TED Conversations

Simon Peter Debbarma

Student of History, Desire Machine Collective

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Pornography: Yes or No?

Recently, my country 'India' banned 39 porn sites. Although most people seem to have had no decrease in the supply of pornography, i began to ponder on this issue of debate known as pornography.

Its a love-hate relation that we have with porn. Many will disagree and some actually don't like it but anyway,porn is really prevalent in our lives. Over 12 % of the websites online are porn websites and 25% of the search engine requests Pornographic related. No wonder its so widespread.

Besides normal pornography, porn also caters to smaller groups with fetishes. There is a rule on /b/ of 4chan under Rule 34 that says, 'If its there, there is porn of it". Strange thing is that its actually true. There is porn of whatever you think of. Porn is a huge industry. IMO it just depicts the sole purpose of humans in a physical world with real-life action. And since most educational institutions and parents don't teach their kids about sex and how to actually do it, I think pornography is doing a great work by teaching us how to perform. I learned a great deal watching and reading porn; and it actually benefited me and made me wiser in these matters.

Anyway, we need to discuss why it is needed in a society and for whom is it?
Is it bad entity?
Is it destructive to the human mind?
Does it destroy relations like marriages?
Should it be banned? Why?
Will banning porn really help anyone or anything?
Does porn influence people to commit sexual crimes?
It is causing teenagers and non-married people to have sex before marriage?

DISCUSS.

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  • Jul 2 2013: Some can handle it and have normal relationships and for some its an addiction just like alcohol. I am not sure of the side effects.. unrealistic expectations of women or whatever the object may be..
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    Jul 5 2013: I think sex websites have to be banned because they are immoral. Some people may think that those videos are okay when they see them and they would think that adultery is something normal. I think that Nudity and sexual acts degrade human beings. Children can access those videos and they might mimic the people who appear in them.
    • Jul 17 2013: So do you think violent movies and other media should also be banned because children might access them? And what is immoral about people being having the ability to confront and appreciate human sexuality via the web? The real problem and immorality is a society which restricts people from being able to explore and benefit from their basic human desires, instead forcing them to live a more bland life and to ignore their natural human nature.
      • Jul 24 2013: Do you think that long term exposure to violent movies has absolutely no effect?

        Why do you assume it forces them into a more bland life. And the use of the word 'more' also assumes they had a bland life anyway, why do you assume that?

        Don't you concede that there might be the possibility it could lead them to live a higher life, free from the physicality that constrains humanity?
        • Jul 27 2013: I never said that violent movies have no effect, but it is the job of parents to protect their kids, not the government's, especially when the government tries keep EVERYONE (adults included) from viewing such media.

          And no, ignoring something doesn't make it go away, you can hide from your sexuality, but you can't forget about it. Besides, human sexuality is something that many people love to indulge in, and to force those people to ignore their natural inclinations (which make them happy) so as to satisfy some philosophical axiom of "moral decency" that was created by people who devoted their life to studying the writings of ancient schizophrenics (I'm talking about religious people) is utterly absurd.
          And I never said they had a "bland" life, I'm saying that sexuality is interesting and beautiful (to many people, obviously not to you), and that ignoring such a wonderful dimension of human existence would indeed make life more bland (regardless of how bland a life you may already have been living before).
          At the end of the day, you can do whatever you want, I don't care how much you choose to enjoy life, but why the hell would you ever want to restrict other people by also banning porn websites? There should always be the option to explore and love yourself and the human body in general, EVERYONE shouldn't be forced to restrict themselves, regardless of how much you personally may want to.
      • Jul 27 2013: Please don't assume you know me, you don't.

        As any observations you make, or any comments you make, be they good or bad, will invariably always get lost when you turn something into a personal attack.

        And that behavior shows you as someone that is not really worth the effort in talking to, as you don't have the ability to rationalize your thoughts and actually have a open discussion, it's a shame that you chose to descend to that level.

