Sunday, April 29, 2007

The New Porn

Here's an article on porn in the NY Times Sunday Magazine today that approaches Pulitzer quality. I actually wanted to keep reading by the end, something I don't often get from Sunday Magazine articles.
...The porn business, in short, has a community standard of its own. What starts on the fringes works its way to the center. And this affects all of us since, more and more, the center of porn culture has converged with the fringes of popular culture. But Kink’s purchase of the armory represents a quirky quantum leap in the process Cambria describes: taking a real-life fetish traditionally relegated to underground clubs and the ethereal back channels of the Web and moving it directly into a brick-and-mortar landmark in the middle of a city — unabashedly, with the conviction that both it and porn can belong there.

For those who feel that B.D.S.M. porn, or any porn, is toxic and reprehensible, the fact that at least some of it is being produced by thoughtful, educated young people might only be more troubling — a sign of how deep into respectable society it has reached. Then Cambria’s point would be more terrifying still: as such material stitches itself more tightly into the mainstream, through both its consumers and its producers, it strengthens its own legality. It makes itself unobscene.

But Acworth, for his part, seems to find hope in some of the developments of the last decade, signs that some unfortunate misunderstandings are being righted. I asked him what he would think if one day he could walk into Wal-Mart and find racks of constrictive leather corsets. “I think it would be great,” he said. Though at that point, he added, in a world so awash with kinkiness: “I’ll probably stop making money. But I won’t mind that. A life goal will have been completed.”

1 comment:

He who was anon said...

Porn is very troubling in the same way that drugs are troubling. While clearly individuals can and do particpate in both activities more or less willingly (at least initially), the damage caused can be quite severe to temselves and others.

Using pornography is ethically troubling to me because there is no way of knowing of the models are consenting or coerced by money or drugs.

That being said, I do enjoy much of the imagery and the human form is quite pleasant to view in many cases.

I prefer live and in person to fantasy creations, but there is no doubt that these idealized images have great power (economic and physiologial).

Perhaps the downsides might be managed in the same way we attempt to deal with alcohol and other legal drugs. More oversight (especially medical and psychiatric), rehabilitation facilities for participants wishing to leave the life.