Thursday, May 31, 2007

Do we compare our partners too much to porn?

Thinking in less moralistic, more utilitarian terms, I would think that romance novels and "wholesome culture" provide the real comparative problems. People see "happily married couples" in popular culture and wonder why their marriage doesn't work as well. They become unhappy and dissatisfied, rather than learning to deal with their problems.

Porn, at worst, makes you think your partner is fat, blemished, and ugly. Either sophisticated intellect or raw animal desire (but which one? can both work, or do they operate against each other?) can get you over that hurdle. But what is to get one over being "a marital purist"? After all, to think a marriage can be perfect feels like such a noble sentiment.

Maybe porn (of all things) plays a positive role here. It convinces its viewers that desire is invariably laden with ambiguities and contradictions. Might even the stupid porn users be capable of picking this up?

4 comments:

seamus said...

Author of "The Beauty Myth" Naomi Watts posits that men regard porn as a substitute good for real women and that the more (and better, more realistic) porn is available the less value men will place on sexually available women. See "The Porn Myth" here http://qurl.com/md825. Here's a snippet:

"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."

Philip said...

I think seamus meant "Naomi Wolf." And that article was just terrible.

Anonymous said...

Yes, but we'd rather think about Naomi Watts, given the subject matter at hand.

I suggest that at some point more porn actually helps to inform the "sophisticated intellect" since after seeing half of the women in the world naked, you may begin to realize that they are indeed all different and most (90%?) are rather lovely in their own way. I'm sure there's a decreasing marginal something or other in there somewhere. Perhaps we ought to *require* that everyone post photos of themselves nude and/or movies in the act and then require children to have watched over 1000 of them (randomly selected) before receiving a license to date.

music for tap said...

lolz, my hubby needs to take a loot at this one!