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Source: (consider it) Thread: Purgatory: Whats wrong with porn?
CrookedCucumber
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# 10792

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quote:
Originally posted by Mad Geo:
I wish Christians were forced to repeatedly read Song of Songs from cradle to grave.

I'd be inclined to agree, except that the problem with making Christians read the Song of Songs is that they tend to allegorize it away. I think there is an allegorizing tradition in Judaism as well. Were that not the case, I'm not sure the Song would have survived.

But, in my view, the people who got an erotic poem into the OT canon did us a bigger favour than they may have appreciated at the time.

I think it is quite wrong to say that Christians, as a whole, regard sex as dirty or sinful. The Christians I know are as enthusiastic about it as anybody else. More so, on balance, I would say. In fact, it seems that the early Christians were a pretty libidinous bunch, judging from the way St Paul had to keep nagging them about it.

As for pornography, I don't see that the ethical issue is exclusively a Christian one, or that Christians would necessarily find pornography more objectionable than anyone else. Surely the question, for the Christian as for anyone else, is whether the consumption of pornography has the potential to be harmful. If it is capable of souring human relationships, or encouraging people to treat each other in inhumane ways, or exposing people to health risks which they get no benefit from, then presumably pornography ought to be regarded as a Bad Thing.

I don't know whether pornography has any of these effects. My point is simply that I can't see why evaluating them requires dragging Christianity through the mud.

Posts: 2718 | From: East Dogpatch | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
Rat
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quote:
Originally posted by ananke:
quote:
Originally posted by RooK:
I think about a career with one of the highest rates of drug abuse and required counselling - commercial fishing - and I feel numbed.

Commercial fishing takes over you life. You're ruled by tides and weather and repaying the constant loans. You watch numbers until they're meaningless then work for 72 hours, come home to your kids snarling and drunk just so you can maybe sleep before the next round. You face the death of friends and family constantly as well.

I know this is a complete tangent, but I find this fascinating. I was talking to someone just the other day who came from a fishing town up north, and he said that the majority of his schoolfriends who had gone into the fishing industry were now alcoholic, on speed, on heroin, or on methadone treatment. And that serious drug addiction was more prevalent there than in the urban sink estates. He partly blamed the contrast between periods of extreme, often life threatening, stress and complete inactivity.

I was a bit dubious at the time, but you live and learn.

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It's a matter of food and available blood. If motherhood is sacred, put your money where your mouth is. Only then can you expect the coming down to the wrecked & shimmering earth of that miracle you sing about. [Margaret Atwood]

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Craigmaddie
c/o The Pickwick Club
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Rat, I've also heard that from people connected with the fishing industry in North Berwick. Drug use at home and out at sea is pretty endemic it seems.

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Via Veritas Vita

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The Lady of the Lake
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quote:
Originally posted by Kelly Alves:
I think this particular ploy is less about honest communication about attraction, and more about X man making sure woman X never feels good enough, so that X woman will not leave X man.

Absolutely. [Overused] That ploy starts long before you get to porn though, i.e. there might be warning signals on the way. It can start with the narcissism, insecurity and control-freakery of the particular man who does this sort of thing. The last guy who wanted a relationship with me was like this. Within 1/2 an hour of the first date he told me off for not smiling when I was visibly thinking about a question he'd asked me. (He said 'don't do that' and did an impression of me furrowing my brow, which is what I- and a heck of a lot of people - do naturally when we're thinking. It's not emotionally possible to think seriously and smile at the same time. Clearly I was making him insecure and rocking his self-esteem by not fixing an inane magazine-style grin on my face all through the first date . Dear oh dear. [Roll Eyes] ) Throughout the long w/e we spent together, he complained about little things of no real significance, all cosmetic.(I said nothing and made a mental note as I was still 'assessing' him.) These controlling behaviours were interspersed with compliments and (rather clinical) attempts to be affectionate. A week later I got rid of him and told him behaviours x, y and z were controlling and completely unacceptable. What a great feeling that was. [Big Grin]
Anyway, interspersed in his many controlling comments to me was one reference to 1970s soft porn (the music in the restaurant sounded like it, apparently: a tell-tale attempt to get me to accept his use of porn, I suspect). I made a mental note, raised an eyebrow and carried on eating. The funny thing was that he was very short for a man, so probably not going to 'measure up' to the 'standards' for men ! [Devil]

quote:
Originally posted by Lamb Chopped:
I don't think I want to be the kind of person I'd be if I used porn regularly. And I'm sure I wouldn't want to be married to that kind of person. So color me insecure. (And most of the women I know as well.)

On the contrary, saying clearly what you won't put up with in a marriage is a sign of security and a determination not to be used.

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If I had a coat, I would get it.

