Why is porn even legal?!.

Discussion in 'Pornography Addiction' started by Radicalizedone, Sep 11, 2019.

  1. I mean the government knows about it and most of the users are from the young males categories which are one of the most important resources for any society. Imagine a society with the majority of the youths having sexual dysfunctions and tons of insecurities etc . Porn is a huge threaten to any society just like drugs such as heroin and cocaine IMO. Why is it even legal if it's addictive and harmful??
     
  2. DoneAtLast

    DoneAtLast Active Member

    A year or two ago I emailed some people with a major non-profit that does advocacy stuff in Washington (a "lobby group" you could say) as well as a number of other things related to porn... speaking, research, etc. I had an idea for how porn filtering could be made much, much easier with some very simple legislation. (My idea was requiring adult sites to identify themselves as such in a special line of code in all sites and directories - very easy to do, and would make filtering stupid easy.) The response I got was first that there was that the cost of enforcement would stop any such legislation in its tracks, as well as the problem of delegation. The other reason was that the group saw themselves far more concerned with solving human trafficking problems than the porn sites. So, whatever guys are rounding up the poor teenage girls to pose on camera (either legally or illegally) was far more important to them than removing the content itself.

    Personally, I think making it illegal plays too much into the narrative of the pro-porn people that we're all just puritanical, uncomfortable with sexuality, and insist on forcing our beliefs on others. On that part alone I don't think it is worth the effort. I would like to see steps taken like I mentioned above that would make it far easier for people who don't want to encounter porn to be able to delete it from their lives. If a person has the right to stare at porn all day, then a person also has a right to be a functioning human being without being bombarded by porn every minute. That is getting better as filters get better. Google won't randomly give you porn results in your search results unless you are trying to make it do that, for example.

    Libertarian arguments could derail the thread, but there are some worth while things to be said there. I don't think any good comes from porn, and would sleep fine if it disappeared, but I get the libertarian perspective. It will be inevitably compared to alcohol, but some people have perfectly fine relationships with alcohol (I will soon enjoy a glass of wine with my dinner) while others just need to stay away. I don't see the same thing with porn. Sure, some guys don't have problems, but it doesn't enrich anyone's life. It just sucks the life out of them to varying degrees.
     
  3. Rebel

    Rebel New Member

    Another good question is why is porn free?
    Most big porn sites are owned by mindgeek, and guess what, most ads on those porn sites link to other porn sites which are also owned by mindgeek. It doesn't make any fucking sense except when you realize that they are not after profit, they're after you.
    And I quote:"if you are not paying for it, you're probably the product"
    A few years ago, the government made a decision to block porn in my country, and porn sites were finally blocked.
    But it didn't last for so long. The next day porn went back online and they didn't attempt to block it again up to this moment.
    The porn industry wants you hooked to porn. The porn industry is stronger than many governments and it will do whatever it takes so that porn remains free and available to everyone.
    I wish I could do anything to fight those motherfuckers back.
     
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  4. Are you saying there's conspiracy going on ??. Why?.what would they benefit from that ?
     
  5. DoneAtLast

    DoneAtLast Active Member

    I understood him as saying that when we use "free" services online, we are the products by way of data collection, advertising, and so forth. In the same way that Facebook is "free", they collect data and sell it for big money. In that sense, the people buying the data are the "customer" of Facebook, and the millions of people with Facebook accounts are the "product".

    I can't confirm or deny that the porn industry does this, but in this day and age it would be very strange if they didn't.
     
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  6. fedmom

    fedmom Member

    This isn't related to this thread. Do you have a link to the study about 90 days and the effect it has on addiction? If not, no worries.
     
