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Porn - Why all the hate?

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... which is exactly what one does when one "gets off" with porn, because the femininity a man sees in pornography-- the object of his sexual desire -- is disintegrated from the woman who could reflect his own highest values in himself.  This is why the women in porn are just "pieces of meat".

So, TomL, how would you respond to my post above about Ayn Rand giving a lengthy interview in a magazine whose mission was clearly to help heterosexual men "get off" on pictures of naked women?

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When I got my copy, I started at page 1 and flipped through the entire magazine. Let me tell you, there's nothing to gaze at--except the Ayn Rand interview. The women in this particular edition are almost entirely clothed. You will catch a bare boob here and there, but that's it! And there is a serious lack of pictures, compared to Playboy today.

No sweaty, completely naked girls of the Big Ten throwing footballs to each other in 15-page full-color pictorials. Nothing very sexy or stimulating--unless of course you are an out-of-control testosterone-driven teenage boy hungry for 1964 boob shots obscured by shadows.

I fully agree about the changes in Playboy over the past forty years. But in 1964 with no readily available competition, Playboy was in fact quite stimulating to American men in search of female flesh. Furthermore, although mild by today's standards, the nudie pics of 1964 were still designed (in TomL’s inspired phrase) to help heterosexual men “get off” on women in a way that “disintegrates” the object of desire from “the woman who could reflect his own highest values in himself.” So we are left to wonder: would Ayn Rand have consented to appear in a publication if she considered its primary feature (naked gals for prurient minds) immoral or something that Objectivist men in good standing should avert their eyes from?

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Sex has its own spirituality.  Period.

No act involving physical pleasure can be without a reference to self-esteem. 

Do you not see the contradiction inherent in these two statements?

If sex has its own spirutuality, then that means its spirituality has nothing to do with anything else other than sex. How then, is sex integrated with self-esteem?

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So, TomL, how would you respond to my post above about Ayn Rand giving a lengthy interview in a magazine whose mission was clearly to help heterosexual men "get off" on pictures of naked women?

I think Ayn Rand used the media willing to talk to her to present the right ideas, just as Dr. Brook will go on whatever TV show will have him, as long as he has an opportunity to state what is right, if not fully explain why. Ayn Rand was no more sanctioning Playboy that Dr. Brook sanctions the O'Reilly Factor.

I think you answered your own question best when you said "Rand and editor Hugh Hefner were each in her/his own way enemies of sexual prudery, and of the religious forces that fostered it."

There are some very relevant Q&A from that interview to the current discussion, also. To quote from that very interview (emphasis mine):

PLAYBOY: Where, would you say, should romantic love fit into the life of a rational person whose single driving passion is work?

RAND: It is his greatest reward.

PLAYBOY: You have denounced the puritan notion that physical love is ugly or evil; yet you have written that "Indiscriminate desire and unselective indulgence are possible only to those who regard sex and themselves as evil." Would you say that discriminate and selective indulgence in sex is moral?

RAND: I would say that a selective and discriminate sex life is not an indulgence. The term indulgence implies that it is an action taken lightly and casually. I say that sex is one of the most important aspects of man's life and, therefore, must never be approached lightly or casually. A sexual relationship is proper only on the ground of the highest values one can find in a human being. Sex must not be anything other than a response to values. And that is why I consider promiscuity immoral. Not because sex is evil, but because sex is too good and too important.

PLAYBOY: Does this mean, in your view, that sex should involve only married partners?

RAND: Not necessarily. What sex should involve is a very serious relationship.

PLAYBOY: As one who champions the cause of enlightened self-interest, how do you feel about dedicating one's life to hedonistic self-gratification?

RAND: I am profoundly opposed to the philosophy of hedonism.

PLAYBOY: Isn't the individual equipped with powerful, nonrational biological drives?

