Taneesha C. Freidus
Millions of Americans watch Pornography every day. It is a natural part of our culture. Sex sells and is an important aspect of couple’s relationships. Pornography was once viewed as being evil and a sin but for most Americans pornography is a way to enhance their relationship with their partner. Some would say that pornography has become to blasé and open and others will say that porn has wrecked relationships because it does not depict reality. The reality is that women are trying out pornography with their significant other to enhance their relationship and to better their love life. Women and men are also turning to BDSM as a way of enhancing their love life. In a controlled environment BDSM can be very beneficial to a couple. Women and men who do porno movies are now considered stars when years ago they were not looked at by the movie industry. In this paper I will explore the role and benefits of porn in relationships. I will explore what it does to help enhance and hinder relationship growth. I will explore the effects of the BDSM lifestyle on male and females.
Introduction to Pornography
When you think of pornography what is the first thing that comes to mind? For most Americans nudity is what comes to mind but what is pornography? According to Merriam-Webster online dictionary pornography is “the depiction of erotic behavior (as in pictures or writing) intended to cause sexual excitement” or “material (as books or a photograph) that depicts erotic behavior and is intended to cause sexual excitement” or “the depiction of acts in a sensational manner so as to arouse a quick intense emotional reaction”. (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pornography) Pornography can be in the form of many things. There are movies, books, magazines, and even live pornography clubs which have become the rave in America.
When a person is viewing pornography they may be looking at a picture or a movie that sexual excites them. The pictures can vary from full nudity to partial nudity and cause the person viewing it to excite them and in turn causes the person to want to pleasure themselves. Pornography and masturbation go hand in hand and as research shows according to Cedarville University men and women struggle on a daily basis with watching porn and masturbating.( http://www.cedarville.edu/Offices/Counseling-Services/Resources/Pornography-Masturbation.aspx) What is it that excites men and women while they are looking at someone else? Is it the fantasy or is it the easy and private access to which you can view it in the privacy of your home? What makes people want to watch porn? What excitement do they get from watching porn and then masturbating? We will take a look at the history of pornography and what we will learn is that pornography has been around for many centuries in many forms and we are just now starting to realize that pornography back in the early days was not what it is today but it was still popular and ever present and available to whomever wanted to view it. The History of Pornography
The history of pornography is very unique in it started many centuries ago. Everyone believed it started in in the 1900’s but it actually started in the early 1400’s with erotic writings and carvings. Pottery was crafted depicting nude women and magazines were made listing feature erotica stories where men would read about sexual exploits between men and women. Pornography started off as a visual arousal of images of women being showed partially nude. Women did not expose their genital areas until later on. The Greeks and the Romans were the ones to showcase women’s breast and women’s pubic areas on statues and carvings around the temples and their households. In India Kama Sutra was introduced around the 3rd century. This is the first original book that introduced sexual pleasures that couples could fulfill in their marriage. This book was created by a monk who said that all couples should learn to please their partner.
It wasn’t until the 1800’s where porn as we know it today really became porn. It started out with short erotica novellas being written under pen names because it was not acceptable to write such travesties in the 1800’s and if the person was discovered he or she would be arrested and sent to jail. Then in the 1900’s pornography came to the films. They were little movies that did not last long but was enough to arouse the mind and the body. These films were called Stage Films were shown at all male gatherings as a way to entertain the guys while they held their meetings and such. The Stag Films were illegal and lasted about 15 minutes. It was not until the 1920’s that porn started to get racy by way of the Tijuana Bible. This Tijuana Bible was a handmade book consisting of photos, stories, and games that men could play to pass the time. It was a cheap way to have fun and to look at nude women.
