Musings of Navigating The Finite remainder of life from Porchville, with the hope of a glimpse of The Infinite

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Sacrament or Pornography

This is part 2 of Sextant is a naïve old fool when it comes to human sexuality.  Yes it is another post on sex, so again for those troubled by these topics, please read no further.  This post shares the same preamble as my post Sacrament or Hookup.  That preamble is, that I believe that sex can be and should be a Sacrament between long term monogamous loving partners.  The January / February 2011 issue of The Atlantic had two articles that would question that view and at first blanche, made me feel like an old naïve fool.  If you have not already done so read Sacrament or Hookup first.  That post discussed The Hazards of Duke  by Caitlin Flanagan. This post is going to discuss the second article Hard Core by Natasha Vargas-Cooper.

Note!  This article contains language and explicit descriptions that would generally not make it a topic for polite conversation.  If four lettered terminologies make you uncomfortable, I would recommend avoiding this link.

Hard Core by Natasha Vargas-Cooper

The gist of this article seems to be that pornography is a window into male sexual desire, and humanity is helpless to change it.  So ladies, if you want to know what your boyfriend, fiancé, husband, father, sons, or brothers think of sex and women, just spend the afternoon browsing the porn sites and there you have it…the window of truth of what men really want to do.  Love, tenderness, or any sense of Holiness are all baloney…what men really want are double anals and (although not mentioned specifically in this article, but I have read elsewhere) facials.  If you don’t know what these are consider yourself fortunate.  Here is the author’s take on male sexuality. 

“Internet porn … shows us an unvarnished (albeit partial) view of male sexuality as an often dark force streaked with aggression. The Internet has created a perfect market of buyers and sellers (with the sellers increasingly proffering their goods gratis) that provides what people—overwhelmingly males (who make up two-thirds of all porn viewers)—want to see or do.” 

If demand is any indicator, one quarter of the Internet searches are porn related, the demand for porn would suggest that there may be some element of truth to Vargas-Cooper’s observations.  So with one quarter of the Internet usage devoted to porn and two thirds of the consumers of porn being men, indeed, men are wallowing in brutish male sexuality. 

Other points in the article:

  • Internet porn provides variety…midget porn, clown porn, 7 month pregnant porn, and is bringing certain practices such as waxed pubes and anal sex into the mainstream.

  • The “sexual equality” notion that a woman could find an “enlightened guy, an emotionally rewarding sex life was ours for the taking” is an “intellectual swindle that leads women to misjudge male sexuality, which they do at their own emotional and physical peril.”

  • Hard core porn is extreme, but so is the best sex that a woman may have in her life.

  • From Freud’s “emotional ambivalence”, the love / hate of women (I have seen this called the madonna / whore sentiment) “springs the aggressive, hostile, and humiliating components of male sexual arousal”.
  • Men often find sexually mature women unsexy hence “Lolita porn”. 

  • Sex positive feminism was in bed with the sex industry, but now the latest wave of feminist are arguing that “hypersexuality” from online porn is the primary obstacle to equality.

  • The image of female sexuality is defined by the sex industry.

  • The new entry of amateur porn is “largely a grim parade of what women will do to satisfy men.”

  • Worries about porn effecting boys and young men are pointless, because “sexual aggression and the desire to debase women…are certainly an animating force of male sexuality”.

  • “Removing pornography won’t alter the unlovely aspects of male sexuality that porn depicts and legitimizes.  The history of civilization would seem to show that there’s no hope of eradicating those qualities…”

Hmmmm!  Quite a grim picture!  Sextant you silly old fool, here is what is really going on in the world and your simple minded notion that sex is somehow ennobling is just more of your naiveté regarding the true nature of men.  The world operates on pornography and drunken hookups.  Forget your silly notions of sex being a Sacrament. 

Unfortunately, I believe that there is some truth to this article, but I think the crux of the matter is how pervasive is this truth, and what can we do about it.  Should we shrug and say “what the hell men are pigs and there is nothing we can do about it” and tell our daughters to beware of men, but don’t bother saying anything to our sons because they are beyond hope?   

So here I sit now educated in my true nature.  I have been contemplating some demeaning and demoralizing sex acts that I can do to my wife.  I have been treating that broad far too well during our 33 years of marriage, it is time to knock off this silly I love and adore you crap and give her a good dose of brutish male sexual aggression.  But wait before I do, there are some things in this article that trouble me.   Shall we review.