RAND: He is not. A man is equipped with a certain kind of physical mechanism and certain needs, but without any knowledge of how to fulfill them. For instance, man needs food. He experiences hunger. But, unless he learns first to identify this hunger, then to know that he needs food and how to obtain it, he will starve. The need, the hunger, will not tell him how to satisfy it. Man is born with certain physical and psychological needs, but he can neither discover them nor satisfy them without the use of his mind. Man has to discover what is right or wrong for him as a rational being. His so-called urges will not tell him what to do.

Playboy interview of Ayn Rand, 1964.

This last Q&A, in particular, applies directly to sex and hence also to masturbation.

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Do you not see the contradiction inherent in these two statements?

If sex has its own spirutuality, then that means its spirituality has nothing to do with anything else other than sex.  How then, is sex integrated with self-esteem?

:) No. If you say that something has spirituality, it is assumed that there are people involved, and that self-esteem is integrated. When I said it had its own spirituality (in context, a spirituality apart from love), I did not imply that the act somehow was conscious and capable of possessing its own domain isolated from the rest of reality.

This last Q&A, in particular, applies directly to sex and hence also to masturbation.

So she tells us our biological urges do not tell us what to do, and that we are rational. Curious how she uses hunger as an example of an urge. I thought you said that sex cannot be compared to food.

Edited by The Passion of the Koresh
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I did not imply that the act somehow was conscious and capable of possessing its own domain isolated from the rest of reality.

I wasn't suggesting that you said that. I was asking if you are saying that the self-esteem one celebrates when having sex has nothing to do with the self-esteem one gains from efficacy as man qua man, but only from one's "efficacy" at what.. sex? You're good at sex, so that gives you the esteem you celebrate in having sex? If not, where does this esteem come from?

So she tells us our biological urges do not tell us what to do, and that we are rational.  Curious how she uses hunger as an example of an urge.  I thought you said that sex cannot be compared to food.

What I disagreed with before was the direct comparison between the emotional payback of eating a bag of chips and having sex. The two are not emotionally equivalent. Ayn Rand is using food & hunger to illustrate that urges do not tell you how to satisfy them, which is a different comparison altogether. She could just as easily have made this comparison using any metaphysically-sourced desire other than hunger.

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I wasn't suggesting that you said that.  I was asking if you are saying that the self-esteem one celebrates when having sex has nothing to do with the self-esteem one gains from efficacy as man qua man, but only from one's "efficacy" at what.. sex?  You're good at sex, so that gives you the esteem you celebrate in having sex?   If not, where does this esteem come from?

You are worth someone else's time, and have pleasure to give someone else that they value. This is the self-esteem gained. The self-esteem you have already is celebrated when you make the presumption that you are worthy of the pleasure you experience.

What I disagreed with before was the direct comparison between the emotional payback of eating a bag of chips and having sex.  The two are not emotionally equivalent.  Ayn Rand is using food & hunger to illustrate that urges do not tell you how to satisfy them, which is a different comparison altogether.  She could just as easily have made this comparison using any metaphysically-sourced desire other than hunger.

So the comparison between the urges is okay, but not comparing the pleasures associated with their fulfillment? If this is the case, then you might as well scrap this comparison, since we're talking about the pleasure.

Edited by The Passion of the Koresh
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I know this thread is becoming dense (and off the topic of pornography, specifically), so I may end up creating a thread that deals with specifically some of my concerns. But for now, I shall go on.

Ever the fan of attacking arguments on their very first premises, I shall begin how I should have began at the, uh, beginning. :thumbsup:

Lets define some things. Because I plan to be perfectly rational and cut through all the crap that comes with other people's definitions, mistaken definitions, culturally charged words, and everything else obstructive to rational thought, I will create my own (for the purpose of this discussion ONLY; I'm not a fan of arbitrary neologisms, either, and I don't need to see what Rand thinks about them... heh, because I know).

If anyone else would like to discuss this specific topic (on the explicit meaning of sex, and all it entails), let me know, I think starting another thread would probably be appropriate and necessary to get a rigorous treatment of the subject.

