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» Got Questions? Get Answers. » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sexual Ethics and Politics » Pornography (Page 4)

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Author Topic: Pornography
Sorrow of wind bird sky
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Pornography can vary... Some "porn" stuffs are actually not that bad, for they contain only nudity and that is all. There is no disrespect or anything similar like that to either the male group or the female group...

Some pornography things are absolutely sick! Sometimes I surf around the porn net (I am 19 and I get no girlfriend, so it hurts no one :-) and there are really disgusting little windows popping out... Sometimes things like beastility, incest, really overweight woman or man, women who were elder than 50, or even little children would appear... I think it is truly a piece of hellish shxt and resent most of it...

The only pornography I enjoy is some porn that contains only a female (without any sexual activieites... I am a guy )

I also think when a person watches pornography, it is unfair to his/her partner... How would you feel and behave if your partner (boyfriend/girlfriend) is watching pornography? It wouldn't be an joyful experience for most people... It would hurt the other one painfully inside, and I think it is not a right thing for someone who is loved to do... Respect should be give fully to someone who loves you and whom you love....

(but a single like me? enjoy :P )

------------------
Dreams of humans...
Never Surcease!!!
(from One Piece :P )


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Heather
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Actually, quite a number of couples watch sexual entertainment TOGETHER, you know, and as well, a good majority of couples do still view pornography alone when they have partners. And that is just fine with many of them.

Saying that's disloyal or hurtful by default is akin to saying masturbating is disloyal if you have a partner. Certain approaches to porn in relationships have the capacity to create hurt, but that's not about purveying porn, that's about misusing it or handling it poorly in relationships.

As well, I'd just like to remind you that while you may find people of a certain ago or size unappealing erotically, which is fine, equating sex involving older people or fat people with incest is truly beyond the pale. Things like bestiality or incest involve nonconsent and direct harm (and illegality). Older people and fat people are consenting adults who are just as sexual, sanely and safely, as someone your size and age. "Resenting" the depiction of such is your issue and shows a bias on your part: people of all ages, shapes and sizes are sexual people and have the right to be such.

Lastly, because you are male and enjoy only pornography with women in it doesn't mean al men do. Not only are all men not heterosexual, even some heterosexual men enjoy pornography that isn't directly reflective of their real partnerships or general orientation.

Porn is generally fantasy, not reality.

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Heather Corinna
Editor and Founder, Scarleteen

My epitaph should read: "She worked herself into this ground."
-- Kay Bailey Hutchinson


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Sorrow of wind bird sky
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[QUOTE]
As well, I'd just like to remind you that while you may find people of a certain ago or size unappealing erotically, which is fine, equating sex involving older people or fat people with incest is truly beyond the pale. Things like bestiality or incest involve nonconsent and direct harm (and illegality). Older people and fat people are consenting adults who are just as sexual, sanely and safely, as someone your size and age. "Resenting" the depiction of such is your issue and shows a bias on your part: people of all ages, shapes and sizes are sexual people and have the right to be such.


Sorry, Miz Scarlet... I didn't say it clear... I meant that sometimes I see people who are over-weight doing the incest things... and boys who look really young (I wonder whether they are adult or not) are having sexual intercouse with elder women with the word "incest" there...

I didn't mean any despise nor discrimination to any gender nor any age...

I apologize for my wrong word uses... Really sorry about that... (bow)


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Sorrow of wind bird sky
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my computer just had some kind of mistakes and the messages were sent twice... I didn't mean to do it... and the computer system does not allow me to delete what i post... so could you please delete the extra one?

sorry to cause you so many troubles


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'rin
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i'm torn on this issue. i don't think there's anything wrong or imoral about concenting adults making and viewing anything they want to. most/all pictoral pornography doesn't turn me on but that's just me. some writen pornography does. again, that's just me.
but....
i run into two "issues" with pornography.
one - many of the images in mainstream ponography represent women who have "unrealistic" bodies - ie large brests with ribs showing. emaciated and or surgically enhanced. yes i know this kind of imagry is present in most mainstream media, not just porn. it bothers me there, too. it offends me and makes me feel unconfortable in my (less than perfect but pretty when i'm willing to be objective about it) skin. enough women are insecure without something that's suposed to be sexy showing them how inadequate they are.

