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How women made porn fashionable

Porn is becoming a new ideal and value for young girls. And women are responsible.

Women are consuming and endorsing porn such as ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ -- a book recognized as ‘mommy porn.’ Poorly written, it is not a how-to-manual and it’s not poetic erotica.

Pulp/romance novels transformed into a new genre embracing porn as literature - explicitly sexual scenes featuring bondage/discipline, dominance/submission and sadism/masochism.

More than 20 million copies have sold in the US (40 million worldwide), and it is yet another example of the way porn is becoming more than socially acceptable amongst women. Moreover, it is becoming an aspirational target for women.

Women and the media have linked consuming porn or behaving like a porn actress with instant money, fame, power, glamour, prestige, respectability and social acceptability. In other words, if you become a porn actress or behave like one, you will triumph with all of these things.

Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian became famous and rich for making a sex tape, and they spun off empires of TV shows, fashion lines, perfumes and paid appearances. The message is: one leads to the other. But it is women who made Kardashian famous. And it is women who have become the fans and consumers of everything Kardashian and books such as Fifty Shades of Grey.

Using sex for money and fame, women have found a new way to feel powerful and secure without a man or even necessarily a family – Octomom has openly become a porn actress and stripper.

Mothers, too, are now sexualizing their daughters and dressing them up as sexual candy for the world. Lindsay Jackson dressed her 5-year-old, Madisyn ‘Maddy’ Verst, in a sexy police uniform and a Dolly Parton outfit complete with padded breasts and padded backside for a TV reality show.  And Jessica Simpson dressed her 4-month-old girl in bikinis.

Porn could never have become mainstream and socially acceptable without the support and endorsement by women. In human behavior, we call this ‘the law of frequency’ -- the more often two things are linked, the more powerful that association becomes until they become inseparable. And women and the media have linked consuming porn or behaving like a porn actress with instant money, fame, power, glamour, prestige, respectability and social acceptability. In other words, if you become a porn actress or behave like one, you will triumph with all of these things.

Accordingly, girls are more fascinated and driven by the desire to become famous than they are to become an engineer, doctor or scientist: Kim Kardashian has 14 million followers on Twitter.Thus, women are creating new values and morality promoting money, power and glamour as more important than intelligence, achievement, motherhood or contribution. Studies reveal that female college students are more narcissistic than males. And teenage girls are now also becoming fans of porn actors such as 26-year-old James Deen.

The paradox is that women are becoming more educated than men as women surpass men in attendance and graduation rates – for every two men who get a college degree, three women will do also. But, women are failing to realize the dangers of falling for porn or promoting porn as the new fashionable profession and path to fame, riches and glory. This is the antithesis of female empowerment as MTV, Kim Kardashian and Octomom are teaching young girls to gain power over men by using sex. 

Women have now created false empty idols and have lost their real sense of self-worth, value and significance, replacing it with fleeting pseudo-power and artificial values and relationships, leaving them feeling unfulfilled and unsatisfied.

I appeal to women to beware of being deceived and betrayed into the world of porn and sexual objectification the same way that women were tricked into smoking cigarettes in the 1920s.

In April 1929, a PR expert, Edward Bernays, working for a US tobacco company, hired young models to march in the New York City parade and alerted the press that they were fighting for women’s rights by lighting "Torches of Freedom" as they lit up and smoked cigarettes. The media publicized the event and it helped to break the taboo against women smoking in public. In the same way, women today are using porn as a misguided attempt to gain power and freedom, and to become more powerful and independent. And they are only betraying and fooling themselves.

Pornography is much more than a moral or social issue.

Renowned physicist, psychiatrist, and psychoanalyst Dr. Jeffrey Satinover says porn is “a form of heroin, hundred times more powerful than before.” Forensic psychologist, M. Douglas Reed and renowned pharmacologist Candace Pert reveal that pornography is like a drug that triggers the brain to release a psychopharmacological flood of “epinephrine, testosterone, endorphins (endogenous morphine), oxytocin, dopamine, serotonin, and phenyethylamine,” which can lead to addiction and various other behavioral disorders.  

Gail Dines, professor of sociology and women's studies and chairwoman of the American Studies Department at Wheelock College in Boston, has written about and researched the porn industry for over two decades. Professor Dines, author of “Pornland: How Porn Has Hijacked Our Sexuality,” believes porn is a public health issue with documented negative effects on young people, distorting "the way women and girls think about their bodies, their sexuality and their relationships."

Pornography is equally damaging to adult relationships and social bonds – men are struggling to develop close, intimate relationships with real women with some men now preferring porn to sex with an actual human being.

Bottom line: porn does not promote love or sex but rather cruelty and hatred to women, and so, while women continue to endorse and make porn fashionable or a new ideal, they are foolishly robbing themselves and undermining all of the positive strides and triumphs they have made in their quest for equality.

Patrick Wanis, PhD, human behavior and relationship expert. For more visit: www.patrickwanis.com. Follow him on Twitter@behavior_expert.