DEFINITIONS

The act of putting one's penis into another person's vagina/anus or having another person's penis put into one's own vagina/anus (depending on one's sexual orientation) ought to be represented by one word. Because it is highly descriptive the word PENETRATION can be used to define this act. Note that this act implies no intention on behalf of the actors, that is, there need not be any emotional or intellectual connection (rational or irrational) for PENETRATION to occur. It is just one chunk of flesh in another.

(Note: I know, by using 'penetration', I've given short shrift to lesbians, and this is not my intent, on a personal or philosophical level. It's just that penetration was far too descriptive and inclusive of most (2/3 to be exact: man-woman and man-man) of nature's sexual relations for me not to use it. Possibly INTERCOURSE is a better term, I'd have to think about it.)

Then there is SEX-1, as defined by the Lexicon:

"Sex is a physical capacity, but its exercise is determined by man's mind--by his choice of values, held consciously or subconsciously. To a rational man, sex is an expression of self-esteem--a celebration of himself and of existence."

I assume that the referent of "physical capacity" is PENETRATION. SEX-1, practiced by a rational men and women (according to the Objectivist canon, as represented by the Lexicon), is PENETRATION accompanied by the celebration of a rational set of values, etc. etc.

Finally, there is SEX-N. By this I mean all that is included in the Lexicon definition except for the association of the "expression of self-esteem" with PENETRATION. More simply, SEX-N is the physical expression of one's self-esteem with one or more other individuals. I created this definition because I do not believe there is a sound argument for why PENETRATION is the proper physical expression, and why the notion of celebration of one's life must be limited to one other person (is the human mind constructed so as to only, rationally, allow monogamy? If you think so, you have a tough psychological and philosophical case to make, and I'm interested in your evidence!).

ARGUMENT, VIA QUESTIONING

Aside from the fact that "it's always occurred" (AKA, "it's always been that way", AKA "tradition/the past says that's how it is"; which is also a completely unphilosophical argument), I see absolutely no reason why PENETRATION has to be the physical capacity, as discussed in the Lexicon. Moreover, even if I assume that for some reason (which has not yet been given) a rational person ought to want to connect his or her intellectual pleasure to a physical activity, for what reason must this physical activity be PENETRATION?

This is to say, even if I grant that rational men and women should connect their values to the physical world via some sensory experience (for what reason must this be the case? blank out), by what path of conscious reflection will one conclude that the proper senso-physical activity is PENETRATION?

I posit that there is nothing about human nature that necessitates a connection between the "celebration of life's greatest values between two individuals", on one hand, and the successful combination of penises, vaginas, and/or anuses, on the other. I think it is far more likely (along with being more plausible and defensible) that the role of those physical organs in reproduction is the true reason they have been singled out, traditionally, to represent the the physical extensions of SEX-N. I also strongly believe that if one approaches the subject without any of the cultural, traditional, and historical baggage that so often accompanies it, it would be apparent that the coupling of "PENETRATION between only two individuals" and "the celebration of one's life and values" is as arbitrary as "blue for boys" and "pink for girls"; nothing about human nature, inherently (or in proper context), proves that there cannot be some other physical expression of one's self-esteem with one or more other individuals.

We (Objectivists and rational thinkers) have made great headway on the subject of homosexuality* and I think there are similarly large steps to be made on the subject of sexuality in general.

*I am assuming rational people recognize that any specific sexual orientation is not inherently right or wrong, that it must be judged (depending on the scientific research) either as a biologically determined fact or an individually made choice, and if the latter, it must be evaluated on the personal basis. It will be no surprise that I find anti-homosexuality to be an utterly absurd position, but of course my emotions are irrelevant to the discussion, and I'll proudly back them up with rational argument.

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A lot to comment on here. TomL is doing a good enough job with most of it that I don't have much to add. Kudos, man.

Currence: You claim that sex does not give you the highest pleasure in your life. I submit that this MUST mean something is wrong.

Either something is biologically wrong with you, or you are not properly having sex: either spiritually speaking (i.e. you have selected a less-than-perfect mate from a values standpoint), or physically speaking (you or your mate need some... er... instruction on technique).

