Posting Porn, Privacy, & Boston…REALLY???

chicago

By Kenneth Justice

Basically, it was a singular moment in my life where I felt everything was ruined” she said

~ I was sitting at coffee recently with a couple people while on my Drinking in the Culture Tour, a coffee house tour that is my excuse to get away from the daily grind and venture out into different parts of the world to see what life is really like elsewhere.

The three of us were swapping stories about pivotal moments in our life and the young women’s story kinda blew our stories out of the water,

I was twenty two years old and I started dating this guy at college. He seemed really nice, actually, I honestly believe that for the most part he was really nice. Six months into the relationship I found out he had a major porn problem and I know that isn’t a big deal for some girls, but I just wasn’t feeling it so I broke up with him. A few weeks after we broke up I found out that he had posted a video of us having sex on one of those porn sites; a lot of people at the college found out and the whole experience practically destroyed me emotionally” she said

According to the woman she dropped out of college for a semester but ended up enrolling again and finishing her degree program, “it meant a lot to mean to not let the shitty thing he did to me ruin my life. And ever since then I feel like I’m a stronger person because of it. But don’t get me wrong, I’m mad as hell to this day that if you search those damn porn sites you could eventually find one of me having sex” she said

Thanks to social networks like Twitter and Facebook, the rate of porn use on the Internet has decreased over the past ten years. This isn’t to say that it’s a good thing since many people question the value of spending so much time looking at status updates and photos on Facebook is for the human psyche and one’s emotional health. And while there are conflicting studies as to how much porn people view on the Internet every day, it’s safe to say that at the low end, 1 in 10 people on the Internet at all times are most likely viewing porn. Thus, the simple fact of the matter is that thanks to the Internet, Western Culture has become a pornography drenched society; but everyone knows this already.

However, despite the vast use of pornography on the Internet, I have to wonder what possesses a young man to think it’s okay to post a video of him and his girlfriend having sex onto the Internet? Is it out of malice? Was it some kind of weird fetish on his part?

I suspect the real answer is that we’ve become a bizarrely un-private world. In the 19th century, before the invention of the television we were a world of books. Adult secrets were hidden away in a world of novels, textbooks, medical journals, and other fare. The only way to learn certain information was by reading it, and since newbie readers don’t have an expansive vocabulary it would take them a number of years to work up the ability to understand what those adult novels were actually saying.

In the world of the television and now the Internet; there are no more secrets. An 80 year old and an 8 year old can watch a pornographic film and they both know what is happening. Unlike a book where the more you read it, the better a reader you become; you don’t get better at watching television the more you watch it.

Thus, as our society evolved from being a literary culture to a visual culture, something else seemed to have happened; we lost all sense of decorum and privacy.

—-) People gossip on Facebook

—-) People post private sex videos on the Internet for the public to see

—-) People share their most intimate thoughts to total strangers on the Internet

I’m not trying to infer that our New Society is inherently wrong and our Old Society was better, but I am asking the question if things have taken a negative turn since we left the literary world of the 19th century.

Every few months or so a NEWS story will pop up about middle schoolers getting in trouble of texting nude photos back and forth of a fellow female middle schooler; young teenagers seem to think it’s no big deal to show their friends naked pictures of their girlfriend.

I’m someone who places a great level of priority on my privacy. It’s not my intention to gossip about nasty relatives or throw stones at the people in life who annoy me. I also don’t want the watching public to get too much of a window into my private life; there are certain things I still hold dear to me that I would prefer to stay quiet. But I’m starting to think I’m in the minority; I don’t think most people think the way I do…..do they?

This weekend I’ll be in Boston and while I don’t expect to talk to people about pornography, I am looking forward to meeting up with people and having a good conversation over a cup of coffee.

Just a few thoughts this morning as I sipped my coffee,

Kenneth

 

 

 



Categories: Culture & Society

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

72 replies

  1. I guard my privacy with a vengeance. Some would say to a fault, which is why humor is used so much, but I find sheltering my private life most important.

    As far as porn, I’m glad it’ll be the possible topic of conversation in Boston, as I have nothing to contribute. You know you wanna talk about that with someone, Kenneth. Maybe a tough La cross player with a thick accent. *wink*

  2. I agree with you. I too, feel my privacy is integral and I value it very much. We have become a society of over sharing with little importance put on one’s privacy.

