Original Source: New York Post
By: Nicole Gelinas
The cool-girl view of porn is that all men watch and so good wives and girlfriends should tolerate it, maybe even browse themselves to learn a few things. Sorry: There’s nothing cool or enlightened about participating in the exploitation of women who aren’t as lucky in life as you.
The latest porn outrage is rape: Five women have accused co-worker Bryan Sevilla, a k a James Deen, of sexual assault. Rape can happen anywhere, but Sevilla’s alleged rapes were part of his work.
Read “performer” Amber Rayne’s accusation: “He starts going crazy . . . extreme, brutally . . . He just starts shoving things in to the point where he ripped it and I bled everywhere. There was so much blood I couldn’t finish the scene.”
This, as with another accusation, was during filming — meaning cast and crew witnessed it.
Don’t like thinking about that? Well, that’s what mainstream porn is. “Pornography glamorizes and encourages sexual violence,” says Haley Halverson of the National Center on Sexual Exploitation.
As anyone who has ever touched a real woman knows, real women don’t like this. But porn performers are real women — and they don’t like it, either.
Read the story of Ashley Brooks, a porn survivor whose abusive husband forced her into the business. “It was filthy and disgusting,” she says of her first experience. “I just said yes and got it over with . . . . I felt like a complete and total prostitute.”
She kept doing it, despite bladder infections, yeast infections, and losing bowel control. “All you can do is try to put the experience out of your mind, but you never really can,” she said.
She’s not alone. “Over the course of my porn career I have been belittled and treated like a piece of trash more than I could have ever imagined,” says Erin Moore, via the Pink Cross Foundation, a resource group for porn victims.
You can read dozens more stories like that. Porn performers also (justifiably) fear disease. HIV is the big terror, but they commonly contract hazards of the job such as gonorrhea and herpes.
Brooks’ saying that she felt like a prostitute is not coincidental.
A porn performer, like a prostitute, submits to impersonal sex acts for money.
Even in Amsterdam, where prostitution is legal and (somewhat) regulated, prostitutes tell of being “beaten into the booth” by abusive spouses. The best women say is that “you have to be very strong to do this.”
Just as with porn, all you need is common sense to see the reality of prostitution: not a chic Spitzer-esque call girl, but being violated by strangers multiple times a day because they have no other practical choice, for not a lot of money and being terrified of being killed or infected while doing it.
A prostitute murdered in her Amsterdam booth last year had a 4-month-old baby.
Thankfully, the vast majority of American men — around 86 percent — haven’t exploited a prostitute. Some of this is (justified) fear of disease, or trepidation about an underworld.
But it seems reasonable — and fair — to assume that most American men are not morons or psychopaths.
The idea of sexually assaulting someone — yes, that’s what it is called when she doesn’t want you penetrating her — just because you’ve got a hundred bucks to spare and someone else is desperate or abused for that hundred bucks isn’t a turn-on (one hopes), but repugnant.
Watching porn isn’t as bad as exploiting a prostitute. Directly harming a flesh-and-blood human being takes a certain capacity for cruelty.
But it’s not great, nor even neutral. The people who make porn depend on page views.
“Every time that you’re clicking on that,” says Halverson, even if you’re not paying a dime, “you’re perpetuating the porn industry” and “the culture of sexual violence.”
And: “Pornography is not fantasy,” she adds. “Everything that you are seeing happened to a real person.”
The tiny video screen is never more than an arm’s length from the bed. But that doesn’t mean that people should think it’s harmless — or that women should perpetuate these illusions.
One person watching porn makes a fellow human being a little bit worse off — so makes the world a little bit worse, too.