It was not until 1953 that pornography magazines came on the scene. It was December of 1953 when Huge Heffner published the first ever nude magazine Playboy. In this issue actress and singer Marilyn Monroe was the first centerfold for Playboy. Heffner wanted to have a magazine where he would have news and events and also showcase lovely ladies. The ladies never showed any genitalia which left the men to fantasize about the women. Heffner stated he wanted men to have a magazine where they could get the news and look at beautiful women all in one place. Then in 1965 Bob Guccione created the Penthouse magazine in the United Kingdom and later brought it over to The United States in 1969. Penthouse was a little more risqué than Playboy by showing pubic hair. This magazine just like Playboy also had news articles in it and sports events listed but the women in this magazine had a raw look to them making them look more edgy than the Playboy bunnies. Then in 1974 Larry Flint Jr created Hustler Magazine. In Hustler Larry showcased women fully in the nude and exposing all women genitalia. In Hustler Larry decided that men wanted to see everything women had to offer. Larry decided he would showcase hardcore sexual acts and fetishes that men had. The magazine is also the first to showcase women doing sexual acts with sex toys. Larry went on to add two more magazines named Taboo which is strictly for fetishes and showcases different fetishes and toys that can be purchased. Larry’s latest magazine is very controversial because it is called Barley Legal and it showcases girls who are 18 and 19 years old only. It looks like all the girls on there are younger than 18 but they are legal. Larry stated the reason for the magazine showcasing young girls is because his clientele wanted younger looking girls who were legal to look at and fantasize about. Larry has been criticized by many because of his nonchalant attitude towards sex and the exploits people accuse him off. But Larry defends his first amendment right which is freedom of speech and expression and that is just what he does with his magazines.( http://www.pornographyhistory.com/) The Pleasures of Pornography
Is there truly pleasure in pornography? This is the age old question that no one has an answer for because there is no right for wrong answer. But what we do have is that porn can be pleasurable for some and others it has become an addiction. The pleasure part comes from watching a movie or viewing a magazine and then masturbating to the movie or the magazine in the privacy of your home. The pleasure comes from the fantasy the person is having and pleasuring them. Pornography is nothing more than a big fantasy that takes the person somewhere they want to be but can’t reach in a normal setting. In the article The Labor of Pleasure: How perceptions of Emotional Labor Impact Women’s Enjoyment of Pornography by Z. Fareen Parvez, Z. Fareen did an in depth study of 30 women who were interviewed about pornography and the enjoyment of it. Their ages ranged from 18 to 40 years old and were from an urban area of the west coast. The women were asked questions in regards to watching pornography and what they thought about it. A lot of the women thought that the college porn they watched was hilarious and cheezy but the older women who watched hardcore porn said they enjoyed it. What Z. found from the study was the women had four reasons for watching porn and the first one was erotic arousal and masturbation. The second reason was the curiosity of different sexual practices people used. The third reason was relieving sexual boredom with their partner. And the fourth reason was the novelty of watching porn. These reasons alone are what I have found to be true in almost all the articles I have read in regards to women gaining pleasure from porn. Most women do not tell anyone about liking porn because it is taboo for women to enjoy porn by herself. (Z. Fareen Parvez, 2006) The Pain of Pornography
The pain of pornography is like a double edge sword because on one hand it is pleasure but the addiction gets to be so bad it becomes painful for the person as well as the loved ones surrounding that person. In the article R. V. Butler: Recognizing the Expressive Value and the Harm in Pornography by Justine Juson and Brenda Lillington discuss the harms of pornography. According to Juson and Lillington “Pornography is more than “dirt for dirt’s sake”, it is a form of expression which conveys ideas and attitudes through its depictions of sex. Pornography can express the celebration of consensual and liberating sexuality. Pornography can also dehumanize and objectify its participants, resulting in deleterious effects on behavior and attitudes.” (Juson, & etl, 1993) Pornography can dehumanize a person by placing high expectations on a follow through with a couple. The male may expect the woman to do sexual acts and favors based on a porno he has seen and the partner may not feel comfortable doing such acts which will in turn cause a riff in the relationship and harm the relationship if the partner tries to force the other partner into doing such acts. The harm may also come in the form of sexual violence when two people start out having consensual sex but one partner wants to role play a porno he or she has watched and the partner does not feel safe doing those things. The sexual violence may be they are forced to have rough sex or the partner may rape the other partner because he thinks it was okay because they started up as consensual. BDSM Life Style
What is a BDSM life style? BDSM is Bondage – Domination – Sadism – Masochism. The BDSM life style has picked up in recent years due to it coming out of the closet so to speak. Most couples or people who belong to the community stay with one another and never divulge their secret. People who enjoy this lifestyle say they enjoy it because they are able to role play and enjoy it without having to fear being ridiculed by their partner. When a person enters the BDSM life style they sign a contract and agree to what they are willing to do and what they are not willing to do. This is a safe way for people to fulfill the sexual desires they so crave and not have to worry about their partner not enjoying it or hurting someone who is not really into the lifestyle but is willing to do anything to keep their partner. (The Pleasure Of Pain, Gross, Bruce, 2006) With this lifestyle also comes the question of how much pleasure and pain you are willing to give and take. The bondage part of the relationship is one that most Dom’s enjoy. Bondage sexual encounters allow the Dom to have complete and full control over his or her submissive. It is interesting to note that men are now enjoying being a submissive and submitting and trusting someone to take care of all their needs and wants. So what exactly is a dominant and a submissive. A Dominant is a person who is in control of the relationship. He or she is the one who provides everything for their submissive. They provide clothes, food and shelter as long as the person is their submissive. The dominant in no way abuses the submissive and in that I am not saying that some dominants don’t abuse their powers over their submissive but it is frowned upon. A submissive is a person who submits or gives himself or herself over to the dominant for the dominant to do as he or she pleases in a safe and secure environment. The submissive gives total control to the dominant and learns to do the things the dom wants. Their sole purpose is to please the dom and submit to all things. Is Pornography Ruining Relationships?
