The Porn Myth – Naomi Wolf Is An Idiot…

August 1, 2007 by  
Filed under Rants & Reviews

I recently came upon an article on the New York Magazine’s website written by a woman named Naomi Wolf that examines the effect that widespread internet porn is having on the men and women of this generation.

For all it’s faults, it’s actually a pretty interesting article.  However, I strongly disagree with a lot of Naomi’s conclusions about the effects of pornography on male/female relationships.

First of all, the "Porn Myth" is an idea created by feminist Andrea Dworkin, who was (and I guess still is) an anti-porn crusader from the 80s who claimed that…

Naomi Wolf writes:
If we did not limit pornography, she argued—before Internet technology
made that prospect a technical impossibility—most men would come to
objectify women as they objectified porn stars, and treat them
accordingly. In a kind of domino theory, she predicted, rape and other
kinds of sexual mayhem would surely follow.

Well, according to Naomi, this is the great "Porn Myth," because even though pornography is now so pervasive and readily available, men haven’t turned into sex-craved beasts who run around raping every woman they see.

But Naomi’s article suggests that even though this isn’t the case, the level of psychological and emotional harm porn is doing to the new generation of men and women coming up through the ranks is wreaking havoc on the health of relationships and sexuality in general.

Read on…

But the effect is not making men into raving beasts. On the
contrary: The onslaught of porn is responsible for deadening male
libido in relation to real women, and leading men to see fewer and
fewer women as “porn-worthy.” Far from having to fend off porn-crazed
young men, young women are worrying that as mere flesh and blood, they
can scarcely get, let alone hold, their attention.

Here
is what young women tell me on college campuses when the subject comes
up: They can’t compete, and they know it. For how can a real woman—with
pores and her own breasts and even sexual needs of her own (let alone
with speech that goes beyond “More, more, you big stud!”)—possibly
compete with a cybervision of perfection, downloadable and
extinguishable at will, who comes, so to speak, utterly submissive and
tailored to the consumer’s least specification?

First off – I’d like to see the women Ms. Wolf is talking to here, and who the men are she’s observed losing their libido.

As a guy, I think I can speak for everyone of my gender when I say:  I don’t care how great the porn is, nothing beats the real thing.  The "onslaught of porn" isn’t deadening the male libido.  Porn has never "deadened" any man’s desire for sex.  Porn is a REPLACEMENT for the need of the "real thing" when it comes to sexual release.

I honestly think all women truly underestimate the base need for a man to ejaculate – not just once, but many times a day.  I think every guy out there knows that the need to experience sexual pleasure is constant, and therefore the need for release must be met.

Tom Lykis, the LA-based shock jock who centers his show around the differences between men and women and teaching men how to get laid, likes to equate the need to ejaculate with the need to urinate.  For men, it’s strictly a physical need.  This is something women can’t understand, because they experience sex differently than men do.

When it comes to women feelings as though they "can’t compete," this is a false belief.  (At least in my humble opinion.)

As I said before, nothing beats having a real woman in your bed, with pores, breasts, and yes, even a robust vocabulary.  But the competing nature isn’t a sexual one in women’s minds, because that’s not the problem.  Any women, I don’t care how ugly she is, can find a guy to have sex with her.  But it’s the keeping of that guy, the emotional connection upon which relationships are built, that women want.

And for some reason, women equate the gaining of this emotional connection with the physical.

It is true that a beautiful, sexy woman has an easier time gaining this level of emotional commitment from men, simply because the pleasure of sex with her is so intense.  But I have yet to meet a guy who’s fallen in love with a porn star JUST from watching her videos (I’m sure there are some out there, but for the most part, I think guys wouldn’t equate "love" with "porn").

So when women are saying "I can’t compete," it’s not that they feel they need to do double-anal while jerking off a donkey.  It’s because they feel there’s a standard of beauty that they can’t possibly live up to that’s going to help them "land" a guy.

But porn isn’t entirely responsible for that.  You also have every fashion magazine in the world, TV, movies, pop stars, billboards, etc. re-enforcing a standard for beauty.

