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This house believes that pornography involving consenting adults can be socially beneficial

Held at the Oxford Union Society on Thursday 5th November 1998

Transcript of contribution from Dr Tuppy Owens

  

Sexual Freedom Coalition logoI'm Tuppy Owens, sexual catalyst and editor of a the Sexual Freedom Coalition campaign newspaper Consenting Adults.

I see no point in discussing porn with people who have never seen any, If you don't want to see it, close your eyes or leave the room.

I'm opening up with some of the controversial photos from the Robert Maplethorpe book, recently seized (and later returned) by the West Midlands Police from University of Central England, so you can see what the fuss was about.

But the Oxford Union is a rather unusual place to look at sexually arousing pictures -- better be at home with a stiff dick or juicy pussy in your hand or, preferably both! Looking at porn and perhaps getting aroused in a non-sexual environment may seem confusing and conflicting.

Women especially might find the experience difficult, especially if you've always believed porn to be bad. You may feel torn between your thoughts and your feelings in your groin, with the resulting wetpatch on your seat. So I'll explain. The blood is flowing into your pelvic area, waking up your genitalia and moisture is seeping into your vaginal walls and down into your vulva. This is normal and nothing to be afraid of.

I would like to ask that, if you get to the stage where you are bursting to come, either just do it, but please don't get up to visit the lav until the opposition speaks!

These photographs are by Ron Raffaelli -- hounded out of town and made bankrupt. It's still illegal -- for making beautiful images of sex!

It's already been established that Porn is not harmful. The Danish government did a ten year study which concluded that looking at porno is not harmful to adults or children. They lifted its ban on pornography in 1965, admitting that it was a violation of human rights to prevent individuals deriving pleasure from porn. They were right: the sex crime rate in Denmark fell by 66 per cent.

The Danes bought a lot to begin with then didn't bother much any more. It didn't really change their lives or values. It just made them feel safer because the sex crime rate had dropped.

Interestingly, they don't sell kiddy porn in Denmark because they think it's immoral (and the market so small it's no great loss) So you see -- when people are given freedom they don't go mad or become evil -- they take responsibility for their lives and in their work.

So why, Oh why couldn't Britain follow their example? Ten years later, a British study culminated in the Williams Report which reached similar conclusions but rejected by Margaret Thatcher in 1979. Governments know that by controlling our sexuality, they can control us. Still people go to prison for selling images such as this! But not if you get a trial by jury because juries never seem to think there's anything wrong in it -- nor is there!

15 reasons why Porn is beneficial in society:

  1. Acting as a safety valve

    Looking at porn which shows people all the wild sex they may never get, and produces orgasm to relieve tension. Thus people are less likely to commit sex crimes.
     

  2. It's useful In sex therapy. I am a sex therapist and use porn to reduce sexual anxiety.

    Don't get me wrong, showing a picture of a gorgeous pussy isn't going to turn a homosexual into a heterosexual. Nor should it . But porn is used to educate and help people accept sexual activities better. Most men know that cocks vary a lot in size and shape and so don't worry about being weird, but women often go mad worrying, especially nervous that they played with themselves and made the labia become weird shapes. So we show them photos of all the various kinds of pussies and they relax.

    Showing couples how blow-jobs look helps them feel less nervous, showing pictures of masturbation helps lessen the guilt. Once couples find out it's OK to masturbate together, sex therapy proceeds quickly and successfully.
     

  3. It spices up the sex-lives of millions of couples who've been together for a long time, They look at the porn together, get turned on and have hot sex.

    Most people have fantasies about having group sex or doing wild things that are difficult to organise or realise. So porn allows you to witness the scenes of your longings, without all the worries of jealousy, breaking friendships, -- your neighbours might not speak to you again if you invite them round for an orgy -- or breaking the law.
     

  4. Porn provides spicy fantasy lives for people without partner or are in a dull relationship. Women tend to read novels and men look at top-shelf mags, films and videos, or satellite TV.
     
  5. Porno is very popular. When the photographic process was discovered it was used to create porn before anything else. The reverend Chad Varah, founder of The Samaritans, 87 next week, and a member of Keeble college and this Union, told me that he supports my work, and told me a story last week that in the 60's Sight and Sound magazine did a survey of West End cinemas during the afternoon and found there were four times as many viewers squashed on uncomfortable seats in tiny basement porno theatres than in the plush cinemas showing big movies! People love porn!
     
  6. Porn provides more orgasms, which is beneficial for people's health, strengthening the heart and lungs, circulation and leaving them with a feeling of well-being. When I go for a medical check-up, they always say "You must be an athlete" -- and I just say "No, I enjoy a lot of big orgasms".
     
  7. Porn is beneficial to many of the people in it. You may find this hard to believe but being sexual in front of a camera can have a profound effect -- especially on women -- they blossom sexually. Porn is a fun job for those who enjoy it. Look at these women -- in their everyday life and in porn. Do they seem harmed or unhappy? It's a myth that women are drugged and dragging into pornography.
     