two- because of my own body image issues it bugs me when i see my guy watching porn. i wonder if he wants me to look like those girls he just got off too. i wonder if he's thinking about perfect images like that when he gets off with me. i get all kinds of insecure and upset and feel anything but sexy. kind of a buzz kill. so i make it a point not to look at the porn he does, so i can't compare myself to those perfect bodies. and he makes it a point not to leave things in plain sight. it's not that he's being sneaky about it - if i ask he'll tell me - it's that that's the easiest way for us to deal with this particular mess.

sorry if i've been rambling. this topic tends to get me started....

------------------
who is rin?


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grrlyote
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'Pornography is healthy. Pornography is healthy. If you're healthy, pornography is healthy. If you're not healthy, nothing is healthy. Pornography is healthy.'

-Bif Naked, "Pornography"

She sums up my views on viewing porn pretty easily. I'll probably have more to say later.


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icanthinkofaname
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i need help. I love to look at it but my friends (girls) dont wnat me to. They think its wrong and dont want me to look at it. BUt I really love it. Please help me
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Milke
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What you do in your own time is your own business, you know. If your friends aren't fond of pornography, but you enjoy consuming it, you might just want to try to make that enjoyment something you're a bit more discrete about.

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Milke, with an L, SSBD, RATS, TMNTP

Sink, swim, go down with the ship, but use your freedom of choice!


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icanthinkofaname
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I loveto look at pornography. However, my friends(girls) don't want me to. One of them asked me not to and all of the others made it clear they thought it was wrong. However, I really want to look at it, but I don't want to go against their requests. Please help me!
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Heather
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Friends as in platonic friends, or as in sexual partners?

If you're talking about platonic friends, since they're not a part of your sexual life, they really have no place making requests of your private, sexual life. At all. They can request you don't discuss it with them, however, and that's certainly fair.

If you're talking about sexual partners, then like anything else, you discuss both your issues and communicate, and come to some sort of compromise that suits you both as well as a greater understanding of what you glean from pornography, and what bothers them about that.

------------------
Heather Corinna
Editor and Founder, Scarleteen

My epitaph should read: "She worked herself into this ground."
-- Kay Bailey Hutchinson


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icanthinkofaname
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one of them is really close to me. I don't want to do what she asked me not to, but sometimes i really want to look at it. She isnt really a sexual partner, but she might be in the future. i really don't know
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pjtheman
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I am only 14 but I did have 1 encounter with porn. Once, I looked at one of my parents videos just 2 see what they were like. I was pretty disgusted at what I saw. However, I now feel that anyone who likes to watch these things are welcome to. I believe also that anyone who really needs to see this kind of thing must really be lacking in their love life to watch some old man and 2 really thin women (who weren't really that attractive anyway) having sex, especially when they're not doing anything for the health of the people who watch and of course themselves by not wearing condoms and swallowing a barrelful of semen.

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Go check out this site
http://www.kiwibox.com/redirect/emailkiwipal.asp?username=pjtheman
you can win all kinds of cool stuff like concert tickets


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SeductiveKitty
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I think pornography is degrading and debasing to women. It makes us look easy, cheap, ready for the "thrill", and willing to do anything, including humiliating ourselves, to pleasure a man.
And, it's a form of cheating.

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icanthinkofaname
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There's male porn too. YOu don't see us guys complaining. Besides, if a woman wants to show herself naked, its not degrading to anyone unless they let it be.
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lemming
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Hey, SeductiveKitty, you might want to check out some of the posts in this thread; they do address those issues.

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Laurel Lemming
Scarleteen Advocate

"Maypole/The ties that bind you will unwind/To free me one day/And everything decays..." - XTC, "The Wheel and the Maypole"


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kellykapowski
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I'm glad I read this. A lot of food for thought...


