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Video Nasty: Porn in 2018 By Emma Raho

If you’re over thirty like me you’ll probably associate porn with the age old scenario of Plumber/Pizza guy/landlord turning up to the home of a lingerie clad housewife. Some ‘boom chicka wah wah’ cranks up and everyone gets down to some very scripted busy time. The most offensive thing about it is the shoddy camera work and clunky acting. No harm no foul right?

 

Well, as it turns out I’m totally out of touch with how porn has evolved and how it’s being viewed in 2018. To bring me up to speed I caught up with former New Zealand kickboxing champion, Political Science graduate and social justice campaigner Richie Hardcore to chat about how porn is changing landscape of relationships and sex.

photo via Facebook

So surely porn is just a bit of adult only entertainment how does it realistically affect real life?

 

Thanks to smartphones, tablets and easy internet access younger and younger people are viewing pornographic material. The time where you’d have to wait 45 minutes for an image to download on dial up is well past. This is an age where kids are easily influenced by what they see and if this is their first exposure to a sexual interaction that is going to shape their sexual desires and preferences in years to come. Porn shouldn’t be acting as sex education for any young person.

 

What kind of harm could looking at porn at a young age cause?

 

The issue with porn these days is it’s just getting more and more extreme. Once you’ve seen something a couple of times it gets boring. The producers need to continually think of different things to keep their audience watching. The other issue is that generally, the women are treated as objects for the men to do as they want with. The sex shown has no relation to love or respect, it’s descended into being just cruel, sadistic stuff. This is not the kind of relationship dynamic that should be modelled to young people just starting to come of age.

photo via Facebook

So what is porn in 2018?

 

It’s a lot of male dominance. Being cruel and unnecessarily rough with women. When was the last time you saw a male porn star ask a female if she was ok? If she was enjoying it? Offer to wear a condom? People laugh at the idea of any type of affection in porn because seeing a woman having her hair pulled whilst being called a “slut” is the accepted standard of treatment.

 

So it affects people’s tastes before they’ve even had a chance to work out what they really like.

 

Exactly. There are teenage guys out there with erectile problems from their actual sex life not matching up to what they’re watching. There are girls as young as 14 admitted to hospital with sex related injuries from recreating what their boyfriends have seen in porn. It’s also entering everyday language. Guys describe sex as “tearing that pussy up” “smashing” “hitting that”. All aggressive phrasing.

 

But surely people have agency to do what they want with their own body?

 

Yep they do. If people are into whatever kink they can have at it. However when I’m out talking to people in groups or one on one via email it seems a lot of people of all ages are struggling to maintain the sex life they want to be having because of the porn they or their partner are consuming and the expectations they have because of it. I’m not anti sex work by any means. I’m anti porn as sex education.

photo via Facebook

So how did you come to the idea that porn was becoming toxic? Were you a porn addict?

 

No, not at all. I was just an average consumer like most blokes. I became vegan after learning about how animals are exploited then started looking at other areas of life and realised porn was human exploitation that was having a knock on effect into people’s relationships. It has gone beyond trying to get hold of a VHS or a mate stealing a Playboy magazine from his dad’s stash. Young guys are looking at huge volumes of porn that is totally devoid of any emotion and thinking this is how sex is meant to be. Girls are under pressure to send nude photos – that are subsequently traded – and perform sexually like a porn star.

 

You talk in places like schools and prisons. What do you do there and is it effective?

 

I go and talk to boys mainly. I’m relatable to them, I’m not an authority figure talking down to them. A lot of them know me as a professional fighter so we bond over that then once they realise I’m not here to judge and lecture them they can open up with any questions or issues they’re having. We talk about ideas of masculinity and how they view women and sex. It’s awesome when I see them work something out, like “I hadn’t thought of it like that”.

 

Do you consider yourself a feminist?

 

Yeah. I’ve been a feminist since my teens. I read a lot of feminist literature. I don’t want to speak for women, that’s not my intention. I think men need to be part of the conversation. Women’s rights are human rights.

 

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