X Rated

I read a post the other day, the author made pretty clear her view of porn, of all things. Made me think. Then somebody else said something about erotica this morning. While the two are different, it started me off again, so I thought I’d put some thoughts down.

I think (good) erotica is great, just because the whole purpose is let somebody’s imagination run riot. I bet every writer has that dream, no matter what their genre. Personally, I don’t know whether this is the stroke talking, but erotica holds no interest for me. I’m actually incredibly asexual now. But if somebody else likes it, who am I to say anything?

Porn is a bit more complex, just because it is so much more explicit. I think, for me, the issue boils down to one of consent.

There is a caveat right at the very start that somebody needs to be an adult (defining an adult is a post in itself!) who has, under their entirely own volition, made a choice for themselves. But beyond that, it boils down to consent.

A guy and a woman together? Consent.

Two guys together? Consent. And so on.

And, by extension, a person doing something sexual in front of a camera? Consent.

There is an obvious counter argument there. That “consent” might not truly mean “consent”. But that goes back to my original caveat. If somebody has said “yes” out of their own volition, what right do I have to say “no”? Even if there were a bunch of cash to sweeten the deal (which I guess would be the case with porn). As long as the deal is known up-front, what right do I have even to have an opinion?

In the past I have heard the “fraternal” (or perhaps that is sorority) argument. That one woman doing this cheapens women, as a gender. But at that point, well, being either a man or a woman is hardly the same as joining the golf club. Nobody is elected on the promise that they will uphold the rules. It’s not as though gender is a choice we make.

So I don’t think there is really any common ground between people of the same gender, beyond the gender itself. To expect one person to follow a set of principles, purely on the grounds that somebody else does, seems crazy.

By all means, somebody can be offended. But their offence gives them the right not to partake, or in the case of porn, not to watch it. In fact, that is probably the category I put myself in. But I don’t think one person’s offence means that somebody who wants to do something (like porn) should be prohibited from doing it. I think there is a world of difference between “I don’t like …” and “… is wrong”.

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