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Porn to be opt-in only with UK's biggest ISPs

Porn to be opt-in only with UK's biggest ISPs

Many adult websites have lax security when it comes to preventing under-age users from viewing their content.

Customers of the UK's four largest ISPs will soon have to specifically opt-in to view sexually explicit websites.

An article at The Guardian states that the measures will be introduced to shield children from sexualised imagery.

The ISPs enforcing the measures will include BT, Sky, Talk Talk and Virgin Media, with subscribers being blocked from sites hosting sexually explicit material by default. As a result, parents will gain more control over which websites are viewable over the household's Internet connection.

To view blocked websites, subscribers will have to opt to do so, although no information on how far the measures will reach, or how subscribers will be able to opt-in, has yet been released.

The measures have been previously proposed by the Mother's Union, members of which are meeting David Cameron today, when he is expected to announce the new measures. Restrictions are also expected relating to content on billboards and other forms of advertising and children's clothing.

Earlier this year, David Cameron wrote to the Mother's Union chief executive, Reg Bailey, saying:

'As you say, we should not try and wrap children up in cotton wool or simply throw our hands up and accept the world as it is. Instead, we should look to put 'the brakes on an unthinking drift towards ever-greater commercialisation and sexualisation.'

However, the proposed measures have already attracted concern from consumer groups, depending on how they'll be enforced. Commenting on the latest proposals on The Open Rights Group blog, the organisation's executive director, Jim Killock, said 'that there is a world of difference between offering sensible child safety, and trying to persuade adults to live with layers of censorship.

'Thus the devil is therefore in the detail, and how “options” are presented. Will adults be asked if they need parental controls, or if they want to “adult content” switched on? We will oppose anything designed to induce adults to live with censorware which would inevitably deny citizens access to commentary, health and medical advice.'


Do you agree with the proposed measures? Let us know in the forum.

UPDATE: Our sister site PC Pro now has a full run down of what each of the four major ISPs are actually doing.

154 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
liratheal 11th October 2011, 12:29 Quote
Oh for ****s sake.

It is not up to the government, or ISP's, to stop kids looking at porn, it's up to the goddamn parents.

What next, not allowing anyone not accredited as a reseller being able to buy components?

Children are the responsibility of the goddamn parents, not the government. Cameron should be worrying about bigger **** than little Johnny browsing some porn.
GregTheRotter 11th October 2011, 12:30 Quote
Jesus, what a joke. I can't say I've been scarred for life by seeing some porn, can you?
liratheal 11th October 2011, 12:32 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by GregTheRotter
Jesus, what a joke. I can't say I've been scarred for life by seeing some porn, can you?

I don't even recall looking online for my first porn experience. I do believe I bought magazines from a newsagents.
RedFlames 11th October 2011, 12:32 Quote
and who decides what gets blocked?
Paradigm Shifter 11th October 2011, 12:33 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by liratheal
Oh for ****s sake.

It is not up to the government, or ISP's, to stop kids looking at porn, it's up to the goddamn parents.

What next, not allowing anyone not accredited as a reseller being able to buy components?

Children are the responsibility of the goddamn parents, not the government. Cameron should be worrying about bigger **** than little Johnny browsing some porn.

This.
Parge 11th October 2011, 12:36 Quote
To be honest, this doesn't bother me too much. As long as the black list doesn't have any sites on it that aren't porno websites or impact your net connection in any other way.

Its hard for parents to police what their kids are looking up on the net 24/7. "its up to the parents you say" - well, this is an easy way for the parents to decide, as they are the ones that sign the bills.
mongpong 11th October 2011, 12:39 Quote
Won't stop them looking at stuff on the mobile though!
mongpong 11th October 2011, 12:40 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by mongpong
Won't stop them looking at stuff on the mobile though!

...which is a good thing. finding porn is a learning experience for kids - i agree that it is now very easily available to them but whats the big deal? It's just humans having sex.
Sketchee 11th October 2011, 12:40 Quote
I see this being exactly the same as mobile broadband restricted viewing. It's compulsory opt-in as it always ends up with non-explicit websites being blocked.
longweight 11th October 2011, 12:41 Quote
Surely parents look at porn too?
Krikkit 11th October 2011, 12:42 Quote
Queue a massive porn catalogue being put on home computers before the block goes on. Heh.

The PC Pro details are quite interesting, thankfully with BT it's new customers only.
liratheal 11th October 2011, 12:42 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Parge
To be honest, this doesn't bother me too much. As long as the black list doesn't have any sites on it that aren't porno websites or impact your net connection in any other way.

Its hard for parents to police what their kids are looking up on the net 24/7. "its up to the parents you say" - well, this is an easy way for the parents to decide, as they are the ones that sign the bills.

My issue is that it is "opt-in" not "opt-out".

This day and age, if it has to be optional, it should be opt-in. Someone, somewhere, who is paid more than their job is worth will decide something offends them that won't necessarily offend anyone else, and add it to the blacklist.

That decision shouldn't then be enforced on anyone who doesn't want it to be - The hassle of opting in or out should always fall to those who want to opt into a program, not those who want to opt out.

Given what a nightmare it is to contact BT at the best of times, I doubt this will end well for BT customers.
loftie 11th October 2011, 12:45 Quote
Can't see them blocking Google image search with filters off. At the end of the day, the system should be Opt -in, not opt out. If parents are that concerned with what their kids see, they'd see this on the options page and tick it. And I agree, who decides what's to be blocked or not?

( . ) ( . ) - See that? Those are Ascii bewbs, that's porn right there. I've just got Bit-Tech blocked! O.o
enciem 11th October 2011, 12:46 Quote
I want to see the need to unlock certain types of porn, that would be cool, especially if you have to phone in, or better yet, go to a store in town or something. "So do you want the standard, occasionally kinky, or the full-on WTF! pack"

Absolute balls though, just so parents can shove a computer in their kids bedroom to keep them out the way, what a waste of time.
Almightyrastus 11th October 2011, 12:48 Quote
O2 already does this. Not just to porn sites either. I have had a block pop up on my phone to websites that are not related to porn at all, just to stuff that o2 have deemed to contain 'adult content'
blackcell1 11th October 2011, 12:49 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by mongpong
Won't stop them looking at stuff on the mobile though!

some mobile networks default block access to porn sites, you need to use a credit card to prove your over 18 to view them on a mobile...
yassarikhan786 11th October 2011, 12:51 Quote
Restricting access to such material will make children more curious and how will the ISP's decide what is considered porn and what is not? There are websites which are "child-friendly" but have options to turn the protection off. And as most people have said it should be up to the Parents to handle such issues. For example you can stop children from browsing the web in isolation and only give them access when you have an opportunity to keep an eye on them.
David_Fitzy 11th October 2011, 12:53 Quote
Just wait till the MPAA RIAA start asking to use this system against terrorism...... urrrr I mean piracy (always get those mixed up )

And on top of all that it won't work, a few online methods it's beatable by; VPNs, Proxies/Anonymizers/TOR, Incomplete blacklists, P2P filesharing, etc even dropbox. Add in offline methods and the list is endless.
Spuzzell 11th October 2011, 12:55 Quote
Seems fair enough to me, so long as the implementation isn't hamfisted.

A simple pin password being required to view network level blacklisted sites would be ideal.

@liratheal - there's no difference between the government requiring someone to be an adult to buy porn in a shop and the government requiring someone to be an adult to view porn on the net.

If parents want to enable their children to see stuff, then the parents can choose to give out the pin. This system empowers parents.. the choice would be theirs, not their childrens.

As an aside, yes porn can adversely affect children. Ask any child psychiatrist.
alialias 11th October 2011, 13:06 Quote
Nothing will stop young teenagers finding a way to look at boobs, when younger my internet connection was far too slow to even bother trying to watch porn online, but when there's a will there's a way!
I think if there was some way to hinder people accidentally stumbling across porn, when they are not actively looking for it, that would be fantastic, i'd imagine that would be when it would affect someone the most, when it's not expected or wanted.
IanW 11th October 2011, 13:08 Quote
Prolly just a DNS blacklist.
Change DNS, get pr0n.
Centy-face 11th October 2011, 13:11 Quote
As a parent myself I find this utterly needless. Sure you cannot monitor what a child is doing all the time but you can talk to them about things and check browser histories etc. Leaving them alone to do whatever they want on the net and ask that the government define what is acceptable is hardly parenting.

I don't see why other people should have to specifically tell their ISP they want to watch porn simply because other people are poor parents. Besides removing the ability to see porn at home won't stop them taking a laptop out to some free WiFi hotspot or to a mates house so it's a massive waste of taxpayers money and the ISP's time which could increase prices for all because it will appear unsporting to make the people who want the block to pay for it wouldn't it?

If people are really that worried about porn on the internet there's many other ways to block it already for the most part but nothing is full proof. Example, Imgur can host pornographic images as can many other image sharing site will they be blocked as well? What about images uploaded to forums or torrents or P2P networks. If a masturbating 14 year old wants it no amount of blocking legitimate pornographic websites will ever work.

TL;DR It won't work it's a waste of money and at the end of the day its the parents responsibility
Woodspoon 11th October 2011, 13:12 Quote
Jesus F*****G Christ!
Don't want to wrap kid up in cotton wool? well that's exactly what this is.
Also seems pretty pointless, kids will find a way round it, almost since the dawn of time kids have found way's round what their parents try to stop them doing, so it wont make much difference.
How do they plan to stop all of them?
Hundreds of new Porn sites pop up everyday surely this is just going to encourage them to disguise themselves as something else to avoid being blocked?
Who is to say what is porn and what is education?
Why do I have to opt out, why can't they opt in?
This is such a crap idea being forced by overbearing lazy parents it's untrue, almost literally "the nanny state".
This is such a pile of s**t.
Rant over, for now.
l3v1ck 11th October 2011, 13:13 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by liratheal
Children are the responsibility of the goddamn parents, not the government. Cameron should be worrying about bigger **** than little Johnny browsing some porn.
True. Which is why it's the parents choice whether to opt into this of not. It's meerly a tool to allow parents to safe guard there internet connection when they're not at home.
Gone are the days when teenage children have a parent at home to supervise them all the time. People work all sorts of shifts these days. Nobody in government is forcing this on anybody.

Sure, parents should teach their children about sex etc when the time is right, and hopefully children will have been brought up with enough discipline and repect to obey their parents if they tell them not to look at porn on the internet.

I think we (the older generations) have to remember that porn is vastly different to what it was when we were teenagers. All that was available to us was the regulated mags available in the shops. The kind of things available on the internet can be very very extreme. There's a reson why sexual media has an 18 rating (not going into the arguements on whether that should be 18 or 16). When people are adults, they should me mature enough to understand that. But I can see why parents would want to prevent their children thinking that sort of thing is normal in every day life. I know my brother-in-law had to give his kids a stern talking to when he overheard them talking about women in a derogatory way.

As long as it's opt in and not being forced on anyone, I fail to see what there is to object to.
Teh Noob Slayer 11th October 2011, 13:14 Quote
Isn't there already several Net Filter Software you can buy to block access to adult sites?
runadumb 11th October 2011, 13:15 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by enciem
I want to see the need to unlock certain types of porn, that would be cool, especially if you have to phone in, or better yet, go to a store in town or something. "So do you want the standard, occasionally kinky, or the full-on WTF! pack"

I'll have 2 WTF! packs please.
liratheal 11th October 2011, 13:19 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spuzzell
Seems fair enough to me, so long as the implementation isn't hamfisted.

A simple pin password being required to view network level blacklisted sites would be ideal.

@liratheal - there's no difference between the government requiring someone to be an adult to buy porn in a shop and the government requiring someone to be an adult to view porn on the net.

If parents want to enable their children to see stuff, then the parents can choose to give out the pin. This system empowers parents.. the choice would be theirs, not their childrens.

A pin system would be awfully abused, on a regular basis.

There is, actually, a difference. In the magazine instance, the government have said "The consumer needs to be 18" and it's down to the retailer to verify age and so forth. There isn't a government employee stood at the magazine rack deciding what they think is appropriate for the person selecting the magazines they want.

Online, yes, age verifications are harder - But to suggest that then it becomes the ISP's (The messenger, so to speak) problem to root out the underage viewers is ridiculous. It's the parents job to educate and discipline their child. It's not up to the government at that stage.

Parents (In general) need to stop being too busy and willing to "pass the buck", so to speak, and start interacting with their children.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Centy-face
TL;DR It won't work it's a waste of money and at the end of the day its the parents responsibility

QFT
Quote:
Originally Posted by l3v1ck
True. Which is why it's the parents choice whether to opt into this of not. It's meerly a tool to allow parents to safe guard there internet connection when they're not at home.
Gone are the days when teenage children have a parent at home to supervise them all the time. People work all sorts of shifts these days. Nobody in government is forcing this on anybody.

Sure, parents should teach their children about sex etc when the time is right, and hopefully children will have been brought up with enough discipline and repect to obey their parents if they tell them not to look at porn on the internet.

I think we (the older generations) have to remember that porn is vastly different to what it was when we were teenagers. All that was available to us was the regulated mags available in the shops. The kind of things available on the internet can be very very extreme. There's a reson why sexual media has an 18 rating (not going into the arguements on whether that should be 18 or 16). When people are adults, they should me mature enough to understand that. But I can see why parents would want to prevent their children thinking that sort of thing is normal in every day life. I know my brother-in-law had to give his kids a stern talking to when he overheard them talking about women in a derogatory way.

As long as it's opt in and not being forced on anyone, I fail to see what there is to object to.

My objection is that it's opt-out (As in, opt out of the blocking, not opt out of being able to view porn) and not opt-in. An opt-in thing would be fine, IMO, as that leaves the system available for those that feel they need it, and doesn't affect those that don't want/need the enforcement.
Anneon 11th October 2011, 13:22 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by enciem
"So do you want the standard, occasionally kinky, or the full-on WTF! pack"

LOLS

Hows this going to work with page 3 of The Sun. Surely thats every lil boys gateway.
Woodspoon 11th October 2011, 13:43 Quote
This story needs to be updated, BBC news has just said that it will be OPT-IN not opt-out because the ISP's said opt-out went too far and was boarder line illegal.

Which is a much better idea.
wuyanxu 11th October 2011, 13:46 Quote
so how long does it take for a parent to learn how to set OpenDNS?? or just set URL filters on the router?

ignorant parents are worse than irresponsible ones.



Opt-out makes more sense. Opt-in surely is stepping on Net Neutrality?
Fizzban 11th October 2011, 14:06 Quote
On the news today they said when you sign up for a new account or renew an account with the top ISP's they will ask you if you want to use this protection software (which has been available for ages).

The ISP's said they couldn't force customers to have to opt-in to mature content as it would be illegal for them (the ISP) to do so, AND they don't want to be responsible for censorship. So from what I've heard you won't have to opt-in for mature sites, you will have to opt-in to have them blocked.
adidan 11th October 2011, 14:10 Quote
FFS. There are ways of limiting what is seen on your PC, thankfully the parents I saw interviewed monitored their kids access and had blocks in place on top of that.

We shouldn't start inviting censorship.

But yes, at present you will have to opt in to having your content censored. Censoring legal sites will be pretty much illegal.
l3v1ck 11th October 2011, 14:12 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by liratheal
My objection is that it's opt-out (As in, opt out of the blocking, not opt out of being able to view porn) and not opt-in. An opt-in thing would be fine, IMO, as that leaves the system available for those that feel they need it, and doesn't affect those that don't want/need the enforcement.
I must had misunderstood. I thought it was opt in. If it is an opt out system then I do indeed have an issue with it.
Comfyasabadger 11th October 2011, 14:12 Quote
Organ Donation = Opt-in
No Pr0n = Opt-Out

How is that far?
l3v1ck 11th October 2011, 14:14 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by wuyanxu
so how long does it take for a parent to learn how to set OpenDNS?? or just set URL filters on the router?
A tad harsh. Not all parents are tech savy. That in itself doesn't make them bad parents.
adidan 11th October 2011, 14:17 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by l3v1ck
I must had misunderstood. I thought it was opt in. If it is an opt out system then I do indeed have an issue with it.
The news gave the impression that it was an opt out of blocking initially but it turns out it has to be an opt in to blocking as ISPs would be breaking the law otherwise.
Baz 11th October 2011, 14:23 Quote
Personally, this sounds like a good idea too me. While parents should take the responsibility for policing thier kid's internet use, it's a difficult task to stop any broadband connection becoming a porn funnel. This will just be one more tool to use; I don't think its the the start of mass censorship, it's just a response to customer demand to keep kids safe online. Of course, it's not going to be 100%, and really determined teenage boys will no doubt circumvent it via the methods discussed above, but kids are using the net at younger and younger ages, and while an 8 year old can easily google search for "boobies" he wont be running a openDNS anytime soon. To take it as a dissolution of our civil liberties is a little extreme - this isn't at attempt to take your porno access away; its to protect the more vulnerable, younger internet users, and on that point it has my support.
wuyanxu 11th October 2011, 14:29 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by l3v1ck
A tad harsh. Not all parents are tech savy. That in itself doesn't make them bad parents.
it only takes 30min of research to know that setting OpenDNS on a computer/router will block harmful sites.


the original BT story sounds like:
-oh, no, cars near school are dangerous, let's make traffic EVERYWHERE go at 20mph, unless specifically ask to go faster.
-mobile phone's microwave might be dangerous, let's make them so weak, they are pretty much useless. each user have to ask to raise signal level.

of course, the Opt-out is more logical and better. i fully support this implementation, good to see ISPs have their head screwed on. (unlike those parents at Mother's Union)



remember:
YRgNOyCnbqg
Tsung 11th October 2011, 14:38 Quote
There is another side to this people seem to have forgotten, it's the blame game.. Once the measure have been put into place, if a child does work around the block or see some porn will this now give the parents the right to sue the ISP/ Government?

