While there are many women who oppose pornography because they think it degrades and demeans women, I believe that there are many women who approve of pornography due to the many positive benefits it has for them such as providing sexual curiosity opportunities and improving couples sexual relationships.
In this paper I am going to discuss how women benefit from pornography through satisfying their sexual curiosity and how pornography can help stimulate a sexual relationship. I want you to be prepared because some of this material may be a little sensitive in some areas due to the descriptions that I use.
You would think that defining a word such as pornography would be a simple task, but it is not. There were a number of sources that I found in which they defined the word pornography as some sort of violent and unjustified sexually explicit material. This was generally the case whenever I found an article that was against pornography. I also came across meanings that were not quite as harsh as that definition, it basically indicated that pornography was the use of sexually explicit material. Unfortunately, there is no universal definition for the word pornography because everyone has there own ideas in their head of what they think it means. For the purpose of this paper we will use the definition that is stated in the New Lexicon Webster s Encyclopedic Dictionary of the New English Language, it defines pornography as
Obscene literature, photographs, paintings, etc., intended to cause sexual excitement (1992).
I want you to keep in mind that the word obscene is a descriptive word that is also defined by each individual differently.
This paper as you might have guess is on a very sensitive and controversial topic that some might find hard to deal with, but I found it very useful. It allowed me a vast array of topics to choose from, not to mention some very interesting reading. As I sat back and tried to decide what to research, I went through several options. I am a big fan of freedom of speech, which is one of the biggest issues in pornography today, but this issue is overly discussed. The same thing with child pornography, I agree that this is a big problem also, but I wanted something deeper. Finally it came to me, I am a viewer of porn (pornography for short) materials and I completely support the use of it, but do other women enjoy and benefit from pornography like I do? At first thought you might want to say to yourself could a women possibly enjoy watching a women give oral sex to a married man or is there really benefits of seeing a man ejaculate on the breast of other women. In my research I found that there are plenty of women who do enjoy and even benefit from pornography.
A big question that I ran across was not necessarily if women like pornography, but how many like it. Dr. Wendy Stock of the Pacific Graduate School in Palo Alto conducted a study on undergraduate women. Stock wanted to find out how women felt when they watched pornographic material, the responses varied 66% of the women came away curious about pornography, 46% said that they were amused by it, and 33% were intrigued (1994). Seeing that curiosity was at 66% it made me want to dig deeper and find out what could be so curios about this. I know from a personal point of view that when I first viewed pornographic material I was curious as to what it might be about, but I have found in my research that the curiosity goes beyond this, leading to both emotional and personal pleasure. Wendy McElroy former president of the Feminist for Free Expression contends pornography is a great leveler of shame (1995) and I agree. I think that there are so many things that women get so sexually upset about. Nadine Strossen, a law professor at New York Law School, agrees that using masturbation is deemed wrong in today s society. Strossen says there are so many women who need [pornography] lets think about women who s husbands are on a business trip, lonely women, even widowed women. For them to see other women, even an actresses, bringing sexual pleasure to herself helps to ease the shame of wanting to fill the desired need she was to touch her own body sexually, in the safety of her own home (1995). What about the emotional aspect of pornography, emotions go extremely deep in people. To be able to fantasies about something is completely natural after all don t your fantasies bring up emotions in you? I can not count how many times I have sat back and imagined that I would win the lottery and each time I do it gives me a very elated feeling. I have also sat back and had sexual fantasies of my own. When I think about my sexual fantasies, they gives me a soft tickling sensation between my thighs that I enjoy, do I feel ashamed absolutely not. Fantasies allow us to use our imagination, inhance our personality, and make use a little happier. In pornographic videos, women can view anything ranging from a women dressed in skimpy maid outfits waiting for her boss to come home to bend her over the counter before the wife gets home to a very dominate female taking control of her sexual desire. It allows a woman to invision herself in that situation which might never be possible otherwise. The safety of this is stronger than any other that I can think of because as McElroy states [pornography] is served up in the privacy of a woman s own bedroom, on a television set that can be turned off whenever she has had enough (1995). Many have said that this is wrong and degrading. My response to that is, if a person chooses to engage in the viewing of pornographic material for reasons that please them, why should that be considered degrading? Could it be that the reason that it is degrading is because the thought of pleasing yourself sexually is forbidden because you are afraid to know who you are?
