- The American Conservative - https://www.theamericanconservative.com -

Resisting A Sexual Revolution Commissar

A reader who is a good man writes:

This morning I read your post on the NYT porn-ed article [1], and a lot of the comments. I thought I would share with you a personal story I recently experienced that’s directly related to the subject matter.

I was working out of a public library a few weeks ago, when at the table right behind me settled two young ladies, one of them slightly older than the other (guessing late 20s/early 30s), let’s call her Ms. O, the other (I think) in her early to mid-20s, to whom I’ll refer as Ms. Y.

Much as I was trying to focus on my work, given their proximity and volume of conversation I could not help overhearing virtually everything they were talking about, and it quickly became clear that they were both state social workers, Ms. O more experienced, mentoring Ms. Y and giving her advice on some of her cases.

At one point, they began talking about one family in Ms. Y’s caseload where, from what I gathered from the conversation, there was a 15-year-old boy involved, and a mother who, from the context, seemed to be single and struggling. The mom had recently caught her son watching the filth online, and was very hurt and distraught, not knowing how to intervene or effectively put a stop to it. This was one of the situations that Ms. Y was unsure how to handle and sought Ms. O’s advice.

Ms. Y was clearly uncomfortable and had a natural sense of shame about discussing the whole matter. Ms. O quickly took over the conversation and started lecturing about how the mother (and implicitly, Ms. Y) needs to realize that “teen boys watching the stuff is absolutely inevitable,” so she needs to “get over it” and give up any pretense of trying to stop it.

Instead, she suggested that Ms. Y have a private conversation (!) with the boy (!!) and “tell him about more respectable sites” (!!!!) so he doesn’t “stumble into the crazier stuff.”

Ms Y immediately made it clear that she was very uncomfortable with the idea of talking to a 15-year-old boy, obviously from a troubled background (since state social services are involved), privately about his p**n use. (Who on earth would blame her?!) She was also flabbergasted at Ms. O’s assumption that she (Ms. Y) would have extensive knowledge about supposedly “respectable” sites. But, despite her protestations and her obvious discomfort with the situation (and likely sympathy for the mother’s pain), Ms. O just got more aggressive, dismissive, and authoritative in her pronouncements. It turned into nothing short of a formal Sexual Revolution indoctrination session.

change_me

Rod, it was absolutely awful having to sit there and listen to it, with a sense of creeping dread and despair for both Ms. Y, the rightly suffering mother, and the boy. It reminded me of the scene from Spotlight you quoted recently… “So this is how it happens.” An older social worker leans on a younger one, and everyone looks the other way while a struggling mother’s love and hope for her wayward child is mercilessly quashed, the child is “reassured” that their slavery to this filth is “unavoidable,” and the young social worker loses whatever natural sense of dignity, shame, and propriety she once had, and becomes complicit in the system.

I didn’t know what I could or should do. I had such an overwhelming feeling of helplessness. I finally took a little piece of notepad paper and wrote down the URLs of NCOSE, the National Center on Sexual Exploitation, and X3Watch, one of the filtering/accountability software out there that first put me on the path of healing many years ago when a young priest recommended it to me by name in the confessional (may God reward him amply for it, and I hope more priests follow his lead!).

Then I thought, “I can’t do this. I just don’t have it in me, it’s not my place to intervene, and it won’t do any good anyway…” so I packed up my things and walked away feeling angry and cowardly.

Then, thank God, I suddenly had a certain knowledge that I just could not walk away like this. In one of the most dreadfully awkward moments of my life, I walked back up to their table, and their eyes were fixed on me, obviously realizing that I must have heard everything they said and had something to say about it. The younger one had an expression of curious puzzlement in her eyes. The older’s gaze I can only describe as cold, steely hate.

All I could get out in a shaking voice was, “I’m sorry for interrupting you, but I couldn’t help overhearing some of your conversation. I am 30 years old, and I just wanted to tell you that there is nothing I wish for more than that when I was 15, someone had told me that porn is NOT unavoidable.” I then gave them the piece of paper and told them these resources were personally helpful for me, and they could do with it whatever they wanted. Ms. O thanked me very coldly and curtly, making it clear from her tone and posture that the conversation was over (not that I wanted it to continue myself!).