For any parent who is worried about the amounts of porn their child might be subjected to on their pc's there are several simple things they can do, like put the computer in a public area of the house (not the childs bedroom). Check histories, use OpenDNS buy 3rd party software. If the parents really are concerned there are options out there; all it takes is a bit of effort. This whole thing is lazy parenting, parents can't be arsed to parent their children and want the state to do it for them.

I love how the BBC are misreporting this, saying that the block will stop porn on Computers / Laptops and Mobile phones. it won't, it will only block the devices when they use that connection, wifi outside the house may or may not be blocked.
Showerhead 11th October 2011, 14:46 Quote
So with the system kids can n o longer watch people having sex but are still able to view a video of someone being beaten to death with a hammer. Someones priorities are wrong i know which would be more disturbing fro a child.
PlayedStation 11th October 2011, 15:03 Quote
if it wasn't for my healthy addiction to porn as a teenager, i wouldnt be able to satisfy my girlfriend today
damien c 11th October 2011, 15:13 Quote
Guess I am going to have to phone my ISP and opt in then as my clan's website by all these thing's, I couldn't even access it on a mobile dongle or on my phone until I got the, under 18 block removed.

While people will say the parent's should be stopping there kid's but sometimes it is unavoidable, especially when using google or something and you search for something that could be related to the porn industry such, as enlarge and bang you get nothing but 18+ websites coming up, so unless parent's are supposed to sit there and watch everything there kid's do it is almost impossible to avoid.

I know my parent's were not bothered about me looking at porn when I was 10 year's old and upward's because they said I would soon be looking at it, in school during Biology class and other's that may teach about adult interaction's.

I think to many people are trying to make changes to thing's for the sake of changing them simply because they can, I mean seriously what is next are we going to have to opt in to use search websites because they will show result's that may offend 0.00001% of the Earth's population.

My Aunty will be thinking this is the best thing ever as she is one of those people who think women should be wearing turtle neck jumpers all day regardless of what, the weather is like and men should not be allowed to take there top's off in public.
damien c 11th October 2011, 15:15 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by PlayedStation
if it wasn't for my healthy addiction to porn as a teenager, i wouldnt be able to satisfy my girlfriend today

Agreed.

What are us blokes supposed to be mind readers on what women want all the time?
Baz 11th October 2011, 15:22 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by damien c
Guess I am going to have to phone my ISP and opt in then as my clan's website by all these thing's, I couldn't even access it on a mobile dongle or on my phone until I got the, under 18 block removed.

Opt in means you need to call them to turn the content blocking on... are you confused?
Sutura 11th October 2011, 15:26 Quote
I just saw the news. Finally some action in the right direction. Hope they keep it up serious, not just fancy stuff, but actually blocking the content.
Ayrto 11th October 2011, 15:27 Quote
Blocking(censorship) shouldn't be the default. ISP filter lists and monitoring are the thin edge of the wedge. Should we get a more authoritarian govt in the future (think Tory majority), who's to say they won't want to make it mandatory and expand the scope to political blogs etc .

I think many Parents will find that if they accept this layer, their connection will be slower and it'll block loads of unintended content. No gamer in their right mind is going to want to risk increased latency from another layer, when many ISPs already traffic shape the hell out of connections at peak times here in the UK.

This is a well put together piece on the situation , well worth a read imho:

http://www.slightlyrightofcentre.com/2011/02/i-dont-need-to-defend-porn-to-fight-uk.html
Aracos 11th October 2011, 15:33 Quote
Just another reason why parents should act more like bloody parents. A quick google of "block adult content" will provide all the information they need, but no instead the government must do it for them, I can't wait for websites that feature no porn to be blocked, hopefully people will fight against it.

I just feel this is treating adults like children and children like babies.
gabe777 11th October 2011, 15:35 Quote
I really hope they offer cash rewards for anyone showing how to circumvent it.

At say, £100 a pop, I'll be a frickin millionaire by Xmas !!!

Are they going to stop you using SSL access to Rapidshare search sites etc., or Secure Tunnellling to newsgroups or any anonymising proxies ?

BT often try to restrict access to rapishare, but sticking an "s" after the HTTP in the URL, and you're straight through.

Dumb asses.
gabe777 11th October 2011, 15:41 Quote
And, what about youtube.. plenty of porn on there... google images ? Are they gonna block every site that has a woman's body on it... or a man's ?

Not gonna work.

And if you think it WILL work, your'e left with a false sense of security. It can only work with a layer of other measures, as listed in the posts here.

There are already proxys on the net, that are aimed at kids at school who want to get around the school's "security". Every step taken by the ISP to make it harder, they'll be a dozen sites out there, making it easier !!!
delriogw 11th October 2011, 15:44 Quote
you all seem to be missing the point here.

you're saying it's up to the parents, but it's the parents that have asked the government for help in this matter. they haven't come up with it on their own just to pee everyone off. they were approached by mums.
sotu1 11th October 2011, 15:45 Quote
What? Disgraceful! How do I get my vintage art now?!
SMIFFYDUDE 11th October 2011, 15:50 Quote
Surely this will reintroduce children to the joys of finding stray grumble mags in hedges and behind park benches.
Woodspoon 11th October 2011, 15:54 Quote
THIS ARTICLE IS WRONG AND NEEDS TO BE UPDATED.

The ISP's have said that new and existing customers will have to OPT IN TO HAVE CONTENT FILTERED and that making it an opt out of filtering was too much and boarder line illegal.
Nutyy 11th October 2011, 15:55 Quote
Sadly i was unable to view this article because its URL contained an indecent use of vocabulary :)

/Sarcasm
r3loaded 11th October 2011, 16:02 Quote
An opt-out (as in opt-out of the filtering system) is a bad idea - people will phone up and complain that their (non-porn) site appeared on the block list, please can they be opted out?

Then the ISPs will compile a "dirty *******s" database of everyone who's opted out (I wouldn't be surprised if it was titled as such).

Then some idiot employee will lose the database on an unencrypted USB drive or on a publicly-accessible server, and the Anonymous/LulzSec types will have a field day with the data.
braincake 11th October 2011, 16:02 Quote
what i want to know is what is wrong about porn, seriously, are they going to block access to art galleries and churches to . they both have pictures of naked people
Ayrto 11th October 2011, 16:03 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Woodspoon
THIS ARTICLE IS WRONG AND NEEDS TO BE UPDATED.

The ISP's have said that new and existing customers will have to OPT IN TO HAVE CONTENT FILTERED and that making it an opt out of filtering was too much and boarder line illegal.

Which is an important distinction they've made, if true. However, all the other points made in http://www.slightlyrightofcentre.com/2011/02/i-dont-need-to-defend-porn-to-fight-uk.html are still valid. Like who is going to pay for this unwanted sh!t? Will our bills rise?
StingLikeABee 11th October 2011, 16:04 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spuzzell
Seems fair enough to me, so long as the implementation isn't hamfisted.

A simple pin password being required to view network level blacklisted sites would be ideal.

@liratheal - there's no difference between the government requiring someone to be an adult to buy porn in a shop and the government requiring someone to be an adult to view porn on the net.

If parents want to enable their children to see stuff, then the parents can choose to give out the pin. This system empowers parents.. the choice would be theirs, not their childrens.

As an aside, yes porn can adversely affect children. Ask any child psychiatrist.

Wholeheartedly agree with you on every point there. This could be a very useful tool for any parent who is concerned about their children accessing porn. I don't see the problem with opt in as opposed to opt out either. The only problem I could imagine is a few red faces from people who are forced to opt in to porn viewing:)
loftie 11th October 2011, 16:11 Quote
To be honest, I don't really see the problem with kids and porn - don't misunderstand me, I'm not gonna start showing a 5 year old a porn film, but I don't think porn is causing kids to 'grow up too fast' or even glamorises sex.

The main problems in my opinion are more tv shows/ adverts which glamorises sex to kids. This is what causes children to think that they have to dress/act like a sex symbol. Because children see their idols doing it, they think it's cool and want to do it too. It's sad really, walking round seeing kids dressing with very little on, so much so they make people who are going out look overdressed.

And again, it's the parents fault for letting them.

( . )( . )
Rustypouch 11th October 2011, 16:18 Quote
Sure would be awkward if you still lived with your parents when you are 18+ and you have to ask your mum or dad to unblock the porn.
phuzz 11th October 2011, 16:23 Quote
Let's not get some things straight from the start.

1) This filter will not block all porn. (eg google image search, or a new porn site that's not on the block list yet)
2) It will be easily circumventable with a little effort. (eg vpn, tor, proxy)
3) It will be used to block content other than porn. (you think the government wouldn't use this to block wikileaks if they could?).

While we're on point 3), what about lingerie sites? (the closest I got to pr0n as a kid), or pictures of people in cultures that don't wear clothes (eg National Geographic)? Medical sites? Fashion sites? Michelangelo's David or Botticelli's The Birth of Venus? There's never been a definition of porn that people could agree on.

What about unsavoury material that isn't pr0n like rotten.com, (or whatever the equivalent is now), will that be blocked? And if you're going to block pictures of dead people, would that also include pictures of this church that is decorated with the skeletons of the dead? They're just as dead, but does the lack of flesh, and age make a difference? Why?

But hey, I'm an adult with no kids, so whether it's opt in, opt-out, or mandatory, I won't be using it.
Kiytan 11th October 2011, 16:57 Quote
offer a free copy of <insert content filtering software here> with instructions on how to set it up, for every account (something which most actually do anyway) problem solved. Dramatically cheaper, none of the drawbacks.

There's also the whole argument of it even encouraging kids to look for porn (something you are not allowed to do is instantly more interesting anyway)
Mongoose132 11th October 2011, 17:29 Quote
Awkward conversations ensue as desperate teenagers across the country attempt to explain their need for 'research material' on those strange wimminz creatures. :O
Blazza181 11th October 2011, 17:41 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mongoose132
Awkward conversations ensue as desperate teenagers across the country attempt to explain their need for 'research material' on those strange wimminz creatures. :O

The look on my friend's face when he heard this =
3lusive 11th October 2011, 17:58 Quote
Big Brother is finally here
The_EXorcist 11th October 2011, 18:03 Quote
Man, England used to be the envy of the world. The epitome of civilisation, and citizens rights. England invaded other countries, and brought these things to the people of those countries. Now it seems that you just bicker and argue while the government gets to strip your rights away, under the guise of " best for the people " and once those liberties are stripped from you, half will be saying " i told you so " and the others will be saying " but i didnt think it would happen ".
pendragon 11th October 2011, 18:03 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by liratheal
Oh for ****s sake.

It is not up to the government, or ISP's, to stop kids looking at porn, it's up to the goddamn parents.

What next, not allowing anyone not accredited as a reseller being able to buy components?

Children are the responsibility of the goddamn parents, not the government. Cameron should be worrying about bigger **** than little Johnny browsing some porn.

logged in just to give you +rep for this. /agreed
greypilgers 11th October 2011, 18:08 Quote
greypilgers 11th October 2011, 18:12 Quote
On another note- has there ever been so many posts so quickly about any other news item??? LoL...
3lusive 11th October 2011, 18:17 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by greypilgers
xat1GVnl8-k&ob=av2e

Fixed ;)
fodder 11th October 2011, 18:22 Quote
This is very sensible IMHO, although being designed by committee will balls up the application no doubt.

Remember, most parents have enough trouble printing from their pc or attaching something to an email. Do you really think they are going to out-smart a curious 12 year old boy in net access? Believe me, having been in a situation to try and stop one looking up videos of hardcore S&M, 'forced' sex, double anal.... at a local level is near impossible. He would get hold of a windows install disc and completely format the pc to overcome any software blocks, hard reset the router to wipe the firewall and parental controls too.

If this is set by default by the ISP, the parents are forced to consider what they are letting their children see in enabling these sights. Today it would appear 'out of site, out of mind' when it comes to parenting and this is a good way to do it.

Oh and for the people who don't think porn is damaging to the psychology and future life choices of pre-pubescent children, you numpties. Some of the most deviant adults are that way through abuse as a child or young teenager. Innocent curiosity is fine, anatomy is anatomy and we all have it, but the abuse of a partner (willing or not) should not be viewed at this age. They do not understand consent, why do you think an adult has to provide consent for those under 18?
3lusive 11th October 2011, 18:29 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by fodder

Oh and for the people who don't think porn is damaging to the psychology and future life choices of pre-pubescent children, you numpties. Some of the most deviant adults are that way through abuse as a child or young teenager. Innocent curiosity is fine, anatomy is anatomy and we all have it, but the abuse of a partner (willing or not) should not be viewed at this age. They do not understand consent, why do you think an adult has to provide consent for those under 18?

I suppose you're the kind of person that believes games like GTA make children into psycho mass-murders too...
Krazeh 11th October 2011, 19:04 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by fodder
Oh and for the people who don't think porn is damaging to the psychology and future life choices of pre-pubescent children, you numpties. Some of the most deviant adults are that way through abuse as a child or young teenager. Innocent curiosity is fine, anatomy is anatomy and we all have it, but the abuse of a partner (willing or not) should not be viewed at this age. They do not understand consent, why do you think an adult has to provide consent for those under 18?

Since when did we go from porn to abuse?
fdbh96 11th October 2011, 19:09 Quote
All I can say is...damn :(
rogerrabbits 11th October 2011, 19:13 Quote
I don't really care. If you want porn then opt in. If you dont, dont. I think if I had kids I would probably appreciate not having to sit with them every time they wanted to go on the internet. People saying its up to the parents to monitor their kids are not being very realistic. Most kids these days live on the net, chatting with their friends on facebook and MSN and stuff. It's just not feasable to watch what they are doing all the time and porn is all over the internet. Ideally they should just get one of those nanny software things, but most people are not tech savvy enough to use one of those, or even know that they exist.

The only thing that came to mind when I read about this, is why porn is the only thing people care about. Why not pictures of dead decapitated people, people blowing their brains out, bomb making, how to make your own drugs, etc... The internet is full of all kinds of crazy stuff, so its a bit weird seeing a big clampdown on boobs.
javaman 11th October 2011, 19:16 Quote
Probably be quite easy if all porn sites are forced to use .xxx
thehippoz 11th October 2011, 19:23 Quote
what has been seen.. cannot be unseen =p youtube is scary enough- you can find a bunch of fd up people posting their views on things.. problem is it's not vetted by the community so anything goes

you can get on your bullhorn so to speak and do silly little backflips on a swingbar.. you would have never known there was someone doing those backflips back in the 90's..

problem imo is kids are bombarded by media

we used to have to sneak playboys out of the basement when I was a kid.. my friends dad collected them xD nowdays a little horned up ******* can just go on his computer in his room and get the freakshow.. it'sd no wonder kids think they know everything nowdays.. they've literally seen it all
Woodspoon 11th October 2011, 19:35 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by fodder

Oh and for the people who don't think porn is damaging to the psychology and future life choices of pre-pubescent children, you numpties. Some of the most deviant adults are that way through abuse as a child or young teenager.

Yes and millions upon millions of teenagers who looked at porn grew up perfectly normal.
Then there's the church, how many time's do we hear on the news about people in the church abusing children yet these are the same people that are saying porn is bad and no one should look at it.
It seems that a lot of the time that it's the people who are told not to look at it are the ones who grow up with issues.

The actions of a few should not dictate the freedoms of the many.
MSHunter 11th October 2011, 19:41 Quote
There goes the last place where we had freedom of speech and expression. Roll out the VPNs. The main issue is not that they are doing this with porn, it is that once there is a system like this it will be used for other things es well. It is the start of a very slipper slope.

You can not exchange Freedom for Security you will end up losing both.
The_Beast 11th October 2011, 19:46 Quote
Kids have been looking at porn for ages now, why must we block it now
Juu 11th October 2011, 20:31 Quote
First porn
Then what next? 'Tasteless' websites? Piracy websites? I see this more as a gateway to end net neutrality.

Aslong as it is just a DNS block that isn't really a problem. But seriously.. leave the internet alone Cameron there are much more important things to tackle...

I have been waiting for an excuse to leave talktalk though..
vinfromuk 11th October 2011, 20:31 Quote
I know it scarcely seems credible but the Guardian have criticised the Tory Government without actually reading the report - again.