  3. The most interesting part of this woman’s story is that she said her ex boyfriend was “nice”. How often young people become intimately involved with people they really don’t understand. Most people that have sexual obsessions would not appear on the surface to be evil. What he did by violating her rights was evil. The moral of this story is take sexual intimacy for what it is. A very important part of yourself. Do not be flippant about letting immature boys video your sex. It is suspect.

  4. I think we through pictures, camera and TV and what not we only can feel a certain high when Visually appealing.
    We give high priority to our eyes as the visual stimulants has become the greatest of all. If it is not appealing we will say no.
    we simply prioritize our eyes over anything else, even though the eyes are fooled the easiest.

  5. I’m with you in this, too, Kenneth. So much of what I see is what strikes me as simply vulgar, yet I no longer see or hear that word anywhere. Perhaps in this culture, a sense of the vulgar is gone or has become a standard to meet. I see it in my own family, and I think it’s one reason our son is more comfortable living in Europe than in the U. S.

  6. That is exactly why I never sent naked pictures to any men (even husband) no matter how many times they begged me. You never know what people will do after your shelf life with them has expired. Anything you send electronically can and often will become public knowledge. It’s funny because while so many people are perfectly fine with sharing intimate pictures/video/information online they still lie about darn near everything else just to protect their “image” which seems kind of backwards to me. Western culture needs to find a more substantial way to connect than just through sex.

  7. I think there has been a loss of dignity overall. And that is sad to me. It manifests in many ways but the core seems to be the same – people are walking through life with no dignity at all and it causes them to behave in atrocious ways unheard of not that long ago. I teach my children to maintain their dignity and hold their heads high.

  8. I don’t think you are in the minority. You are aware of people who value privacy less since you are online a lot and speaking with people who are also. Most of the people I know are not willing to expose themselves online in even small ways. Young people are more willing. They’ve grown up with it. But, many of them are cautious.

  9. I suppose I come from a different era, but I put high value on my privacy. I feel for this girl as she was obviously taken in by this low-life. And believe me, any person – male or female – who would post this type of material on the internet is a low-life. Never, ever, let anyone photograph you in any compromising position. If I wouldn’t show the picture to my mother, or my wife it’s not getting taken.

  10. “Lost all sense of decorum and privacy,” pretty much sums it up. In this world of reality television and “over share” those of us who value privacy are looked upon as odd.

    I really don’t understand this compulsion to share every facet of life for the world to see. I suspect that only when this generation is held accountable for every poorly thought out post forever linked to them on the internet will we see a turn around.

    The worse thing about it is that cameras are everywhere and even those who make an attempt at privacy are subject to having their lives exposed to the world to see without consent. Big Brother or the neighbor next door? You never know who has eyes on you.

    I applaud the young lady for overcoming the situation and pushing forward. Many others aren’t as fortunate.

  11. Great story Kenneth. The internet and cyberspace, paradoxically, is amazing in ‘grounding’ us, which is a rather funny thought. No way we can get ‘lost in space’ anymore, consciously at any rate 🙂 We are all accountable for our actions and our inactions. Just like this year’s wonderful film Gravity with George Clooney & Sandra Bullock demonstrated, there is always a huge tension between the ‘Private and Personal’, the ‘Keep Out’ and the ‘Interpersonal and Public’. Although very uncomfortable at times, I view this as a very good thing. Surrender in its purest sense. Communicating clearly about stuff that matters to us. Standing up to be counted, knowing that we are supported by a network of love, deeper and wider than anything we can imagine. No man or woman is an island. Sounds like your coffee companion has done just that – stood up to be counted. Bravo to her for having the courage to use the ghastly experience of having her trust betrayed publicly to her advantage and sharing her discomfort. Yikes. Here’s hoping that her ex-partner’s interpersonal sensitivity skills have caught up with his camera skills:) We learn from each other and support each other. The realisation that we are all interconnected is truly the most profound and beautiful one and a real bridge to greater compassion for ourselves and each other. Inspirational as always. Thank you Kenneth.

