This one's going to get you lot going, but it might take our minds off the Tsunami that is just about to hit the Pacific Coast - good luck all of you down there.
Sarah T. has just removed her self-confessed 'rant' on pornography and replaced it with pictures of upturned boats. Much nicer, I feel, though - as a man (the primary target for ordinary porn) - I did tend to agree with what she said about it, despite feeling resentful at being made to feel so guilty.
To get it straight right from the start, I have never been into pornography - I find it ridiculous and utterly divorced from reality. It has always been reality that has turned me on, ever since I first got interested in girls at the age of 5 or so. Having said that, pretty much every man that has ever existed has been interested in porn - it's just the way we are programmed. Even those who do not actively seek it out may find themselves lingering over it for a second or two, if they accidentally come across it (sorry) whilst innocently looking for something else. Anyone who says they have not is just a downright liar.
If this were not the case, then all those cynical marketeers who exploit both men and women would not make so much money, would they? Even perfume adverts deploy a soft-porn approach which sometimes oversteps the bounds of public acceptability.
The main issue is about exploitation, and who is exploiting who.
People who regularly pay for pornography might argue that it is them who are being exploited, and that the models who pose for it are handsomely paid to do so. You might think that those who like looking at pornographic pictures would only need to buy one set in a lifetime, because - since the models are almost always completely naked - the changing fashions in clothing would have no effect on the market, and the human body changes little over the course of generations.
The main changes in the presentation of pornography might necessitate buying about 4 different copies of the same sex-act in one life time, so that the old glass slides are replaced with paper photographs; the 16 mm projector is replaced with a digital one, then upgrading it to a flat-screen, H.D. version, etc.
The changes in the law regarding pornography have now allowed images that could best be described as medical, so - short of turning the model inside-out - further graphic detail is impossible. Many women think that the prevalence of shaved women in the photos is an attempt to emulate pre-pubescence, but I sincerely believe that it is simply the final stage of maximum possible exposure, and not necessarily anything more (or less) sinister than that.
So why does the porn-addict require a constant flow of fresh images to keep him happy? Because the industry exploits the most damaging effect that pornography has on the human psyche - it jades people who look at the stuff. Eventually, it jades the way he looks at women in general, and his wife or partner in particular.
I know a few people who are pretty much addicted to porn, and they seem to have lost track of the reality of the situation regarding how they relate to people who they find sexually attractive. They laugh at me when I warn them how damaging it is to look at, and many of them live on their own. They think they need porn because they live on their own, and cannot see that it could well be the reverse situation. They think I am talking about the damaging effect that a hidden virus can have on their computor when visiting some of the more exploitative sites.
The genie is out of the proverbial bottle, and - like most activities which are potentially damaging to all parties - it is down to personal responsibility as to how you protect yourself as you make your way through life. If you're over 18, you have just as much right to look at the stuff as you have to star in it.
Here's a good idea - let's make it illegal for any woman under the age of 50 to take part in the making of pornography. Then everyone will be happy.