Does Porn Cause Depression?

Over at 2blowhards, people have been strenuously debating whether porn is an art form akin to rock and roll, and whether we now accept porn as part of the internet experience.

Obviously, the first question is nonsensical. But the other question bothers me. Just now, I followed some fashion links to some new photos of Lindsay Lohan, topless. My first thought upon looking at her face was: This girl is spent. Literally. She’s been used up and she has nothing left to offer but her nude body for the purpose of porn.

The poor girl has been through everything, at such a young age! She looks like she’s at the brink of starvation, but since she still has tits, she’ll flaunt them. I find it very depressing.

Is it pornography to watch a young celebrity flame out and burn? Is Girls Gone Wild pornography? Are kids really posting nude photos of themselves on their mySpace pages? Is porn ever healthy? Is there anything we haven’t seen yet, or shouldn’t see?

When I first learned to use a computer, the girl I worked with immediately set out to show me some notorious video of a woman having sex with a donkey. I hoped she wouldn’t find it. She did show me a photo of an old lady using a dead fish for something….it wasn’t good, although it was somewhat shocking.

Another office, more searches for porn. My (female) boss and I laughed hysterically at photos of women with two cocks in their mouths. We went to massive cocks dot com and laughed some more.

That is really the totality of my experience with online porn. Is there something wrong with me?

I don’t think I’m prudish. I just don’t want to get depressed. Now I hear there’s a very popular website where people upload pictures of their own faces during orgasm. I don’t get why it’s popular! Why would I want to see what some stranger looks like when they come?

I’m wondering if the world is made up of exhibitionists and voyeurs. And of course a third group, where I fit in. I’m wondering if my problem is that I can’t look at porn without thinking about the motives involved. After I laughed at the girl with two cocks in her mouth, I thought about her mother.

Someone once showed me a website where you could look at women covered in shit. I was very upset and wanted to cry for weeks afterward. I know this is not an example of whatever’s considered mainstream or arty porn, but the whole new world of porn at our fingertips is distressing to me. Even more than distressing, it’s sad.

People who enjoy porn should at least have the decency to shut up about it. Insisting that it’s interesting on any other level is just a denial of its primary purpose. Waxing all intellectual about porn is just absurd, like Camille Paglia pontificating about Madonna.

I hope that young people will still be allowed some innocence about sexuality, so they can discover it with a real live person. Mystery and taboos are there to preserve the holy aspect of sex, and by holy I don’t mean to exclude any practices between two human beings of any gender. Speaking   as an atheist, I still think of sex as a religious experience.

Here’s what Leonard Cohen thinks.

Give me back my broken night
my mirrored room, my secret life
it’s lonely here,
there’s no one left to torture
Give me absolute control
over every living soul
And lie beside me, baby,
that’s an order!

Give me crack and anal sex
Take the only tree that’s left
stuff it up the hole
in your culture
Give me back the Berlin wall
give me Stalin and St Paul
I’ve seen the future, brother:
it is murder.

Things are going to slide, slide in all directions
Won’t be nothing
Nothing you can measure anymore
The blizzard, the blizzard of the world
has crossed the threshold
and it has overturned
the order of the soul
When they said REPENT REPENT
I wonder what they meant
When they said REPENT REPENT
I wonder what they meant
When they said REPENT REPENT
I wonder what they meant.

You don’t know me from the wind
you never will, you never did
I was the little jew
who wrote the Bible
I’ve seen the nations rise and fall
I’ve heard their stories, heard them all
but love’s the only engine of survival
Your servant here, he has been told
to say it clear, to say it cold:
It’s over, it ain’t going
any further
And now the wheels of heaven stop
you feel the devil’s RIDING crop
Get ready for the future:
it is murder.

Things are going to slide …

There’ll be the breaking of the ancient
western code
Your private life will suddenly explode
There’ll be phantoms
There’ll be fires on the road
and a white man dancing
You’ll see a woman
hanging upside down
her features covered by her fallen gown
and all the lousy little poets
coming round
tryin’ to sound like Charlie Manson
and the white man dancin’.

Give me back the Berlin wall
Give me Stalin and St Paul
Give me Christ
or give me Hiroshima
Destroy another fetus now
We don’t like children anyhow
I’ve seen the future, baby:
it is murder.