In my research I have seen many references to the fact that pornography is for a single based audience. When people think about who watches pornography, stereotypically, many people tend to visualize a lonely man sitting naked in front of his television set, one hand on his penis and the other on his beer watching two women perform oral sex on each other. Interestingly enough, pornography is not just base solely for one person, it is also beneficial to couples. As strange and embarrassing as that might seem it is true that pornography is often used as a source for therapy. Most women however tend to shy away from pornography with a partner as. Stock has shown us why, 42% were afraid their partners were comparing their bodies unfavorably to other women, 33% feel bad about their bodies, 23% worried about their performance as sexual partners (1994). This is a very understandable fear, I know because I have felt this fear myself it took me a little bit to get comfortable with it, but I did. I think I was more afraid that my partner would see that it turned me on and I would feel embarrassed by that. When I was going to marriage counseling this was actually something that was recommended to us by our therapist. He is not alone in this field, Patti Britton, Ph.D., sent a letter in 1992 to the Senate Judiciary Committee it read
As a board-certified clinical sexoligist, I can tell you that it is common knowledge in my field that sexually explicit films and videos are often recommended as a mode of treatment for couples such materials are viewed by professionals as helpful, not harmful, assets in the treatment process (1995).
It doesn t have to be used just to solve problems in a sex life. It is also very useful to spice up your sex life. On a little more of a personal note, I know that if it weren t for pornographic movies I would have never been able to perform oral sex on my partner. Not to go into to much detail, but I had always had a problem with my gag reflex getting in the way and I just couldn t figure it out. I actually consoled in my friends for advice, but it wasn t until I had watched a porn movie, with my partner, that I actually understood how to do oral sex without the gag. It was great I could learn and practice all at the same time. I don t think you could find that kind of therapy for a better price, just $4.99, with hands on interaction. I guess my point is that pornography can be beneficial for more than just the single lonely man is. I know from experience as I have told you and you know by what the professionals have said.
I have researched a lot of interesting material doing this paper and I have shared only a small amount of it with you. I just want to summarize some of what I shared. A woman has several needs in her life; the need for self-satisfaction is one of them. This could range from career opportunities to providing herself with sexual pleasure. Exploring her body while watching pornographic material and to help her become self-confidant at satisfying her sexual needs. Experts even know that fantasizing about being that maid should be considered healthy and safe, not demeaning or harmful. Let s not forget that we should not stereotype about who views pornography because it is common to see it as a treatment in sexual therapy for couples. Even though it might not sound like something you would ever have to do, remember this, I never thought it would be my therapy either. Just feel assured in knowing that many therapists note it as a good treatment.
In reading this, I hope that you have opened you mind up to being a bit more acceptable about pornography. There are many benefits to what it can do for women just as was shown in this paper. I hope that now that you have seen what some of the experts say, and after I have shared some of my own very personal experiences, I have convinced you that pornography is not so bad. I believe that if you close the door on this by always referring to it using that vulgar definition of pornography, you could be closing the door to a lot of opportunities. I am not saying go out and spend that $4.99 today to rent yourself a porn movie, I am just saying lets not forget the benefits too.
Britton, P. (1992, Febuary). Opposing the pornography victim s compensation act. [Letter to the honorable Patrick A. Leahy]. Final Report, 41. 27-28
McElroy, W. (1995). XXX: A woman s right to pornography. New York: St. Martins Press.
Steinberg, D. (1994, January). Porn studies at the Society for the Scientific Study of Sex. Spectator Magazine, 55(1). p.34-37.
Strossen, N. (1995). Defending pornography: Free speech, sex, and the fight for women s rights. New York: Scribne