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Stacyisagirl
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Many people say that the pornography industry exploits women. What do you think?
I ask because the founder and editor of Scarleteen, Heather Corinna, produces and distributes pornography as she says on (edited) -- an adult site which she has a column at.

(Stacy, FYI, it's our policy not to outlink to adult sites at ST, because our users can't lawfully go to them anyhow, and the material here needs to be tailored as age-appropriately as possible. Thanks.)

[This message has been edited by Stacyisagirl (edited 02-06-2004).]

[This message has been edited by Miz Scarlet (edited 02-06-2004).]


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Gumdrop Girl
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hey Stacy, like with most industries, it depends on how the business is practiced. If the workers -- in this case the men and women who pose for pornography -- are treated fairly, paid properly and are not coerced into the job and/or kept in against their will, then the industry is operating as it should be. Then comes the matter of the actors themselves. If they willingly choose to enter this line of work and practice of their own volition, then it's hard to say they're being exploited.

Of course, I'm quite aware that not every porn star is happy about the work they do, and they may continue to engage in it because they are being forced into it, or they have serious personal problems that they are trying to mask by engaging in sex work, or they need the money to support a drug habit, or whatever. This is unfortunate and deplorable, and in these cases, thep eople need help. But there are the folks who are fine with their chosen line of work. It's just matter of sorting through who piles and piles of adult materials that are produced every year and figuring out which ones are made by people who aren't being exploited and who are.

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"Young lady, in this house, we obey the laws of thermodynamics!" Homer Simpson

Love Scarleteen? By donating just $1, you can help keep us around.


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Heather
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Stacy, you can see a lot of what many users think by reading the previous five pages of posts in the thread. That's a pretty good way to get a bead on an existing discussion regardless, before furthering it.

It should perhaps be mentioned that it's not a big secret, nor anything anyone, including myself, tries to hide here that, like many sex educators, activists and artists, I work in the adult arena (in both sex information, sexual politic nonfiction, advice, as well as being a published author of erotica and a photographer and model who often works with fine art nude, queer and couples portraiture) as well as with young adults, and there has already been some discussion of that in the existing discussion, actually, as well as some address and description of my other work at the main site in the staff section.


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Stacyisagirl
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Thanks for the info! I would think some parents and other uptight people might get the wrong idea about a queer person who does pornography and also runs a site where thousands of young boys and girls pour out their most intimate sexual thoughts and fears. Must be much more difficult in this country than in the EU.
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ErinK
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Well, Stacy, we do actually get a lot of mail from concerned parents who ask that very question. So you're not the first person to ask that. Personally, I've found that Scarleteen tries to be an open and inclusive site, and that the volunteers here represent a range of genders, sexual orientations, and experience (or lack thereof) with writing and producing erotica or pornography. These experiences and our training allow us to give straight answers to all the people who come to us. Most of the teenagers who come here appreciate that, and their parents do too -- we hear from a lot more parents who are glad that their children have this site to go to in addition to the references they give them.

If you have a problem with Heather's employment, you need to take it up with Heather privately. If you'd rather sidetrack this discussion into one that discusses whether or not Heather or any of the people who run this site are qualified to give advice to young men and women, or insinuate that we're all sexual predators because some of us make porn, please take yourself elsewhere.


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GrayDancer
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Speaking up as one of the parents, I will have to say that I for one am very grateful that a queer person who produces "porn" (though I disagree about that categorization of what she does) runs this site. Mainly because of my four daughters, one is bi, one is a lesbian, and the younger two are undecided. So I'd much rather someone with some experience in queer issues be around to field things that I have no experience in.

I do, however, have a lot of experience with porn. I mean art. I mean, erotica. Oh, wait, that's right, that's something that is SUBJECTIVE to the viewer. I don't remember the exact rule of thumb, but I think it went something like this.

If you like it and it turns you on, it's erotica.
If you like it and it doesn't turn you on, it's art.
If you don't like it and it turns someone else on, it's porn.

