article from: Things Women Want
One ‘conservative’ estimate claims that 100 million people look at porn online every day…and 95% of these people are men. For many women, the topic of pornography sparks deep feelings of discomfort and insecurity, and can lead to worries or fights about its place in long-term love relationships. What we hear women bemoaning time and again is simply for their man to not put such an importance on his seemingly rabid consumption of porn.
Allison Vivas has just written Making Peace with Porn incorporating personal stories, the history of adult entertainment, clinical research, statistics and data, tips for discussing the topic with your partner, and level-headed advice about the role of pornography in relationships; basically Allison assures women pornography is nothing to feel threatened by.
Allison is in a unique position to know about this subject seeing as she is president of the pornography production company Pink Visual. P.V. is a groundbreaking brand in the adult industry known for its technological and other innovations. Vivas has been personally selected tine and again to represent the adult entertainment industry at mainstream media events, been honored by the online global forum BigThink.com as one of the “10 Top Women in Male Dominated Fields,” and consistently contributes articles about adult entertainment to national magazines like Newsweek.
She’s also a wife and mom.
With her usual good-humored Allison as much takes a refreshing look at why porn might not be such a bad thing after all in Making Peace with Porn as well as answering our questions below.
Titling my first question from one of the chapters of Making Peace with Porn: Adult Entertainment and Your Guy who ‘taught’ women to’ hate porn?”
Well, the truth is that no one person, group or set of circumstances taught women to hate porn. Our general distaste for porn comes from a combination of influences, some of which vary greatly from person to person, while other factors are more ingrained and “organic,” for lack of a better word. On the one hand, there are societal and parental influences, traditional attitudes about the proper nature of gender roles, including an age-old notion that women are supposed to be chaste. In some cases, religion and religious leaders play a role in shaping women’s attitudes about porn, in other cases it might be a feminist critique of erotica that has inspired hatred for pornography. There appears to be some fundamental differences in brain structure between men and women, including a stronger orientation toward wanting instant gratification on the part of men, while women are more likely to seek a long term benefits from their actions. The nature of most porn is a factor as well; most of it is created by men to appeal to other men. Given that fact, it’s no surprise that most porn has very limited appeal for most women.
None of this means that anybody, man or woman, has to hate porn; these are just some of the influences that lead us in that direction, some of which are more likely to resonate with women than with men.
There are some real differences in the ways that men and women respond to porn and to sexual stimulation in general. This is an area that needs more study, and there’s a lot that still isn’t known or understood about it, but what we do know is that slight differences between the sexes in the way the brain reactions to various stimuli results in enormous differences in behavior and in physiological and psychological reactions. Having said that, I believe both sexes engage in sexual fantasy and enjoyment of erotica for the same basic reason: it gets them off. There are differences in what gets each person off, why it gets them off and how it gets them off, but at the end of the day, people who enjoy porn or other forms of erotica are motivated by a very basic, fundamental and entirely human impulse that is common to all of us, at least in my opinion.
Yet, it’s obvious and there are studies to support this, that men are generally much more sexual beings and are aroused both more quickly and intensely then women. So for many of us women, it’s important to understand that how we feel or get aroused is completely different and often less intense then our male counterparts. So give that, it’s easy for us to look at porn and make quick judgment because it just doesn’t do it for us, but it makes sense that a guy who sees some porn is quickly aroused and drawn in. I always joke that you definitely don’t want a guy watching porn and attempting to do something else important at the same time like file his taxes. On the other hand, probably most women could easily have porn playing and prepare their taxes, watching the hottest romantic comedy though, they too may be drawn in too much to work on something important.
The book is chuck full of your learned thoughts on this whole subject; how porn began, what it can mean if a man is watching it, etc. When does pornography impinge on a relationship? Are there objective warnings or is this all subjective for each couple?
