Pornography Has Been Around A Long Time, Regardless of What Grandma Says

I’ll admit it. I’m surly today. I just found out I’m going to have to drop $3K on my daughter’s dental work and it’s the first Halloween that neither of my kids are doing anything and I really just want to turn off my lights and draw the shades. But, while I was in the waiting room at the dentist I just read an article from some senior citizen’s magazine where several people over 65 were complaining about how the world has changed, specifically sexual standards including pornography. Their attitudes and white-washing of the history was frustrating to read.

I’m not here to defend pornography at all, but I think it’s buffoonish to pretend like it didn’t exist in the first 80 years of the 20th Century. I don’t mean to attack senior citizens at all, and if any read this blog, I’m not talking about you. It’s your Golden Girls-watching brethren who need to recognize they hold some responsibility for where we find ourselves today. It wasn’t my generation or the next one making sex-soaked films in the 60s and 70s that became the norm in Hollywood.

If you want me to point out 1,000 things that are better now than they were in the past, I easily can. From safety standards to communications to health care to transportation, it’s impossible to make a solid argument that things were better back then…whenever you decide “then” was.

Yeah, maybe you didn’t have to have school shooter drills, but you did have air raid drills. If you’re going to believe you had a more moral, less sexualized society, I’d point out to you the teenage (15-19) pregnancy rate in 1957 was 9.6% while in 1979, that figure was 11.1%. In 2015, it dropped to 4.3% — less than half of what it was during your romanticized vision of society.

There’s too much sex on TV compared to your day? We have 800 channels now. There’s too much everything on TV compared to when there were three channels. Times Square in NYC became a cesspool for strip clubs and adult theaters in the 1960s. Sixty years later, you won’t find any adult entertainment there. Exponentially more cities and towns have strict rules about or against adult entertainment businesses than ever before.

The reality is, those who condemn the youth of today as immoral were once labeled that as well and it’s been happening for ages:

“The free access which many young people have to romances, novels and plays has poisoned the mind and corrupted the morals of many a promising youth…” – Rev. Enos Hitchcock, 1790

“Never has youth been exposed to such dangers of both perversion and arrest as in our own land and day.” – Granville Stanley Hall, 1904

“Many young people were so pampered nowadays that they have forgotten there was such a thing as walking, and they make automatically for the buses… unless they do something, the future for walking is very poor indeed.” – The Falkirk Herald, Scotland, 1951

If you want to believe there really wasn’t porn in the 1950s, one only has to point out that Playboy made its debut in December 1953. That means somebody who is 70 today was 4 years old when it debuted. You can look back into the 1920s and see widely distributed magazines with naked people that were produced specifically for titillation. Let’s not forget all of the art created between 1500 and 1900 that had adult themes. I’m not talking about naked angels. There was plenty of hardcore nudity in paintings during those 400 years. Want to go further back? There are erotic paintings and carvings that have been found in caves dating back to the paleolithic era more than 50,000 years ago and plenty also found in Mesopotamia 5,000 years ago. Let’s not even talk about what the Greeks and Romans were into.

The world has always been a sexual place; it’s how we get the new humans here. I understand that we have technology that makes ease of access to sexually explicit materials easier than in the past, but Playboy isn’t still around because the Internet appeared 20 years ago. Playboy is struggling because the Internet appeared. Somebody caused its circulation to rise to 7 million per month in the 1970s, when these moral people interviewed for the article were in their 20s and 30s. But I’m sure they never looked at one.

I take exception to the romanticism, nostalgia and rose-colored glasses that the past is looked upon and the scorn with which the present and future are seen. I hear the word “millennial” tossed around like it’s a horrible thing, but I’ve never seen a more ethically conscious, morally aware generation. I think the future is in good hands with your grandchildren. Perhaps your distaste comes from the job you did raising my generation. Maybe my generation took notes and tried to do better.

I could give more than enough examples to fill volumes of books, but I know that the current group of older, conservative people who rue the day and wish things were like they were in the good old days are simply not going to understand what the rest of us already know: There never were good old days and if there are, these are the good old days for today’s youth. Your generation brought the same things every generation brings to the table, advancement of science and culture that scared the people who came before you.

 

Random Thoughts, October 2019: Weird Podcast Experience, Suicide Prevention, Halloween Dangers and More

I haven’t done a random thoughts article in months, and there’s just too much bouncing around my brain lately, so I’m going to throw it on the page and see what happens.

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I’ll do podcasts with anybody, regardless of who they or their target audience are, as long as I, or porn addicts, are not made the butt of a joke.