        But it was your choice.
        • Jul 27 2013: No need to get offended Tify, I never claimed to "know" you entirely, I'm simply going off what you wrote. You mentioned physicality constraining humanity (in your last sentence), which indicates someone who believes that sexuality isn't beautiful, (which I'm fine with, you can have any opinion you want), and someone who also wants to overcome her physicality and restrict themselves by not indulging in pornography. This wasn't a personal attack, it was based off what you yourself wrote, this notion of physicality restraining humanity. In reality I'm perfectly fine with you doing that, don't insinuate that I disapprove because that's not how I and many others want to live, I just want to know why you want to impose your beliefs on others by banning porn. And honestly, what do you mean when you say that physicality restrains humanity? I honestly don't know what you're trying to get at given that sexuality is a way for people to connect to each other and even sync up emotionally to each other.
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    Jul 4 2013: You've initiated a very good arugment Simon - thanks for sharing.

    well, i think most of don't realize how porn site are easily accessible, even though you may have no desire to pursue such stuffs online, you'll always end up on "BOOTY" somewhere on the web.

    our sexual drives are much complicated as most of us tend to practice all relevant habits privately and seemingly unethical to have in public. however, this can be unequivocally detestable and thoroughly unpleasant if such practice was on those who relates to us whether a family or a relative.

    At school, among teen student and those under the age of puberty, sexual contents become a wide spread of which this could possibly pose is a great deal of problems either psychological problems or exposure to unsafely sexual behaviours.

    I Believe, All of those sexual materials producres should be banned of such business practice and who violates the rules should be legally charged whether individuals or orgs who make it accessible on public domain unless its for educational puropses or laboratory experimental with restricted access to who are authorized for such use.
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    Jul 4 2013: Simon,

    "For us younger ones, we need to do well in our bedrooms to keep things good between us. Its almost compulsory for us to properly perform the basic human actions. Its the deepest form of love for another."

    Give this statement some time my friend. It is undone. Try reversing this process, it is so worth it. Suppress the appetite somewhat. The bedroom can REALLY complicate things. Yeah, yeah, yeah, porn is good, thumbs up. Keep watching it (small issue). Everyone is different and don't believe you are learning "how to" from it. That is a marketing tool. Men and women are very different in how they generally show love (give and take, give and take).
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    Jul 3 2013: Give it a thought......Ban it or not, it does not matter to them.

    There are communities where sexual activities are allowed as soon as one has the desire for sex, they believe this is the best time and delaying further is un natural and harmful.They do not know and they do not need pornography.
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      Jul 4 2013: Is the man allowed to bring big clubs to hit the woman over the head if she denies him or does denying not even take place?
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    Jul 2 2013: All questions can be asked to nature and we will find the answer.

    Why nature gave us sex?
    To procreate

    Why it gave pleasure with sex?
    Nature attached ecstacy to sex so that we mate to seek pleasure and in the bargain procreate.

    Nature wanted it to be hidden?
    No

    Any other meaning attached to sex is a product of evolution of thought process of human mind from stone age to present.
    • Jul 2 2013: Your 'Nature' wants to pee. Do you pee anywhere? No right, self control due to shift in culture and whatsoever. Another, what if a 10yearold child wants to have sex, you allow? Same for this case, cannot be simply thought this way.
      Anyway you are losing focus on the main issue here stated.
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        Jul 3 2013: Daryll ever thought why there were and there are nude communes?
        Are those people crazy? They say they are in search of truth and honesty.

        They say they are tired of hiding themselves and their thoughts from the world..In commune they feel they are completely honest and have nothing to hide from the world even their feelings.

        Average person hides their feelings and lie very frequently.
        .Eg only a few man can praise physical attibute of another female in the presence of wife , most would like to do so in a company of friends.
        • Jul 4 2013: The issue is pornography here, you are drifting off from topic though sex is related and although porn may derive from it
    • Jul 3 2013: I think i understand what Adesh means and i agree. Sex isn't dirty, evil etc.. but the interpretation is, and that interpretation is a product of human thought. Some actions are definitely evil (stealing, killing, hurting people).
      Now I suppose some rules regarding "peeing anywhere" or "having sex" anytime has to be placed into proper situations. But consider this: Most cultures regard females baring their breast out in the open as lewd.. but some pacific islander women walk around bare breasted and there is no sexual thought from the male community members. For them its just like your hair or arm or ears... If you somehow had to live with these people.. would you be willing to walk around bare as well? The culture doens't consider it lewd... so why not? They don't care about your breast (or genitals), but your thoughts(your culture/customs) would, and therefore most likely you wouldn't. Human customs/cultures are curious.
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        Jul 3 2013: Every thing in this world is neutral,

        We are the ones who attach meanings to these things which are essentially neutral.