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Catrine
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quote:
Originally posted by Lamb Chopped:

This is going to sound totally goofy (blame it on the wine I'm having) but what would you think of a man who spent hours of his free time drooling over new car advertisements, week after week.... and drove a five-year-old car? Wouldn't you figure he was shopping? There are hobbyists, but even so.... And I've never met a hobbyist that, given enough money, wouldn't go for one of the beauties in the glossies in a heartbeat.

I disagree with this. I know some couples (married, unmarried and engaged also some Christian and non-Christian) who watch porn in their relationships. Doesn't mean that they are going to go stray and cheat on their partners. Yep, I do agree that sometimes, it can have adverse effects on individuals and individuals in a relationship, but this is not always the case. Many have said that this has been a positive experience.
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the_raptor
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quote:
Originally posted by The Lady of the Lake:
Anyway, interspersed in his many controlling comments to me was one reference to 1970s soft porn (the music in the restaurant sounded like it, apparently: a tell-tale attempt to get me to accept his use of porn, I suspect). I made a mental note, raised an eyebrow and carried on eating. The funny thing was that he was very short for a man, so probably not going to 'measure up' to the 'standards' for men ! [Devil]

1) Family friendly places playing cheesy 70's porn music is funny.

2) Height has nothing to do with penis size.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ron_jeremy

3) I know all this because I have watched this movie to many times.

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Mal: look at this! Appears we got here just in the nick of time. What does that make us?
Zoe: Big damn heroes, sir!
Mal: Ain't we just?
— Firefly

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ReginaShoe
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Would this be the place to note that there is some scientific data to support the conclusion that there are detrimental effects to porn viewing? Perhaps the best starting place now would be a journal article that brings together a whole bunch of the previous research:

Oddone-Paolucci, E., Genuis, M. & Violato, C. (2002?). A meta-analysis of the published research on the effects of pornography. Medicine, Mind and Adolescence.

I put a question mark by the year because it is either 2000 or 2002 - I have seen it cited both ways, and I don't have access to the journal myself. But even before this analysis of the whole body of research, I was aware of multiple studies that found that men were more likely to agree with the "rape myth" (women secretly want to be raped and enjoy it, and/or bring it on themselves) after exposure to pornography. This analysis also mentions a connection to excessive masturbation and problems in intimate relationships.

After this study came out, it was picked up by a (very) few mainstream news sources and a fair number of conservative Christian "media watch" type organizations. From what I have seen, one of the authors (Violato) has made some strong statements about pornography that would seem to undermine his credibility, perhaps playing to the latter organizations in order to raise the profile of the study. However, I happened across his vita while trying to find the article and it seems sound and not especially agenda-driven.

It is actually interesting that this didn't get more widespread news coverage. Even if the meta-analysis is not the greatest work in and of itself, the many studies whose data were used for it still exist and comprised some 12,000 participants, so doesn't seem likely to be THAT off the mark.

But then, there was a fascinating article in American Psychologist some years ago that included both a meta-analysis of the enormous body of studies linking viewing of video violence with increased aggression, and an analysis of how this link was reported in the mainstream media. Unlike other connections that were statistically similar (tobbacco use with lung cancer, fatty diet with heart disease, condom use with reduction in risk of HIV infection), while the data supporting the connection got stronger, the media reporting got more equivocal. The authors also reported anecdotes of many failed attempts to get an accurate portrayal of the connection reported in newsmagazines. The fact that some of the same conglomerates that produce the news also make a tidy profit from violent TV shows and movies certainly leapt to mind. One wonders if a similar dynamic may be occurring with reporting of research on effects of pornography? (Or else, this is all being reported in journals way too obscure for the average science reporter :-)

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"If you have any poo, fling it now." - Mason the chimp

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the_raptor
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quote:
Originally posted by ReginaShoe:
Would this be the place to note that there is some scientific data to support the conclusion that there are detrimental effects to porn viewing?

You can find some scientific data to support the conclusion that anything is detrimental. As pretty much everything can be detrimental under some circumstances.

Who cares that man agree with some statement more after viewing porn. Did it show that men were more likely to rape women after watching pornography (vs being sexually stimulated in other ways)? If not then it is a non story.

Watching and playing violent video games makes me have violent thoughts. But luckily for me I can distinguish fantasy and reality and don't become more physically violent (About the only thing that makes me physically violent is reading political news).

If you want to know how I feel about the idea of "thought crimes" then read _1984_.

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Mal: look at this! Appears we got here just in the nick of time. What does that make us?
Zoe: Big damn heroes, sir!
Mal: Ain't we just?
— Firefly

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ChastMastr
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quote:
Originally posted by CrookedCucumber:
the problem with making Christians read the Song of Songs is that they tend to allegorize it away.