I taped one yesterday and when it is available, I’ll have it on the front page of the website and on the appearances page as I do with all of them. This was one of those appearances that was far less about my story and more about pornography in general.

What was really out-of-the-ordinary for me was that this gentleman hosting the show was trying to draw a lot of conclusions about what he felt was the disintegration of our society and porn’s role in it. That’s not an objective viewpoint, and the world is misinformed about pornography enough that it doesn’t need me making stuff up off the top of my head.

My view of society is that it changes and evolves. As individuals we can interpret whether those changes are good or bad, but there is no correct or incorrect answer. It’s all subjective. Was society better in the 1950s when the woman stayed home with the 2.5 kids and the man was the breadwinner? I don’t know because both of my grandmothers had jobs, so my parents weren’t raised in that environment. I know there is a segment of society who feels the world was better with that as the stereotypical family dynamic. So, which culture is better? I guess it depends on your personal opinion of a lot of factors.

As the questioning moved forward, I shared the true statistic that straight women watch more lesbian pornography than straight men watch gay porn. When he asked why, I shared an expert’s opinion I’d heard and agree with, but since I had no hard data, it was really only a guess, and it had nothing to do with morality. That opened the floodgates to questions about homosexuality and its place in today’s society, and the questions started with wording like, “Wouldn’t you agree…” instead of “Why do you think…”

He was a good interviewer in clearly trying to get me to say something I don’t believe, but I’ve been interviewing people professionally since I was 17. I’m not easy to trap. I’m very curious to see how this one turns out.

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Screen Shot 2019-10-22 at 6.15.21 PMCheck out this congratulations logo I got from WordPress during the day yesterday. Why the heck am I congratulated for this random number? Why not 1,400 or 1,500? It’s very peculiar. Thanks to everybody who has liked what I’ve written over the last two years. I’ve really felt a deeper sense of connection over the last few weeks since I’ve started writing almost daily than at any other point.

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Sometimes the search terms that people use that lead them to my site are downright cryptic. I have no idea what “resentment porn on Tuesday” means, but I hope they got their answer. The other day, somebody visited the site after searching for “I’m a porn addict. Is life over?” I’m hoping the person meant in the hypothetical sense of if they have no possibility of having a “normal” life, however they define it.

If they meant the idea that their life should come to an end, that makes me sad. I hope that nobody who is struggling with porn addiction – or any addiction for that matter – thinks their addiction is an unwinnable battle that should end in suicide. I’m proof that there’s plenty of hope. I know there was a strong possibility I would have gone down that road had the police not intervened. I had seriously considered it once, but thankfully woke up from that haze before I went through with it.

If you’ve got an addiction of any kind, or think you’re going to commit suicide for any reason, take 10 minutes and call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. There is nothing that you can go through that can’t somehow be made better. And I understand seeing it as an option, believe me, I really do. It does feel like things will never get better. Just give them a call.

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Ashley L. Peterson reviewed my first book today at this link. I think it’s a very fair reviews, as I wrote in the comments. It’s always harrowing when somebody gives a review because I feel like since it’s my story, it’s almost passing judgment on who I am. I walked away relieved.

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While I abandoned my re-entry to the Facebook world, I have entered the world of LinkedIn for the first time. I’m still not totally sure how to use it, but at least it’s a place where I don’t have to read how blessed, psyched to go to the gym or ready for the weekend everybody claims to be. If you’re on there and want to connect, just send an invitation to Joshua Shea. I’m the one who is getting tattooed in the photo. Yeah, maybe it’s not professional, but I am who I am, and that’s a guy with nine tattoos he likes wearing far more than a suit and tie.

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As Halloween approaches, you may get the typical media hysteria in states like Maine, Kentucky or Indiana where there are no laws about convicted sex offenders (with either hands-on or hands-off offenses) passing out candy. These are actually the forward-thinking states.

Did you know there is not one confirmed case of a sex offender abducting or harming any child they did not know in the history of our country as result of a visit to their door on Halloween, yet dozens of states have laws against sex offenders of any kind handing out candy? The reality is 90% of hands-on sex offenders know their victims, with about half being family members, and the vast majority are groomed over time without force.

And while we’re talking about Halloween misconceptions, did you know that there have been less than 10 verified cases of candy tampering in 60 years, with only one happening since 1999 and of those cases there was only one death? Almost every reported incident (about 80 between 1959 and 2010) has been proven to be a hoax. So, there’s another thing to not be so scared about on Halloween. The media is good at hysteria because hysteria sells.