Pornography Prologue: Take 7

Several years ago, looking for an excuse, perchance, to surf some Internet pornography, the idea came to write an article or series concerning the dysfunctional relationship between society and pornography.

It seemed a good idea at the time.

Pornography permeates our media. Has done since the Victorians invented pornography.

Controversy surrounds pornography. Some consider it a destroyer of youth. Others a bulwark of free press.


Not one person can define, clearly, where pornography begins and art ends. Facing that question, the highest court in the land retreated behind nonsense.

“I shall not … attempt … to define … [pornography] … perhaps I could never succeed in intelligibly doing so. But I know it when I see it …” 

Thanks Potter. “I know it when I see it.” No ambiguity there. Helps a lot.


Ignoring the explicit intent of libidinous arousal, pornography becomes a genre that, weighed intellectually or as literature, evokes every emotion.

Certainly those who hate sex in general, same sex sex and nudity feel outrage and anger to see what they hate plainly depicted in print and on the screen.

Tragedy must fill those who love sex when, as they consistently do, pornographers overtly weld sex to violence.

When, again common, pornography depicts women in poses and roles suggesting they are no more than receptacles for the desires of men, advocates of sexual equality must feel sadness that the neurosis continues.

Yet those easily moved to laughter see that, beneath the arousal and passion, sexual activity in pornography, as in life, amuses with comedy akin to slapstick: How does she, from that position, manage to look into the camera?


Given the richness of the topic, why have years passed, empty waters flowing beneath an incomplete bridge, since the idea for an article or seven emerged? Fear and loathing. Fear that writing about pornography exposes the hidden attitudes, at once outside social nicety and conservative. Loathing the topic deserves more words and cognition than a lazy writer feels comfortable committing to. 

Finally, the research. Unwritten, the articles justify seeking, studying and annotating pornographic works. All in the name of good journalism. To publish cancels the reason, transforms what was yesterday a noble pursuit of knowledge into just another old perv staring at delicious body parts.

Enjoy the sacrifice. The research shall be missed.

(to be continued – maybe)


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