The author relates a personal story that occurred to her during a one night stand. Her partner asked for a specific act.  She asked him why…

“Because that’s the only thing that will make you uncomfortable.” This was, perhaps, the greatest moment of sexual honesty I’ve ever experienced—and without hesitation, I complied. This encounter proves an unpleasant fact that does not fit the feminist script on sexuality: pleasure and displeasure wrap around each other like two snakes."

WHAT?  Why in the world would she comply with out hesitation?  Why not say “Go to hell Jack”, put on her clothes, and leave?  Male sexual desire is so non-malleable that what ever your partner wants to do, you may as well let him because you are powerless to invoke change?  The guy states that he wants to make you uncomfortable and you comply!  Amazing!  

There is a confusing thread that weaves through this article.  Men are brutes. OK, I can buy that, but it seems that at every glimmer of hope that maybe men could be convinced not to be brutes she seems to fret about boring sex…

  • "Not the kind of sex (or lack thereof) that occurs in marriages that double as domestic gulags. Or what 30-somethings do to each other in the second year of their “serious relationship.” But the sex that occurs in between relationships—or overlaps with relationships—where the buffers of intimacy or familiarity do not exist: the raw, unpracticed sort. If a woman thinks of the best sex she’s had in her life, she’s often thinking of this kind of sex, and while it may be the best sex in her life, it’s not the sex she wants to have throughout her life—or more accurately, it’s not the sex she’d have with the man with whom she’d like to spend her life. The manner in which one physically, and emotionally, contorts oneself for sex simply takes sex outside the realm of ordinary human experiences and places it in the extreme, often beyond our control."
  •  “the sort of sex that Dines envisions—where respect, love, and civic connections are merged into erotically rewarding experience—is utopian (and not perhaps all that enticing).”
  • “Dines seems to have in mind a Rousseauistic pygmy race of sexually neutered males; perhaps many feminists (and perhaps many fathers of daughters, and perhaps many sensible and civilized people, for that matter) would applaud this emasculated masculinity”

But no need to worry about boring sex…none of this will change because male sexuality is non-malleable.  Any attempt to change men or to outlaw pornography or try to improve things is bound to fail.  Men are beyond redemption. 

I have a solution, it can be found in any barnyard through out the world.  The way to eliminate male aggression with farm animals is to castrate them.  Works like a charm.  The animals become docile and they usually have a better quality meat.  So my solution is to collect and freeze semen from all male teenagers, then lop off the nuggets at what?  perhaps the age of 15, and you will have a nice lad.  He may be a bit wimpy in bed, but it is a myth that eunuchs can not perform.  The castrati of 18th century Italy were quite popular with the ladies of nobility.  But without a good healthy dose of testosterone coursing through their veins, my modern day castrati may be more inclined for the cuddlier side of sex rather than that “best sex” that a woman ever had.  But hey,  no aggression and no damned Internet porn.  No market for it. 

I would imagine that all of the men in the world and most of the women would find this to be a bit extreme, if for no other reason than the loss of ornamental appeal.  So are we stuck with half the population being brutes and battering the other half of the population, while the pornographers laugh all the way to the bank? 

The first thing I think that we need to come to understand is that men are not from Mars and women are not from Venus.  We are all from Earth, we are the same species, and we and our sexuality evolved together.  So guess what, if men desire double anals then women are hauling around that desire in their genes.  What I am getting at is that it is not exclusively a male problem, it is a human problem.  Oh so there I go dragging women into the blame—typical male.  Well it takes two to tango and women carry a full set of human genes.  So let’s try to think in terms of human beings rather than Martians and Venusians.

Now lets consider one more aspect, this business of porn being a strictly male province.  According to the article 2/3 of the audience of porn are “overwhelmingly male”.  Overwhelmingly?  Two thirds is a majority no doubt, but what about that 1/3 that are women?  Thirty three out of one hundred is not insignificant.  Not convinced?  OK what about romance novels?  I haven’t made a study, but some of them are pretty raunchy and for the most part they are written for women by women.  Are women forced to read these things by the brutish men in their lives?  Now let’s consider this amateur hour at home porn.  This entire grim parade is women doing things against their will at the insistence of their husbands or boy friends?  Alright, but what about the amateur women who do the web cam thing with no men present?  Are they hoping to build up some sort of humiliation account that can be cashed in when some brute comes along in her life to debase her? 

I am not trying to defend men here.  Men can be damned ugly, and men without women can be very damned ugly.  What I am trying to get at is that sex by definition involves both sexes, and an interest in sex is not an exclusive male province.  By all means, there are women being forced to do home porn, but not all of them and I would imagine if truth be known the percentage of forced women would be a minority. 

