What are Unknown Facts Related to Pornography
An intermediate result
This is an attempt to write a balanced article on the polarizing topic of pornography. It is said to be about legal, mainstream pornography that is consumed regularly or excessively by a large part of the population. In doing so, essential trends and developments, but also problems, should be addressed without claiming to be exhaustive.
To clarify some facts and figures, a few statistics to start with:
- Men regularly use pornographic offers more often than women. In terms of the gender distribution of users of the "Pornhub" service, around 76% are male and 24% are female. This picture also coincides with other statistics on porn consumption.
- In a 2013 Emnid survey, 71% of respondents said they had never visited a pornographic website.
- Almost half of men in Germany state that they consume porn while masturbating, whereas it is just under 20% of women.
- According to a 2016 survey among people who have had sex before, 24% of women in Germany are "masturbation refusers", so they never "lend a hand" themselves, but only 12% of men. 18% of the men surveyed are embarrassed about the topic and do not want to give any information. In women it is even 30%.
- According to a survey of young Swiss people, carried out by the Sex Education Center (2011), 21% of boys stated that they perceive pornography to be "somewhat" (16%) or "very" (5%) truthful. The girls had a more realistic look with "somewhat" (10%) or "very" (1%).
- 12.4% of the worldwide porn traffic can be traced back to porn consumption in Germany alone. 25% of searches in Germany have something to do with sex and pornography.
- The USA, of all places, known for its prudishness, is by far the largest provider of online pornography (thanks to its liberal coastal regions). With a 24.5% global market share. They are followed by Great Britain, Germany, Brazil, France, Russia and Japan, each with just under 4 to 5.5% market shares.
Porn, prostitution, crime
Without going into illegal content such as child pornography in this article, just take a look at many of them legal Mainstream pornography pages and content to look into the abyss of human wickedness and sociopathy.
Any Internet user can consume legally available violent pornography on the well-known free porn sites. The labels alone, under which such porno films appear, speak for themselves. They are called, for example, "Smash Latina" ("Smash Latin American women"), "Asian Street Meat" ("Asian street meat") or "Facial Abuse" ("Oral abuse").
If you don't find the inhuman content in the normal categories such as hardcore, oral, etc., then definitely under the keywords S&M or BDSM. In the Sado Maso area there are people who are actually into pain, humiliation, or inflicting pain on other people. In pornography, however, it is often not clear whether the people portrayed do these practices voluntarily. It is often obvious that the performers - or at least the dominated actress (the masochists are almost always female in porn), feel no joy, let alone pleasure, in these practices.
Common forms of abuse can also be found in "harmless" mainstream glossy and amateur porn. These include the following (without claiming to be exhaustive):
- The "showing" of a naked woman as if at a cattle market, with a man questioning her from the off. Or: A man has sex with a woman, and another man comments off-screen foolish statements and “encourages” the man to “really get it” for the woman.
- Insults during sex - including statements that the woman is ugly or stupid.
- Rough pushing or throwing the woman around and overall rough sex, in which the male partner does not care whether the woman is in pain from his rubbing and fucking.
- "Light" or strong slaps during sex, especially while the woman is giving oral sex to the man.
- Choking the woman by hand during sex, or during oral sex by the man not pulling his penis out of the woman's throat, although she obviously cannot breathe.
- Disgusting "varieties" such as "Ass To Mouth", ie oral sex by the woman immediately after unprotected anal sex. Splashing of semen or urine over the woman or of semen into the woman's face. But also direct spooks in the face or in the mouth.
- Slapping the woman's butt during sex until the butt is very red. Or just symbolic blows, especially during sex "from behind". The latter porn trend, which is rarely found in the real bedrooms of the world, was satirized in the Hollywood film "Along Came Polly" by Ben Stiller and Jennifer Aniston.
These listed forms of humiliation and violence unfortunately only partially fall within the legal definition of "violent pornography". So they are worse legal or at least only move in a gray area. Jurists and scholars are still arguing about definitions of legality and illegality, however, and a distinction is made between normal, legal pornography, so-called "hardcore pornography", and illegal "hard pornography" (more appropriate would be "pathological pornography"), which also includes child pornography is counted.
Actually, the production and distribution of violent pornography is illegal in Germany. In fact, as the above legal examples of hardcore pornography available online show. Sado-Maso representations based on mutual consent are legal, although, as I said, in many cases the viewer cannot distinguish at all whether there is a voluntary nature of all those involved.
