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The Body I stopped watching porn for two reasons basically: the first one was that porn brought so much... anger and violence into my private fantasies. And these were anger and violence that were not dealt originally, to begin with. and I didn't want it for me any more. This was not me and... and I decided just to put an end to it. Easier said than done... I get it later... but... The second reason was that I became to realize... I came to realizing that thing, that... only by watching porn I take part in creating a demand for filmed prostitution, cause that's what porn really is. Filmed prostitution. "porn" stands for prostitute and "graphia" stands for documentation and prostitution was nobody's childhood dream, ok? It is always the result of trouble and distress. Now. I became aware of that gradually when I was volunteering with men and women in prostitution, some of them victims of human trafficking, serving aid in brothels, under the bridge, in street corners, but... you don't really to do all that, in order to understand how this mechanism of porn and prostitution works. Cause porn is a vagina, is not about erotic or healthy sexual communication. It is all about male domination of women. Sub-ordinance of women. Not only as a sexual practice. As a way of being. As a genderial hierarchy in this world. Like if we would ask porn... If we were to ask porn, how does it define something as sexual, what qualifies, what defines something as sexual? Porn would laugh in our face. What defines sexual? Whatever men find arousing! Men find it arousing to choke a woman, to have brutal sex without one touch, hug, kiss, tender caress? Well, then it is sexual. It arouses men... to see a woman or a child cry? It is sexual. It arouses men to rape a woman? Well, then, it is sexual. In every mainstream porn gallery on the web, we can find the rape category, side by side with a humiliation category, abuse category, crying category. And so on... And is as if regular porn is not already filled with these motives, even in its mildest version - the mildest version of porn. What porn is showing us like, I know, 80, maybe 90% of the time, is actually sex with no hands involved. And this is not how we authentically desire. Sorry, I'll repeat that. I see your look. Sex with no hands involved. Ok. If you aren't gonna give up watching porn, the next thing you do watch, is just... is just... notice that... porn cameras have no interest in capturing any normal sensual activity, such as petting, caressing, making out, touching, hugging, kissing. No! What porn cameras are into, is the penetration. So, normally... the composition would be a man and a woman ... hopefully just one.. ok? So, one man and one woman his penis is inside her, don't be picky, it doesn't matter where inside her, somewhere inside her there is his... his penis is somewhere inside her, ok? And in order to not block the camera for doing this extreme close-up of the penetration he's standing with his hands behind his back most of the time and the woman is in this uncomfortable position and she needs to handle the penis inside her, without damaging the hair or make up work done on her, because that's money invested and time invested in her. Without disturbing his aggressive movement and mainly without blocking the camera, so the result is that we've got two people having sex different shapes and acrobatics or something, but they're having sex when the only body parts that actually touch each other, are the penis and the part being penetrated. No hands involved. Now, I talk... I know... 250-300 times a year to soldiers, students, pupils and no one has ever come up to me and say "Ran, you know, that part with sex with no hands thing, that was my authentic desire, like when I was 11 or 12, I never wanted to kiss anybody or touch them, I wasn't curious about that, it was all penetration to begin with. No one has ever said that. Before porn. After porn... In my private fantasies before watching porn there was always a very strong narrative. And the narrative was of sensuality and mutuality. Which means, that I always imagined what I would say to her, what would she possibly answer? What options do I have to response? In real life it never works like I planned, but it was super important in my mind, in terms of arousal, the build up the location, the setting, where will it be. What other circumstances of me and her being all alone all of the sudden. How would this bodily inflaming between us would emerge, step by step. It was super important - before porn. After making a habit out of porn, it conquers your mind, it invades your brain and I lost my ability to imagine, which means I found myself - and I won't be too explicit - but trying to masturbate, just closing my eyes, trying to fantasize desperately I was something human and not making it, because my head was bombed by the... by