  8. Porn is amusing and lots of people watch it at parties or show it around in the pub, which lowers inhibitions so that people feel less worried about discussing their sex lives. Laughter and sex go together happily as both are joyful.
     
  9. Porn is shocking This might be the most difficult one to accept but people love to be shocked. Seeing something shocking challenges everyday standards, helps people put things into perspective, makes life less grey, and is cathartic -- bringing all your repressed emotions to the surface and thus refreshing you.
     
  10. Porn is educational This is especially true in fetish and S/M porn, where it's sometimes difficult to find out how to give an enema, put someone in bondage or whip them without damaging them. I wish it were more so, teaching shy people how to make sexual approaches, and educating society that disabled people can be great lovers. People can learn about safer sex from those books and films that show it.
     
  11. Porn can be enjoyed by everyone whatever their education and class (unlike the media which provides different messages to each). The rich and sophisticated can enjoy their erotic art and when that gets taken to court, the judge is in a dilemma because it breaks the rule that the refined don't show their sexual feelings, and how can he ban a work of a great artist?
     
  12. Porn is subversive It's an insult to British adults to ban us seeing hard porn. It's a way of nannying us, and controlling us. It's a very clever device -- because to control the people's sexuality, you control the people. Porno is thus subversive, and subversion of a police state is very a important benefit to society.

    Quite a lot of pornographers have political motivation -- and use it to discredit careerists, embarrass hypocrite and make political statements.

The last three are reasons why banning porn is harmful to society:

13. Banning porn is an insult to sex -- if we can see pictures of everything else, why not sex. Sex is beautiful, not shameful.

14. Banning porn means that the authorities get to see it all, and we don't. If it depraves and corrupts that means we have depraved and corrupt authorities, and if it doesn't, then what's the point of the ban?

15. Finally, Banning porn means society is not free to make our own choices. You are all intelligent adults here, and you don't need someone else to decide what you may and may not read and view.

Don't worry -- there is no slippery slope -- in porn, or drugs. Cannabis does not lead to heroin, and watching a beautiful blow job doesn't lead to snuff movies. This is a false argument to keep us afraid.

Nobody I have ever met has seen a snuff movie. They don't exist. They are a figment of the gutter press's imagination and food for their "double porn". The News of the World sells millions of papers every Sunday, creating scandals and exposing orgiasts so they can turn its readers on then tell them it's disgusting.

It's very important to me that the British stop being repressed, it's time to take our freedom back, and make our society a safe and happy place.

 

Evidence that non-violent porn is good for society escapes notice of officials bent on crackdown.

By John C. Boseman, Ph.D., at Nude Women of Bojiggly.


Deep Throat DVDVarious governments around the world, from the West to the Middle East, have launched or threaten to launch new attacks on pornography, especially on the internet. In the US, for example, for the first time in more than 10 years, the Justice Department has begun investigating, raiding, filing charges, and arresting people for porn.

Attacks on porn use various theories as justifications - it causes violence, oppresses women, undermines the family, or threatens the health of society as a whole. The weight of evidence shows these charges are no more true than old claims against masturbation, that it makes you go blind or grow hair on your palms.

In fact, attackers are ignoring mounting evidence that porn is good for the lives and health of most of its users and increases the well-being and progress of societies that allow it. (For research references, see the link near the bottom of this article.)

Porn and violence

Some years ago, for example, several countries that had restricted pornography finally relented and made it legal. The result was a rapid, major reduction in sexual violence and rape in those countries, according to a number of studies. One study showed the most dramatic decline occurred in rapes where the victims were under 13 years old. So the availability of porn helped protect some of the most vulnerable members of society from becoming rape victims.

On the other hand, studies suggest that some violent pornography may indeed lead to violence, not because it is porn, but because it is violent. But there is much more violence in mainstream media than in porn. In fact, researchers had a hard time finding violent porn for their tests of effects on viewer's attitudes. They ended up using R-rated movies.

It is ironic that repression of adult media is part of both Christian and Muslim fundamentalisms, which, through the crusades and terrorism, have fomented far more deadly violence than was ever attributed to media.

Interestingly, a survey found that among users of porn, most had never seen any showing violence, and those who had said it was a turnoff.

Porn and the status of women

Around the world, wherever there is harsh censorship of porn, there is also harsh oppression of women. Who can forget TV images of a Taliban vigilante beating a defenseless Afghan woman with a stick for allowing a tiny bit of her leg to show under a head-to-toe covering.

Women have reached the greatest degree of freedom and equality in countries where porn has become widely available, primarily Western Europe and the English-speaking countries. In fact, the adult industry has empowered many women, including performers and entrepreneurs, some with very high incomes. Women are among the most successful business people in the adult industry. A new round of repression would force many women in the sex business back into a life of degradation and abuse.

Existing western law already strictly prohibits forcing anyone into porn, as it does using minors in porn, because most civilized people find such practices intolerable. Protection of adults and minors against force and abuse doesn't require a crackdown on pornography, just enforcement of existing law.

