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Porn - Why all the hate?

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You're confusing ethics with politics - the legality of porn is not being disputed here.

Oops. This is a mistake on my part. I confuse legality with ethics occasionally because people who feel that something is unethical often strive to make it illegal.

What is the difference between accepting money from one person to have sex with them or accepting money from a third party to have sex with someone else? Where do you draw the line between porn and prostitution?

The line is drawn when a camera is involved. That's pretty much it.

A disproportionate number of people in the sex industry (compared to the general population) are victims some sort of sexual abuse and suffer from some sort of addiction (sex/drugs/other). These people are not exactly model members of society. This is not the say that there aren't exceptions, I'm sure some people in the sex industry are well-adjusted, perfectly sane individuals.

I'd like to know what proportion this is, and where you got this information from, but I suspect that you're right. A great many pornstars are not "model" citizens. When an industry is condemned as shameful, wicked, or immoral it tends to get seedy as a consequence. If it is made illegal (justly or unjustly), this is amplified. There's a significant difference between Nevada's brothels and the pimps on the street choking their cut from one of their girls. In Nevada the prostitutes are checked weekly for STDs, monthly for HIV, require the use of condoms, and the owner becomes liable if a customer is infected. I'm not saying that the legality makes it moral, but you should consider carefully how a society's attitude about a profession can direct it. Recall Prohibition.

This point you're making about pornstars doesn't directly condemn pornography. The quality of the people involved in an act is not the deciding factor in the morality of the act itself. Taking a look at a person's character can be a useful start when judging their actions, but the people are not the actions.

Trash? Possibly. Disturbed? Probably. A couple that I would want to double date with? Doubtful.

This strikes me as petty and inane. I'm not sure why you would even bother making this kind of statement, except as a joke or an introduction to your own personal tastes or...what? I guess I shouldn't have asked if I didn't want an opinion, but could you follow this up with something more substantial?

BTW- What's up with your nickname?

It's a joke. Yes, I know it's not funny. Thanks for sharing.

What is the deal with you people and Ayn Rand's affair? I don't recall anyone talking about an exchange of money or footage regarding this incident, and I really don't think it would matter. I thought Objectivism pertained to her philosophy. You people are worse than a sewing circle.

Why not change your name to The Passion of the Porn?

That's hilarious. Seriously, I can read this again and again and laugh for days.

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Where does he tell this "story"?  Please provide evidence for this claim.

I have noticed over time that you have a strong tendency to drag the Brandens or David Kelley or Chris Sciabarra or the SOLO scum onto this forum (via a link or a reference) while always extending some weak caveat that you disagree with all these sad types.  Perhaps some problems with conscience and hedonism?

Just a thought.  :D

Or perhaps instead of dismissing them with the word "scum", I'd like arguments against their assertions. But you Mr. Zeus are so high and mighty living on Mt. Olympus and all that you can just fling a lightning bolt and lie back with a bear. It must be good to be you.

And, oh by the way, its been a while since I heard it, but Peikoff's story either came from his radio show (which would be my first guess - during a segment called the "philosopher's couch") or from a Q and A of one of his lectures (I believe the Memories of Ayn Rand one).

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Prostitution should be legal but not legally recognized; it is NOT an industry.

What on earth does that mean? Not legally recognized? So if a chain of prostitution houses exists (like some in Nevada, or the more developed prostitution business in Japan where it is quasi legal and there are litterally thousands of "Pink Salons"; ie oral sex bars - what a great idea) and a customer receives "service" and refuses to pay, are you saying that there should be no recourse to law courts for compensation?

And you call yourself a capitalist?

This is what I mean by syllogistic reasoning divorced from experience and context. If prostitution were legal, it would by definition become an industry! And an industry that would quickly grow to one of the biggest in the country. Japan's sex industry is gigantic and they are not a Christian nation. If prostitution were legalized tommorrow in this country, there would be franchised brothels of every type you could imagine (and some Ms. MeganSnow that would probably make you blush). As with every other industry, I would hope they would be legally recognized.

Edited by argive99
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Errors which, as far as I can tell, weren't related to morality, but to the fact that no one is omniscient. These include: misjudging the character of someone. These are the only errors I refer to.