Shall we think about Freud, wasn’t he the guy that said something to the effect that only immature women experienced clitoral orgasms?  Real women have real vaginal orgasms.  With the discovery of G spot perhaps Freud was on to something.  But rating women’s maturity by the type of orgasms they have seems a bit weird to me.  So I must report that I am not living up to my true male nature.  I have never thought of my wife as a madonna or a whore.  I have always thought of my wife as a wonderful, sexy, loving woman to whom I was extremely lucky to be wed.  Well, what about in my hornier younger years, what did I think of women back then?  I was extremely horny, albeit, shy teen perpetual virgin that looked at girls and marveled with fascination and a deep longing in my Soul.  In my younger teen years, the early 60s, there was this popular notion of girls being worried about “will you respect me in the morning?”  I can remember thinking that for any girl who would unshackle me from this horrid state of virginity with the gift of her body, I would cherish and adore her forever. Hell I had to be the only virgin in my entire high school from the stories I heard.  Odd with all of this proclaimed sex, I can only remember of one girl getting pregnant in my three years in a school of about 1300 students.  Perhaps the lads were visiting young ladies from other schools.  Anyhow, I have never understood Freud’s idea that we should both adore and hate the woman we make love to.  Objectively, I know this idea exists, but I find it incredible that a man could hate a woman for physically loving him.  Perhaps I am from Neptune?     

I have read that when there are aberrations in mass behavior, it is a symptom that a society or culture has not learned to deal with an issue.  I am not sure what pornography tells us in that regard, but I have a feeling that as both a culture and individuals in that culture, many of us are not dealing with our sexuality very well.  Our society is geared to selling sex in advertisement and entertainment yet society’s message to young people is don’t…sex will hurt you and ruin your moral character.  Stay away from sex, oh, but here is this really cool mini-skirt that you can wear to the dance at school.  Then you have a variety of religions promising eternal damnation for even thinking about sex.  I am going to Lutheran hell because of some impure thoughts I entertained about a particular young lady for which I refuse to ask forgiveness.  Three ways to sin…thought, word, and deed.  I can assure you from my teen years there was a lot of thoughtful sinning going on but, damn! no deeds except of the solitary nature.  How sad!  Something that is beautiful is portrayed as damaging and sinful.  Some people develop a sense of deep shame regarding their sexuality from religions.  I gained a ticket to hell and the freedom to pursue God in my own fashion, a most fortuitous occurrence.  I am not promoting teen sex, but I am protesting the mixed messages that we send to teens about sex.  Don't do it!  But you are a real twit if you not getting any. 

Another area where I disagree with the author is the question of harm to young people.  I don’t honestly think that an occasional glance at porn is going to harm anyone, in fact, there could be an argument for a bit of educational value in some of the explicit albeit normal behaviors.  But the problem is the addictive nature of porn.  Porn can lure in adults let alone teenagers.  Any educational value of seeing genitalia properly engaged is soon lost by the ever increasing depths that porn will go to entice the audience to click the next screen which will eventually lead to genitalia being used to humiliate generally (but not always) the woman.  I cannot believe that a continuous diet of pornography is not damaging to anyone let alone teens and especially to teen boys directly, but perhaps even worse teen girls and young women indirectly.  If a boy constantly is exposed to the routine humiliation of women through porn, will he not attempt to conduct his own sex life in the manner in which he learned through porn?  Can a young woman be damaged by such a young man both physically and emotionally?  Is this what we want for our young people?  I have read about young men who do not pursue relationships with real women.  Real women do not live up to the beauty and the sexual performance standards of porn.  They also have this nasty tendency to object to being humiliated, or at least I hope they do.  I hope that most women will not “comply without hesitation” when a young man tries to demean her.  So I have to ask you, how damaged is a young man that prefers porn to a real woman?  How damaged is a culture that allows this to happen?  Porn is harmless and it is pointless to do anything about it because men are brutes?  I don’t believe that for one moment. 

So what is the solution?  Censor porn?  Do nothing because male sexual desire is non-malleable?  I am not big on censoring anything.  I hate to get the authorities in that censoring mode.  Hmmmm…worked well with pornography, now how about political or religious thought?  Sad but true, I am not in favor of censoring, but I have to admit there is a sincere temptation.  So what is the solution? 

