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The Inherent Problems With Pornography.

Updated on May 11, 2015

Male versus female modelling

A Gucci advert that blatantly highlights a link between sexuality and violence.
A Gucci advert that blatantly highlights a link between sexuality and violence.

Pornographic Culture:

It shouldn't be a surprise to anyone that porn is made by men for men. It exists because of a culture that placed women in the role of submissive partners, both in public and in the home. Man's dominance over the sex industry has made it what it is, a place for women to be demeaned, dominated and used. However, this is not the only issue surrounding pornography, in fact there are numerous problems that have an actual effect on people. With Pornography being so readily available, and practically free to make if you have a phone and the internet, there is an abundance of porn sites, with so many genres its hard to imagine what people did before the internet. Children and teenagers are undoubtedly more tech savvy than adults, so they have access to some of the most horrific, sick and disgraceful pornographic scenes that can be harmful to their own growth and how they treat their future sexual partners.

Apart from actual pornography, there are numerous other highly pornographic areas of society like the media, pop culture and film, all of which also cater to the male gaze and even sometimes use violence against women to highlight the sexual dominance fantasy.

Problem #1

The dynamic of dominant and submissive.

Pornography will always display a hierarchy of sexual power, where the female is submissive and there to fulfill the males needs. You may notice that women resemble mere objects in pornography, being told to do this and that, go there, take that off. She has no authority over her body and must comply with the male, since that's what she is paid for. The male on the other hand is in complete control, and uses the female in any way he wishes. This is not a good message to send anyone, never mind children or teenagers. Yes role playing these kinds of dynamics in relationships can I'm sure be fun, but when it comes to getting into bed with a guy who tells you what to do, and doesn't even care about your experience, then its not going to be fun at all. Porn will have you believe that women like and want to be submissive and that we enjoy simply helping our partners in their desires, however what it does not tell you is how degrading this system is. The women in pornography do what they think will fulfill the desires of their partners, even if that means having some dude spurt in their eyes. Sex is about respect and trust, not using your partner as a tissue, yet the porn industry relies on the fact that men want women to be in a position of helplessness, and without control. There's something obviously attractive to some people where women are used for pleasure rather than taking part in the pleasure. And that's the issue with Pornography, it relies too heavily on men being in charge and powerful and women to be submissive.

Problem #2

It supports Prostitution:

Before you freak out, lets take a step back and look at exactly what's happening. Prostitution is the giving of sexual favors in return for cash. Now Porn actors (They aren't really actors) are paid to have sex with strangers, on camera and have that video sold worldwide for everyone to see. The Porn industry state over and over again that it is not prostitution, and that the actors are paid to be in a film, where their characters have to have sex. But this is incorrect, since said film would be purely sexual, and only produced for the sexual gratification of men watching it. Therefor the entire film is a sex act, meaning that the actors are being paid to perform sex acts. Prostitution!

The only difference between pornography and prostitution is actually quite a large one, the fact that in both "women are paid to have sexual practices carried out on and in their bodies" (link) and the men are paid to carry out those practices, or in the case of prostitution pay to carry out these acts. So yet again, the female has no way out of being called a prostitute, but when a man is paid to carry out sex acts on a woman, he is not being prostituted. Even the producers and directors of such films could be considered pimps, since the profit from and live off the earnings from their actors, which we have already established, are prostitutes.

Problem #3

Gives People False Expectations:

Porn creates many issues for everyday people and gives them unrealistic expectations surrounding sex and relationships. It is in essence a liar, telling women that all men are a certain size, and telling men that all women have the same bodies, and like the same things. It also suggests that women will be up for anything when it comes to giving pleasure, that every part of their body is up for grabs and that they wont complain, if anything they will love it, no matter what it is. What we forget is that these are produced pieces of film, where the actors get paid to do things regardless of whether or not they want to.

Then we have all the other misconceptions porn creates. For one thing it makes you believe that sex should go on for hours, when in reality, a ten minute frolic is usually pretty impressive, and anything longer can be more bothersome than awesome. The use of protection is also rarely seen in Pornography, which actually lends itself to the all to often used excuse of 'I don't like the numbs the pleasure'. But unless you have medical reports proving the non existence of sti's in your partner like most Porn actors do, then this shouldn't be taken lightly.

An even darker side to this Porn dynamic is the right to say no. Women grow up thinking that once they agree to sex, they agree to everything, which is not the case. As a women and a human being, you do have the right to object to something being shoved in your face if you don't want it there. But porn gives men a sense of authority, and as such some feel that they can manipulate their partners into doing anything, by either making fun of women calling them prudes and nuns, or by simply complaining enough until their partner agrees. Some men even become confused and agitated, unable to understand women who don't want to have pornographic, aggressive sex.

What porn would have you believe.....
What porn would have you believe.....

Problem #4

It creates body issues:

Any teenager that grew up watching Pornography regularly is bound to have some body issues. Porn actors are picked specifically because of their looks and body shape. Men are chosen when they are physically fit, with muscles and have massive pieces. Women are picked because of their slender form, breasts (usually bigger than smaller) and tidy bleached butts. However, there are literally genres dedicated to women with larger butts, smaller breasts, so women in Porn can be varied, but the majority is directed towards conventionally attractive women.