According to the BBC's more considered take on it, it's not that you'll have to call your ISP to ask someone to let you look at boobs, which is what most of the headlines imply. When you sign up for a new account with BT, Sky, TalkTalk or Virgin, there'll be a question on the sign up form - do you want us to block porn? Yes/No.

It's still a worrying move down the road to a nanny state internet, since once that level of technology is implemented at the ISP's end who knows where it'll lead, but for now it's a meaningless token gesture to keep the Daily Mail quiet.
GregTheRotter 11th October 2011, 20:35 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by liratheal
I don't even recall looking online for my first porn experience. I do believe I bought magazines from a newsagents.

Ha, I didn't want to do that at the age I was. :|
faceplant 11th October 2011, 20:35 Quote
Welcome to communist Britain.

Just like China & Austrailia, the gov are taking control....


If they make it, we will break it.
3lusive 11th October 2011, 20:38 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by vinfromuk
I know it scarcely seems credible but the Guardian have criticised the Tory Government without actually reading the report - again.

According to the BBC's more considered take on it, it's not that you'll have to call your ISP to ask someone to let you look at boobs, which is what most of the headlines imply. When you sign up for a new account with BT, Sky, TalkTalk or Virgin, there'll be a question on the sign up form - do you want us to block porn? Yes/No.

To be fair, The Guardian did post this later in the day.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2011/oct/11/david-cameron-porn-filter-isps?newsfeed=true
Quote:
Confusion arose after it was suggested that a new "filtered feed" system will be applied to everyone using internet connections provided by the biggest four ISPs – BT, TalkTalk, Virgin and Sky, which between them have 17.6 million of the 19.2 million broadband customers in the UK.

It was claimed that the prime minister would unveil the measures on Tuesday as he hosted a No 10 meeting with the Mothers' Union, which earlier this year produced a raft of proposals to shield children from sexualised imagery.

But ISPs moved quickly to insist that the provisions will only apply to people taking out completely new contracts, who will be offered the choice of a connection with "parental controls", or one without. "Customers will have to choose one or the other, but we won't be making either one the default," said a source at one of the ISPs. A spokesperson for TalkTalk said: "This is called 'active choice' rather than an opt-in or opt-out." People who change to a different tier of connection within the same service will not be obliged to change the setting. BT said that new customers will be offered a package of parental control systems, provided by the security company McAfee.
Yeoo 11th October 2011, 21:52 Quote
I find the websense service we have at work as a royal PITA, its always blocking what i want even when its legit. My issue is will i be able to email vigin say unblock this URL... prob not. So i think ill just opt in.... anyway if GF does a runner i may need it ;)
Sloth 11th October 2011, 22:09 Quote
From a parent's view I'd be worried about just what the filtering will actually stop. The "set it and forget it" mentality of an automated system could very easily lead parents to believe their child is shielded from pornography (their choice, totally different matter) when indeed the clever little brat has found a website (or sites) which offers sufficiently arousing material which manages to slip past the filter. A parent who is legitimately interested in completely filtering content which is innappropriate by their own standards will still have to monitor internet use themselves, thus making such a feature largely useless.

On the subject of subverting the filter, that will likely be a joke. Could it really stop people from simply uploading blocked content onto unblocked torrent sites and image boards? Doubtful, we all know how hard it is to actually police such a site without outright blocking it, and again we all know how hard it is to outright block a site which has legitimate and non-explicit uses in addition to its shadier and kinkier ones. The bigger the threat of such a system is the larger the community fighting against it will be.
PingCrosby 11th October 2011, 22:42 Quote
So's I says to this bird, "look love, I'm a man of few words, you and me, how about it? " she looks at me and says "your place or mine? ". I say, " well if your gonna make a big conversation out of it you can ##### off ".
Blademrk 11th October 2011, 23:42 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by yeoo
My issue is will i be able to email vigin say unblock this URL...
Ironically, you'd be lucky to even get on their website
Tynecider 12th October 2011, 00:43 Quote
Well at least our kids in future might have some invention when it comes to grumble.
They will have to revert to 'porn stash' again, A fistfull of paper grumble hidden under the matress.

I remeber my mother finding my Hustler tsash when I was 14, She gave me a proper bollocking and chucked them in the bin.......next day I found them back in my stash spot.......My DAD put them back....LMAO....dirty old git.
Anfield 12th October 2011, 00:48 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by wuyanxu
so how long does it take for a parent to learn how to set OpenDNS?? or just set URL filters on the router?

You can't rely on parents having any sort of pc knowledge, I used to work for tech support at a large peripherals manufacturer, I know it sounds hard to believe but there are people out there that can't tell a ps/2 connector from a usb one and if it comes to networking they know even less, hell there are people that don't know that they will need a internet connection for a internet radio.
It is the unfortunate reality that in most households the kids are the ones who know something about pcs and not the parents so any security measurement taken locally is ineffective as the kids will find a way around it faster than the parents can install it.

In short, there is no other way to prevent kids from accessing porn online than only making the use of internet enable devices possible under supervision by a human.
Kiytan 12th October 2011, 01:28 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anfield
You can't rely on parents having any sort of pc knowledge

That, to my mind, is basically the root of the problem.


You will not stop a child that wants to looking at porn, no generation has managed that.

What you want to do is stop young children that are not ready to be exposed to porn accidentally stumbling upon it, any half-decent net nanny program will do that.

What actually needs to happen is parents need to be better educated on how the net works, and how to (really quite easily) protect their child from stumbling on bad sites. Cameron wants to push his big society crap,so have libraries, schools e.t.c host a "how to keep your kids safe on the net" classes and make it mandatory for ISPs to make some sort of net-nanny software available for free.

Free software from ISPs costs very little.
Schools need to teach IT ergo must have someone to explain this sort of thing to parents, hell just stick it as some sort of extra part of the first parents evening.
adidan 12th October 2011, 08:01 Quote
One thing that hasn't been mentioned, what about all the poor dads out there? How on earth are they going to persuade their wife or GF that they really shouldn't opt in to the blocking? :)
Edwards 12th October 2011, 08:04 Quote
Putting aside the right/wrong argument for this decision, is this not going to be impossible to actually enforce? Are the ISPs going to club together to create an 'anti-pron' team, scouring the internet for any traces of adult content on the internet and hitting it with the filter hammer? If so, are they hiring?

Seriously though, I know that they have been touting the idea of having a .xxx domain for adult sites, which would make it very easy to enforce, for the websites that actually use the domain. How will they deal with other websites? Filter one website, three more will pop up, in the same way as torrent websites. What about Google image searches with safesearch off? What about Torrents/rapidshare/megaupload not to mention proxies.

Massive waste of time and money, that will just serve to teach kids how to get around these sorts of security measures. I'm sure if this were introduced tomorrow, my 16 YO brother would have researched and gotten proficient with proxies by the end of the week (though I appreciate it won't apply to me as I'm an existing customer).

Seems like a massive waste of time and money.
Edwards 12th October 2011, 08:08 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by pendragon
logged in just to give you +rep for this. /agreed

Purely out of curiousity, you're not the Pendragon at Riot, are you?
crazy95 12th October 2011, 09:21 Quote
this is so stupid.
1st its up to the parents to choose if they dont want there children watching it.
2nd if everyone keeps going on about how its "naughty" to watch it kids will go look at it just because they want to be naughty
3rd why cant we ban crazed minorities literally controlling the whole planet. if we keep giving them what they want they will keep asking for more. which will most likely end up in WW3

also im 16 and they make it sound like i watch porn atleast every week. but in reality i watch it once every few months
Tsung 12th October 2011, 10:15 Quote
The arguments saying parents are technically incompetent to block / monitor their children's activity on the internet really annoy me. It's called parenting, if you don't know how to block / monitor inappropriate material then you should a. pay someone who can set it up for you, b. buy software that will do it and most important of all make sure the child cannot use the internet in a "private" location (aka. their bedroom).

Children under the age of 13 should not even be on the internet without parent/guardian supervision. It's the equivalent of leaving you child alone in a strange city and hoping they will be "all right". Parents need to take an interest in their children, engage with them and stop using the computer / internet as a babysitting device to keep the kids quiet.
Dinah 12th October 2011, 12:27 Quote
That guardian story is UTTER RUBBISH... you will not have to opt in to visit adult sites. The ISPs are only flagging up the parental control software they use and asking people if they want to activate this security. The person does not have to activate it and dont have to say why for pitys sake.. If someone does want to use it that person will personally block the sites they don't want their children visiting..
Anfield 12th October 2011, 14:34 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tsung
most important of all make sure the child cannot use the internet in a "private" location (aka. their bedroom).

QFT, kids really shouldn't have pc and tv in there rooms.

the only pcs kids should be allowed to use are ones in exposed locations where they can't hide anything.
3lusive 12th October 2011, 14:41 Quote
LennyRhys 12th October 2011, 15:46 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by 3lusive
Porn is good for society

I lol'd at this, and subsequently read the article, only to find that it is littered with just the sort of BS I expected to see.
Quote:
Likewise, porn keeps many marriages going

This is from the article, but also Greg's response on the first page in which he claimed that porn hasn't left him scarred. The unpleaseant truth is that porn can and does destroy people's relationships and people's lives; it certainly doesn't keep marriages going, lol - just ask a marriage counsellor or family therapist and they will tell you of the damage porn can do.

The article also fails to mention that internet porn in particular is dangerously addictive (which has been concretely proven) and, like any other addiction, is destructive.
Quote:
There is a lot of sexual desire out there that needs an outlet.

This is typical liberal thinking - "sexual desire needs to be acted upon, not suppressed."

Anyways, I totally agree that the parents should take the responsibility of controling what their kids see. To say that "parents aren't tech-savvy" is a cop-out and an invalid excuse: if you truly love your children, you will go to whatever lengths necessary to protect them from something you think can be extremely harmful to them.
StingLikeABee 12th October 2011, 15:53 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by LennyRhys
Anyways, I totally agree that the parents should take the responsibility of controling what their kids see. To say that "parents aren't tech-savvy" is a cop-out and an invalid excuse: if you truly love your children, you will go to whatever lengths necessary to protect them from something you think can be extremely harmful to them.

So therefore, most parents would welcome this useful tool then right?
Krazeh 12th October 2011, 15:54 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by LennyRhys
This is from the article, but also Greg's response on the first page in which he claimed that porn hasn't left him scarred. The unpleaseant truth is that porn can and does destroy people's relationships and people's lives; it certainly doesn't keep marriages going, lol - just ask a marriage counsellor or family therapist and they will tell you of the damage porn can do.

Is it not possible that porn can do both depending on the situation?
Quote:
Originally Posted by LennyRhys
This is typical liberal thinking - "sexual desire needs to be acted upon, not suppressed."

Is that a problem? Are we wanting to live in a society where sexual desires which don't cause harm to or take advantage of others are suppressed?
pendragon 12th October 2011, 18:49 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Edwards
Purely out of curiousity, you're not the Pendragon at Riot, are you?

http://www.altpress.com/specials/blog/scott/uploaded_images/starwarscap33ff1-730837.jpg

I'm not the Pendragon you are looking for. Move along. Move along.
LennyRhys 12th October 2011, 19:55 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by StingLikeABee
So therefore, most parents would welcome this useful tool then right?

Some parents will - I personally see no problem with it, and my wife is all for it. On the contrary, I don't for a second think that this should be considered a substitute for proper parenting.
Quote:
Is it not possible that porn can do both depending on the situation?

The addictiveness of porn doesn't depend on the situation, nor does the effect it has on viewers. Porn has been shown to damage individuals and damage relationships... the claim that it can somehow assist a relationship is entirely fallacious. You will never see an article like this being written by a counsellor or therapist who has seen the damage that porn can do in relationships and (particularly) in children.
Quote:
Is that a problem? Are we wanting to live in a society where sexual desires which don't cause harm to or take advantage of others are suppressed?

It's not the sexual desires themselves that cause harm; it's the outworking of these desires that can cause harm. Sexual desire should (ideally) operate under higher values of love, self-control, fidelity and respect... but unfotrunately we belong to a society which regards sex as a purely mechanistic outlet for sexual desire, a thing that you do simply to scratch an itch.

Admittedly the question "is porn good or bad for society" should be dealt with in a separate thread; I was merely responding to the article posted by elusive.
Nexxo 12th October 2011, 20:52 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by LennyRhys
This is from the article, but also Greg's response on the first page in which he claimed that porn hasn't left him scarred. The unpleaseant truth is that porn can and does destroy people's relationships and people's lives; it certainly doesn't keep marriages going, lol - just ask a marriage counsellor or family therapist and they will tell you of the damage porn can do.
So can alcohol. So can gambling. So can computer games, on-line social networks and even cheesecake. As always: adults only/parental supervision required; enjoy responsibly.
Quote:
Originally Posted by LennyRhys
The article also fails to mention that internet porn in particular is dangerously addictive (which has been concretely proven) and, like any other addiction, is destructive.
No, porn can be addictive. It is all about the function it serves.
Quote:
Originally Posted by LennyRhys
This is typical liberal thinking - "sexual desire needs to be acted upon, not suppressed."
As opposed to repressed? As an immigrant coming from a sexually liberal country like the Netherlands, which has the lowest teen pregnancy rates in Europe, coming to a sexually repressed country like the UK which has the highest, I see how well that is working out.

I agree that sexual desire does not need to be acted upon in an uncontrolled manner, but neither can it be denied. It is a part of our biological drives, like eating, drinking, sleeping, the urge to feel safe, in control, loved, part of a group. So it needs to be managed in a responsible manner.
Quote:
Originally Posted by LennyRhys
The addictiveness of porn doesn't depend on the situation, nor does the effect it has on viewers. Porn has been shown to damage individuals and damage relationships... the claim that it can somehow assist a relationship is entirely fallacious. You will never see an article like this being written by a counsellor or therapist who has seen the damage that porn can do in relationships and (particularly) in children.
Like with alcohol, it depends on its function. People are attracted to pornography for different reasons. Some couples use pornography for arousal and inspiration; some use it to gratify a sexual need. It is a mood altering substance, so to speak. Addiction is determined by how large that alteration of mood is, and how much its pursuit affects other important functional life activities and needs.

It also depends on the type of pornography. In alcohol there is a good quality wine, and there is cheap hooch. In pornography there is violent and degrading pornography and there is non-violent, 'egalitarian' erotica (i.e. material depicting consensual non-aggressive sexual acts). Research shows that erotica has no negative effects. But even with regards violent and degrading pornography not all researchers agree that it inevitably produces antisocial effects.
Quote:
Originally Posted by LennyRhys
It's not the sexual desires themselves that cause harm; it's the outworking of these desires that can cause harm. Sexual desire should (ideally) operate under higher values of love, self-control, fidelity and respect... but unfotrunately we belong to a society which regards sex as a purely mechanistic outlet for sexual desire, a thing that you do simply to scratch an itch.
As long as the participants both make an informed decision that that is what they are doing, there is no problem with that.

My problem with pornography is that there is often a lack of professional boundaries in the industry. But this is found much more in the industry that produces violent and degrading porn, than in the industry that produces erotica (where it still occurs, but to the same extent as in e.g. fashion photography. I know a few models. I could tell you stories).

My main problem is that although society has a big problem with showing sex: the act of one, two or more people enjoying themselves, it has very little problem with showing violence: the act of people inflicting suffering and damage on each other. We wouldn't let children watch porn. We will let them watch films depicting acts of violence. We wouldn't want them to play doctor, but we will let them play soldiers. In the US, parents who would get an anaphylactic shock at the thought of their children being told what a uterus is and where the cock actually goes, have no problem with taking them to the shooting range.

This kind of gives a mixed message to those exposed to violent and degrading porn. How is imagery of violence and degradation of other people OK, but as soon as there is a nipple in the shot, it isn't? It's OK to depict soldiers shooting people, but showing them raping the victim is not? What's the difference, might the violent porn consumer argue? And they would have a point.

The way to deal with porn is not to ban it, but to appropriate it; bring it into the fold of the positive, friendly and mutually enjoyable ways in which people socialise and relate to each other. Like alcohol should be enjoyed over a good dinner with friends, and not as a binge-fest in a seedy pub (with bar brawl to follow), the message to children should be that sex is a consensual, non-violent, egalitarian and enjoyable way in which adults relate to each other --and that it is enjoyed responsibly.
DC74 12th October 2011, 22:22 Quote
`Earlier this year, David Cameron wrote to the Mother's Union chief executive, Reg Bailey'

A male chief exec of the Mother's Union? wow thats equal oportunities for ya.

Shame the same choice isn't going to be given to the populace. If you want to look at porn you should be able to, as far as i'm concerned there's enough parental control stuff out there that anyone with half a brain can use.

Trouble is, there's too many doo gooder types with the ear of a middle England Tory MP, that whinge as much as possible, then the nanny state acts rashly throwing up some hastily arranged knee jerk legislation, which takes years to be sorted out properly as its often interpreted incorrectly.
erratum1 13th October 2011, 06:42 Quote
I think this has to happen and it's not a big deal to just simply opt in if you view such material.

