Timothy R. Clark: Pornography has no true believers

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  • zabivka Orem, UT
    March 23, 2013 11:05 p.m.

    While research on the effects of pornography on the whole is inconclusive, I personally find most of it to be cheaply made and so out of touch with reality that it lacks much of an appeal. I do fear that early exposure of pornographic materials--particularly hardcore pornography depicting sex acts--should be kept away from younger children. Kids, and even adolescents, whose ability to separate fiction from reality is underdeveloped, should not be exposed to these gross and tawdry exaggeration of sexual relationships.

    With that said, I think violence in films and video games is a much larger issue to address. When the time is right, I want my kids to someday have sex; I never want them to go around blowing people up.

  • 4word thinker Murray, UT
    March 21, 2013 8:46 p.m.

    So while we see all these different ideas about what is porn and what is not, and what should be regulated and what should not, has anyone considered what this is doing to school children?

    Washington State 2004 - a third grader is suspended from school for having 'pornographic pictures'. These pictures were tags he had taken off clothing in a Victoria's Secret store.

    Murray High requires cleavage to be covered, yet a male teacher who tries to enforce the policy, or male students who complain about females student not complying with the policy, can be charged with sexual harassment.

    Our children are caught in the web of our inconsistency.

    Defend your 'rights' to fixate on sexuality all you want, you are still contributing to the harm of our kids.

  • Ernest T. Bass Bountiful, UT
    March 21, 2013 2:59 p.m.

    wrz has a good point. There are no shortage of women who take their clothes off for the camera for free. The desire to feel sexy for some of them is probably similar for the desire to view it for others.

  • jeanie orem, UT
    March 21, 2013 7:25 a.m.

    Mark, it's not all or nothing. It's just much less easy access for those who, in a stronger state, would choose not to be involved.

    KJB1 - I am not talking about any difficulty in having physical attraction, I'm talking about exploiting physical attraction. There is a difference.

  • KJB1 Eugene, OR
    March 20, 2013 9:35 p.m.


    Regardless of how one feels about porn, physical attraction is a part of everyone's life. How we deal with those impulses are a huge part of our development, but they're always going to be there. We can either put those feelings in perspective and learn how they can function in a healthy and productive manner or we can run around hyperventilating and feeling persecuted every time we walk past Victoria's Secret. If you want to do the latter, that's your right, but it might just be possible to have "decency and morals" while disagreeing with you.

  • wrz Pheonix, AZ
    March 20, 2013 9:31 p.m.

    "So you're blaming women for men looking at porn?"

    Are you saying (implying) that women are not involved in creating porn?

  • mark Salt Lake City, UT
    March 20, 2013 8:52 p.m.

    "No, I would not have it banned"

    jeanie, then what are we talking about? Victoria's Secret? Really?

  • jeanie orem, UT
    March 20, 2013 8:16 p.m.

    Mark - No, I would not have it banned. Some people want it, and that is their choice. But, I would make access to it much, much more difficult so otherwise innocent and weak people do not accidentally stumble into it and get hooked.

    Maybe you are not a parent, maybe you are, but it is clear we believe differently about this issue. Where can I take my teenage boys who I am raising to believe that some things are sacred? ....to the mall? Nope, Victoria Secret wins there. To the grocery store? Nope you get to wait next to magazines parading the female figure. Are these things "porn"? No, but anything that turns a human being into an object for personal gratification is wrong. Our current society is hostile to young men who would choose to use their freedom to believe in decency and morals.

    Personal gratification is wrong at the expense of others.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    March 20, 2013 7:18 p.m.

    So you're blaming women for men looking at porn?

  • mark Salt Lake City, UT
    March 20, 2013 7:04 p.m.

    "People are free to choose whatever they wish."

    Congrats, Ima, if you do not believe that government should be involved in banning and censoring books and movies then you might be someone that understands freedom.

    But do you care to defend this statement, "pornography has devasating consequences for all involved including society as a whole."

    Really? First of all will you define "pornography"? And next, can you really back up the claim that it has devestating consequences for ALL involved? Including society? Personally I would much rather be a part of a society that allows free expression, then one that bans it. As someone has already pointed out the societies that ban it are rather backwards.

    "You really don't know the difference between the beauty of the human body and exploiting it for personal gratification?"

    Well, jeanie, why don't you explain it to me? And while you are at it, tell me what is wrong with personal gratification. Basically, define "porn" for me. And would you have it baned?

  • D-Ruck Salt Lake City, UT
    March 20, 2013 4:28 p.m.

    I say this with all seriousness not to defame the author or make a pointed accusation. But the thing that worries me is that often times the most ardent pushers of causes like these turn out to simultaneously be the same individuals who consume this content and struggle with addictions the most. I think it's great to discourage consumption of dangerous or hazardous materials, it's just generally discouraging when those who are most outspoken about these issues end up to be the biggest hypocrites.

