Do you think porn is wrong and immoral?

We need to define some terms.

Let’s extend the definition of ‘porn’ beyond the big studios and websites so it includes ‘tube’ type sites, cam model sites and – yes – Tumblr blogs. Basically, anything that not only creates but also extends the reach of sexually explicit material. Let’s keep the discussion about heterosexual pornography, just for the sake of this answer. Let’s agree – for the sake of argument – that what’s ‘wrong’ is what’s harmful. And let’s decide that what’s ‘moral’ is the minimisation of unnecessary harm.

When we think about the morality of pornography, we could go one of two ways: the concept, or the reality. I have no issue with the concept of pornography, which should come as no surprise from a blog which is unashamedly pornographic. Consenting adults utilising sexuality as part of a social or commercial enterprise – whether creator or consumer – is very much a matter for the conscience of either party. I don’t see any reason to pretend there are absolute standards of consensual sexual behaviour or some arbitrary measure of purity against which we should measure ourselves.

Even if there is, impurity is fun!

Then there’s pornography as a reality. That’s where it becomes more difficult for me.  We need to own a conscious awareness when we indulge in pornographic imagery. It’s very easy to take unconscious cues about the physicality and sexuality of what we watch, view or listen to. It’s so easy to find ourselves developing subconscious standards in the facial appearance, skin colour, personality or body shape of women, whether that’s women we desire to be with or women we compare ourselves against. For many men, it’s so easy to let porn start to dictate our measure of sexual prowess against how long we last, how large we are, or the reaction of our partner.

So pornography has the potential for huge harm, but does that make it inherently wrong? It certainly doesn’t owe anything to the sensibilities of its consumer. As adults, we own the responsibility to call judgements on what we’re happy to expose ourselves to, and that responsibility is ours alone. The same is true of workers within the industry, which will exploit its performers without pausing for breath. I don’t think any consenting adult could reasonably blame the industry for their decision to use it for work.

Ultimately, we each need to make the call. Pornography is so prevalent that if we don’t watch it or re-blog it, it’s easy to feel like we’re missing out on something everyone else is enjoying, or even that we’re weird for not enjoying it. If you decide it’s not really your thing, please feel fine with that decision. You create the rules, and that includes what’s normal in your universe. You are not as odd as you imagine. If it’s something that you do enjoy, then enjoy, with the discernment and wisdom that stimulation doesn’t equate to benchmarks.