By Lasantha Pethiyagoda –
Pornography is now very much a celebration of the misguided sexuality that dominates nearly every aspect of youth culture and lies at the core of Sri Lanka’s “open” economy. Adult entertainment, as it is benignly called, glorifies the dehumanization of “sexy” (often white) women. It champions a section of the human community that is devoid of compassion, empathy and love.
Young Sri Lankans see on their mobile phones or laptops and tablets sex scenes, eroticized in their virile masculine power that carries out the violent abuse, public degradation, sexual humiliation and torture of women whose personalities of wife and mother or sister have been removed, whose only desire is to debase themselves in the service of unfettered male lust.
The predominantly male audiences seem to unquestioningly accept a predatory world where the physically weak and the sexually vulnerable are objects to exploit while the powerful and well-endowed men are narcissistic and violent deities.
Some of the more impressionable of them then physically experiment with these contrived episodes in real life, and either force random targets to their will, or expect highly erotic sex from their docile and bashful wives, both of which are either plainly illegal or border on domestic violence and statutory rape.
Popular porn on the Web appears to earn far more than what general movies generate, where alluring women, drugs, alcohol and temporary consensual sex in rich exotic locations offer enticing departures from everyday reality of the mundane.
Audiences are invited to yearn to be rich, powerful and considered celebrities by how many women they can sexually gratify. That nearly all of us will never attain all these ambitions is emblematic of our collective self-delusion and the effectiveness of a culture awash in manipulation and lies with their origins at state level, and now on par with most other commercial marketing that has swamped Sri Lankan media.
Porn seeks to eroticize this cruelty of man on his fellow men. The women plead to be physically abused. Porn caters to degrading stereotypes where the women are meek and sexually submissive slaves. In porn, ordinary human imperfections do not exist.
The comforting smell of a loved one, their sweat, the familiar breath, heartbeats pounding against the beloved’s chest and intimate touch are erased along with caring tenderness. Women in porn are packaged commodities used as pleasure dolls and sexual puppets to be handled at will. They are stripped of true mixtures of human emotions such as love, sacrifice and generosity.
Porn is not about sex that humans learn naturally about, if one defines sex as a mutual act between two loving partners, but about lonely masturbation, a solitary auto-arousal devoid of intimacy and love.
The cult of the individual self with sharing starkly absent, is the essence of porn, and consistent with the core of corporate culture that has permeated our culture since the late 1970’s with increasingly harsh consequences for especially poor people. Porn, like global capitalism, is where human beings are sent to die a lonely death of their humanity.
Within a very conservative and gentle culture steeped in tradition, there are but a few people left in that voiceless wasteland, who grasp the immense danger of allowing pornography to replace intimacy, loving sex and compassionate love. Very few health or community welfare professionals speak out or reveal their knowledge in open forums.
Most mistakenly believe that viewing pornography is a personal matter, and different to the unacceptability of financially exploiting and physically abusing a young girl or boy on the road but acceptable to do so in artificial settings in Western countries on the set of a porn film.
Some feminists, who have betrayed the hard-fought basic fundamental rights of women, are reluctant to openly attack porn as a form of sexual exploitation, inhibiting assertiveness and self-empowerment of ordinary women. Feminism, for them, is no longer about the liberation of women who are oppressed; it is merely defined by a small group of women who are successful, English-literate, powerful and financially wealthy and therefore able to influence the elite powerbase.
It would seem that the Internet porn industry has hijacked the sexuality and human connectivity as intimate lovers, of an entire culture and is laying waste to a whole generation of boys, with average ages from young adolescents and by default, lay waste to a generation of girls who will be deprived of appropriate male attention and intimacy.
The largely American industry is financially in cahoots with the Internet media, banks and global distributing networks. With the absence of love, women are reduced to three orifices and two hands. Porn is therefore woven into the corporate destruction of intimacy and natural sexual tendencies and works to destabilise familial cohesion in vulnerable third-world nations like Sri Lanka.
The addictive nature of porn means that it takes more and more stimulus for arousal; so porn makers produce videos that are increasingly violent and debasing. Blunt and aggressive anal penetration triggers anal prolapse, a condition in which the inner walls of a person’s rectum collapse and protrude from the anus. Many actors require analgesics and often anal and vaginal reconstructive surgery. However, naïve young viewers do not see these realities, and often force their partners to sodomy.
The income of the global porn industry is estimated at hundreds of billion, with the United States market leading. There are estimated to be several hundred million Internet porn pages, several million porn Web sites, and several score million search engine requests for porn daily, with key search words like “sex” most shockingly entered in Sri Lanka.
Along with the rise of pornography there has been an explosion in sex-related violence, including domestic abuse, rape and daylight gang rape. It normalises rape and unilateral will for sex. Cheaper access via a mobile phone ensures delivery of porn to men and boys in highly concentrated neighbourhoods in the third world. So, unlike with laptops and desktops, they are assured of privacy.
The lure of porn targets adolescents when they are just beginning to construct their sexual identity. That way, they are addicted for life. If one begins by cruel, hard core, violent porn then one is not going to want intimacy and connection.
It naturally follows that teen boys will lose interest in sex with real young women. Sustaining erections with real women then becomes difficult as their imagined ideal is absent. Organizations that fight child porn associated with paedophilia and do not fight adult porn on mobile or “smart” devices are therefore allowing a whole generation to be destroyed.
That is the real tragedy of our times.