I have no idea, Rod, what God could, has, or will accomplish with that awkward intervention. I certainly don’t feel like it was my own doing or merit, as I would much rather had walked away and I am convinced that it was only by a thin lifeline that the Holy Spirit enabled (if not made) me to turn back and talk to them. But ever since then I have hoped and prayed that it might provide whatever glimmer of hope for Ms. Y, the mother, and the son, and God willing, work on Ms O’s heart. If nothing else, I don’t think either of them will ever forget the interaction… at least I know I probably never will!

Thanks for bearing with me through my story. It really shook me up and I have been thinking about it almost every day since then. I hope you will say a prayer or two for the people involved!

I have just prayed for them, and for you, thanking God for your bravery. You knew from what Egyptian slavery you were delivered, and you had the guts not to let it happen to somebody else, if you had anything to say about it. You, sir, are an inspiration.

Readers, this is what a brave soul does to fight the power. I hope I have the courage of that young man. I hope you do too. Live not by lies. 

Please forward this to everyone you know. People need the encouragement to stand up and do right.

UPDATE: A reader comments:

I’m a little hesitant to write this, because we are obviously on very different sides of a giant gulf when it comes to familiarity with internet porn, even though I think our perspectives have some considerable overlap, and so to write what I’m about to is to out myself as a pretty contemptible reprobate.

So, for background, there was about a 3 week gap between my exposure to the internet at age 19, in 1995, and my finding of internet porn. That’s about how long it took. And it’s been a significant factor in my life ever since, used for the usual purposes. And I’ve been very internet savvy since, and am very familiar with a lot of the young male internet spaces where this stuff is especially native. That has been my culture since finding the internet. I’m almost certainly addicted to internet porn, although it’s not something I give much thought. My behavior is compulsive, and I experience it as a net negative in my life… but I guess most of the time I just don’t give it much thought.

I’m saying this all to say, having read that Times piece, and having read the above story, the thing that sticks out to me more than anything is that there’s this intense desire by educated liberals to make the story of porn a typical fight between uneducated abstinence minded conservatives versus enlightened, thoughtful, knowledgeable, mildly permissive liberals who can shape the behavior of the next generation by relying on their open-mindedness and earned authority. They sound like the parents who insist they are going to be cool by letting their kids smoke pot upstairs, and that somehow that laxity will be the thing that keeps their kids honest with them and prevents them from moving on the heroin.

From my vantage point, as someone steeped in the young male cultures online that are riddled with all manner of really depraved porn (a lot of the spaces I’m in have guys ranging in age from 20 to 40, and many of these spaces are proximate to somewhat younger online male spaces), this is an incredible act of self-delusion on their part. It’s not the forces of educated permissiveness versus the forces of ignorant abstinence. It’s the forces of ignornance on both sides (and I don’t say that as an insult – to get less ignorant about this stuff mostly means wading in deep, as I have done, but you can’t help but be affected by the process)

It’s just deeply willful blindness. There are young male subcultures, especially, in which this stuff is emeshed. And if you go to the places online, all the ambient local social forces pull in the direction of those cultures, not away from them. The idea that some young guy is going to go on p*rnh*b and then studiously only look at the things that his liberal schoolmarm instructors said were transgressive to conservatives but not to liberals is painfully absurd. I’ve been there. I know those spaces.

This warmed-over, tired gender studies fixation on questions of representation is entirely inadequate and refusing to deal with the core issues. There is a LOT more porn out there than just plastic barbie porn stars flopping around and being jackhammered with unrealistic camera angles and poses. Look, just to be blunt, (and skip the rest of this paragraph if you’re particularly squeamish about vague descriptions of depravity) – the 55th biggest website in America by traffic has couples who text chat with their audience in front of live webcams and then perform live sex acts for tips while still chatting, in real time, with their audience, mostly quite cheerfully, usually from the comfort of their homes. There are ads for this and other real time camming sites on all major porn sites, because it makes tons of money. You can’t miss it. There are also all manner of deeply non-consensual voyeur and exhibitionism videos on the biggest, most mainstream websites, with videos of real young women changing clothes and showering and using the toilet, all filmed with hidden cameras by invasive people in their personal lives. Hundreds of thousands of views. You don’t have to go to dark corners of the internet to see that stuff – it’s on all the biggest sites, and well integrated into the cultures of young men online. There are fairly major sites that host videos of men filming their sleeping partners while the men expose their partners bodies and sexually mess with them, all filmed and uploaded. It’s not going to be on the front page of the biggest sites, but you seriously don’t have to dig around all that far to find these things, and there’s entire subcultures and communities that will help you find them. This is stuff off the top of my head, but I could easily make a list 20 times as long about all manner of things that are out there that would horrify you, that are not at all hard to find, that are not present in that Times piece. And within the circles I’ve spent time in online, the creepy escalation young men experience with porn, as tamer things just get really boring and they turn to more and more ugly stuff, only to be revolted at themselves as their heads clear post orgasm, is well-known.

