Wednesday 17 November 2010

Pornography: Oprah? Dr. Phil? I'm confused

Is porn bad? Can it be good? Can I look at it? Am I going to hell?

Dr. Phil: Relationships/Sex: Is Internet Porn cheating?
Internet pornography is a growing trend that has many people worried about their relationships. Is it cheating? And is it a "normal guy thing"? Here's what Dr. Phil believes:

  • It is not OK behavior. It is a perverse and ridiculous intrusion into your relationship. It is an insult, it is disloyal and it is cheating.
  • Consider how it makes your partner feel. If it makes your partner feel ugly, hurt, deceived, lied to or inadequate, then it needs to stop. If it is eroding your relationship, it's gone too far.
  • Pornography isn't real, it's a fantasy. It's makeup, beauty lenses, hair extensions, camera angles, lighting and silicone! It's also somebody's daughter who has taken a really, really wrong turn. She's demeaning herself, debasing herself, humiliating herself and she's being exploited by people who are funded by you. It is a sick, demented, twisted world. It's not healthy, it's not natural and it's not normal.
  • Viewing Internet pornography or engaging in cybersex is a short step to taking cheating to the next level.
You need to tell your partner that viewing pornography is absolutely, unequivocally unacceptable in your relationship. Draw a line: Your partner needs to choose between the pornography or the relationship.

Ask yourself or your partner:
  • Would you do it with your partner standing right there?
  • Are you turning outside of your relationship to meet a need that should be met within the relationship? You can't change what you don't acknowledge, so find out if you or your partner have a problem.
  • Do you justify the behavior by saying, "It's harmless," "Everyone does it," or "It's just the Internet"?
  • Does it intrude on your relationship?
  • Which is more important: pornography or your relationship?

2009: Watching Porn: A Healthy Part of Your Sexual Life
video: Dr. Laura Berman explains how watching pornography can be a healthy sexual outlet.

Oprah and Dr. Berman are taking calls from viewers. Laura, a single woman calls to ask if porno is bad, is it against women? Dr. Berman says it's okay.

Wikipedia: Laura Berman
LCSW, PhD, is an American sex educator and therapist

Live Your Best Sex Life
The Oprah Winfrey Show  |  January 09, 2009
Dr. Berman says by being consciously scared of following her mother's example in marriage, Michele allowed a part of herself to become cut off from her own sexuality. "The only way that your sex life is going to get better is if you give yourself permission to embrace your own body and your own sexuality and to loosen the reins a little bit on your life," Dr. Berman says.

The key for Michele, Dr. Berman says, is to release her "inner vixen" using three steps.

I'm confused
Dr. Phil: porn bad. Oprah: porn bad. But Oprah with Dr. Laura Berman: porn okay.

Is porn bad? Is porn okay? What's the real problem?

Kat Wilder: My So-called Midlife
Why's everyone so torn about porn? - Nov 11/2007

I will state this right from the start: I am a fan of porn.

I like watching it. I don't think it's degrading to women or men or animals or inanimate objects. I believe adults have the right to watch it or not, and I don't want anyone telling me that I can't or shouldn't or that I'm sick or perverted for liking it or watching it. I don't mind if my lover watches it; I'll watch it with him.

I know I'm not alone in this — ! — but I am getting the feeling (well, I'm reading lots of comments on blogs) that porn is the root of all that's wrong in relationships. And they are getting validation from people like Dr. Phil, whose Web site states:

It is not OK behavior. It is a perverse and ridiculous intrusion into your relationship. It is an insult, it is disloyal and it is cheating.

Clearly something is ridiculous and perverse, but it's not porn.
The problem, of course, isn't porn itself. If something, anything, is done in secret, in excess, if it's somehow compromising the relationship, well, then there's a problem — just as if you were dealing with alcohol or drugs or gambling or even a golf addiction. If anything involves deception and you can't talk about it openly and honestly and it's reducing intimacy in the relationship instead of enhancing it (and porn can enhance it), it's just like any other addiction. (And all addicts have enablers and co-dependents, and if your man is spending hours and hours in front of the computer or TV jacking off to "Reign of Tera," you might want to look into whatever role — however small — you might be playing in that).

But you guys don't get off the hook, because many of you (from what I read and hear) are spending way more time in some sort of fantasyland instead of the real world of flesh and lips and touch and smell. If you're really giving all that up to watch instead of experience, why aren't you working on making your real-life sex wonderful and exciting?

So, I will ask the men this, so beautifully put by columnist Mark Morford last year (he was talking about online porn viewing at work, but it's the same for your porn habits in general):

"... If you have that much to hide, if you are living some sort of secret and embarrassing and family-endangering double life, if you are constantly burying images and hiding data or altering your persona to the point of endangering your work, if you cannot let someone, say, cruise through your personal sex-toy box without massive blushing and fainting and humiliation, perhaps you're living the wrong kind of life. You think?"

Not that I have any opinion about it or anything ...

Final Word
Is porn bad? Is porn okay? I realise that Oprah is not necessarily a single women but a media empire but I find it curious how the above references to Dr. Phil and Oprah seem to contradict one another.

But is porn really the issue? Ms. Wilder talks of secrets, hiding and deception as being the true causes of problems. Her quoting Mark Morford is telling, "if you cannot let someone, say, cruise through your personal sex-toy box without massive blushing and fainting and humiliation, perhaps you're living the wrong kind of life."

At the heart of it, Ms. Wilder and Mr. Morford are 100% correct. However, I note that while both of them put the blame squarely on my shoulders - a responsibility I will accept like a mature adult - neither one of them has answered the question as to why I would be scared s**tless in the first place of disclosing anything relating to sex to anybody... and I mean anybody other than my God in the guaranteed anonymity of a private moment.

Is Dr. Marty Klein correct? Have we collectively, has society demonized sex to the point where it's impossible to talk about it and in not talking about it we are all exacerbating the issue?


Pornography: My investigative series

2002: Liberated Christians by Marty Klein

2003: Sexual Intelligence: An Electronic Newsletter by Marty Klein, Ph.D.
3.  Book Review: "Pornography, Sex, & Feminism"

2006: Sexual Intelligence: An Electronic Newsletter by Marty Klein, Ph.D.
3. Oprah: Still Addicted to Demonizing Sex

2003: What Oprah & Dr. Phil Don't Understand About Sex by Marty Klein


Oprah.Com: Excerpt from The Smart Girl's Guide to Porn
Chapter 3: I Was a Porn Virgin By Violet Blue
The Oprah Winfrey Show | November 17, 2009

Wikipedia: Violet Blue
Violet Blue is an American writer, podcaster, blogger, editor, sex educator, and sex columnist.

official site:
regular column: The San Francisco Chronicle:

Oprah.Com: Why Millions of Women Are Using Porn and Erotica
Lisa Ling Reports - Nov 17/2009
One in three online porn viewers are women.


No comments: