L&H Debate: Should We Ban Pornography?

 
 

With the L&H society debating this week on the future of the pornography industry, Catherine Munnelly argues that we should embrace porn rather than showing it the back-door

 

History has shown that human beings have always been incredibly interested in visual sex, known to most as pornography. Upon a glorious 37 thousand year old rock in southern France lays the earliest known cave art: the female sex organ. However, pornography seems to have become more out in the open in the 21st century. In today’s society, most people have at least seen porn. With the majority of people having access to internet, the naturally curious person will find anything they could possibly want or imagine on there.

Sexual education is important and necessary in everyone’s life and frankly people learn better with seeing rather than hearing about it. We’ve all been there, and nobody wants to discuss the sordid details about the dirty deed over a cuppa with Mam and Dad or with a teacher at school. It’s far easier just to go online and have a look. Every day curious teenagers go on a sexual exploration on the web. More than just as an educational tool, taking things online is a perfectly normal way to spice up your sex life. There are 4.2 million pornographic websites online; being young and curious you’re bound to find something that gets your boat afloat.

Visual pornography does have its downfalls. Pornography is often exaggerated, with men lasting an entire length of a pornography video with actors hired based on the above-average size of their genitals. Female porn actors are hired for similar reasons. Huge numbers have had plastic surgery in order to achieve the sexiest body, and are trained to vocalise their acted pleasure in extremely exaggerated ways. As a result, both genders of youth are left with a false interpretation of sex and less body confidence. The solution, however, should be to introduce more realistic actors and actresses into the more soft-core productions, rather than to ban pornographic content altogether.

Sexual images are everywhere: in the films and television programmes we watch, in music videos, and magazines we read. Sex has become far more publicly acceptable in the past thirty years, and much of what we is now considered mainstream could once have been borderline pornography.

The porn industry is one of the largest in the world, under the overall umbrella of the sex industry. Each year hundreds of porn conventions pop up around the globe, mostly in the United States. ‘Erotica’ in Miami, one of the most renowned conventions receives thousands of visitors each year and is ranked number 22 of 111 attractions on Trip Advisor. It is a multi-million dollar business. If you want the 3D effect, you can pay seventeen quid for a pint and a sex show along the strip that is the infamous red-light district in Amsterdam. One can pop down to the shop for the latest copy of Playboy or Nuts magazine. There are hundreds of thousands of people working in pornography and at the end of the day it does create employment. As long as the medical tests are clear and the person is willing and wanting to take this career path, why not?

If pornography was banned from existence, would erotic novels also be? The 50 Shades of Grey trilogy has sold more copies than the Da Vinci Code and any Harry Potter book. It is essentially porn with feelings, and women everywhere are eating it up. It is not visual porn but the books’ protagonist, Anastasia Steele, is quite descriptive in telling us what’s going on so it’s easy to imagine, and is imagining so different to watching porn? There is such a fine line between these kinds of pornography. Even if all pornographic images were wiped out and the Government held a book burning for all erotic novels, surely we could use a little imagination and still have a good time.

Banning porn is futile. You can take the porn away from the people, but you can’t take the sexual need out of them. It’s common knowledge that people with better sex lives are happier than those who have little to none. Overall, the pros of pornography weigh up more than the cons. Pornography provides society with the opportunity for sexual exploration for couples and proves that you don’t need a partner in order to have a good time by yourself. Although a lot of pornography is considered shallow and exaggerated, a realistic film that received support and funding from the Department of Education for the purpose of sexual education could be implemented. As long as everyone working in the industry is doing so by choice and is clean of all sexually transmitted diseases, what’s the real harm?

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