Well, they're not mutually exclusive, not to mention other levels of interpretation/understanding; I believe it can be about an earthly relationship and about the Church and Christ and probably a bunch of other stuff. [Smile]

David

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My essays on comics continuity: http://chastmastr.tumblr.com/tagged/continuity

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leo
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quote:
Originally posted by the_raptor:
[QUOTE]Height has nothing to do with penis size.

Shucks. I am 6 foot 7 inches tall!
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the_raptor
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quote:
Originally posted by leo:
quote:
Originally posted by the_raptor:
Height has nothing to do with penis size.

Shucks. I am 6 foot 7 inches tall!
I am about that tall as well [Biased]

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Mal: look at this! Appears we got here just in the nick of time. What does that make us?
Zoe: Big damn heroes, sir!
Mal: Ain't we just?
— Firefly

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Kelly Alves

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quote:
Originally posted by RooK:
It's certainly true that binding people to unrealistic expectations can be dangerous or damaging - be it presented in pornography, television, movies, or sacred texts.

Amen. Every tool is a weapon if you hold it right.

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I cannot expect people to believe “
Jesus loves me, this I know” of they don’t believe “Kelly loves me, this I know.”
Kelly Alves, somewhere around 2003.

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Timothy the Obscure

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So far as I'm aware, the studies that have shown viewing violent porn changes men's attitudes about rape afiled to show that the effect was linked to the sexual explicitness of the material; rather it seemed to result from the linkage of sex and violence (as in many R-rated movies, such as almost anything by David Lynch).

Over a period of several decades there has been a concerted effort to demonstrate that porn is psychologically harmful, and on the whole the result has been a failure to demonstrate any consistent statistically significant negative effect on the viewers (the workers in the industry are another matter, though as has been pointed out the same things could be said of women working poultry processing plants and garment sweatshops).

I'll have to see if I can track down the study Regina mentioned. Meta-analysis is a tricky method--there can be a huge garbage in-garbage out effect if you aren't careful selecting your studies. And in an area where so much of the research is done by people with an agenda, the risk is even greater.

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When you think of the long and gloomy history of man, you will find more hideous crimes have been committed in the name of obedience than have ever been committed in the name of rebellion.
  - C. P. Snow

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Beautiful Dreamer
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quote:
Originally posted by Gort:
Oh! Pardon me! I thought by "Ex" you meant husband!

Then, may I ask you about this:
quote:
Originally posted by Beautiful_Dreamer:
[...] And I did feel it wasnt the most Christian thing, but I wasnt judgemental toward him about it. I just didn't use it. My morals are for me and I don't apply them to others usually.

Forgive me for being frank, but as a non-christian I'm always curious about how their morals are applied to life decisions. Did you ever see a conflict between your view of pornography as "not the most christian thing" and the widely held view that premarital sex is unchristian?
no, because the reason I think it isnt very Christlike is the fact that he was effectively using me and those other women for his own pleasure with no regard to anyone's feelings or not valuing them as a human. That is the main thing I find not Christlike. Although I also believe premarital sex is wrong, I dont judge others for having it. I just didn't have it. Some people think that the fact I did other things with this guy but didnt have intercourse made it right for him to treat me the way he did, but it doesn't.

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More where that came from
Now go away, or I shall taunt you a second time!

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Timothy the Obscure

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OK, I found this study, which reviews much of the research done over the past 20 years, including the past decade (which is about how long it's been since I looked at this stuff). I'd still say there's a fair amount of ambiguity, but some things seem clearer. For those without the patience to wade through the analysis, the general conclusion seems to be that there is a correlation between pornography and sexual aggressiveness, but:

quote:
Associations between pornography consumption and aggressiveness toward women could be explained by a circular relationship between high coercive tendencies and interest in certain content in pornography, whereby aggressive men are drawn to the images in pornography that reinforce and thereby increase the likelihood of their controlling, impersonal, and hostile orientation to sexuality. The way relatively aggressive men interpret and react to the same pornography may differ from that of nonaggressive men.... The current findings do suggest that for the majority of American men, pornography exposure (even at the highest levels assessed here) is not associated with high levels of sexual aggression.... But among those at the highest "predisposing" risk level for sexual aggression (a little above 7% of the entire sample), those who are very frequent pornography users (about 12% of this high risk group) have sexual aggression levels approximately four times higher than their counterparts who do not very frequently consume pornography.
As the authors acknowledge, there are very likely a host of factors (cultural, psychological, etc.) that affect how any one individual responds to pornography (e.g., it may not have the same effect in Denmark as in the US).

[ 20. February 2006, 19:53: Message edited by: Timothy the Obscure ]

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When you think of the long and gloomy history of man, you will find more hideous crimes have been committed in the name of obedience than have ever been committed in the name of rebellion.
  - C. P. Snow

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Chorister

Completely Frocked
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The Song of Songs is different than porn, though - because it is talking about how a person feels about his 'beloved' rather than his reaction to a load of total strangers.