I find it interesting to read all of these blanket statements about the women of porn being exploited for their bodies, or how it's cheating, or how some of it is fine and some isn't. Really, it kind of proves the point. I am involved in the performance art field; some of the most beautiful dance I've seen has been by nude or semi-nude dancers. And for some reason some people here seem to think this means it's sexual, or pornographic.

There's a famous painting from the Renaissance showing a naked woman on one side and a woman in fine robes on the other. The title of the painting is something like "Innocence and Worldliness" (sorry, the title is escaping me). Art professors use it to trick their students, asking which is which, and letting the students explain why they thought the nude was "worldly". The fact is, until very recently in historical terms, nudity was considered a symbol of purity. If there's one lesson I wish I could teach my kids, it's that NUDITY does not equal SEX.

And even when it does, SEX does not equal BAD. Or EVIL. That's for whatever the consenting adults decide to determine. So if my wife, for example, is out of town, and chooses to watch an episode of OZ because she thinks the men are sexy, is she cheating on me? Only if she told me she wouldn't in the first place. And since I would never be that silly, nope, it's just fine.


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summergoddess
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Pornography to me is fantasy, not reality. I've seen porn, and so has Isaiah. It sometimes happens when i'm alone, and when we're together. But we don't always need porn to enchance our sex drive or our sex. We can highten it ourselves with other ways.

Porn only becomes a problem if one is addicted to it for HOURS per day, and ignores the people in one's life like doesn't want to do anything with them even if it was just to have a conversation.

That's just my 2 cents!

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~Jules

[This message has been edited by summergoddess (edited 02-07-2004).]


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livewire3
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I agree. I think that porn is alright to look at so long as it doesn't interfere with your life or the lives of those around you in a negative way.
I own porn, but it was only after I bought that I realized that I didn't like it as much as I thought I did.

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SMBerg
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Pornography is filmed prostitution. It is a product made by millionaires using prostitutes, not a fantasy that doesn't really exist. It is a real thing, and real women are really hurt by it. The fantasy is in your head, but the semen and feces and urine is in the vaginas, rectums and mouths of real women.

Please do some more reading about what it takes to make pornography before deciding it is harmless. I used to watch and defend my use of porn, but I've since learned it not harmless but is actually an industry that preys on sexually abused, drug addicted and poverty stricken people. There is no 100% way of preventing deadly STDs and pregnancy, and prostitutes suffer enormously both physically and mentally from having their sexuality abused for the profit of pornographers. In every place in the world legalized prostitution has been attempted it has worsened conditions for women and children. Sweden decided after 30 years of trying legalization that prostitution is an inherently harmful act which is incompatible with their goal of acheiving equality for women and decided to criminalize pimps and johns while helping prostitutes escape "the life".
www.oneangrygirl.net
www.dianarussell.com
www.prostitutionresearch.com

If you are pro-prostitution and pornstitution, you need to check out these links and listen to what prostitutes the world over say about what it feels like. Corporate media makes a lot of money from the sexual objectification of women. The only prostitutes the corporate media gives airtime to are industry prostitutes who are paid money to promote the porn industry that feeds them and dead prostitutes mentioned in the violent crime portion of your local evening news. When a former prostitute dares to speak publicly about the severe and inherent trauma in most prostitutes lives, she is vilified, called a man-hater and her life experiences are not given air time unless they murder several johns like Aileen Wournos did. Former prostitute Andrea Dworkin is still alive, but you'll never see her on corporate television because she tells people not to purchase products made from human misery.

Please do some homework before deciding where you stand. I used to think there was nothing wrong with it either.

SMBerg

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Conservatives think women should be private property. Liberals think women should be public property. Feminists don't think women should be property at all.


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Dzuunmod
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Any industry can be harmful to its workers if it isn't regulated properly, and if those regulations aren't enforced properly.

Certainly, in pornography, those things aren't happening yet. But who are you to say that they couldn't? And who are you to decide what other people can do with their bodies? I think your post might be in conflict with your signature.

