Who benefits from banning of Porn sites?

I think it’s good to have a very clear idea of exactly why we are banning something and how the ban, or lack of a ban, would affect those who are involved.

Who is harmed by internet Porn?

1.Those who are exploited, (if there is coercion, threats, deceit, sexual assault,  [link] violence, or any other kind of exploitation) for creating this porn?

2. Or those who view Porn? How are they harmed? What kind of Porn is harmful?

Is all kind of Porn misogynistic – degrading, humiliating, objectifying and exploitative of women (or children)? If it is not, then would you still view it as harmful?

Could Porn be used to change attitudes towards sex, sexuality and women?

How is Indian Culture harmed by Porn being available on the internet?

Consider this. How do random, self proclaimed protectors of Indian Culture view sex? We don’t approve of sex education. Until recently, we permitted (even advertised in trailers?) ‘rape scenes’ and banned kissing scenes in Indian movies. And many of us still view premarital consensual sex as ‘rape’, and marital rape as sex. With so little respect for human rights and so little acknowledgment of women’s sexuality – how exactly do some of us think does Indian Culture view sex and sexuality?

“According to reports the government will also ask NGOs to create awareness and sensitizing the ill-effects of porn.” [link]

What do you think would these ‘ill effects’ include?

What would change if we do manage to ‘ban’ porn from the internet?

Here’s the link:

Government asks internet providers to ban porn sites and upgrade their infrastructure.

… According to reports the government will also ask NGOs to create awareness and sensitizing the ill-effects of porn.

Minister Ravi Shankar stated that although porn is legal in some countries, this issue should be observed in the “context of Indian culture and moral obligation towards society”.

 

Related Posts:

Many of us view watching porn as a harmless activity…

What the hell is difference between a homemaker and a porn star?

“Girls need to be little bit aware of the consequences. Men – will enjoy …”

“The rape victim had gone there willingly. She was not lured into it. They drank vodka.”

Guwahati mob molests girl, video goes viral online.

The Guwahati mob molestation video and the Gurgaon mob molestation video.

Dev D 

Three BJP Ministers, including the Women and Child Welfare Minister caught watching porn in assembly. 

70 thoughts on “Who benefits from banning of Porn sites?

  1. At this point I’m mostly just wondering why pornography is against Indian sabhyata. Weren’t we the land of the Kamasutra and the Devdasis?

    May I also remind you that we are the same country that will look down upon Sunny Leone for being a “slut”, but will happily watch episode after episode of Big Boss (?) hoping to catch a glimpse of he cleavage. We’re also surprisingly okay with bikini-clad women gyrating suggestively to songs like ‘khatiya’ on the silver screen if ‘the story demands it’. Hell, our ministers watch porn in the assembly to ‘educate’ themselves about how rave parties (?) can lead to rape!

    But porn?

    No way. We use porn to exploit people. We make MMS clips of unsuspecting partners, or film rapes and then use those as leverage. Legalizing porn would mean taking away the shame associated with sex – which would mean we let go of our leverage. How then, will we subjugate?

    No. Let’s ban porn instead!

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  2. Most of these old fogies never watched porn – not because they thought it was bad…..but it simply wasn’t so easily available before the advent of internet. Teach them how to operate a computer and google….and that’s the first thing most of these will do.

    The only argument to ban it would be – to stop the exploitation of women. But that is not what these guys are trying to stop. Exploitation of women is the least of their concerns.
    Their concern is ….Control over people’s lives, control over…..Everything.

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    • LOL I know all too well what teaching the older populace the use of google and internet can lead to.

      The hilariously sheepish expression when they ask you how to clear browser history!!😀

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  3. Fortunately – Its next to impossible to block such sites. And i say fortunately because – far from instigating ppl to rape – it is a medium for many ppl (women included) to relieve themselves from their sexual urges. And there’s nothing wrong with it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Steve Jobs’ decision to not allow porn in the AppStore is based mostly on the fact that we, as a society, want to discourage children from having easy access to pornography. I don’t think that he has ever said anything that implied that he finds sex or porn ‘wrong’. There is nothing ‘wrong’ with an adult who understands sex and fetishes and desires watches pornography for sexual release.

      The problem arises when children start emulating behavior that is beyond their years – and that I think is what ‘harms’ culture. The fight you talk about is not against porn, just its availability!

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        • The US has a strong right wing, religious and patriarchal population too so that’s not surprising. Their view on porn is largely irrelevant anyway. The point about Indian culture here is because that’s the reason Indian conservatives give for being against porn.

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  4. I have found in my University that guys do watch porn and to some extent it does satisfy their desires for sex, but if they will be even banned from watching it, then it will only make them more aggressive and desired for sex, which will ultimately lead to sex related crimes.

    Everything that I ever read about the girls who work in this industry are willing to work there cause of huge money involved in it, I don’t know how much truth is there in it.