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Retired, sitting back and watching others for a change.

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Beautiful Dreamer
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quote:
Originally posted by Chorister:
The Song of Songs is different than porn, though - because it is talking about how a person feels about his 'beloved' rather than his reaction to a load of total strangers.

True, it is talking about love, not just about how well someone gets him off and how they can do it better.

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More where that came from
Now go away, or I shall taunt you a second time!

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likeness
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Just discovered this thread after being away for a few days.

Some thoughts which may - or may not - be helpful.

Firstly, discussing photographic porn, the camera is basically a nineteenth century invention, so in discussing photographic porn the scriptures may actually be of limited use. The camera would have been outside the direct experience of Jesus or Paul. (Incidentally, the Mennonite tradition tends to pay more attention to Jesus than Paul, rather than give them equal weight - but that's another thread.) For that matter, moving photography is a twentieth century phenomenon while the internet (which has only been discussed lightly here in relationship to production and dissemination of porn) is a late twentieth century development.

Secondly, dealing specifically with moving images, there's a continuum running from Art to Industry. At one end are films that might constitute high art, somewhere in the middle is Hollywood and "the movies" and somewhere down the other end is porno movies. (There's also the whole area of "exploitation movies", which covers porn but a lot of other areas as well - and raises questions about who - or what - is being exploited: the subject? the audience?) If you think of industry generally as being about producing goods for consumption, porno movies are in some sense the ultimate product for consumption; if all they portray is the rudimentary mechanics, in some sense there's something terribly honest about that. Don't get me wrong: I'm not trying to take a position for or against porn here, or for that matter trying to defend it, simply trying to pin down exactly what it is and how it functions.

Thirdly, I seem to remember that one of the Surrealists (possibly Bunuel?) commented, "eroticism is life, pornography is death." Again, I'm not taking sides on the quote, but this statement seems to me to resonate very definitely with the spirit of the current age and as such, whether people agree with it, disagree with it or have more complex responses, the remark certainly seems pertinent to the current discussion.

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The eye is the lamp of the body.

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Mad Geo

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From the humorous surreal news department:

All 535 members of congress have gotten Hustler magazine for the last ten years.

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Diax's Rake - "Never believe a thing simply because you want it to be true"

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Chapelhead

I am
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quote:
Originally posted by Chorister:
The Song of Songs is different than porn, though - because it is talking about how a person feels about his 'beloved' rather than his reaction to a load of total strangers.

But that doesn't mean it cant be read as porn by someone who is a "stranger" to the couple (especially someone with a passion for twin gazelle fawns). The relationship between the couple may be a loving one, but the relationship of the reader to the couple seems to be voyeuristic, if not pornographic.

Does a porn movie cease to be a porn movie if the people involved are married to each other (and love each other), or if they portray a loving, married couple?

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At times like this I find myself thinking, what would the Amish do?

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CrookedCucumber
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quote:
Originally posted by Chapelhead:
Does a porn movie cease to be a porn movie if the people involved are married to each other (and love each other), or if they portray a loving, married couple?

Good question. I define pornography as the depiction (by whatever medium) of one or more human beings in a way that is expressly intended to bring about sexual arousal. By my definition at least, the example you give is capable of amounting to pornography. In fact, IMO it is more capable of being pornographic than the usual stuff that pornographers dish up, which I find very unarousing. Watching complete strangers fucking one another without any emotional involvement doesn't do it for me, even at a visceral level; although I accecpt that it might have done 30 years ago [Smile]

If you think of pornography in different terms, then of course you might come to a different conclusion.

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Ronja
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quote:
Originally posted by the_raptor:


Who cares that man agree with some statement more after viewing porn. Did it show that men were more likely to rape women after watching pornography (vs being sexually stimulated in other ways)? If not then it is a non story.


I think you are quite wrong. It is men (and women) who pass laws regarding the crime of rape and who sit as judges and jurymembers in courtrooms where rape cases are heard. They may also be doctors and counselors who take care of rape victims. If porn makes them more likely to believe that "women secretly want to be raped and enjoy it, and/or bring it on themselves" I think it is a serious matter.
Posts: 742 | From: Up North | Registered: Jul 2003  |  IP: Logged
Schroedinger's cat

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On the objectification thing ( and other stuff too ), it does strike me that attacking porn as the problem is wrong. If the problem is that some men objectify women as sex objects, then that is the problem. If some men consider that women waqnt to be raped, then that is the problem. That porn is part of their justifcation doesn't mean that it is the problem.

To go back to the alcohol analogy, if someone drinks a lot and becomes anti-social because of that, that isn't necessarily becasue alcohol is bad. It is more likely to be that the person has issues that they need to resolve, but that they are using alcohol instead of dealing with them.