By moral perfection I mean the act of consistently acting on principle. This does not presuppose omniscience, but it does presuppose an immense capacity to keep your mind in focus, something Ayn Rand always displayed in all her public appearances.

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Or perhaps instead of dismissing them with the word "scum", I'd like arguments against their assertions. But you Mr. Zeus are so high and mighty living on Mt. Olympus and all that you can just fling a lightning bolt and lie back with a bear. It must be good to be you.

This is precisely what I am talking about: you're quick to defend the indefensible. But quicker to cut down the best young Objectivists who are trying their best to act morally, even if they have to try-and-err before getting it right.

Your venom is not for the enemies of reason but for it's most loyal, idealistic defenders. Is this moral?

And Mount Olympus is a nice place, man. You ought to visit sometime! :D

And, oh by the way, its been a while since I heard it, but Peikoff's story either came from his radio show (which would be my first guess - during a segment called the "philosopher's couch") or from a Q and A of one of his lectures (I believe the Memories of Ayn Rand one).

Ah, a conveniently obscure reference which cannot easily be verified. Very high scholarship, buddy. Perhaps, this is the SOLO standard?

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Errors which, as far as I can tell, weren't related to morality, but to the fact that no one is omniscient.  These include: misjudging the character of someone.  These are the only errors I refer to.

By moral perfection I mean the act of consistently acting on principle.  This does not presuppose omniscience, but it does presuppose an immense capacity to keep your mind in focus.

You mean errors of knowledge. Good.

This satisfies me. We must be careful not to grant the enemy any ground.

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Great point. Yes, of course, errors of knowledge. I should know better than to be ambiguous with regard to that topic. Thanks for pushing me for clarification. I hate it when people use things like errors of knowledge as claims to immorality, especially when it involves our teacher.

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I guess I'll throw in my 2 cents.

I used to watch porn all the time, until I got my current girlfriend who laid down the law on that one.  Man has sexual desires and it is psychologically healthy to satisfy them.  If a man has no legitimate outlet for sexual frustration, porn is an acceptable alternative.

Yes but a girl who required me to stop watching porn would make me suspicious. Personally, I have had some great memories of sharing porn with my ex-girlfriends. It facilitated some great "fantasy sex." So again, what's wrong with porn if used like that? Also, a girl that would require me to abandon porn would be very naive about male sexuality. Men are far more visual than women (for refferrences for this all I will say is that I have read it countless times from many different scientific sources, you can believe or disbelieve it if you want). I know I am. Visual imagery is important and porn provides great visual imagery.

For example, I might tell a girlfriend, I want you to wear this type of high-heeled shoe, or wear this type of garter belt or this type of neglige or this nurses outfit or this cheerleader suit, etc. And then I might say I want to do it in this position or swing from that chandelier, or use this gynecological chair, etc.. You get the point. Well porn has given me these ideas. So to me it has contributed greatly to my sexuality and thus my enjoyment on this earth. If a girl wanted me to abandon that, I would resent her (and at this point in my life, I'd tell her to take a hike).

This is my fear with Objectivist women and why I have not dated one. That I will suggest that she wear such and such an outfit and have sex with me in such and such position just like I saw in a porno film and then have her lecture me that I am "an immoral value betraying pervert" and not a true Objectivist.

Honestly, who needs the headaches?

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This is precisely what I am talking about: you're quick to defend the indefensible.  But quicker to cut down the best young Objectivists who are trying their best to act morally, even if they have to try-and-err before getting it right.

This is an overly kind description. There may be many fine young Objectivists, but there are just as many role playing punks as well. Deny it if you wish. Also nice attempt at intimidation to suggest that I am attacking the good for the being the good. Am I not also good? Am I not also worthy of the title "idealistic" supporter? I've defended Ayn Rand in countless more forums than these young Objectivists you're defending. So I may chose a different social life than you. I could argue that I am the far more integrated Objectivist.

But this is pointless. You're Zeus almighty! And one with such high standards of scholarship. Right, another role playing young Objectivist with a John Galt complex.

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[..]Well porn has given me these ideas. So to me it has contributed greatly to my sexuality and thus my enjoyment on this earth. If a girl wanted me to abandon that, I would resent her (and at this point in my life, I'd tell her to take a hike).