all those images of... women being violated and subordinated and forced into pretending they enjoy diabolic sperm rituals. Ok? So... This is pretty much the result. And we are all vulnerable to pornography. It's not just young people. We should be very careful, I think, with not only what we put into our bodies, in terms of food and nutrition, What is the nutrition of our mind, cause everything we watch invades us - I'll give you a short example from non-sexual areas. I came the other night, I came back home and my beloved one was watching some cultural junk. She was watching a karaoke show. Audition. The one with the chairs spinning. And we don't have a TV set back home. We don't have a TV set back home, but only because it allows us to falsely present ourselves as deep and profound people. We... I... know how... I never heard of that. Mastectomy? Who? Ang... No. We don't have a TV. We watch every cultural junk possible. Ok? Not meaning, that we don't contemplate about la existence. We download stuff. And we download all cultural junk. So. I'm watching this 20 minutes karaoke show and it was so boring and tedious. Ok? 2 minutes talking, formers blubbering about it. I lost patience after like 20 minutes and I went off to take a shower. And the most interesting part was in the shower. Cause, what I found out, there was myself and my most pathetic era - I'm gonna share it with you, I wanna feel that you actually accept me and love me, so I have to share my most pathetic and you have to accept it. Now. I don't know, until I get over myself, if it took me, I don't know, 5, 7, 10 minutes to realize that I'm standing under the water in the shower, pondering severely, what would have been my song for the auditions. Deep and profound, mind you! I won't be doing Rihanna's or Lady Gaga's. I will be doing Mercedes Sosa. "Como un pajaro libre". I'll be doing a cover for Bob Dylan's "Blind Willie McTell". Ain't that deep and profound? I had to realize that I'm an idiot, cause I have no talent for music. More than that, I never wanted to be neither a musician or a singer song writer, this was never a part of my inner world of wishes. Ok? But, I'm a human being. What can I do? I was watching that for 20 minutes and it entered my brain for a while. So, by using this example, we are trying to measure or just estimate the impact of 20 minutes of watching no matter what. How it invades our mind and conquer our wantings and desires. Let's just try to imagine - or I can show to you orally - what is the impact of watching 20 minutes porn, once, twice a week. Nothing unmoderated. It's overtaking. And porn is in our households - whether we want it or not - and I believe it does not agree with our well-being and because we have internet in the western world all over the place, almost in every cellular phone now, we've got 90% of 12 year olds watching porn on regular basis! And it has both an addictive effect and a paralysing effect. It's addictive because it develops somehow a dependency in porn, but the paralysing part it's because, mainly for young boys and men, porn is teaching us that as a man you're solely valued in sex by having a large penis and eternal erection. According to porn, being a valuable sexual partner, does not relate with being sexual, passionate, attentive, generous, well coordinated... None of the above! It is all about large penis and eternal sunshine. Which we don't possess. So, boys become paralysed. If they don't become paralysed by watching porn very often they turn into imitators of what they saw. Which means they become aggressors. Aggressors, even when emotion is involved. Like, there is so much sexual abuse going on nowadays, within the confines of what we perceive from the outside as beautiful teenage love stories, or healthy adult relationships. Because we don't really talk about sex. We just see it. All over the place, but we don't really talk about it. So, what goes on in the confines of a certain room, but - these are all sexual mutations. It happens. If you talk about women, is not only that, but young girls even get the message, not only from hard-core porn, but from our porn influenced mainstream culture, that... Have you seen any Miley Cyrus, Lady Gaga video clip, commercials - that's porn with clothes on, so... Girls get this notion, that if you wanna be worthy of love, first and foremost, you have to be worthy of sexual desire. And now, the definition of sexual desire, almost equals be like a porn star. So, I work in dozens and dozens of highschools and junior highs, In every single one of these schools, I find girls, that at a certain point, agreed to be documented in an intimate situation, cause they wanted to please some guy that they had feelings for. And this guy misappropriated their trust. Always the same story. So he shares it on "what's up" application or on the web or the internet and normally no one even address him in terms of moral. But