Nicholas Kristof Blows the Whistle on Pornhub


Nicholas Kristof was absolutely right to blow the whistle on Pornhub in his New York Times piece, since the dissemination of child pornography is absolutely unacceptable.  Yet the reaction Kristof touched off seems to be more anti-porn than anti-child abuse.  People are jumping up and down in rage in Nebraska, because the article gives them the license they’ve always wanted to abolish porn.

It was incredibly stupid of Pornhub’s management not to have monitored more carefully the material that anonymous people were uploading.  A lot of amateur porn is unacceptable, because it involves real nonconsensual  violence, child abuse, or sex with animals.  All are illegal — but all are in demand in some of the circles of perversion that circulate at the periphery of the adult world.

Mainline Porn Is More Carefully Monitored

Mainline porn does not incorporate any of these themes.  The industry is very watchful about child abuse and reports it to the authorities whenever encountered.  Sex with animals is illegal, and to obtain this material, one has to import it from Europe in brown envelopes.

The Subterranean World of Porn

This brings us to violence.  Yes, in the subterranean world of porn there is real nonconsensual  violence.  This is completely unacceptable and illegal.

Yet there is real violence and pseudo, stage violence, such as the scenes of “suffocation” that Kristof was so upset about.  Listen:  in the world of SM and roleplaying, “breath control“  or “suffocation”  is fairly common as a measure of the top’s dominance.  You have to be really dominant to appear to cut off, however briefly, someone’s air supply.  And for aficionados of SM, this is exciting:  She is totally dominant, and smiles grimly as she puts a gloved hand over someone’s mouth and constricts their neck.  The tops are always clad in leather, just so you’ll get the point.  There are no tops doing suffocation in bathrobes and little pink bunny slippers.

Let’s Not Get Carried Away

I think maybe Kristof hasn’t appreciated this distinction, and those now jumping on the anti-porn bandwagon are happy to shout “suffocation” whether they get that this is play, or not.  There is lots of consensual violence (flogging, etc.) and pseudo-violence (the top stands there with a whip in hand) in the world of adult.  SM is a legitimate taste, though it is not everyone’s cup of tea.  So, in our zeal to stamp out the real abuses, let’s not get carried away and restrict people’s legitimate choices of pleasure.  The courts have long ago declared that most of this community stuff is non obscene (because so many people enjoy it).  And right now, it’s community standards rather than Presbyterian outrage that is driving the train.





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