Excuse the deliberate title typo, but in this post I want to explore a specific subject, specifically ‘pornography’ without flagging up on multiple ‘block’ lists. The ‘stimulus’ for this post came from this little article about noted thinker, Alain De Botton, deciding to produce more intellectually satisfying matter of this nature. Presumably this means his performers will be exploring deep philosophical questions whilst probing each others pink bits to appear on the ‘better porn’ website he is proposing.
Here he is, exploring values after religion.
Don’t entirely agree with him, but that’s just me. My personal view is that people should be free to explore personal extinction through ‘drugs’, should they have the will and the means to do so. It is not for me to dictate their behaviour.
Likewise with those mini treatises on copulation and comparative anatomy. Done well they are high art, done poorly, cheap brutishness. In some respects it’s more a matter of quality control than morality. The cheap and tawdry stuff De Botton presumably wishes to offer an improvement on is kind of the Supermarket low price own brand end of the marketplace. Junky, unsatisfying, full of cornstarch filler and additives, but contains enough calories and suchlike to support life – although add enough chocolate and you’ve got an ‘obesity epidemic’.
In sex, as in food, there is a wide variety; from a good steak dinner to junk food and all stations in between. What is satisfying for one leaves another feeling hollow and craving something better.
So it is with matters erotic. There is such a thing as a ‘healthy’ level of stimulation – although I would steer clear of De Bottons idea of making such materiel available to children. Childhood is tricky enough without having to learn too early why little John and Janet have different bits to piss from, and what purposes said bits are used for when you grow up. Even more so when said bits seem to develop a life and will of their own shortly before puberty. So porn for children – no. It opens too many dark and disturbing little avenues. Why should they be forced into growing up too soon just to satisfy others? It narrows their mental horizons. There are more things to explore in this world than sex. Everything to its own time and season.
As to whether pornography can be turned into something ‘moral’ or ‘noble’, well, there’s a moral dichotomy right there. Carnality noble? The immoral, moral? If Mr De Botton wants to try, he’s welcome, but I feel that biology will be the final arbiter. Psychology, with a small spicing of philosophy, may be able to conjour habits from a rat, but humanity is hardwired for sex.
In a medical text I once studied there was a diagram of the human brain with representations of which area governed which organs and senses. In the male, the second biggest area was the hands. No prizes for guessing what the largest area was. If you see one of those cute little male homunculi models representing the amount of brain use as outsize hands, feet etc, you will notice that these public models are relatively sexless. Which is a lie. If these homunculi were truly representational of brain function, they would be dragging massive willies about. Bigger than the hands in fact.
If that aspect of human behaviour is what De Botton is trying to give nobility and morality to, he’s got an uphill battle ahead of him.