        To a sage or an animal there is no signicant difference between gold and stone.

        There are communities where sexual activities are allowed as soon as one has the desire for sex, they believe this is the best time and delaying further is un natural and harmful.They do not know or they do not need pornography. Do we have the right to judge them?
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          Jul 4 2013: Is the man allowed to bring big clubs to hit the woman or child (WTF?) over the head if she denies him or does denying not even take place? I don't think the right word here is "judge". I believe "help" would be much respected here.
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        Jul 4 2013: I wonder who need help here..they or you?
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          Jul 8 2013: For the amount of chivalry I have I assume you believe I need help in convincing myself to let my 8 year old daughter have sex if she desires to do so. Do you have any children, Adesh? Do you clearly understand what you're writing here or am I just misinterpreting? If your daughter could possibly procreate (this is your reason) at 8 years old would you be willing to accept this? An 8 OR 10 year old caring for a child, imagine that for a moment maybe?! I just had a sick sick thought of you and my 8 year old. Yes, clearly I do need help now but I believe you need it much more than I do if I understand you correctly. Maybe you need to be in that rare type of community?
  • W T 100+

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    Jul 2 2013: The August issue of a magazine distribute worldwide for free deals with this very issue.

    You can access the article on-line, and read it in the language of your choice by clicking on the language icon in the display section:

    http://www.jw.org/en/publications/magazines/
    http://www.jw.org/en/publications/magazines/wp20130801/is-pornography-harmful/
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      Jul 2 2013: Is this relevant information Mary?
      • W T 100+

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        Jul 2 2013: Yes Simon it is......you are having a conversation on pornography.

        Here are facts about pornography from inside the article:


        FACTS ABOUT PORNOGRAPHY


        EVERY SECOND: Nearly 30,000 persons view pornographic Web sites.

        EVERY MINUTE: Internet users send more than 1.7 MILLION pornographic e-mails.

        EVERY HOUR: Nearly TWO hard-core pornographic videos are released in the United States.

        EVERY DAY: An average of more than TWO MILLION pornographic movies are rented in the United States alone.

        EVERY MONTH: Nearly 9 out of 10 young men and 3 out of 10 young women in the United States view pornography.

        EVERY YEAR: The global pornography industry generates an estimated $100 BILLION (U.S.).



        If you go directly to the magazine featuring Pornography on it's cover, you will find information that might help you with this conversation.

        I read alot Simon, from many different sources, I have an open mind.
        I do not judge without reading.
        I take what I can use, and leave the rest.