Many dubious pornographic representations are gray areas that will not be prosecuted. To make matters worse, violent mainstream pornography is mostly hosted on servers that are not in Europe. An interesting detail in this context is the fact that the blockchain, which is the technical basis for some cryptocurrencies, should actually be switched off at least in part, as it contains illegal pornographic images and links.
Much criticism of pornography has been made in recent years, most recently very concisely by Wolf Reiser, who published an article on Telepolis about how violence and sexuality merge in mainstream pornography. Above all, he criticized the fact that almost all of the violent waves of pornography waft through the net unsanctioned and unfiltered, without having been curbed even a little by social discourse.
Regarding the state of our society, he writes:
The distant viewer of contaminated HD films of the quality class "Anal Destruction" poses the question of who exactly and why is sending this fascist and militant illustrative material on the way and what the real purpose of this apocalyptic vendetta against women, children, minorities and of course also the There are millions upon millions of men in their bashful home masturbatoriums.Wolf Reiser
Note: One should ask Mr. Reiser why he himself uses potentially fascist terms such as "virtuous regime" and "excessive sexual violence in the migrant milieu".
Criticism of pornography is discussed somewhat less polemically in discussion rounds that are well worth seeing, such as in the context of "Sternstunde Philosophie" on Swiss television.
Youth, inner emptiness, performance society
An important social problem with regard to pornography is the low-threshold access for children to such content. Especially when one's own sexuality is not yet defined and fully developed, it cannot be ruled out that young people will be negatively influenced by porn consumption. On the other hand, you could of course also say that pornography helps to raise awareness if the young person can filter what is realistic and what is not. If. For adults in particular, pornography can, in positive terms, be an inspiration for what you can do in or outside of bed.
In the documentary series "Die Story" on WDR, the topic of children and pornography was last examined in more detail in February of this year. According to the teachers quoted there, students get younger and younger when they first come into contact with pornography. "Youtube stars" are also shown who talk stupidly about sex and pornography and thus apparently exert pressure on adolescents: this would create perceived compulsions with regard to what children think, what they "have to do" in bed as soon as they do become sexually active. A sex therapist sums it up in the article:
That where we develop a certain performance pressure. The images - they are conditioned - for masturbation are called up again and again. That means, they also memorize themselves. [...] Even if we know that it is faked. [...] That you get into a kind of self-optimization track, where the bar is so high that 'real life' actually competes against it and hardly has a chance.Heike Melzer, sex therapist
With this statement, Ms. Melzer implicitly addresses the neoliberal performance society, in which supposedly everything has to be ranked, assessed, compared - in which people have to market themselves and have (let themselves be) valued as "human capital". In this case like at a cattle market for your own fresh meat. This shows how the principles of economics spill over into other areas of life.
In this example they invade the realm of relationships and sexuality and (destroy) the peaceful coexistence of people. Here, too, our society fails to keep the principles of the economy out of sensitive areas (as it does in the education system, services of general interest, art, culture, etc.).
Back to the topic: A more feasible solution that is presented to deal with the problem is to talk more about pornography and dealing with sexuality in school lessons. After all, protection of minors does not work in Germany with regard to pornography and other ways have to be found: One click on "I'm already 18" is enough to overcome the "access restriction". At least when the porn portals are located abroad, which is the case with most of them.
An extreme side effect of the rampant pornography of young people is the relatively new phenomenon of so-called "porn bullying". Porn bullying means that, for example, nude pictures or sex videos are posted on the Internet motivated by hatred in order to defame and humiliate others. Sometimes this takes the form of fakes, in which the heads of real people are mounted in porn scenes.
Porn bullying was also a theme in the 2011 television film "Home Video", which is well worth seeing. In this film, a private masturbation video accidentally gets into the hands of other teenagers who use it to blackmail their classmates.
In addition to porn bullying, porn addiction (i.e. excessive consumption) is a second problem among young people today. In this context, medical experiments that observe the effects of pornography on the brain are exciting. The fact is that the reward system of the human brain is very strongly activated when watching such pictures or videos. And it is precisely these brain regions that are very active in people with other addictions.
Incidentally, porn addiction and toxic masculinity as a social challenge were wonderfully pointed and satirized by Jan Henrik Stahlberg in his 2017 film "Fikkefuchs". For example in this revealing sex scene, which says a lot about false expectations and unrealistic assessments of sex.
According to some studies, the reasons for porn addiction are to be found, among other things, in an "existential vacuum" of many young people, also triggered by the increasing breakup of social relationships, families, etc. Combination is a good breeding ground for addictions to develop. It is estimated that there are around half a million sex addicts in Germany, some of whom are explicitly considered to be porn addicts. About 80% of these are male and it is estimated that they make up between half and 5% of the population. In many cases, these people endanger their social relationships, professions or educational pathways due to the enormous amount of time it takes to watch porn. According to experts, the addict's ability to empathize also suffers.