You can stumble across all sorts on the net and they all give 'high definition samples', I wouldn't let kids anywhere near a pc on there own to be honest.
LennyRhys 13th October 2011, 09:30 Quote
@ Nexxo - you make some good points, but stop playing semantics: porn IS addictive, even though not everybody who views it becomes addicted to it... much the same as alcohol IS addictive, but not every drinker is an alcoholic. Moreover, an alcoholic cannot "enjoy responsibly" as you suggest, so to say that porn is for adults and should be enjoyed responsibly isn't quite addressing the issue: many people cannot (or should not) look at porn because of the damage it has done in their lives.

I still fundamentally disagree that "repressing sexual desire" is equal to "denial" as you say, because we are not always in a position where we can (freely) act on our sexual desire. Sexual desire needs to be kept in check and controlled, which much of the time means it shouldn't be acted on (even responsibly). People who regularly view porn will claim adamantly that they are in complete control of their sexual desire, but the reality is that they aren't controlling their sexual desire as much as it is controlling them, and this has been proven.

As for porn being like a fine wine - nonsense! Wine in moderation nourishes the body; porn in any amount objectifies women and dehumanises sex, and has been shown to lead to emotional impairment (in both men and women) and a distorted view of relationships particularly in men.
Nexxo 13th October 2011, 19:00 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by LennyRhys
@ Nexxo - you make some good points, but stop playing semantics: porn IS addictive, even though not everybody who views it becomes addicted to it... much the same as alcohol IS addictive, but not every drinker is an alcoholic. Moreover, an alcoholic cannot "enjoy responsibly" as you suggest, so to say that porn is for adults and should be enjoyed responsibly isn't quite addressing the issue: many people cannot (or should not) look at porn because of the damage it has done in their lives.

Defining terms is not semantics; it is the first step in informed debate. To say that something IS addictive implies that this is always the case. Clearly alcohol is not by definition addictive as plenty of people drink alcohol without developing a dependence on it. Porn is not by definition addictive as plenty of people have been exposed to porn and have not developed a dependence on, or even an interest in it (else those unenviable police officers who as part of their job have to watch child porn material for submission as evidence for prosecution would be in some dire trouble!).
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Originally Posted by LennyRhys
@I still fundamentally disagree that "repressing sexual desire" is equal to "denial" as you say, because we are not always in a position where we can (freely) act on our sexual desire. Sexual desire needs to be kept in check and controlled, which much of the time means it shouldn't be acted on (even responsibly). People who regularly view porn will claim adamantly that they are in complete control of their sexual desire, but the reality is that they aren't controlling their sexual desire as much as it is controlling them, and this has been proven.
The way I understood it, we both agreed that sexual desire needs to be expressed responsibly, which does indeed mean that there is a time and a place where you do it, and a time and a place where you don't. To "act responsibly" implies what you do as well as what you refrain from doing.

And no, that people who watch porn are not in control of their sexual desire has not been proven, as far as I know. But I'm prepared to be proved wrong with a link.
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Originally Posted by LennyRhys
As for porn being like a fine wine - nonsense! Wine in moderation nourishes the body; porn in any amount objectifies women and dehumanises sex, and has been shown to lead to emotional impairment (in both men and women) and a distorted view of relationships particularly in men.
Yeah, again: there's violent and degrading porn and there is erotica. Or do you think we should torch all those paintings by Rubens or Renoir? Or Albert Moore's A Bathing Place? Sir Lawrence Alma Tadema's A Sculptor's Model? Klimt's Adam and Eve? And let's not stop at paintings; there's books to burn! There's D.H. Lawrence's Lady Chatterly's Lover; Aubrey Beardsley's Under the Hill, and even the Bible. Hey, it has some pretty racy content if you ask me:

"Thy two breasts are like two young roes that are twins, which feed among the lilies." (Song of Solomon, 4:5)

The picture is a bit more nuanced than you think. Repeating yourself and dismissing the exact definition of terms as semantics does not change that.
adidan 13th October 2011, 20:59 Quote
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Originally Posted by LennyRhys
porn in any amount objectifies women and dehumanises sex, and has been shown to lead to emotional impairment (in both men and women) and a distorted view of relationships particularly in men.
Emotional impairment? Interesting, could you link me to some studies please?
Ayrto 13th October 2011, 22:20 Quote
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Originally Posted by Nexxo
So can alcohol. So can gambling. So can computer games, on-line social networks and even cheesecake. As always: adults only/parental supervision required; enjoy responsibly.


No, porn can be addictive. It is all about the function it serves.


As opposed to repressed? As an immigrant coming from a sexually liberal country like the Netherlands, which has the lowest teen pregnancy rates in Europe, coming to a sexually repressed country like the UK which has the highest, I see how well that is working out.

I agree that sexual desire does not need to be acted upon in an uncontrolled manner, but neither can it be denied. It is a part of our biological drives, like eating, drinking, sleeping, the urge to feel safe, in control, loved, part of a group. So it needs to be managed in a responsible manner.


Like with alcohol, it depends on its function. People are attracted to pornography for different reasons. Some couples use pornography for arousal and inspiration; some use it to gratify a sexual need. It is a mood altering substance, so to speak. Addiction is determined by how large that alteration of mood is, and how much its pursuit affects other important functional life activities and needs.

It also depends on the type of pornography. In alcohol there is a good quality wine, and there is cheap hooch. In pornography there is violent and degrading pornography and there is non-violent, 'egalitarian' erotica (i.e. material depicting consensual non-aggressive sexual acts). Research shows that erotica has no negative effects. But even with regards violent and degrading pornography not all researchers agree that it inevitably produces antisocial effects.


As long as the participants both make an informed decision that that is what they are doing, there is no problem with that.

My problem with pornography is that there is often a lack of professional boundaries in the industry. But this is found much more in the industry that produces violent and degrading porn, than in the industry that produces erotica (where it still occurs, but to the same extent as in e.g. fashion photography. I know a few models. I could tell you stories).

My main problem is that although society has a big problem with showing sex: the act of one, two or more people enjoying themselves, it has very little problem with showing violence: the act of people inflicting suffering and damage on each other. We wouldn't let children watch porn. We will let them watch films depicting acts of violence. We wouldn't want them to play doctor, but we will let them play soldiers. In the US, parents who would get an anaphylactic shock at the thought of their children being told what a uterus is and where the cock actually goes, have no problem with taking them to the shooting range.

This kind of gives a mixed message to those exposed to violent and degrading porn. How is imagery of violence and degradation of other people OK, but as soon as there is a nipple in the shot, it isn't? It's OK to depict soldiers shooting people, but showing them raping the victim is not? What's the difference, might the violent porn consumer argue? And they would have a point.

The way to deal with porn is not to ban it, but to appropriate it; bring it into the fold of the positive, friendly and mutually enjoyable ways in which people socialise and relate to each other. Like alcohol should be enjoyed over a good dinner with friends, and not as a binge-fest in a seedy pub (with bar brawl to follow), the message to children should be that sex is a consensual, non-violent, egalitarian and enjoyable way in which adults relate to each other --and that it is enjoyed responsibly.


Nexxo, I think it's pretty pointless arguing with angry repressive people like this. They don't accept that sexual desire and servicing of said desire are a healthy part of the human condition. They're often quite misanthropic sorts , who have their own guilt issues with sex and then enjoy trying to make other people feel ashamed or guilty too, about simply being a normal human being. We should blame their parents, for bringing them up with distorted views !

From the earliest cave drawings, that celebrated fertility and the female form, to the Kama Sutra, it's nothing new. Apart from castrating every male, a desire to seek out visual representations of this stuff, in all forms will always exist, from maturity onwards. Prudish(often very hypocritical) people trying to cast shame on others are the real obscenity. There are too many in the UK.
Krazeh 13th October 2011, 22:36 Quote
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Originally Posted by LennyRhys
I still fundamentally disagree that "repressing sexual desire" is equal to "denial" as you say, because we are not always in a position where we can (freely) act on our sexual desire. Sexual desire needs to be kept in check and controlled, which much of the time means it shouldn't be acted on (even responsibly).

I'm intrigued. Why exactly should sexual desires not be acted upon if it's possible to do so responsibly? And tbh keeping them in check and controlled to the point of not acting on them most of the time sounds an awful lot like denial to me.
LennyRhys 13th October 2011, 23:26 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexxo
Defining terms is not semantics; it is the first step in informed debate. To say that something IS addictive implies that this is always the case. Clearly alcohol is not by definition addictive as plenty of people drink alcohol without developing a dependence on it. Porn is not by definition addictive as plenty of people have been exposed to porn and have not developed a dependence on, or even an interest in it (else those unenviable police officers who as part of their job have to watch child porn material for submission as evidence for prosecution would be in some dire trouble!).

It's nitpicking IMO, but fair enough. :)
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The way I understood it, we both agreed that sexual desire needs to be expressed responsibly

We are talking at cross purposes then - I am of the mind that sexual desire doesn't "always" need to be expressed, responsibly or otherwise. I could express my sexual desire responsibly right now by having sex with my wife... but I'm quite happy not to. Am I being repressive/denying myself by making that choice? It's more complicated than a simple "yes, you are," as I'm sure you'll agree.
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And no, that people who watch porn are not in control of their sexual desire has not been proven, as far as I know. But I'm prepared to be proved wrong with a link.

It's not about proving anything; it's about keeping an open mind (more on that later, as per other responses to my post). I read this article recently which I found very insightful, and all my quotes are taken from here. As I say, nothing is concretely proven (nor can it be), but the arguments in favour of the damaging nature of porn are quite compelling IMO.

Sexual desire becoming a controlling factor:

"The problem with pornography begins when, instead of being a temporary stop on the way to full sexual relations, it becomes a full-time place of residence." Morgan's experience of counselling men addicted to porn has convinced him that "the more time you spend in this fantasy world, the more difficult it becomes to make the transition to reality. Just like drugs, pornography provides a quick fix, a masturbatory universe people can get stuck in. This can result in their not being able to involve anyone else." (Ed Marriott citing David Morgan, Consultant Clinical Psychologist & Psychoanalyst @ Portman Clinic, London)

Porn dehumanises sex:

"This dehumanising aspect is an important part of pornography. It dehumanises the other person, the relationship, and any intimacy." (Estela Welldon, author)

"It got to the point where I considered having sex the way most people consider getting a hamburger. But when you try to give it up - that's when you realise how addictive it is, both for consumers and performers. It's a class A drug, and it's hell coming off it." (Kelly Cooke, porn actress)

Porn can cause (I'm learning) emotional and relational impairment:

Lost in a world of pornographic fantasy, men can become less inclined, as well as increasingly less able, to form lasting relationships. In part, this is due to the underlying message of pornography. Ray Wyre, a specialist in sexual crime, says pornography "encourages transience, experimentation and moving between partners". Morgan goes further: "Pornography does damage," he says, "because it encourages people to make their home in shallow relationships." (Ed Marriott citing Ray Wyre and David Morgan)

There are obviously countless other articles and studies (far too many to cite here) but I have included these simply to show that there are strong arguments from authoritative sources on the damage that porn can cause even outwith addiction.
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and even the Bible. Hey, it has some pretty racy content if you ask me

Totally agree, but it's about as far from porn as you can get - the Song of Solomon is a love poem about husband and wife honouring each other (and honouring God) with their bodies; there's nothing smutty or lustful about it. Pornography (including erotica) centres on lust and self-gratification, which are the antithesis of the Bible's portrayal of a loving sexual union between husband and wife.

Anyway, keeping religion out (lest I incite a riot), I also agree that the bigger picture is extremely nuanced, which is why there are so many different stances on the issue. I'm not trying to say that porn is wrong per se (I quietly subscribe to my own stance on that), but I am a firm believer that it can be very destructive and causes a lot more harm than people realise or are prepared to accept - whether through lack of proof, as per this thread, or sheer bloody-mindedness. :)
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Originally Posted by Ayrto
Nexxo, I think it's pretty pointless arguing with angry repressive people like this.

Saying anything negative about porn on an internet forum is bound to put me at odds with the vast majority of members - so be it. As I hope I have demonstrated in this post, I'm not emotionally burdened to pontificate vacuously about my opinions; my opinions have been formed over many years of experience with other people, and citations from psychoanalysts, psychologists, authors and (even) porn stars corroborate what I'm saying.
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Prudish(often very hypocritical) people trying to cast shame on others are the real obscenity. There are too many in the UK.

Agree and disagree - prudes are annoying and hypocritical, but not all people who oppose porn are prudes (oh, it's generalisation again: retract those spines!); many people oppose porn because they know only too well the damage that it can cause. Look at David Morgan, who counsels men whose lives have been marred and sometimes destroyed by porn, and all the other therapists and counsellors who try to patch broken relationships. They ain't prudes. :)

As for obscenity - man buggered by pig, or two girls one cup... that's obscene (and there's far worse).
Sloth 14th October 2011, 00:13 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ayrto
Nexxo, I think it's pretty pointless arguing with angry repressive people like this. They don't accept that sexual desire and servicing of said desire are a healthy part of the human condition. They're often quite misanthropic sorts , who have their own guilt issues with sex and then enjoy trying to make other people feel ashamed or guilty too, about simply being a normal human being. We should blame their parents, for bringing them up with distorted views !

From the earliest cave drawings, that celebrated fertility and the female form, to the Kama Sutra, it's nothing new. Apart from castrating every male, a desire to seek out visual representations of this stuff, in all forms will always exist, from maturity onwards. Prudish(often very hypocritical) people trying to cast shame on others are the real obscenity. There are too many in the UK.
So when in doubt make personal attacks? Please consider the hypocrisy of this: Your own post is an attempt to shame LennyRhys and any who share a similar mindset.

In many ways I can see where he's coming from, albiet not in entirety.
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Originally Posted by LennyRhys
This is typical liberal thinking - "sexual desire needs to be acted upon, not suppressed."
This comment in particular struck me as interesting. Specifically the way it's worded, there's no middle ground: you must either choose to act or suppress. This indeed seems to be the mentality that many have, control is equated to denial and that assumed denial is percieved as a threat to one's freedom to act. This threat is answered by simply doing the opposite: embracing action in all cases.

It's seen with all desires: a suggestion of restraint is met with "you can't tell me what I can and can't do". Even in situations where the risks of not practicing restraint are well documented and understood people will continue to exercise their right to do as they please. Obesity (poor diet), liver failure (excessive alcohol consumption), heart disease (more dietary), cancer of various sorts (various causes), preventable head injuries (wear your helmets, kids!), there are an infinite number of side effects relating to an infinite number of desires and choices. LennyRhys's complaint seems to be more with this mentality of spiting any restraint rather than with acting at all. No one here's arguing for abstinence and whether or not someone likes porn is more a matter of opinion.
LennyRhys 14th October 2011, 00:23 Quote
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LennyRhys's complaint seems to be more with this mentality of spiting any restraint rather than with acting at all. No one here's arguing for abstinence.

I should have hired you to write my post :D This is pretty much what I'm saying, in a nutshell.

To argue for complete abstinence from pornography the debate would become about morality, and that certianly isn't my intention (I'm not quite that stupid :D ). Many people would benefit from being a little more open-minded about the potential dangers of porn without seeing it as the work of the devil, or something similar. ;)
Ayrto 14th October 2011, 01:18 Quote
Two points

1. Already by law, porn has to be at all stages consensual, producers , actors , consumers. Therefore quite frankly, it's nobodies business but the adults involved, in all those stages. It's not for some smug person to second guess someone's motivations as though only they possess clarity of mind and the necessary objectivity.

2. This 'destroyed people' argument is built on supposition. Multiple factors or variables go in making an individual and their unique motivations, desires. People who have problems with porn , may well have had worse problems with something else in a porn free environment ; OCD, depression, self harm, violence, becoming a suicide bomber etc. , whatever .

Until strict controls are put in place to create a Truman show like environment, in which identical individuals can be monitored (which obv you can't) the whole proposition that, "porn alone did this to Mr or Mrs X" is purely supposition (or conjecture). And conjecture, however seemingly well founded, is not a good enough basis for passing law on.
1ad7 14th October 2011, 06:20 Quote
Your all missing the real question. Is it the governments job to regulate morality? I had this same problem a few years ago, the patriot act is a perfect example. I agreed terrorist were a very serious threat and the way they wanted to use the new rules seemed reasonable. However a government agency should not be able to circumvent the core of government with a single piece of legislation. The patriot act allowed warrants with no name that judges were forced to sign. Circumventing checks and balances in one fell swoop, it lays the ground work for future issues.

The UK government is currently with this legislation forcing private companies to change their services and pricing, as well as forcing its citizens to opt in to freedom of information, on what legal basis?

