March 19, 1996 · Cavalier Daily

Porn Films Raise False Hopes, Desires

A first-year opinion columnist who is engaged in a long-distance relationship discusses the role of pornography in negotiating feelings of desire. While he somewhat wryly claims that porn films hold some degree of personal appeal for him, he asserts that they promote negative sexual images of women and are frustrating to young men engaged in long-distance relationships. He also claims that romance novels, unlike porn, mediate and "hide" depictions of sex through plot and words.


1996-03-19 - Cavalier Daily Porn Films Raise False Hopes, Desires.pdf
Ethan T. Berlin
Cavalier Daily
Cavalier Daily
Porn Films Raise False Hopes, Desires
Ethan T. Berlin
As a male who is monogamously committed to one of those female types in what could be called a long-distance relationship, my reaction to sexually-oriented experiences differs from the reactions of freewheeling, red-blooded boys.
I don't enjoy the women who sunbathe in front of the dormitories, nor feminine, flowery girl dresses, nor the feminine, flowery girls who wear them. Because of my Iack of frequent interaction with the ole ball and chain, other women merely equate to huge walking middle fingers. Every woman becomes a "Hey, idiot first year, look what you're not getting."
I could attempt to isolate myself from the glory of the fairer sex (This of course is not a sexist statement - anyone who has experienced a first-year male dormitory will easily attest there is nothing fair, fine or otherwise respectable about a species of creature who drinks beer out of ash trays and urinates on their roommates). I am not afraid of women, mind you — I just can't handle what I cannot handle, so to speak.
Okay, now how does this relate to what I am supposed to write about? I certainly won't make the claim that pornographic films do not interest me. Hell, anything with more booty than brains can't be all that bad (take, for example, the College's new add/drop policy). I'm also not all that inexperienced at on-line anatomical research. Lt’s just that observing some other character in orgasmic revelry does not help me contain my explosion of desire.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying motion pictures of staged sexual encounters based around plots as digestible as a double Gus Burger don't exhibit a certain degree of worthiness.
On the contrary, for decades pornography has led the way an equal opportunity industry. Long before a single minority citizen was elected to Congress, nudie movie were more than willing to exploit hundreds of them regardless of the social taboos of the day. Whether you're man or woman, black or white, politico or figurehead University president, there is always a place for you in the nice, warm…ah…hearts of porno fans.
Pornography also has provided a strong, nurturing role for important social movements. By staging a scene of a young farm girl in various sexual situations with local boys in her father's barn, a director can comment on government agriculture subsidies or make a bold statement about government testing standards for poultry products.
Additionally, many porn stars wore American flag pasties and tied a yellow ribbon around their old oak trees during the Gulf War. To a U.S. soldier thousands of miles away from home, nothing could be more reassuring than knowing some lucky stiff was getting more play before 6 a.m. than that soldier got all day.
Although nudie flicks have their positive influences, they also have undeniably negative aspects. First of all, they are gross. There is not much witty commentary on that point. They really are gross.
Second, they bolster false hopes. I'm still disappointed that my hamster would not do certain tricks I saw one perform during one particular film. Third, on a more serious note, pornos create and promote negative sexual images, including the degradation of women. This point will be disputed by numerous readers, but returning to my introduction, after a night of "Pets on the Net," it's rather difficult to look at a broad and not think dirty thoughts.
That is the final and most poignant argument against pornographic movies: They make it hard for guys without their better half. Well, they make it hard any guy, but you know what I'm saying.
Now, for the female counterpart: romance novels. Basically, romance novels are the equivalent of a mime masturbating: There's a lot of moving around, but you don 't really get anything from it. Such literature holds no social or moral values. You'll never find Fabio with a bumper sticker on his butt. Actually, you'll never find him with anything on his butt, except for that little string up there, but what do you want?
I should preface the rest of my ranting by saying that before this assignment had never read a romance novel. Additionally, I had never been romantic, but that is not all that important. I borrowed a few works from my mother, who was more than accommodating in fulfilling my request. She presented me with what she claimed to be a wide assortment of the stuff. with themes running from westerns to pirate ships to dragons. I had no trouble reading the material. In fact, I even learned a few new, publishable words for the female bathing suit area, including the all-popular "womanhood." e.g: He touched her womanhood.
If I wanted to be clever about it, I could say romance novels provide lessons in historical culture or some such hooliganism. Historically, however, the novels are like a world civilization course taught by a whore - you get cheap sex in Victorian beds. The novels are not epic stories, nor are they triumphant tales of gallant women: they're all about whoopee.
The main difference between pornographic films and romance novels is that the books try to hide the sex in plot and words. If, as considered previously, you do not wish to delve too heavily into sexual entertainment, then romance novels are not the way to go.
To put it in Passover terms, pornos are like the main matzah on the seder plate. They show what they got. Romance novels are more like the Afikomen. where you to run around to get the goods.
Ultimately, for a kid at his sexual peak, it really doesn't make a lick of a difference. Each form of sexual expression suits its individual viewership. Neither is better than the other, and both are pretty downright entertaining. Just remember: PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT.
Date Added June 3, 2016
Date Modifed December 25, 2017
Collection Cavalier Daily: articles about gender discrimination

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