We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

The unobtainable splendour of pornography

Porn has been around longer than written language. It has been around since humans first started drawing on cave walls. If porn is unnatural, then so is writing and agriculture and high heels and teddy bears and antibiotics. As for causing emotional and physical damage, you could just as easily be describing most close personal relationships, or football, or being a war correspondent or riding a horse come to that. Are these also things to be ‘discouraged’?

One big trouble I have with so many conservatives is the implicit arrogance that underneath it all, people basically see the world the way they do and feel as they do. Now I am as guilty as them of seeing the world through the filters of my own experience and emotions, but at least I do not claim that I think most other people secretly agree with me when it is quite clear they do not. Conservatives can claim that there is deep meaning in sex and certainly that can be true. But the truth is that sometimes sex is the banquet at the wedding feast and sometimes it is just a quick trip to MacDonalds.

The evidence is clear that much of the time people see sex as an end in and of itself. You do not have to even read Playboy to see that. Look through Vogue and you will see page after page of exaltations of female sexuality… not female commitment, female sexuality, with a strongly bisexual/sapphic overtone at that. It is all about elegant, lovely, lustful and largely unobtainable sexual perfection. We all want to look like exquisite Christy Turlington wearing Hervé Leger, Bulgari and exchanging enigmatic eye contact with Linda Evangalista. Of course we all know in our heart of hearts that the only person who can actually do that is Christy Turlington, not us. Yet I still buy Vogue every month… Italian edition, German edition, Russian edition, British edition.

And so it is with pornography. Maybe we need to look at unobtainable uncomplicated thrilling sex for the same reason we want to look at unobtainable expensive sophistication in Vogue. For the same reason preliterate man made sexual cave paintings and extravagantly male outlines on hillsides, we still need to experience the animal side of our existence. Do you think the conservatives roaring fiercely as they watch their favourite sportsman on television are getting in touch with the spirit of Aristotle? So why do they find it so hard to understand the nature of pornography? It is impossible not to trip over people’s true attitude to sex every time you walk down the street or turn on the television or pick up a magazine. People do not use marriage as a marketing devise, they use sex, because that is what people actually think about much of the time. Pornography is just the essence of that. In reality most well adjusted people do not get porn and real life confused, keeping them in different boxes in their heads.

Yet I don’t read Vogue primarity for the articles anymore than most people read Playboy for the articles (which are mostly crypto-socialist drivel anyway). I read them both for the sex. I don’t have a problem with pornography because unlike many conservatives and their socialist-feminist friends, I do not have a problem with the reality of human nature. I just wish those conservatives and their statist allies on the left would stop trying to use the force of law to impose peculiar world views on everyone else.

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