When it comes to the bedroom, few guys need more than what the average girl can offer.  Some oral, some regular intercourse, maybe the occasional try at anal sex.  But c’mon… people have been doing this type of stuff since the dawn of time.  Tastes like that don’t change.  Even fetishes have been around forever, they’ve just never gotten the exposure they have these days.

But go to any club on any night, and see what guys are after – in a word:  PUSSY.

They’re not looking for porn stars.  They’re just looking for WILLING girls.  All because – yes, you guessed it – the real thing is better than porn.  Porn is for when they go home ALONE after all the real girls REJECT them.

For most of human history, erotic images have been reflections of, or celebrations of, or substitutes for, real naked women. For the first time in human history, the images’ power and allure have supplanted that of real naked women. Today, real naked women are just bad porn.

I do believe Naomi is right here in the respect that the image of the "naked woman" has been downgraded slightly, but you’ll be hard-pressed to find a guy who WON’T be turned on by the sight of a naked woman who is reasonably attractive.

In this day and age, with video now so prevalent online, you’ll see guys gravitate towards watching the act of sex because THAT’S WHAT THEY WANT TO BE DOING.  Seeing a naked woman is enjoyable, but actually watching a sex act being performed gives some type of visceral feel to it, as if you, yourself are performing that act with the woman.  And it’s that need to perform that act why most guys (not all, mind you) will prefer to see that type of porn, rather than just simple nudity.

For two decades, I have watched young women experience the continual
“mission creep” of how pornography—and now Internet pornography—has
lowered their sense of their own sexual value and their actual sexual
value. When I came of age in the seventies, it was still pretty cool to
be able to offer a young man the actual presence of a naked, willing
young woman. There were more young men who wanted to be with naked
women than there were naked women on the market. If there was nothing
actively alarming about you, you could get a pretty enthusiastic
response by just showing up. Your boyfriend may have seen Playboy,
but hey, you could move, you were warm, you were real. Thirty years
ago, simple lovemaking was considered erotic in the pornography that
entered mainstream consciousness: When Behind the Green Door first opened, clumsy, earnest, missionary-position intercourse was still considered to be a huge turn-on.

Ah, the good old days… "I used to have to walk to school, uphill, both ways, and men were more desperate with fewer outlets, so they’d take what they could get."

I’d really like the people reading this rant of mine to examine what Ms. Wolf wrote above.  It is very telling.  Back in "her day" there were "more young men who wanted to be with naked women than there were naked women on the market."

Wow.

So the moral here is… what?  That it’s okay to deprive men of what they desire so when some woman does decide to get flirtatious she can have all the male attention she wants?  Women can have all the sexual power and not have to worry about guys going elsewhere to get their needs met?

I really don’t think any child of the 70s should go around bragging about how great of a time they had in their "sexual revolution."  After all, it’s this same revolution that brought about any number of broken homes, single parents, STDs, and yes – even the pornography that they claim is destroying women’s sense of sexual value.

Well,
I am 40, and mine is the last female generation to experience that
sense of sexual confidence and security in what we had to offer. Our
younger sisters had to compete with video porn in the eighties and
nineties, when intercourse was not hot enough. Now you have to offer—or
flirtatiously suggest—the lesbian scene, the ejaculate-in-the-face
scene. Being naked is not enough; you have to be buff, be tan with no
tan lines, have the surgically hoisted breasts and the Brazilian bikini
wax—just like porn stars. (In my gym, the 40-year-old women have adult
pubic hair; the twentysomethings have all been trimmed and styled.)
Pornography is addictive; the baseline gets ratcheted up. By the new
millennium, a vagina—which, by the way, used to have a pretty high
“exchange value,” as Marxist economists would say—wasn’t enough; it
barely registered on the thrill scale. All mainstream porn—and
certainly the Internet—made routine use of all available female
orifices.

So let me get this straight… to Ms. Wolf, that sense of "sexual confidence" entailed women just "showing up" to a group of poor, horny guys, flashing some skin, doing it missionary, all the while letting her personal hygiene go to shit?

It’s funny that she lays all the self-image problems of women at the foot of porn.  Men don’t go after women who are tan, have big boobs, and no pubic hair because that’s how women are in porn.  Women in porn are tan, have big boobs, and no pubic hair because – surprise!  THAT’S WHAT MEN ARE ATTRACTED TO.