    There is a category of porn which does provoke bad behavior, showing a girl with 6 guys. Sex is a natural desire of a human, it can’t be destroyed by banning porn. We should rather put more emphasis on the education and the values to make men understand that women are not a thing to be exploited,they are also equal human beings to be respected. This education should start from home, when parents don’t object while their son slaps his sister whenever they have some fight and he grows up believing her as weak n never respect her.

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    • “There is a category of porn which does provoke bad behavior, showing a girl with 6 guys.”
      Just curious – what is wrong with group sex? As long as it is consensual, why does it matter how many guys the girl is having sex with?

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      • As for porn, its consensual for sure, but it does provoke a mentality to make these fantasies come true, which for my opinion can lead to gang rapes etc. When we study about sex, its generally about two people, but when the youngsters get exposed to such acts in porn, they somehow wants to imitate them.

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        • “it does provoke a mentality to make these fantasies come true, which for my opinion can lead to gang rapes etc.” Why, by that logic, watching one-on-one porn can make a youngster want to fulfill a fantasy and therefore rape a girl all by himself!

          Porn does not incite rape – no matter what is being depicted on-screen. Watching S&M (or reading Fifty Shades) will not turn you into a slave driver. It will probably make you want to experiment, sure!
          There is – and I cannot emphasize this enough – nothing wrong with wanting to experiment sexually. But whether you experiment with a consenting partner or force someone to pay out your fantasy is really up to you.

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        • “it does provoke a mentality to make these fantasies”

          Nothing wrong with following a fantasy of consensual group sex with one woman and six men.

          If people forget about the consensual bit and do gang rapes then the problem is not grou-sex-porn, it’s the lack of emphasis about consent. That’s our very own culture, nothing to do with porn.. we specialise in marrying people off without their consent and call it tradition too.

          Liked by 2 people

      • Even though if something is consensual, it doesn’t mean that is right. When Kareena Kapoor does item numbers and give her consent to be portrayed as a commodity, then everybody argues that such content should be censored “courtesy Satye Mev Jayete.”
        Even though the girl gives her consent for group sex videos, it still does not make it okey. Every kind of torture they show is scripted and they are just acting but whoever is watching it, “is enjoying such torture and the disgusting behaviour towards the girl.” Which you accept or not, does impact the mentality of that person towards women in general. I am not saying, if everyone who watch such category of porn, will become a rapist, in the same way, whoever watch Kareena Kapoor dancing on Fevicol song will treat women like tandoori murgi.

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        • I have a basic disconnect with your argument. You seem to think that the supply of “inappropriate” videos leads to demand, while I think it is the other way round. How else would you explain that some people are actually disgusted by BDSM while others are turned on?

          I would say it has to do with the innate nature of a human being and how they are brought up – the familial set up and how women are treated in their homes. If you see your mother being treated like a piece of meat, you will assume that that is the way things are supposed to be, and that is the kind of attitude you will have toward women in general. And that is the kind of porn you will enjoy.

          So I guess what I’m trying to say is that you are either a violent person or not. Porn comes into the picture much much later and does not shape your personality; your taste only reflects who you already are.

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        • I am not too sure about the banning of porn sites-I mean it’s VERY easy to use proxies and such to get around them, so I don’t think there will be any effect.

          Having said that, porn isn’t “coming into the picture much later”. Teenage boys watch porn when they’re at their most impressionable age. The kind of porn they watch does have an effect on what they think sex is like, and if they see women being degraded and humiliated, like they usually are in porn depicting group sex, then that will affect how they view women. I don’t think we can assume that porn exists in a vaccuum, and that it has no effect on sexual norms-take a look at the tendency for women to remove hair from their genitalia now, for example.

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        • @B, I’m with you when you say porn has the power to shape how a teenager perceives sex.

          I definitely have my reservations about porn, but they are mostly centered around the fact that porn glamorizes sex so much that teenagers seem to think it’s the be-all and end-all of their lives. Another thing that I have seen happen is that real sex becomes disappointing, because it’s not as glamorous as porn. And then there is the question of growing body-image issues and conformity to the “ideal” that you rightly pointed out.

          That being said, if you grew up (and I mean much before you attain teenage or understand the concept of sex) watching your mother be abused and be treated like a domestic help, you will turn out to be a person who (a) thinks that women are inferior to men, or (b) is determined to never treat women that way. (I can say this with so much confidence because I have both types of people in my family. :))

          Similarly, when you watch porn that dehumanizes women, you will (a) be turned on by it, or (b) be disgusted.

          Your preference for “storylines” will depend upon who you became much before you attained teenage, which is why I think porn comes into the picture much later when it comes to respect for women.

          In fact, porn can actually help people learn a trick or two and help their partner understand what they like/dislike in bed. It has the potential to function a bit like a video tutorial in the absence of actual personal guidance on the subject. The possibilities are endless there. We just need to know how to approach it!

          And that will come from being open about sex and intimacy; not from forbidding people from talking about it. IMHO, there is no other way to teach people the value and importance of consent than sex education. And I don’t mean the hushed, glossed over biology classes that we went through in school!

          Liked by 1 person

        • “I am not saying, if everyone who watch such category of porn, will become a rapist, in the same way, whoever watch Kareena Kapoor dancing on Fevicol song will treat women like tandoori murgi.”