The meaninglessness in modern industrial society, which is the basis for many problems, goes hand in hand with the emergence of boredom. In the 1960s, for example, Theodor W. Adorno criticized externally determined work in modern industrial society for having negative effects on people as a whole - especially for their leisure time. This is characterized by social self-evaluation compulsions for many of pathological boredom:
Boredom is a function of life under the compulsion to work and under the division of labor. [...] Whenever behavior in free time is truly autonomously determined by free people for themselves, boredom hardly arises. [...] Boredom is the reflex to the objective equality again and again. [...]Quotes from the lecture "Leisure Time of Freedom", 1969
Whoever wants to adapt has to forego imagination to an increasing extent. [...] The socially implanted and required lack of imagination makes people helpless in their free time
Feminist, fair, female porn
In response to social disputes about the harmfulness of pornography, a trend has emerged in recent years towards "ethical", "alternative" pornography (also known as "old porn"), or pornography especially for women. Productions in these categories want to limit abuse and break away from the toxic-male clichés of the industry.
Maike Brochhaus, for example, alternative porn director, discussed her approach in more detail on Bayerischer Rundfunk.
In her sense, alternative porn is part of a subculture and "anti-commercial" works, or "fair trade porn" as she calls it. There are internally defined rights and obligations in their productions (e.g. compulsory condoms for vaginal sex) and a fixed financial contribution for the porn actors. These productions represented an "equal pornography" and would have a stronger focus on aesthetic images, played with documentary approaches and improvised dialogues. In part, they tried to reproduce the style of 1970s porn, which had a plot, albeit often wooden.
Brochhaus rejects the focus on the male orgasm in mainstream porn, but also absurdities such as the man hosing down in a so-called "cumshot" at the end of such films.
But there is also criticism of so-called ethical porn, which in many cases would offer even worse working conditions than some high-gloss productions. At least critics are of the opinion that it is just insubstantial PR if such labels are advertised. After all, there is no independent certification and the labels are practically self-made.
Credible, generalizable statements about working conditions in this industry, for example from trade unions (maybe from Verdi, because the service industry?), Do not seem to have existed so far.
Worth mentioning in this context is the scandal surrounding the allegedly feminist porn actor "James Deen" (actually Bryan Sevilla), who is said to have beaten and raped female colleagues. How an actor was able to develop such a positive reputation as "feminist", even though he was verifiable for the critical public in orgies of pornographic violence such as posed rape, is a mystery.
But the stars of the 1970s top porn have also reported and written about their abuse biographies. Prominent e.g. Linda Lovelace, leading actress of "Deepthroat" from 1972, one of the most famous porn movies to date.
Not surprisingly, there is criticism of pornography, especially from a feminist perspective. Opinions range from a radical rejection of porn in general to calling for ethical depictions of sex. The feminist magazine EMMA launched a PorNO! started. The perspective has been summarized since then:
According to our definition, pornography is exclusively "the combination of sexual pleasure with pleasure in humiliation and violence in both text and image".
This, of course, is an extreme definition that not everyone will endorse. Most of the other arguments are more understandable; like pornography interfering with the imagination. Criticism comes partly from the male side, for example Ran Gavrieli, for whom pornography is "filmed prostitution".He points to the lack of passionate kisses, caresses and affection in the portrayal of sexuality in porn. But also to the close connection between prostitution and pornography.
Also interesting are the statements of the ex-prostitute Ilan Stephani, who pointed out the widespread uptightness in society in an interview with the TAZ. This is related to the pathological complex of violence and sexuality. For Stephani, this is also an essential reason for many relationships "in bed" not working from her point of view (which in turn could be a reason why there are people at all who, despite a stable relationship, become customers of prostitutes). Certainly bad luck with the choice of partners in Stephani's life also plays a role if she comes to her pessimistic assessment:
Penis has to be in vagina, that's such a narrow conception of sexuality. And then in the romantic two-way relationship. Hollywood and the porn industry then commercialized that. From these false images sexual abuse, sexual trauma of women arise. And all of that weighs on our sex.Ilan Stephani
Speaking of the female view of sex: female user behavior and various curiosities can be found in the gender-specific statistics of the streaming platform Pornhub. Such statistical reports are probably also understood as entertaining PR for an industry that strives to be seen as a legal and ethically sound part of society. According to these internationally recorded statistics, women primarily search for the words "lesbian" on the porn network, especially in western countries.