Ms. Wolf is putting the cart before the horse here.  I think women nowadays are more aware of what turns men on than women from Ms. Wolf’s generation were.  Men don’t typically find body hair attractive.  Pale skin isn’t as enticing as brown skin.  Blonde hair is more appealing to the eye than dark hair.  Big boobs are.. well, awesome.  Always have been, always will be.

Women don’t understand that men have ALWAYS been attracted to these types of things.  But up until now, they had to "take what they could get" as evidenced by Ms. Wolf’s account of what things used to be like.  Back before fake boobies, men had to deal with the size of the woman they were with.  If they liked big boobs, they had to actually SEEK OUT women with the double-d’s.

Now, women can get the double-d’s themselves and have the men FLOCK to them.  This isn’t a porn thing.  This is a male thing.  Women want to attract men, so they adopt the things they think will get the most men to come to them.

It’s simple biology.

Men have the same problem.  We try and keep from going bald.  We try to get lots of muscles.  We try and make a lot of money and drive a nice car.  Why?  Not because we want it!  I could care less if I go bald, weigh 300 lbs., and drive around in a POS car… except for the fact that if I did, my options with women would be somewhat limited.

But do I sit around and blame porn for that?  No.  I don’t look at porn and go "Man, I need to get a 12 inch dick or women won’t like me!"  That’s foolish.  If what Ms. Wolf was suggesting – that porn influences how men feel about women and women’s sexual value – then shouldn’t the opposite be true?  Shouldn’t men also be influenced by porn, and how it affects our sexual value?  Shouldn’t we want to have the John Holmes member, the complete absence of all body hair, the compulsion to have sex for hours on end, culminating in one huge pop-shot on a girls face, breasts, or ass?

But we don’t.  We just care about getting off, quickly.  Guys try and look good, but we don’t try and look "male porn star" good.  Some guys are insecure about their penis size, but I think that has more to do with natural male insecurity rather than a side-effect of watching porn.  I’m not a terribly big guy, but I’ve never had a complaint from a woman.

And I don’t care what kind of economy you’re from – pussy will always have value.  I think if given the option, most guys prefer the vagina to any other orifice on a woman’s body.  But sometimes you can’t get to it, and sometimes you get bored with it and want to try something new.  But you never turn it down unless there’s something wrong with it.

The young women who talk to me on campuses about the effect of pornography on their intimate lives speak of feeling that they can never measure up, that they can never ask for what they want; and that if they do not offer what porn offers, they cannot expect to hold a guy. The young men talk about what it is like to grow up learning about sex from porn, and how it is not helpful to them in trying to figure out how to be with a real woman. Mostly, when I ask about loneliness, a deep, sad silence descends on audiences of young men and young women alike. They know they are lonely together, even when conjoined, and that this imagery is a big part of that loneliness. What they don’t know is how to get out, how to find each other again erotically, face-to-face.

Now to this, I just have to laugh.

It seems to me that they type of people who attend these types of talks Ms. Wolf gives at college campuses WOULD be lonely.  The people not in attendance would be too busy having fun, getting laid, and being with their friends and loved ones to care to show up to a talk about the evils of porn.

Here’s what I imagine you would get:  Women who are anti-social, psychologically unstable, ugly, and overweight, looking for something they can blame for their lack of an ability to attract a man and/or keep him around in a happy, stable relationship.

On the guy’s side, you’d get dudes who are there looking to pick up chicks (there’s always a few wedding crasher types), and guys who are so shy or uncomfortable around women, that porn is their only outlet, and they feel helpless about their inability to get a REAL woman.

I don’t believe guys typically measure a woman based around how she holds up to the "porn standard."  Guys measure women, in great part, on her beauty and prowess in the bedroom.

The girls I’ve desired having long-lasting relationships with are always the girls who are able to please me in the bedroom.  The girls who aren’t willing or able are the girls I move away from.  Again, sex is a BIG part of having a good relationship for a man.  I’ve been in relationships with women I knew were wrong for me, simply based on the quality of the sex!

