What is Porn?

Visual depictions of women sold into sex slavery.

This is the ancient etymological and contextual origin of the word.

Prostitution is not an ancient occupation, it’s an ancient exploitation of enslaved women if not also of men or boys but less so.

Prostitute literally means to present to the public. Another contextually explanation is “indiscriminate sex”. Even this is a modern take on the phenomenon.

Today we talk about prostitution as selling physical sexual forms of interaction for things of value.

This is not completely unlike marriage in some cases. There is a fine line. Some marriages are initiated against the will of the woman. She has no choice, only she is not technically a prostitute because she is owned by one man. She is more of a sex slave used for bearing children and doing domestic work.

So what is porn? It literally means pictures of prostitutes.

So can we, through some investigation, determine what images are porn and which are not?

One difficulty is the aspect of explicit and implicit content. Explicit is clear and direct, while implicit is unlimited in presentation and composition, often with symbolism, psychological factors meant to play on vulnerabilities in order to control or influence. Think of a belly dancer. They charm, and arouse many sensations.

Explicit sexual content tends to be thought more of as porn while implicit sexual content is using sexuality along with other elements while avoiding clear and direct sexual triggers. Often this is more effective in captivating attention as well as perpetuating an ongoing relationship with the public. This is also less taboo and comes from a culture of free expression and not enslavement.

Another element is desire vs satisfaction. We all know where sexual arousal leads. Either satisfaction or frustration. Some use the arousal for esoteric purposes such as building chi energy. However for our purpose, we will focus on the latter. The arousal up ramp and the satisfaction down ramp have each a few subgroups: Attention, Attraction, Access, Courtship, Arousal, Satisfaction/Frustration/Rejection. Here we have to consider the fact that there is often one dominant party and one submissive party.

Today women take images and video of themselves and attempt to exchange that content for things of value without actually meeting any of their customers in person, but there is still a great price to pay in privacy and identity. They have to live with that indiscriminately sexually available stigma or social label for the rest of their life as it is connected to their facial identity. Do they do this willingly and by choice? It could be argued that it’s an easy path if they have pretty privilege or it could be just as well argued that they are cursed with the looks that would influence large numbers of men to offer them money for sexual favors and this in the light of alternatives looking even less desirable. So being a cam girl can often be the most obvious choice for many. Also there are sites that serve and manage paid content subscriptions to individuals that wish to sell sexual images and videos and intimate access.

So porn today is complicated but we can look at some of the origins of it and this gives us some perspective and context with which to make judgements about one’s motivation and purpose or intention. Intentions can and should be explicitly stated if there is any question of the human rights aspect of art and expression. It’s not really mature to create sexual images of humans without knowing the answers to several of the questions that can be asked based on the preceding text.

My Take

A mature artist, has at some point taken the step(s) toward the chapter of informed and deliberate practice out of the more collegiate phase of discovery and experimentation. It isn’t easy to leave the social scene that has provided that initial trial and error but it must be done and I am going through that phase. Being hacked is just one more supporting initiative or influence to get me to experience that rebirth that so many memorable artists have achieved.