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  • 2 months later...
I completely agree with your premise.  People have various underlying reasons for their actions.  And we can all agree that people do consume porn for self-distructive reasons.  My question would be... why assert that all people consume it for these reasons?  Perhaps in the lectures you suggested there is more detail than what I found in OPAR.

Perhaps I should have asked this question as a hypothetical, as to avoid being the object of the discussion.  I guess it's too late now...

As a male, I have a set of instinctual desires which act as a force on my mind.  Examples of these would be consuming food, copulation, urination, defecating, and breathing.  Each of these desires serve my physical bodies needs and are coupled with a pleasurable reward for addressing them.

Peikoff very correctly states that human beings get a great deal more joy out of enhancing these experiences of pleasure with contributions from our mind, with his analogy of gnawing on raw meat in a cave vs. eating at a fine restaurant.  Therefore he explains that romantic love makes sex so much more than just the primal act of mating.  (again, if you guys need direct quotes and page numbers I'll drop the subject and come back when I have them)

As a man however, my sexual instincts differ slightly from that of women.  Mine encourage me to spread my seed over many partners, which directly contradicts a women's instinct to find a single mate.  Because of this I will always have a somewhat contradictory value system with a female mate.  Contradictions which are an impediment to the perfectly corresponding values which I need to feel romantic love.

Pornography enables me to address the instinct that encourages me to cheat on my girlfriend with attractive women who I share no values with.  Therefore, I like pornography because it allows me to indulge an instinct that would have dramatically poor consequences in my life if I obeyed it.

I somewhat identify with you here, because I love porn as well and don't find any reason to hold it as immoral. However, since it is an unresolved issue in my mind, I am trying not to view any pornography until I have made a decision. Here is what I think at the moment:

You are wrong that you have an "instinct" to copulate with multiple partners. Humans, being volitional, do not have instincts. An instinct is an influence forced onto ones actions. A free volition cannot be forced. What you mean when you say this is that you and your body both know it is desirable to mate with multiple partners. You claim that the viewing of pornography is a substitute, in order to avoid cheating on your girlfriend, which would be a contradiction of your convictions.

But your viewing pornography is a contradiction, because you have admitted (between the lines, at least) that you have an "instinctive" desire to copulate with multiple partners! Have you investigated why this desire exists, and why pornography specifically serves as a substitute for this desire?

I think that the purpose of pornography is simply, well, sexual arousal. Is that not a valid value? For some people it is a method of evading ones low self-esteem. For those who treat the issue correctly, porn is simply a method of attaining pleasure, akin to eating especially tasty food or watching a movie just for enjoyment value. The snag I hit when thinking about the subject is whether or not I am sanctioning the immoral actions of porn stars by way of viewing their products. If it is wrong to create porn, is it also wrong to watch it?

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The snag I hit when thinking about the subject is whether or not I am sanctioning the immoral actions of porn stars by way of viewing their products. If it is wrong to create porn, is it also wrong to watch it?

Would you be able to watch it if you lived alone on an island cut off from the world? Would you be able to watch it if you lived on an island in the company of only moral people?

If you were alone on the island, would you want some immoral people to arrive so they can create pornography for you to watch?

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I somewhat identify with you here, because I love porn as well and don't find any reason to hold it as immoral. However, since it is an unresolved issue in my mind, I am trying not to view any pornography until I have made a decision. Here is what I think at the moment:

You are wrong that you have an "instinct" to copulate with multiple partners. Humans, being volitional, do not have instincts. An instinct is an influence forced onto ones actions. A free volition cannot be forced. What you mean when you say this is that you and your body both know it is desirable to mate with multiple partners. You claim that the viewing of pornography is a substitute, in order to avoid cheating on your girlfriend, which would be a contradiction of your convictions.

But your viewing pornography is a contradiction, because you have admitted (between the lines, at least) that you have an "instinctive" desire to copulate with multiple partners! Have you investigated why this desire exists, and why pornography specifically serves as a substitute for this desire?

