India’s Porn Ban, Partial revoke, Mastrubation, sex and other taboos

shield-107860_1280So a few days back one fine morning many people in India figured out that they could not access some close to 900 websites most of which were porn sites. There was a big outcry and unlike anything seen before the Government responded quickly and lifted the Ban partially and credible authorities saying that “A new notification will be issued shortly. The ban will be partially withdrawn. Sites that do not promote child porn will be unbanned.”

It was also noted that not all of the sites were porn sites and some of them were mere humour sites. Over the last few days two funny whatsapp messages that were in circulation are…

Basically government is against anything which gives you pleasure in 2 minutes. (Banned Maggi and Porn.)

Forget about Make in India. Now we can’t even Shake in India.

So I thought this will be a good time to delve a bit deeper on the issue and the psych

Is there a Genuine issue with Internet Porn?

Personally I think in india there is a genuine problem in having easy access to internet porn because there are many houses where the only person who can operate a PC and internet is the kid in the house. Even for a video you cannot get it unless you knew someone in the shop or knew someone who knew someone in a shop. But the internet is all free for all… So internet in these houses gives the kids and their friends free access to porn.

Is Porn Addictive?

Yes I think Porn watching can become addictive. If people can be addicted to horror movies, violent blood splashing flicks and suspense movies why not porn. Yes people can be addicted and like any addiction it has its problems

Will Porn ignite more sexual Violence?

This is a ‘may be yes’ and ‘may be not’ kind of thing. If you ask if Porn is the only reason for sexual violence then the answer is no because a sexually violent act by someone does not necessarily arise from watching something, but by getting obsessed with something and that can be from normal movies that has sexually explicit references. In India and around the world there are so many movies that explicitly show sexually violent acts like rape. Normal movies that are not considered porn like the ‘Insaaf Ki Taraasu’ and ‘I spit on your grave’ types which has sheer violence in them. Many Porn is not about violence and it is about entertainment, but I would say for someone who has to act violently does not need access to porn. I don’t think ‘Deep Throat’ ever initiated more sex related violence in the society than before.

But with kids there is a problem having access to porn. Just like they are not allowed to the R rated movies they should be protected from watching Porn and any action in that direction is good. And that is where Internet porn gets tough to regulate in places where kids have free access to the internet even if that is youtube. So the goal should be to educate and ensure there is only a regulated flow. Also parents should take special interest in talking to kids and ensuring that there is an open communication that tells them the rights and wrongs just like drinking.

kamasutra-712373_1280Why is Ban a bad Idea?

Ban is not the right way to bring change and we have seen that with many things in many places around the world. But there are illegal things that should not just be banned but also cracked down and the guilty arrested and punished, like Child Porn.

An adult or some adults sitting in their private space and viewing porn that is not illegal should not be banned. Also sex between consenting adults should not be a taboo. In India a place where we had the recent Kiss of Love protests and the participants of that protest still being served notice by police it is high time people act as adults and allow two people who love each other to show their affection. In a place where religious morons walk around naked calling themselves saints and no law stops them, they have no right to oppose two lovers from kissing in public. This is called hypocrisy.

What is amusing about the Ban and the partial revoking?

I read a post by an activist who poked fun at the outcry and the immediate Govt attention to it. And her point is very valid because the outcry on Porn Ban did not have any religious or political barriers and everyone seemed to be in one side. But there was a slight difference. Some opposed the Ban because philosophically they are against the idea of Ban and that is not just Porn but anything. Some who never opposed the Beef Ban were all agitated over the Porn Ban which says they oppose because they feel something valuable will be taken away from them if porn is not available.

While I agree with her on the issue of why this is getting more attention than some other pressing issues, I do not feel legal porn access in a restricted manner will initiate more sexual violence. We might have to see if there are numbers that tell us this. Before Internet also Porn was very easily available and movie censor board was always only end up catching visuals and not the sexual references and underpinnings in dialogues that might lead to violence.

escargots-355261_1280Why do People watch Porn?

I don’t know about everyone but can tell about myself. I watched a porn movie first before I turned 18. In fact by the time I got into college I had watched enough Porn that I never felt really excited about watching again. When my friends in college would all be excited when there is a porn movie shown in the hostel common room (this was illegal that time) I have always refrained from it.

Through out my 4 years I never saw it once and I did not do so because I did not like it, but because I did not find it so damn needed to watch and get into trouble and also I always had a feeling that it should not be showcased in a place used by people who might not want to see it. A common room in a hostel is a place for all students and not just porn lovers. But may be those times there were no TV and common room was the only way. Today may be people watch it in their laptops. I was no saint not watching… I had watched enough before I came there….

I again started watching porn after college when we friends used to gather and we would have our long drinking sessions and one or two TVs will be running some porn movie. Not even once in those sessions have anyone told about having real sex…. or even using drugs… I am not sure if that is an aberration when people hear now. But I guess as we were growing up a porn was kind of the limit and we never thought of exercising that knowledge and enjoyment on other willing or unwilling people.

Porn was a kind of enjoyment just like watching any other movie, but unlike other movies people liked to watch the same movie over again. Back then I always imagined myself having a library of porn movies when I grow up and have my own house. Then after I left India I bought one movie for myself. But later I figured that even in US when it is so freely available I should have had a collection, but I guess I never did that. The whole concept of watching porn kind of withered off over time. Now I have a library of books and not library of porn movies.