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"Like a bat out of hell, time has come for you!"
-Ballad of a Comeback Kid, The New Pornographers


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Confused boy
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Indeed. Prostitution, even more than pornography, has been in every society and is impossible to stamp out. Keeping it illegal simply makes life worse for prostitutes. So both prostitution and pornography should be regulated like any other occupation (perhaps more hashly, after all, it is potentially dangerous work). Indeed there should be unions of prostitutes with protected rights to prevent exploitation by pimps.

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'An Anarchist is a Liberal with a bomb' Trotsky


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Heather
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I'm completely amenable to furthering this discussion here, but for the sake of having a sound one, I don't think we can take data from illegal on-street prostitution, or nonconsensual or child pornography, and apply it to say, mainstream video pornography where actors are paid thousands of dollars a scene in large production houses.

Doing so, in my mind, is not only grossly inaccurate, it seems to stand to do little more than a) profoundly confuse perhaps related, but ultimately very different issues and b) really diminish and insult the hardships and suffering of those involved in illegal street prostitution on child prostitution/pornography.

Let's also remember too, that pornography and prostiution aren't just about women: there are as many male prostitutes and porn actors as female ones, and all in all, in all those areas, they're dealing with the same issues, challenges and/or hardships.

[This message has been edited by Miz Scarlet (edited 03-26-2004).]


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logic_grrl
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quote:
listen to what prostitutes the world over say about what it feels like.

Funnily enough, I have. And having read the work of Amber Hollibaugh and many other highly articulate sex worker and ex-sex worker feminists, I'm very aware of how much they dislike being patronized "for their own good" by other feminists.

Yes, there is some horrific abuse and oppression in both prostitution and the making of pornography. And like abuse and exploitation in any other industry, it needs to be fought - and the people fighting it are usually sex workers themselves, who are mostly far from being passive victims.

Take the English Collective of Prostitutes, for example, who fought the first successful battle in the UK to convict a man for raping a sex worker, a battle which was fought almost entirely without support by any of the people who would pity them as poor, deluded victims.

In my opinion, it is deeply paternalistic to use the existence of abuse and exploitation to argue that women (or men) who choose to engage in sex work should not be allowed to make their own choices, or that all sex work is intrinsically evil.

Sweatshops are another example of endemic exploitation in an industry; we don't, however, argue from that that women shouldn't be allowed to make or wear clothes.


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SMBerg
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You haven't explored the information on the links or you would see how your questions are answered there by international experts who have done decades of peer-reviewed research.
www.prostitutionresearch.com www.oneangrygirl.net www.dianarussell.com

Any industry can be harmful to its workers if it isn't regulated properly, and if those regulations aren't enforced properly.

Can you name another job where a 13-year old with no experience commands a price 100 times that of a 23-year old with ten years of experience? If you don't believe pornography is often made using underage, prosituted girls, please read Traci Lord's autubiography in addition to the studies in the links I've provided where a majority of (60% in one study) prostituted people say pornography was made of them and sold by their pimps. Between court records, police records, and the testimony of thousands of prostitutes, there is a mountain of evidence. It is a well known fact that the United States is the world's largest producer and distributor of child pornography and yet still some here insist pornography is almost entirely made with consensing adults.

Porn is not mostly made by consenting adults making the free will choice to engage in filmed prostitution. There is internationally corroborated evidence of this if you explore the information on the links I provided. If anyone knows of a study done where the the majority of prostitutes said they liked their jobs and want to keep doing it, I'd like to see it. A five-country study done with about 500 male, female and transexual prostitutes revealed 92% said they wanted out immeditely but couldn't leave. People who want to leave but can't are not people 'choosing' to be there. 100% said they didn't want someone they loved to have to be a prostitute.

And who are you to decide what other people can do with their bodies?

