A Conversation for Internet Pornography

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Post 41

Fragilis - h2g2 Cured My Tabular Obsession

There are plenty of child porn sites out there. The perception that there are few comes because a relatively small percentage of them are publicly accessible. The majority are accessible by invitation only.

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Post 42

The Butcher

That is unfortunate, but it makes sense. I don't ever want to meet the folks who make such an 'invitation'.

smiley - sadface

Porn or Erotica

Post 43

Jagged Jack

The question - What is erotic and what is pornographic? - is a very interesting one and deserves to be discussed. It is also quite a complex question. As some people believe there is a very fine line between the two. Having discussed this very subject at length with many people, I have found there is no simple answer. One point of view - and the one I subscribe to at the moment - is this: Eroticism is the exploration of the feelings and emotions inspired by sex and sexuality. Where as, pornography focuses entirely on the physical act, be this in writing, photography or film.

Pornographic images for instance tend to dwell entirely on the sex act. They are voyeuristic in nature and only involve the user in the most alienated way - as an onlooker. At best, the onlooker can project his or her fantasies onto the image but has no real control over what they are seeing. The sex act itself is staged and controlled by some one else or by the formula employed in that particular brand of pornography. Something rarely done by the people it depicts.

The above is also true of so called ‘Interactive Pornography’. Here we have a pre defined number of outcomes, all of which dwell on the physical act. The same applies to written pornography. The stories in pornographic magazines for instance, all use a string of ‘Buzz words’ to describe various parts of the anatomy and sex acts. These words and descriptions are used for the sole purpose of titillating the reader. What we read is, ‘It felt so good when he did this…’ as opposed to, ‘It felt so good when he did this because…’

Therein lays the difference. A piece of erotic writing will try to explain or explore why something feels so good, or indeed, bad. Pornography does not. One of the key points about eroticism, is that it can also uncover the darker side of sexuality. It has the ability to do this in a much more analytical way. Pornography depicts what some of us may consider a distasteful sex act and presents it in a titillating manner. Where as, eroticism can take the same sex act and question the pleasure gained from it. So, in a sense, eroticism is capable of involving the reader in the making of moral judgements. Eroticism can explore a wide range of emotions and emotional responses. Fear, pain, longing, belief, love, hate, rejection, and acceptance – the range is endless. Pornography - by its very nature - is incapable of doing any of this in a meaningful way.

Pornography objectifies sex and turns it into a set of categories – anal, oral etc. I find pornography has a very clinical feel to it. Has anyone else noticed how similar many of these depictions resemble medical procedures?

The vast majority of porn follows a formula. It starts with a woman undressing, goes through a number of sexual positions (always the same ones, in the same order) and ends with the male orgasm. This is also true of gay pornography. Pornography which deals with so called ‘fetishes’ has its own formulas. Although I believe pornography objectifies both men and women, it is interesting to note that the overwhelming body of pornography, depicts women in a passive, submissive role. Where women are the dominant partner, this becomes a ‘kink’ or a ‘fetish’. But that’s another discussion.

The point I’m trying to make is – sexuality covers a wealth of human emotions and unlike pornography, erotica doesn’t seek to limit these. That is not to say, eroticism is not sexually arousing. I would argue that it can be more so because it involves and stimulates in ways that pornography cannot. As human beings we are complex physical and emotional creatures. The two things are not mutually exclusive. They intertwine and make us what we are. In order to become aroused, we first have to think. At this point pornography takes away any need for thought and concentrates entirely on supplying our physical need. Erotica stimulates us on a mental level and allows us to explore our feelings.

To finish, let me give you an example. I once carried out an experiment involving several very different images. I asked three men and three women to look at the images and describe to me what they saw. Two of the images were taken from pornographic magazines, the other two were abstract paintings by Picasso. Their descriptions of the first two images dealt entirely with the physicality. One was simply a picture of a man and woman having sex. The other was a picture of a naked woman. Although there were variations in the way the men and women reacted to this particular image, none of them went beyond the physical. The women commented on her breasts, one said she had a nice face and one wished she could be that slim. The men reacted as you might expect them to. All their descriptions focused on the sex act. They projected their fantasies onto the picture. However, the Picasso paintings drew a much broader, emotional response. One of the paintings, although abstract, clearly depicts a woman masturbating. All of my subjects discussed what the woman might be thinking (something the painting hints at) and how she was feeling. They also spoke about what the artist was thinking and why he had chosen to paint the picture this way. All of my subjects found the painting arousing, considered it be erotic and used the image to express how they felt about masturbation. The last image provoked a similar response. What this made clear to me, is how the erotic works on so many other different levels than the pornographic.