Surely the same thing is true of porn. People who have a view of others as sex objects will tend to have that view whatever. They may use porn as a means to bolster that view, but that doesn't mean that the porn is the problem. It might mean that porn is a problem for them.

Incidentally, I know that I need to keep away from it, because my personality is such that it could, if I let it, become a real problem. So for me, it is wrong. But that is based on me not on the porn itself.

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Blog
Music for your enjoyment
Lord may all my hard times be healing times
take out this broken heart and renew my mind.

Posts: 18859 | From: At the bottom of a deep dark well. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
mdijon
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Perhaps I should get it off my chest.... so to speak.

It's very hard for me to comment about what's wrong with porn - mainly for the kind of reason that Schroedinger's Feline describes.

My only really damaging addiction in life has been pornography. I never progressed to become a fully fledged "sex addict" but I did manage to waste my time and harm a good chunk of my capacity to form relationships.

I still, occasionally, relapse.

For me, the availability of porn was a key factor. If it had been harder to get, I doubt I'd have become addicted.

It never harmed so as I'd show up as a statistic - I didn't progress to rape anyone, or even to damage my professional life (although came near).

I have to confess that posting on SoF is part of a recovery strategy - I invariably do it in those highly stressed moments at work when I click on internet explorer for a diversion.... posting while at work might not be ideal, but it's a hell of a lot better than the alternative (and given the hours I keep here, almost ever present) temptation.

But I don't want to get All Saints like about this - I wanted to also make the intellectual point that availability is a key factor, and the development of an addiction and undesirabile personal traits can occur under the influence of porn.

I don't think anyone here knows who I am.... [Paranoid]

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mdijon nojidm uoɿıqɯ ɯqıɿou
ɯqıɿou uoɿıqɯ nojidm mdijon

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unfaegne eorl
Apprentice
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I don't know how one can get around the sermon on the mount (matthew 5:27-28)

You have heard that it was said, 'Do not commit adultery.' But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

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CrookedCucumber
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quote:
Originally posted by mdijon:
For me, the availability of porn was a key factor. If it had been harder to get, I doubt I'd have become addicted.

I wonder how much harder it would have had to be to get? It's always seemed to me that people are able to become addicted to things that are surprisingly difficult to obtain -- heroin, for example. I suppose it's possible that people come to addiction to these hard-to-obtain commodities through easier-to-obtain ones. Could a person develop an addiction to pornography by building up from, say, page 3 of the Sun?

I'm not being facetious (I hope) -- I'm genuinely curious. I have many problems in my life, to be sure, but thankfully pornography isn't one of them, so I don't really know a lot about it. Generally pornography has little effect on me except mild distaste [Hot and Hormonal]

I wonder if an excessive interest in pornography is something that has a positive feedback effect; that is, could any person, by his or her exposure to pornography, come to require increased exposure (as I believe is the case with heroin?) Or is it only something that affects people with a particular psychological makeup to start with?

Please pardon me if these are rude questions [Smile]

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ReginaShoe
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From what I have read (but alas, don't remember where I read it), the Internet has brought porn to a vast audience that it did not have before. I've known of someone who is a prime example of that. If not an addict to Internet porn and explicit chat rooms, he's come close enough for it to have some negative effects. Was brought up in a strict fundamentalist home. If he had ever been seen buying a Playboy magazine or had one ever been found in his room, he would have been in HUGE trouble. As it was, if I recall the stories right, he got into trouble for "misuse" of National Geographics and Sears catalogs with women's underwear being modeled. Throughout his adulthood, he has never purchased a pornographic magazine and apparently would never have done so - he could be seen, and it could be found later. However, the privacy and anonymity offered by the Internet has made it a completely different thing.

In general, a big help in self-control with difficult issues is putting up barriers or "pre-committing" - setting a loud obnoxious alarm clock across the room so you HAVE to get up, making sure you don't buy the fattening snacks so they are not a temptation while you are at home watching TV, etc. I should think it is really hard to put up those barriers when you have to use a computer anyway, there is no accountability (what you do can easily go undetected) and the temptation is just a click away.

By the way, I had to finish my earlier post quickly and be away from the computer for a while, but I should add that I was thankful to hear from Timothy the Obscure, whose opinion I value on the topic. Indeed, I never meant to imply that viewing pornography a time or two (or even frequently) would turn a reasonable and sensitive person into a raving sex fiend. Just as the occasional or even frequent hamburger doesn't mean you are going to keel over with a heart attack. And the quality of the original studies is definitely a potential issue, as is the direction of the causality - indeed, my example above may indicate some predisposition that was already there. But, all other things being equal, it seems possible that a very steady diet of it over a long time could be a subtle influence on behavior or attitudes, one of many of course. Just as, all other things (such as dietary restrictions, finances) being equal, the person who hears McDonald's commercials 50 times a day would seem more likely than someone who never hears them to choose McDonald's for lunch. If not, McDonald's is wasting a heck of a lot of money on their ads!