          I don’t agree – the Fevicol type songs encourage a mindset to objectify women.

          Porn in not on daytime television. Kareeena with her Fevicol song, and Leone with her Baby Doll is on the tv in the daytime, without a maturity rating, or any attempt at restricting viewership to adults. There is a difference in accessibility. Yes, it can be argued that porn is easily available on the internet, but it still takes an effort – it cannot be thrust unexpectedly in front of a child watching tv in the living room.

          By allowing such item numbers in “family-friendly” movies (I don’t think they are family-friendly, hence the quotes) and allowing kids unrestricted access, it creates an acceptability – that it is OK to objectify women, to view them as nothing more than a collection of bits and pieces. THAT is dangerous.

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      • So it does not mean if a person has such taste he should be served with it. If a person likes to kill tigers it doesn’t mean he shd b given liberty to do that.

        My basic point is that, porn is just an another form of film industry. Actors r paid n everything is scripted. But just because its related to sex, it does not mean everything they will show is justifiable. Every movie/clip/video does influence n provoke a thought process in the minds of its viewers.
        So such videos which show a boy is selling his gf while she is blinded n some other guy come n have fun with her while she has no knowledge if its her bf or someone else, such videos like where 10 guys force, torture a girl n treat her without any respect like a sex toy.
        Actors hv their consents for these too, but the lesson such videos are giving is totally negative.
        Such content depicting forcefull sex,torture, exploitation, girl as a sex toy should be banned/censored.

        Porn is just like any other industry which needs to be regulated, ofcourse not completly banned.
        Not everything shitty piece of porn is acceptable jus because its porn it doesnt mean they can show whatever they feel like.
        We hv a warning/declaration telling charaters r fictional etc in case of general movies.. They why not post such declaration claiming the contant is fictional, has happened with full consent, all characters r paid.

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      • @Anawnimiss

        Just because everything else is unhealthy it doesn’t give liberty to porn to be unhealthy.

        Ofcourse Educational system,parents,society should do their part but it doesn’t mean porn should be as much disgusting/unhealthy as it will want.

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        • @ minds, you said: “Porn is just like any other industry which needs to be regulated, ofcourse not completly banned.”

          Exactly my point.

          Look at our “regular” film industry. Actors (male and female) are being exploited. We all know about the casting couch. Women are wearing negligees and gyrating to catchy music, with the camera focused on her barely covered breasts and thighs – we’re basically watching soft porn! There are protests against objectification of women. There are protests against depiction of violence. There are protests against everything!
          Filmmakers openly say that they make crappy movies because people want to watch them.

          But should we ban “regular” films? Of course not. That would be blaming the fault of our feet on our shoes, now wouldn’t it?
          All we need to do is regulate.

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      • Ananimiss,
        When you argue for porn to be available, will you be OK to have your children exposed to porn,grow up ,form opinions ,some maybe not all !
        In india,boys are so easily influenced by a Bollywood movie and stand on the chauraha,whistling,,commenting,pataoing girls just like their favourite Bollywood characters !
        What can porn not do on impressionable minds ! Showing gross degradation in name of sexual pleasure, ‘fantasies’, and ugly depiction of bodies !
        Any person who enjoys porn ,and gross degradation of women depicted cannot be of sane mind no matter how how cool,collected and regular that guy is in his daily life!
        Those who are addicted to porn , I imagine, would be seeing women in real life too in terms of images embedded in his mind !
        We are human beings not machines who can switch on and off especially when it comes to our minds and attitudes !
        Porn is degrading of sex, it was ,I am sure created to feed degraded minds in the first place !

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        • Hey Cosettez, when I argue for porn being available I argue for porn being available to adults, not teenagers. I am absolutely and whole-heartedly in the favor of strict regulation and discretion.

          I do not think banning it will help in any way; instead, I have a feeling that the ban will create an even more repressed and depraved breed of human beings who do not have an outlet for their sexual energies and therefore resort to sexual crimes and generally aggressive behavior.

          Besides, even if you ban it, how would you control people making their own porn? Even the lousiest of phones have cameras these days and how do you know people aren’t passing those around?

          So like I said, we need to regulate better. In terms of content (no rape videos, consensual sex, only enactments, etc.) as well as availability (membership-only, high price to pay, legal action if shared, etc.). I realize that this is no mean feat, but moderation seems to be the only possible way out.

          Btw, we’re not the only ones discussing whether porn should stay or go. I recently ran into an auto driver who had some ideas as to why our society is sexually depraved. Read them here: http://anawnimiss.wordpress.com/2014/08/25/1908

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  5. Yeah. In my country, there is a feminist, who is also an ex-porn star. She has a website that explains about her experiences. According to her all women who do porn are raped, and forced to do anal sex in their first shooting, even if they don’t want to. She says they all have physical and psychological traumas after working in porn movies.

    And of course it seems quite logical that watching some of the nauseating stuff available for free on internet can’t be very healthy (rapes, bondage, SM, slaves etc…) and promotes violence against women. It seems the more you watch porn, the more you need to watch extreme stuff to get turned on.