This is my current thinking on the differences between pornography and erotica. As you can see it needs a little development but it’s a start. Thank you for your time.

Porn or Erotica

Post 44

Fragilis - h2g2 Cured My Tabular Obsession

My goodness, Jagged Jack. That's not a post! That's an entry! Do use your account to put this in as an h2g2 entry so it will get more attention. I don't want only the people subscribed to this thread to read what you've written. It raises a lot of interesting questions.

Something about this article..

Post 45

Jagged Jack

I do - with an oozy and a pack of starving dogs!

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Post 46


I dont understand why anyone has even mentioned child pornography. The 2 things are entirely differant in the context of looking at porn on the internet. If for example, you come across child porn while surfing for normal porn you report it. The child porn angle was touched on in the right manner with the right advice. End of story. All a porn surfer needs to know to stay safe, and a statement that the article is not about child porn and it's against the law.
Porn and child porn are two matters entirely unrelated otherwise,surely?

But seeing as it has been mentioned...

I disagree with the current climate theory mentioned earlier about timing of this article. Porn will always exist, whatever. Not talking about it when child porn is in the media, is indicating that that the two go together... and we ALL check out porn at some point or another. The amount of people that check out child porn compared to the amount looking for Porn is going to be monumentaly differant. (i dont know the actual figure for child porn surfers, my moneys on it being insignificant in relation to general acceptable in society porn.)

I agree somethig is missing from this piece, i think maybe lack of a sense of personality from the article leaving the reader a little cold?

A good crack at the subject though, a little humour and personality would make me feel less of secretive perv...

Thats actually a hard thing to do to me... i run an internet fetish site, and i am completely open to people about it (except my grandparents).

Apologies if this isn't the most flowing first post ever made, i am a little burnt out but couldn't resist commenting on a piece that is adventurouse enough to have go at advising on one of societies slightly more hidden vices and put it in context.

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Post 47


"There are plenty of child porn sites out there. The perception that there are few comes because a relatively small percentage of them are publicly accessible. The majority are accessible by invitation only."

If I may add a comment here: it is frighteningly easy, when following through links in "index" sites, to begin with net porn which is completely legal and generally acceptible in most Western societies, but to follow through from link to link to link and end up on an index site featuring pictures which are at the very fringe of legality. There's a whole lexicon of search-terms for a particular type of porn: "Teenie", "Barely Legal", "Lolita" et c. "Legitimate" sites wil have some sort of disclaimer to say that the models are over eighteen but look younger - but this begs several questions, such as

i) How far can you trust the content provider to have checked the model's age before taking the photos - you only have their word for it;
ii) A disclaimer is just words - anyone could bung that on the site as window-dressing;
iii) Under British law, even if the model is over eighteen, this doesn't matter: we have some incredibly punitive laws on this subject, the fact she looks younger can be taken as incriminating evidence of paedophile intent?

I now tend to back-track if a search leads me into this sort of territory: it just isn't worth the potential hassle. Especially as the "barely legal" sites, if you carry on following through the index links, and especially with Eastern European sites of less scruples, start to feature ""tempter" pictures of younger and younger girls who can in no conceivable way be taken to be over 18! One night, I was connected to an Eastern European site which artfully mixed pictures of clearly under-age girlsd with index shots of models who were over 18: hasd I clicked on any of those pictures of twelve and thirteen year old girls and followed them through (I didn't), I'm certain I'd have been directed to sites dealing exclusively with that particular "interest" and perhaps offering even younger girls.

I estimate that anyone could access this sort of porn just by following through the links in index sites (the ones that offer a combination of text links and a Wdirectory" of pictures of models - clicking on any one takes you to another list or another site) - within about twenty or thirty clicks you could get there, if you really wanted to.

Another point that occurs to me: out there are computer-generated pictures and cartoon images. The CGI is good, but still has that bleak sterile look to it, like a better-resolution version of the Sims engaged in porn acts.

The cartoons take all forms.

Now this stuff has never been near a real person - it's an artistic representation, rather than a photograph of real people. I discovered some of it that involves children - well, young people under 16. Of course I back-keyed out and killed open sites pretty quickly - British law is draconian on this issue and the social sanctions are unspeakable, so even if I were so inclined, that's a deterrent twice over. But I have to ask: is a cartoon or CGI representation legally actionable, in the same way that a photo of a child being abused would be? After all, it's a cartoon, for goodness sake, and nobody was abused in the making of it: it's a creation from inside the artist's head. (Although the sort of artist who creates those sort of images must have a fairly diseased head. Some extreme S&M stuff out there is pretty sickening.).

I can't beleive even Britain would put the two on the same level of severity, but then police anti-paedo squads have to justify their existence with frequent busts...

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