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« Seattle Squeeze: New Urban Living | Main | $$$martphones ... »

July 17, 2009

Mental -- And Physical -- Health

Michael Blowhard writes:

Dear Blowhards --

Maybe it isn't porn that's dangerous to your health. Maybe it's girlfriends.

Bonus Links: Rod Dreher asks his readers what they make of living in a "pornified" culture. Razib shares some facts and thoughts about the topic.

* Alexa didn't love "The Girlfriend Experience." (NSFW)



posted by Michael at July 17, 2009


From the article: "Christopher sought medical attention at GLMC."
I have worked in that emergency department. My voyeuristic self wishes I'd worked that day.

Posted by: jz on July 17, 2009 12:20 PM

Sigh about Dreher's invocation of serial rapists/killers using porn to excuse/explain their behaviour. Porn use is ubiquitous today according to Dreher himself. Rape is down, way down. Coincidence? I THINK NOT.

Look, porn probably has the effect of distancing men from real life women in all their maddening complexity and less-than-airbrushed-perfect bodies.

That means that nice guys who can't handle women get to fire up some porn and, ah, handle themselves if you catch the angle of my jib so to speak. That also applies to rapists. They get to fire up some porn and watch their fantasies come to life. And that means they don't have to go to all the trouble and risk of heading out hunting for real instead of virtual victims.

Just as porn might have the genuinely troubling effect of putting distance between men and women, it has the beneficial effect of putting distance between would-be rapists and their could-be victims.

Win some, lose some. Isn't it always that way with the sexes?

Posted by: PatrickH on July 17, 2009 1:49 PM

The real problem with Dreher and social conservatives of his ilk is that they attack the symptoms of sexual market anarchy (pornography) but have little to say about the root causes of said anarchy (easy contraception, anti-male laws, female hypergamy, et cetera). To harp about our "pornified" society without considering WHY it became like this is to miss the ocean for the water.

Posted by: Ferdinand Bardamu on July 17, 2009 3:18 PM

Check out Ferdinand's more extensive thoughts on the subject:

Posted by: Michael Blowhard on July 17, 2009 4:04 PM

Men have wanted to look at pictures of nekkid women since the days of the caveman - the male homo sapiens is hard-wired to seek sexual variety, and looking at "dirty" pictures is the most natural thing in the world. Along with playing with yourself, of course.

And I'm not buying, not for even a second, the notion that Mr. Dreher looked at a few girly magazines as a teenage boy and is "creeped out" by them. If he had said "I don't look at porno out of respect for my wife" I could believe that. "Creeped out?" Gimme a break.

Posted by: Sgt. Joe Friday on July 17, 2009 5:58 PM

I'm creeped out be some types, other types, the opposite of creeped out. Maybe Dreher just got a hold of some bad stuff early on and now has a mental block about it.

Posted by: JV on July 17, 2009 6:48 PM

Pat H,
The proposition that porn prevents sexual violence seems unlikely to me. Do you have any evidence. I've never seen an empirical study that shows porn demonstrably effecting sexual violence though your premise certainly seems reasonable in individual cases.

Posted by: hello on July 17, 2009 8:01 PM

Female hypergamy has been the norm throughout most human cultures. There have, of course, been individual exceptions but I have never read of a society where women routinely married men who had lower education, wealth or social status than they did. Social pressure and the inability of women to support themselves (not to mention arranged marriages) led many women to marry men that they didn't really want to, and those motives are almost eradicated. This leads to many women deciding not to settle, but that isn't really the same thing as hypergamy.

Posted by: hello on July 17, 2009 8:24 PM

So, gentlemen, answer me this: did your paleolithic ancestors suffer in any way for lack of porn?

Posted by: jz on July 17, 2009 10:13 PM

Paleo porn! I like it. I wonder what the answer to jz's question is. Men after all (at least beneath a certain age) have to get off fairly frequently. It's a simple and unavoidable physical need. Obliging women sometimes aren't available. (You haven't yet paired up ... She isn't in the mood ... ) So what did horny Paleodudes who needed some release do? Rely on the mind's eye? Hide in the bushes at the bathing hole and hope for the best?

Whatever the answer, I'm picturing a good scene in a Mel Brooks movie.

Posted by: Michael Blowhard on July 18, 2009 11:25 AM

I know a girl who's been an escort in the LA area for almost a year (no, I'm not a customer) and she thought "The Girlfriend Experience" was pretty accurate.

Posted by: Bryan on July 18, 2009 11:27 AM

hello, hello:

My point in response to Dreher was that the ubiquity of porn has coincided with a drop in the rate of rape (this drop also being accompanied by a general trend to lower rates of violent crime--I think but am not certain which has reversed slightly lately).

I make no claims (or ought not to have if I did) that the availability of porn reduces rape, only that my hypothesis is at least compatible with what's gone on with porn and sex and rape in recent decades. In other words, the older feminist anti-porn crusade, that porn leads to violence against women, is wrong. As I say here, my guess is that the reduction in rape is probably more due to whatever has been causing violent crime rates to drop in general.

As for whether our ancestors suffered for lack of porn, well probably a lot less than they suffered from lack of food or medicine or dentistry. The question is vacuous. We have porn today. What effect is it having? On men, and on women? Dreher's hopelessly labile personality has led him into yet another pointless exercise in moralizing indignation of the kind he seems to be compelled to engage in (I stopped reading him years ago when I got tired of the same old handwringing I'm-so-sensitive hysteria from him). And his hypocrisy of course. He was creeped out by porn? I don't believe it any more than does the sergeant detective above.

Methinks the girly-boy doth protest and wringeth his pale girly-boy hands too mucheth.

Posted by: PatrickH on July 18, 2009 4:57 PM

If you can't get porn in the real world there's always a ready substitute in the imagination. And the male mind is very very capable of creating mental imagery of that kind.

Posted by: Todd Fletcher on July 20, 2009 12:46 PM

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