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People are doing something in this sculpture, but is it porn?? Christyl Rivers

Mate selection is very different for human beings than it is for other species of animals. This does not mean that we do not share many, many traits in our evolutionary design. Studies have shown, for example, that most females across all species, are the ones to choose — or refuse — a male. This becomes complicated in the case of pornography, because the women (usually women) who choose to display themselves will be ‘chosen’ to appeal to a wide variety of men.

Furthermore, they are not motivated, consciously, for reproduction, but to make a living. This applies only for those not being trafficked, or coerced by other means, such as addiction or codependency.

In other species, and circumstance, usually the female chooses by unconsciously sizing up the fitness of a mate, his strength, his determination and his charisma. This varies of course among species, but just as a charming man may offer proof of status with a nice car or gym-buff body, a ram will show he is willing to butt heads, thereby displaying that he has courage, strength, and no small amount of determination.

Over all studies of mate selection, according to Buss, Kendrick, et al., show that we also select mates for both short and long-term relationships by how much the potential mate will display kindness, agreeableness, and faithfulness. This is true for many matches. The only exception is those ‘one night stands’ wherein, for whatever reason, a man or woman is motivated by outside substances and/or a mental state that brings on the overly familiar: “That’s not me, This is not something I do” rationalization. Morning regret and clarity is often eye-opening to many. Modern discussions about consent are necessary and instructive, especially to males because a male is much more likely to assume consent than a female.

In both short and long term hook-ups, men, often offer a nice car, home, (nest), but also charm to win a woman. However, in pornography there is no posturing needed. The natural aspect of mating in nature also may not apply here, because many men just truly have an affinity for expensive cars, clothes, or homes. Men like having these accoutrements even if single, or if addicted to porn. In fact, most men prefer these things whether they are addicted to alcohol or any drug, gambling or even the internet itself. Women, however, are often driven by hope of not just sex, but romance and commitment, given what they must sacrifice in the case of pregnancy, rank or reputation.

Whether men are truly intoxicated by the sight of an hour glass figure, and perfect height to weight ratio is difficult to assess. Most just prefer that. But that does not mean that if he is overweight, or feels unattractive, that he will only be attracted to ‘perfect’ women. The natural world displays that variety of all kinds is both desirable and guarantees more stability. This is why we tend to hook up with those who share characteristics of ourselves, including social status, race, interests and education level, to name but a few.

The perfect ‘fitness’ portrayed in most porn is often designed for the fantasy aspect of being desired by a ‘perfect’ partner. This is precisely the aspect of porn, however, that makes both men and women feel less adequate by comparison.

It is something like wanting the perfect fudge cake you see in a bakery window, but realizing that you are thirty pounds overweight, can’t afford it, and your purchase of it may offend your bakery chef spouse!

Our like, or dislike of porn, in other words, is multi-factorial, and impossible to measure so far as the impact it makes regarding specific couples.

Add to that the factors of changing sex and gender roles. People over forty tend to think there are clearly two genders, whereas people under thirty are much more open to sex and gender roles that are not rigid.

This aspect of sexual display is easy to spot in the entertainment world. Porn, too, is part of the entertainment world. The emergence of more liberating roles has huge implications for sex workers. In fact, it has huge implications for those employed in many occupations, because it is becoming less tolerated in the workplace to be homophobic, misogynistic, or just plain old fashioned in relation to things like dress codes, modesty, harassment, slut shaming and so on.

We also cannot leave a discussion of pornography without at least examining whether masturbation is healthy. The resounding answer across science and health debates is: YES. Masturbation is healthy. Only in those cases where guilt and shame result should there be any avoidance of it. These are issues a therapist or good education can resolve. A partner who perceives pornography as destructive, however, and who resents being ignored while their partner masturbates is a different issue all together. No pun intended.

Given all of this, is porn natural? There is no simple answer. People have to individually decide with a partner whether a diversion is pornographic — which used to mean offensive — or whether it is erotic. Erotic simply means it is a ‘turn on’ to all people involved.

If pornography makes you or your partner uncomfortable, it is not worth the extra headaches it brings to the situation. We live in times where so much insistence of the un-natural, (devices, work, transport, overdue bills) which is all around us, that we frequently disregard the natural world. This is just as true with pornography as it is with anything else. The real thing is almost always preferable. Real skin contact creates connection. Connection, not alienation, is nature’s way of making planets that survive.

Objectification and exploitation of human beings, obviously exists. As society matures out of its Freudian and religious restrictions, nature reveals that sex and erotica are a beautiful and sacred part of the creation cycles of biology and love.

Written by

Ecopsychologist, Writer, Farmer, Defender of reality, and Cat Castle Custodian.

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