it is always girls that suffer from shaming and mortification. They can change school - they drop out normally. Change school, move to another city and still be haunted on social networks. They develop clinical depressions, severe eating disorders - as if they don't have enough reasons in our culture to develop eating disorders. They become so isolated socially, so some of them, like Amanda Todd - rest in peace - some of them actually commit suicide. Cause they find no more value in life or in themselves. So porn, is not only in our house. It is a capital case. It is not a minor phenomenon in our society. It is a question of life and death sometimes. It is mainly a question of life and death for the people participating porn, cause porn is not an embodiment of freedom of speech, of freedom of occupation, and blah, blah, blah. No! It's an embodiment of sex exploitation, working side by side with human traffic, raping, pimping, solicitation. For every one porn star with a book contract, or a production company, we have hundreds of thousand of women and girls who does not survive out there. Literally. They just don't make it. The sex industries they just... just - how to say it? - chews them up and spits them back into brothels, into hooking industry, escorting, massage parlours - with happy or unhappy ending, depends who you ask. And I'm not joking. This is serious, like this the whole spectrum of prostitution. So many of them, doesn't even make it to the age of 50. I'm talking countries that the average life expectancy is 75 - 76 is it now? They don't make it to the age of 50. 4 reasons mainly. Drugs, STD -Sexually Transmitted Diseases- being murdered by a junk, a pimp, a boyfriend. and the forth reason is suicide once again. Cause if you're a prostitute on camera or off camera, you're in a situation that can be referred to as social death. We have all sat in the dinner table with people, who probably consumed prostitution. That have been to a brothel once, twice at least. We never sit down to the table with a prostitute. Not with a declared one. So, that's social death. It is not glamorous, not at all. And when I sit in the privacy of my room, and I watch porn - even without paying, no need to pay, it's free, I hope you know that - If you're still consuming. Whatever I'm watching, is creating a demand. And where there is a demand there will be supply. There's a correlation. If I watch pornography of black older women, somebody's going to go out and pimp black older women. Asian minors - somebody's already trafficking Asian minors in order to film them. Ok? Israeli women, Palestinian women, R.A.S.P. all-American college girls - that is strong in the last few decades is a very upcoming category. The scum of the earth is already out there, trying to solicit and prostitute these women on camera. So, I stopped watching porn for my personal well-being, my intimate communication, my private erotic life, my... You know? Reclaiming control and responsibility. Over my mind. But by doing that, actually, I stopped contributing to this horrible sex industry. That's a good thing to do I believe. And I would really like to propose that notion of physically and emotionally safe sex. Emotionally safe sex. It does not mean going back to be conservative. Or unliberated sexually. I'm all for sexual freedom. It just means we need to put genderial hierarchy aside. Subordinance aside. And bring back in - let's just say laughter, as a critical mass for intimacy. Two souls, two humans - two souls alone in private. Can they please have a laugh together? I don't care if know each other for a decade or an hour. If two souls alone in a room does not manage to have a laugh together, what good could it possibly grow there? Sexual and non sexual. That's emotionally safe sex. I've got so many things I wanna share with you, but I feel like my time is almost up. So, I just really want to ask for us to speak about these issues more. Cause I strongly feel that, our history of silence never did us any good. Cause silence only perpetuates more silence. Where talking normally gives breath to more talking, more sharing, more identification, more awareness, more change. Small change, you know, in small humble life, but real change, a true one. Emotionally safer. Thank you for listening.

Video Details

Duration: 15 minutes and 57 seconds
Country: Israel
Language: English
Genre: None
Producer: TED Jaffa
Views: 625
Posted by: tinaki on Jul 25, 2014

Ran Gavrieli lives in Tel Aviv and studies gender at Tel Aviv University. He works with youth and adults all over the country in sex and gender studies and in building positive self image in a world inundated by sexual imagery with negative connotations. Gavrieli writes and lectures about emotional and physical safe sex; porn and porn-influenced cultural damages; gender and power relations; and sex and intimacy.
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