I think that the purpose of pornography is simply, well, sexual arousal. Is that not a valid value? For some people it is a method of evading ones low self-esteem. For those who treat the issue correctly, porn is simply a method of attaining pleasure, akin to eating especially tasty food or watching a movie just for enjoyment value. The snag I hit when thinking about the subject is whether or not I am sanctioning the immoral actions of porn stars by way of viewing their products. If it is wrong to create porn, is it also wrong to watch it?

For starters, kiddo, you shouldn't post things on the internet you usually wouldn't want people to know.

Also, you're a little misguided. Let me ask you a few questions:

What is the purpose of sex? Is it just physical pleasure, or the celebration of the achievement of value?

What kind of men are aroused by women of low moral character? Who are the type aroused by a woman's body instead of her mind? Obviously, one cannot come to know a woman's character through a pronographic medium, thats kind of the point. Its a way to let those too low to achieve the value of romantic love experience some kind of arousal. The person who takes pleasure in pornography is the same as a person taking money without earning it, its an ill-gotten value, one that hasn't been achieved but taken.

In short, it's a cop-out.

A person of high moral stature would not view pornography. It violates the very nature of sex by making it impersonal, why look for an intelligent lady when you can have a moronic bimbo who puts out? It's the same question.

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I think that the purpose of pornography is simply, well, sexual arousal. Is that not a valid value? For some people it is a method of evading ones low self-esteem. For those who treat the issue correctly, porn is simply a method of attaining pleasure, akin to eating especially tasty food or watching a movie just for enjoyment value.

It should go without saying that getting momentary pleasure out of something does not indicate its morality. If that was so, Objectivist ethics would be akin to hedonism. The question in this thread is ultimately: What are the long-term consequences in man's life when he truncates mind from body?

By the way, I may be late in saying this (or I may be repeating it), but I really don't care if there are people on this forum who think pornography and (consequently) prostitution are moral. But as a matter of honesty, I hope you aren't going around proclaiming this as the Objectivist view, since this clearly isn't true.

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Masturbation is enjoyable and hence so is pornography as a means to an end. I think that hardcore porn stars are particularly immoral - they certainly arent pursuing a rational career, but then neither is the average person who wastes his life doing a 9-5 job that he despises. At least the porn star is making better money.

Theres nothing wrong with pure pleasure as long as it doesnt have negative long term consequences. If you are claiming that masturbation somehow has bad effects on people, I would like some psychological studies to back this up rather than just arbitrary rationalisations.

Edited by Hal
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This long thread has many attempts to define porn. Here are some. Porn is ...

"... entertainment for the sole and exclusive purpose of sexual arousal."

"... entertainment for the sole and exclusive purpose of sexual arousal, containing graphic displays of sexual behavior."

"... sexually-explicit art that portrays sex as a purely physical activity devoid of mind"

"...sexually explicit media for the sole purpose of sexual arousal"

"...a form of media which contains a representation of the human body with the primary purpose of generating sexual arousal."

"... is a work of fiction, usually a movie, that contains a graphic depiction of the sexual act. By "graphic," I mean that it includes the intimate details that people normally prefer to keep private."

"...the depiction of sexual situations for the purpose of sexual arousal".

By all these, the Playboy nudes would be classified as porn.

Now, consider another example: Dominique's statue in "The Fountainhead". If the statue was not porn, then what distinguishes the statue from something like a Playboy nude? Is it the creator's purpose? Is it the method of execution? What?