This is my fear with Objectivist women and why I have not dated one. That I will suggest that she wear such and such an outfit and have sex with me in such and such position just like I saw in a porno film and then have her lecture me that I am "an immoral value betraying pervert" and not a true Objectivist.

Since you've never dated an Objectivist woman, what evidence do you have that the scenario you have described above is truly the case?

(And mind you, even with your list above, your sexual experience does not compare with mine. Very few men my age can. I am 31 and have only been in Objectivism for 5 years. I had "achieved notoriety" before returning to the proper human height.)

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But this is pointless. You're Zeus almighty! And one with such high standards of scholarship.

Absolutely! I don't do SOLO - I've got better things to do with my time.

Right, another role playing young Objectivist with a John Galt complex.

You are sooo wrong, you wouldn't even believe it. But, like I said, anyone who dines with the misguided will certainly lose his way.

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If a girl wanted me to abandon that, I would resent her (and at this point in my life, I'd tell her to take a hike).

It's okay for you to make the requirements of a relationship known (like what aptitude with what sexual maneuvers are necessary to be a participant), and to terminate the relationship if they are not acknowledged. However, I don't think you should resent someone who decides not to go along with it. Are you diminished as a result of their decision? The quality of a bag of sugar is not an issue if the user actually wanted flour.

This is my fear with Objectivist women and why I have not dated one. That I will suggest that she wear such and such an outfit and have sex with me in such and such position just like I saw in a porno film and then have her lecture me that I am "an immoral value betraying pervert" and not a true Objectivist.

Look, there are not that many Objectivists, let alone Objectivist women in this world. If the Objectivist women you meet aren't interested in wearing the "fun suit," it might be for reasons other than their philosophy. There just aren't enough of them around to have the variety of tastes that might match up with yours.

The "immoral value betraying pervert" part seems uncharacteristic of Objectivism anyways. Would I be writing vicious libel by saying that Ayn Rand liked sex? It's nothing to be ashamed of.

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Since you've never dated an Objectivist woman, what evidence do you have that the scenario you have described above is truly the case?

(And mind you, even with your list above, your sexual experience does not compare with mine.  Very few men my age can.  I am 31 and have only been in Objectivism for 5 years.  I had "achieved notoriety" before returning to the proper human height.)

This is probably something we shouldn't talk about on this forum, but unless you are a porno star yourself, I'd say the best you could hope for is a tie. I'm 30 and despite being an Objectivist for a decade, I have never pursued a true long term relationship for my own reasons. I have lived in Japan and the Phillipines for two years. If you know anything about those countries then you'll know that having sex with two or three girls every night is relatively easy and inexpensive (especially if you're a decent looking American with money not to mention good looking). Not only that, I have lived in Brazil for eight months and vacation there frequently. Brazilian women are sexually insane. If you're not in shape, having sex with a Brazilian woman could be dangerous.

Anyway the point in all this is that I am not only experienced, but that experience is geocentric. One day I may chose to write a book on the subject, because I actually think that there are important lessons that I could share, even to those who would find my lifestyle abhorrent. But despite my sexual activity, I consider myself as Objectivist as any of these fine upstanding young Objectivists we're talking about. Non injurious, consensual sexual pleasure is a value of mine and I pursue it, knowing very well that some day I will want a sexually exclusive romantic relationship. But not today.

This puritanical element to certain Objectivists view of sex bothers me. And I find that most ironically, it comes from the young. Older Objectivists that I have met at conferrences and seminars usually don't have any "hang-ups" with sex. And I'd remind everyone that Dagny Taggert herself had sex with three men in Atlas Shrugged. And that was the 50's. Imagine how scandelous that must have been. My point, Ayn Rand herself was not a prude. I don't think she would be so quick to dismiss someone based soley on their social life.

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Absolutely!  I don't do SOLO - I've got better things to do with my time.

You are sooo wrong, you wouldn't even believe it.  But, like I said, anyone who dines with the misguided will certainly lose his way.