How about sex for love rather than sex for the sake of sex.  I can hear a collective moan “Oh how f---ing Victorian can this asshole get?”  Well sorry but here is what I believe.  Men and women are meant to be together, in love with other, having sex with only each other, for a long, long time.  Women do much to civilize men.  Men become far less aggressive, far kinder, and far less dangerous when they fall in love with and are loved by women.  And I firmly believe that sex is far too important to be performed when drunk or high.  Do you have to be married to have sex?  No, sex will create a marriage if given a chance and allowed to thrive.  So in my book those who argue against premarital sex are putting the cart before the horse.  But sex should not be done in sport by either gender, there should be no one night stands, f--- lists, or drunken hookups.  When a couple first has sex it should be the beginning of the road to marriage.  It might fail, and if so, well that was probably meant to be, but I think if as a culture, we valued sex only for love and not for sport, or for proof of adultness, or for the humiliation of a partner, we would be in a far better state and porn might just disappear for the lack of an audience.  Sorry, but I think there are damned few human beings that can ill afford being loved, physically, emotionally and spiritually.  Until we learn that lesson as a culture, well, I think that things are going to remain pretty miserable in the bedroom.  

Perhaps I was lucky to grow up in the 60s before on line pornography.  We had Playboy, which other than breasts, left all to the imagination…and oh what the imagination could conjure!  But I never imagined the need to hurt or humiliate a woman, I imagined Heaven on Earth…and guess what?  It is Heaven on Earth!  I mentioned in another post a while back about being awestruck with the notion of sex as a child…the game that big people played.  Oh and what a lovely game it is.  I am still awestruck with it…you take all your clothes off…put the plumbing together…and a wonderfully magical thing happens…you connect with the Soul of another human being.  Try it with love in mind…it will be the best sex you ever had, so good I call it a Sacrament.  Then again maybe I am just some old naïve fool…from Neptune.

Edit 4-14-11:  Here is an interesting article from four years ago (a more innocent time?) comparing how we old timers as lads read Playboy and dreamed of being with women, and how the lads of today read Maxim,  avoid women (or at least committed relationships), and stay in Neverland.

The Atlantic, January / Februay 2007, Are We Not Men, Joh Zobenica 


  1. Do you suppose the author Sax believes his name on the book jacket is a misprint? Do you suppose that he believes he is Sex, not Sax? As for his ideas .... Each one sux.

  2. Old Baguette, you put your comment on the wrong post. I think you are confusing Dr Sex with SEXtant. I am the one preoccupied with sex, not Sax. Sex was a relatively small portion of the book. As far as Sax's ideas sux, I thought he had some very good suggestions. Allowing pre-puberty girls to be girls and not dressed like their ready for a one night stand seemed sensible to me. He tries to impart the idea that modern girls need to develop a strong interior personality independent of celebrity and pressures of Facebook. Don't confuse Sax with my first two sex posts here. He had nothing to do with the articles in the Atlantic, other than being a source for alcohol abuse in Flanagan's article. What Sax seemed to push more than anything else is to allow children to be children like you and I were children and not be pushed by technology and extreme meritocracy into something they are not way ahead of when they are ready for such pressures. I thought his book on boys is very good as well. Again sexual issues are a small part of the books, its Dr. SEXtant whose ideas probably sux. I welcome more comment on this but we should move it to the correct post

  3. I think porn should be censored.
    Can you imagine trying to do so? You'd face a mighty wall of fury.

    I think it's addictive.
    Not healthy.
    Something in our head that can be harmful.

    1. Sarah,

      I agree with you. I would much rather see young people engaging in meaningful, well contracepted (if necessary), loving sexual relationships that would lead to committed long term relationships rather than watching the debasement of human beings on the internet.

      How many people in this country would like to censor the above statement?

      Young people. Not defined as far a age.



      Premarital sex.

      Marriage optional.

      All stuff that could have gotten me stoned or burnt at the stake a few centuries ago. I thoroughly agree that porn is a great candidate for censorship, but when you start censoring that can be a slippery slope.

      I can almost assure you that it won't happen. There is big money in the distribution of porn, and some of the very people who would have you believe that they are against porn are profiting from it.

      That said, it is totally absurd that all a typical 7th grader has to do is google images "sex" and check a box stating that she or he is over 18 and sit back and be treated to absolutely anything under the sun for zero cost. Start them young with the free stuff and promise much on the paid sites. Try it, it is rather instructive. Turn off safe search for the good stuff. 5.3 billion images in .16 seconds. Detailed images depicting anything you want right on the results page, you don't need a credit card, or even to check a box.

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting.