There is no RationalWiki without you. We are a small non-profit with no staff – we are hundreds of volunteers who document pseudoscience and crankery around the world every day. We will never allow ads because we must remain independent. We cannot rely on big donors with corresponding big agendas. We are not the largest website around, but we believe we play an important role in defending truth and objectivity.
If everyone who saw this today donated $5, we would meet our goal for 2019.
| Fighting pseudoscience isn't free.|
We are 100% user-supported! Help and donate $5, $20 or whatever you can today with !
| We're so glad you came|
|Reach around the subject|
“”We have a constitutional guarantee of homosexuals, lesbians, masochists, sadists, misfits, complete nudity, pornographic literature, abnormal sex, crime and violence, moral decay, mail order obscenity, hardcore pornography, bestiality, wild, flagrant abuses, abnormal sex practises of very kind...
|—George Putnam, Things I'm Into|
Fundamentalists don't like it because it makes their pants fit funny and makes them forget that they're nasty, rotten, pathetic little slime that deserve nothing better than to be tied up and forced to lick God's boots in a men's room... naked. Giddyup!
Many of the far left and almost all of the far right hate porn, mostly for silly, ideological reasons (despite the little-known fact that wingnuts actually consume surprising amounts of porn in secret...).
Rule 34 According to Rule 34, for anything that exists, porn of that thing also exists. This is most commonly seen in the hilarious titles that are available for (ahem) consumption. Although these are usually just mainstream porn with funny themes and titles so aren't really Rule 34 in action, they are pretty damn funny. Examples include:
- Womb Raider
- Star Whores
- In Diana Jones and the Temple of Poon
- E3 The Extra Testicle
- Romancing the Bone
- Super Hornio Bros.
- Porn on the 4th of July
- Independence Gay
- Schindler's Fist[note 3]
- Lord of the G-strings
The list is almost endless.
Strictly, Rule 34 is about the explicit content rather than the superficial differences - and there are no exceptions to Rule 34 (per Rule 51: "No matter what it is, it is somebody's fetish. No exceptions"). Imagine the possibilities: if your sexual fantasy involves ketchup, mailboxes, potato chips, barnyard animals, plaster casts, bananas, and floppy discs all at the same time, you will find pr0n involving all those things if you but look on the Internet. A good place to start would be either Encyclopædia Dramatica or the restricted "adult content" section of DeviantArt. There are also multiple websites dedicated to it, some focusing on just standard hentai, and others that actually deal entirely with characters from cartoons, or Orthodox Jews looking for "frum porn" starring other Orthodox Jews, et cetera. Remember, there are no exceptions. Attempting to invoke an exception will lead to Rule 35: the very act of pointing out that porn of something does not exist will inspire someone to make porn of it.
Not to be confused with
- Ferengi Rule of Acquisition #34: War is good for business.
- Gibbs' Rule #34 (from NCIS, yet to be revealed)
- Wolfram's Rule 34, which moves one cell to the left every generation.
Some people feel that porn has taken over too much of their lives and believe the best thing for them is to cut back on consumption. And, as with any other real or supposed addiction, programs pop up to "cure" your addiction. These programs rarely have any data to support their efficacy and have been subject to serious scientific critiques, and contrary to some internet initiatives, pornography consumption is not associated with sexual dysfunction.
Anecdotal evidence of something called "pornography-induced erectile dysfunction" (PIED) abounds on websites like Reddit, but this alleged condition would be very difficult to scientifically substantiate since ED is notoriously susceptible to the placebo effect (except for Peyronie's disease). You probably shouldn't sit on your ass watching porn for hours every day, but the same could be said for football, sitcoms, professional wrestling, and Bible study.
Do Mormons and right wingers really hate porn as much as they claim?
In October, 2000, a video-store chain owner named Larry W. Peterman was on trial in Provo, Utah -- home of Brigham Young University -- for selling hardcore videos. The prosecution used the community standards argument against Mr. Peterman, which turned out to be the case's undoing. Peterman's lawyer, Randy Spencer, noticed that a local Marriott[note 4] hotel sat across the street from the courthouse. He sent an assistant to the hotel to find out which pornos were available on its pay-per-view system. He then sent the assistant to the local cable and satellite companies to gather statistics on how many people in the Provo area viewed porn on pay-per-view.
Guess what? The God-fearing locals, who claimed to live in the most conservative county in the United States, absolutely love to watch other people screw. In fact, their viewership was disproportionately large compared to the rest of the country. Based on this information, Mr. Peterman was found not guilty.
In the Winter, 2009 issue of the Journal of Economic Perspectives, Harvard Business School associate professor Benjamin Edelman surveyed credit card records of Internet porn sites. He found that Utah had the nation's highest percentage of porn site subscribers in all four of the categories that he studied: per capita (1.69 per 1000 residents), per number of Internet users (2.49 per 1000 users), per broadband Internet connections (5.47 subscribers per 1000 connections) and number of users relative to subscription rates predicted based on demographics.[note 5] (1.89 per thousand users) In the category regarding percentage of broadband subscribers (the one that got the most attention) the top ten states were as follows:
- Utah: 5.47 subscribers per 1000 connections. (They get 70 virgins in heaven or something)
- Alaska: 5.03 (There really isn't much else to do here — Confirmed by an Alaskan)
- Mississippi: 4.30 (The nation's poorest state can still afford enough porn to fill the Mississippi River)
- Hawaii: 3.61 (To be fair, people in this tropical paradise are all gorgeous and awesome, so are likely watching it while they do the deed for real)
- Oklahoma: 3.21 (The sooner state… where everyone comes sooner)
- Arkansas: 3.12 (Almost exclusively by the Walton family, Wal-Mart is sick in more ways than one)
- North Dakota: 3.05 (Now we know where all that oil goes…)
- Louisiana: 3.01 (Britney Spears' home state… need we say more?)
- Florida: 3.01 (What better way to take your mind off the fact that your state will be the ocean floor in 20 years thanks to your ignorant legislators?)
- West Virginia: 2.94 (When the coal boom ended, Republicans could no longer fuck black rocks all day)
In fairness, the data gathered technically only indicates an increased tendency to pay for porn, not necessarily to consume it — thus it may well indicate that Utah residents do not consume more porn per capita than the rest of the country, only that a greater proportion of them than average are
stupid enough to subscribe to porn pay-sites, rather than just making use of the internet's ever-growing reserves of free porn, which already are large and diverse enough to cater for just about any preference or kink generous enough to support the pornographic industry[note 6].
In 2013, the porn site Pornhub compiled information on the most commonly used terms that Americans enter into search engines. They then sorted out the top three porn-related search terms by state, and the average amount of time that each user stayed on one site. (The difference between shortest average duration and longest by state was a mere one minute and fifty-nine seconds.) When these average durations by state were then grouped by 20 second increments into six groups, Utah was actually in the second-lowest group. But most of the rest of Jesusland sure did try to make up for it. And it also seems that certain regions, and even a few individual states, have some very specific sexual appetites.
Porn from the Cave Man era
Archaeologists have recently found what is the oldest known engraving in Abri Castanet, a shallow cave in southern France's Vezere valley. The engraving in question? An item with a "vulvar" representations. At around 37,000 years old, it's quite an... interesting piece of evidence against the Young Earth theory.
Porn and feminism
“”If you enjoy porn, but do not respect the labor or the workers that create it, get that shitty cognitive dissonance worked out right now.
|—Eric Sprankle, assistant professor of clinical psychology|
“”Look, if posing naked were empowering, then the rich men who run the world would be lining up for it. We would be awash in naked dick shots of Warren Buffet and Bill Gates and Barack Obama; magazines would be filled with male politicians and financiers and moguls with their bits hanging out. Softly lit, perhaps; head coyly tilted, bunny tail on the ass. Power.
|—The Reclusive Leftist|
Pornography was a primary catalyst for a massive schism in the feminist movement in the 1970s and 1980s, called the Feminist Sex Wars (even though pornography and sex are not the same thing), a split which eventually ended second-wave feminism and launched the third wave.
One side, the "old guard" of feminism, took the sex-negative position, holding that sex in general (as currently conceptualized in society), and pornography in particular, objectifies women, turning their bodies into vessels for male domination, rape, and capitalist exploitation. The most extreme or doctrinaire position in this camp was perhaps that of Andrea Dworkin, who held that "violation is a synonym for intercourse."
The other side are the sex-positive feminists. They are also called "fun-feminists," presumably because their opponents apparently don't know the meaning of that adjective. Sex-positive feminists hold that "sexism, not sex, degrades women", that the stifling of sex is the fault of patriarchy, and that women can use sex as a tool to liberate themselves (some use the portmanteau "sexpression" to describe this process), with which radical feminists counter that liberation from male domination happens for women as a whole, not for individual women. Liberal feminists also believe that women should be allowed to decide for themselves what does and does not degrade them. One well-known sex-positive feminist is Betty Dodson, a sex educator who would be the last person brought in to teach the abstinence-only curriculum.
This divide within the feminist community succeeded in making a mark on the real world, mainly due to the attempts of the "sex-negative" camp to institute censorship of pornography. A favorite tactic of this lot was to cite rape statistics, then claim a correlation between these statistics and the viewing of pornography, conveniently not mentioning that said correlation was based on their own dogma rather than any credible research. This gave them a fig leaf for accusing anyone opposing their position of being an "apologist for rape" or something similar. Later research on availability of internet porn indicated that it actually reduced the incidence of rape.
Dworkin, along with her fellow radical feminist Catharine MacKinnon, began to push for an "Antipornography Civil Rights Ordinance" that would allow anybody to make class-action lawsuits "on behalf of all women" against any publisher who dealt in "media in which women are subordinated in a sexually explicit fashion, by pictures and/or words". The idea is, if you get sexually assaulted, and the way in which you were assaulted reproduces forms of body punishment that appears in pornography, you can sue the pornographer for broadcasting that form of body punishment. The only reason anyone else noticed this was that right-wingers were slobbering at the mouth at the thought of using this to get around that pesky First Amendment. Their ordinance was written into law in Indianapolis, but was quickly found unconstitutional.
After the Meese Commission, instituted by Saint Reagan for the express purpose of finding that pornography was nasty and harmful and exploitative and whatever else could be thrown at it, disregarded this mandate and delivered a tepid (if at times hilarious) report stating that arguments against pornography would have to be philosophical rather than empirical, this controversy slowly drained away. As third-wave and sex-positive feminism grew in popularity through the next decade, the body of feminists opposing it grew smaller (ha, see what we did there?). However, with the rise of internet pornography, anti-porn feminism is gradually (and very unfortunately) re-entering the feminist mainstream. In fact, some of the third wave's most respected figures, like Naomi Wolf and Feministing, have voiced strong opposition to pornography and porn culture.
Buy-in from the industry
“”Criticizing porn by saying "real people don't look like that" is like criticizing Finding Nemo by saying "real fish can't talk."
|—Eric Sprankle, assistant professor of clinical psychology|
Some production companies are responding to the desires of its audiences, in order to promote informed consent and mitigate rape culture. There are companies dedicated to "porn for women" (which we at RationalWiki applaud: it's only fair that women should have porn tailored to their inclinations, providing they want it). Many movies include (what are claimed to be) candid interviews with the cast members before and/or after the main action, dispelling the illusion that one actor might be harming another without their consent or engaging in incest, for example.
One porn actor, James Deen, has this disclaimer at the beginning of all of his movies:
“”ATTENTION: The performance you are about to watch is meant for entertainment purposes only. It should not be seen as a model for real-life, sexual encounters. We recommend honest, clear and ongoing communication with your partner(s) to ensure that all sex is consensual. All actors in this film have consented to participate in the acts you see. Have fun, respect each other, and practice safer sex.
