Good, bad or just ugly? Opinions on porn are divided, but that doesn’t stop the market flourishing. Sandeep Suri takes a look at the role of porn in one’s love life
It all had to start somewhere, but the ‘Venus of Willendorf’ from Austria – the 28,000-year-old sculpture of a nude woman – is one of the most well-known early erotic depictions. This find is perhaps the most famous example of so-called Venus figurines, followed by the ‘Kangjiashimenji Petroglyphs’ from northwest China, arguably the oldest piece of art in what is dubbed as pornography in today’s modern world. The artwork displays an explicitly wild orgy. As porn gradually evolved, came our own Kamasutra, this time it was more explicit and expressive. Through this book for the first time in the history of mankind, someone took a shot at what I call solving the ‘unique challenges’ of our bedrooms. However, it wasn’t until the 19th century that the concept of pornography as we know it today was understood.
Through this brief article, I am making an attempt to give you a sense of the stark contrast between how to open things of a sexual nature were for the longest time, and how things have moved from the prehistoric era to the modern times. What used to be taboo and sinful is becoming more natural. The idea is to bring the facts into the light for building an informed viewpoint on the subject of porn.
Back to our evolution story… with time, people’s taste on porn continued to evolve and to much surprise, the world also continued to express it in different shapes and forms. As the accompanying images show, ancient natural art that looked like genitals has become big attraction for tourists.
As the taste of porn changed gradually, so was the depiction…fast forward-1951, the first X rated movie was released and in 1953 the print media revolutionized the Porn market with the launch of American magazine-Playboy and in its first publication, it was none other than Hollywood queen- Marilyn Monroe on the magazine cover that was aimed at men with the publication on female nudity. The pictures in Playboy didn’t leave anything to the imagination!
Making it legal
Did you know-Denmark was the first country, way back in 1969 to legalize visual pornography, followed by the world’s first adult industry trade show, ‘Sex 69’, which drew an impressive crowd of 50,000 people.
Then came ‘Erotic electro stimulation’, also popularly known as sex toys. From stone dildos to hi-tech vibrators is how the sex industry has grown. This equipment started gaining popularity across the globe backed with sound technology, the porn market witnessed a new trend. As per the ‘grand view research’ report, the sex toys market size is valued at almost USD 26.5 billion and is projected to grow at a CAGR of 9.1%.
Here comes the digital delight’ era – with the proliferation of the internet, pornography was on steroids and it was no longer an outlier! What was earlier in the passive form became suddenly hyperactive. By now, the porn industry was completely revolutionised, commercialised, or should I say industrialised. But let’s not lose sight, this journey was not easy, it came with a social cost, it came with a social taboo and finally, with a lot of emotional complexities.
Our society has evolved in every aspect of life in the last many years- art, music, technology or even porn is NOT insulated from it. Apparently, society likes to remain ignorantly blissful instead of discussing real issues. What was considered taboo in our society is sometimes considered as a fashion statement now! However, I feel, discussing these taboo topics are necessary to not only find solutions to problems but to further our cultural intellect as a whole society. It’s only when we discuss topics openly can we tackle issues like how porn can affect people’s life. One can argue, porn can help normalizing desire, viewing porn can be a “safe” way to explore sexuality, it can also be treated as a way to explore and validate sexual desire.
Going too far
BTW, don’t get me wrong, I am not suggesting or advocating in favour of porn, but the problem with porn is that it goes too far at times! We have got to be clear what is real and what is scripted. Remember, when you’re watching a porn film, you’re watching a work of fiction. It’s no more spontaneous and natural. In fact, porn is full of toxic lies. Porn is artificial, It is pure fantasy, it is unnatural and synthetic. We deserve better than what porn has to offer. We deserve real love, untainted by the toxicity of pornography. Make no mistake, porn is a product and the ‘producers’ of porn dress up their product so well that it ends up inviting so much traffic to their websites that it becomes unimaginable at times.
Finally, it boils down to your personal choice. Porn can deliver you there at best, or disgust you at worst. It all depends on what you choose to watch. Porn, like many other things is a personal choice. If you enjoy porn and it doesn’t cause any issue, then by all means enjoy it. The temptations at all ages will come, with an occasional slip. But one should not be captivated by it. Of course, we have to maintain the right balance. After all, it’s a slippery slope!