Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Playboy was really a Communist plot

I say this with all the sensitivity I can muster, but really: Is any woman, anywhere, so clueless as to believe this is actually true?
The whole world, post-Internet, did become pornographized. Young men and women are indeed being taught what sex is, how it looks, what its etiquette and expectations are, by pornographic training—and this is having a huge effect on how they interact.

But the effect is not making men into raving beasts. On the contrary: The onslaught of porn is responsible for deadening male libido in relation to real women, and leading men to see fewer and fewer women as “porn-worthy.” Far from having to fend off porn-crazed young men, young women are worrying that as mere flesh and blood, they can scarcely get, let alone hold, their attention.
I'm more than willing to believe that the proliferation of free porn has added to the worries of women, in so far as sexualized images of women always have impacts when it comes to body images, etc. But please. The idea that porn has made men less attracted to actual sex? You'd have to be insane, or Naomi Wolf apparently, to believe that.

Real slowly now. Porn is not new. Porn may very well be as old as the human ability to sling mud on a cave wall. (Seriously.) Masturbation is much, much older than that. I think it's safe to say that if either were capable of proving more alluring than actual sex with the actual opposite sex, the human race wouldn't have made it out of Africa.


Polly Jones said...

I think the argument would follow more that it is a capitalist plot...from her argument that regular ol' vaginas have diminished in exchange value...

Certainly, if you look at MySpace or the likes, women have definitely porned themselves up in the past few years.

I don't know if I agree with Wolf...I think men (and women) are still as interested as ever in sex...Maybe, we just trade it so freely now that we are less likely to emotionally connect with people.

eugene plawiuk said...

Thanks for this piece. However since we are dealing with sexuality, women hypothiezing male sexuality is a joke. As is it ivis versa.

Because the only male sexuality they accept in the real world and in their fantasy psuedo-freudian lacnaian,blagh, blagh, blagh, world where they define masculine personality and culture, is full of BS.

And I will leave it that.

Battlepanda said...

IIRC, in that same piece she also lauds the simmering sexual energy in her orthodox Jewish friend's marriage. The woman is veiled and only her husband is allowed to see her hair. "That must make her feel so...hot," speculated Wolf. I was a bit creeped out by that.

Wolf is right on a shallow point -- the more available sex is, either from a real person or in representations of sexuality, the more blase we are likely to be in response. Just like food tastes better when you're hungry, a sears lingerie catalog can be really titilating if that's all you can get. However, is being more blase about sex necessarily a bad thing?

What do women really gain from having a high exchange value for their vaginas anyhow? Free dinners? Marriage proposals from men who don't really care about the rest of them? Getting away with being lazy in bed as long as their vagina is showing up to the party? And can't a way better argument be made from the opposite side -- that vibrators have made women much more sexually independent?

As John correctly points out, our desire to have sex is much greater and more complicated than our desire for orgasms or our species would have ceased to perpetuate itself long ago. However, I think masturbation and the greater availability of aids such as porn and vibrators definitely makes longer periods of celibacy more tenable.

Kuri said...

I've actually worried more that porn - in the absence of actual sexual education - would make boys more aprehensive about their sexuality and sexual performance.

As Polly says, the problem with porn is a symptom of the problems with capitalism. In sex - as in all things - capitalism standardizes and commodifies until you find yourself with something that's just a caricature of human experience.