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This long thread has many attempts to define porn.
Pornography was defined ostensively by Justice Potter Stewart of the Supreme Court in Jacobellis v. Ohio, 378 U.S. 184, 197 (1964) where he notes that "I know it when I see it". This was based in part on his extensive empirical research during WWII conducted by sailors in Casablanca; now, without going into the details, I've viewed some of the aforementioned filth and it is entirely tame, though still illegal to go around partially clad like that in Dayton. The definition of pornography is contextual, so in an earlier historical context, Lady Chatterly's Lover was porn whereas now it's required reading in English classes. Under contemporary standards, the crucial characteristics of porn are that it appeals to the prurient interest in sex, and is utterly without redeeming artistic, political, or scientific value, as judged by the average person including sensitive and insensitive adults. In my opinion, more empirical research is called for.
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a few loaded questions:

1) Surely all human actions can be tied to one's values, but isn't it a psychological question as to how sex is tied specifically to self-esteem and not a philsophical one?

2) Assuming the bond exists, how is this bond different from the bond between any other action and a man's self esteem?

3) Is the link inviolate and involuntary? Is it possible to use sex for the achievement of different values than as an expression of or an attempt to gain self-esteem? If not, why is this one act, different from all other acts?

4) Is it immoral to enjoy the performance of a (non-porn) actor who chose his profession because he seeks to gain self-esteem and the adoration of others?

5) Is enjoying pornography as a couple different than using it as visual stimulation for masturbation?

6) Assuming masturbation is not replacing real sex or real relationships, what is its relation to self-esteem?

7) Is there a moral difference between professionally acted porn and amateur porn?

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The title of this thread is "Pron - Why all the hate?" The discussion has become one involving the use of pornography to assist in masturbation. Questions related to two topics thus come to mind:

-Masturbation

-Pornography

The importance of having a definition for pornography has been discussed at length, but equally important is to discuss what masturbation is.

Suppose that we do have working definitions for "masturbation" and "porn," three questions come to mind:

1. Is masturbation ever moral?

2. Is the porn-creation process immoral?

3. Does volitionally engaging in activities (whether moral or immoral) involving man-made items created in an immoral fashion consist of sanctioning the immorality involved in creating these items?

I posit that masturbation is pleasuring one's self sexually. Sexual pleasure, however, is not like the pleasure of eating good food, as I've read here. Sexual pleasure, like all human pleasures, consists of two parts: a physical pleasure and an emotional pleasure. The extreme complexity of the emotional aspect (whether one acknowledges its existence or not) in sexual pleasure is what separates it from the pleasure of good food and other such purely or predominantly physical pleasures (though they all still contain ideas-based value judgements--all human pleasures are based on ideas-based value judgements, from taking an asprine for a headache to choosing your partner for sex).

The trouble with many who've posted here is that they approach sexual pleasure as some purely physical pleasure. If you actually think this is the case, try masturbating with only the thought of the physical pleasure you feel in your genitals in your mind; focus entirely on this thought and you shall see whether or not sexual pleasure is purely physical.

Now, since sexual pleasure is inherently emotional, at its core it is thus based on ideas; what one finds sexual pleasure in (the focus of one's emotions during the act, whether fantasy or partner or porn) is a reflection of the ideas you find noble, ideal, sacred--right.

So, then, is masturbation ever moral? Yes, it can be, but it isn't necessarily. Masturbation involves sexual pleasure, so it too involves a reflection of one's ideas. Masturbation is essentially a substitute for the person embodying the quality of character one finds appealing. So, then, judging the morality of masturbation involves essentially judging the nature of the fantasy one is focusing on when one masturbates. Is one picturing Dagny and all the ideas her character represents, or is one picturing Lillian and all the ideas her character represents?

A related question, though not important to this discussion, is whether or not masturbation is moral when one already has the presence of their ideal mate. Why use a substitute when you have the real thing right in front of you? The only answer I can think of is if one is in a relationship with someone non-ideal, but then this would beg the question: What are you doing with her in the first place?

Anyway, with the basis upon which to judge whether or not masturbation is moral or not, the next logical question is: Is masturbating with the use of pornography moral? Well, here again we have the issue of judging the content of one’s focus during the act of pleasuring one's self sexually. Does the fantasy involve imagining one’s self playing a role in the pornography one is viewing; does it involve having one’s way (sexually) with a woman who’s posing? If so, is one imagining the quality of character this woman represents, changing it, or mindlessly ignoring quality of character entirely? Many more questions come to mind, however since we seem to be having trouble with the term pornography, and as David pointed out porn is essentially contextual, I would try to judge on a case-by-case basis.

