opinion

Porn World Vs. The Real World

Allison Vivas
Now that I’m on Twitter @ PV_Alli, I got hit up by the author of “Make Love Not Porn” (Cindy Gallop) letting me know that Pink Visual got a mention in the E-Book that was released at TED 2009.

I have to admit that, given the title, I was a little hesitant to read it, thinking that it would just be another book by a critic of porn bashing the adult industry. But hey – don’t judge a book by its cover right?

As it turns out, I really enjoyed this book. It isn’t the anti-porn invective I feared that it might be; it is just written to encourage a healthy sex life and the sort of open communication that supports a healthy sex life. The book doesn’t bash porn at all, rather it makes a lot of valid points stating that what is depicted in porn is about fantasy and entertainment, and not necessarily something you imitate in order to be a “good lover.” At only $2.99 on Amazon Kindle E-books, “Make Love Not Porn” is a solid read that won’t break the bank; I recommend that anybody interested in hearing some reasonable points made about porn by someone outside the industry pick up a copy.

What’s funny to me, though, are the people who judge our industry based on the belief that everything about porn is just about fulfilling a sexual release and influencing men to behave in the same way they see men behaving in our movies. This is such an obvious falsehood, I almost don’t know where to start in responding to it. When we compare porn to the products created by our mainstream counterparts who produce horror flicks, dramas, fantasies, and “unreal” reality shows, do we argue that viewers are going to run out and parrot the behavior they see in those productions? Sure, there will always be a few extremists who walk away from “The Lord of the Rings” with the desire to dress up and play out their fantasy roles, but rarely are there instances with any significant portion of viewers allowing the movie to influence their day to day living and interactions with other human beings.

It’s the same deal with horror films, but maybe for the ladies reading this a better analogy might be our beloved soap operas. I know I love a good “General Hospital”, but I can clearly distinguish that what is depicted every day on TV is fantasy and that it doesn’t mix with the reality I live in. I can get sucked into a soap opera, but it doesn’t have any significant influence on my life where I would run around hopping from man to man or desiring to steal a baby. (I’ve also never fallen into a coma after having my mind taken over by a satellite operated by my ex-husband’s father’s ex-lover, but I digress….)

Adult entertainment videos are just like mainstream entertainment productions in that way; porn movies provide entertainment, fantasy, stimulation, etc. What is unique to our industry is that we also provide a release for our viewers, and sometimes when it comes to the more interactive forms of entertainment, we provide a personal connection or even affection when it’s desired.

Beyond the critics of porn who assert that it is a big case of “monkey see, monkey do,” there are those who talk about porn addictions and divorces that result from them. True addiction can exist with just about anything, but I have to also assume that some wives may think if they husband watches adult content for 3 hours in a week, that that is an addiction. I don’t think so, and if you compare it to the same 3 to 5 hours the wife is spending enjoying fulfilling her entertainment needs with soap operas and Real Housewives and the like, where is the outrage about “reality TV addiction?” You don’t hear that sort of outcry because it’s clear that those products are all purely entertainment, and whatever value they have lays in the fantasies and diversion they offer.

Just like the fact that most wives aren’t going to bitch out all their girlfriends constantly, or spend $35,000 on a 4-year-old’s birthday party, most husbands aren’t going to be forcing their wives into sexual positions they don’t want to be in, and most aren’t going to be running off to have an affair due to the influence of porn – they’re going to do it because they are just pigs like that. (Just kidding boys!)

Yes, media does influence people, and even fantasy entertainment can influence young minds, which is why both adult and mature ‘mainstream’ entertainment is supposed to steer clear of targeting minors as a viewing audience. The remaining forms of media that have a major influence on us adults tend to be those who have a primary purpose of inspiring, informing, or teaching a lesson. As such, media’s influence need not be negative, even though for a lot of critics, the negative is what they focus on. Who knows, maybe it was the movie “Life is Beautiful” or “Schindler’s List” that influenced some people to be more tolerant and treat to everyone around them like a person, or maybe it was “The Secret” that inspired someone to change the way they thought about life.

For the most part, adult entertainment is limited to its entertainment and fantasy value. We might inspire some men and women to openly communicate about their fantasies to their partners, but our industry is probably not going to produce a movie any time soon that winds up being among the Top 100 Most Inspiring Films. You know what though? That’s perfectly okay for the industry and for everyone else, because providing an exploration of fantasies and offering our fans entertainment value is the only justification we need.

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