In other regions, such as North Africa, a popular search term among female porn consumers is, for example, "Anal" - probably also the regionally prevailing religious taboos. In Africa, on the other hand, women particularly often search for "Ebony" (= black skin color), or for "Indian" in India. In still other countries, women are particularly interested in porn that shows people of different ethnic minorities. Also interesting is the popular search term "Verified Couples" (= verified / real couples) in the deeply Catholic Philippines.
Trends and technology
Pornography is deeply anchored in human culture and history. Every visitor to museums of antiquity will understand this, in which everyday objects are exhibited such as pots and cups that are painted with such representations. In the city of Pompeii, which was submerged under volcanic rubble in the year 79, entire walls of apartment buildings were adorned with pornography; and of course the Kama Sutra from India of the 2nd and 3rd centuries is also well known.
Much later, since the 19th century, there was a massive spread of pornography with the invention of photography. In the 20th century, pornographic moving images were added, with a particularly strong spread in private households since the triumphant advance of the VHS video cassette and DVDs in the 1970s and 90s; but also from sex magazines and magazines. Since the 2000s, the content has increasingly been available digitally, without physical data carriers, via the Internet.
Side note: In the early 2000s, family members in an average household often had to argue with other people in the household about whether the phone line could be busy for 30 minutes before secretly consuming porn. In order to be able to view a low-resolution JPEG image, it would take a minute to download it with an average 56k modem. Side note two: At that time so-called "Passes" lists were still spread on the Internet with illegally stolen access data for commercial porn sites. They were often used by less well-heeled computer nerds or young people without credit cards to get the "material".
Since then, as a new development, the Internet, with its hundreds of video and picture platforms with an upload function, of course, offers a very effective option not only for consumption, but also for the distribution of pornography, especially amateur pornography (be it in individual cases with or recorded without the consent of all parties involved).
As is well known, there are a large number of categories and tags under which the explicit media content is available. Some categories focus quite banally on different sexual practices (anal, deepthroat, doggy style, etc.), on certain objects (including dildos, hands) that are inserted into different body openings or on different types of lingerie, photos of anonymous women looking under the skirt, Masturbation videos - or having sex with several or many partners at once (including "sandwich", gangbang).
For 2-3 years, some platforms have switched to using German and other language translations for sexual practices as standard - according to the origin of the surfer automatically recognized by the browser. However, many standard terms remain in English.
A couple of more or less exotic or absurd categories, which are not necessarily self-explanatory only in terms of their (English) word meaning, are briefly summarized in a table:
|BBC||Stands for "Big Black Cock". This pornography aims to match the stereotype of black men with huge penises.|
|BBW / Plummer||Depictions of sex in which the female partner is extremely overweight.|
|Bukkake||A type of porn originally from Japan - also of dubious taste - in which a woman is an-ejaculated by several men at the same time. This porn variant dates from the 1980s and is not only produced in Japan, but also in North America and Europe - also in the field of gay pornography, but then of course without a woman.|
|Celebrities / fakes||Fakes are porn in which mostly the faces of celebrities (mostly women) are mounted. "Celebrities" pictures are often simply paparazzi photos of celebrity women.|
|Cuckold||Porn in which a partner, usually the man, asks or encourages his partner to sleep with other people - and who is aroused by this. On the one hand, masochistic motives can play a role, i.e. the desire for humiliation. On the other hand, the motive can also be the exercise of power if the partner wants to determine with whom and how the partner has sex with another person (which some people like ...).|
|Creampie||This term actually means cream cake. You can already imagine that it has something to do with the whitish liquid semen when translated into pornography. So it is mostly about porn that focuses on sperm. Either in the form of "cum-shots", i.e. ejaculated on body parts, body openings or in the face - or presented in other strange to disgusting forms of administration (depending on personal "taste").|
|Hentai / Anime||Hentai means comic book pornography in the Japanese manga style. In the case of videos, the genre is called anime. The comics are characterized by exaggeratedly large eyes and very small noses. Most of the time the people portrayed also look very young. In female figures, the very young face is combined with opulent sexual characteristics of adult women. So they basically look like children with huge breasts and huge butts.|
|Milf||Colloquially it means "Mother I'd like to fuck". It's a well-known genre of porn that mostly focuses on attractive women between the ages of 30 and 50. More often than not, this is amateur porn. The male partners in these videos are often younger than the women, which is supposed to underline the (sexual) maturity or self-confidence of the women.|
|POV||Pornography filmed from the perspective of one of the sex partners involved (usually the man). POV literally means "Point of View".|
|SFW||Means "Safe For Work". It's not all serious pornography that has been manipulated to cover everything that has to do with sexuality. So mostly genitals. The pictures or videos are often alienated by inserting comic book objects into them. Funny and pretty absurd fashion that could fall victim to EU upload filters.|
|Squirting||Representation of female ejaculation in various forms. It is about the secretion of a secretion or a "pleasure liquid" by some women during orgasm. It is believed that just under 5% of female bodies can do this. With so-called "squirting" there is also a proportion of urine that is secreted, which is partly a real squirting. Who likes it ...|
|Sources: www.urbandictionary.com | Wikipedia.org | www.onlineslangdictionary.com|
As shown by usage statistics from Pornhub, the three most popular porn search terms across all genders in 2018 were: lesbian, hentai and milf. For men alone, it was Japanese, Milf, and Hentai. The whole bunch of statistics can be found on the Pornhub blog.