Things are going to slide …

When they said REPENT REPENT …

Comments or arguments, anyone out there?

Tags: , , ,

17 Responses to “Does Porn Cause Depression?”

  1. skye Says:

    Looking at those photos of Lindsay Lohan made me feel pretty bad – it was like necrophilia or something. She looks really terrible, spent like you said, it is depressing that some one somewhere is making a buck off that.

    Porn in general is depressing, and mostly awful, and it has normalised all kinds of fucked up stuff for young people who’ve never known a life without porn readily available in their own homes in limitless quantities and permutations.

  2. Peter L. Winkler Says:

    “People who enjoy porn should at least have the decency to shut up about it. Insisting that it’s interesting on any other level is just a denial of its primary purpose. Waxing all intellectual about porn is just absurd, like Camille Paglia pontificating about Madonna.”

    Absofuckinglutely!

  3. Imelda Matt Says:

    I’ll shutthefuckup on this one and not because I think porn serves some higher artistic purpose…oh fuck, see I can’t stop my fucking self.

  4. Dexter VanDango Says:

    A Danish paper here published this article of mine, obviously meant to be amusing.. with a few bitter truths? All the hideous aspects of the subject were ignored. Why? Probably because the negative is generally the only thing we hear about in depth?

    Why All Men Love Porn

    [go here to read Dexter’s article: http://www.dextervandango.com/view.do?contentId=129&menuId=129 ]

  5. OMGGMAB Says:

    It is hard to believe that the cute little girl who played in The Parent Game is the same person in those hideous photos. Of course little girls grow up, but it is pitiful to see how awful Lindsay Lohan looks now. Her face looks haggard and drugged out. The naked body didn’t enhance her overall appearance. The attempts at sultry shots were unsuccessful and made her look more like she’s been ridden hard and put away wet. So sad.

  6. Iheartfashion Says:

    Lindsey Lohan is a sad creature. Not only does she look starved and spent, but the cutting scars on her wrists and arms are clearly visible.
    And I find porn terribly sad too. I can’t help thinking about exploitation and what sort of life story leads a person into the business.

  7. David Duff Says:

    As I was reading your post, Sister Wolf, I thought, where is that Dexter VanDango when you need him? And lo and behold, he came, er, I mean he arrived, and I endorse every single word he wrote. I would only add two things. First, from my advanced years I can tell you that as time goes by one becomes more and more discriminating, that is, the porn needs to have some ‘artistry’ to it, and I’m sure I don’t need to make clear that artistry is not at all the same thing as ‘artistic’. Secondly, no matter how skillful the actors and director, there are always longeurs during which it is impossible to banish the feeling of shame induced by the fact that women are being corrupted (in the widest sense of the word) for no good purpose. The shame is theirs, and ours, as we watch, partly entranced, partly disgusted. “Conscience doth make cowards of us all”.

  8. Dexter VanDango Says:

    I neglected to say I loved your post, Sister. The balance, the searching, the spirituality. So much of what you said I feel in my bones, too.

    Paradoxes are troubling, but they make life interesting.

  9. Dexter VanDango Says:

    David reminds me of another paradox: women love the back story. How the couple met, the flirting, the tango.. because it resembles their slow climb to orgasm. Men want the reward as fast as possible.. before we embarrass ourselves..

  10. hammiesays Says:

    Wow, not even going to look at the photos of Lindsay. I find any live performance of Amy Winehouse upsetting enough these days. I mean the girl is clearly very ill indeed and yet they keep propping her up and pushing her out there to make the 15% or whatever all her hangers on make out of her. She is clearly mentally ill and exposing herself body and soul in a way that is no longer artistic or expressive – but exploitative. – I think it sounds like poor Lindsay is on the same track, but with Boobs out.

    You see it sometimes when the latest dance act or soap star turned one hit wonder starts with the virtual nakedness or the psuedo sex acts in their videos (Lady GaGa I’m talking to you) – where else is there to go?

    And don’t even get me started on poo-phillia! actually I have an idea. I live in a seaside village where a lot of people walk their dogs without doing their civic duty afterwards. Maybe a few of those people would actually enjoy going around and cleaning up? – there is plenty of it around.