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"If you have any poo, fling it now." - Mason the chimp

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kempis3
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<sigh>

There certainly seems to be a vast audience for porn on the internet.

I'm very old fashioned here -- porn seems to me to be very boring.

Generally, I feel that if the man has married a good woman and the woman has married a good man, their life is very passionate and porn is not necessary.

But so many people seem to need it -- it's a sad, sad world.

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Man plots -- God laughs.

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Chorister

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~Well, when I read 'Song of Songs' I think how lovely it is that two people can be so much in love that they delight in each other. I don't see much evidence of the people taking part in porn being in love with each other. Therefore there is a qualitative difference in being given a window onto the former than the latter.

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Retired, sitting back and watching others for a change.

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ChastMastr
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quote:
Originally posted by ReginaShoe:
if I recall the stories right, he got into trouble for "misuse" of National Geographics and Sears catalogs with women's underwear being modeled. Throughout his adulthood, he has never purchased a pornographic magazine and apparently would never have done so - he could be seen, and it could be found later. However, the privacy and anonymity offered by the Internet has made it a completely different thing.

Sounds to me like Internet porn is perhaps a good thing in his life, then, as long as it is in moderation, after an upbringing like that...

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My essays on comics continuity: http://chastmastr.tumblr.com/tagged/continuity

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Jerry Boam
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For those concerned with addiction and ease of access on the internet, there are several kinds of "accountability" software out there. One is being made available from xxxchurch as part of their anti-porn crusade.

I think I pretty much agree with RuthW's position on this. In another world, I wouldn't have a problem with it. As it is, the injustices built into the industry can't be ignored.

The sexual slave trade is so monstrous, and so large that it cannot but touch on all the sex businesses--Prostitution, Porn. The things that go on with human trafficking and exploitation of children are harrowing to learn about.

On a personal level, I know I respond to visual images of women and hetero sex... I cannot see that there is anything inherently sinful in this. On a practical level, with the world as it is, it can't not be sinful.

Life is better without it, but that's easy for me to say as a happily married man, with a good relationship with my wife. Not everyone is so fortunate and the sex drive is so basic and powerful, it's hard to know what to think.

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If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving is not for you.

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ReginaShoe
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quote:
Originally posted by ChastMastr:
quote:
Originally posted by ReginaShoe:
if I recall the stories right, he got into trouble for "misuse" of National Geographics and Sears catalogs with women's underwear being modeled.

Sounds to me like Internet porn is perhaps a good thing in his life, then, as long as it is in moderation, after an upbringing like that...
Indeed, if it were in moderation, I'd be inclined to agree. I certainly wonder if certain parents'/church's tendency to condemn *any* expression of sexuality whatsoever in young people, even relatively innocuous things such as interest in simply the nude or scantily clothed form in and of itself, might make it harder for these young people to discern the line between healthy and unhealthy expressions of sexuality later on.

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"If you have any poo, fling it now." - Mason the chimp

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ChastMastr
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quote:
Originally posted by ReginaShoe:
I certainly wonder if certain parents'/church's tendency to condemn *any* expression of sexuality whatsoever in young people, even relatively innocuous things such as interest in simply the nude or scantily clothed form in and of itself, might make it harder for these young people to discern the line between healthy and unhealthy expressions of sexuality later on.

Absolutely. Which is why I'd hope that perhaps this is a phase he's going through, "making up for lost time" as it were, and will grow beyond it. I know for me that unless it's done really artfully or otherwise interestingly, much of the stuff out there even involving guys of the physical type I really find attractive, doing things I really like a lot, are kind of "eh, nice, I guess, but they're a total stranger I'll never meet..." But with regard to interests I am only beginning to cultivate OR local/visiting guys I am hoping to meet in person, those I am keenly interested in. It may simply be an aspect of growing up for me -- the new and unfamiliar is appealing for some reasons, perhaps due to lack of experience with it, and the getting-to-know-you aspect is appealing for others. (Strangely, once I've met them, I have less interest in just seeing their pics. It's like, "Oh, yes, that's so-and-so, I wonder how he's doing? Will he visit the area again soon? I hope we can get together" rather than "Ooo! Hot!")

As far as written porn/erotica goes, I don't tend to like much of it I've seen because the writing is simply bad. I've noticed parallels between bad sexual porn and bad religious fiction -- the story is treated as a means to a specific end, the characters exist solely to have sex or be converted, no real sense of realistic consequences and so on. I've occasionally considered bad Christian fiction to be a kind of religious porn (vs. good religious erotica).