90% of American prostitution is pimp-controlled, so it is not women and children prostitutes deciding what they can do with their own bodies. Why wouldn't pimps go for the extra money of making sellable pornography of the prostitutes they control when there is such a profitable demand? Besides, when something is deemed inherently harmful to a vulnerable population it is everyone's duty to act to prevent the widespread abuse. I'm convinced there is enough evidence to believe in the inherent harm of prostitution.

If the high amounts of mental trauma among prostitutes doesn't convince you, please try to grasp the truth that there is no such thing as risk free sex. Hospitals take great care dealing with human fluids
because of the high risk factor for transmission of dangerous and deadly diseases. Condoms fail even if
used perfectly, and here is no 100% guarantee (or 99%, or 98%...) that fertile women who have sex with many untested partners can be protected from pregnancy and STDs (for example, condoms don't stop genital warts, a leading cause of cervical cancer.) Why are we risking women's health and lives with genital warts, herpes, HIV, syphillis, pregnancies? "Entertainment for men?" A form of capitalism which says vaginas are rental properties and a potential source of increasing GNP if properly taxed and managed? Those are wholly inadequate excuses for the extremely well documented physical and mental horrors of prostitution.

Keeping it illegal simply makes life worse for prostitutes.

This has proven itself to not be true, as I've already said. I implore you to read about Sweden's 1999 prostitution law, the most successful effort to help prostitutes yet implemented. Legalization attempts around the world have only served to increase child prostitution and makes it harder for officials to combat, increase street prostitution, increase STDs, and increase gang activity. The number of people int he industry goes up with the violence and human trafficking, as the Netherlands found when their sex industry increased 25% but it is estimated 70% of prostitutes there are illegally trafficked women and children.

I don't think we can take data from illegal on-street prostitution, or nonconsensual or child pornography, and apply it to say, mainstream video pornography where actors are paid thousands of dollars a scene in large production houses.

The industry as a whole, when considered as the global corporation it is, relies on a revolving door of poverty-stricken, sexually abused, drug addicted vulnerable young women. Anyone who knows even a little about the porn industry knows these truths of the the porn population talent pool. Again, I refer you to Traci Lord's autobiography. Also, there is a vast trade in internet pornography which looking only at your stated 'mainstream video producers' ignores in its enormity and expansion. Taken as a whole, filmed prostitution is big business for gangs and sex slaves are the third most traded 'item' on the black market. It is estimated 100,000 sex slaves are trafficked into the USA every year, and I can't think of a good reason pornography profiteers wouldn't use these bought-and-owned bodies.

Let's also remember too, that pornography and prostiution aren't just about women: there are as many male prostitutes and porn actors as female ones, and all in all, in all those areas, they're dealing with the same issues, challenges and/or hardships.

This is partly true, and you can read Susan Faludi's book Stiffed to hear several male porn actors' sad testimonies and read about Cal Jammer, a big name porn actor who committed suicide (also discussed briefly is another famous suicide in the porn industry, Savannah.)

But the part that isn't true is that male and females in prostitution deal with the same issues. I think we all really know women get the worse end of the sexual stick all over the world because sexism is all over the world, and it is sexism that keeps prostitution and modeling the only two careers women outearn men in. It is sexism that makes the unsolicited porn spam in my inbox look like this:

-- edited AGAIN. SMBerg: do NOT re-edit when we have removed something at these boards, especially when we have done so ONLY for the purpose of keeping our board as accessible to our young adult users as possible, as explained below. If you do so yet again, you'll be banned from the boards. That is beyond disrespectful to both our user base and to those of us who fund and maintain this space. --

(To note, what was edited and included here was simply a list of prototypical porn spam headers.)

I'm not posting these to be lewd or rude, but these are the facts of the social conditions pornography is made and marketed under. I trust that everyone with some exposure to pornography can see with their own eyes the extra insult to all members of Social Class Women pornography inflicts which it doesn't do to Social Class Men. Gay porn doesn't have porn series titled "Fuck Pigs 14", as one woman who works in a porn rental store says on her website.