  7. DoneAtLast

    DoneAtLast Active Member

    I'm searching and not finding it. I'm not positive I know what it is you're looking for, but I THINK it is related to the build up of delta fos b in the brain. There were some animal studies working with drug addictions and found that the delta fos b build ups normalized around the 90 day mark, so that is where that rule of thumb comes from. It can be thought of as the "jonesing" brain chemical as I understand it. As it normalizes, your ability for executive function, that is, will power, strengthens. Obviously, since this was an animal study working with drugs (I think cocaine), it is at best a rule of thumb. It isn't dealing with porn, and it isn't dealing with the many variations of porn addiction, specifically the age when a person first became addicted.

    edited to add: I found a bunch of stuff but no one article that explains it. This is a good overview, though: https://www.yourbrainonporn.com/rel...brain-buildup-of-delta-fosb-causes-addiction/
     
  8. fedmom

    fedmom Member

    Yes that's it and thanks for the link.
     
  9. Joshua Shea

    Joshua Shea Active Member

    In America, we tried prohibition. That didn't work. The reality is that most of the humans can drink, gamble, screw, eat, look at porn, play video games, etc., without it becoming an addiction. I think porn is an insidious thing that caused great problems in my life, and by extension, my family's life. But I also like playing video games with my son and visiting Vegas every few years with my wife. I wouldn't want those things to end because there is a minority that can't handle it. I'm not going to derail the thread with a political rant, because I don't like to read them either, but it's a slippery slope when you start legislating behavior.
     
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  10. I absolutely want porn to be banned. I'm afraid of the consequences in the next couple hundreds of years when it becomes more and more available and extreme. I don't see any good that can from it other than wickeindnes and perverty.
     
  11. DoneAtLast

    DoneAtLast Active Member

    I agree with you to a point, insofar as banning it would prove ineffective (and counter productive), but I'm not convinced that in the days of high speed internet porn there are benign levels of porn use. I can eat junk food, drink, play video games, in moderate levels that won't hurt my health, but I really think any level of porn use just sucks the life out us.
     
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  12. Joshua Shea

    Joshua Shea Active Member

    @doneatlast I think that difference with porn addiction and the other addictions you mentioned that it's much easier to apply a morality scale with pornography. If you look at statistics of people who look at porn vs. those who have an addiction, it's a wide enough gulf for me to think that it is possible for people to utilize it recreationally. Lord knows I can't, and I don't urge anybody to start, but evidence seems to be that it doesn't cause a measurable problem in many people's lives. I think that if you went to an overeater's anonymous board and I think someone will give the same argument as you, but will say porn won't hurt their health. We can get addicted to anything that flicks our dopamine receptors, but many simply don't.
     
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  13. DoneAtLast

    DoneAtLast Active Member

    I'm naturally skeptical of studies of people who say they look at porn and aren't addicted, because such a small number of people are aware that porn addiction is even a thing. Usually they only find out once they try to stop and hit withdrawals and relapses, and even then many still deny it. Not everyone connects the dots between all of the effects of porn use (anxiety, erectile dysfunction, escalation, etc.) and attribute those things to other factors. That is where our senses differ. I think if people were as aware of porn addiction as they are of other addictions, those numbers would change dramatically.

    And, what does recreational, harmless use of porn look like? I know what it looks like for food, and I know what it looks like for alcohol. Once they are over used, the joys of each are destroyed. A steak and a glass of good wine, preferably shared with friends and loved ones, is great, but binge eating and constant drinking are definitely bad. What is the moderate level of porn? Having a once a week wank leaving you feeling on top of the world, ready for the work week? Even in my earliest porn exposures (which started as slow loading pictures on dial up) I don't remember it ever having that good satisfaction similar to good food or liquor. It was like it immediately felt like having a binge home alone with cheap, bottom shelf liquor. I never felt better afterward, in any sense.

    It is worth mentioning that lots and lots of people abuse alcohol, but don't consider themselves addicted or to have a problem, because in their minds an "alcoholic" is someone far worse than they are, and it becomes a moving target to justify their own bad relationship with the stuff. I used to work in a place that sold liquor, wine and high end beer, and there are definitely many shades of grey to be considered. I think a similar survey for alcoholism would have similar perils, even though we know way more about alcoholism than we do about porn addiction.