A second and important issue is whether or not the creation process of masurbatory visual aides is moral or not. If not, I consider use of such materials a sanction of the immorality necessary to create such materials.

For example, is using hardcore sexual videos where strangers engage in indiscriminate orgies and such for masturbation moral, created by an industry that predominatly preys on the foolishness of young girls looking to make a buc? The answer is trivial—not only is the act by which this porn was made immoral, but fantasizing about such a situation involving one’s self speaks volumes for the kind of ideas driving one’s sexual pleasure. However, is masturbating to the image of an attractive model in a confident pose, say, in Playboy Magazine, while superimposing the quality of character of one’s ideal mate onto her (in one’s head) moral? As long as one’s not choosing this fantasy over an actual, accessible, mate (one’s ideal mate), this is perfectly moral.

So, as I conclude this introspective exercise, I think that quibbling over a precise definition of pornography is tedious and actually unnecessary for our purpose, which is to ascertain the general principle whereby masturbation using visualization tools such as porn is to be judged moral or not. The appropriate questions to ask are: What is the nature of the fantasy you are employing to sexually please yourself, and, Are the tools you are using to assist your fantasy made possible by acts of immorality?

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I agree with Felipe, and I feel like I need to make an addendum to my last post. Pornography as such is not intrinsically immoral, but viewing hard core pornography like the kind Felipe alluded to ("hardcore sexual videos where strangers engage in indiscriminate orgies") is absolutely immoral, and does lead down a slippery slope to prostitution and promiscuity. Viewing pornographic mediums where the morality of the person is implied or can be imagined is healthy, keeping in mind that this is only fantasy.

To me this is a very Objectivist way of looking at things: It doesn't sacrifice the body to the mind (like the intrinsicist view that shuns sex) or the mind to the body (like the subjectivist view that devalues sex to the mere wriggling of flesh); it integrates mind and body.

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Ah, "pure pleasure" disconnected from the mind, as if such a thing exists. Even something as simple as taking pleasure from the food you eat involves a value judgement. Thanksgiving, for example, is one of the most enjoyable eating events because we celebrate the value of productivity, the pride we take in being able to provide this bounty. The pleasure from the feast is directly tied to ideas.

As I said, though, all pleasures involve a physical aspect to it in varying degrees. Therefore, nothing stops men from trying to act solely on this "pure physical pleasure" you speak of. Try and fail, as their life will no doubt be hell by disregarding value judgements and acting solely for "physical pleasure."

Take, for example, the Big Mac junky. He's attempting to ignore the value judgement in the act of eating and instead living for the sake of that "pure physical pleasure." But what is actually happening? In acting solely for the "physical pleasure," the junky is making a value judgement, the value judgement that his life's not worth the effort of taking action to sustain and further it; no, only that elusive "pure physical pleasure" is worth acting for.

Sure, men try all the time to live is a disintegrated monster, but they fail, because man's identity is unchanging, and trying to act in contradiction to it will only destroy him.

Sexual pleasure is at the top of a hierarchy of values ordered by degree of complexity. The cognitive aspects of sexual pleasure are profound. Living life, as with the Big Mac junky, trying to base your actions for the sake of that "pure physical pleasure," while disregarding the profound value judgement involved, is a terribly sad life to live.

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Sexual pleasure is at the top of a hierarchy of values ordered by degree of complexity.  The cognitive aspects of sexual pleasure are profound.  Living life, as with the Big Mac junky, trying to base your actions for the sake of that "pure physical pleasure," while disregarding the profound value judgement involved, is a terribly sad life to live.

So you are saying that a person such as Hugh Hefner is living a "terribly sad life"? He doesn't seem to think he is. Can you give me some kind of objective evidence that proves he is sad?

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