It should also be emphasized that the majority of porn consumption today takes place on the smartphone. In many countries, laptops and PCs hardly play a role anymore, or together they only account for 5%. Like in India, for example. Poverty (small devices) and cramped living conditions (watching porn on the family PC unrealistic) may play a role here. Interestingly, the statistics from Pornhub are extracted by the Google Analytics tool, which is highly questionable under data protection law - in conjunction with the private user data of Google users. Certainly neither ethical nor GDPR compliant!
Porn categories are heavily fashion-dependent; new ones are constantly being added or old ones are being clicked less frequently. To the chagrin of many critics and victims of the industry, pornography has also become a kind of cult topic in large parts of society since the "sexual revolution" of the 1960s. With a high media presence in music videos, advertising, festivals, own trade fairs, etc. Also, porn stars and idols are created and the topic is somehow omnipresent (even if you don't always see genitals in the picture). By contrast, the majority of the population rarely addresses the problems in the area of pornography.
In many cases, pornography is very problematic, even if it is legal pornography. The bottom line is that there are certainly more bad than good social and psychological effects due to the widespread use of sexual depictions in the media. Nevertheless, a blanket criticism is certainly not always appropriate, especially since there is, at least in isolated cases, consensual, non-abuse-contaminated pornography. E.g. in the field of amateur pornography. It should be noted that a large part of the alleged amateur pornography is shot professionally and all the problems of the porn industry mentioned are associated with it. The relatively great popularity of amateur pornography shows that many porn consumers are not so interested in the absolutely perfect people of the so-called glossy productions, but also find sex arousing with "real" people with flaws. This may not be bad news at all.
Overall, our political system and the authorities should have fewer scruples about blocking not only clearly illegal content but also violent "mainstream" content - for example blocking entire streaming platforms if they don't care about the law - or about the guarantee human dignity for everyone. Human rights should always take precedence over the masturbation preferences of anonymous internet users in the social priority list.
In connection with pornography and ethics, mostly only the protection of minors is discussed; but this would be less relevant if the available porn content became more harmless overall.
In order to contain pathological content, it would make sense to speak more openly about taboo topics in public - but above all in classrooms. At least one can surmise that the suppression of such topics as well as the suppression and tabooing of non-violent sexual desires leads to people looking for porn more and more. And possibly more pathological than they would if they were sexually balanced and better informed about the background to the production conditions. Suppressed lust in prudish parts of our society and the apparent inability of many to articulate sexual desires in committed relationships inevitably create a market for pornography or even prostitution.
Despite the radical rejection and condemnation of pornography by some critics, it can be stated that there is also a harmless side to media depictions of sex. And that is porn that is not primarily produced out of sadistic, misanthropic or misogynistic motivation, but motivated by promiscuous playfulness or exhibitionism. There is also professional pornography with performers doing their job voluntarily and without humiliation. Unfortunately, however, it is difficult or impossible for consumers to determine whether it is a "good" or a "bad" representation in terms of working conditions and voluntariness.
The protection of minors also remains an unsolved problem. How do we manage to enable children to develop their own non-toxic sexuality due to the inevitable possibility of consuming pornography today? And how can you help people find meaning in their lives to prevent porn addiction (and other addictions) from developing?
At the end there should be three demands:
- Effective measures must be taken to curb abuse in the field of pornography production. Preferably with state controls and independently controlled seals.
- The establishment of more effective and faster ways to easily turn off porn sites if they do not want to block or delete violent or even humiliating pornography. At the same time, the promotion of discussions in sex education classes in schools about sexuality, pornography and abuse.
- Create platforms that actually and verifiably only publish porno content that has either been produced "fairly" or - in the amateur field - with the guaranteed consent of all parties involved.
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