The idea that the boys interviewed by their instructors in the Times piece were being at all honest about what they’d seen and what they thought is just laughable.

Setting aside very real religious arguments, the real problem with the porn cultures that have come into being online are not about Sex Ed, issues of representation, and bad expectations in young men. I mean, to be fair, those are real issues to a point, but they’re exactly the sort of thing you’d expect someone to say if their only lens was coming from a gender studies program who were incapable of having much empathy for young men and didn’t really know what they were talking about. No, at least judging from my own observations from the young men who have been marinating in this space for a while, the overwhelming problem with online porn culture is that it promotes a truly intense nihilism in young men about bodies and their own sexuality generally. To be blunt, the entire culture of porn online exists to reduce the male orgasm to the status of defecation – a bodily function to be attended to on a regular basis in privacy to give mild physical relief, but something with no particular value or meaning. And female bodies are likewise so reduced along the way. Sex reduces to plumbing – it is entirely disenchanted. It’s worse than depravity – depravity suggests some kind of actual authoritative meaning to transgress against. The long term effect of porn for a lot of the young guys I encounter is just a pervasive numbing meaninglessness, attached to a kind of limp hedonism. They’re adrift, and their own degrading relationship to their own sexuality because of porn is a major factor in that.

If you want to understand the surprising response of young men online to someone like Jordan Peterson, it’s worth understanding that this (along with a lot of other cultural factors young men experience that are intensely nihilistic, like much of online video game culture, and online message board cultures) is a major factor lurking in the background. The way young men are experiencing porn, and what it is doing to them, is leaving a major mark.

You are not a contemptible person. You are a child of God, a human being with dignity, who is enslaved to his passions, and who therefore does contemptible things. You can be free. There are people who will help you find freedom. It is the enemy’s strategy to make you hate yourself, to make you feel worthless. A friend of mine who was sexually abused as a child told me that until her conversion, she felt so worthless that she numbed herself with drugs to escape the shame. That was part of her imprisonment. Freedom is not going to be won easily for you, friend, but it can be won.

74 Comments (Open | Close)

74 Comments To "Resisting A Sexual Revolution Commissar"

#1 Comment By mrscracker On February 9, 2018 @ 7:59 pm

[2]

Sorry,maybe this will copy and paste as a link for an article about the sex ed.curriculum in Canada.
My last attempt got messed up.

#2 Comment By Jones On February 9, 2018 @ 9:42 pm

@Lesley

“The only difference is technological.”

Are you suggesting technology makes no qualitative difference? That would be wild.

“Attributing lower sperm counts to some vague “society is dominated by women” psychological reason, even by implication, is inane,”

Good thing I never did that. I wasn’t making any argument based on the fact of plummeting sperm counts, just pointing it out. That’s why I mentioned that scientists were still inquiring into why. It sounds like you already have the answers figured out though.

“I know it from reading history and I *do* believe that sexual restraint is possible, but it usually doesn’t in anything like a fair way when women are disproportionately the ones punished for sexual excesses and men are not.”

I think the extent of disproportion is exaggerated based on selective and misleading readings of history. But that’s a bigger, lengthier debate. So I will just take on your examples.

1. A society that practices polygamy: well, ours does, increasingly so, only the woman lacks any of the rights associated with marriage. In any case, a man in a polygamous marriage is not “indulg[ing] in polyamorous behavior,” he is having sex with his wife. I’m not sure if this is what you think, but I am not aware of any polygamous societies in which the purpose of polygamy is to ensure men have more sexy fun. That would be to bring an utterly irrelevant, modern Western lens to the matter.

