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Nov 20, 2013 kungfujew commented on SL Letters of the Day: More On Gym Oglers.
1) While ogling is rude, it is not the same thing as verbally hitting on people or approaching them. So if you've been verbally hit on and/or approached when it was not welcome, we're sorry that happened, but it's a different discussion for a different day.

2) The fact that men are more visually oriented and less sexually choosy by biology is not an excuse for men to rudely ogle people they find hot. Civilization requires that we keep our urges somewhat in check in order to make people more comfortable.

3) If you are a decent-looking or hot woman who feels free to say to a men "Oh, you have no idea what being ogled routinely is really like, because you're a man", then when a person who identifies as unattractive states that they have never been ogled and hints that they would like to experience being ogled at least once, the fair reaction would be "OK, I'm not unattractive, so I have no idea what never having been ogled is really like." Then, you can politely suggest that being ogled isn't really fun an assure the self-identified unattractive person that they're not really missing anything.

4) There is a big difference between being ogled in an open public space and being ogled in a closed space occupied only by you and the person ogling you. When discussing gym ogling, it is important to differentiate ogling someone on a stair climber in a room full of gym members and ogling someone in the corner of an otherwise empty locker room. It's also important to differentiate between ogling someone who is clothed from ogling someone who is naked. Where I am going with this is that while in general, women being ogled is a much bigger problem than men being ogled, there's really not a male-ogling-female equivalent of when a guy ogles another naked guy in the locker room. Having written all that, I was a member of a San Francisco YMCA is my physical prime (have to brag here-the butt was firm back then) and I didn't really get ogled-other than that one guy who was sitting in chair in the shower ... no, I'm not making that up. So when I hear other straight guys complain about being ogled by guys at the gym, I have to wonder whether they have imagined or exaggerated it.

5) A big component of not wanting to be ogled is the assessment that you would never want to have sex with the person ogling you. If someone you find really hot is blatantly checking you out (in a safe place, with other people around), you're probably not even going to call it ogling. So ugly guys are at a disadvantage in the whole ogling department. Not that this is the responsibility of the person being ogled or anything. Yeah, yeah, I know hot guys can be creepy, too. I'm writing in generalities here.
Dec 7, 2012 kungfujew commented on Savage Love.
I haven't read any of these comments, but I want to thank you all for your thoughts on this subject.

Oct 12, 2012 kungfujew commented on Savage Love.
Ankylosaur: Thanks.
Oct 12, 2012 kungfujew commented on Savage Love.
Eirene @ 251:

"I was talking about not having access to MOVIES."

Nope. You mentioned movies in a subsequent post @224, but here is what you originally wrote @203: "I do think it's reasonable to limit their opportunities to access commercial porn. That's not limiting their fantasies one bit -- indeed, you could argue that it's encouraging them to develop their own rather than relying on societal scripts." See? No mention of movies at all, let alone limiting the discussion to movies. That is why I interpreted your use of the phrase "societal scripts" as figurative, not literal.

And, far more importantly, as far as we know, the mom of the kid at issue here did not mention movies to their friend who wrote to Dan here, only "a stash of really kinky violence-against-women stuff on her kid's computer" - a stash which likely contained still photos, as still photos of men committing pretend-violent sex acts against women are readily available online. So even if you did limit the discussion to movies, which you did not, you would have been going on a tangent which does not necessarily apply to giving this person advice on how to deal with their particular situation.

"In any case, given a typically horny mid-teens boy's state of mind, I can certainly see why they're drawn to erotic images ..."

Oh, it doesn't end at the teen years. And, per the biological hard-wiring I referenced @242, the visual orientation of male sexuality which I referred to @213 is not limited to imagery, but is rather rooted in us being sexually aroused primarily by the appearance of females, rather than by their intelligence status, wealth, sense of humor, or willingness to provide us shelter. (Ditto for gay guys, just substitute "males" for "females".) Which is why jerking off without images will almost never be our first masturbation choice. Which is why your suggestion that this kid might be better off jerking off without images was wrong. I want to emphasize that I don't believe that your inability to get this far into the head of a masturbating guy constitutes a character flaw, although your unwillingness to recognize this inability might be.

"but by the same token I can't see why they should actually need [pornographic images] very badly, any more than they usually need appetite stimulants."

Right. I'm not on a soapbox saying "Your teenage boys need porn!" They don't. This isn't about whether teenage boys need porn, it's about what a mom should do when she rudely snoops and finds a stash of her son's porn that contains images, moving or otherwise, of men pretending to commit violent sex acts against women.

My advice would be: Don't tell the kid you found his porn, and don't throw away or delete the porn. Have a general, non-porn sex discussion along the lines of Dan's suggestion regarding consent and safety. Try to come to grips with how little influence a parent can (intentionally) really have on their kid's sexual tastes and actions, and hope for the best.
Oct 12, 2012 kungfujew commented on Savage Love.
@ 238 Crinoline:

"I want to know if looking at the porn has a negative effect in the real world. In other words, if a boy looks at violent porn, does he have a greater chance of becoming violent in reality?"