The conversation should be, is this even legal?
God I hope not I don't know the UK government well enough to know for sure.
Nexxo 14th October 2011, 08:21 Quote
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Originally Posted by LennyRhys
We are talking at cross purposes then - I am of the mind that sexual desire doesn't "always" need to be expressed, responsibly or otherwise. I could express my sexual desire responsibly right now by having sex with my wife... but I'm quite happy not to. Am I being repressive/denying myself by making that choice? It's more complicated than a simple "yes, you are," as I'm sure you'll agree.
As I said before, We already agree on this point.
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Originally Posted by LennyRhys
It's not about proving anything; it's about keeping an open mind (more on that later, as per other responses to my post). I read this article recently which I found very insightful, and all my quotes are taken from here. As I say, nothing is concretely proven (nor can it be), but the arguments in favour of the damaging nature of porn are quite compelling IMO.
But that is not how you argue your points. You state them as facts. Porn IS always bad; porn IS addictive etc. I'm sure that the article makes some compelling points, but it is, in the end, called an opinion piece for a reason (and frankly, the writer really should stay away from pseudo-psychology).
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Originally Posted by LennyRhys
Sexual desire becoming a controlling factor:

"The problem with pornography begins when, instead of being a temporary stop on the way to full sexual relations, it becomes a full-time place of residence." Morgan's experience of counselling men addicted to porn has convinced him that "the more time you spend in this fantasy world, the more difficult it becomes to make the transition to reality. Just like drugs, pornography provides a quick fix, a masturbatory universe people can get stuck in. This can result in their not being able to involve anyone else." (Ed Marriott citing David Morgan, Consultant Clinical Psychologist & Psychoanalyst @ Portman Clinic, London)

Porn dehumanises sex:

"This dehumanising aspect is an important part of pornography. It dehumanises the other person, the relationship, and any intimacy." (Estela Welldon, author)

"It got to the point where I considered having sex the way most people consider getting a hamburger. But when you try to give it up - that's when you realise how addictive it is, both for consumers and performers. It's a class A drug, and it's hell coming off it." (Kelly Cooke, porn actress)

Porn can cause (I'm learning) emotional and relational impairment:

Lost in a world of pornographic fantasy, men can become less inclined, as well as increasingly less able, to form lasting relationships. In part, this is due to the underlying message of pornography. Ray Wyre, a specialist in sexual crime, says pornography "encourages transience, experimentation and moving between partners". Morgan goes further: "Pornography does damage," he says, "because it encourages people to make their home in shallow relationships." (Ed Marriott citing Ray Wyre and David Morgan)

There are obviously countless other articles and studies (far too many to cite here) but I have included these simply to show that there are strong arguments from authoritative sources on the damage that porn can cause even outwith addiction.
I totally agree: it CAN do all those things --but it does not necessarily DO. Like alcoholism says more about the alcoholic then about alcohol, porn addiction says more about the addict than about porn. And I would be happier if "porn" had been better defined, and cultural norms had been taken into account. One man's harmless image is another man's smut. Ask the Taliban.
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Originally Posted by LennyRhys
Totally agree, but it's about as far from porn as you can get - the Song of Solomon is a love poem about husband and wife honouring each other (and honouring God) with their bodies; there's nothing smutty or lustful about it. Pornography (including erotica) centres on lust and self-gratification, which are the antithesis of the Bible's portrayal of a loving sexual union between husband and wife.
Now who is nitpicking! I disagree. By your definition, an image/film of a husband and wife deeply in love having consensual sex is not porn, then? The IMO most appropriate and meaningful sex scene in film history, of a couple emptionally and physically reconnecting after the grief of losing their child (in Don't Look Now) is no different from the Song of Solomon, but your definition would regard it as porn.

You would ban the paintings I mentioned before? Burn those books? Destroy ancient Greek statues because they show a bit too much breast and penis for your particular cultural sensitivities? How is that different from the Taliban blowing up statues of Buddha?
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Originally Posted by LennyRhys
Anyway, keeping religion out (lest I incite a riot), I also agree that the bigger picture is extremely nuanced, which is why there are so many different stances on the issue. I'm not trying to say that porn is wrong per se (I quietly subscribe to my own stance on that), but I am a firm believer that it can be very destructive and causes a lot more harm than people realise or are prepared to accept - whether through lack of proof, as per this thread, or sheer bloody-mindedness. :)
Proof is kind of important. We cannot change the way people are allowed to live just because it feels right to us. The road to Hell is paved with such good intentions.
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Originally Posted by LennyRhys
Saying anything negative about porn on an internet forum is bound to put me at odds with the vast majority of members - so be it. As I hope I have demonstrated in this post, I'm not emotionally burdened to pontificate vacuously about my opinions; my opinions have been formed over many years of experience with other people, and citations from psychoanalysts, psychologists, authors and (even) porn stars corroborate what I'm saying.
Still, this clinical psychologist who has worked with the odd prostitute and lap dancer before finds it gratifying to see that you have qualified your arguments a bit. It may seem like nitpicking to you, but the scientific approach --which you engage in as soon as you state facts-- always has to be rigorous.
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Originally Posted by LennyRhys
Agree and disagree - prudes are annoying and hypocritical, but not all people who oppose porn are prudes (oh, it's generalisation again: retract those spines!); many people oppose porn because they know only too well the damage that it can cause. Look at David Morgan, who counsels men whose lives have been marred and sometimes destroyed by porn, and all the other therapists and counsellors who try to patch broken relationships. They ain't prudes. :)
No, but perhaps they are looking for a convenient externalised scapegoat. I would argue that there were reasons --within the men, or their marriages-- in the first place that made them seek fulfilment of their needs in porn. But just as Ted Bundy empathically stated that he was not a helpless victim of porn, but an autonomous adult responsible for his own actions, so are those men. Morgan needs to recognise when he is starting to collude with the dynamic.
LennyRhys 14th October 2011, 11:37 Quote
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Originally Posted by Ayrto
Two points

1. Already by law, porn has to be at all stages consensual, producers , actors , consumers. Therefore quite frankly, it's nobodies business but the adults involved, in all those stages. It's not for some smug person to second guess someone's motivations as though only they possess clarity of mind and the necessary objectivity.

Nobody is second guessing anything, and what has law got to do with it? I'm not arguing for porn to be banned, or anything of the sort.
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2. This 'destroyed people' argument is built on supposition. Multiple factors or variables go in making an individual and their unique motivations, desires. People who have problems with porn , may well have had worse problems with something else in a porn free environment ; OCD, depression, self harm, violence, becoming a suicide bomber etc. , whatever.

Until strict controls are put in place to create a Truman show like environment, in which identical individuals can be monitored (which obv you can't) the whole proposition that, "porn alone did this to Mr or Mrs X" is purely supposition (or conjecture). And conjecture, however seemingly well founded, is not a good enough basis for passing law on.

This is a strawman argument from obfuscation - there is plenty evidence that porn is responsible for desensitisation; it’s a simple case of putting two and two together. Nobody denies that other existing problems may exacerbate a porn (or any other) habit, like a propensity to addictive behaviour (common in OCD sufferers and people with anxiety disorder) or loneliness etc., but these problems by themselves do not bring about the objectification, dehumanisation and desensitisation that porn has been shown to cause.

As for passing law... like I said, I'm not arguing that any laws should be passed; all I’m saying is that people could be (really, could they?) a little more open-minded regarding the detrimental effects porn can have on the viewer.
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Originally Posted by Nexxo
But that is not how you argue your points. You state them as facts. Porn IS always bad; porn IS addictive etc. I'm sure that the article makes some compelling points, but it is, in the end, called an opinion piece for a reason (and frankly, the writer really should stay away from pseudo-psychology).

In what way is the writer entertaining pseudo-psychology?
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And I would be happier if "porn" had been better defined, and cultural norms had been taken into account. One man's harmless image is another man's smut. Ask the Taliban.

Fair enough, but tbh I don’t think people will agree on that. IMO porn is simply any material (pictures, videos and literature, including erotica) which is designed to sexually arouse usually by depicting or describing nudity, masturbation, or sexual intercourse. The dictionary uses the word “obscene” not to qualify types of porn but as a classification of all pornography, and I’m not sure I agree with this – I’d probably take a stance similar to yourself, which is that not all porn is obscene.
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Now who is nitpicking! I disagree. By your definition, an image/film of a husband and wife deeply in love having consensual sex is not porn, then?

It’s not nitpicking – it’s there in black and white (unless you are a Bible scholar and wish to demonstrate the contrary?): sex in the Bible is a deeply private and intimate union between husband and wife; a sex scene in a movie portrays this, but is not actually what it portrays. Sex that is not private between husband and wife (eg. portrayed in a movie) is outside the Bible’s definition of sex, but is not necessarily porn as per the definition above.
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The IMO most appropriate and meaningful sex scene in film history, of a couple emptionally and physically reconnecting after the grief of losing their child (in Don't Look Now) is no different from the Song of Solomon, but your definition would regard it as porn.

No, and these nuances you talked about earlier (not nitpicking!) come into play here: porn is designed to sexually arouse and titillate; that is why much art etc can be excluded from the definition of porn, because there are many studies of the human form which are in no way designed to arouse sexual interest.
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You would ban the paintings I mentioned before? Burn those books? Destroy ancient Greek statues because they show a bit too much breast and penis for your particular cultural sensitivities?

Read above.
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Still, this clinical psychologist who has worked with the odd prostitute and lap dancer before finds it gratifying to see that you have qualified your arguments a bit. It may seem like nitpicking to you, but the scientific approach --which you engage in as soon as you state facts-- always has to be rigorous.

I totally agree, and it’s my misfortune that you are a clinical psychologist which puts me at a huge disadvantage. I have friends who are psychologists and family therapists with decades of experience, but alas the experience is theirs and not mine – I can appeal to it and pass it on, but I cannot vouch for it personally, even though I find it most compelling.
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I would argue that there were reasons --within the men, or their marriages-- in the first place that made them seek fulfilment of their needs in porn.

And you would be right – it just so happens that one of these reasons, lo and behold, is porn itself, which many married men have acceded to. Much research has been conducted which shows that men who view porn before they are married continue to view porn after they are married because they have developed a dependence upon it (or full blown addiction to it), and it often caused a lot of damage in their relationships. Granted, some women are quite happy for their husbands to seek solitary sexual fulfillment from porn, but does that constitute a relationship without problems: a marriage in which the husband focuses the majority of his sex drive on images of other women/couples?
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Ted Bundy empathically stated that he was not a helpless victim of porn, but an autonomous adult responsible for his own actions, so are those men.

Totally agree, although comparing a narcissistic and psychopathic serial rapist and murderer to “regular” men is not fair – Bundy’s misgivings were more a result of his disposition than his exposure to porn, even though many people argue the contrary; it’s quite possible to be a rapist and murderer without ever having looked at porn, but to be addicted to porn kind of necessitates that you have looked at it before LOL.

Of course men should take responsibility for their actions (including browsing porn regularly) but, as with other addictive substances, there comes a time when the drug itself takes over, at which point the user requires external help to come off it and cannot be held fully responsible for their addictive behaviour.
Nexxo 14th October 2011, 13:36 Quote
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Originally Posted by LennyRhys
This is a strawman argument from obfuscation - there is plenty evidence that porn is responsible for desensitisation; it’s a simple case of putting two and two together. Nobody denies that other existing problems may exacerbate a porn (or any other) habit, like a propensity to addictive behaviour (common in OCD sufferers and people with anxiety disorder) or loneliness etc., but these problems by themselves do not bring about the objectification, dehumanisation and desensitisation that porn has been shown to cause.
It's chicken and egg, really. School shooters are not created by FPS games, but their interest in both activities has a common ground. I would argue that you already have to have a psychological predisposition to violence or degradation to be interested in such material.
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Originally Posted by LennyRhys
As for passing law... like I said, I'm not arguing that any laws should be passed; all I’m saying is that people could be (really, could they?) a little more open-minded regarding the detrimental effects porn can have on the viewer.
Similarly, people need to stay open-minded that this is not always the case.
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Originally Posted by LennyRhys
In what way is the writer entertaining pseudo-psychology?
From the article:
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No doubt (though we'd never have admitted it then) my friends and I were driven to use porn through loneliness: being away from home, we longed for love, closeness, unquestioning acceptance. The women over whom we masturbated - the surrogate mothers, if you like - seemed to be offering this but, of course, they were never going to provide it. The untruths it taught me on top of this disappointment - that women are always available, that sex is about what a man can do to a woman - I am only now, more than two decades on, finally succeeding in unlearning.
Very Freudian. Of course it has nothing to do with horny adolescent schoolboys just being interested in porn because of their testosterone-fueled preoccupation with girls and sex. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar...

As for the lessons the writer learnt: I once witnessed 15-year old boy from the estate telling his mate that he's got to realise that porn is just pretend, fantasy. Women and sex are not really like that. I guess not everybody learns the same lessons. Or some people just grow up.
Quote:
Originally Posted by LennyRhys
Fair enough, but tbh I don’t think people will agree on that. IMO porn is simply any material (pictures, videos and literature, including erotica) which is designed to sexually arouse usually by depicting or describing nudity, masturbation, or sexual intercourse. The dictionary uses the word “obscene” not to qualify types of porn but as a classification of all pornography, and I’m not sure I agree with this – I’d probably take a stance similar to yourself, which is that not all porn is obscene.

It’s not nitpicking – it’s there in black and white (unless you are a Bible scholar and wish to demonstrate the contrary?): sex in the Bible is a deeply private and intimate union between husband and wife; a sex scene in a movie portrays this, but is not actually what it portrays. Sex that is not private between husband and wife (eg. portrayed in a movie) is outside the Bible’s definition of sex, but is not necessarily porn as per the definition above.
Yup, it's so deeply private that a man's love poem to his wife (talking about her body in some worshipful detail) made it into a book meant for public consumption. Whether the sex is portrayed on film, or in a book, it's public. The Song of Solomon is not any more private than Lady Chatterley's lover.
Quote:
Originally Posted by LennyRhys
And you would be right – it just so happens that one of these reasons, lo and behold, is porn itself, which many married men have acceded to. Much research has been conducted which shows that men who view porn before they are married continue to view porn after they are married because they have developed a dependence upon it (or full blown addiction to it), and it often caused a lot of damage in their relationships. Granted, some women are quite happy for their husbands to seek solitary sexual fulfillment from porn, but does that constitute a relationship without problems: a marriage in which the husband focuses the majority of his sex drive on images of other women/couples?
I would argue that these men had problems before they sought to resolve them with porn, just as an alcoholic had psychological problems before he resorted to alcohol as a way of managing them. Porn didn't make them do it any more than video games, alcohol, drugs or the Devil makes them do it. Some people just got issues. But it is really convenient to shift the blame on porn, alcohol, drugs or the devil. "I'm not a self-centered, immature man with delay of gratification issues honey, I'm ill. I can't help it --it was teh 3vil porn that did it. Hold me please...". Yeah, right. How is this different from the rapist blaming the short skirt?
Quote:
Originally Posted by LennyRhys
Totally agree, although comparing a narcissistic and psychopathic serial rapist and murderer to “regular” men is not fair – Bundy’s misgivings were more a result of his disposition than his exposure to porn, even though many people argue the contrary; it’s quite possible to be a rapist and murderer without ever having looked at porn, but to be addicted to porn kind of necessitates that you have looked at it before LOL.
But looking at porn does not necessarily make you to addicted to it. Bundy did not cry: "Porn made me do it!". Bundy accepted responsibility for his actions. Are you seriously arguing that "regular" men should be considered less able to take responsibility for theirs?
Quote:
Originally Posted by LennyRhys
Of course men should take responsibility for their actions (including browsing porn regularly) but, as with other addictive substances, there comes a time when the drug itself takes over, at which point the user requires external help to come off it and cannot be held fully responsible for their addictive behaviour.
Of course, but that still does not make the drug responsible.
LennyRhys 14th October 2011, 14:29 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexxo
Similarly, people need to stay open-minded that this is not always the case.

By saying that porn "can" have a detrimental effect on the viewer, am I being close minded?
Quote:
Yup, it's so deeply private that a man's love poem to his wife (talking about her body in some worshipful detail) made it into a book meant for public consumption. Whether the sex is portrayed on film, or in a book, it's public. The Song of Solomon is not any more private than Lady Chatterley's lover.

The Song of Solomon is a portrayal of sex, lol, so of course by definition it's not private. You are straining at gnats here, man, grasping at straws - let's actually debate the subject at hand (and, if possible, leave the Bible out of it!). :)
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I would argue that these men had problems before they sought to resolve them with porn, just as an alcoholic had psychological problems before he resorted to alcohol as a way of managing them.

Of course "some" men have problems which lead to substance abuse and addiction, but did it ever occur to you that something so simple as (wait for it) sex drive is what makes men start with porn? Sex drive isn't a problem; it's an intrinsic part of human psychology and physiology.

And here is the crux: you are (or seem to be) arguing that a problem must precede an addiction to porn, whereas I'm arguing that porn itself can become a problem (and indeed cause a litany of other problems) which is preceded by a perfectly healthy sex drive. I suppose the crucial distinction here is that drugs and alcohol are not intrinsically desired by our bodies; sex is.

A long time ago many of my friends were reading a book about sex addiction, and the author - a therapist and psychologist - concluded that men who are addicted to sex had "mother issues" as children. Suffice to say I think his conclusion is utter BS - as you said your self, a cigar is just a cigar, and men like the female anatomy... they don't first need to be troubled by something before they feel very strongly attracted to the naked female form.
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How is this different from the rapist blaming the short skirt?