Guys want to have good blowjobs.  Why?  Because it feels good, and there’s no work on the guy’s part!  Sex is work, damn it.  Sometimes we don’t feel up to it.  So we want a girl who won’t scrape her teeth on us, who won’t rub like she’s sanding down wood, and who seems to actually ENJOY it.  Of course, porn women do this well, because they’re selling a fantasy.  Real women need either experience or training, and the ones unwilling to learn often find themselves dumped quite quickly.  I’ve met girls who simply refuse to give blowjobs, and you know what?  They’re usually single, or quickly dumped.  This is because guys NEED that kind of loving.  It’s kind-of hard to be intimate with a girl who can’t love your penis as much as she loves you.  After all, men tend to hold their members to a real standard, as if it’s a close brother, or an extension of who he is as a man.  A woman rejecting that part of him, or calling it "gross" is hard to love.

Other times, we just want to pound a woman good and hard, feel her squirm beneath us and moan in pleasure.  That’s our base nature.  Our animal nature.  That’s when sex is at it’s most raw.

Sometimes we want to look in the girl’s eyes and feel that connection grow.

Sometimes we want to get a little dirty and try something new or taboo.

These are the urges of a man.  We shouldn’t have to apologize for it.  Yet women will judge you based on it.  They’ll tell you "No" or "I don’t feel comfortable with that."  And you know what?  That’s okay.  If you like a girl, you’ll respect her wishes.  But it’s when those wishes begin to outweigh your own that you find you want another woman who is willing to satisfy those needs.

And porn, for better or worse, is always there to satisfy.  It helps men to get what real women are unwilling to give them.

If women worked on sexually pleasing the man they are with, and being open to what he wants, they could easily hold a guy.  The marriages that break up are usually the ones where the man isn’t getting what he needs, sexually, from his wife.  Adultery happens because a guy isn’t getting what he wants at home.  That’s a simple fact.

Women don’t need to live up to a "porno standard" in the bedroom.  They just have to live up to the personal standard of what the guy they are with WANTS.  And likewise, the guy should live up to the standard of what the girl wants.  Give-and-take.  That’s what good relationships are all about.

When it comes to the loneliness the people Ms. Wolf met experience, I’m sure it’s not about porn.  If not for porn, the loneliness that the men feel would be unbearable, I’m sure.  And the loneliness the women feel would have no scapegoat to give them comfort.

Men are lonely because of the restrictions society places on them.  Men are made to feel guilty about wanting sex – so much so that women intimidate them to a level where they can’t function properly around them.  It’s like that line in the movie The 40 Year Old Virgin:  "I respect women!  I respect women so much, I leave them completely alone!"

Many men are brought up this way.  They’re beaten down like dogs concerning their sexual urges.  Every time you hear about a teacher expelling a first grader for sexual harassment because he kissed a girl, you understand this.  Every time A girl laughs at a guy, or rejects him harshly, you understand this.  Every time you see a movie or TV show making fun of men who are trying to pick up a woman, you understand this.

And then, when these guys seek solace in porn – the only sexual outlet they can find – they’re still ridiculed.

Understand that in today’s society, men have it rough.  We can be sued for sexual harassment for anything, nowadays.  We will be ridiculed as "sexist pigs" for joking about sex.  We’re called "creeps" for approaching women.

And the true tragedy here is – no matter how shy or unattractive a woman is, she can always find a man.  This is because most guys will go after some type of woman, because of the need for sex.  But shy men, men who aren’t able to meet women – they’re lonely for LIFE.  Because women will never approach men.  And if, on the off chance, they do, these guys will get so nervous, they’ll blow it.

And this isn’t a problem limited to just a few men, either.  The demand for pornography proves it.  Almost all men, at some time or another, need to find solace in porn.

I knew a girl who got upset when she caught her boyfriend looking at porn online.  She told me "I should be all he needs!  Why does he have to look at porn?  I know guys do it, but these girls were 18.  It’s like he wants a younger woman!"

But he didn’t want a younger woman.  He was with her.  He loved her.  But maybe he just wanted to fulfill that desire of his to see younger women.  That’s not a bad thing, and it’s not a thing for the girl to have been insecure about.  Because had her boyfriend not had that outlet, I guarantee you, he either would have gone out looking for the real thing, or simply been miserable in his relationship.

