Decade of Decadence #9: The Problems of Convenience
It's funny. They've done multiple surveys of literally tens of thousands of men and asked them whether they look at porn - the answer is always the same: no, not even occasionally. Yet, the porn industry is, by some estimates, a 90+ billion dollar industry worldwide, 14 billion in the U.S...... it would seem someone's not telling the truth.
Truth be told, modern technology has engendered a degree of secrecy. It has enabled adult material to be viewed under lock and key, far from society's judgment. No longer must you purchase a ticket to the Pussycat Theater out in the open - you can just watch pay-per-view (one of the porn industry's highest revenue sources). No longer must you look your cashier in the eye as you purchase that issue of Juggs magazine - the Internet is a more than suitable alternative, comfortably removed from people who might see your "dirty little secret".
I would argue that this is a bad thing - a very bad thing. And let me tell you why.
Convenience is appealing, but convenience often leads to abuse. Make something easy to get, you can just about guarantee people will abuse the hell out of it. It's just a fact. Look at what happened with food - once food became ultra convenient (i.e. fast food and packaged processed foods), Americans became ultra fat. It's not like we used that extra time saved constructively. Hell no. We used that extra time to stuff our face with more food and watch more TV.
The same is true with porn. It's always only a mouse click away. I am literally, right now, only about 3 seconds away from seeing the dirtiest raunchiest porn ever created. I don't have to get my coat on, drive downtown, find parking, wait in line at the ticket booth, etc. just to catch some "adult entertainment". Quite the contrary. I just need to click my mouse a couple times and "BAM" porn appears like magic.
Sounds like heaven? Well, just like fast food, it has become widely abused. I've no problem with porn - but there's millions of guys out there beating-off like insane spider monkeys to the detriment of their quality of life. I think a lot of guys need that pain-in-the-ass car ride downtown to keep their libidos in check.
Another fact to consider is the hypocrisy of it all. When you can conceal it, you can pretend you don't do it. It's awfully hard for me to play pious saint when I've got to buy my Hustler out in the open. I mean, what does it say about a society that spends nearly 20 billion dollars on porn, but hardly anyone will own up to spending a nickle? Seems like we've got issues.
For a brief period, Americans put the hypocrisy aside and lightened up. Streets of even the smallest conservative leaning towns would have Deep Throat at the drive-in and Stag magazine available at the grocery store. The "hang ups" would seem to have been lifted, albeit briefly. For a moment in time, Americans could wait in line for Naughty Nymphos with their head held high. Oh, how sweet it must have been.
But, you probably have already anticipated the sad conclusion to this sexual liberation. Sure, the movie theaters and magazines were now open and guilt free.... but so was actual sex. In other words, porn may have been less convenient in the 1970s, sexual intercourse with a real live person was much more convenient. It was free love, baby. Get yourself a custom van and get to f***ing!
Once again, Americans take convenience to the limit, and it becomes abused. Sexually transmitted diseases became epidemic. If you were twentysomething in the seventies, I'm guessing you had VD at some point. Say what you like, but all actions have consequences and sex is by no means an exception. To pretend it is is to lie to yourself.
So, to wrap it up: convenience promises liberation, but inevitably brings its own set of problems. This is not fortune cookie philosophy, but rather reality being played out through the decades. Name your elixir and will turn to poison when it's easy to get.