2. Any society with the concept of marriage is a society with the concept of illegitimate or “bastard” children. Men do not decide whether or not their children are born in or out of wedlock. If it’s not in a marriage, it’s an illegitimate child. to state the obvious, in a society with the concept of marriage, you are not supposed to have children — or sex — outside of marriage. (Ours doesn’t count by that definition, which I believe is accurate.) So there is no society with the concept of marriage that celebrates having illegitimate children. What you are talking about is the fact that it is extremely difficult to determine paternity in most societies throughout human history (before DNA testing). However, it is extremely easy to figure out when a woman has had sex out of wedlock — she bears a child.

What this proves, further, is that it is entirely rational to impose the burden of avoiding sex out of wedlock on the woman. This follows from legal concepts familiar to any law student. If you want to impose a deterrent, you have to impose it on the party that will suffer the consequences. Otherwise there is no deterrent at all. (See the case law around judgment-proof defendants and comparative negligence). If more than one party is responsible, but only one party can be held accountable, then you have to hold that party accountable.

3. I’m not sure in what world slavery is going to be invoked in favor of a moral argument. Since no one is holding up slavery as a system to emulate, your example has no relevance.

“The rest of what you stated is some trite truisms.”

Trite truisms you seemed to deny in your comment.

“the initial argument you made out was that society today is somehow worse today than in the past and this explains the “need” for pornography.”

No, my initial argument was that our society today is more feminized, and that explains the need for pornography.

“I will not put words in your mouth to point out the opposite of what a female dominated society is, but the implications is hanging there in your words without me needing to say it. I sincerely hope this is *not* what you actually think, but if so I’ll just refer you to some assorted SJW types who have more time and gumption to argue with you than I do.”

Do you mean patriarchy? I’m not afraid to say patriarchy. I reject your alternatives as false ones, but maybe you’re right that we have to choose between a male-dominated society and a female-dominated one. Why on earth would the latter stand out to you as obviously morally superior to the former?

In any case, if by “patriarchy” you mean a social system prescribed by the Jewish, Christian, and Muslim faiths, which is how I understand it, then of course I embrace patriarchy.

#3 Comment By Loudon is a Fool On February 9, 2018 @ 10:06 pm

@ Lesley

Not by pretending you have no sexual appetite for the first 25 years of life before marriage.

If you are incapable of choosing not to fap for 25 years how is that self-mastery? It’s not pretending you have no sexual appetite. It’s choosing not to feed it. If a man can’t make that small sacrifice for his own dignity how can he make the much larger sacrifices required of marriage, fatherhood and the preservation of civilization?

#4 Comment By Sheila On February 9, 2018 @ 10:10 pm

I’m glad Peter posted his cri de couer and I don’t pass judgement upon him. That said I can’t help but be skeptical that a huge portion of recovered porn addicts will find it impossible to sustain any sort of mature relationship, let alone marriage. Addiction of any sort, whether to drugs/alcohol, work, gambling etc. is at its heart egocentricity to an imprisoning degree. That’s why addicts typically end up divorced; they are incapable of the ego-subordinating compromise that marriage requires. While chemical addictions are destructive enough, the deformation of sexuality that accompanies porn addiction gravely wounds intimacy at its core. I hope the general society is prepared to tolerate an even greater swelling in the ranks of single mothers because this pornified culture is relationally paralyzing many young men

#5 Comment By Longing For The Shire On February 9, 2018 @ 11:05 pm

Jones. Seriously.

“The power between men and women shifts dramatically toward women when they move to Sweden, and women take advantage of this by destroying their families.” Based on my experience of working with immigrants and refugees, and being an immigrant myself, it’s FAR likelier that their husbands have *already* destroyed their families and their marriages long before the women decide to leave. And when they leave, it’s because they can finally do so without risking an array of calamities ranging from social opprobrium to outright murder. Is it sad that so many immigrant women in Sweden have concluded that divorce is their best option? Sure. You know what’s sadder? The fact that others vilify them for it without condemning the men whose intransigence has driven them to take that step. And you know what’s not sad at all? Leading a dignified and fruitful life, one that preserves your own safety and self-respect and that of your children, even if divorce – as awful as it is – is the path that gets you there.