Some porn does indeed portray degradation or domination of women. Some even portrays the same of men. Some mainstream entertainment does, too. Evidence of harm from such porn is elusive, however, and it may actually help some disturbed viewers get their jollies through fantasy, rather than seeking them in reality.

Porn and the family

Men and women are only human, even when they have a family. It is natural for their eyes to wander, whether they are married or not. Husbands often long to see the neighbor lady or a female co-worker naked.

Given human nature, extramarital lust is inevitable. Wishing it away is as useful as asking the wind not to blow. Of the three main ways one can satisfy extramarital lust - porn, prostitution, or adultery - porn runs the least risk of ruining a marriage or bringing home a disease. Handled properly, it can provide a safety valve that relieves pressure without causing damage and thereby tames the natural wanderlust and strengthens the family.

At the same time, parents do have a right to try to restrict minors' access to adult material. Doing so is difficult, however. Minors have always been able to get porn almost as easily as adults. Software can be somewhat effective in blocking internet porn, but most teenagers can readily buy skin magazines or enter adult theaters instead.

Laws have never been very effective in this area. Requiring a credit card does not work, since cards are now heavily promoted to minors, and many minors have access to their parents' cards or card numbers.

The biggest concern about the effect of porn on minors is the unrealistic portrayal of sex in many X-rated movies. The sex shown is often between people who just met. The women are always willing and eager. Love, affection, and caring are ignored. This can create unrealistic expectations and examples for minors, the same way mainstream action movies do, where the hero never gets hurt despite fights, falls, car wrecks, and flying bullets. Ever notice how bad guys always seem to have such terrible aim?

Fortunately, there is no clear evidence that non-violent porn hurts minors. Nevertheless, efforts to give parents more control can help alleviate concerns.

Porn and health

There is abundant evidence that orgasms contribute to health and longevity by bolstering the immune system, boosting beneficial hormones, reducing cancer risk, providing exercise, aiding sleep, and enhancing the ability to handle stress. People who have frequent orgasms even look younger, according to research.

These good effects are strongest when orgasms are part of a loving relationship, and nearly as strong when they result from solo masturbation. The beneficial effects seem not to apply, however, to orgasms resulting from stressful liaisons such as adultery, where the fear of discovery is high.

So here again porn can make a valuable contribution. Few people achieve a permanent loving relationship at an early age that satisfies all their sexual desires the rest of their lives. In the real world masturbation is at times the only safe and available way to gain the health benefits of orgasm. Porn is a useful and enjoyable aid to masturbation for many people.

Porn and society

Historical evidence is clear - porn and progress go together. The 1500 years of Greco-Roman civilization, in which porn was plentiful, brought great advances in science, technology, art, literature, health, literacy, and general standards of living. There is a common misconception that sexual liberty caused the fall of the Roman Empire, but historians say this is false.

The Roman Empire fell when corrupt politicians allowed religious fanatics to take over the government. The Dark Ages ensued, a 1000 year period of severe repression of porn, along with increased war, famine, and plague, declining health and literacy, and the loss of much learning in science, art, and literature.

The Renaissance and the Enlightenment eventually brought forth a reawakening of learning and progress, along with renewed freedom of sexual expression and a new proliferation of porn. Today we see much higher living standards in countries with such basic freedoms, in contrast to the poverty and backwardness of countries still under repressive regimes.

How porn helps progress

Is porn just a side effect of a free and progressive society, or is it part of the causes of progress? A growing understanding of the function of porn suggests the latter.

The primary function of porn is to assist in sexual arousal and the achievement of orgasm. People who have frequent orgasms are healthier and happier, and so are less likely to rob, steal, rape, kill, make war, or smash things up. Sexual satisfaction awakens creativity and gets the mind off sex for a while. Sexually satisfied people are more likely to build and create and research and discover and contribute to society. Suppression of porn adds to sexual deprivation, which leads to sexual preoccupation, and increases frustration and aggression. That is not healthy for society.

Sources of attacks on porn

Where does the impulse to crack down on porn come from? The brutal Taliban repression vividly demonstrates an extreme fear of naked women and sex, a fear that infects the psyche of many deeply religious people. History, from the Dark Ages to today, shows that wherever such people gain political power, freedom and progress are in grave danger.

Most attacks on porn are rooted in religion, such as those in Moslem and Christian countries. All the attackers share a common aim - they wish to control other people. It is much easier to gain political and religious power over people if you control their sex lives, in other words, if you have them by the balls.

Adult media are an easy target for vote-obsessed politicians because opponents of porn are outspoken, whereas users are often ashamed or too embarrassed to speak out. Yet good citizens can always stand up for freedom of speech and freedom of the bedroom, and perhaps even spread the word that non-violent porn is actually good for society, not bad

Notes

Information herein is from sources believed reliable, but accuracy cannot be guaranteed. Original with research references published at Bojiggly.com. Bojiggly is a trademark of Benala Vista LLC. Dr. Boseman (pen name) holds an M.A. in Psychology and a Ph.D. in Social Psychology.

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