Friday, November 9, 2007

Getting Off

Getting Off: (Pornography and the End of Masculinity), by Robert Jensen
$9.60 at
ISBN: 978-0-89608-776-7
There are a lot of books out there on porn: it's a very hot topic right now. I notice most of them are written by women (not a bad thing, just something I noticed). This one is by a man, and he takes a moderate stance on the porn debate.
Jensen argues that porn, as it exists in our culture, is bad for men. It's constantly available to us, keeps getting more hardcore, and eventually creates fantasies which can never be fulfilled.
We're talking mostly about heterosexual porn here, obviously. Most people are heterosexual.
He brings up an interesting question in the beginning of this book: Why is there so much porn in which women are in pain or degraded in some way? It's fun for men to watch because the man is in control. This reinforces the ideology in men's minds that all women are whores.
Porn can also be an important factor in shaping a male-dominant view of sexuality, and contribute to a user's difficulty in separating sexual fantasy and reality.
I'm not sure I buy everything Jensen says 100%, but he's brought up a key point that we have here at Hansisgreat. It can't just keep getting dirtier and dirtier on to infinity! We're already becoming jaded by porn because there's so much of it out there. We can see anyone doing anything, sexually speaking, with an Internet connection and a credit card. Where is it ever going to stop? It doesn't have to be so mindless.
He clearly did his homework creating this fine piece of investigative journalism. It's very honest and thorough. He interviews all kinds of interesting people who work in the business.
Everyone has a sexuality (even celibacy is a choice) so the topic of Getting Off should be of universal interest.
Don't expect any book to completely resolve this complicated issue for you. But this is a good place to start. Great work, Robert!

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