I started watching pornography when it required going to a movie house and sitting in plain view of others. We sat as far from other people as we could.
Now it is is available on the Internet. And for free.
What has the porn industry innovated during this period of 40 years? They now consider incest an appropriate theme. They present step moms having sex with their sons. Brandi Love tells her stepson, “Your father doesn’t need to know about this.”
Pornography offers us a potent classroom for examining the state of our values, assuming that we have some.
There are other industries equally void of creativity and innovation. I think the value of examining and discussing pornography is that we can avoid the politics of talking about, well, politics. Nobody is going to defend porn on the grounds of some alleged virtue. It has no virtues that I know of, so we can use it as a case study without stirring up conflicts. At least, I hope so. I see the Republican party as an expression of pornography, but that’s just me. Companies that profit from fossil fuels seem pornographic to me. Just an opinion. Universities that create decades of debt for their graduates seem to me to be pornographers. Just saying.
The defining character of pornography, in my opinion, is that it allows us to express lust without any sense of responsibility for it. Our culture, generally speaking, mistrusts responsibility and welcomes lust. We would do well, in my opinion, to talk about that.