    Next time you watch porn, focus on the actresses faces – they so often look scared and disgusted.

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    • I have read reports and studies which have concluded that a lot of porn actors have suffered sexual abuse as children.

      They come from unstable backgrounds and have a history of substance abuse, addictions and other behavioural issues like depression and addiction.

      These are not women who gave up on a sparkling career as a doctor, professor or executive because porn was SO much more empowering.

      Most women in porn are young, often underage, school and college dropouts.

      Yes one hears about the occasional “sex-positive” feminist who thinks sex-work is empowering.

      Well, honestly, I do not see how. I mean it’s one thing to view sex as a natual, healthy urge and quite another to suggest that if you make a living selling lap dances, you’ve subverted the who sexual power dynamic, that you may be an object, but you chose it.

      Yeah right.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I agree to you Victoria, The women work in this industry because of money and sometimes cause of fame that they could not get in general movie industry.

      A person who starts watching porn, maybe at first such torturing video he/she could be shocked but soon he/she gets used to it and start thinking its normal sexual behavior for every couple..

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  6. If one is serious to learn about Sex and Sexuality. One should read ‘Kama Sutra’, the great work of Vatsyayan. It deals with the subject in a professional way, to guide people about how to improve one’s sex performance, in such a way as to educate, not to titillate!
    Pornography however, aims at titillating the minds of both men and women, and thus comes out with pictures and shows which arouse unhealthy sexual passion, and pervert the minds of people towards the bodies, esp the genital organs of women, and towards the nature
    of conjugal relationship between men and women, making it seem as as an out and out carnal relationship!

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  7. Porn can become an uncontrollable addiction, and it can instigate unwanted behavior especially under the influence of other addictive substances like alcohol, etc. I know people whose attitudes have changed dramatically because of excessive porn-watching. That’s not a reason to ban it – just saying.

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  8. I believe porn in a country with no sex education is dangerous. Porn is not realistic ; it is a fantasy. People should not be learning about sex from porn which is what happens in India due to lack of info/education about sex from home and school.

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  9. Porn should be banned, not easily or freely available, maybe like cigarettes taxed heavily ! But it will not be completely obliterated, I know !
    Children watching porn and growing up with those images cannot be a good thing ! Men being visual,..I can safely assume there will be more boys watching porn through their formative years ! That can’t be really good !
    Porn can become serious addiction !
    Porn should be blocked,restricted on internet as much as possible maybe new technology can be made that can severely restrict it !

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    • I’m all for restricting it. Especially to kids. But I somehow abhor at the thought of restricting anything for adults. Punishing adults who force others yes.
      In addition I’d also ban those item numbers and tag an A on movies that have then, they r nothing but porn too. Soft maybe

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      • Yes,restricting soft porn item numbers only to movies and not promos on TV ! Lyrics are so suggestive and openly degrading ! Its become difficult to control TV from children !
        Don’t even get me started on alcohol based songs!
        In name of profit, movies are openly promoting alcohol,vices,sex,and the many ways one can insult,degrade and make fun of women !
        The Indian movie industry is irresponsible and shamefully exploiting censor board ! Gah !

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  10. Its hard for me to imagine how feminists can argue for banning of expression and suggesting ways to control people’s bedroom activities. Its even harder to imagine feminists vying for social engineering via prescribing what people should be allowed to watch. If you ask me, it is the romance genre that should be banned, if anything. It creates unrealistic expectations in young women about men.

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  11. The argument about attitudes about sex being developed through porn is most probably complete B.S. Completely normal people who fall in 99.999 percentile when it comes to respecting women enjoy BDSM ( which, BTW, more often than not, has female domination). I know of more women than men who enjoy BDSM ( again with both dominant and sub roles). If you are straight, no amount of gay porn will turn you on and vice versa. The issue of respect is an issue of consent and nothing else.

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    • My personal experiences counter your views.

      My ex-husband wanted to try things from porn on me.

      He would see things and want to try it out. I was young and naive. In the name of sexual openess I would agree to things I actually found degrading.

      Porn DOES affect how some men, especially young ones, view sex. What is they find erotic and arousing changes dramatically.

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      • Right Neha, porn does act like a source of inspiration for some porn viewers. Soon regular sex becomes boring n new things seem to be more arousing n both men n women wants to try them. Some of which can be very unhealthy/unhygenic as well as disgusting.