As for your comments about polygamy, with respect, I implore you to remove your blinders. It’s all very well to argue that the purpose of polygamy is not “to ensure men have more sexy fun” – but the purpose according to whom? For the purposes of this discussion, let’s limit ourselves to Muslim societies. You’re correct that that’s not the purpose of polygamy in the Quran or Hadith or according to commonly accepted principles of Islamic law. BUT THAT HAS NEVER STOPPED MEN IN ANY MUSLIM SOCIETY FROM CONTRACTING A POLYGAMOUS MARRIAGE FOR *EXACTLY* THAT PURPOSE, or from using the law as a fig leaf to mask their intent. (I speak based on my experience living and working in various Muslim societies, including my own Muslim country of origin.) Any honest reckoning with polygamy has to acknowledge this fact, and squarely confront the suffering it causes.

As far as your argument that it’s entirely rational to impose the burden of avoiding extramarital sex solely on the woman – do you truly not grasp the injustice of this position? Or the twisted moral consequences, on both an individual and social level, of always and everywhere ascribing blame to only one party when two were equally culpable? Your position is morally insane. And leaving aside the personal and social dysfunction it causes, I literally cannot count the number of women I know who were raised in believing homes and cherished their faith, took for granted that faith and justice were the same thing, then hit puberty and the axe fell. They were *destroyed* by attitudes like yours. Do better. Please.

#6 Comment By Longing For The Shire On February 9, 2018 @ 11:08 pm

Also, God bless this person for intervening.

#7 Comment By Ben H On February 9, 2018 @ 11:42 pm

One thing we ought to be aware of is that our leaders know about the effeminizing and subversive effect that this sort of material has on people. In fact this sort of thing is used deliberately, as a weapon.

For example, when the Israelis invaded the Ramallah in 2002, they took over the Palestinian TV stations and started running hardcore porn movies while imposing a curfew on the population. (close watchers will remember that Israeli intelligence seems to have taken a close interest in Harvey Weinstein’s career) Similarly, after 9/11 the US propaganda efforts directed at the middle east became focused on getting kids there interested in pop music like Brittany Spears instead of alternative information to what people would have gotten from local media. The stated goal was to subvert the culture, to make the young people global consumers and get them away from “extremism”.

If they are imposing this material on the globalist consumer to weaken him and make him docile to them, how much more are they doing this to us?

#8 Comment By Peter On February 10, 2018 @ 1:52 am

Sheila, I would not complain if you had passed judgment. I offer no excuse for my sins. And you are right, sin deforms. I am skeptical as well. Coventry Patmore has written, “You shall never recover in heaven the least good which you have profaned and forfeited by seeking it consciously against order. You may, by great repentance, get something better, but never that.” As with much of what he wrote, I do not know whether this remark is sound, but it is plausible.

To Ms. Manning, thank you for the prayer in my behalf, it is very kind.

#9 Comment By David J. White On February 10, 2018 @ 8:54 am

Mastering oneself requires more than base suppression. You master your gastric appetite by eating healthy food instead of cookies and ice cream, not by becoming an anorexic. Likewise, you master the sexual appetite by learning how to express it in appropriate ways and places and in appropriate degrees. Not by pretending you have no sexual appetite for the first 25 years of life before marriage.

Food is a bad analogy for sex. To abstain from food completely is not possible: eventually if you don’t eat, you’ll die. On the other hand, I’ve never read or heard about anyone actually dying from not having sex. Abstaining from sex may be difficult, but difficult is not the same as physically impossible.

#10 Comment By Beowulf On February 10, 2018 @ 10:39 am

I am going to harp on the fact that social workers were doing this. How many Americans understand what schools of social work actually teach? They explicitly indoctrinate young women (let’s be honest about who goes to school for social work) into a system that on the surface appears to be some combination of moral relativism and skepticism, but in actuality is all this post-modern victim-oppressor business and these kind-hearted young women end up as the stormtroopers of the sexual revolution. For example, they are the ones that have the power to go into homes and remove children and these same women are indoctrinated into carrying out the sexual revolution.