Just like guys who take supplements to help them build muscle when they work out, guys sometimes need porn as a supplement to help them stay faithful and happy in a relationship.  Not all women can be all things to a guy, but they don’t have to be, as long as we can get our fix somewhere else without having to cheat on the girl we are with.

I’m not saying porn is a good thing, nor a healthy thing.  Too much porn CAN be detrimental, I believe.  But I do think it serves a purpose, one which women do not understand.

This is evidenced by one of Ms. Wolf’s closing paragraphs:

I will never forget a visit I made to Ilana, an old friend who had become an Orthodox Jew in Jerusalem. When I saw her again, she had abandoned her jeans and T-shirts for long skirts and a head scarf. I could not get over it. Ilana has waist-length, wild and curly golden-blonde hair. “Can’t I even see your hair?” I asked, trying to find my old friend in there. “No,” she demurred quietly. “Only my husband,” she said with a calm sexual confidence, “ever gets to see my hair.”

When she showed me her little house in a settlement on a hill, and I saw the bedroom, draped in Middle Eastern embroideries, that she shares only with her husband—the kids are not allowed—the sexual intensity in the air was archaic, overwhelming. It was private. It was a feeling of erotic intensity deeper than any I have ever picked up between secular couples in the liberated West. And I thought: Our husbands see naked women all day—in Times Square if not on the Net. Her husband never even sees another woman’s hair.

She must feel, I thought, so hot.

The astounding idiocy of this statement is staggering.  Using an example from orthodox religion and the middle east – known as one of the most SEXUALLY REPRESSED parts of the world where women have very little rights within the theocracies that exist out there – is sheer stupidity.

To indite porn as an enemy to a woman’s sexual value, and then turn to orthodox religion as an example of raising a woman’s sexual worth, is sheer gall.  I mean – talk about a bigger enemy to women’s liberation there is… religion has always treated women as second class citizens, and there’s a whole sub-class in Islam looking for reasons for why it’s okay to beat your wife.

You try covering up women her in America and see how popular that is.  I know some feminist recall the days when a man got turned on simply by seeing a woman’s ankle.

Well, you know what?  Those were also the days where people shit in a hole in the backyard, bathed once a month, and could barely read.

It was also the days when men had VERY LIMITED OPTIONS with women.  Again, society would step in and keep men from enjoying women properly (and vice versa).  As time goes on, improvements to the quality of life changes.  People evolve.  Tastes change. Trying to fight it is like trying to stop a tidal wave.

Sure, this woman Ms. Wolf references may feel hot because her husband is so repressed that he can’t even look at another woman.  But the minute he gets a whiff of something new, he’s gone.  (Of course, he won’t be, he’ll just stay in a loveless marriage because of his religious beliefs and cheat as much as he can on the side.)

This is the point I’d like to make, after writing this marathon rant:  Women don’t understand men.  Sex is important to men, and pornography, for good or ill, plays a role in men’s lives.  And until women make an effort to understand men, and men make an effort to understand women, we’re going to continue to suffer.

But this isn’t an epidemic.  Men find great women all the time.  People date, fall in love, get married, have kids, and live happily ever after all the time.  The self-image problems women experience don’t come from porn, they come from not understand what it is men truly want.

Sex may have no mystery.  But men and women still do.

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Comments

8 Responses to “The Porn Myth – Naomi Wolf Is An Idiot…”
  1. ze german says:

    Before I continue my comment, let me kindly ask the readers to google that Andrea Dworkin.Her name is ugly, and she herself looks uglier than a gorilla. The thing is, this woman, not having access to what an average woman had – average husband at least- decided to teach women about women. Women’s first mistake was to follow this jealous devil.

    About porn, porn will be there as long as women use sex as a currency and a power tool.

    The reason they do not like porn is
    1. It relaxes the man to a small extent, lowering her power on him for a small extent – which is too much for her

    2. He unknowingly raises his standards for her, beautywise, sexuality wise.

    3. He comes forward with new wishes, making her put more effort.

    In the end it is a power issue.

    The damage done by porn, is way way way less than the damage done by romantic novels, a.k.a. women’s porn…

    As we know, men, when they need sex, tend to forget things, lessening the effect porn may have had on them,
    but,
    women, living in their own world, in their own emotional world, a world which is by the time shaped by those romantic novels, tend to see life through the eyes of these stories, and the effect does not lessen with whichever wish or need they have. On the contrary these needs are made by these novels.