Unlike during my younger days as a bachelor I do not watch a lot of porn now and chances are zero that we go for a weekend house visit and one of our friends says ‘Hey let us watch a new porn movie I bought last week’.. I mean it does not happen that way at least for me. And on internet, yes I have searched for Sunny Leone like many others and I always wanted to watch one of her movies but never got a chance. Is in my list of ‘To Dos’

Do I have urge to watch ? yes some times and to be honest I do meet that urge, I don’t think that is a fault, almost all times it is not the hard porn but the soft porn that makes its way to my sight….. though I guess many would not openly admit this.

Can I live without Porn?, Oh yes I can, so a Ban anywhere will not effect me, but I will oppose a Ban if it comes because it is not right to ban adults from watching a porn involving two or more adults.

museum of sexShould some things really change?

Last year we visited the Museum of Sex in new York and it was a nice experience to see the history of the industry. But being part of the Indian community I know that not just in India but other places also there is a taboo towards sex in general whereas the land of kamasutra should be thinking otherwise. There is a problem with two things, the taboo of unmarried sex happening and the other is taboo of talking about married sex not happening 🙂 Both have their problems.

I am not saying that one fine morning we wake up all open minded. But things will change gradually to a more accommodating way unless cheap politics and religion does not try to make a gain in every turn. and the only way is to talk when you see something happening where a silence is not appropriate.

Two years back I wrote an article on the second item about love and lovemaking on one of my wedding anniversary. On the first point of unmarried sex, I have no much idea as I never had sex before marriage. But I am not against the idea, sometimes I have even felt that it have a missed opportunity not attempting it but then the place and time I grew up was different from what it is now. But I guess marriage should never be prerequisite for sex because it only makes things bad. There should be sex before and after marriage. There should always be sex.

So what about Mastrubation?

Oh! OOPS! I uttered the ‘M’ word….. I hope no one would have heard…… I have heard that Magazines and movies are available in a doctor’s office where you need to give semen for testing. Don’t know as I don’t remember having gone for one of those, but I know that now if I need to I will not have need for a magazine or movie but there is a time in life for people when you need a magazine or movie. The inability to mastrubate is not a funny thing to talk about. But we always have a problem with the whole ‘M’ word itself

shield-107861_1280When we were bachelors we used to talk if we would be mastrubating even after we are married. And sometimes when we get together we talk about that and though we all say the truth to each other, I am not sure how many would agree that when talking to their partners. And I have often thought why that is so. The only reason I have found is that it is because if you are with someone and you go and mastrubate you will be looked down suspiciously by your partner because he/she would think you were thinking about someone else while doing it. Well that is not a topic many would like to confront and debate so often left unsaid. Remember the first scene in the movie American Beauty?

Some people might read this and frown and say, what is wrong with this guy?… why does he have to write all this.. we all know these but there is no need to say these things out in public… Well they might be right, I am not saying anything that should not be said. I am just saying we have too much taboos for the wrong things… and don’t notice things that should be stopped…

It is high time we act as adults and in doing so it is necessary that we look at Porn as just any other thing that cannot be left unattended and unregulated but not look at it as a complete menace. We would expect rational grownups to make a call on this rather than monkeys with no clue.

Having watched enough porn in my life, I have honestly never considered it as a great piece of art ( i might be wrong). But I have looked at photographs and sculpture and images that portray nudity and felt they are really arty… A video porn is always watched just for fun and pleasure and not for artistic value (at least me), the same I think goes with people folking the theatre to watch an adult rated movie that has no story or good acting… if one is allowed then the other also should be allowed as well…

The channels can be different because I guess it is different, that is why we call it adult industry. It is different from the mainstream movie making. Things take time to change. There was a time in India when acting in movies were considered bad and then it changed, even now some people look down upon that unless you are the hero or heroin.

We can write pages about why porn should not be banned, but even in places like US being in Adult industry is not considered as something they want their kids to pursue even by people who do not think it is a problem. Everyone wants the best for their kids and loved ones and being part of the Adult Industry is still not considered the best thing.

sex-110113_1280In a documentary about Ron Jeremy the famous Adult star it was said that he always wanted to act in mainstream hollywood but always got side roles. Once he landed a role in a kids movie and they made him wear a mask and act because they did not want a Kids movie that had Ron Jeremy in it. Even in US people see the adult industry and actors differently, what should you call it, legal but separate?. I know many Indians would have watched the movie ‘Guru’ not the Abhishek one, the english one which talks about an Indian dude who starts working in the adult film industry

If you are not aware Ron Jeremy’s dad was a physicist and his mother a book editor. He has a bachelor’s degree in education and theatre and a master’s degree in special education from Queens College in New York. He taught special-education classes in the New York City area and was a substitute teacher for regular classes. The industry was what he chose for him not what his parents prepared him for.

Look at Sunny Leone, She is part of the mainstream film industry in India while she was part of the Adult Film industry in the US. In one way if you look, that makes India more open and accommodating in having a US porn star work on mainstream bollywood unlike in US. India is not a closed society but when politics and religion plays a role in everything many things get closed and narrowed

If you think people should not be allowed to watch Porn in private, kiss in public or if you think two consensual adults should not take a room in a hotel and have sex or if you think you mastrubating (married or unmarried) is a crime then you need to grow up. You don’t have to do it as it is a personal choice, but you should stop being against it.

Personally I am all in for some kind of real awareness and a way to regulate the streaming of porn but not a Ban…. The problem with a Ban is it always makes things worse…

If I hurt anyone for using the ‘M’ word and what I said here just push it aside and take it as an intellectual mastrubation from my end

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