David

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My essays on comics continuity: http://chastmastr.tumblr.com/tagged/continuity

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Psyduck

Ship's vacant look
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ChastMastr: SOrry - you make a good point, it's just that
quote:
the characters exist solely to have sex or be converted
[Eek!] [Eek!] [Eek!]

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The opposite of faith is not doubt. The opposite of faith is certainty.
"Lle rhyfedd i falchedd fod/Yw teiau ar y tywod." (Ieuan Brydydd Hir)

Posts: 5433 | From: pOsTmOdErN dYsToPiA | Registered: Feb 2002  |  IP: Logged
comet

Snowball in Hell
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quote:
Originally posted by unfaegne eorl:
I don't know how one can get around the sermon on the mount (matthew 5:27-28)

You have heard that it was said, 'Do not commit adultery.' But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

this brings us to that other thread - define lust. because if it is strictly surface lust - "dang, nice butt!" then we're all hopeless.

personally, I forgive my husband his lust for Catherine Zeta-Jones and he forgives my lust for Antonio Banderas, and we both just laugh about it. and I dont believe God is upset with the two of us for raising our blood pressure when we watch Zorro.

would I cheat on my husband with Antonio Banderas? despite my threats to him, of course not!

however, does the scripture above make watching porn a sin? perhaps. I honestly never looked at it that way before. I think porn is basically wrong, for all the reasons mentioned in the thread and more. so I don't watch it. but I have in the past. it's boring, mostly. and I find nothing tantilizing about people "acting" that stuff out.

it's just so much more fun in person!

but as I've said before, I dont really believe in "sin" i.e. an outside of ourselves, black and white law. I believe we need to think about our actions and stop hurting others and ourselves.

therefore - if I have a meeting with a man, and rather than converse with him mindfully, I'm picturing him naked - I would say that is a "sin" against him. AND against myself. 'cause really, who am I hurting the most?

dangit - this was supposed to be a short little post!

somebody shut me up!

Comet

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Evil Dragon Lady, Breaker of Men's Constitutions

"It's hard to be religious when certain people are never incinerated by bolts of lightning.” -Calvin

Posts: 17024 | From: halfway between Seduction and Peril | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged
ChastMastr
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quote:
Originally posted by Psyduck:
ChastMastr: SOrry - you make a good point, it's just that
quote:
the characters exist solely to have sex or be converted
[Eek!] [Eek!] [Eek!]
LOL! Well, but that's what I mean -- in both the bad sexual or religious "porn" the characters are thinly described just enough to be converted or have sex, the nubile types seduced/preached to by the more experienced ones, there is little or no sense of the rest of the mundane world or the ordinary, boring, real-life aspects of things, and then they realize it was always this deep burning need they never were willing to acknowledge until it was pushed on them, the other aspects of life which in a good story (of whatever genre) would also be detailed simply aren't important, because the only thing that matters in the bad story is getting that character saved or screwed...

David
and I'm not even going to get into the "Left Behind" erotic fan fiction some people write

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My essays on comics continuity: http://chastmastr.tumblr.com/tagged/continuity

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Beautiful Dreamer
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# 10880

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I think the main difference between written erotica and visual porn is that there is no real person being objectified-no one had to pose for a romance novel. But both can be addictive and both can give false images of what love and romance really are or what real people are supposed to be. I don't know many men who live up to romance novel heroes (but I dont read romance novels, so I wouldn't really know).

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More where that came from
Now go away, or I shall taunt you a second time!

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ChastMastr
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But surely this can be applied to any form of literature whatever? Hardly anyone is as brave as the action heroes in those sorts of books, as intelligent as those in spy or cyberpunk books, and so on...

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My essays on comics continuity: http://chastmastr.tumblr.com/tagged/continuity

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mdijon
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quote:
Originally posted by CrookedCucumber:
I wonder how much harder it would have had to be to get? It's always seemed to me that people are able to become addicted to things that are surprisingly difficult to obtain -- heroin, for example.

Once addicted, you'll make the effort to get anything. It's the first contact - or first few contacts - where availability counts, and then during efforts at abstinence.

And here is a key difference between heroin and porn - if a heroin addict decides to break their abstinence, there are a few stages on the way that give them an opportunity to change their minds. With porn it's everywhere.

I think page 3 is enough, for a susceptible person during a spell of abstinence, to make you want to look for an internet link to get more. And perhaps enough as a first contact to make someone curious to look at more.

I think it depends on it's effect on the individual concerned - for some people it's just distateful, or mildly boring - or a brief effect. For others, it's absorbing - and they can't understand how anyone wouldn't want to get more whenever possible. This is the mindset of the addict for whatever substance is being considered - alcohol, porn, gambling....