That's not what I'm saying: there is such a thing as seduction and enticement, which means shared responsibility, even though one person usually takes the rap. Example: if a faithful and committed husband is seduced by a woman who is not his wife, he is of course responsible for his actions, but you cannot overlook that she had a part to play in his adulterous behaviour. The man returns to his wife who wants nothing more to do with him, which is perfectly fair from one point of view; but still the seductress is partly responsible for the broken marriage. Thankfully, in many cases, some women understand this and are very forgiving.

So in short, men looking at porn are absolutely responsible for their actions, but when they become addicted to it they cannot simply choose to stop looking at it because it controls them, much like alcohol controls the alcoholic and drugs control the addict etc. They are still responsible for their behavour (entirely) but of course what influences them has a part to play.
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But looking at porn does not necessarily make you to addicted to it.

This is such an ambiguous claim to make - define "looking at porn." It's widely accepted that most people (eg. people with hands) masturbate to porn whilst looking at it (that is after all how porn is widely regarded and used, as a stimulus for masturbation), which is where the damage can be done: merely looking at porn is a voyeuristic experience, arguably harmless; masturbating to porn is a sexual experience and is arguably harmful, especially over extended periods of time. Conjecture, yes, but definitely not to be dismissed at the drop of a hat.

:)
3lusive 14th October 2011, 14:38 Quote
Interesting debate. I'll just leave this here for you both to ponder over (although it probably helps Lenny's cause):

SNlRoaFTHuE
LennyRhys 14th October 2011, 15:23 Quote
The problem with the video is that it will indubitably be dismissed as "this guy's opinion" - many people will argue that (most) porn doesn't humiliate women at all, that women are treated fairly and respectfully, and indeed that they freely volunteer to do what they do. As Nexxo said, opinion vs. opinion doesn't make a particularly interesting debate; there need to be facts on either side of the argument, or at least compelling rational and logical arguments where there can be no hard facts.
Ayrto 14th October 2011, 16:22 Quote
Normally respect N. Chomsky, but here his arguments seem very condescending to women , a "poor naive things" type argument, that only intellectuals can deploy. And his Chinese sweatshop analogy doesn't stand up when considering women have many career choices, or even welfare, in the free societies where porn is mainly produced.

I think we can safely say he clearly wouldn't want to star in it , any more than any of us would want to take up base jumping or cage fighting. However that doesn't mean people involved in these things get no pleasure from them, clearly some do. Many big performers who've been out of the business since the eighties, often with perfectly good alternative careers since, are now re-entering porn to star in so called, "cougar porn" what should be gleaned from this?
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that women are treated fairly and respectfully


Since when was all porn male/female anyway?
LennyRhys 14th October 2011, 17:10 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ayrto
Since when was all porn male/female anyway?

The claim was made (or at the very least insinuated) that women are not treated fairly and respectfully, and I posted a hypothetical response to that claim. Incidentally, nobody claimed that all porn is male/female, nor did anybody claim that you need to be a male to disrespect females - it is possible for females to disrespect other females and indeed to disrespect themselves.
Nexxo 14th October 2011, 17:52 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by LennyRhys
The Song of Solomon is a portrayal of sex, lol, so of course by definition it's not private. You are straining at gnats here, man, grasping at straws - let's actually debate the subject at hand (and, if possible, leave the Bible out of it!). :)
No, I am genuinely interested to know: how is the Song of Solomon, a public portrayal of sex, different from porn: a public portrayal of sex?
Quote:
Originally Posted by LennyRhys
Of course "some" men have problems which lead to substance abuse and addiction, but did it ever occur to you that something so simple as (wait for it) sex drive is what makes men start with porn? Sex drive isn't a problem; it's an intrinsic part of human psychology and physiology.

And here is the crux: you are (or seem to be) arguing that a problem must precede an addiction to porn, whereas I'm arguing that porn itself can become a problem (and indeed cause a litany of other problems) which is preceded by a perfectly healthy sex drive. I suppose the crucial distinction here is that drugs and alcohol are not intrinsically desired by our bodies; sex is.
Sex drive is what motivates some men (and women) to look at porn. Pre-existing issues turn it into an addiction. Not everybody becomes an alcoholic --they may have got drunk a few times, but then they grew up. Not everybody becomes addicted to food --even if eating is an intrinsic drive.
Quote:
Originally Posted by LennyRhys
That's not what I'm saying: there is such a thing as seduction and enticement, which means shared responsibility, even though one person usually takes the rap. Example: if a faithful and committed husband is seduced by a woman who is not his wife, he is of course responsible for his actions, but you cannot overlook that she had a part to play in his adulterous behaviour. The man returns to his wife who wants nothing more to do with him, which is perfectly fair from one point of view; but still the seductress is partly responsible for the broken marriage. Thankfully, in many cases, some women understand this and are very forgiving.
This is a familiar debate. The way I try to explain it is that blame (and responsibility) does not follow the laws of thermodynamics. There is not a limited amount of blame to go about. It is not shared in a divisional sense; someone can still be fully to blame even if the other party has some blame also. So if a faithful and committed husband is seduced, he is still fully responsible for his behaviour. The seductress carries some responsibility also, but that does not take away any from his. 'Cause (as you have argued before) he should be able to control his sex drive, no?

This is the inconsistency in your reasoning. You argue that people should be in full control of their sexual desires (no argument there). Then you say porn is bad because, essentially, it causes people to lose control over these desires. But if they are in control, porn should not cause them to lose it. If it does, then they were not in control in the first place. If porn by its very nature causes people to lose control, then people are by their very nature unable to control their sexual desires. Casual observation shows not everyone to be an out of control sex beast (giggity giggity giggity...) so we know the latter is not true.
Quote:
Originally Posted by LennyRhys
So in short, men looking at porn are absolutely responsible for their actions, but when they become addicted to it they cannot simply choose to stop looking at it because it controls them, much like alcohol controls the alcoholic and drugs control the addict etc. They are still responsible for their behavour (entirely) but of course what influences them has a part to play.
Except that an object has no control over how it is used or abused. The responsibility is entirely the user's.
Quote:
Originally Posted by LennyRhys
This is such an ambiguous claim to make - define "looking at porn." It's widely accepted that most people (eg. people with hands) masturbate to porn whilst looking at it (that is after all how porn is widely regarded and used, as a stimulus for masturbation), which is where the damage can be done: merely looking at porn is a voyeuristic experience, arguably harmless; masturbating to porn is a sexual experience and is arguably harmful, especially over extended periods of time. Conjecture, yes, but definitely not to be dismissed at the drop of a hat.

:)
I will let the spurious claim that "most people masturbate to porn while looking at it" pass for a moment... So by your reasoning when someone plays an FPS game, that is an experience of aggression and arguably harmful, especially over extended periods of time?
thehippoz 14th October 2011, 19:57 Quote
well actually too much of anything is harmful.. despite the willpower of the person

you stick a guy in a room with nothing but different strokes playing on a loop.. about the 2000th what you talkin bout willis and he/she will snap.. it may not even be an outward snap.. but that mind is definitely facked until it gets help

porn addiction is real.. they hold classes on it

http://img593.imageshack.us/img593/9689/mensc.jpg
Nexxo 14th October 2011, 20:02 Quote
Sure, but you and I both know that you have to force someone to watch 2000 episodes of Different Strokes, and that if they do it of their own volition, they are crazy to start with. :D

Sex addiction is real. But so is the predisposing pathology.
LennyRhys 14th October 2011, 20:51 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexxo
No, I am genuinely interested to know: how is the Song of Solomon, a public portrayal of sex, different from porn: a public portrayal of sex?

The detailed account in The Song of Solomon is a portrayal of God-honouring marital sex that is not intended to titillate or arouse; all porn is intended to titillate and arouse, and afaik the vast majority of porn does not feature husband and wife. Some people call this book of the Bible "biblical pornography" which completely misses the point.
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Pre-existing issues turn it [porn] into an addiction.

This is demonstrably not true: pre-existing issues increase the risk of addiction, but cannot cause it; the only thing that causes addiction is the "fix" or "high" that people get from the addictive medium, in this case looking at and masturbating to porn (the entire experience, which culminates in ejaculation/orgasm).
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This is the inconsistency in your reasoning. You argue that people should be in full control of their sexual desires (no argument there). Then you say porn is bad because, essentially, it causes people to lose control over these desires. But if they are in control, porn should not cause them to lose it. If it does, then they were not in control in the first place. If porn by its very nature causes people to lose control, then people are by their very nature unable to control their sexual desires.

Your logic is flawed: losing control doesn't mean that you were never in control in the first instance; in fact, losing control necessitates that you were in control in the first place, because you can't lose something that you didn't have to begin with.

In any case I wouldn't say it's so black and white (I was speaking in hyperbole when I said sexual desire "controls" people); there are degrees of control people have over their desires and urges, and I think it's fair to say that addicts stil have a very low degree of control over their addictive behaviour...otherwise it would be impossible for them to recover.
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Except that an object has no control over how it is used or abused.

Actually with porn that's not strictly true, because the vast majority of porn is not "Just" an object: all photographic and videographic porn features real, living, breathing, talking people, which is why it's entirely different from other addictive things like alcohol and cocaine... porn can be interactive and can seduce, and it is most definitely intended to. Eg. any of thousands of webcam girls:

"Give me three of your credits and I'll take my panties off; give me ten credits and I'll play with my toys" etc.

Let's assume somebody is innocently browsing the net and a smutty advert pops up, and they proceed to view and masturbate to porn. They are fully responsible for viewing the porn, but the "object" (in this case, the pictures or videos from the ad) definitely intended to be seductive and enticing, and succeeded in doing so.
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So by your reasoning when someone plays an FPS game, that is an experience of aggression and arguably harmful, especially over extended periods of time?

You need to get off the "violence = sex" hobbyhorse; they are entirely different things and cannot be interchanged. As for your rhetoric, a person playing a game is not experiencing REAL violience; the violence is simulated. Perhaps it can cause harm (much study has been done on this and opinion is, as always, divided) but it's outwith the scope of this debate. Contrarily, the person who masturbates to porn has a very REAL sexual experience: real physical stimulaltion and arousal, and real orgasm.
Ayrto 14th October 2011, 20:53 Quote
Quote:
you stick a guy in a room with nothing but different strokes playing on a loop.. about the 2000th what you talkin bout willis and he/she will snap.. it may not even be an outward snap.. but that mind is definitely facked until it gets help

Qw9oX-kZ_9k
Nexxo 14th October 2011, 23:34 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by LennyRhys
The detailed account in The Song of Solomon is a portrayal of God-honouring marital sex that is not intended to titillate or arouse; all porn is intended to titillate and arouse, and afaik the vast majority of porn does not feature husband and wife. Some people call this book of the Bible "biblical pornography" which completely misses the point.
Cool. We can then agree that not every display of nudity and sex is porn. The art is safe.
Quote:
Originally Posted by LennyRhys
This is demonstrably not true: pre-existing issues increase the risk of addiction, but cannot cause it; the only thing that causes addiction is the "fix" or "high" that people get from the addictive medium, in this case looking at and masturbating to porn (the entire experience, which culminates in ejaculation/orgasm).
I disagree. The "high" alone is not enough; getting drunk is not enough. Orgasm is not enough. What makes it addictive is the function it serves for the person.
Quote:
Originally Posted by LennyRhys
Your logic is flawed: losing control doesn't mean that you were never in control in the first instance; in fact, losing control necessitates that you were in control in the first place, because you can't lose something that you didn't have to begin with.

In any case I wouldn't say it's so black and white (I was speaking in hyperbole when I said sexual desire "controls" people); there are degrees of control people have over their desires and urges, and I think it's fair to say that addicts stil have a very low degree of control over their addictive behaviour...otherwise it would be impossible for them to recover.
Now we are getting there! And what causes some people to have less control than others?
Quote:
Originally Posted by LennyRhys
Actually with porn that's not strictly true, because the vast majority of porn is not "Just" an object: all photographic and videographic porn features real, living, breathing, talking people, which is why it's entirely different from other addictive things like alcohol and cocaine... porn can be interactive and can seduce, and it is most definitely intended to. Eg. any of thousands of webcam girls:

"Give me three of your credits and I'll take my panties off; give me ten credits and I'll play with my toys" etc.

Let's assume somebody is innocently browsing the net and a smutty advert pops up, and they proceed to view and masturbate to porn. They are fully responsible for viewing the porn, but the "object" (in this case, the pictures or videos from the ad) definitely intended to be seductive and enticing, and succeeded in doing so.
A gun is built by people to be an instrument with a very particular, limited range of purposes in mind. But we convict murderers, not gun companies. I would argue that they share some of the blame, but the guy who aimed and pulled the trigger still is 100% responsible. He still had a choice.
Quote:
Originally Posted by LennyRhys
You need to get off the "violence = sex" hobbyhorse; they are entirely different things and cannot be interchanged. As for your rhetoric, a person playing a game is not experiencing REAL violience; the violence is simulated. Perhaps it can cause harm (much study has been done on this and opinion is, as always, divided) but it's outwith the scope of this debate. Contrarily, the person who masturbates to porn has a very REAL sexual experience: real physical stimulaltion and arousal, and real orgasm.
You need to stop dismissing comparisons just because they make you feel uncomfortable. The person wanking to porn is engaging in sex, but is not being sexually intimate with a real person. He is engaging in a fantasy. The person shooting characters in FPS is experiencing aggression, but he is not being aggressive towards real people. He is engaging in a fantasy. But the aggressive feelings are as real as the sexual feelings, and the comparison, whether you like it or not, is valid and within the scope of this debate.

But it's OK. Most people, from childhood onwards, can reliably distinguish between fantasy and reality, and keep the two side-by-side but separate. :)
LennyRhys 15th October 2011, 00:17 Quote
The posts are getting shorter, which is definitely a good thing. My brain hurts. :D
Quote:
A gun is built by people to be an instrument with a very particular, limited range of purposes in mind. But we convict murderers, not gun companies. I would argue that they share some of the blame, but the guy who aimed and pulled the trigger still is 100% responsible. He still had a choice.

A gun is dangerous but entirely amoral; porn is different, because much of porn is human behaviour, not an inanimate object. As soon as behaviour is factored in, it is no longer amoral because it concerns people and how they treat themselves/others. I'm steering this a little away from your (otherwise valid) point, but I think it's an important distinction to make. There really aren't any fair and balanced comparisons for accountability, because the guy who keeps going back to the webcam girl isn't just going to an object (the PC), he is also going to a person who is also reponsible for their behaviour. He has a choice, but so does his seductress!
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The person wanking to porn is engaging in sex, but is not being sexually intimate with a real person. He is engaging in a fantasy. The person shooting characters in FPS is experiencing aggression, but he is not being aggressive towards real people. He is engaging in a fantasy. But the aggressive feelings are as real as the sexual feelings, and the comparison, whether you like it or not, is valid and within the scope of this debate.

Fair enough, and I get where you are coming from; but that's not to say I agree. Being able to distinguish between fantasy and reality is IMO an ambiguous (mis)representation of what porn addicts struggle to do; the truth is similar although far more complicated and there are these nuances (again).

This video from Cindy Gallop, who professes to be a fan of hardcore porn, makes the point quite nicely - an unsatisfactory but crudely workable summary of this video in view of your statement is this: the "reality" is that women generally do not want to be treated the same way as women are treated in porn (anal sex, aggressive fellatio, swallowing, etc): the "fantasy" is that women DO want to be treated this way. It is clear from this video that men do in fact struggle to differentiate between the two, courtesy of hardcore pornography.

FV8n_E_6Tpc
Krazeh 15th October 2011, 00:55 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by LennyRhys
This video from Cindy Gallop, who professes to be a fan of hardcore porn, makes the point quite nicely - an unsatisfactory but crudely workable summary of this video in view of your statement is this: the "reality" is that women generally do not want to be treated the same way as women are treated in porn (anal sex, aggressive fellatio, swallowing, etc): the "fantasy" is that women DO want to be treated this way. It is clear from this video that men do in fact struggle to differentiate between the two, courtesy of hardcore pornography.

I don't believe the point of the video was to say that hardcore pornography was the cause of 'young men' believing that what it depicts is how real life sex should be, it was that the lack of education and open discussion about sex means that they have no other point of reference. The video certainly doesn't say to me that young men and women are aware of the differences between 'real life' sex and the fantasy sex depicted in porn but are struggling to differentiate between the two. What it does say is that there's a serious lack of proper sex education available to teach them the difference.
Nexxo 15th October 2011, 08:55 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by LennyRhys
A gun is dangerous but entirely amoral; porn is different, because much of porn is human behaviour, not an inanimate object. As soon as behaviour is factored in, it is no longer amoral because it concerns people and how they treat themselves/others. I'm steering this a little away from your (otherwise valid) point, but I think it's an important distinction to make. There really aren't any fair and balanced comparisons for accountability, because the guy who keeps going back to the webcam girl isn't just going to an object (the PC), he is also going to a person who is also reponsible for their behaviour. He has a choice, but so does his seductress!
So does the company who keeps making guns that are used for murder. So does the gun shop. Or, to put it on a larger scale: so does BAE and the UK, which keeps selling weapons to dictators. And so does the bartender who keeps serving when the customer is drunk, and lets him walk out of the pub digging in his pocket for the car keys. In the psychology trade we call behaviour that helps people maintain their addiction 'enabling' or 'collusion'.