  12. I like to share my private life with special people; could be a Stranger too drinking a cup of coffee 😃(never trust No one sending naked pictures) This generation is Wild.

  13. I personally think the guy posted the video because of his own fettish. After all, he was in the video too and didn’t mind being seen. I think it was a turn on for him to know other people would be watching. But he acted with no concern or respect for his girlfriend and suspect he just figured she would never know and the viewers wouldn’t know who she is so “it’s all good, right?”

    I do think the whole thing has taken a negative turn, partially because of the technology, but also because our society greatly lacks any personal accountability anymore. And the two go hand in hand. A while back I did a force field analysis on cyber bullying and how anonymity was a primary factor. It’s easy to fake an identity online or not have to see the victim. This detachment lowers our sense of personal accountability and need to deal with the emotional and psychological effects of the actions. I think these types of factors play into the general gossip and porn phenomena you’re talking about.

    It also reminds me of the radio show I listened to yesterday. They were asking callers to relay the most inappropriate thing they had seen at a wedding, and of course would laugh and joke about it afterwards. So really, the “inappropriate” behavior just became a joke. It became in essence appropriate. I think we’ve blurred the lines.

    • “because our society greatly lacks any personal accountability anymore”

      Gosh right on! Even among our leaders, politicians, etc. There is no accountability for practically anyone!

  14. I think it may have to do with the Puritanical nature of our society. We ban sex, treating it as dirty, so advertisers push right to the edge of law, titillating us with what we aren’t supposed to see or think about. We tell adolescents that their natural biological urges are dirty and evil, instead of talking frankly with them, so they go privately to the easiest place to learn what drives them.

    • I know the Puritans are so often referenced in our culture, but I personally believe the Victorian era did far more to reinforce this view. The Victorian era was the age of covering table legs (for naked table legs were somehow thought to be lascivious), for one. Then there were the efforts to control arousal and stimulation. Chastity belts had an older history, but Victorians invented tools to discourage men to be aroused– you can fill in the rest when I mention the ring with inner spikes. Both Kellogg and Post invented their cereals to control sexual impulse.

      The Victorian and the Edwardian eras (the latter in which Downton Abbey is set) is firmly in our memory in the 21st century, probably far more than the Puritans/Separatists, which is skewed by common perception anyways.

    • Damn those puritans! lol, there are good things and bad things about our forefathers for sure, but it does seem as though they set us up for some unhealthy views of sex.

  15. Privacy is very precious to me. I mean, yes, I do share some details of my life, because I don’t mind sharing if it will help connect me to another person, or if it wil maybe help the other person to realize they’re not alone. But intimate details, or all the little personal details, I prefer to keep to myself. I think people tend to overshare. I haven’t had a crapbook page for years; it’s so much less annoying, I’ll tell ya. I don’t want to hear what someone had for breakfast, who they’re meeting for lunch, pictures of their shoes, how long they were at the gym, or what music they are listening to. Another awesome post! 🙂 Gets people thinking.

    • I think privacy is especially important to parents. I mean, when we have children we don’t want all our private S**t aired for the world to see, we want to protect our children. But Facebook and all those other things tend to destroy privacy and can end up invading our lives in a negative way.

  16. I think we get better at watching television the less we watch it. Same with porn. I also think everyone just wants to be brave, and they mistake being naked with being brave. There is bravery in being vulnerable, in exposing and standing up for your true beliefs come hell or high water, but it takes a lot of wisdom to get to that point in one’s life. To know the difference between privacy versus hiding; courage versus exploitation.

    • At first I thought you were saying it took bravery to make a porn video 😉 I had to reread that…. although, I guess it might take a little bravery lol

  17. I value my privacy, and sometimes I wonder if I’m not a little too cavalier about what I disclose, but at the end of the post I have to live with what’s there when I hit “publish” or “share”, especially in venues where I can’t take it back. I try to reserve some stuff for myself and I get that some stuff just doesn’t need to be shared; aside from that, I get the feeling that if I don’t tell my story, then it’s likely that nobody else will, and who better to tell it?