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      • I totally agree with you Neha.
        My ex-boy friend was a man whose fantasies began and ended with porn. I was an adult ( 20 years) old, but was too young and naive to even understand what was going on. In the name of experimentation and being “open” (words he used to tell me) I gave my “consent” to every act. But I was very uncomfortable doing it and did not even enjoy, but when I used to try to tell him that he would simply say “that you are an adult and I took your consent” and I would shut up. I had given my consent then, but it was “I” and my family who had to deal with my mental mess which ruined some of the most precious years of my life. I so wish today, that I had just listened to my parents and all the mental torture would have been avoided.
        So finally I broke up with him, and he just could not understand why I was breaking up because he thought “based on the porn movies” that it is normal and a woman should not have any problem with it.
        So you see, a lot of women give consent only because at that point there is nothing that they can think of, and also because being open about sex and experimenting is what is seen as cool these days by many youth. But all this is just not worth it considering the price i.e. mental agony.
        Some people move on and some can’t, it depends.
        I totally disagree that a person’s personality is already developed by the time they watch porn – the teenage years are when the crux of a person’s personality is formed and it’s developed over the years because til then we are pretty much kids hanging around parents…
        Also, a lot of teenage guys are dragged into it because “if you are a man, you must watch porn” and to prove their manliness (whatever that means)..
        So controlling the availability of porn is essential and needed.
        Also,sex education and porn are two completely different things. Sex education is needed because it teaches a lot of things other than merely about the organs and the act.
        But I am yet to understand what porn teaches in life? And how can anyone learn about respecting a woman by watching porn? Definetly disrespect can be learnt as the guys look at the woman moaning and think that is fun, and they start practicing it in real life….Atleast that’s what my ex-bf did…

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        • I read a lot of views above that want to regulate porn, and think that porn shapes the thought process and expectations of young people who grow up watching it. My two cents on the subject.

          1) The only regulation required is to make it available only for adults and by adults, I mean people over 16 years of age.

          2) For those commentators above, who were at the receiving and of their boyfriends’ fantasies, availability of porn has nothing to do with it. I do not want the state to influence what my fantasies should or should not be. Who is to decide what is proper and what is not? Sate needs to involve itself in only two fundamental things. One, protection of an individual’s right against being subjected to physical force and two, enforcement/protection of contracts between two people.

          Porn, religion, morality and everything else are private matters and must remain as such. It is not and should never be the state’s business to protect you from a thought that you might find harmful to your moral consciousness. Because in doing so, you are trampling upon someone else’s liberty and rights. And in a civilised society, no one should have to forego their rights for upholding someone else’s moral intransigence.

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        • Replying to Two Cents. Do you realise how difficult that is to actually implement.

          I am sure you are a man; you seem to have scant regard for the sexual well-being of women who are saying that porn had an unhealthy influence on their relationship.

          In a typical Indian marriage, a wife doesn’t wield enough power to set such firm sexual boundaries.

          Marital rape is LEGAL in India and you want married Indian women to set firm boundaries around sex?

          Read the blog in its entirety. The average Indian woman is stilk fighting for basic human rights, like the right to be treated with respect by the in-laws.

          The right to wear what she pleases in her “husband’s home”.

          How typical of you to conveniently ignore all these erm, inconvenient truths and launch into a tirade on the “privacy of the citizen”.

          This is India, a country where rape victims keep quiet because they want to avoid stigma.

          You want the average Indian woman, who cannot even control how many children she will have and when, to have adult discussions with her husband around porn.

          Wow, you certainly done live in the India that I and women like me live in.

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        • @Neha:
          For all your cries about other’s being judgemental in their opinion, you didn’t exactly cover yourself in glory by making an ad-hoc assumption and remarking that I couldn’t care about the well being of an Indian woman in an unequal marriage. I shall however let it pass since I do not feel obligated to prove my sensitivity to the issue.

          I agree with you on all the points that you have raised regarding the imbalance in power and the sorry state of countless Indian women. Having said that, would it make you feel any better if the rights of other normal, law abiding citizens were taken away in order to alter the balance more favourably towards the alleged victims, i.e. powerless Indian women. As a staunch libertarian, I cannot trade my liberty, no matter how important the cause might be in your eyes, for the sake of someone else’s well being. No one’s well being should come at the cost of someone else’s liberty. If we differ in this fundamental value, we will have to agree to disagree.

          And while we are at it, laws do not reflect the ideals of the current society, or at any rate they shouldn’t. Laws are ideals a society aspires to. We gave ourselves a democratic constitution not because we were already one, but because we aspired to be one. That was the ideal. You might feel porn is harmful, and I might feel that religious teachings have equally harmful influence on the minds of my fellow countrymen. That doesn’t make it right to pass a law that bans these. Which is why, I noted in the earlier post, that we can only have a right to not be abused by physical force. There cannot be thought crimes just as there cannot be laws preaching moral behaviour.

          In conclusion, I am sorry for what you had go through and I am enraged and pained by what countless men and women have to go through owing to our skewed beliefs and cultural setups. If you were a friend, I would put my arm around your shoulder and offer you all the support that I could. However, I would also gently tell you that, the law of the land doesn’t exist to treat all the maladies, of an often unfair life.

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      • What you found degrading might not be so for others. The problem is not with porn, it is that you were unable to set expectations about what was sexually acceptable for you with your ex-husband. You might have held back your hesitation for other reasons ( ex: the spouse would become abusive or emotionally blackmail ), but none of those attitudes are derived from porn, nor would your ex-husband have a change in those attitudes by stopping to watch porn.