And having read the work of Amber Hollibaugh and many other highly articulate sex worker and ex-sex worker feminists

That a few paid prostitutes have learned to profit from advocating the legalization of prostitution does not hold water next to the reponses of the overwhelming number of prostitutes without book deals, their own websites, nationwide tours and scheduled appearances on the talk show circuit booked by an agent who negotiates speaking fees.

My best friend is a prostitute in Queens, NYC. He has AIDS, but he's still tricking because he needs the money. He has been raped many times and had pornography made of him many times. A former violent customer who gave him syphilis demanded continued sexual access to him by attempting to blackmail him with the pornographic pictures.

I volunteer for the Lola Baldwin Foundation. I hold the hands of the people shaking because they've run from their pimps and they're scared he's going to come get his Golden Egg Laying Goose back. I listen to the sex workers who don't profit from telling their side of the story, who will never have book deals and never earn a dime from saying "Prostitution hurt me" the way some women make money and celebrity for tehmselves by saying "Prostitution is sexy."

I've provided places for those with more questions to go and seek answers.

Here is a link to another message board where the discussion of pornography is covered quite completely (as an added bonus, a Swedish feminist offers some perspective on her country's groundbreaking success curtailing sex trafficking, pimping and soliciting sex.) I'll not be returning to answer any more questions because I can't paraphrase decades of research; you have to do some investigation on your own, and I hope you find the links I've provided worthwhile. Goodbye.

Your every question about prostitution answered here

[This message has been edited by SMBerg (edited 03-26-2004).]

[This message has been edited by Miz Scarlet (edited 03-26-2004).]


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Heather
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SMBerg, I needed to edit your entry, because using all the porn email spam headlines you did, and the language contained within them contributes to young adults being unable to access sexuality educational sites like these, which they need, due to net filters at their schools.
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logic_grrl
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quote:
People who want to leave but can't are not people 'choosing' to be there.

Agreed. But nobody here has said that forcing people to work in prostitution or pornography is defensible!

quote:
Keeping it illegal simply makes life worse for prostitutes.

This has proven itself to not be true, as I've already said.


If you think that all women in prostitution or pornography are oppressed and abused, I fail to see how jailing and fining them improves their lives.

Numerous campaiging groups have pointed out that criminalizing prostitution - by impoverishing women further through fines and landing them with criminal records - actually makes it much more difficult for women who want to to leave the industry.

quote:
That a few paid prostitutes have learned to profit from advocating the legalization of prostitution

In other words, if a women disagrees with you, she must be being paid to do it?

To be honest, I find it patronizing that you claim to be supporting the rights of women in sex work, but then feel free to dismiss someone as a "paid prostitute" without even having read her work.

Hollibaugh is not wealthy or being paid by anyone (except in so far as any author gets some royalties - but that hardly discredits any feminist merely for publishing a book).

She is extremely eloquent on the subject of economic and physical abuse in prostitution, and could not conceivably be considered to be romanticising it or supporting the industry.

But she has also suffered ostracism and rejection within the feminist movement as a result of her refusal to portray herself as a passive "victim" simply because she once worked in prostitution.

quote:
My best friend is a prostitute in Queens, NYC. He has AIDS, but he's still tricking because he needs the money. He has been raped many times and had pornography made of him many times. A former violent customer who gave him syphilis demanded continued sexual access to him by attempting to blackmail him with the pornographic pictures.

I don't think you're listening.

Nobody here has said that abuse and exploitation of all sorts do not exist within prostitution and pornography - as they do within other other industries. And everyone would agree that abuse and exploitation are bad.

But to generalize from this to say that "all pornography is evil" is not justified.

Does that, for example, cover pornography made by women and for women, on a non-profit or co-op basis where everyone gets fairly paid, with a deliberate effort to show and promote safer sex? Is that part of the evil "global corporation"?

[This message has been edited by logic_grrl (edited 03-26-2004).]