  18. Brilliant Blog today. This is a conversation that needs to be taking place more often, and in more homes between parents and their children, as well as amongst friends. I have issues when i read private things on Facebook too, so as i read your blog today, I found myself shaking my head in agreement to everything you were saying.
    Thanks for shining the light on this issue today!

  19. When I was a hippy I only smoked pot because I knew the drawing power of serious drugs was beyond my control . . .

    porn is a drug that demands deeper and deeper depravity in order to maintain the same high. . . so a guy/gal cannot maintain the same level and expect the same high.

    This creates a bottomless pit, strewn with the corpses of those foolish enough to go too far down that road.

  20. While I’m an open book, I’m also very private about my life – but I’m really nuts about guarding my son’s privacy! And he’s so awesome, he plays video games with a couple of guys that are in their 20’s and when the guys all shared photos and other personal info, Mr. T told them honestly that he preferred not to share pictures. I was so proud of him!

  21. Mr Curious. Making a porn tape – how does that happen without the other party being oblivious? No expert here – but family snaps are hard enough to get right with everyone helping out. Hmmmm ….
    AND – if you haven’t seen this video (no porn) – please do: it ticks so many boxes you talk about in the “social media” and “connecting” subject! It is brill (and British – yay!!):
    http://blog.petflow.com/a-video-everyone-needs-to-see/

  22. Great post! I don’t know about you, but why would you allow yourself to be video during a private moment? Maybe the person was unaware. Either way shame on the guy for doing that to her and that awesome that she didn’t allow something like to bring her down.

  23. Small missteps of character can have enormous repercussions, when magnified by culture and technology. My guess is that the guy was trying to acquire some self-esteem back by bragging, after being dumped by the girl. (She had good instincts.) Perhaps the fallout left him a little shaken. (We can hope.) Maybe not. But I certainly sympathize with her anger.
    On another thought, perhaps as literacy has increased over time, perhaps people will also learn to view better; to better interpret what they see.

  24. I do think you’re in a minority, but I’ve met plenty 20 and 30 somethings who avoid all social media and keep to themselves. When you’re so used to people being open about everything, it can come off as odd, but it’s certainly not a bad or offensive way to be.

    I would image her ex-boyfriend posted that video out of revenge. I know there are website out the specifically for posting nude photos of ex girlfriends. I’m sure there’s one for ex boyfriends as well, but women aren’t as likely to obsess over a body, or objectify a body, as men are. (I actually just read a really interesting post about why men find it easy to objectify women and why the reverse is so rare).

  25. “In the world of the television and now the Internet; there are no more secrets. An 80 year old and an 8 year old can watch a pornographic film and they both know what is happening. Unlike a book where the more you read it, the better a reader you become; you don’t get better at watching television the more you watch it.”

    You are right! The availability of video has forever changed how we see things. This is why I never was able to understand any book that included sexual content. I was curious about sex for no other reason than because it was such a big topic in the culture. I suppose if I experienced it I might understand it, but is it really worth it?

    • I should of told everyone but that was something I got from Professor Neil Postman, he used to teach at NYU and has made a major impact in my life through his books, I’ve read everything he ever wrote.

  26. Interesting. Isn’t this problem also a problem of perception in the media? As you said we do hear about sexting teens on the news, but a story about all those other teens who think sending naked pictures is stupid just isn’t that interesting.
    And also, this comment “you don’t get better at watching television the more you watch it” is very true, I don’t think watching television is completely useless either. I think that the fact I can express myself in a language that isn’t my mother tongue, like English, is the result of hours spent before the television.
    Btw I really like this blog. When I browse to my reader and I didn’t see a post passing by, your blog is the only one I look up.

  27. I had as much fun reading the comments as reading this post! There is definitely a line that I wont cross in my on-line sharing, if I wouldn’t share it in a facilitated group circle then I wont post about it.

    I wonder if we were to teach that our bodies are like temples, that sex is an energetic contract as much as a physical one, if some of the fetish and taboo would fall away. Maybe we create more problems than would be normal by how we educate our young.

    If we could only erase the inherited issues around sex we collectively share, maybe self-worth, respect and balance would become the norm and not the exception … I’m painting with a broad stroke but somewhere along the line sex has become a confusion and people are lost, especially our young

    My Grandmother said that “anything that happens between two consenting adults is OK” The key is in knowing yourself and recognizing what is consent. Ultimately the body is a temple, it is holy ground and you are your bodies caretaker … what would happen if we taught people that?