And the funny thing is that I don't like SoloHQ. I think that on average their understanding of Objectivism is far outstripped by the average ARI defender. But they raise questions that should be raised, the same questions that someone on this board will simply say are "illigitimate". So I frequently ask those questions or raise those points as with Barbara Branden and her mother or Chriss Scaibarra and his political essays. I know they are wrong but I want to hear good arguments against them so as to make my own understanding that much stronger. There's an old experession, "keep your enemies close and your friends even closer." I think you get the point. Or maybe you don't, I dont know.

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This is probably something we shouldn't talk about on this forum, but unless you are a porno star yourself, I'd say the best you could hope for is a tie.

Well, I've never been in porn, but if that's what you do for a living....

I'm 30 and despite being an Objectivist for a decade, I have never pursued a true long term relationship for my own reasons.

You mean you've been familiar with Ayn Rand's work for a decade. Don't give yourself a label unless it fits.

I have enough experience to know that anyone who hasn't pursued a long-term relationship in some way (even if just for a year), if such a path has been somewhat available, and is having a lot of sex, is dropping standards. It just can't be done otherwise. I've dated graduate degree holders with rather rational approaches to life and even they still ultimately revealed some trait that either made me catch a contradiction in my own behavior or see one in theirs.

The truth is, one can't sleep with a large number of women without overlooking character flaws. It's impossible. I've never seen it done because it can't be done.

I have lived in Japan and the Phillipines for two years. If you know anything about those countries then you'll know that having sex with two or three girls every night is relatively easy and inexpensive (especially if you're a decent looking American with money not to mention good looking). Not only that, I have lived in Brazil for eight months and vacation there frequently. Brazilian women are sexually insane. If you're not in shape, having sex with a Brazilian woman could be dangerous.

I'm not even American. I'm black African, over 6 feet tall, and have lived on three continents, so you go and do the math. For everything you saw in Brazil, I'll double it. And I haven't been inactive in the States, mind you.

But, this is neither here nor there. The fact is, bad company and bad ideas cannot be defended.

This puritanical element to certain Objectivists view of sex bothers me. And I find that most ironically, it comes from the young. Older Objectivists that I have met at conferrences and seminars usually don't have any "hang-ups" with sex. And I'd remind everyone that Dagny Taggert herself had sex with three men in Atlas Shrugged. And that was the 50's. Imagine how scandelous that must have been. My point, Ayn Rand herself was not a prude. I don't think she would be so quick to dismiss someone based soley on their social life.

There you go again. Rather than master the philosophy to its roots in epistemology, you delight in pointing out how rationalistic some young Objectivists can be and how the mainstream folks ain't bad.

You tell me, when you were 20, did you know all that you now know sexually? If not, why attack these young people instead of benevolently advising them? I suspect that you may have great potential but you're trying to justify a life on the edge. That can be the only reason why the SOLO folks have any appeal.

Edited by Zeus
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And the funny thing is that I don't like SoloHQ.

Then why do you grant them sanction?

There are many other respectable places where ideas opposed to Objectivism are raised. Why not go to these places? Why is it those who deny basic philosophic facts with the most brazen dishonesty that you bring here? those who denigrate Ayn Rand? Surely, if you know anything about fact and value, i.e. metaphysics, epistemology and ethics, in Objectivism, you must know that such behavior is despicable.

There's an old experession, "keep your enemies close and your friends even closer." I think you get the point. Or maybe you don't, I dont know.

This old expression is directly opposed to the Objectivist ethics at root: to keep one's enemies close is to grant them sanction.

Responding to ideational contestants is a different matter. You cannot lump the two together into any subjectivist package-deal. it won't work here.

If you know you are sincere, master the methodology thoroughly. Ask questions of leading Objectivist intellectuals and stay away from confirmed vermin.

Anything else would be disingenuous.

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Great point.  Yes, of course, errors of knowledge.  I should know better than to be ambiguous with regard to that topic.  Thanks for pushing me for clarification.  I hate it when people use things like errors of knowledge as claims to immorality, especially when it involves our teacher.

No problem, Felipe. Always glad to be useful.

Edited by Zeus
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Oops.  This is a mistake on my part.  I confuse legality with ethics occasionally because people who feel that something is unethical often strive to make it illegal. 