Relationships are built on trust and communication. If one piece is missing then the relationship starts to turn for the worse. The age old question has to be asked time and time again in this sexually charged environment we live in. And the question asked is if porn is running relationships? The answer is twofold in that yes it can ruin relationships and no it can’t ruin relationships. You ask how that is possible well in a relationship the two partners have to be willing and committing to each other. If one partner agrees to look at porn and enjoy re-enacting some scenes then that is not ruining the relationship but if one partner is not truthful with the other and looking at porn and then trying to re-enact it without the consent of the partner that will ruin the relationship. So the next question that should be asked is if the person you are in a relationship with addicted to porn without your knowledge? Addiction to porn can be very disastrous to a relationship. If your partner is addicted to porn and hiding it that means they need an intervention because they are hiding the fact that they need porn every day in their life. Addiction to anything is bad but addiction to porn is worse because it is the sexual acts that make a person seek out others to do those acts with and that may lead to a person raping someone and hurting them. Most sexual deviants start out using porn once in a while and then they get this high from it and need it every day and then the sexual acts they want to perform start to escalate into something more and that is where the danger lies. Sex Toys in a Relationship
Sex toys are something new in a relationship. Sex toys were sort of kept in the closet and never spoken about unless you had a girlfriend or a guy friend who knew of a sex party where they could purchase sex toys. Sex toys if used properly and in a loving relationship can enhance the sexual intimacy between partners. Dildos, and vibrators, and riding crops are the entire rave right now. Not only are toys on the rise but more and more men and women are reading erotica books to enhance their relationship. Erotica books are on the rise since Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James. She has corned the market along with Shayla Black and Sylvia Day. More and more women and men are reading erotica books and then enjoying the afterglow with their partner. Some of these newer erotica books are raunchy and hard for readers to read because they add BDSM and sexual violence to them. But for the most part the new erotica and the new serial erotica’s they are hitting the shelves by storm. More and more relationships are adding toys and erotica reads to their love life and enhancing it. When the toys are used in a safe environment they can enhance the sexual experience and add extra enjoyment to the relationship. Plus on the up side you can purchase the toys online and have them delivered to the privacy of your home and no one needs to know what you have ordered. Victoria Secrets and Adam and Eve are the leading toys sellers online. With these toys and a local bookstore you can make a quick purchase and have a wonderful fulfilling love life with your partner in a safe and secure environment. Conclusion
In conclusion pornography in America is on the rise. More and more couples are using porno to enhance their sex life. The history of porno started out shaky but over the years we were introduced to porno magazines and books that help out couples by introducing new things for them to try in the bedroom. To some porno is demeaning to women and men but the truth of the matter is that the women who do pornography movies and spread sheets do so of their own free will and they get a say in what they will and won’t do on and off camera by signing a contract. Then we are introduced to a whole new world of BDSM. The BDSM world has been around for many years but in secret. After several novels of BDSM were written about the lifestyle women and men alike started to gain an interest in this lifestyle. This lifestyle is for some and definitely not for others. In this lifestyle you are either a dominant or a submissive it all depends on what kind of lifestyle you chose to lead. In this lifestyle a submissive and a dom can have a very fulfilling relationship with one another as long as it is consensual. Pornography is going to be around for a long time and I do not see it leaving anytime soon. For some it is an addiction that can’t be cured but for others it is a way to express their sexual preferences and sexual enjoyment. The pornography industry makes billions every year off of videos and toys and sex shops. In Worcester alone there are 15 strip clubs and Gentlemen’s clubs as they are called. Sex sells and no matter what the law tries to do sex will continue to sell. Let’s just hope that the people addicted to sex can get help and overcome their addiction in time to enjoy a healthy and happy sex life.
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