You are arguing that FPS is different because the game producer is not actively involved; he just provides the means. I feel that is a cop-out. Perhaps it gets even trickier when we watch boxing: a live performance of two men pummelling each other a brain injury for public entertainment. I think that is more barbaric than webcam girls.
Quote:
Originally Posted by LennyRhys
Fair enough, and I get where you are coming from; but that's not to say I agree. Being able to distinguish between fantasy and reality is IMO an ambiguous (mis)representation of what porn addicts struggle to do; the truth is similar although far more complicated and there are these nuances (again).

This video from Cindy Gallop, who professes to be a fan of hardcore porn, makes the point quite nicely - an unsatisfactory but crudely workable summary of this video in view of your statement is this: the "reality" is that women generally do not want to be treated the same way as women are treated in porn (anal sex, aggressive fellatio, swallowing, etc): the "fantasy" is that women DO want to be treated this way. It is clear from this video that men do in fact struggle to differentiate between the two, courtesy of hardcore pornography.
And my points are these:

1. Men and women who cannot distinguish between fantasy and reality have psychological issues. Even a four-year old knows the difference between pretend play and real actions. If people think porn is like real life it is, as Krazeh says, because they are ignorant and not educated differently. Sex is not a dirty shameful thing. As the Song of Solomon does, it should be celebrated as a normal human need and teenagers should be taught healthy ways to express it. It is an interesting fact that the Netherlands have very explicit sex education and open discussion about sex (and porn) and also have the lowest teen pregnancy rates.

2. People who get addicted have pre-existing issues in emotional self-regulation. If it's not one thing, it's another: in my work I regularly see people not overcoming addiction but simply shifting it to another object relation. It's not the object. It's the function it serves.
LennyRhys 15th October 2011, 13:52 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Krazeh
I don't believe the point of the video was to say that hardcore pornography was the cause of 'young men' believing that what it depicts is how real life sex should be, it was that the lack of education and open discussion about sex means that they have no other point of reference.

Of course that wasn't the point of the video - she is promoting pornography, after all!

At least it's clear that viewing hardcore porn absolutely does shape people's sexual perceptions and behaviour. From that premise, which people rationally accept as fact, the default assumption tends to be that these increasingly "dirty" (or hard, rough, hardcore-porn-esque, etc) sexual expectations and behaviour are a result of this poor education, as per the video. And herein lies the conundrum: is it just poor education, or might it be actual conditioning and addictive behaviour? They are entirely different things.

As found by Dr. Patrick Carnes, the US's foremost expert on sex addiction, many people (his patients) who have been repeatedly exposed to (read: educated by) internet pornography struggle to perform sexually with actual partners because the fix just isn't there: real sex just isn't enough. They have been re-programmed or re-conditioned to depend on (rather than merely perform) a particular type of sexual behaviour, and this behaviour can't simply be unlearned. In view of the detrimental knock-on effect internet pornography has on families, Carnes has expressed deep concern regarding "family life, and how the internet is changing it all."
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You are arguing that FPS is different because the game producer is not actively involved; he just provides the means. I feel that is a cop-out.

I didn't say that at all - I said FPS is different because of the experience of the participant; what I said has nothing to do with the producers, who may or may not be culpable (now I did allude to that ;) ). I also agree that boxing is barbaric, but that's a different debate altogether.
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If people think porn is like real life it is, as Krazeh says, because they are ignorant and not educated differently.

Presupposition/assumption, and also biased - see above. It's not so much that people think it is real life; it's that they require a similar experience to have any semblance of sexual fulfillment, rather than a "conventional" sexual experience.
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Sex is not a dirty shameful thing.

Very ambiguous - sex can be a dirty and shameful thing (rape) and porn most certainly can be and often is dirty and shameful. I have nothing against sex whatsoever, but to say or imply that all porn is "just sex and therefore acceptable/harmless" is very naive, especially in light of Dr. Carnes' research.

On the other hand, I COMPLETELY and EMPHATICALLY agree that sex education here should be improved, and I really wish we did it as well as the Dutch. :)
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People who get addicted have pre-existing issues in emotional self-regulation.

Give me a week to read through all the research papers I've bookmarked, and I'll get back to you on this one (not that I disagree... I need to properly inform myself on the subject). ;)
Ayrto 15th October 2011, 15:53 Quote
You've got to have some sympathy for the people at the BBFC who decide what cuts are needed on our behalf-no doubt by the logic of certain people posting here , these poor souls , in having watch this stuff over and over, must have been irreparably psychologically damaged by the process? I wouldn't be surprised, if right now they're receiving the highest levels care in the most secure environments after working for a few years at the BBFC ;). Either this, or the harm - causation claim is total bs and extrapolating out - the vast majority of the public, isn't likely be affected either.

I hope this increasing emphasis on censorship isn't anything to do with the Tories being back in . The self styled: 'party of personal liberty' *chuckles*. In 1984(pretty apt) they introduced the Video recordings Act of 1984 , which effectively amounted to total ban on video porn being introduced overnight. The police raided sex shops and high street video rental stores accused, post- VR Act, of still selling/renting adult porn and so called, 'video nasty'horror VHS films( think Zombies etc) . VHS tapes were seized in dramatic police raids, (without compensation) then placed in huge piles on land fill sites , up and down the land, then finally bulldozed. Often with a Tory politician in attendance for a photo op . It was one big show of censorship strength by Thatcher. It's back at this time the current Tory politicians were first becoming active in the party; Cameron , Hague et al, so what does it say about these and their thoughts on personal liberty, no wonder they hate the Human rights Act.

People who know about this party's past are always wary as to what their agenda for the internet is now, even when it starts with something innocuous, something many can broadly agree with, like this net filter option.
StingLikeABee 15th October 2011, 16:11 Quote
So LennyRhys, what do you think of / watch / read when you are knocking one out then? Or do you abstain from the five knuckle shuffle?

That may sound like a silly question, but I think it's a relevant one. The use of porn for sexual stimulation is healthy I think, as long as it's in moderation, and one's hand isn't attached to one's pleasure stick all the time. Why should someone be forced to feel guilty for viewing porn? It sounds like the old roman catholic guilt trip to me.

I used to read and watch porn once in a flood, as a young lad, and masturbate to it, like almost every other teen. I don't bother nowadays, as my hormones are under control and I have a sex life so porn isn't important. I wasn't addicted to porn nor was it doing me any harm. So I completely fail to see why you are so against porn.
LennyRhys 15th October 2011, 16:52 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ayrto
You've got to have some sympathy for the people at the BBFC who decide what cuts are needed on our behalf-no doubt by the logic of certain people posting here , these poor souls , in having watch this stuff over and over, must have been irreparably psychologically damaged by the process?

You can misrepresent my argument all you like - since Nexxo highlighted my restrictive vocabulary I have consistently maintained that porn "can" cause damage, not that it always does; furthermore, I assume the vast majority of BBFC censors are watching porn out of duty rather than as a masturbatory aid to get their fix, in which case it is not the same thing at all. Even so, this woman who is evidently not a user of porn nor an addict, claimed that porn detrimentally affected her mind:

Jan Woolf believes it might also prevent a relationship getting started. A former special needs teacher, she lasted only six months in the job of BBFC censor in 2001. During this time, she watched hundreds of hours of hardcore videos. At the time, she was single. "If I'd been in the early stages of a relationship, it would have been very difficult, because I'd have been watching what I might have been expected to be doing, except it would never have been like that." She left the job because the porn was starting to make her feel "depressed - I wanted my lively mind back".

I'm not promoting a political position or agenda (as I have stated several times before) - it makes no difference to me whether internet porn is opt-in or not, and my personal stance on the matter is just that: personal. I don't think for a second that the opt-in scheme might preclude personal liberty... it's just another hoop to jump through to get there, so who cares?
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Originally Posted by StingLikeABee
So LennyRhys, what do you think of / watch / read when you are knocking one out then? Or do you abstain from the five knuckle shuffle?

My personal stance on the matter has nothing to do with the debate - it would lend no credence to my (or any other) position because it is an opinion and a moral position, which I've already said has no bearing here.
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The use of porn for sexual stimulation is healthy I think, as long as it's in moderation, and one's hand isn't attached to one's pleasure stick all the time. Why should someone be forced to feel guilty for viewing porn? It sounds like the old roman catholic guilt trip to me.

That's fine, but it's all opinion. Believing it to be healthy and showing it to be healthy are worlds apart.

And the guilt spiel is a common misconception: for some reason people think that this guilt is always brought about by coercion...but that's simply false. There are a myriad of reasons why a person might feel such guilt, some good, some bad. If a parent wants to "force" a child to feel guilty after looking at porn, that's their prerogative, although I wouldn't call it forcing so much as I would call it... parenting. Parents decide what's right and wrong for their children, and guilt is a natural consequence of disobedience - what's the fuss?
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I wasn't addicted to porn nor was it doing me any harm.

Spoken like a true addict! :D Now before you shoot me down in flames, I'm being facetious, but I'm making an important point: if everybody who masturbates to porn attests that they are free from addiction, does that therefore mean that they are free from addiction? Of course not, lol. Many addicts never acknowledge their addiction, and this goes for alcoholism and drug abuse too (I'm sure Nexxo will corroborate this).
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So I completely fail to see why you are so against porn.

As far as I know I haven't once claimed to be against porn (if I have, please reference it); the only claims I've made are that porn can be destructive, but that's an observation, not an anti-porn stance. As I have already said, I am not divulging my personal moral stance on porn as it is irrelevant to the discussion.

Incidentally, many people who also believe porn to be destructive/corruptive still use it regularly... in my mind, they are the realists, not the ones who say "this is lovely and it's good for me." Just sayin' ;)
Nexxo 15th October 2011, 17:10 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by LennyRhys
At least it's clear that viewing hardcore porn absolutely does shape people's sexual perceptions and behaviour. From that premise, which people rationally accept as fact, the default assumption tends to be that these increasingly "dirty" (or hard, rough, hardcore-porn-esque, etc) sexual expectations and behaviour are a result of this poor education, as per the video. And herein lies the conundrum: is it just poor education, or might it be actual conditioning and addictive behaviour? They are entirely different things.
And we were doing so well! CAN shape sexual perceptions and behaviour.
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Originally Posted by LennyRhys
As found by Dr. Patrick Carnes, the US's foremost expert on sex addiction, many people (his patients) who have been repeatedly exposed to (read: educated by) internet pornography struggle to perform sexually with actual partners because the fix just isn't there: real sex just isn't enough. They have been re-programmed or re-conditioned to depend on (rather than merely perform) a particular type of sexual behaviour, and this behaviour can't simply be unlearned. In view of the detrimental knock-on effect internet pornography has on families, Carnes has expressed deep concern regarding "family life, and how the internet is changing it all."
Again: if a person consumes porn to such an extent that they become conditioned and desensitised to it, they had a problem to start with. They are trying to scratch an itch that normal, healthy intimate relationships dont seem able to. Dr. Carnes has reason to be concerned, but to blame the Internet ("The devil made me do it!") is an emotive knee-jerk response or a touch of the dramatic. Won't somebody think of the children? Please. They see a lot worse in the day to day behaviour of supposedly responsible adults.

In any case, Carnes seems to support my view of predisposing pathology:
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"Generally, addicts do not perceive themselves as worthwhile persons. Nor do they believe that other people would care for them or meet their needs if everything was known about them, including the addiction. Finally, they believe that sex is their most important need. Sex is what makes isolation bearable. If you do not trust people, one thing that is true about sex--and alcohol, food, gambling, and risk--is that it always does what it promises--for the moment. Thus, as in our definition of addiction, the relationship is with sex--and not people"
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Originally Posted by LennyRhys
I didn't say that at all - I said FPS is different because of the experience of the participant...
Then I think that you are very mistaken.
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Originally Posted by LennyRhys
Presupposition/assumption, and also biased - see above. It's not so much that people think it is real life; it's that they require a similar experience to have any semblance of sexual fulfillment, rather than a "conventional" sexual experience.
See my comments above.
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Originally Posted by LennyRhys
Very ambiguous - sex can be a dirty and shameful thing (rape) and porn most certainly can be and often is dirty and shameful. I have nothing against sex whatsoever, but to say or imply that all porn is "just sex and therefore acceptable/harmless" is very naive, especially in light of Dr. Carnes' research.
Rape is not sex; it is aggression. OK, I'll rephrase: sex in itself is not a dirty, shameful thing.
Ayrto 15th October 2011, 17:10 Quote
@LennyRhys .
You keep making the point that you're not in favour of censorship or banning porn, merely an informed debate. But taken as a whole, everything you've said seems to imply your mind is already made up , you think the potential 'harm' outweighs any and all benefits to society.

The problem I'd guess many would have with your position is you know full well those who do hold the desire to censor and ban can jump on this stuff as evidence of the need to act. Much like if someone wanted an informed debate on possible racial genetic inferiorities it would be grabbed by far right groups and others with bad intentions as evidence of racial superiority. In this context you're either being naive or deliberately misleading, which is it?
LennyRhys 15th October 2011, 17:50 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexxo
And we were doing so well! CAN shape sexual perceptions and behaviour.

I was referring to Gallop's experience, through which it is demonstrated that porn did have (as opposed to might have had) an affect on these men. In general terms, the "can" is still the optimal word, but in specific cases, porn either did or didn't have an affect. Get my drift?
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Again: if a person consumes porn to such an extent that they become conditioned and desensitised to it, they had a problem to start with.

Your opinion - Carnes argues that repeated use of porn is what brings about desensitisation, not an underlying problem; furthermore his research corroborates this. You keep saying that porn cannot by itself desensitise, but never substantiate your claim.
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They are trying to scratch an itch that normal, healthy intimate relationships dont seem able to.

As far as Carnes is concerned, they are trying to scratch an itch that is created by repeated use of pornography...the itch is a healthy sex drive to begin with and it is slowly corrupted and skewed. Perhaps you should familiarise yourself with his work before blindly critiquing it, although judging by what you said, you have already made your mind up about him:
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Dr. Carnes has reason to be concerned, but to blame the Internet ("The devil made me do it!") is an emotive knee-jerk response that betrays a poor understanding of the pathology (I bet he is a psychiatrist)

Dr. Carnes is a noted psychologist and, as I said before, the US's foremost expert in the field of sex addiction. He has a Ph. D in counsellor education and has been awarded for his contributions to the field of sexual mdeicine; an award (Carnes Award) is bestowed every year in his honour. Suffice to say, appealing to an alleged "poor understanding of the pathology" is a poor excuse for a rebuttal... I'm happy to assume he knows his cheese, even if you aren't.
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They see a lot worse in the day to day behaviour of supposedly responsible adults.

Sad but oh so very true. :(
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Rape is not sex

A little nitpicky (and by the by), but it is - rape is non consensual sexual intercourse. The definition of rape that is "to take by violent force" is archaic and has been abandoned; the sexual connotation of rape is the norm now.
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Originally Posted by Ayrto
you think the potential 'harm' outweighs any and all benefits to society.

Do I? Source?
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The problem I'd guess many would have with your position is you know full well those who do hold the desire to censor and ban can jump on this stuff as evidence of the need to act. Much like if someone wanted an informed debate on possible racial genetic inferiorities it would be grabbed by far right groups and others with bad intentions as evidence of racial superiority. In this context you're either being naive or deliberately misleading, which is it?

Take a chill pill, Jim. I have no agenda (deja vu here) and "this context" that you dreamed up doesn't actually exist. I should hope that if porn was to be banned altogether, there would be scientifically irrefutable evidence that would support that such a decision is beneficial to society.

Alternatively, I'm quite happy to have you regard me as naive (as well as angry, repressive, and prudish) . :)
Nexxo 15th October 2011, 18:41 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by LennyRhys
Your opinion - Carnes argues that repeated use of porn is what brings about desensitisation, not an underlying problem; furthermore his research corroborates this. You keep saying that porn cannot by itself desensitise, but never substantiate your claim.

As far as Carnes is concerned, they are trying to scratch an itch that is created by repeated use of pornography...the itch is a healthy sex drive to begin with and it is slowly corrupted and skewed. Perhaps you should familiarise yourself with his work before blindly critiquing it, although judging by what you said, you have already made your mind up about him:

Dr. Carnes is a noted psychologist and, as I said before, the US's foremost expert in the field of sex addiction. He has a Ph. D in counsellor education and has been awarded for his contributions to the field of sexual mdeicine; an award (Carnes Award) is bestowed every year in his honour. Suffice to say, appealing to an alleged "poor understanding of the pathology" is a poor excuse for a rebuttal... I'm happy to assume he knows his cheese, even if you aren't.
You are right of course, and I decided to check up on him. I edited my above post accordingly before I noticed yours. He is quoted to quite clearly suggest a predisposing psychopathology (a sense of profound worthlessness which prevents the person from establishing intimacy, because it is perceived as threatening and unobtainable) which (s)he then tries to cope with by using sex as an emotional regulator and a "safe relationship". That certainly chimes with how I see it --not because I'm some sort of authority on sex addiction, but because theories of various addictions all basically say the same thing, and have been doing so for quite a while. Porn distorts the mind that is open to it --for which it has a function and fulfills a need. All addictions do.