        Whether or not you wish to read the very well written information is up to you.
  • Jul 2 2013: Well...YES to pornography but with certain restrictions.
    Come on guys pornography is good to fulfil our sexual fantasies to an extent. Either we watch porn or our nature will take its course in the form of wet dreams or sexual dreams. It is basically a form of entertainment or stress-reliever especially to guys.
    However there are some negative implications that come with it. It conveys to the young ones or even the older ones wrong sex relationships. Some may convey an idea that the male is the domineering party and the female should and would listen to the male's sexual wishes although the female do not want it. It also portrays females as vulnerable victims and can be controlled. This serves as a bad education towards younger ones as most of them do not know whats right or wrong yet. This is why porn should only be viewed by a person of maturity(18and above) so as to reduce negative effects. Some porn also tells us the wrong views of woman. Theres a specific pornsite i have viewed and its about this guy going around the streets and slowly enticing woman with money for sexual desires, eventually the woman succumbs to such a great offer. Firstly it brings down generally woman's dignity and secondly it tells us that as long as you have money, your wishes can be met. This is WRONG.
    Just need to take note that all these are just for sole entertainment purposes and should not instill in your mind anything. JUST FOR ENTERTAINMENT. Thats why i must reiterate again pornography is for adults above 18. Parents need to take note of their children's whereabouts on the internet to make sure they do not surf porn. However..the fact is most of us view pornography below 18. :P
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    Jul 2 2013: Simon i feel Govn want to divert your mind from Uttarakhand tragedy.
  • Jul 2 2013: I think we all have been teenagers... and we all know the rule of a teenager.. Make it illegal and it will be more appealing .. I will find another way of accessing the forbidden fruit...
  • Jul 2 2013: Actually I liked the topic, it is unknowingly one of the most serious concern for our society. I agree that porn teaches one how to perform sex. But everything has a limit. It's upon the individual how to control it. In my view it shouldn't be banned but the individual should get that maturity. It's upon us how we see it...
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    Jul 2 2013: I disagree with you that pornography is doing a great job of teaching us how to perform sex. Sex for procreation is a biological imperative and if one at all needs help about such a basic performance, that would be medical, not pornographic. Pornography means entirely different things for people who have active sex life and those who are young and learning their sexuality. I have been watching it over this entire spectrum of life, and it changed meaning to me when I had a partner, then again changed meaning when I had a kid and again changed meaning when my kid started watching pornography.
    I now think that pornography is a free expression of our society and it's purport varies with the degree of conservativeness of the society. Human mind appreciates emotions and feelings of all kinds, even fear and perversion to some extent and there is nothing abnormal to that. But there should be a sense of responsibility attached to the enjoyment of such freedom as this is mostly adult freedom. There are certain genres of porn that may give a very wrong idea about sexual pleasure if not handled carefully. In some cases, what pornography portrays about sex is far from fact and lead one to trouble in real life.
    Big no to Child Porn and Violent Sex. These should be banned.
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      Jul 2 2013: Maybe it did not teach you, but I learned a great deal from it. I know how and when and where to pleasure a girl. And every girl that I've been with has reacted positively. I believe it will help me in my future relationships as sex is something that keeps a relation from falling apart. I'm just putting up a point that I learned from it, not saying that everyone learns.

      And yes, I agree with you on all your other points. Also, big NO to CP and other otherwise socially unaccepted forms of porn.... only for the sake of my society. Many people are there that enjoy different types of porn and in some cases they prefer only certain kind of weird stuffs.
      READ THE FOLLOWING ON YOUR OWN TERMS:
      There are those that go for animal porn, or bodily excretion porn, voyeur porn, necrophilia, gore, midget, CP, and more. There are much more weirder stuffs but I will not mention anymore. So thus, these strange
      stuffs exist.
      We might ban them or whatever right now but its never going away tbh.

      We might as well learn to ignore whatever you find weird or unsuitable and carry on with you life.
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        Jul 2 2013: I agree that it can vary between persons. My experience was very different. And at 52 I don't remember ever to take refuge in sex to keep a relationship from falling apart. It's a two way street for me, I give as much as I take, so account settled after each session.

        I also agree that learning to ignore is a great coping skill.
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          Jul 2 2013: At your age, its a different situation. If a love life lasts till you're 52, its highly positive to last till death and its real love. You don't need to prove anything to your other half.
          For us younger ones, we need to do well in our bedrooms to keep things good between us. Its almost compulsory for us to properly perform the basic human actions. Its the deepest form of love for another.

          Ignorance is my best friend in places I don't wanna be or with people I really dislike.
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      Jul 2 2013: Age verification system might not work, I highly doubt it. It never works. Kids like me and others are way smarter.

      Porn websites generally require a person to use credit cards and other forms of age-verification.

      Free porn is what is getting to people by the masses. Sources are torrents and free porn websites. We know this will never seize to exist so even trying to remove it is useless.

      Yes, the negatives sort of do outweigh the positives, being careful is soo very important.
  • Jul 2 2013: Pornography is silly, and attempting to ban it is sillier.

    People have better things to do, and governments have much more important work which they should be doing.

    "I think pornography is doing a great work by teaching us how to perform"

    No, it is not teaching so well. Pornography teaches many bad lessons about how people should relate. So do novels and romantic movies. One of the first lessons that children should learn about all media is that the purpose of the content of media is to sell; it is not intended to teach lessons, and generally teaches the wrong lessons. Good lessons do not sell nearly so well.
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      Jul 2 2013: Well, I would like to counter argue to your last paragraph.

      I do not mean I learn how to behave and act from porn. What I meant was that I learned how to please a woman. And I believe it will come helpful to me in my future relations.