In the United States alone, a pornographic video is produced every thirty-nine minutes; 11,000 adult movies are released per year — more than twenty times mainstream movie releases. In 2006, the sum of international revenues from pornographic videos, sexual novelties, magazines, “dance” clubs, pay-per-view television, and the Internet was approximately $97 billion. That figure is more than the combined annual revenues of the NFL, NBA, and Major League Baseball.
In the United States, revenues for pornography are larger than the revenues of Microsoft, Google, Amazon, eBay, Yahoo!, Apple, Netflix, and EarthLink combined. It’s rather mind-boggling to consider that $3,075.64 is being spent on pornography internationally every second. The United States produces more Internet porn than anybody else on the planet.
Does Porn Cause Pedophilia, Rape, and Divorce?
Are the arguments that porn increases pedophiliac tendencies and makes men want to rape and therefore increases the risk of child abuse and rape legitimate? Aside from any studies done on these issues, think about it reasonably for yourself. Would a person with a healthy moral compass about right and wrong behavior be even remotely interested in viewing films that depict children in sexual acts? Assuming you could even get them to sit still for it. People who engage in pedophilia are pedophiles to begin with.
As Theodore Shroeder states in his work, Challenge to Sex Censors, “obscenity exists only in the minds that discover it and charge others with it.” If we were to reflect objectively on the subject matter we would find the law of nature; that is everyone performs the very acts they attribute to others.
Porn films are films and as such are incapable of forcing anyone to do anything he or she doesn’t want to do or of being a leading cause of divorce. The leading cause of divorce is the decision to divorce. Pornography is a pressure valve, releasing social and cultural oppression. Studies have repeatedly shown that pornography actually decreases the incidence of rape and aggressive sexual acts.
There are more incidences of rape and violence against women in countries where there is no porn than there are in countries where pornography is available. A story in the Huffington Post reported, “Rape within the US military has become so widespread that it is estimated that a female soldier in Iraq is more likely to be attacked by a fellow soldier than killed by enemy fire.” Rape in the military is not gender specific, it crosses lines. “According to the Veterans Affairs Office 37% of the sexual trauma cases reported last year (2010) were men.”
What Questions Do We Need to Ask?
The questions not being asked are: Why so much “porn addiction” in the first place? And why so much emphasis on it? Why such high statistics of rape in the military? What is missing in our lives? Where is the meaning to life? What do we need to have fulfilling lives?
If our life is empty, we may turn to anything to feel better momentarily. Porn is not the problem. The problems we face and apply Band-Aid treatments to are much, much deeper. Perhaps we need to look at the deeper issues of a lack of intimacy, the economic debacle, endless war permeating all of our psyches, rampant lack of hope and opportunities, and the mess we are creating for the next generations. Perhaps porn use is the morphine of the masses so we don’t have to feel how bad our lives are.
Pornography has always been around in some version. It will always be here.
Sexual Pleasure Is Our Birthright
The problem for some people is the disconnect they experience between what their body is telling them and what their internal programming is telling them — that it’s wrong and perverse to view porn. We have the same feelings about pornography that we have about anything that is too revealing, embarrassing, obscene, private, and explicit as well as exciting, interesting, and life affirming.
Porn allows us to go to our imaginative extremes. Author Dale Pendell says, “There should be extremes that are in bad taste. Extremes by definition are in bad taste. You have to allow that. That’s what tolerance is. And tolerance is the basis of any kind of free society. And the only hope for people who want to live without Big Brother.”
Listen to your body; it knows what feels good. There is nothing inherently wrong with pornography or watching it. Well, except when you let it interfere with your job, and you miss busting a $550 million Ponzi scheme. Investigations revealed that during one week in 2008, a supervisor at the Securities and Exchange Commission attempted 196 times to view porn on his office computer.
What is the Source of the Problem?
The problem is not pornography. Or pornographers. Or addictions. Or drugs. The source of the problem lies in our inner beings. We are terrified of ourselves, of intimacy, of our power. We are terrified of seeing the truth or speaking our truth. We are afraid of saying no and even of saying yes. Afraid of unveiling ourselves.
The crimes against essential human dignity stop with me. The sin of lying to our children, of deceiving them and ourselves must become something else. Placing the blame on something outside ourselves will not change our behavior or circumstances or how we feel.
Each of us has our own private ways of dealing with or avoiding the pain of our lives, the pain we see in the world, the pain of growing old. If watching porn helps, don’t deny us that as we find ways to be alive in the midst of the heartbreaks and pain.
©2012 by Julie McIntyre. All Rights Reserved.
Reprinted with permission of the publisher, Destiny Books,
an imprint of Inner Traditions, Inc. www.innertraditions.com
This article was adapted with permission from the book:
Sex and the Intelligence of the Heart: Nature, Intimacy, and Sexual Energy
by Julie McIntyre.
Exploring the territory of intimacy, sacred sex, and emotional healing as a journey to wholeness, Julie McIntyre examines the sacred relationship between sexuality and the Earth. Detailing the process of moving from your head to the secret garden of your heart, she provides exercises to heal your psyche of old emotional trauma, reconnect with the intuitive intelligence of the heart, and cultivate a deeper relationship with the Earth in order to trust yourself and become vulnerable and open with your lover and thus truly intimate.
About the Author
JULIE McINTYRE is an Earth Ceremonialist and spiritual teacher who leads Earth Medicine apprenticeships, wilderness retreats, and Deep Ecology intensives throughout the United States, Canada, and Ireland. A double-degree graduate in Political Science and Public Communications, Julie has completed postgraduate training in sacred plant medicine, Ayurveda, Reiki, medical herbalism, Huichol shamanism, and wilderness survival. She is the director for the Center for Earth Relations and for over a decade has worked with the Sacred Pipe, Medicine Wheel, sweat lodge and Vision Quests in facilitating closer human bonding with the Earth. For more information about Julie, visit www.gaianstudies.org