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        • I honestly don’t think millions of women started shaving their pubic hair, while millions of men started requesting for it, without being inspired by porn.

          I have spoken to many women my mother’s generation and NONE received requests for “happy endings”.

          I have also spoken to many of my female friends, and almost all of them say that “happy endings” are a rudimentary sexual demand from their husbands.

          Can it be that within the space of a generation, the sexual mores of the middle-class Indian man changed, completely independent of the influence of porn.

          I agree that anecdote is not the plural of data, which is why I am pointing you to the research that Dines and Jensen have carried out.

          As to what I find degrading, I rely on Potter Stewart’s definition: I know when I see it.

          It does not matter that what I find degrading, others find empowering.

          It doesn’t matter if I am seen as a sexual prude. I am an uncomfortable doing something, I will NOT do it.

          The particular act I am referring to was so deviant that most would find it so. I cannot mention it here, because IHM will moderate it.

          That’s a disingenuous argument. Please read the research that Gail Dines and Robert Jensen have done on the subject.

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      • What was wrong was not that your ex-husband watched porn and wanted to try things from that with you. Rather – there was a lack of communication, and like you said you were young and naive.

        Even in BDSM, the things tried out are only with two willing partners, and there is always a code word to stop.

        If a man and woman get married without enough knowledge of sex, and sometimes without even having discussed sex or birth control and related preferences, blame that, not porn.

        You agreed to try out things you found degrading. Why? Problem was in the communication between you and your-ex, or that you felt for some reason forced to go along. Problem was not in the porn he watched.

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        • Anonymouse, thank you for presuming that my ex-husband and I did not discuss sex or birth control before we got married.

          Judgemental much?

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        • How can one not fault porn ? If the husband has grown up watching porn,maybe had past relationships ,experimental with porn in mind ,is currently watching porn which itself is degrading and then asking you ‘experiment’ !
          Most girls get married to the first guy they find,have never had sex before marriage and you are talking about choice to refuse husband !
          You think the brainwash in name of ‘openness’ ‘experiment’ is mild ?? Especially to someone who has not slept with random 10 different people in name of sexual freedom !
          In India,woman are not able to force men to wear condoms in a marriage,birth control is dumped on women in all forward educated so called modern women I know and here are people excusing porn laden minds who force,cajole,explain sexual experimentation to the woman married to him so that he can experiment !!

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      • Neha, I’m sorry you ended up doing things you didn’t want to do. I can understand wanting to be open about sex. Openness is good. But being open does not mean saying yes to something you don’t want to do. If you find something degrading, you have the right to say no. Of course I can’t pretend to understand the dynamics of your relationship with your ex, but I really don’t think there’s anything wrong with wanting to experiment. Experimentation is what teaches us about our own bodies and those of our partners. As they say, variety is the spice of life!

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        • Thanks for not sounding judgemental Miss. Appreciate your sensitivity.

          I have stopped frequenting IHM’S blog because of the number of “I know better” commenters who presume that they know every detail about the intimate lives of rank strangers.

          Of course it says more about their maturity levels than anything else of course.

          You have the perfect life, the perfect relationship, the perfect sex life? Well mad props to you ladies. You obviously have it all figured out.

          The rest of us should just be allowed to bumble along, learning from our mistakes.

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        • Thanks for not sounding judgemental Miss. Appreciate your sensitivity.

          The rest of this comment is for others who have said that I could not set appropriate boundaries.

          I have stopped frequenting IHM’S blog because of the number of “I know better” commenters who presume that they know every detail about the intimate lives of rank strangers.

          You have the perfect life, the perfect relationship, the perfect sex life? Well mad props to you ladies. You obviously have it all figured out.

          The rest of us should just be allowed to bumble along, learning from our mistakes.

          That being said, a lot of commenters are assuming that ordinary Indian women have such open and equal marriages that they can fearlessly express themselves, insist on sexual autonomy and have NO repercussions.

          In my own marriage, I would pay a heavy price for asserting myself, both inside the bedroom and out of it.

          I was on a dependent’s visa in the US, utterly dependent on my ex-husband for food and shelter.

          I wasn’t in any position to negotiate for much, given the frequent threats of “I’ll send you home to India and your parents will die of shame because of you”.

          All of the woman who have taken a pro-porn stand seem to be in relationships where they exercise considerable veto power.

          I was speaking on behalf of women who are not in such healthy marriages.

          So if you are unable to resist because of any reason, should you then be blamed for not being in a position to say “no”.

          What of the countless number of women who do things against their wishes because they fear that their marriages will break if they don’t.

          I know all “my life is all cool and figured out” brigade will just blame the woman for not being in a position to protest.

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        • I don’t know how to reply to a particular comment. This is a response from Anonymouse to Neha’s comment that ends with “Judgemental much?”

          No Neha, not judgemental. Simply pointing out that porn is not the problem. Lack of communication, other unfortunate dynamics of the typical Indian marriage and gender inequality are.

