Speak no evil: You can’t even talk about porn, it seems

Many of you will know that I wrote a lengthy essay speaking out against pornography. The tone of the essay was one of empowerment against addiction and also of sympathy with those already addicted. I do not believe in condemning people, only in helping them to better themselves.

The essay was part experience, part information gleaned from conversations, part introspection, part personal philosophy, and part research. Throughout the essay, I made no distinction between those elements, because I was not interested in writing some kind of personal confession. However, somebody out there has interpreted it just like that. In the eyes of someone (I don’t know who, because this was communicated to me through a third party), I am viewed as dangerous. I am gutted that someone could so completely miss the 101 positive things I had to say that will help young people steer clear of pornography, and instead see me as some kind of villain.

I knew I was taking a risk to tackle such a taboo topic, but I also knew that so many young people were naively exposing themselves to porn and becoming addicted behind their parents’ backs, and all I could think was, “I know exactly what porn is, and I know exactly how to keep it out of my life. I can’t not share what I know.”

Anyway, I took the essay down, and in doing so I disappointed myself, because I feel I caved in to something I try very hard not to do: live in fear of what other people think of me. It’s the way a lot of people live, and it’s no way to live.

I plan to make some changes to the essay and put it back online. I want to improve the accuracy, amend some parts that I’ve had new thinking on, and snip a lot of unnecessary waffle out.

I try to live an inspiring life. I try not to be someone who merely comes home in the evening, switches on his television, and has no higher purpose than to entertain himself as much as possible on the way to death. I want to be the sort of person who does what he believes is right without fear of the consequences, but sometimes it’s so hard. I am just so disturbed that someone could read something I said and paint a picture of me that is the total opposite of what I am.

I leave you with some statistical information that reveals the sheer scale of pornography on the internet. The word “epidemic” comes to mind, and it’s clear that it extends to young people. I feel this is the ultimate justification for the necessity of an essay like mine:

  • Number of pornographic websites: 4.2 million (12% of total websites in world)
  • Daily pornographic search engine requests: 68 million (25% of total search engine requests)
  • Received unwanted exposure to sexual material: 34% of internet users
  • Monthly pornographic downloads (peer-to-peer): 1.5 million (35% of all downloads)
  • Average age of first internet exposure to pornography: 11 years old
  • 15-17 year olds having multiple hardcore exposures: 80%
  • 8-16 year olds having viewed porn online: 90% (most while doing homework)
  • Christians who said pornography is a major problem in the home: 47%
  • Adults admitting to internet sexual addiction: 10%

These stats are from Family Safe Media. Click the link for a lot more.

9 thoughts on “Speak no evil: You can’t even talk about porn, it seems

  1. People will always find fault with what you do and make assumptions that are inaccurate. Sometimes it’ll be misunderstanding, sometimes it’ll just be that they have an agenda. But you can’t keep going back and editing everything to keep people happy. At the end of the day there’ll always be people that aren’t happy with what you’re saying, no matter how much you try.

    I’d noticed you’d taken down a few things recently, and all the comments within the posts. If you keep doing this every time someone overreacts or gets the wrong idea, you’ll end up with nothing on the site. If you keep backing down when people push, you’ll end up being what they want you to be, rather than being what you are.

  2. I hear you, Paul. And I totally agree.

    The only lesson I take from this episode is the need to be super careful and razor-sharp accurate when speaking about volatile topics.

  3. How cowardly it was for that person to make those comments and accusations anonymously. It sounds like a classic case of someone with something to hide.

    Chances are they didn’t read more than 10% of your essay anyway. Too busy being indignant.

  4. This all symptomatic of the real problem: People suck.

    You can’t discuss porn, in the same way you can’t discuss child abuse. It offends people and makes them wonder WHY you are discussing it. Obviously you are some sort of deviant to be thinking about it at all. Especially in your line of work, where “concerned parents” are probably already igniting the torches and sharpening the pitchforks.

    As for the proliferation of porn online… well it’s linked to the proliferation of copyright infringement, stalking, tedious soapboxing and general abuse; People see it as a place where they can do what they want. What they want is to not pay for software, music, movies etc… they want to rail against the world that they don’t usually understand, and then they want a swift wank to top it all off. Some might then pop on LiveJournal/MySpace/whathaveyou with their feelings of shame and inadequacy and write a suicide note or two. Others might just get a pizza, as you still can’t leech one of those online.

    People are selfish, lazy, insecure and arrogant. And the net has been the perfect outlet for all those usually restrained traits that would become quickly intolerable in “RL”. It’s a deeply unhealthy place a lot of the time, which is a shame as it has such great potential.

    I just hope it reaches that potential before the human race is made extinct as a result of catching STDs from dirty keyboards.

  5. Hidyjane

    Hi, Finally have my broadband up and running! Been a long time. I just read the first thing on this site (cos I love it and will spend hours looking through all the updates)

    BUT…Wow, I think Paulie got it in one “If you keep backing down when people push, you’ll end up being what they want you to be, rather than being what you are.”

    a statement so true.. lol, I will have more to say later but just keep doing what you are ‘doing’ … it’s all good…

  6. Hidyjane

    Just like to add.. Where the ell did I get that icon from? it’s like an alien Lisa Simpson, with a twist lol!

  7. Hi, Heidi.

    My avatar is a character called Doomlord, from a photo comic strip of the same name found in the British comic Eagle, 1982. He’s been in my mind recently, as I started collecting those old comics again on eBay.

  8. Hello –

    I found you through a review of your book, Chion, posted on SPR. We’re told to take a look at your website, so I did, and I’m glad I did.

    I hope you WILL repost that essay. I wonder if it includes not only the potential damage to relationships (usually only when the porn viewer either lies about his viewing or allows the viewing to take precedence over his real-life sexual relationship), but the often degrading and submissive positions and roles taken on by women in porn, and how that contributes to the way porn fanatics may view women in their day to day lives.

  9. Hi, Kristen.

    The essay is still online. It was only off for a couple of days. Check the “Essays” tab at the top of the site.

    I feel it needs another edit, in retrospect. I’ve been thinking a lot about the destructive power of guilt, and I want to add something about that.

    Thanks for your interest.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s