  • jeanie orem, UT
    March 20, 2013 3:12 p.m.

    Irony Guy and Mark - You really don't know the difference between the beauty of the human body and exploiting it for personal gratification? You have demonstrated the problem well.

  • ImaUteFan West Jordan, UT
    March 20, 2013 2:44 p.m.

    "Again, some conservatives show they really do not understand freedom."

    People are free to choose whatever they wish. However, they cannot escape the consequences of their choices. And pornography has devasating consequences for all involved including society as a whole.

  • Dektol Powell, OH
    March 20, 2013 2:40 p.m.

    Marriott Hotels rent or rented the hard core videos for quite some time. Now you are saying they are wrong for doing so?
    Why all the concern for what others are doing on their own time and in the privacy of their own homes? Live your own life and let others do the same.
    I find pushy religious believers more of a problem than playboy magazines at the local public library.

  • mark Salt Lake City, UT
    March 20, 2013 1:18 p.m.

    Can anyone that is arguing to get rid of porn define porn for us? The article defines it as Maxim Magazine, so the writer of the article would ban swimming suits, seeing as Maxim does not have nudity. And rap videos, any particular reason for rap videos?

    So anyway, stated defining what porn is. Tell me what you would have the government censor.

    Irony guy, you are not off base at all, during the Bush administration the statue of Justice was draped to hide her breast. I saw the replica of The David in Vegas. Very impresive, actually. Some of these people commenting would put pants on him.

    Just as some of these people would tell women, and men, how to dress, and when they can take their clothes off.

    Someone asked if people would advise their daughter to be in "porn", whatever that is. That question is really beside the point. A person makes the choice to be in porn for themselves, it's not about if I give them permission, or advice.

    Again, some conservatives show they really do not understand freedom.

  • Thinkman Provo, UT
    March 20, 2013 1:08 p.m.

    Tim the author,

    Did you know the Cosmopolitan Las Vegas is owned by Marriott?

    Do you know that the Marriott family is perhaps in the Top 5 purveyors of porn?

    Who should we go after, the consumer or the supplier?

    I'm glad we have the First Amendment. It is a double edged sword but essential to our liberty.

  • Irony Guy Bountiful, Utah
    March 20, 2013 12:28 p.m.

    The Tim Clarks of Rome said the same thing as they toured the Sistine Chapel in the 1500s. Now I don't equate raw porn with the Sistine Chapel, but in his own words "erotic art" is indistinguishable from filth. It's so subjective . . . who's smart enough to be the benevolent dictator on this point? Is Tim? I don't think so. Or is it better to just let people make their own judgments?

  • Badgerbadger Murray, UT
    March 20, 2013 9:33 a.m.

    I guess a few people do actually defend pornography, not just as free speech, but then they blame someone else for their chosen indulgence and they minimize the consequences of that choice.

    It is very telling of who is who.

    Everyone who participates in pornography, in any way, is a perpetrator, except children who are shown it before they are old enough to know better. The victims are the ones whose families and relationships are ruined by it, and those who are raped or murdered by crazies who are fueled by pornography. Doesn't that make you who speak up for it proud?

    Great article!

  • Miss Piggie Pheonix, AZ
    March 20, 2013 12:51 a.m.

    "cjb: I'm stunned by your comment."

    "Is there anything more cowardly than a person who will excuse his weaknesses by blaming them on someone else?"

    cjb speaks essentially the truth. What he/she is saying is that there exists in marriage an understanding (mostly tacit) of unrestrained intimacy. When that is gone/denied/withheld/lacking someone is at fault.

    And it's not a weakness. An expectation of something being denied or withheld, for whatever reason, does not constitute weakness.

  • wrz Pheonix, AZ
    March 20, 2013 12:25 a.m.

    @Utes Fan:
    "However, on a personal level, if someone you know and love has an addiction..."

    I think we need to stop talking about (i.e., condemning) the user and turn the discussion to the producer. And I don't mean the guy in the back room with a cigar in his mouth and clicking away with a camera. I mean the people who take their clothes of for the camera. And who might that be? Women of course. 99 percent of pornography involves naked women. Therein lies the real root of the problem... the elephant in the room that no one pays attention to.

  • Ella Salt Lake City, Utah
    March 19, 2013 9:42 p.m.

    Thank you for telling it like it is.

  • jeanie orem, UT
    March 19, 2013 9:26 p.m.

    Twin Lights - I agree with your comments and completely understand your questions to get others to think.

    Those that seen porn as a viable business and a right of our freedom of speech do not share our views about the sacredness of life and the value of the individual. To compare participation in the production of porn to waiter jobs and serving in the military and collecting garbage and then lumping them all together as "services" is pretty indicative of this fundamental difference.

