Porn: A Vicious Drug

fiftyshadesofhedges
India’s porn and B-movies are often lousy in film quality. So, importing American porn and web links is extremely popular.

Pornography is taking over the world, like wildfire in a haystack. It’s killing India, in particular.

[Foreword: India’s conservative government just lifted a ban on porn watching, under pressure from powerful lobbies. Yet, it would not lift a ban on Leslee Udwin’s British documentary on the horrendous Delhi rape that shook India.]

When we were teenagers in Calcutta, we had a couple of friends who would find black and white “yellow” booklets from strange, unknown places. And adolescent we were, we would devour on them. And be very excited.

These were stupid stories of impossible possibilities: a sixteen year-old city boy visits his uncle in a remote village, and suddenly gets sexually involved with a friend of his aunt, or a sister-in-law, etc. Occasionally, the thin booklets printed with horrible, laughable typos would have black and white photos too. Photos stolen from some secretly imported American magazines. Printed lousily.

But in a country like India and in a city like Calcutta with major taboo on sex education, those booklets served their purpose. They aroused us, and made us victims of uncontrolled lust. Those of us who did not have older brothers or sisters to mentor us, and warn us against such illicit carnal desires, had suffered from the greatest impact of pornography.

Our sense of social behaviors and appropriateness dissolved.

We were also terribly afraid of being caught of doing those activities. Getting caught by an elder, or a teacher if we did it in school, would result in major beating and other severe punishment.

mashmedia
Greed for lust. Then, more greed for lust. And then, violence and unlawful activities. Just like drugs.

But not anymore. India has “progressed.” And USA was always hundred miles advanced, when it came to such matters of life. Just like Hollywood took a big role in advancing cinema across the world, America’s underground porn magazines and movies also pioneered through the rest of the world on the dark, unrestricted pleasures of life. India with its zero sex education, has always been a big victim of American blue films.

India has always been a patriarchal country, at least for my lifetime, and Bollywood and Hollywood and hardcore and softcore porn made it worse.

Now, the porn industry is enormous in the two countries I’ve lived all my life — USA and India. In USA, small-town, isolated porn movie theaters gave way to a massive, online market. There are hundreds of websites that one can access — free of charge — to view blue movies. Small clips of two or ten minutes are free for preview. One can then subscribe to the site of their likes, paying with a credit card, just like any other shopping activity. It’s all legal as long as you follow the over-18 age rule, and perhaps some geographical area restrictions. Well, I live in New York City, and here, social permissiveness has taken a new height (or low, depending on your pov) long, long ago. Anything is possible in New York and California.

Porn industry is often riddled with violence, forced prostitution, and drugs. Sometimes, grotesque violence. And women are almost always at the receiving end of all of the above. But because America has long been a socially permissive country, where sexuality is no more a secret subject, and man-woman social togetherness is well established, in my opinion, compared to what is happening in India now, USA’s porn industry has not been able to inflict a direct, bloody wound on young minds to the extent that it creates depravity or a culture of violence and rape on women.

In India, it has.

Sunny Leone
An Indian porn star went “mainstream,” even though she keeps making millions for her non-mainstream jewels. Everybody is okay with it. Media glorifies it.

Indian society is still by far one where open discussion about sex is a taboo. Indian schools are still by far totally devoid of any sex education. In India, men still look at women’s body in an obscene way, completely disregarding any rules of decency or social norms. In a crowded place such as a rush-hour train, bus or market, men would often touch a woman inappropriately, or at least pay dirty looks. I have heard many stories. I have seen some.

Rape and violence on women have reached a new, historic low. And some of it could perhaps be attributed to underground porn. But porn is not even underground anymore. Indian market is now open, and a biggest victim of the neoliberal economy. It has borrowed the American corporate mantra that “if people want it, you will sell it.” And what people want, media and entertainment industry will determine. If pornography is something that helps you to sell more, you shall use it.

No questions asked.