    Damage wise,

    porn: men want more blowjobs.

    novels: Women want emotionless heroes, killing two hundred men in a battle field, spitting on the enemy kings head, returning home, ravishing them in a way close to rape, then going to the kitchen, taking her once more, after saying he loves her, he shall listen to how her day was, what the neighbour said, and he should be sensitive to her need, emotionally connect with her, talk about the battlefield in an emotional way, take her again, call her mother, make food, invite he sister with her 3 kids over, entertain the kids, dance salsa, take her again, give a massage, cuddle for 5 hours, and sleep close to her while earning the money necessary for the threee white horses in the stable.

    Damage? Porn?
    Please.

  2. Solitaire says:

    The 2 greatest evils towards free and open sexuality:

    1.Religion:For making girls think “giving it away” is being a “slut”.

    2.Feminism:For making women think they can pull whatever they want and still get the man of their dreams.

    WE have to play “the game” like this because of how these factors shape our SOCIETY, not our basic instincts and needs.

    Johnny Soporno is the man…..enough said!

  3. MD says:

    The reason they do not like porn is
    “1. It relaxes the man to a small extent, lowering her power on him for a small extent – which is too much for her

    2. He unknowingly raises his standards for her, beautywise, sexuality wise.

    3. He comes forward with new wishes, making her put more effort.

    In the end it is a power issue.”

    Stole the words right out of my mouth.

  4. Bob says:

    A brief translation of Wolfe’s article:

    “porn is bad for us because it won’t leave men desperate and horny enough to fuck obese North American women”

  5. Al says:

    Well, the only thing I can say is she is right! Porn ruins normal interaction between a man and woman… there is simply no way around that fact. What’s worse is that men need visual stimulation and porn satisfies that end.

    Once a man is into porn, there is really no return except complete removal. No woman can possibly live up to that standard. The women of porn are picked for a reason, they’re ideal. Tens of thousands flock to that industry every year, but only a handfull make it mainstream.

    Naomi is right. We are all searching, but porn is not the answer to our sexual frustration. Find a girlfriend and figure that out with her guys

  6. Joe says:

    Interesting that you wrote about this article, I just came across it myself recently. Though Wolf’s position is about 100 thousand times more reasonable than that of Dworkin and Mackinnon (the former who, incidentally, believed that lesbians should have their own country with “land and guns” ala Israel – although I have no idea whether it would include lesbian porn, which by her logic would cause woman-on-woman rape), your analysis is right on. Ahh, the good old days when men had to take what they could get and the average women never had to experience what the average man knows all too well!

  7. Lady says:

    Something that most of the men here do not understand about women is that we will spend a lifetime searching for ways to hold our relationships together. Many of us are CONSTANTLY looking for ways to make sure our men are happy, sexually and otherwise. We are still attracted to capable and mature men who appreciate us and show us they love us. My guess is that if the man in the relationship is not happy sexually then neither is the woman in that relationship. SO TAKE NOTE! Women are notorious for putting the needs of others ahead of our own. I see a lot of ignorance being spewed about women in general in the comments section here. I think the author said it best when he said that women and men need to make an effort to understand each other. Naomi Wolf doesn’t get it when it comes to relationships or porn. She is divorced for a reason. Relationships are not about who has the power, it’s about working as a team. I think that when a couple has mutual respect and good communication, they are not afraid to tell one another their wishes. If their sexual wishes are incompatible, then compromise is the best solution. The point is that if you are unhappy in your sex life and you are not telling your partner or you just expect your woman to inherently know exactly how you want to be pleased, you have only yourself to blame. Enjoy your porn because that is all you’ll get if you don’t communicate your needs effectively to your woman. If you tell her how you feel and she belittles you or tries to make you feel like an animal for feeling the way you do, then she is not the woman for you. It’s really pretty simple.

  8. Yara says:

    Haha I actually relaly enjoy vegetarian hot dogs. Whenever I’m lookin out for my heart I’ll have one. The consistency is def weird though. But if you cover it with ketchup and condiments it’s hard to notice.

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