    I'm not tracking what you're saying with a "morality scale". Pretty much anything that can be addictive has had moral judgments made about it. The temperance (prohibition) movement was based on moral senses of a specific moment in American protestantism, and even today's over eating and "fat shaming" has a distinct flavor of moral judgment and moral failing - people who are overweight are considered morally impoverished for not taking care of their bodies. See the controversy of Bill Maher saying we need to "bring back fat shaming" to see what I mean. Yeah, Maher would hate me using the term "morality" to describe his position, but it is what it is, I'm afraid. It is a similar stigma for really any addiction.
     
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  14. Joshua Shea

    Joshua Shea Active Member

    @doneatlast First, I'm very much enjoying reading what you have to say and this discussion. I think this board operates best when we can discuss philosophy and culture around pornography as much as personal techniques to getting better and since you're clearly succeeding, as am I (no relapse since early 2014), I think we're at the point in recovery where we look at it a bit differently than someone in early recovery.
    Starting from the end of your post, I think you've got to agree that most people, at least publicly, would claim to have a greater disdain for pornography than things like playing video games, smoking, gambling, etc. I think illegal drug abuse is the only thing that may come near pornography/sex as a publicly pilloried behavior/substance. Maybe I'm wrong about this, but when I appear on podcasts or radio shows, or talk to groups at libraries or churches about porn addiction, there is usually a bunch of qualifiers from the host or organization that I can't imagine would be the same if I was just talking about my alcoholism. I think this is about our puritanical roots in this country. Yes, all addicts can be judged harshly, but I think porn, as a standalone entity, is judged more harshly than most things.
    I think society also judges every aspect of pornography more harshly than other addictions. Let's take alcohol. People think those who produce pornography are scum, yet I don't hear that of Anheuser Busch, Coors Brewing or any of the thousands of craft breweries. Nor do I hear people talk of the employees of beer makers as broken people with drug problems and daddy issues as I do with employees in the porn industry. You can buy beer openly at most convenience stores, but the porn is kept in plastic behind the counter. I think these are all moral judgments.
    I quote a lot of statistics when I give my presentations and will dig them up all up if you want, but I think the key ones to show a disparity in user/addict numbers of porn is that while 30-33% of men under 30 years old said they believe they have a problem with pornography (including, but not limited to addiction), most studies find that 75% to 80% of men in that same age group view porn at least once monthly. Also, in a study out of Canada last year, researchers found that of married couples under 40, a whopping 98% of men looked at porn at least once in the last six months and 70% of women did the same. Surely they're not all addicts. Again, if you want me to direct you to the sources, I'm happy to dig it up. My point though is that I think the disparity between someone reporting a problem vs. someone simply using (I use the term "recreational" because it's used in alcoholic circles to describe someone who drinks but doesn't have a problem.) is large, even if they don't all know about porn addiction.
    I'd be curious to learn your interpretation of the definition of addiction. It may be that we're arguing the same thing in our minds, but we have a different definition of what addiction actually means.
     
  15. DoneAtLast

    DoneAtLast Active Member

    Good points, Joshua. If you're speaking around libraries and churches, and (presumably) talking about pornography addiction, I would guess that your audience is largely predisposed to dislike porn. The audience you're drawing is dependent on those sentiments.

    On the other hand, there are the "sex positivity" people who think that fighting against porn is horribly dangerous. Consider the pseudo-scientists like David Ley, or the people trolling Gary Wilson, going so far as to create parallel sites and make horrible accusations to him as a person. Some of this is business interest, but it is also an intense desire to defend the principles of pornography. The real answer may just be that feelings right higher with porn than with other addictive materials. Honestly, I think most people would come down on the side of "sex positivity" than being anti-porn, though it is likely a spectrum.