I mean, kind of stands to reason, no? Think about it. Healthy sex drives are not interested in depictions of violent, degrading sex. If anything, it should be a turn-off, not a turn-on. If that sort of stuff actually turns you on, you have issues to start with.

Which makes your quote, which was the basis for my initial impression about him (hey, I trusted it to be representative, my bad) sound kind of "out of character", so to speak. Perhaps it is editorial licence on the part of the source you quote from (wouldn't be a first, if it is news media rather than a scientific journal).

And rape is an act of domination. This is why heterosexual men rape other men, why soldiers rape their victims on the battlefield, why people rape victims which are not even remotely sexually attractive (e.g. elderly as much as young women).
Ayrto 15th October 2011, 21:52 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by LennyRhys


Take a chill pill, Jim. I have no agenda (deja vu here) and "this context" that you dreamed up doesn't actually exist. I should hope that if porn was to be banned altogether, there would be scientifically irrefutable evidence that would support that such a decision is beneficial to society.

Alternatively, I'm quite happy to have you regard me as naive (as well as angry, repressive, and prudish) . :)

Ok, you may well be none of those things , I take it back. I probably was a little presumptuous in response, you may well have no axe to grind on this topic at all.

But as you'll know, politicians pursuing what they view as traditional religious and family-based notions of sexual morality, most definitely do have an axe to grind. As a result Britain has been, in terms of its laws, the most censored, sexually restricted country in europe. Precisely because there are so many who do think other peoples sexual morality is their business. Their right to pontificate and ultimately legislate on, this, together with a shitty FPTP(winner take all) voting system, that allows a party a dominant mandate based on 36% support . This is the context here. So you can understand why people act with instinctive suspicion and defensiveness, when someone says the equivalent of , "will someone please think of the adults".

If we'd lived under a PR derived parliament( PR systems producing coalition govts that are inherently less reactionary in nature ) with Dutch laws , with the more sensible Dutch attitudes to sex . A debate on porn's merits or otherwise may then be sensible too. But in a country where many politicians( mainly on the Tory right) are on record as saying that they'd love to tighten the present laws on porn and further, that the only hindrance to them doing so is Article 10 of the ECHR(which incidentally the Tories wish to scrap, surprise, surprise). Debates about the definition of, or the rights and wrongs, seem like noises off.
LennyRhys 15th October 2011, 23:32 Quote
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Originally Posted by Nexxo
You are right of course

Flattery gets you nowhere :D
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He is quoted to quite clearly suggest a predisposing psychopathology

I would disagree: he starts out by saying "addicts do not perceive themselves as worthwhile persons." There is nothing to suggest that this perception of worthlessness is a precursor to addiction; it is the addict who perceives himself (or herself) as worthless, not the pre-addict or person who is predisposed to addiction but not [yet] addicted to anything. I suppose your view can be inferred, but it is extremely tenuous IMO.
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Healthy sex drives are not interested in depictions of violent, degrading sex. If anything, it should be a turn-off, not a turn-on. If that sort of stuff actually turns you on, you have issues to start with.

Agree wholeheartedly with the first two claims, but the last claim not so much. First, I would say that such a view of sex (which points to "issues" as you say) cannot be a starting point; having issues to start with doesn't explain why a person is turned on by violent or degrading sex, whereas regular use of hardcore pornography certainly explains it...but that's not an issue; that's just porn. Second, I would say that there is a difference between being "turned on" by something lurid and actually "needing" that turn-on (ergo, dependence/addiction) - again, this is consistent with Carnes' research which shows the progressive nature of addiction to internet pornography and the need for a stronger fix, which for the porn addict is something increasingly dirty.

@Ayrto, no harm done. Perhaps I do have an axe to grind, but this is not the time nor the place - I am trying my utmost to keep an open mind, clearly distinguishing between presuppositions and facts, and keeping the debate interesting. More than anything, this simply interests me, because IMO the vast majority of opinion from pro-porn-ists is entirely coloured by infatuation with it. Sticky mess!
Nexxo 16th October 2011, 10:52 Quote
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Originally Posted by LennyRhys
Flattery gets you nowhere :D
Not flattery; I'm capable of admitting when I'm wrong.
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Originally Posted by LennyRhys
I would disagree: he starts out by saying "addicts do not perceive themselves as worthwhile persons." There is nothing to suggest that this perception of worthlessness is a precursor to addiction; it is the addict who perceives himself (or herself) as worthless, not the pre-addict or person who is predisposed to addiction but not [yet] addicted to anything. I suppose your view can be inferred, but it is extremely tenuous IMO.
I think you read what you want to read. Let's ask Dr. Carnes to be a bit more specific:
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The beginnings of sexual addiction are usually rooted up in adolescence or childhood.  It is found that 60% of sexual addicts were abused by someone in their childhood (Book, 1997,pp 52).  The child may have grown up in a hostile, chaotic or neglectful home, or the family may have been very normal but the child grows up emotionally starved for love because affection is rarely expressed.  Gradually sex becomes a replacement act to turn to in times of any kind of need, from escaping boredom, to feeling anxious, to being able to sleep at night. The child may repeatedly  turn to masturbation for escape. Masturbation can be a normal and natural part of childhood.  In other cases, the child maybe introduced to sex in inappropriate ways.  Instead of the normal sexual experimentation that often takes place out of curiosity between similar aged children at some point growing up, some are brought to it by some adult who uses them instead of another adult for their own sexual pleasure.  It may even be another child who is five or more years older where the sexual experience doesn’t feel mutual.  In these experiences, there often is a combination of natural curiosity, newfound pleasurable feelings and even the feelings of fear or shame (Carnes, 1991 pp 31-40).

A bit rambling, but you get the idea: pre-existing psychological issues are at the root of sex addiction.

Another summary of predisposing factors can be found here summarises Carnes' research too:
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Patrick Carnes’ research indicates that 87% of the families of sex addicts included more than one addict in the home.

77% of sex addicts grew up in rigid family systems.

87% of sex addicts grew up in disengaged family systems.

And… 68% of sex addicts grew up in both rigid and disengaged family systems.

This is all from my iPhone. When I get on my PC I'll crack open Google Scholar.

EDIT: from my main rig (30" of screen estate goodness cheesecake):

In his book Contrary to Love: Helping the Sexual Addict Dr. Carnes describes how "extreme" types of family systems in the addict's family of origin help create the climate for sexual addiction to develop (using Olson's elaborate Circumplex Model of Marital and Family Systems). In his book: Out of the Shadows: Understanding Sexual Addiction he barely makes it to the fifth page of the first chapter (the first 3 being a case description) before he mentions core beliefs which contain "powerful family messages". He also states the strong parallels with other forms of addiction such as alcoholism and food addiction, and notes that people with sex addiction often have other addictive behaviours as well.

In Don't call it love: Recovery from Sexual Addiction. Carnes' survey of about 900 addicts revealed that 82% had been sexually abused in childhood. Among the male addicts, 3% were forced to have sex by their fathers and 11% by their mothers. 41% were abused by neighbors, business associates of their parents, or strangers, while 8% were molested by other adults in authority.
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Originally Posted by LennyRhys
Agree wholeheartedly with the first two claims, but the last claim not so much. First, I would say that such a view of sex (which points to "issues" as you say) cannot be a starting point; having issues to start with doesn't explain why a person is turned on by violent or degrading sex, whereas regular use of hardcore pornography certainly explains it...but that's not an issue; that's just porn. Second, I would say that there is a difference between being "turned on" by something lurid and actually "needing" that turn-on (ergo, dependence/addiction) - again, this is consistent with Carnes' research which shows the progressive nature of addiction to internet pornography and the need for a stronger fix, which for the porn addict is something increasingly dirty.
Your gateway drug hypothesis (which is what it essentially is) does not explain why people move on to using hardcore pornography. You argue that they start with the milder stuff and get desensitised and need ever harder stuff. But why would they engage so much with mild pornography in the first place that they become desensitised to it and need harder stuff? Your example of Jan Woolf shows what happens if an ordinary person is exposed to a deluge of porn --they do not start looking for harder stuff; they get sick of it and want to get away from it altogether. The gateway drug hypothesis has been discredited by hard evidence in other fields. I don't think it works here either, given that, as Dr. Carnes appears to agree, the same basic psychological processes of addiction are at work.

Having pre-existing psychological issues explains --and predicts-- sex addiction quite well. I could elaborate using well-established and above all proven psychological models of attachment theory, developmental psychology, behavioural learning and addiction. If you're curious to understand it just let me know and I'll try and put it in a relatively succinct post.

However I wonder if you have a strong investment in just blaming porn rather than accepting that people are complicated beings with complicated, sometimes quite ****ed-up lives and backgrounds but ultimately autonomous (if not-so-wise) agents. The latter would not only reveal an unpleasant reality that most people would rather stay in denial of, but it also faces us with ultimate personal accountability for our own actions. The devoted family man who was seduced by the slut is not a helpless victim, but for personal reasons of his own choosing to be a cheating dog. The man who compulsively seeks his thrills in hardcore porn is not a healthy, stable adult passively traumatised by some graphic pictures, but a damaged individual who seeks validation of his broken worldview, responsible for his own addiction. The devil doesn't make us do it like God doesn't save us. We are our own angels and demons, created in the personal paradise or hell of our childhood but living as autonomous beings in the real world, and ultimately sit in judgement over ourselves.
3lusive 16th October 2011, 11:05 Quote
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Originally Posted by Nexxo

A bit rambling, but you get the idea: pre-existing psychological issues are at the root of sex addiction.

Pretty much what the man himself says here (sorry to butt in again, I have been following the thread though).

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Nexxo 16th October 2011, 12:09 Quote
^^^ Good stuff-- he even manages to link in developmental neuropsychology.
LennyRhys 16th October 2011, 22:26 Quote
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I think you read what you want to read. Let's ask Dr. Carnes to be a bit more specific:

I read precisely what was there - that you needed a more specific citation supports my response: lo and behold, the clearer passage states very plainly that there are problems before addiction is ever on the cards, something which the first passage did not state.
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But why would they engage so much with mild pornography in the first place that they become desensitised to it and need harder stuff? Your example of Jan Woolf shows what happens if an ordinary person is exposed to a deluge of porn --they do not start looking for harder stuff; they get sick of it and want to get away from it altogether.

As before, the distinction must be made between merely "being exposed to" porn and acutally using it for sexual gratification. I have never argued that porn can desensitise the casual viewer, even though it may well do; I have always maintained that porn can desensitise, warp, and influence specifically when it is used as a sexual stimulus (which, let's be honest, is generally what it's intended to be).
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However I wonder if you have a strong investment in just blaming porn rather than accepting that people are complicated beings with complicated, sometimes quite ****ed-up lives and backgrounds but ultimately autonomous (if not-so-wise) agents.

Ayrto already accused me of having agenda and that is simply not the case; I'm not blindly blaming porn for anything - what you are perceiving as a strong investment against porn is merely lack of information and understanding on my part, which I openly admit to. One thing that is now very clear to me is that I mistakenly accused "porn by itself" of things which I should have acknowledged were in fact a combination of "porn and the user" or "the way in which porn is used," which, as you say, makes things a lot more complicated.

Any stance totally and wholly against porn must be a moral one, and I have deliberately left any moral arguments out of this debate as they are totally irrelevant.

Perhaps to understand my claims better you need to understand what they were originally made in response to: the entirely biased "Porn is good for society" article, and in particular the spurious claim that "porn keeps many marriages going."

My original response was to balance out that very one-sided claim with the counter-claim that porn can and does destroy relationships. We have since ascertained that this is loosely true, as long as we accept that the use of porn is at the centre of a sex addiction. That's good enough for me, because at the verly least my position is more cogent than the tripe in that ridiculous article, which essentially claims that porn is always beneficial, healthy, and entirely harmless. Bullshit. :)

I don't know whether or not you would agree with this, but my conclusion from this debate is that - from a purely scientific and empirical standpoint - it must be argued that pornography by itself is neutral: where it causes damage, the user had pre-existing issues; and where it is alleged to promote health and benefits etc., there is no real scientific research to corroborate this. Or is there.... ? :)

Nevertheless, interesting stuff. ;)
Nexxo 17th October 2011, 08:04 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by LennyRhys
As before, the distinction must be made between merely "being exposed to" porn and acutally using it for sexual gratification. I have never argued that porn can desensitise the casual viewer, even though it may well do; I have always maintained that porn can desensitise, warp, and influence specifically when it is used as a sexual stimulus (which, let's be honest, is generally what it's intended to be).
My point all along has been that if a person uses porn for gratification to the extent that they get desensitised and need a harder fix, they have issues to start with.
Quote:
Originally Posted by LennyRhys
Ayrto already accused me of having agenda and that is simply not the case; I'm not blindly blaming porn for anything - what you are perceiving as a strong investment against porn is merely lack of information and understanding on my part, which I openly admit to. One thing that is now very clear to me is that I mistakenly accused "porn by itself" of things which I should have acknowledged were in fact a combination of "porn and the user" or "the way in which porn is used," which, as you say, makes things a lot more complicated.

Any stance totally and wholly against porn must be a moral one, and I have deliberately left any moral arguments out of this debate as they are totally irrelevant.

Perhaps to understand my claims better you need to understand what they were originally made in response to: the entirely biased "Porn is good for society" article, and in particular the spurious claim that "porn keeps many marriages going."

My original response was to balance out that very one-sided claim with the counter-claim that porn can and does destroy relationships. We have since ascertained that this is loosely true, as long as we accept that the use of porn is at the centre of a sex addiction. That's good enough for me, because at the verly least my position is more cogent than the tripe in that ridiculous article, which essentially claims that porn is always beneficial, healthy, and entirely harmless. Bullshit. :)
You mean like your starting argument that porn is always harmful? ;) Well, it looks like at least we both got across what we wanted. :p
Quote:
Originally Posted by LennyRhys
I don't know whether or not you would agree with this, but my conclusion from this debate is that - from a purely scientific and empirical standpoint - it must be argued that pornography by itself is neutral: where it causes damage, the user had pre-existing issues; and where it is alleged to promote health and benefits etc., there is no real scientific research to corroborate this. Or is there.... ? :)
Actually I share many of your concerns about hard-core porn, because I know just how many damaged people there are in the world. I just think that we need to address the problem of people growing up damaged rather than people being exposed to porn. To a certain extent the relationship gets complex and reiterative, but I always think it is better to teach people how to live well rather than just taking away the means by which they live badly.

As for the positive effects of porn: I would be looking towards erotica. But I'm typing this from my iPhone (again) so I'll have to get back to you. But here is something to get on with in the mean time: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=the-sunny-side-of-smut
LennyRhys 17th October 2011, 10:02 Quote
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You mean like your starting argument that porn is always harmful?

I jumped the gun and perhaps misrepresented my own position, but yes that position is fallacious, and I should always have clearly maintained that porn can be harmful...but if I'd said that, we wouldn't have had our profitable debate LOL. :D
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Actually I share many of your concerns about hard-core porn, because I know just how many damaged people there are in the world. I just think that we need to address the problem of people growing up damaged rather than people being exposed to porn. To a certain extent the relationship gets complex and reiterative, but I always think it is better to teach people how to live well rather than just taking away the means by which they live badly

Agree 100% - people need to learn to control their behaviour rather than have no choice to misbehave.
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As for the positive effects of porn: I would be looking towards erotica. But I'm typing this from my iPhone (again) so I'll have to get back to you. But here is something to get on with in the mean time:

It's a very interesting article, and (compared to the nonsense article) it is honest and impartial, identifying associations between statistics as just that - associations, not direct links. The last paragraph is very, very intriguing:

The findings suggest that suppressing the desire to view pornography, for example, for moral or religious reasons, might actually strengthen the urge for it and exacerbate sexual problems. It’s all about “personal views and personal values,” Twohig says. In other words, the effects of pornography—positive or negative—have little to do with the medium itself and everything to do with the person viewing it.

This really intrigues me - isn't it true that suppressing the desire to view anything "wrong" that you really want to (or are tempted to) view makes the desire stronger? Anyway, the final claim supports my view that scientifically pornography is neutral, and the viewer or user qualifies it as either harmful or beneficial depending on the effect that it has upon them.

I have really only one gripe about the article: it seems to have high regard for the "scientific method" of public survey, which as I demonstrated with StingLikeABee is not an impartial scientific test in this arena. People answer surveys about themselves with opinions, not facts - the addict who is "not addicted" being a perfect example. I am suspicious that much of the time when "scientific research" is quoted to hold that pornography is beneficial (or harmless), the so-called research amounts to the opinions of people who use pornography. Not very scientific, eh?!

But, alas, I await the findings of your 30" monitor.
Claire Green 24th October 2011, 10:30 Quote
Well...As to Apple, the internet filter for Mac is a good choice to block unwanted sites.
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