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Heather
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Just a few things to add here:

- This is a thread about pornography, NOT about street prostitution. I'd be more than glad to have a thread on street prostitution as well here, but comparing that data with that on any sort of legal porn just isn't sound. Because, for instance, it is not legal for a 13-year-old in this country to be included in pornography. It can and does occur (though most federal data shows far less of it having been found than we'd be led to believe), but it's not what is being discussed here. And most legal pornography IS made by consenting adults who have to prove their age, and many of whom get paid better than most of us do doing anything else AND who are glad to be working in that industry.

(Caveat: I am not a fan myself of mainstream pornography or the industry as big business, and even many aspects of it on the smaller scale. But that's pretty irrelevant to the issue, or to my allowing that adult men AND women should, in my mind, be entitled to make their own choices in terms of their vocation.)

Again, you keep talking about prostitution and pimps, when this thread is on pornography, NOT street prostitution or even legal outcall prostitution.

"The industry as a whole, when considered as the global corporation it is, relies on a revolving door of poverty-stricken, sexually abused, drug addicted vulnerable young women. Anyone who knows even a little about the porn industry knows these truths of the the porn population talent pool. Again, I refer you to Traci Lord's autobiography."

The problem with this statement is myriad. For startes, Traci Lords is one of the least credible sources for information on the industry there is -- she was not only out of it before a lot of newer regulations and practices came into play, her credibility is seriously compromised by her long-standing habit of supporting whatever seems to net her the most notoriety. Which isn't to say I don't think there aren't credible sources of men or women once working in the industry who are now outside of it and oppose it, because I've seen a good handful, but IMO, she isn't one of them.

To boot, the "industry," when we refer to it as such, is big, big business. And in the large mainstream venues, very few people are anything close to poverty-striken who are working regularly. As to sexually-abused, that's pretty questionable when we're talking about legal, mainstream pornography. And considering how many people - especially women -- have been raped and sexually abused in the world, we'd unfortunately find a hard time finding ANY industry in which a large percentage of female workers were not.

In terms of your comparison of titles from porn including women to homosexual porn for men, if you feel the titles are far more lewd for the former, you're clearly not very familiar with the latter, because it's pretty darn identical.

Mind you, I agree with some of what you're saying here. A statement like this, for instance, "I think we all really know women get the worse end of the sexual stick all over the world because sexism is all over the world, and it is sexism that keeps prostitution and modeling the only two careers women outearn men in," is in my mind important indeed and tragic as hell.

The trouble is that amid all the high rhetoric and the blending of data between very different things, as well as total and immediate dismissal of ANY counter to what you're saying like, "That a few paid prostitutes have learned to profit from advocating the legalization of prostitution," which is flatly, utterly patronizing in my book especially when given SUCH a broad brush, as well as ironic as heck (again, I refer *you* to Traci Lords). To say outright that the ONLY reason someone a woman (or man) might support pornography or sex work is for profit says to me that you likely aren't seeing sex workers as human or credible or as thinking adults like yourself UNLESS they are anti-porn.

If we're to look at -- and again, let's please stick to the topic at hand, which is pornography, not street prostitution -- data and accounts about the hazards of pornography, about it's possible harm, and about those who have been or felt victimized, and give it any weight, we can't do so while discounting everyone and anyone else who says otherwise, just like we can't do the inverse.


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Milke
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This thread is also too long, so I'm closing it. Anyone who wants to is welcome to start a new thread on porn (linking to this one, please), or prostitution, or whatever, keeping in mind that said thread has to be kept within the Guidelines, and generally polite and respectful.

------------------
Milke, with an L, Mrs BD to you, RATS, TMNTP, MF, CWCD, WAOTA

Everything's been sold to others' revolutions


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Milke
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This thread is also too long, so I'm closing it. Anyone who wants to is welcome to start a new thread on porn (linking to this one, please), or street prostitution (sinceI'm pretty sure we already have a thread on general prostitution), or whatever, keeping in mind that said thread has to be kept within the Guidelines, and generally polite and respectful.

------------------
Milke, with an L, Mrs BD to you, RATS, TMNTP, MF, CWCD, WAOTA

Everything's been sold to others' revolutions


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