Friday, February 11, 2011


So this sexy series in the NYMag from a week or so ago caught my attention at the time, and I had a bunch of thoughts while reading it, and planned a reaction blog post, but I have stalled out on this and others...although we have an existential and epistemological crisis brewing over here in the comments that is generating a ton of content.

Anyway, I do want to talk about the following articles:
but for now maybe I can just offer, in brief, the following bullet points:

  • the ease of accessing an enormous variety of porn via the internet dramatically changes the path of adolescent sexual education and awareness
  • the evolution of young people's behaviors regarding sex, in response to the porn-enhanced education, has a lot of obvious disturbing implications, as well as a few potentially positive ones
  • the suggestion that a porn/masturbation combo is progressively displacing "real world" sexual relationships is probably overstated as a trend, but could also be seen as an obvious parallel development to the socially isolating/atomizing environment sponsored by Twitter/Facebook/IM/SMS*
*My thoughts on "social" networking webservices and communications (Twitter, etc) are complicated and unpopular in my own social circles right now.  Maybe I'll write about it in depth soon

Also, I know I use too many colons and semi-colons in my writing; I can't help it and I'm not sure I want to stop anyway.


  1. Kind of interested to hear what you thought of this. I remember when I read these pieces thinking that they managed to take a very important, interesting topic and say very little. I seem to remember the article offering potential positive developments for teens, but I forget what those were, and find the idea questionable. I think, one of the more disturbing implications of porn is that, the more sex has been decontextualized in society and reduced to mechanics (a process that porn has contributed to) the more you see a shocking rise in which sex is used abusively, particularly to women, especially this age group. Girls get used to the idea that getting a facial is a normal part of sex (for example), and the more and more that porn pushes aberrant behavior, the more young girls see abusive and degrading sex acts as 'normal.' Also, anecdotally at least, it seems like incest, particularly coerced relations between brother and sister, are more rampant. Especially in poorer communities or in places where parents are out of the picture, when porn is contributing to this idea that sex is just something you do for recreation, you find a lot more boys coercing their sisters and cousins into sex or groups of boys coercing the "pretty " girls into group sex for after school activity. Obviously, you can't place all the blame on porn, but I think when you have technology that pretty effectively prevents parents from being able to keep hard core material from the hands of kids, it leads to bad results. Visual images have a big impact on developing minds, and when young kids are assaulted with this from a young age, it has a huge detrimental impact on them.
    Anyway, like I said, curious to hear your thoughts.

  2. @Diamond: i think you did a great job of summarizing the negatives around the "kids and porn" part of the NY Mag articles.

    I can try to discuss what I see as the potential positives, but in a necessarily carefully worded way: I do not condone abuse (sexual or otherwise) against minors, and I do not wish to be misconstrued in any way.

    Perhaps the safest road forward is to speak about my own life and the relevant bits about my sexual education and the presence (or relative absence) of porn back then, and how I feel that the present situation could have had _some_ positive affects on my experience. But that seems like a difficult post to write, and will need to be a post of its own (when I can handle it) and not a comment in this space.