For me the thrill of gambling does nothing more or less - alcohol I quite like but I'd never get addicted - porn, unfortunately, is my weak spot.

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mdijon nojidm uoɿıqɯ ɯqıɿou
ɯqıɿou uoɿıqɯ nojidm mdijon

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mdijon
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quote:
Originally posted by Beautiful_Dreamer:
I think the main difference between written erotica and visual porn is that there is no real person being objectified-no one had to pose for a romance novel. But both can be addictive and both can give false images of what love and romance really are or what real people are supposed to be. I don't know many men who live up to romance novel heroes (but I dont read romance novels, so I wouldn't really know).

I think visual porn is much more addictive than written erotica.

It depends how you define addiction, though - I'd define addiction as a compulsive use, which persists despite overwhelming rational evidence that use is harmful to the individual concerned. Wanting to use something a lot doesn't necessarily constitute an addiction.

I don't know anyone who would use written material so compulsively - although plenty who'd use visual material like that. Written material often accompanies visual, of course.

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mdijon nojidm uoɿıqɯ ɯqıɿou
ɯqıɿou uoɿıqɯ nojidm mdijon

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Alfred E. Neuman

What? Me worry?
# 6855

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quote:
Originally posted by mdijon:
I think visual porn is much more addictive than written erotica.

Anytime you pump emotional energy into an image, you give it life on a certain level. Just like any living thing, it will seek to sustain itself. When it's life depends on your emotional energy, it will influence you to repeat that which gives it life. This can be said of any habit that depends on mindless repetition and voluntary submission of will.

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--Formerly: Gort--

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mdijon
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But it ain't a living thing, Gort. It might suck the energy out like a living thing but it sustains you as much as a black hole.

I think that's the difference between being addicted to porn and 'addicted' to music, for instance. Music really is alive, and gives you something back when you listen/take part. It builds your capacity to feel and interact with people. Porn doesn't give you anything back - and it robs the energy that should be available for intimacy and interaction with other people in your life.

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mdijon nojidm uoɿıqɯ ɯqıɿou
ɯqıɿou uoɿıqɯ nojidm mdijon

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Alfred E. Neuman

What? Me worry?
# 6855

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quote:
Originally posted by mdijon:
But it ain't a living thing, Gort. It might suck the energy out like a living thing but it sustains you as much as a black hole...

Of course it's a living thing. You think that everything that lives, walks around with skin and bones? It has a mental and emotional life that you have created. It doesn't want to be starved to death anymore than you do.

...and I didn't say it was sustaining you .

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--Formerly: Gort--

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Alfred E. Neuman

What? Me worry?
# 6855

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oh... and music isn't an image though it creates images.

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--Formerly: Gort--

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mdijon
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# 8520

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quote:
Originally posted by Gort:
It has a mental and emotional life that you have created.

I think that's a point of difference.

I don't accept I am creating mental and emotional life in it. I think I am projecting that onto something dead and sterile. This can be escapist, absorbing - gratifying in the short-term.

But ultimately dead, addictive behaviour.

I think that's the difference between porn and art. (I'll accept that some porn could be art and vice versa - that lines might be difficult to draw etc. etc.)

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mdijon nojidm uoɿıqɯ ɯqıɿou
ɯqıɿou uoɿıqɯ nojidm mdijon

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Alfred E. Neuman

What? Me worry?
# 6855

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quote:
Originally posted by mdijon:
I don't accept I am creating mental and emotional life in it.

Interesting. You invest it with mental imagery and desire (emotion) and then give it physical manifestation, yet you think that there's nothing being created? I'm convinced we create living things constantly using the same process. Whether they become our children or our masters is the question.

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--Formerly: Gort--

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mdijon
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Oh, I accept something's been created - just not that it's life. Not quite death, but certainly closer to it than to life.

[ 22. February 2006, 05:22: Message edited by: mdijon ]

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mdijon nojidm uoɿıqɯ ɯqıɿou
ɯqıɿou uoɿıqɯ nojidm mdijon

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Alfred E. Neuman

What? Me worry?
# 6855

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Again, do you think that all life has a physical body like yours or a plant?

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--Formerly: Gort--

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mdijon
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# 8520

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No. Art, music, stained glass windows.... all alive.

Porn - dead.

All this is my experience of it, of course. Maybe someone else manages to use porn in a "live" way - but that won't be possible for me.

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mdijon nojidm uoɿıqɯ ɯqıɿou
ɯqıɿou uoɿıqɯ nojidm mdijon

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Alfred E. Neuman

What? Me worry?
# 6855

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quote:
For me the thrill of gambling does nothing more or less - alcohol I quite like but I'd never get addicted - porn, unfortunately, is my weak spot.
Doesn't sound like it's quite dead, yet. Sure it's not still raising it's ugly head? [Biased]

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--Formerly: Gort--

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