I distinctly recall my first experience with porn. I was in my first year in secondary school (about ten years old at the time) and I had just gotten to school and I saw my classmates gathered around in a huddle, boys and girls included. Naturally, I was intensely curious about what they were all staring at and whispering about. A teacher entered the class and they dispersed, but I bugged the boy who was the centre of attention until he satisfied my curiosity and showed me a VCD cover of a porn movie.
Now, I had mentioned in a previous article that I had read “Every Woman” by that age so the female anatomy wasn’t exactly new to me, but you have to understand that I was seeing it in colour for the first time. It’s very different from seeing black and white drawings and needless to say, it had a different effect on me. This was also in an era of VCDs and DVDs; internet pornography really wasn’t a big deal back then and if you really wanted it, you had to actively go searching for it at the video stores.
Over the years, that hasn’t been my only encounter with pornography, and I have watched it along with everyone else bloom into one of the biggest arms of the entertainment industry in the world, pulling in tens of billions of dollars in yearly revenue (insert recent figures).
And the “experience” shockingly has become more personalized. Not only just buying dvds to watch in the closets of your room; now there are webcam shows where porn “stars” do live shows for paying viewers who can watch in the privacy of their rooms; some provide a custom made experience where you provide the script and you pay for production costs plus a nominal fee and the actress will shoot a personal sexual fantasy.
If you’re besotted enough as to want a one-on-one experience, you’re in luck because there are those stars who “tour” and/or escort on the side; and you can also visit adult film conventions the same way you would go to Comic Con or the Cannes film festival and see the “stars”, take pictures, sign autographs, ask them questions, debate various ages of porn the same way you debate the golden, silver ages of cinema or comic books or music. It’s become an art really.
It’s become so pervasive that I could be browsing something as innocent as a university website and a pop up ad pops up appealing to my base emotions. The fight against it has changed phases over the years from outright rejection to limitation to control/supervision. Somewhere in between limitation and control it has been accepted to stay.
Interestingly, I have come across interviews with porn actresses who were at pains to describe how acting porn “empowered” them, made them feel better about themselves and their sexuality. But I will seriously doubt that any respectable lady out there who has come across porn stills or videos will describe what they’ve seen as “empowering”.
Personally, I’m of the opinion that it is about as dehumanising, degrading and objectifying as it gets. This is not including the deeper darker rabbit holes of underground porn that isn’t “regulated”, where child pornography, bestiality and other forms of smut murk around😲.
It’s not by coincidence that a lot of porn actors/actresses are mild to heavy drug users. Nobody is ever numb to that kind of physical and psychological abuse, something has to sand down the edges.
The difference between us humans and animals has always been the ability to suppress our base instincts, to not just act as we feel, or do what makes us feel good irrespective of the consequences of our actions. It’s why murderers, serial killers, rapists, child molesters and the like have no place in a society of sane, normal people. Pornography provides a medium for us to act out our depraved fantasies and still label it art and have it accepted.
Porn like a lot of other vices is incredibly addictive and destructive and that has been well documented. It’s destroyed relationships, marriages, careers, children, businesses, ministries and churches and even the lives of those who practised it, again, this has been well documented.
However,to readers would you be able to provide some answers to these questions;
-Why is its growth still so explosive? With every dollar ninety nine cents spent on subscriptions, someone is being paid to descend below the normal levels of human dignity to satisfy someone else’s fantasies.
-Why are married men spending obscene amounts of time and money on fantasies?
-Why are pastors who preach against it in public having to deal with this skeleton in their closets?
If you thought it’s all about the men, even ladies endorse porn now. A friend told me of a lady neighbour of his who couldn’t visit and leave without a session of porn surfing on his internet connection.
A popular porn star (name withheld) once had to reply to comments a “fan” posted on her website about the kind of things he would love to do to her; stating that she like other women would want to be treated as such, with dignity and class. That what they did on the screen stayed on screen and as such they should not be treated as such. (Such a load of bull). A young man sees the things you allow to be done to you done on a regular basis and you expect him to think of you different?
Porn is breeding a generation of young men who see women as a composite of a pretty face, breasts and buttocks and not necessarily in that order; objects to be used and put to the side when the gloss has worn off or a fancier “model” comes along. It’s subconsciously remodelled our thinking into accepting physical and psychological violence against women.
I once read a quote in an NYFA brochure that went like “Acting gives you the opportunity to be someone else, live the life and make the decisions of someone else without the consequences” (paraphrased), I’m not sure this would so apply to many of the porn actors and actresses out there who have suffered suicidal depression, abuse drugs, have sexually transmitted diseases, are lonely because of their chosen profession (many have confessed that they probably won’t have life partners until after they have left the industry) etc, because of their career path.
As a single young man and a christian, dealing with pornography is extremely hard, a lot harder than it was ten years ago. And when I say porn, I’m not just talking the hardcore stuff, I’m talking softcore – books, music, music videos, movies, tv shows. So it’s next to impossible to escape. And unlike crack cocaine or heroine, it will not literally kill you. You can avoid cocaine,heroin alcohol or marijuana; sex on the other hand is a lot more difficult to say no to. Especially when it’s as impersonal as porn makes it.
Sex as God intended it (between man and wife) is supposed to be a good thing, a “relationship-cementing” adventure to be SHARED, a reaffirmation of love. Pornography abuses and distorts that.
Porn is here to stay, obviously. My question is why?
Ariel Ugorji identifies himself as a mild insomniac, geek, nerd, an audiophile, an avid music lover, Liverpool Fan and an unashamed Christian; with more often than not a completely different point of view on the world and a love for sensible arguments. He Resides in Warri, Nigeria; the land of the sharp and the brave.
To view more of his write ups, please visit his BLOG. You can also share your views with him on twitter @arielugorji.
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