I think the verdict is still out on this one, and the concern is not baseless. However, we should keep in mind that the kid is not really looking at "violent porn"; he is looking at porn where people are just pretending to be violent.

I've seen a lot of TV/movie violence, and I've also seen a fair amount of real-life (non-sex-related) violence. These experiences are surprisingly different, whether a viewer of or participant in the violence. I'm not sure if this difference undercuts any of your points or directly addresses any of your concerns, but it may be worth mentioning, anyway.
Oct 12, 2012 kungfujew commented on Savage Love.
@ Eirene 224:

You are clearly smart woman making points based on common sense. A lot of times, smart men make points about female perspectives based on common sense, but are wrong.

Most guys don't end up having very frank conversations with women about jerking off. Women lucky or unlucky to have such conversations have generally only had them with one or two guys. I don't know you and don't want to make assumptions about you - and I definitely don't want to come off sounding as though a lack of experience having detailed discussions with guys about jerking off qualifies as some sort of deficiency. But I suspect you may lack such experience.

You are correct that guys can jerk off to things other than porn, have done so prior to the existence of porn, and, when the need arises, continue to do so today. At no point did I suggest that that getting rid of porn would render impossible the act of male masturbation.

This was not the point I was making. You suggested that taking away a kid's porn would help him develop his sexual imagination. My response was not that he would stop jerking off if his porn were taken away, just that he would keep jerking off without experiencing any increase in imagination, and that his jerking off would be less pleasurable if he were denied his preferred images. While it is true that guys have not always has easy access to pornographic images (just as we have not always have easy access to warm food), I think it's safe to say that we prefer them to the alternative, and this this preference is not simply a social construct but rather goes to biological hard-wiring. (No, I do not think gender is all biological ... but some of it is.) Thus, the cross-cultural male appreciation for porn, when available.

I think the mistake you make here is that you imagine yourself as a young boy switching from a porn to a no-porn status, but kind of superimpose a female sexuality on the scenario. Also, the process of males looking at porn is not as static as you seem to think it is. We often take the porn as a starting point, then imagine other scenarios which incorporate the images. So porn does not necessarily have the dulling effect on imagination you describe.

Oct 11, 2012 kungfujew commented on Savage Love.
@201 shw3nn:

The fact there are perks to being a man is really just a side note to the issue of the sexes' power inequity vis-a-vis deciding whether to abort a fetus when the guy doesn't want to be a dad. Please ease up on the "two wrongs don't make a right" hand-wringing.

This is not about some power trade off ("you get to force me to be a dad, then I get paid more than you for comparable work"). It's about what is best for the kids and for society as a whole. Please see comments # 206 and 211. Again, not all laws are about or should be about "justice" for each individual effected. Sometimes laws are just rules that best organize society.
Oct 11, 2012 kungfujew commented on Savage Love.
@203 Eirene:

I hear you. I'm not advocating unlimited internet access for kids. I'm just advocating against confronting your kid about porn you find distasteful. I understand the gut instinct behind such a confrontation, but I do not see any positive outcome. (Again, Dan's points about discussing consent and safety are good, but apply to all kids, not just those who like kinky porn.)

And your point about taking away porn to encourage the kid's imagination is good in theory but not in practice. Guys are very visually oriented, so we don't want to jerk off with our eyes closed. And if porn were really just a "societal script", which is I'm guessing how you view this kid's porn, then there wouldn't be any porn featuring women dominating men. And you'd probably be able to "fix" gay boys by showing them the "script" of straight porn.
Oct 11, 2012 kungfujew commented on Savage Love.
@194 Crinoline: Maybe upbringing doesn't have anything to do with kinks. But if this is true, then it kind of follows that upbringing (such as a monologue from a fretting and snooping mom) also won't have anything to do with modifying a kink in a "positive" direction or modifying behavior that is supposedly connected to the kinky porn.

I probably wouldn't be psyched if I found "violence" (in quotes because it is pretend violence) against women porn in my kid's possession, but even if I wanted to and believed I could get rid of all his porn in this genre, I wouldn't delude myself into thinking there was much I could do about the underlying curiosity and/or fantasies.

Dan should have filed this one under "let it go and stop snooping." He advises against "shaming" this kid, but then proceeds to advise: "talk ... about the difference between porn and real sex ... the difference between erotic power exchange and violence ... about safety and misogyny ... encourage him to be thoughtful about his sexuality." But this is a conversation that will bring primarily shame and embarrassment to 99% of boys "caught" with vanilla porn and 100% of boys caught with kinky/violent porn, so Dan is accidentally contradicting himself here. This plan will not work.

Dan's advice to: "emphasize the importance of meaningful and informed CONSENT" is of course spot on, but this is a conversation to have with all kids, and it can take place completely outside of some "I found you porn, son" conversation. Tell your kid this without mentioning his porn, if you want it to actually sink in.

I wouldn't worry too much about this kid acting out violent, non-consenting versions of these fantasies. People, male and female, masturbate to plenty of things we would never actually do-that's part of the turn-on.