What is pornography?
In the simplest terms itis depiction of human sexuality in the broad and various forms. Pornography is closely related with human activities and art. In humans we can see 40,000 years of history of art linked with pornography. The first human art was Venus statues and even scholars accept that it was possibly made for porn purposes. Whenever a new technology or art form emerged, it was quickly adapted for depicting human sexuality.
First depicition of sexual intercurse. It is art or obscenity? Carved to the stone 10 000 BC in place of Tan Toudouf on the Sahara.
Art would have been much more poor if painters did not paint human bodies. When photography was invented, within just a few years it was used for taking photos of naked women. The same thing happened with the invention of cinema. Today pornographers are working on incorporating virtual reality and holograms in porn! And tech experts predict that in the future we should expect erotic virtual realms.
I think Microsoft Hololens will be useful for watching porn.
Pornograhy is closely related to humans and always will be. Views on pornography have changed through the ages. Sometimes it was celebrated, sometimes forbidden and sometimes controversial but it will always be with us. We will have to deal with porn and understand it.
The world “pornography” comes from two Greek words – pornea and graphy. Porna means prostitute and graphy is depiction or illustration. Together it means “Depiction of prostitutes”. This derogatory name was created in 1860 which was the Victorian age. Every depiction of sexuality was harshly suppressed.
It is porn, it is erotica or it is advertisment on the suncream?
On the other hand we have the word “Erotica”. This word also has Greek origin and means desire or sexual arousal. Erotica is more arty than porn. Some people think that erotica is just softcore porn and some think it is the same as porn. I think both the words are closely related and have the same meaning – depiction of human sexuality. It depends only on the people if they will use polite Erotica or harder Pornography.
Human relationship with pornography was changing throughout history. In the beginning, people had deities closely related with sexuality and phallic/yoni cults. From prehistoric to Roman Empire times, sexuality was something that was highly anticipated and valuable.
Sexual power was important for social positions. People were very proud of their sexuality and it was normal for them to have sex pictures in the kitchen. All ancient civilizations had an open attitude to sex. Homosexuality also wasn't shameful. Even in ancient Sparta it was common and socially acceptable for a man to have sex with another comrade-in-arms when a woman was not available. All this was depicted in the art as well.
The main biological purpose of sex is evolutionary (making children). But from the time when we separated from our closest biological cousins - chimpanzees and bonobos (before 200,000 generations or 2-3 million years), sex had a social function. It was used to create social relationships and bonds.
Development of society and sexual subculture is deeply interconnected. This is the main reason that attitudes towards sex and porn change in various cultures over time. In the last 1500 years in Europe, sexuality was suppressed by church. Pornography in medieval times virtually ceased to exist. Luckily the Renaissance made sexuality more normal although we still have not achieved the level of sexual freedom found in the Roman Empire.
The attitude to sexuality and pornography is connected to sexual equality of genders. Wherever women are considered second-class citizens, sexuality is repressed. In societies where there is 100% gender equality (like Denmark or hippie communities) there is much more sexual freedom and peacefulness.
I would like to show you one example. In 19th century, erotic art of Pompeii was discovered. There were many pictures that depicted sexual relations between humans and even with deities. At the time of discovery (circa 1860) this discovery was labelled as pornography. Even Webster dictionary called it that. All those pictures were covered till the late 20th century. On the other hand we have the picture of Christ on a cross that you find in every church. Always celebrating picture of a dead body. If you compare picture of Satyr and Nymph from Pompeii and Jesus on the cross, which do you think is more obscene? Jesus picture or porn? Violence or love? I think this says a lot about us that we celebrate death instead of the creation of new life.
Iconography of the Jesus on the left side, Martyr and Nympha - roman gods - on the right side. In 19th century was Jesus pictures adored and right picture from Pompeii was forbidden and covered. Which picutre are ore obscene to you?
Today, one third of the net is Google, another third is social networks and the final third is porn. Everyday hundreds of millions of people are watching internet porn and still porn is controversial. In half of the countries, porn is illegal but still people there watch it. You cannot forbid porn since it is sexual stimulation and the need for watching sex is common. I must admit pornography is without doubt addictive, but in general sex and love - both are addictive (love is maybe the most addictive drug ever). On the other hand pornography helps sexual frustration and lowering sexually motivated crimes.
People like porn, but girls doing porn are still looked down upon in society, including in even a free society like the Czech Republic. In other countries, it is much worse. I remember the case of pornstar Belle Knox who got into a lot of social trouble, including death threats for doing porn. But it’s not her or any pornstar’s problem. It’s the problem of people making death threats and harassing pornstars. These troublemakers have psychological problems and are full of complexes.
Conclusion: In general pornography is a really nice probe into our society. How we view and make porn (today’s bad quality porn is a result of it being made only for profit, not art) is a perfect picture of ourselves and about our society. The character of a group is deeply connected with its views on sexuality. Sigmund Freud is right and pornography is a mirror.
I have theory. If we will make porn more arty. More people will like to participate and no shame with it. Because it will be more prestigious. Why to shame when we can have this type of erotica in the future. I want to and I hope to! And do everything for realisation of this type of porn.
QUOTE of WEEK:
“As for the Wisdom who is called 'the barren', she is the mother of the angels. And the companion of the saviour was Mary Magdalene. Christ loved Mary more than all the disciples, and used to kiss her. The rest of the disciples were offended by it and expressed disapproval. They said to him "Why do you love her more than all of us?" The Saviour answered and said to them, "Why do I not love you like her? When a blind man and one who sees are both together in darkness, they are no different from one another. When the light comes, then he who sees will see the light, and he who is blind will remain in darkness.“
Gospel of Philip
Planned Table of Contents:
What is pornography?
Pornography of Ancient civilisations: Egypt, Greece and Indus
Erotica of the Roman Empire
Indian way of porn
17th - 18th century pornograhy
19th century pornography
Era of 1900 - 1960
60ties in porn
Legalization of porn
Golden era of porn: Danish pornography
Golden era of porn: French porngraphy
Golden era of porn: German pornography
Golden era of porn: American pornography
Rise of the video - 80ties – Declining period
90ties first part: Fall of Iron Curtain
90ties second part: Video rental revolution
90ties third part: Rise of internet
2000-2005: Internet up, video down
2005-2010: Tubes avalanche
2010-2015: Quantity over quality
2015 – 2050: Near future of pornography
2050+: Far Future of porn