    It is true that the alcohol producers aren't often held in contempt, and sometimes that may be a problem, to be honest. I am bothered by the "quick drunk" sorts of products out there, like alcoholic sparkling water or the "malternative" market that tastes like candy. And, having worked retail for alcohol, I will say that many laws and judgments come down harshly on those who sell... I felt like a caretaker of a small town, having to watch everyone and make sure no one was driving under the influence or over drinking, and had to deny sales often. I held incredible liability for my actions if I wasn't attentive. So, the issue of blame is actually there, it just tends to be on retailers and bartenders instead of manufacturers. Also, no one would say that the cigarette producers have never been demonized. You can also watch the pharmaceutical companies that produced the opioids go through the ringer right now.

    Another crucial difference with pornographers is this: the alcoholic producers' product is alcoholic beverages. The tobacco industry makes cigarettes. The drug companies make hundreds of medications, some helpful, some not, some properly prescribed, some not. For pornographers, their product is people. When I hear people talk about pornographers being the scum of the earth, it generally isn't because they are putting magazines behind counters at gas stations or even that young men all over the globe are getting hooked on the stuff. It is that pornography is deeply dehumanizing and exploitative to the people who pose and act, and it gets dangerously close to slavery in some instances. In other instances, there is no distinction between pornography and sex trafficking. The really intense anti-porn people I've talked to don't really seem to care all that much about what little Johnny can see on his iPad... they are more concerned with busting trafficking rings. A bit like how in the days of the intense war on drugs, the real enforcement officers were content to let the street thugs do their thing for the most part in favor of waiting to catch the major distributors.

    My basic definition of addiction is something like "continued use despite negative consequences, or a desire to discontinue use". Again, do these married couples want to stop? Have they tried? Do they really think it is the best for their marriage? If they were better informed would they want to quit, and would they find themselves able to? A guy who drinks a 12 pack every night, is convinced he has no problem and that drinking causes no issues in his life and has no desire to quit, is he therefore not addicted? Of course not... he just lacks the understanding, ability to evaluate his own actions, or the desire to change. By that thinking, none of us are ever addicted to anything until we try to quit. We can smoke three packs a day, but we aren't "hooked" until we try to put it down? Though, my original point wasn't that absolutely everyone is addicted (though the way the numbers are gathered is likely deceiving for those reasons), it is that there are no beneficial small doses of porn. Those married couples watching porn, in my opinion, are sabotaging their own relationships whether they realize it or not. That is where I see a rather telling lack of evidence, where small amounts of porn are used to any real benefit, "recreationally" as you say. I'm not hearing stories like "our marriage was really hard and about to end, but then we went to therapy, and started watching porn together! Now we're more in love than ever. Thank you porn!", yet I hear hypothetical arguments all the time that porn helps marriages, safely isolated in the insular world of pseudo-science publications and blogs, and those weird sex advice articles that are in those weekly magazines in many metro areas.
     
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  16. occams_razor

    occams_razor Well-Known Member

    We can probably all agree that it should be harder for little Johnny to access pornography.

    Alcohol's been around for thousands of years, and health issues related to alcohol abuse are well known. You can't really say the same for video pornography. I'm avoiding the term "high-speed internet porn" for the moment because some people like to make out that this addiction is extremely brand new, whereas I'm pretty sure a minority of people have been pretty well addicted since the videotape era and even earlier than that. Obviously it's a whole lot worse nowadays.

    I want more widespread knowledge of issues such as PIED and more difficult access to pornography. The latter is a little tricky thanks to the nature of the internet, but a decent attempt should at least be made. The former might really help a lot of people decide to quit, or not begin getting addicted in the first place.
     
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  17. Joshua Shea

    Joshua Shea Active Member

    @occams_razor I absolutely agree with you about PIED education. I think when boys are old enough to learn about the birds and bees, they're old enough to learn about PIED. I think it's one of the few things that could be effective in curbing porn addiction because it encourages people to think about their porn viewing behavior before it really begins. They say we're not winning the war on drugs, but I disagree. We're not winning the war on drugs with those who are already users, but we do a pretty good job at educating people to not use drugs. Yes, people always will and how to stop them is a different debate, but I think it's the education of young people that prevents most from using in the first place, or to only go through a minor experimental period and then back off. The behavioral change comes from the individual and not some other person or people trying to control it. We fail at controlling existing drug users...we do a decent job with those who don't start in the first place. That's educating, not legislating behavior.