    As long as they take it far away afterwards. Anything to save me another day of pouring boiling water and dettol through my son’s ripple soled sneakers – yet again!

    xx

  11. K-Line Says:

    Wow – haven’t looked at the link but this is a very thoughtful post, Sister. I definitely think the fascination with LL’s crash and burn is pornographic – the very sad kind. I’m not going to weigh in overly on porn in general (personally, I think it runs the gamut from entirely inappropriate / offensive / evil / unconscionable to consensual and hot. And then there’s the philosophical argument about censorship.). I definitely support your world where adolescents can learn about sex from one another and not from some pre-conceived notions borne of the sex industrial complex. Thanks for this post. K

  12. Sister Wolf Says:

    Skye -It’s good to know I’m not alone in these thoughts. thanks for commenting,

    Peter Winkler – amen.

    Imelda Matt – Ha!

    Iheartfashion -Is it because we are moms?

    David Duff -Your age is in your favor, Mr. Duff.

    Dexter -I need to think about your back story thesis. I thought that woman take longer in order to ensure her mate is dedicated and persistent…traits that make for a good father.

    Hammie -Oh god, why don’t they make disposable shoes?????

    K-line – You are clearly less screwed up than me! Thank YOU for commenting, xo

  13. Dexter VanDango Says:

    And I thought I was a jerk off!

    One more reason to get off porn – from ABC News website

    “Eight of the top 10 pornography consuming states gave their electoral votes to John McCain in last year’s presidential election — Florida and Hawaii were the exceptions. While six out of the lowest 10 favoured Barack Obama.”

    Who said sexual hypocrisy? The biggest porn consuming state per capita, the survey said, is Utah

    Mitt, what’s that in your mitt?

  14. WCGB Says:

    It’s high time we all stop underestimating what a burden it is to have freckles.

    Porn (or some of it) exists because of the outmoded notion that sex is naughty. An industry based on a false “ooh ooh” must needs cover itself in shit to reinvent itself.

    The worst is the blurring of the line between sex and violence…it’s always been messy and porn (or some of it) makes it messier.

    St. Paul is not my favorite, but supposedly he said, ‘All things are lawful, but not all things are profitable.’ In other words, just because it is possible to do something (multiple cocks in mouth) doesn’t mean it has value. (Besides, one of those guys is sure to be jealous of the other.)

    Sex is not inherently a taboo, but it is always a mystery. It is serious and celebratory. It’s one of the best ways to honor ourselves and each other and what it means to be human (and humane).

  15. Danielle Says:

    In my opinion, porn is generally degrading toward women…objectifying them and making them into usable things, rather than sentient beings. I also think that for the most part, porn devalues what can often be like what you call a “religious experience.”

    That said, I’m glad you wrote about this; I thought it was relevant and poignant.

    Also, I’m curious what you think about sites like Suicide Girls. I think the aim was to put women back into control, but I’m still not sure.

  16. kate Says:

    thanks Sister Wolf – for putting into words what i’ve often tried to articulate – that porn seems like a sad sad substitute for the real thing. Lindsay, Amy et al are like the images of consumptive women that were all the rage in the 19th century – the fetishisation of illness and the eroticisation of female madness. it all leaves a nasty taste in the mouth and makes me yearn for some good old fashioned making of the beast with two backs, in private, between consenting adults who don’t need to view each other through a lens to be turned on. love the leonard too !

  17. Tim Says:

    Interesting read and, for the most, I agree… But the issue goes further than just porn. Lust in one form or another exists everywhere and there is little hope for children these days to maintain much in the way of innocence.
    I am personally very liberal minded and a strong agnostic. I tend to base my views and morals on trial and error. That said, I cannot help but shake my head half the time. To be liberal doesn’t mean to let go of morals completely.
    That said, there is, in truth, no turning back. We’re stuck in the world as is. Personally speaking, I prefer it that way to the past because conservative views tend to cause a level of stagnation.
    However, I hope that one day education can replace blind views, morals and rules of yesteryear and the majority can be exposed to all of human nature and be skilled enough to take the ‘higher road’. The views here largely relfect that we as a species are able to make good choices even when exposed. I’d like to see that in the majority.

Leave a Reply