This is a common error that a lot of people make especially when talking to Objectivists. This issue is fresh in my ahead with talk of a statewide smoking ban in "places of business" in Colorado. It is amazing how many people will abandon principles they claim to hold because they are for/against something concrete that contradicts them.

This strikes me as petty and inane.  I'm not sure why you would even bother making this kind of statement, except as a joke or an introduction to your own personal tastes or...what?  I guess I shouldn't have asked if I didn't want an opinion, but could you follow this up with something more substantial?

This follows from the point you made about judging someone's character solely from their actions. You said, "a person is not their actions," but you asked for a character judgement based solely on the action of a couple selling videos of themselves having sex. And it wasn't even a specific couple, just a generalization. What kind of response did you expect?

As for my personal opinion, I could conceive filming myself having sex with my girlfriend, but the film is sure as hell not something I would want to share with anyone else, let alone market on the internet. I have trouble understanding why anyone would want to do such a thing.

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This thread has gotten insane, I suggest you guys stop comparing the size of each other's you know what, grab onto a worthy topic and stick to it. Gratuitous discussion of your sexual escapades adds nothing in philosophical substance to, and in fact devalues, this forum. I ask you to knock it off.

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This thread has gotten insane, I suggest you guys stop comparing the size of each other's you know what, grab onto a worthy topic and stick to it.  Gratuitous discussion of your sexual escapades adds nothing in philosophical substance to, and in fact devalues, this forum.  I ask you to knock it off.

Well, if you read my posts closely, you'd see that I am not so interested in "showing off" as trying to knock the modern-day "empiricist" argument that one can divorce the moral from the practical. There is nothing gratituitous about my posts, and by labelling them so, you are morally equating me with argive99, which is absurd.

I don't know if you can see this issue from the standpoint I do, so perhaps there is a problem there. I only have one or two lines about sex, and they are merely allusions not descriptions. Do not sour the good faith I've held you in.

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Don't give yourself a label unless it fits. 

No, I am a dyed in the wool Objectivist. My sexual escapades do not negate that. If being an Objectivist meant having boring missionary position sex with only one partner for the rest of your life, than I wouldn't be one. But it doesn't, despite some of the nonsense you read on internet forums.

As for sundering the practical from the moral, I haven't done that. I fully believe in the Objectivist view on romance and expect at some point in my life to put it into action. The fact that I have chosen to spend my youth being sexually verile and active was made in accordance with my nature; an extremely testosterone filled alpha male with an overactive sex drive coupled with my awareness of the legal corruption of the institution of marriage which in my opinion has become a welfare system which siphons off the wealth of the male to his wife. And unfortunately, I have never really met a woman I have fully trusted. Maybe I'm too bitter and I am sure there are better women out there (allthough I doubt they are North American, I *am* American and I will go on record as saying that on average, North American women are the most spoiled, insensitive, narcissistic women on the planet; and if you check the written record, Ayn Rand herself made that same observation about 30 years ago; she said it somewhere, look it up), but those are my observations.

As for promiscuity, I don't think its immoral. It could be, but it doesn't have to be. Casual sex can be a rational value depending on the circumstances. I have had some amazing one or two week relationships (to use the term) that were incredibly romantic, sexual, erotic, exciting and tender. They just didn't last. But both parties knew it was temporary and both parties enjoyed it to the max while it lasted. Both parties received a short term benefit to their lives. It may have been a largely physical one, but we are creatures of the flesh as well as the spirit. If that makes me not an Objectivist, then so be it. But no one has convinced me that that is the case. If fact, I think that my attitude is better. It takes real life experience into account and recognizes that there is a context to a person's life. There are things a man is capable of doing at 20 and there are things he is not ready for until 30, 40 or later. A long term relationship is one of them.

And Zeus, as for not equating yourself with me or putting me on your level. Drop it. Intellectually, I fear no one on this earth, and from what I've read of your posts, that includes you.

And for the record, I've heard crazy stories about sex and Africa, so I admit you may have quite a track record. But still, I'd put my Brazillian goratas and little Pinay girls up against anything you could muster. I still think the best you could hope for is a tie.

My apologies if I offended the delicate sensitivities of those too noble to have a good time.

Edited by argive99
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