          You say “thank you for presuming my ex and I didn’t discuss sex or birth control before marriage”. Well, in return, I will say that thank you for assuming that a section of the commenters here have the “perfect life, perfect relationship, perfect sex life” and also thanks for this mother of all assumptions:

          “All of the woman who have taken a pro-porn stand seem to be in relationships where they exercise considerable veto power.”

          Do you want to know what cost this considerable veto power comes at? Do you want to know what price some “pro-porn” [sic] women might have paid for the relationship to be in that state?

          Only some women are lucky to have all that equality, veto power, and ideal relationship from day one. For most, it comes after some years of married life, and often after first realizing what is missing.

          That you equate women being pro-porn with exercising considerable veto power is sickening. A woman’s views on porn need not be linked to or in sync with the general state of her marriage.

          Liked by 1 person

        • Replying to Anonymouse’s comment.

          No, I do not know at what cost “this considerable veto power” has come at.

          If you want to share your story of personal empowerment, please do so.

          Do not presume to know anything about the sex lives of people you know nothing about.

          As to why you find my observation that “women who are pro-porn have more veto power in marriage” sickening, well I’m flummoxed.

          It requires a certain amount of egalitarian thinking for Indian couples to have a frank and honest discussion around sex, leave alone pornography.

          A couple who has a frank discussion, de rigeour, about which porn can be included in their sexual repertoire, is by default, mature enough to ban any coercive, non-consensual sex from the bedroom.

          This is something to be proud of, not sickened by. More power to you, if you are in such an egalitarian marriage, no matter how difficult your journey until this point.

          HOWEVER, there are women who cannot have a no-holds-barred discussion on porn with their spouses.

          The average Indian woman is raised to view her own body as being her husband’s property.

          Standard advice issued to nervous brides in India is, “Let him do whatever he wants to. Don’t object. Men have needs. You’ll understand after some time”.

          Many Indian women view sex as being something that is DONE to them. They are conditioned to be passive recipients of their husband’s desire.

          In India, sex is a wifely duty.

          Nowhere in our cultural narrative about sex, do we find the perspective that marital sexual pleasure is reciprocal and mutual.

          I am concerned about women in such marriages being pressured, to conform to the “porn standard”.

          I do not know about you, but my experience tells me that it’s difficult for many women to be vocal about what they do or do not enjoy in the bedroom.

          I am not against freedom of speech arguments being applied to porn.

          I would vocally oppose a bid to regulate porn were I in the West, where individual rights, including woman’s rights, have historically been protected.

          In India, free access to porn IS problematic without the attendent sexual freedom that porn-viewing is rooted in.

          If Indian women enjoyed the same sexual freedom as men did,if

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        • @Neha. It’s true it is very difficult to know the true situation of the LWs. But I think everyone’s comments are a reflection from their own experience, and you have to take all comments with a pinch of salt. You never know what may help a person, sometimes an acid comment, sometimes compassion, personnally, both have helped me in the past😉

          Liked by 1 person

  12. The porn industry survives on human trafficking. There may be a few porn stars (women) who are rich and made an independent choice but most of them come from abused backgrounds and have also been abused by the industry. Much like sex workers – yes it is their choice to do this work but 99% of them are either coerced or do it out of desperation/survival – and they get abused in the process.

    Most of porn is misogynistic and women are nothing but objects of pleasure and dehumanized to the extreme. It therefore encourages crimes against women, when people stop drawing the line between fantasy and reality. Porn is especially harmful because adolescent boys are being introduced to sex in the unhealthiest possible manner – not in the form of mutual respect and consent and equality but in the form of female subjugation and objectification. Some feminists have argued that there exists porn for women (and are these the reverse of the male pron?) but really, I don’t see objectifying men as empowering to women.

    I agree with Anonymous above about porn being especially dangerous in a country like India where there is no sex education and no concept of consent and “some forms of rapes are good” according to a politician. Can porn be banned? Obviously no. But they should regulate it for sure.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Our government/ministers are not making an informed decision about banning porn. They will ban anything with the word sex in it, yet watch degrading item numbers and belittle crimes against women by saying ‘boys will be boys’.
      Banning porn will only make it go underground which can make it even more exploitative to women who now lack a legal means to stand up for their rights. Banning will also give the film makers free reign over the content – which can then become disturbingly close to crimes against women (sadism, bondage, etc.)
      Don’t ban, but regulate content, viewer access, ensure that actors (women) are not being coerced and exploited.

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    • I have blogged about speaking to my kids about sex education, consent, manipulation, abusive relationships and about healthy, respectful relationships (where rights and freedoms are respected and cherished; and where dependence and ‘attempts to improve’ or control are not seen as ‘love) etc. And the importance of consent – given without any coercion of any kind. Also, very importantly – about the chance of abuse, humiliation and exploitation involved in making of porn. I think this much should help any young adult make informed choices.

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      • Also ,once consent is given it can also be withdrawn anytime,without having to explain or worry ! I think stating that one can change mind about love,sex,marriage or marriage partners explicitly and clearly to young people might give them enough courage to come out of abusive situation faster !
        More parents need to tell their daughters this explicitly again and again l

        Liked by 1 person

  13. Dear IHM, there is a mistake in my previous comment. Could you please edit it?

    The sentence, “And while we are at it, laws do not reflect the ideals of the current society, or at any rate they shouldn’t.” should actually read “And while we are at it, laws do not reflect the morals of the current society, or at any rate they shouldn’t.”