    @doneatlast I'm going to disagree with you about what the pornography product is, but I'm also going to disagree with you on beer and cigarettes. What are they selling? They all sell temporary relief. One is in liquid form, one is in inhalant form and the other as a visual aid. Those products are a means to an end. Is it grosser to look at porn than drink? Is it morally more questionable to enjoy porn than enjoy a cigarette? It's a probably a matter of semantics if we get into that discussion.

    To bring this back to the original debate, I'm going to stand by my opinion that we should not be outlawing what is now considered legal pornography. I don't like it, I wish it didn't exist and I know it's bad for many people, but I don't think I should be deciding what society can have based on my personal likes and dislikes, since there are pornographic cave drawings we know it's not going anywhere and there are too many things in this world that people have issues with to just starting randomly banning them. I bet if we went on a gambling addiction board like this, we'd see the same argument toward gambling. They want lawmakers to make a behavior illegal so they don't have to exercise self control. Sorry, but I like playing in the NCAA Final Four bracket pool every year and somehow, from April to February, I don't bet on any other basketball. I eat like a pig, including unhealthy things, on special occasions and holidays, but eat well 355 days of the year. Because there are people out there that can't eat healthy at all, should we change things to have me lose those 10 days I don't eat well? I'm guessing there are people on overeaters' boards wishing someone else would get rid of the world's junk food to protect them.

    My porn addiction led to some really messed up places and decisions, forever changing my life. That's on me, not on the pornography. Would I have made the same poor decisions if there was no porn? Probably not, but my struggle isn't everyone else's struggle. I have to stay in my lane and that's my responsibility. I don't want the government or someone else determining what's proper day-to-day behavior, and if I don't want that, I can't be a hypocrite and say it applies to everything except porn. We'll do better as a society with educating, not eliminating.
     
  18. DoneAtLast

    DoneAtLast Active Member

    Totally agree! To be clear, it isn't my own stance, just my assessment of what the hardest working anti-porn people seem to think about it. In the same way a 1990s drug officer didn't want a dealer hanging around the convenience store, he just let it be in favor of waiting to get someone higher up on the supply chain.

    My own philosophy is more "drain the swamp". The fewer people use porn, the less of a market, the less demand, and the less power and lure they have. Heck, when I first started looking at porn, each site made you click something saying you were 18. None of us knew anything at the time when the internet was brand new, and we had no idea that it was just a click through with no consequences. No one even knew how to check browser histories back then, and the url/search boxes didn't have autocomplete with past searches. Is there even anything like that now? I've been off for two years, so I don't know. To repeat my initial post, that is why I think the most sensible approach is to make sure anyone who wants porn out of their own lives and the lives of those entrusted to them (children, employees using their computers, etc.), they should be empowered to do so. This combined with good education on the matter would probably make as big of a hit as anything.

    I've been trying to find some sources for what I'm talking about with the anti-porn groups, but I'm not retracing my steps very well. I did, however, stumble on this which might be of interest to folks here: That's four absolutely amazing people up on one stage. I remember another video that I THINK was the same person speaking specifically about sex trafficking, though you can hear her talk about it a bit in this video starting around 18:45
     
  19. Joshua Shea

    Joshua Shea Active Member

    @doneatlast Thank you for sharing that video. While I have been exposed to most of the ideas, I had not seen anybody talk specifically to them. So here's a question for you that started to be addressed in what @occams_razor was saying. We can safely assume pornography isn't going away. Putting my libertarian views to the side, let's hypothetically say that what we all define as XXX/Adult visual materials are banned tomorrow. Let's even go a step further to say that the possession of such material is deemed illegal, so 99.9% of what was already produced is destroyed. I know that there is this theory that porn addiction didn't exist before high speed internet, but that's a load of horses**t. Won't the problems we have just be transferred into other visual materials? Do we ban all nudity in R-rated films? Do we make all women wear unflattering one-piece bathing suits at the beach? Banning and limiting access to things in the past has rarely worked. Do you think it can really work in this case? Wouldn't the energy spent on the pipe dream of banning pornography be better spent in educating young people to its potential dangers?
     