    I agree completely with the author of this article and appaud his clearly stated views.

    The fact that we are free to choose in our nation does not make all choices equal. We are free to make destructive decisions as well as enlightened ones. Comparing free countries to oppressive ones is not impressive.

    March 19, 2013 8:50 p.m.

    You forgot "counseling".

    The unfortunate thing is that pornography is not speech - entertainment of a vile sort, perhaps, but not speech. I don't believe we have an Amendment protecting "free entertainment". I don't believe there is a natural right to produce or peddle "entertainment" that the community believes to be harmful. It's unfortunate that we don't have judges who are intelligent enough to distinguish between entertainment and speech, or who aren't willing to wade into the conflict between those who wish to preserve decency and those who wish to destroy it.

    I'm also pretty sure that pornography consumption is not what led to the industrial revolution.

    I like what Ben Franklin had to say: "Sin is not harmful because it is forbidden, but it is forbidden because it is harmful."

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    March 19, 2013 4:21 p.m.

    Re joe5

    There is one other choice, divorce. Which of the choices that I pointed out would you recommend?

  • joe5 South Jordan, UT
    March 19, 2013 4:01 p.m.

    cjb: I'm stunned by your comment. You would make the pornography viewer a victim? You would absolve him of all responsibility for his own bad decisions by blaming another person? Doesn't that make him, in essence, a slave? Doesn't that mean someone else is in control of his life?

    Is there anything more cowardly than a person who will excuse his weaknesses by blaming them on someone else?

    Of all the comments made on here, and there were plenty of inane ones, this was by far the most offensive.

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    March 19, 2013 1:00 p.m.

    There are women in marriage who turn cold or very cool. At this point the man has these choices. 1. Put up with it, 2. Ease the pressure and stress by viewing other women undressed, 3. Seek the company of another woman.

    Given that choice 3 is an option, and the fact that many men aren't willing to put up with choice 1 for too long of a time, the case can be made that viewing pornography can and does help prevent infidelity and save marriages.

    There are women who are very hurt that their husbands view pornography. If these women are loving wives, they they have a case. If not, they need to be aware of the root cause of their problem and deal with it.

  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    March 19, 2013 11:59 a.m.

    Salt Lake City, UT
    If they had to participate in the industry early on, ..., I think that would be acceptable as well.

    I think I appreciate your tolerance and acceptance, but you and I have a vastly different view on what we would be proud of our daughters doing.

  • Mukkake Salt Lake City, UT
    March 19, 2013 10:49 a.m.

    Twin Lights:
    [Please be serious and answer the direct questions posed.]

    I did, please read it again:
    [If they had to participate in the industry early on, but later moved into successful producing/directing/management/support positions, I think that would be acceptable as well.]

    If it launches them into a successful career than, yes. Not as a permanent career, just like fast food, gymnastics, or combat aren't acceptable to me as permanent careers.

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    March 19, 2013 9:51 a.m.

    “Why do we keep ambushing ourselves as a race? Where's our sense of duty to each other?”

    First, because sex is the second most important driving force of life. Starting with the young people, it becomes a search for answers to the secret world hidden from us by our adults. Then it becomes the exciting and wonderful experience that is better than eating. In adulthood it may change a little but it seems to never go away.

    Second, because of the first reason, it is commercially valuable. It can make the advertising of the most dull products exciting and interesting. One might ask, where does pornography leave off and advertising begin? Sex is pounded into our senses at every opportunity by billboards, newspapers, and other media.

    Solutions have to include education and truth from the early awakening for children and a new look at advertising. As one who suffers daily by the overload of advertising, truth and reality would be a good change.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    March 19, 2013 9:47 a.m.


    I would easily suggest at least a beginning career in fast food for my loved ones. And, if that truly is where their heart is, it can lead to a good job/career. My dad was in the military and I have friends who have been/are. I understand the risks, but I am proud of them and would recommend it for those so disposed.

    You are talking about PRODUCTION of pornography (the folks behind the scenes). Let’s stick to the actors/models. Many very successful actors/models in mainstream media have no affinity for or interest in the production side.

    So please consider, would you be happy with your loved one being an actor/model for pornography as a career? Would you encourage their participation? Would you be proud of them and ask your friends and other family members to support their career by purchasing and viewing their work product? That is, when your young loved one comes to you and you think “what a good looking kid” would you then actually suggest to them a career in pornography to trade on those looks?

    Please be serious and answer the direct questions posed.

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    March 19, 2013 9:37 a.m.

    I don't see much room for common ground here. I don't find the 1st Amendment inconvenient, even when people use it in a way I never would. One of the most precious rights we have in this country is the right to disagree.

  • Mukkake Salt Lake City, UT
    March 19, 2013 9:17 a.m.