This can effect people in reality when they seek women who fit this profile, and expect all women to adhere to these rules of beauty purely for sexual gratification. Porn will also have men believe that women are basically hairless, and that they have smooth, naturally baby oiled bodies with no imperfections, which as we all know, is definitely not the case. So too can it effect women who expect their partners to have something resembling a horses dong rather than a normal human sized piece. So yes, pornography will make you believe you are inadequate and can't enjoy sex if you aren't as physically attractive as the actors in the videos. And it will never tell you that everybody is different and that imperfections are not disgusting.

50 Shades of grey is a movie and book based on a woman who is coerced into being a submissive sex slave
50 Shades of grey is a movie and book based on a woman who is coerced into being a submissive sex slave
Gucci sexualises and glamorizes violence towards women
Gucci sexualises and glamorizes violence towards women
Along with other designers who use sexual violence to sell a product
Along with other designers who use sexual violence to sell a product

Problem #5

Its aggressive and violent:

There is a very clear link between sex and violence in Pornography, where men will use the women as an object and basically controls what she does. On top of this dynamic we also have men calling women derogatory terms, putting their hands around their throats, grabbing their hair, and thrusting aggressively like their trying to knock down a steel door. Women can be slapped, spanked, ejaculated on and be thrown around by multiple men for a pornographic film, where men always come out looking like heroes, when in reality the female actor has just been abused on camera and instead of people worrying about this they sit at home and get sexual satisfaction from it. This is the most important problem about Pornography, it tells men they can do what they please to women, even if that means abuse in the name of pleasure. The more humiliating the act on a women is, the better the Porno. The most plausible explanation of the popularity of these acts is that women in the world, outside of pornography, don't engage in them unless forced. "Men know that -- and they find it sexually arousing to watch them in part because of that knowledge." (link). Due to this women are being coerced into performing pornographic sexual acts that are wholly about superficial self gratification for men.

Pornography and thus media and pop culture glamorize violence towards women in a sexual way. We can see women tied up in advertisements supposedly selling nail polish, we see men acting sexually aggressive towards women in perfume advertisements, and we have female directed books being sold about a woman who is forced into a dominant/submissive relationship and yet is being hailed the best women's novel ever. These are all examples of how the porn industry has affected how women are treated sexually, either in private or in public.

Expectation versus reality

Problem #6

Reality versus Fantasy:

Pornography has a very specific hold on society and as such holds immense power, mainly over women. But one of the most problematic issues is the fact that not everyone who watches Pornography see's it as fantasy, and instead view it as a documentation of real life. They believe that what they are seeing is real and not a staged performance created to fulfill as many desires as possible. This is a concern mostly because of the way women are treated in Pornography, if men start to believe women want to be called derogatory names, and can be turned into objects with whom they can slap and choke then this will become the norm, and more and more men will expect this behavior and become confused when it isn't the case in reality.

Now because it is so easy to create, we are seeing Pornography shot with handheld camera's or phones adding to the realism of the film, as if these were just normal people caught in the act instead of performing the act for a camera. Expectation versus reality with regard to Pornography is a problem, as it creates a false reality and as such the viewers of Pornography could find themselves craving the fantasy over the real.

Problem #7

No Such Thing as Women's Porn:

Or is there? Many would joke that female porn is just a love story film with a few sex scenes, and indeed there are pretty pornographic films geared towards women, and this should not be made fun of. If anything, the fact that women need a good love story to fulfill their fantasy, without the need to degrade their partner should be considered normal. There is nothing wrong with women wanting to have emotions involved in their sexual relationships, as it portrays a need for women to not only feel affection in their partners before they can enjoy sex, but also the very obvious fact that most women do not get pleasure from seeing another person humiliated and degraded.

Unlike male Pornography which 99.9% of the time will see its female actors in degrading positions, being called foul sexually explicit and violent names, will be thrown around by either one or numerous men to take turns on her, and then to be used a human tissue by all of them.


Daily pornographic search engine requests are currently at 68 million (25 per cent of total search engine requests), which means that all of these are watching this and assuming that its all ok, no body was forced into it, they want to be there and they love their job. The truth is, that's not always the case. Many ex porn stars have come out and spoken about the treatment they received from other people. The reality behind porn is not glamorous or attractive in any way. Now I'm not saying everyone should stop watching porn, if you want to watch it go ahead, but be aware of what you're actually watching. A staged performance, not a reflection on realistic sexual relationships.

And to be clear both men and women are being used as sex objects in Porn, which doesn't make it ok, it might be equality, but its equality in their dehumanization. The difference is that men are portrayed as glorified objects, and power machines, when women are being portrayed as living blow up dolls.


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    • Niecey Doc profile image

      Niecey Docherty 

      3 years ago from Firth, Nebraska

      Thank you for this article. I agree, pornography is a horrible teacher. I worry about the dangerous lessons it is teaching our children. And when you look at stats on how frequently it is used, (like covenant eyes has good stats and info graphics etc) it is quite disturbing.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      3 years ago from The Caribbean

      I appreciate this article. There is much food for thought here which would benefit (or rather straighten out misconceptions for) porn lovers. Women are much more valuable than porn makes them out to be. Thanks for underscoring that.


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