  20. DoneAtLast

    DoneAtLast Active Member

    Well, I never said I was pro-banning. I've said that several times in this thread... you seem awfully intent on making me a straw man for whatever point you're trying to make. The point we've been disagreeing on through this thread is that I don't think there is such a thing as a beneficial/edifying dose of porn for anyone, addict, former addict, or never addicted. To reiterate, I think it would be enormously counter productive, would become more devious in how it is produced, and while some people would be spared getting hooked, those who do get hooked would have a bigger problem on their hands, not smaller.

    Gabe Deem often says he's "pro education", and I think that is a sensible start. Let's stop lying to people and calling it a harmless past time. I'm not in the exact same place as him, but close. The way porn is treated now, it would be as if we talked about alcohol as though it gave you super powers and was only dangerous to drink and drive if you have other pre-existing medical conditions, and even then it is the other medications at fault, not the alcohol. There is so much to be done with education, it needs to start there. Any legislation I would advise would be things that would make it easier for people to choose and maintain a porn free life, like tagging materials to make for better filtering and network controls in homes and public areas. Imagine if your ISP by default didn't transmit porn to you, and you had to call them and request the porn be turned on. Think how helpful that would be for so many people!

    That said, to follow your hypothetical... No, I don't think it would just go somewhere else. Two reasons:
    1. Leering at women in public is not the same as porn. It isn't the rapid fire stimulation in privacy, it doesn't put the consumer at the helm to live out whatever weird fantasies, fears, scandalous senses they have. Also, they presumably aren't masturbating while viewing such things. Besides, public modesty norms are a completely different discussion than porn, and not one that had previously been brought into this thread.
    2. To say that something even needs to replace it rests on the assumption that the appetite of a porn addict is based on his sex drive. Sorry, but porn addiction 101 debunks this. People don't spend hours a day looking for porn because they have high libidos. If anything, their libidos die during a porn addiction, hence the erectile dysfunction and lack of interest in real women in favor of porn. Saying that we have a fixed amount of sex drive and that it absolutely needs a release valve, lest we explode from the pressure is a line straight from the pro-porn play book. It is just false. I've been off porn for two years now. Today I went to get lunch, and the place was packed with fit college girls in low tops and yoga pants, probably 15-20 of them. I waited 10 minutes for my lunch. I just didn't look. I was fine. A man in control of his sexuality has no problem doing this. The porn addicted version of me would have had difficulty. The "fixed quantity libido" view of things should have had me exploding in my pants, unable to control myself. The opposite was true. My two year abstinence from porn gave me incredible power to just not look, and my libido is stronger and healthier than ever.

    If you're looking for ideas of what other addictions would take the place of porn, the answer is likely other internet sources. Social media, for example. Yes, it is very porn-like sometimes, and would be even more so if porn were banned. This is just how regulations work. If a state were to ban beers 5% and over, the shelves would be packed full of beers at 4.9%. That doesn't really argue for or against anything, that is just how regulations play out in the real world, regardless of the material being regulated. You can see it in the porn world now, actually. Women need to be 18 or older. So, since they can't show the 15, 16 and 17 year olds that many men would prefer to look at (gross but true), they advertise 18 year olds heavily. How often have you seen the phrases "barely legal" or "lolita"? Does that mean that the 18 age minimum doesn't work? Of course not, that's silly. There is just always going to be a culmination right at the limit.

    There also would likely be other internet addictions, social media in a non-porn fashion, video games, and so on. Those addictions exist now, but would likely increase.
     
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