However, Deen has been accused of off-set rape, so make of that what you will.
- Castillo v. Texas
- Child pornography, the single creepiest kind of porn.
- Judith Reisman
- NoFap - addresses the claimed existence of "pornography addiction"
- Perversion for Profit -- A 1960s film on how pornography leads to Communism. Note its use of Nazi-style caricatures. Note also the reference to the "Communist Masters of Deceit" (4:33), and that the pursuit of profit is sort of the opposite of communism.
- "The Internet is for Pr0n" -- "Avenue Q"-cum-anime. (Pun very much intended.)
- "Pornography: A Winnable War": Clip from a Focus on the Family video. James Dobson gives a lecture on his fact-finding tour of the sex industry. The reaction shots of his audience are priceless.
- FunnyTitles.com: Just about every crazy title that pornographers have ever thought of.
- From the Internet Filter Software Review section of TopTenReviews.com, a rather comprehensive article -- with lots of tables and graphs -- on internet porn statistics (as of 2006).
- Every Young Man's Battle -- Video based on the moral panic book of the same name. If you don't yell "BULLSHIT!!!" at the screen at least once before the 42:07 mark (where a Christian counselor claims to have met a man who was in a six-month treatment facility for a porn addiction), you are either a very mellow person, or extremely gullible. And, of course, clips of James Dobson's interview with psychopathic serial killer Ted Bundy are included.
- "The Gonzo Insanity of 1960s Israeli Holocaust Porn": Just an example of how far people have been willing to push the Rule 34 envelope. (The cited examples are books, magazines and artwork. No movies.)
- Being sexy is not exactly a requirement; being adult and consenting is. See Rule 34.
- Well, not much, but so little that it's actually hard to find. And maybe a few things you'd rather not find.
- What? Too soon?
- While not directly owned by the Mormon church, the Marriott chain is owned by a Mormon family who make it a point to show that they support family values.
- Those demographic variables being income, age, education, and marital status.
- Or they have already watched all there is to be watched for free and started paying to see whether there is anything new.
- George Putnam: Things I'm Into (parody, NSFW), YouTube.
- Encyclopedia of Unusual Sex Practices by Brenda Love (ISBN 1569800111).
- Deviant Desires: Incredibly Strange Sex by Katharine Gates (ISBN 1890451037)
- xkcd 305, Randall Munroe (And while it may not have been a thing when "xkcd 305" was posted, if you Google "wetriffs" now . . . well . . . .)
- A slightly longer list
- Pornography Addiction
- Personalize your recovery training from Porn
- Help Porn Addiction
- Prause, N. and Pfaus, J. (2015), Viewing Sexual Stimuli Associated with Greater Sexual Responsiveness, Not Erectile Dysfunction. Sexual Medicine. doi: 10.1002/sm2.58
- "Wall Street Meets Pornography", New York Times website, posted 23 October 2000, accessed 21 May 2010.
- Edelman, Benjamin. "Red Light States: Who Buys Online Adult Entertainment?", Journal of Economic Perspectives, Winter 2009, 23:1, pp 209-220.
- Hollenhorst, John. "Utah not necessarily No. 1 in porn consumption", KSL-TV website, posted 3 March 2009, accessed 6 June 2010.
- Pornhub's US Average Visit Duration and Top 3 Search Terms by State
- This Is How Much Time America Spends On Porn - from HuffPo, with infographics
- The 7 Most Baffling Porn Trends Across the United States — from Cracked
- Head coyly tilted
- Dworkin, Andrea. Intercourse: Occupation/Collaberation. 1987. The Andrea Dworkin Online Library. http://www.nostatusquo.com/ACLU/dworkin/IntercourseI.html.
- Porn and Rape: The Debate Continues
- Pornography and Civil Rights. Dworkin, Andrea and MacKinnon, Catherine A. 1988.