I think it’s a bit subjective, but as a general rule, I think indulgence in anything to the point that it is interfering with your responsibilities and obligations in life is a problem, whether that thing is porn, golf, Facebook, Twitter, sewing, or what have you. I also believe that in some cases, the problem isn’t with the guy watching porn; the problem is in how his wife or girlfriend reacts to him watching porn. If your man is watching porn a couple times a week and it’s not happening at the expense of being intimate with you, doing his job, or otherwise living up to his responsibilities, I don’t see that level of porn consumption as problematic, it’s probably not one of your relationship issues.
I imagine that it can, although I have no specific examples to cite. There’s no question that other forms of entertainment and media can become problematic for women; we’ve all read about people who spend so much time playing video games or surfing the Web that they start neglecting their children, for example. Why is that any less problematic than watching too much porn? The answer, in my view, is that porn involves sex, and sex is “special,” for some reason, in terms of the discomfort, concern and scorn that it inspires in a lot of people. Many of the same parents who freak out about the idea of their kids running across porn on the Internet don’t give a second thought to their kids watching a graphic horror movie, or playing games like Grand Theft Auto for hours on end. For whatever reason, as a society we’re just more tolerant of some forms of entertainment than others, and porn probably leads the way in terms of being considered unacceptable, even though it is now more “mainstream” than it has ever been in the past. Just for the record, I don’t think anything overtly violent or overtly sexual should be so “mainstream” that young developing minds think nothing of it when they come across it.
You have a chapter in the book titled, “My Man Watches Porn! What’s Wrong With Him?” Is there something inherently wrong with a man who watches porn?
While I think there are definitely some problems that arise from too much ‘machismo’ in men, I also think we’ve reached a point where men are being shamed over things that are really natural, hardwired impulses, and one of these impulses is to seek out visual stimulation that involves sex and sexual fantasies. Not only do I believe that there’s nothing wrong with adult men who watch porn, I think so many men watch it, and enjoy watching it, that you can’t deny it’s a natural and normal inclination. In my book, I cite a study done by the University of Montreal that attempted to compare the views of men who had watched porn to those who had not, but ran into a problem: they couldn’t find any men who hadn’t watched porn! That tells me that if watching porn isn’t normal for men, then we don’t have a lot of normal men running around out there, which in turn calls into question our definition of “normal.”
Well there’s never been any resistance here to having a woman as a boss, which is a good thing, seeing as how most of our executives are women, and not just me. Our Vice President, CFO, customer service manager and in-house counsel are all women. Any man who has a problem taking orders from women wouldn’t last a week at Pink Visual.
We are definitely starting to cater more to women, couples, and other audiences that have long been considered the figment of some porn marketer’s overactive imagination. We recently started working with Jincey Lumpkin, the “Chief Sexy Officer” of Juicy Pink Box (www.juicypinkbox.com), who makes really high-quality, beautiful erotica aimed specifically at lesbians and bisexual women. In general, I think there’s a real thirst for authenticity now in porn, which is in part a reaction to the fact that, historically, a lot of porn is just really fake…boobs, orgasms, unconvincing scenarios, etc. There’ always be a market for that type of porn, too, but I think a lot of people are looking for something different.
The book will be officially released in June of this year and I plan on engaging in speaking opportunities and book signings…and of course creative online ways to both promote the book and interact with readers who have questions or just generally want to know their guy is normal.
Personally I recently weathered some recent health scares and simultaneously have been observing the conflicts in our U.S. communities (from gun violence, to bullying, to ongoing racism or anti-gay rhetoric), so I just plan to focus on raising two lovely daughters and making sure they understand love, kindness, and culture. I can do a lot more activities and travel with them so that’s mostly what I plan on for me in my personal life.
Pre sales for Allison’s book can be made here: http://www.amazon.com/Making-Peace-Porn-Adult-Entertainment/dp/0897936574/
The various Pink Visual and PV relates sites:
www.juicypinkbox.com (referenced that in the answers)
www.eroticmind.com (female friendly productions of ours)