impact this is going to have on generations to come and the form it takes is yet to be determined, however, make no mistake social intercourse will be affected by societies views on sexual intercourse and the blatant objectification of females.

    Bravo to you, young miss, for presenting such a sober and "old-fashioned" perspective. I hope Mr. Keen finds his way here. You do him proud.

    D. Mertz, Jr., M.Sc.
    USAF, Retired

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