But there is zero accountability for the consequences. If porn makes an entire young generation hooked — to an extent that it must find a way to do porn, the industry will not take responsibility. Every Internet cafe or parlor in India — big cities or small — now has a vast number of young customers that would visit regularly only for porn. I have seen a number of times that the computers in an Internet cafe have history of porn viewing. School kids. College kids. You just sit at the back-row computers, and spend time, watching porn. The shop owner knows. He doesn’t mind, because you are his regular, devoted customer. You are making money on his habit. He knows you are going to return at a particular time when it’s relatively empty. He knows you are going to do it on a regular basis.

Pornstar wealth
Indian media shows how much richest porn stars make. Unthinkable, even ten years ago!

You are hooked. You must do it. It’s just like drugs.

In fact, recent scientific researches have shown that hormones that are responsible for drug and alcohol addiction are either the same or similar to those responsible for sex addiction or gambling addiction.

A National Institute of Health-sponsored Psychiatry article said: “Compulsive sexual behavior, otherwise known as sexual addiction, is an emerging psychiatric disorder that has significant medical and psychiatric consequences.”

But in an uncontrolled corporate market such as India, there is rarely media discussions on the addictive and harmful aspects and impacts of the so-called “adult entertainment.” In fact, major newspapers and TV outlets now regularly feature porn-related stories, and glorify porn stars — both from India and USA — as if there is no reason not to include them as mainstream topics. There is hardly ever any media discourse on the potentially violent or unlawful consequences of this addiction.

Porn industry has billionaire producers, sponsors, and celebrity customers. They keep the industry afloat and prosperous, in the name of personal liberty and freedom.

The vast majority of the society is paying an incredibly heavy price. In case of India, I know for the fact that an entire generation is on a new, often-unknown, vicious drug. Their social behavior and sociability are falling apart.

And just like any other drug, this drug is slowing killing the mind.

Sincerely,

Partha Banerjee

Brooklyn, New York

Madonna ABP
An Indian daily paper suddenly publishes Madonna’s 1979 nude photos. Why? $$.

2 thoughts on “Porn: A Vicious Drug

  1. I doubt porn will go away in the internet world, so one can only hope that the more progressive aspects of western culture also make their impact to the extent they can help the situation of women in India. Feminism, like the Civil Rights movement, was an important liberation movement in American society its time. I think once it achieves its goals of legal equality and changed attitudes adopting full respect and acceptance of equality of opportunity, here in America at least we have moved on to the point where the liberation movements have crystalized into divisive identity politics, a culture of inherent and permanent differences and separation of interests and even permanent victim psychologies and reverse discrimination based on assumptions that white men are inherently racists, sexist and privileged. At which point the liberation movements outlive their usefulness and become obstacles to solidarity and sense of common national identity and common national interest that would be much more functional given our shared dependence on national institutions and conditions. I understand India is not at such a point in social development, and perhaps has much deeper clefts due to millennia of polyglot multiculturalism and, yes, patriarchy and caste. I may have moved far afield from your topic but that is the larger context in which I see the situation of women. Obviously sex will always be there, being as old as flowering plants, but that means it will also survive social development bringing equality of opportunity and legal status and a culture of mutual respect.

  2. Hi!well written… for a long time as an activist working with children and adolescents here and seeing a husband brought up with sex as hush hush while more liberal children and woman I found my land convoluted…men seeing women as labels…mother sister wife vamp..not as a human being with equal needs and desires the curse generated by archaic religious traditions as well as patriarchal norms…now spoken about by NGO workers as huge gender issues..respect too is given to women when they marry or more so when they reach that sacred role of motherhood when she becomes a selfless sacrificer of herself as she tirelessly runs the home cooks feeds huge families forgets herself and soon never sees herself as a body but just as a housewife first …even if she earns she has to pander to a husband or children son’s finally take care of the ‘mother’ in her something happened here sex did not matter it was not an expression of deep love it had to be porn for most men here and have been trying to get policy changed by govt but even educationist so called ones here think sex education will pollute the innocent minds!!!!adult men watch porn more than teens out here!:))Still trying to educate them…

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