We can say much the same about Education programs. “Education” is an inaptronym when applied to that happens in these dark places. Most Education departments deny the possibility of knowledge and give some weird and shameful definition of education that explicitly defines it as not being about transmitting knowledge, sometimes going so far as to say that “teaching” is impossible. They prefer the term “learning facilitator” and it reflects this post-modern garbage about how what *should* happen in schools are these journeys of self-discovery and that sort of rot.

If we do not expose what happens in Social Work and Education departments, this is only going to get worse. Wait until they show porn inside the classroom.

#11 Comment By Alana On February 10, 2018 @ 3:42 pm

All of the women in porn are “real.”
All the women in porn are “real.”
ALL OF THE WOMEN IN PORN ARE “REAL.”
THIS is the missing piece of the puzzle.
The people responding here with anguish aren’t the only children of God. The women being economically/socially coerced and abused on film for profit are also children of God.

#12 Comment By Margaret On February 10, 2018 @ 4:56 pm

This is an encouraging book [3]

#13 Comment By Longing for the Shire On February 10, 2018 @ 5:31 pm

Alana, thank you for pointing this out. So many of us know porn to be horrific, yet so few of us focus on this fact, which is the greatest horror of all.

#14 Comment By grumpy realist On February 10, 2018 @ 8:09 pm

Jones: “I think of the small example of a couple of guys who ran a coffee shop in some liberal town who were shut down and run out of town, because they were discovered to have once said some bawdy things about women on the internet.”

If you had actually read the original article about the affair, you will have noticed that the guys were acting as Pick-Up-Artists, having sex with women in the community, rating them on the PUA websites complete with intimate details–and then dropping each woman for the next target. A little more than just “saying some bawdy things about women on the internet.”

#15 Comment By JohnT On February 11, 2018 @ 1:04 am

Hi Rod
Serious question:
What do you mean by freedom?

“Freedom is not going to be won easily for you, friend, but it can be won.”

Free from what exactly?

[NFR: Freedom from constant defeat by the passions. — RD]

#16 Comment By redfish On February 11, 2018 @ 12:50 pm

Viewing porn isn’t inevitable, but sometimes I think the way conservatives approach this doesn’t help to convince people that.

Yes, the women in porn are real, but most people know that; they shrug it off because of their idea that consent = morality.

Lets break it down clearly in a way everyone should understand, though :

Porn is the equivalent if junk food.

But both can be gross habits when done in the extreme. Junk food affects your physical health; being habituated to porn has other consequences, which one could go into describing. The best way to not get caught up in bad habits is to avoid them, and if not totally so, then to at least be aware of the issues involved. Most people are intelligent enough to understand this, and its fairly easy to communicate if you put it this way.

And progressives seem to be very into healthy eating these dats, so its a fair way to break the ice. People who are into things like yoga and all that should learn about the fact that Hinduism regards celibacy postively and abstinence as healthy, and not assume their culture boils down to the kama sutra.

#17 Comment By Dan Green On February 11, 2018 @ 3:26 pm

Long live Woodstock, and the overwhelming Boomer generation.They had no clue where they took us.

#18 Comment By Joan from Michigan On February 11, 2018 @ 4:39 pm

I read the whole exchange between Jones and Lesley and I still don’t know what Jones meant by castration. Is it that women are slower to marry and quicker to divorce than we used to be? Is it that, now that we can earn our own living, a large and growing minority of us are perfectly okay with aging and dying without ever marrying or bearing children? Is it that we’ve become slightly more numerous than men in several professions that used to be mostly male? Is it that the media contains a lot more encouragement specifically aimed at girls than at boys? Is it that we’ve gained access to enormous numbers of what used to be males-only spaces including the locker rooms of major league sports teams? Is it the presumption of manly stupidity and womanly intelligence that is the basis of 90% of the domestic sitcoms on TV? Is it #metoo? Please, Jones. Enlighten an ignorant baby boomer.

#19 Comment By Tag Murphy On February 11, 2018 @ 6:54 pm

Serious question:
What do you mean by freedom?

“Freedom is not going to be won easily for you, friend, but it can be won.”

Free from what exactly?

[NFR: Freedom from constant defeat by the passions. — RD]

Spoken like a good Buddhist!