    Twin Lights,

    I wouldn't suggest to my own family/friends careers in fast food, garbage removal, extreme sports, or combat positions in the military. I support/use these services, but wouldn't participate or suggest participation.

    However, I can't say I would be disappointed if a loved one started a successful pornography production company. If they had to participate in the industry early on, but later moved into successful producing/directing/management/support positions, I think that would be acceptable as well.

    Some jobs are fine for the short term, but not for the long term. A lot of people work terrible jobs in the service/vending industries to put themselves through school, which I find acceptable, but there are some who only seem to aspire to being a professional waiter and I would suggest they have more ambition.

    Many porn stars have made this move from participation to management as small business owners.

  • Mukkake Salt Lake City, UT
    March 19, 2013 9:01 a.m.

    [What an enlightened comment. Because, as we all know, pornography is the sine qua non of all great democracies. Yes, if only North Korea and Libya permitted pornography.]

    It does seem to be a commonality, though, doesn't it? All the G8 nations (Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, United Kingdom, and United States of America) are major producers of pornography. It's also legal in Sweden, Norway, Finland, Turkey, Israel, New Zealand, Poland, The Czech Republic, Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, Austria, Hungary, Taiwan, and South Korea.

    Countries where pornography is illegal? China, Cuba, Morocco, Libya, Egypt, Sudan, Ethiopia, Somalia, Mali, Nigeria, Kenya, Syria, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Malaysia, and Indonesia.

    So I guess you need to ask, would you rather live in one of the countries where pornography is legal, or illegal?

    Freedom and progress appear to go hand in hand with pornography. A nation that suppresses pornography also suppresses intellectual freedom, technological innovation, and human rights.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    March 19, 2013 8:55 a.m.

    To those would defend the pornography industry:

    So you would be comfortable with your spouse, child, grandchild, brother, sister or other loved one participating in the industry?

    If one of them came to you for career guidance, you would recommend the industry?

    If they procured a role in a movie or spot in a magazine, you would buy a few extra copies and encourage your friends to see it as well?

    You think that the career would benefit them over time and make them a healthy, happy person? That it would benefit their own marriages and children as well?

    If you have doubts as to any of these, then why would you encourage someone else's loved on to participate?

    You don't encourage anyone to participate? You certainly do if you buy it in any form. You thereby send a signal to the markets to produce more and to enlist more people into the industry.

    If you think pornography is good, then it should be good for those closest to you. If it is not, then think carefully about those who are in it now.

  • Utes Fan Salt Lake City, UT
    March 19, 2013 8:54 a.m.

    I agree 100% with the author's comments. The amount of tolerance for the indecent in society is utterly shocking. However, on a personal level, if someone you know and love has an addiction, let's have hope and help for those addicted and refrain from unrighteous judgement.

    "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone".

  • LVIS Salt Lake City, UT
    March 19, 2013 8:37 a.m.

    Salt Lake City, UT
    "Countries that prohibit pornography are usually at the bottom of every list, like North Korea and Libya."

    What an enlightened comment. Because, as we all know, pornography is the sine qua non of all great democracies. Yes, if only North Korea and Libya permitted pornography.

  • Flashback Kearns, UT
    March 19, 2013 8:19 a.m.

    It's too bad that the protectors of the First Amendment don't give the same respect to the Second Amendment. My guess over the years is that some of our more infamous serial killers have killed more people over the years than Columbine, Sandyhook, Virginia Tech, and Aurora combined. And all of them started with porn.

  • Midvaliean MIDVALE, UT
    March 19, 2013 7:31 a.m.

    I'll politely disagree. I dont' find myself identifying with the author at all. There are lots of different kinds of people in this world, yes, even kinds you may not like because you are sexually repressed, like some pornographers.
    Certainly I'm not saying the industry isn't full of problems, but what industry isn't? And furthermore who is this guy to judge those who choose to work in the porn industry?

  • Mukkake Salt Lake City, UT
    March 19, 2013 7:17 a.m.

    [And what shall we say about pornography? As New York Times writer David Brooks observed, "If your kid spent a lot of time reading Maxim and watching rap videos, you'd know in your gut that it was damaging to his soul."]

    Neither of these are what most people, outside of the Middle-East and North Korea, would consider "pornography".

    This article illustrates why we keep pornography legal in this, and every G8 country, because what one person thinks is tame, another thinks is scandalous. That's the nature of free speech.

    [Our craven, postmodern society is blatantly sexist and degrading. We worship at the altar of tolerance — including tolerance for things that should be intolerable. We've even silenced feminists who no longer decry their own objectification.]

    Sometime try looking up which countries allow/disallow pornography. For the most part, countries in which pornography is legal have high human development indexes, democratic governments, women's rights, free speech, and educated populations. Countries that prohibit pornography are usually at the bottom of every list, like North Korea and Libya.