  28. There is definitely positive potential in a more open society. If we can reach a point where we all feel there is no need to have to be secretive with each other, that’s going to be one heck of a loving world!

  29. Holy crap! I think I’d lose it if someone posted a video of me having sex. What the heck is going on in this world eh.
    Social media and media in general has definitely changed (or should I say influenced) culture, society, value systems, etc. Is it all bad? No, that would be silly of me to say that. But it certainly has it’s (many) downfalls.
    🙂

  30. I once briefly dated a kind and gentle fellow, but when I found out he was obsessed with porn that was it for us. It was a transfer of addictions – he might have been dry, but his addiction issues were still raging in a new venue.

    If someone posted a video of me having sex and did so without my full knowledge and consent there would be absolute hell to pay.

    I have friends who love the dickens out of me, but one simply does not bait the lioness without enduring a great deal of roaring, the potential of losing juicy bits, and finding oneself in the unenviable position of being the subject of litigation. Everyone who knows me at all knows that.

    Perhaps if more people had that sort of formidable boundary there would be less of this type of behavior. And yes, I know if I litigated then many people would know, but the reality is that I would not be shamed by his shoddy behavior.

    I’m older, so you’d think people around my age would be similarly conservative behaviorally, but it is not the case.

    • I used to think that the immaturities of my friends would disappear as they got older…. well I guess I was clearly wrong. It seems like they merely become older people who are still immature…. such is life I guess.

  31. Certainly, we may have become a more screen orientated society, but to confuse that with being a more visually cultural society is a going a step to far, unless you regard a culture as something that grows on something you leave at the back of the fridge too long.

    As a trained graphic designer living with an artist, I would even suggest our sense of visuals is decling with increasing use of computer technology. Many people seem to think they become photographers, designers or artists because they can use the computer to create ‘designs’ but it takes a lot more than that.

    For instance, there are those, who seem to believe blue lettering on a black background looks ‘cool’ and they have a point, except when it comes to body type, when it is almost impossible to read comfortably. That’s the only example I’m going to give, as I don’t want to write an article here.

    Nevertheless, computer technology has helped a lot of people become more visually aware, at the same time as making far more think they are visually aware. Or cultured, if you prefer. Oh, I don’t half quibble at times. Even with myself.

    • Bryan, I wish you lived next door to me; a graphic designer?? sheesh, I don’t know anything about graphic design and am always at a loss for working those aspects on my blog. You are lucky my friend to have your talents.

  32. Greetings Kenneth–I can say that I certainly agree with you about this topic. We don’t consider making love or enjoying a healthy sex life with someone is very important anymore. What a shame. I’ve always thought that enjoying another person, with their consent of course, is a wonderful way of connecting-of saying that I find you more intriguing and special than others –there is a wonderful gift attached to the act of love making that transcends or should at least the normal boundaries of a friendship. One person is taking a huge risk in sharing what is sacred and integral to their being with someone else who appreciates the gift. Otherwise go pay for it . The problem is our present day society has no sense of that and they are at a loss for it. To share that on the internet-facebook or any where else is not only lo-class but it says that it really didn’t mean a damn thing. That is just plain narcissistic and the perp needs to be ‘shot and pissed on’.

  33. What’s sad, is that it isn’t just sex that’s being thrown about all caddywompus. Everything, it seems, has been devalued. I’m still in shock over the fact that, thanks to ever increasingly graphic and violent horror flicks, the very life of a human is no longer sacred. It’s exploitation (porn) and disembowelment (have you SEEN the ‘Saw’ movies) have been reduced to nothing more than crude entertainment. So so sad.

  34. I meant *its exploitation! not *it’s. Stupid auto-correct.

  35. i’m sorry for my owfull eng …. everityng change if you are ready for changing you are a great person i mean you can pass trought everything …. the moral is without foundation and freedom is the only right way …. i can be free and post what i want and you can be free to view love hate or not view what i post …. you can see what i really am only if i’m free to be me …. the trhuth is better than someting added builded over it ….

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