    Thank you.

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  14. So much is being said about boys and men who can get unduly influenced by porn, and how porn impacts how they view sex and women.

    Let’s look at a different but related aspect. How do girls and women in India view sex?

    How many married women are interested in sex genuinely and not as a wifely duty?
    How many women begin to give more importance to kids and clean house and things like festivals, celebrations, social obligations, over sex?
    How many women take the initiative in changing or improving anything about their sex lives?

    There may be reasons within and outside the control of women that make most of them treat sex as a duty, but nonetheless, majority of Indian women do treat sex as a duty or chore or even worse, as a reward they oblige the man with.

    Agreed that most women enter marriage with zero or minimal knowledge of sex. But even after the first few weeks or months and getting familiar with it, how many make sex an important part of their life? My casual interactions with Indian women show not many. How many do things like a strip-tease for husband on his birthday? How many even try simple things like role-play (nothing degrading or physically revolting in that).

    How many Indian women would get a copy of a sex book as an anniversary gift for husband?

    To summarize, how many Indian women make sex an important part of married life at least in the early years? Not many.

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    • Do you think women should ‘make sex’ an important part of their ‘married lives’? If they don’t, then what do you think prevents women from doing that?

      What would be the purpose of doing so?

      If the idea is for women to enjoy sex, then what about women who are not married and maybe those who don’t plan to ever get married?

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      • “Should women make sex an important part of their married lives?”
        Big question. Small answer is “if they want to.” But, if they don’t (for whatever reasons), and men turn to watching porn occasionally, then…?

        “What about women who are not married or don’t plan to get married?”
        I mentioned “married women” as that is/was the group being discussed. Whatever I said, holds for women (married or not).

        “What prevents women from making sex an important part of married lives?”
        Again big question. Brief answer is social conditioning, how sex is viewed, absence of sex education, how a lack of interest in s** and body is considered ‘good’ and many more factors… most outside the control of the women.

        “What would be the purpose of making sex an important part of (married) life?”
        That needs an answer? If so – the answer is that for most Indian women sex occupies a low priority. It’s ranking in the to-do list should go up, and it should also not be a to-do.

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        • “Should women make sex an important part of their married lives?”
          Big question. Small answer is “if they want to.” But, if they don’t (for whatever reasons), and men turn to watching porn occasionally, then…?

          IHM: Meaning, men turn to porn occasionally as a consequence of women not making sex ‘an important part of their married lives’? Are they related? Or is it being implied that women should make – not ‘sex’, but ‘providing sex’ an important part of their married lives?; and if they don’t do that (for whatever reasons) then men might turn to porn (made without exploiting anybody), or maybe to buying sex or maybe to forced sex?

          What do you think would happen if these options were not available to these men? Maybe this is what would happen: Then such men would not consent to semi forced marriages for for dowry or obedience or family values but for better compatibility? Maybe then men who value sex in their married lives would fight against the society viewing women as asexual creatures. Maybe then men would not view virginity/lack of sexual experience or knowledge as a gift for the spouse.

          How is someone who is supposed to view sex as something that it ‘given’ or ‘provided to the husband by the wife’ expected to see it as anything other than a duty?

          “What about women who are not married or don’t plan to get married?”
          I mentioned “married women” as that is/was the group being discussed. Whatever I said, holds for women (married or not).

          IHM: Unmarried women in most patriarchies are expected to remain inexperienced, not to make sex an important part of their lives. They risk being Honor Killed or raped, sold into prostitution or being rejected by prospective spouses – at the mere suspicion of having any sexual, immoral, unchaste or un-virtuous thoughts.

          “What prevents women from making sex an important part of married lives?”
          Again big question. Brief answer is social conditioning, how sex is viewed, absence of sex education, how a lack of interest in s** and body is considered ‘good’ and many more factors… most outside the control of the women.

          IHM: Also being married to a man who views sex as his entitlement and believes the spouse owes it to him. More so if they are faithful and non violent and ‘good providers’. What would anybody who expects sex as entitlement do if they did not have the option of demanding, forcing or buying sex?

          “What would be the purpose of making sex an important part of (married) life?”
          That needs an answer? If so – the answer is that for most Indian women sex occupies a low priority. It’s ranking in the to-do list should go up, and it should also not be a to-do.

          IHM: But why should ‘It’s ranking in the to-do list’ go up? Can be answered by honestly answering – why does it not?

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    • You are giving examples in which again everything is for or to give a man ! You can’t buy a sex book for yourself !
      You are no where saying maybe she should learn ‘skills’ to derive pleasure for herself too not just for you !

      Like

  15. Pingback: So how will banning cabs make public transport safer for women? | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  16. Pingback: “Porn is a discourse about sex and works like an educator about sex and gender.” | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

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