#20 Comment By Adam Loumeau On February 12, 2018 @ 12:09 am

I know I’m very late to the party but I just wanted to say this is one of the best articles you’ve posted Rod. Hats off to your readers.

#21 Comment By March Hare On February 13, 2018 @ 4:10 pm

Thanks to all on this thread, most of all for one insight, one metaphor that I hadn’t latched onto previously.

Porn is junk food.

Yup, it’s often pretty unappealing, formulaic and poorly crafted, but not the end of the world, and only worth worrying about when people consume “Supersize ME” quantities, or versions that advocate coercion or violations of basic health precautions.

Beyond that, it ain’t my business.

#22 Comment By JonF On February 13, 2018 @ 4:34 pm

Re: Yes, the women in porn are real, but most people know that; they shrug it off because of their idea that consent = morality.

While there may well be true “happy hookers” and the like, a good many people in porn, as in prostitution, are in fact being exploited due to economic desperation.

#23 Comment By JonF On February 13, 2018 @ 4:44 pm

Re: So “sinning with the hand” was the euphemism of the day for you-know-what.

Asserted without any evidence. In fact, there are quite a few sins that can be committed with one’s hands: theft, murder and arson all come immediately to mind.

#24 Comment By Hector_St_Clare On February 17, 2018 @ 9:47 am

JonF,

Neither the “happy hooker” nor the “trafficked sex slave” is a comprehensive picture of sex work, which in reality is a big spectrum. I’m not aware of the data on porn actresses, but I’ve looked into studies on prostitution a bit. However, at least in developed countries, most prostitutes aren’t underage/trafficked/addicted, most are relatively OK with what they do and a surprising amount are, yes, legitimately ‘happy’. Which isn’t necessarily incompatible with anything you said: yes, there are some hideously unhappy people in the sex industry. They just aren’t the majority. Here’s some data from Australia and the US:

“Research on streetwalkers and call girls in California and legal brothel workers in Nevada found that 97% of the call girls reported an increase in self-esteem after they began working in prostitution, compared with 50% of the brothel workers but only 8% of the streetwalkers. Call girls expressed positive views of their work; brothel workers were general satisfied with their work; but street prostitutes evaluated their work more negatively. Similarly, a study of indoor prostitutes (most of whom work in bars) in a Midwestern city in the United States found that three-quarters of them felt that their life had improved after entering prostitution (the remainder reported no change; none said it was worse than before); more than half said that they generally enjoy their work. In The Netherlands, three-quarters of indoor workers report that they enjoy their work. Research on 95 call girls in Sydney, Australia found that they were generally emotionally healthy. All of the escorts studied by Foltz took “pride in their profession” and viewed themselves as “morally superior” to others: “they consider women who are not ‘in the life’ to be throwing away woman’s major source of power and control [sexual capital], while they as prostitutes are using it to their own advantage as well as for the benefit of society.” And an Australian study found that half of call girls and brothel workers felt that their work as a “major source of satisfaction” in their lives, while 7 out of 10 said they would “definitely choose” this work if they had it to do over again. Other studies of indoor work report that the workers felt the job had at least some positive effect on their lives or believed that they were providing a valuable service.”

And some from a recent study in England:

“The “happy hooker” trope has taken a lot of flak. But job satisfaction was exceedingly high among sex workers surveyed here. Nearly half—48 percent—said they’re satisfied with their working conditions and 34 percent were “very satisfied.” Slightly over half said they’re “enthusiastic” about their work most of the time, and another 21 percent said they were enthusiastic some of the time. Nearly 82 percent either strongly agreed or tended to agree that they were well-paid for the work they did. And around 50 percent said their work was “socially useful” some or most of the time, with 22 percent saying it’s socially useful all of the time. The sex workers surveyed also showed a strong degree of control over their work, with more than 90 percent saying that they could decide when they worked, where they worked, how they spent their earnings, which clients they saw, and what sex acts they performed. As the researchers note, the experiences of the people surveyed here—sex workers who opted in to an online survey, and who do the majority of their work online and independently—are not necessarily reflective of sex workers as a whole. But even the prohibitionists will tell you that the majority of the sex work market has moved online these days, and online forums and tools have in turn increased sex workers’ ability to be independent.”