As I walk down the street a lingerie store is plastered with pictures of airbrushed women staring seductively at the camera. A popular clothing store for teens features thin girls modeling thongs, bikinis, and leggings while doing “porn star” poses and faces. A store specializing in little girls’ clothes features young girls jutting our their hips, pouting at the camera, and shoving their butts in the air. When I go to buy some gum at the store I see rows of women in lingerie, in bikinis, and nude with strategically placed captions staring back at me, promising the youngest and hottest at my disposal. In the women’s section I see scantily clad women looking seductively at the camera with captions promising to teach me how to behave like a porn star, how to pleasure my boyfriend, how to maximize my cleavage, how to diet to a size 2. There are ads on the wall for cigarettes, beer, soda, and potato chips with scantily clad women sucking the cigarettes, licking the beer, and caressing the junk food. In the backs of magazines are advertisements for live sex toys in the form of women. As I drive home I pass billboards filled with hot women promising to gyrate and pour water on themselves for my viewing pleasure. It’s insinuated that I can rent one of these women like a car.
When I get home and check my email my inbox is filled with ads for videos of brutal rape, women gagging on penises, and women being gang banged. I browse through blogs and accidentally click a wrong link, which floods my screen with graphic hardcore porn ads filled with animations of men ejaculating on women’s faces, women being anally penetrated, and of women with tears streaming down their faces while they are raped. I type in a search and many of the pages are filled with porn. I flip on the TV and see ads for completely non-sexual products such as deodorant featuring a porn-ready woman in a white t-shirt shaking her breasts while covered in water. When I look through cable channels I have to skip through several dozen porn channels to find a “regular” movie.
I go to a party with friends and they want to look through porn for entertainment. I start seeing a new boyfriend who requests to degrade and dominate me like he’s seen in porn. He is repulsed by body hair and thinks body fat is unnatural. He enjoys the thought of me being uncomfortable or in pain to satisfy his urges. A friend goes to a party and is raped according to a porn script the boys just watched.
If I have a child he or she won’t have to look for it, it will find him or her. I will have to put enormous effort into porn-proofing my home and even then he will almost surely see it on someone else’s computer, on his phone, hear about it from friends. I will have to arm him before he’s even hit puberty to know that what he sees on the computer isn’t real. I will have to live knowing that my child has seen a woman being double penetrated and ejaculated on before he’s had his first kiss and there’s nothing I can do about it.
Even if I somehow manage to avoid ever seeing porn, it is expected that I dress like a porn star, wax like a porn star, perform in bed like a porn star, and fully embrace all of my partner’s porn-fueled fantasies. I am told that if I don’t perform to his demands I will be cheated on, dumped, abused, and it will all be my fault. I am told that if I refuse to date men who who use porn I will be alone or at best am a controlling bitch and will probably be lied to anyways.
So really, I would love to follow the advice that if I don’t like porn I shouldn’t watch it. I would love to live in a world where absolutely everything from children’s shows to pharmaceutical ads wasn’t influenced by porn. I would love to live in a world where most of the men I meet don’t think of me in reference to the last porn movie they just watched. The advice seems to easy, just don’t watch. I would love to avoid it. Just tell me how.