trying to grab your attention and take your money

Good evening fellow Soul Anarchist –

Porn is a ubiquitous part of modern life. As a photographer, and one who has dated women in the sex work industry, and most importantly as a former 13 year old boy, I have a certain amount of experience with this topic. You’ll be hearing more from me on this topic.

In the mean time, I’d like to share this gem with you, from Professor Brett Weinstein’s appearance on the Joe Rogan Experience podcast. He makes a fascinating distinction between art and porn, and describes some of the problems with porn without being an annoying church lady about it:

“We have not thought carefully about the fact that porn is effectively functioning like sexuality school for kids. You don’t learn about sex in school. Sex ed is kind of a joke. People don’t take it seriously, but where do they learn about sex? They learn about it from what they encounter on the internet. That is not an honest report of anything. What that is, is the result of economic competition between porn producers to capture your attention. 

 

It pushes in the direction of all sorts of stuff that people might not be that interested in…

 

…because this producer wants to take your attention away from that producer, and so they make something more extreme…. 

What we’ve effectively done, is accidentally,  economically we’ve announced to children, this is what sex looks like. And maybe they even get proficient at that kind of sex, but it’s mechanical, uninteresting, and has very little to do with the most rewarding stuff in what in what it is to be a human being,  which has to do with deeper, long lasting relationships. 

 

It shouldn’t surprise us at all that we’ve arrived at a dysfunctional moment where people are shouting at each other about what the rules have to be, because what we’ve installed as a mechanism for learning about these things, it does not have our interests at heart. It is an economic entity that is not under anyone’s control and it’s quite dangerous. 

 

I really do think porn is bad. 

 

I don’t think erotica is bad.

 

If somebody wants to make sexual content with some purpose other than trying to grab your attention and take your money, that’s valid. It doesn’t mean everybody’s got to be interested in it, it doesn’t mean everybody’s got to produce it… I don’t want to see us prevent people from making valid sexual statements that are interesting in whatever form they take…

 

There’s a big difference between the garbagey view of sex that people are getting because the economics are driving us in that direction, and some more  nuanced, adventurous version that we might see if the landscape wasn’t saturated with the porn version. “

Brett Weinstein

On the Joe Rogan Experience 20 Feb 2018


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