Porn vs. Anti-Porn Conversation: Mirror Neurons

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My friend “Christian” began a line of questioning via email asking me what I thought about this and that, always coming around to his personal fear that pornography is harmful. [First conversation here.] We left off with his asking me to research mirror neurons. I told him I would read about it, but just a quick Wikipedia glimpse informed me enough that I got agitated and shot off an email that may have ended our communication. This–in conjunction with statistics that gay people have a life span below heterosexual people–makes me feel that any grasp for straws will do. Medical reality is not the only reality, and when I think of Nina Hartley’s speech during hers and Craig Gross’ debate [here], I wonder about people today who fill themselves with prescription medication so they can be “normal”; who believe God will cure them of their natural desire to be gay. I can say in all honesty, if the quality of my life were to fall drastically in order to fit in, I wouldn’t take the extra 10-15 years just to live as long as ‘everyone else’. I will always choose quality over quantity. One hundred years of eh… vs. seventy years of oh yeah! sounds a lot like “Hell”, to me.

I don’t think I have to post Christian’s email to paint the picture.

Then what? What do you propose? Mirror neurons seems like common sense to me. How else do we learn if not by mimicking. As an actual sex worker who refused to do certain acts and have not altered my sexual tastes just because I watched something, I know there is still the matter of personal preference at work. Educating people and giving them the tools that lead to self-awareness is the practical approach. You asked me before if I think everything should be legal. Why ask that? What do you propose? You know my blog and speak at times as if you understand my mind but then ask me questions that sound as if you’re leading towards something you’d rather not simply say. I understand your being concerned for gay people and sex workers–all people’s health–yet you must admit there are doctors who abuse their power regardless of the application process. Amsterdam offers legal drugs and prostitution and theirs is a relatively peaceful society. I’m glad you like XXX Church, but they still spread propaganda too. “Porn Kills”?? It grabs you and then the rest reads something like “Porn kills families.” When do individuals become accountable for their choices? I’m accountable for mine.

I’m a little too busy just yet to read the research Christian sent, but I did ask my Bible scholar friend, “Dolan”, what he knows about mirror neurons. I gave him a quick sum-up and this is what he sent:

Some mirror neurons basically fire in the brain when you watch porn the same as specific regular (normal) neurons fire in the brain while you are actually having sex. So what!

Mirror neurons also fire in the brain while you are watching basketball, watching dancing, watching monkeys figure out how to stack boxes to figure out how to reach a banana on a shelf.

Mirror neurons are the learning neurons for “Monkey See, Monkey Do.” Mirror neurons allow you to read a book and then change the spark plugs in your car. Or read a Harlequin Romance novel while masturbating. Monkey want to fuck his wife more skillfully, monkey should probably watch porn.

As usual, “Christians” are fucked (pun intended) in the head about sex. It’s called brain-washing.

This nonsense is supposed to mean that your brain’s mirror neurons are vicariously making you commit Sin and your Soul is now doomed to hell and being forced to eat okra and watch The Rocky Horror Picture Show for all eternity.

Any sex that is not for producing baby Christians is a Sin and will cause you to go straight to Hell, do not pass GO! do not collect $200, unless you can find a Preacher to bribe Jesus–with that $200–for you. Jesus makes a pretty good living and sure has a lot of his franchise buildings, churches, collecting nasty-dirty guilty-feelings bribes from the bipedal hominids.

Porn has done more to make people’s attitudes about sex become more healthy–since the end of World War II with home movie projectors–away from religion’s neurotic brain-washing, than any high school health class.

Here’s a challenge for Doc C. : Find me any good college text book on Psychology that does not say the number one reason for guilt and sex neuroses is religious strictures and tenets.

It’s brain-washing, and they try to start it with children as young as they can.

That is not all he said (lol), but it’s too long to post. Thank you, Dolan, for adding to this exchange.

I hope the conversation with Christian is not over, but I feel my question to him should be answered before I spend more time defending what I believe is common sense.

Educate people. Educate. Inform. People like Gail Dines, who redefine positive terms and ideas, twist them around and would choose to ban everything that offends them are the same kind of people who would pile all the lowly sex workers into a transport large enough to carry them and then light a fire under their ass. Hate is not education. Shame is not education. “Abstinence-only” education is not education. Words have meaning. Saying ‘no’ to things you don’t like and shutting down other’s voices is not progressive.


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Author: Julie Meadows

Francophile, oenophile, French Scrabble advocate and future zombie apocalypse survivor.

6 Comments

  1. there is no doubt we are programmed. we also have a layer of fat under our skin only found in sea mammals. what does that have to do with anything, right? we are a design that adapts for survival… a complex build of old and new code.

    if you want to understand human behavior, go to the dog park… gay, gay, gay. How do you shame a dog into not mounting another… and the endless peeing and butt licking! We let it go ’cause that’s what dog’s do, right? Do we hate our dogs and cats and other animals? They seem to be having fun and as long as nobody gets hurt, it really doesn’t matter. What, we’re better that dogs? We are all animals. Talk about science vs religion; ‘Christians’ don’t even recognize the FACT that we are ALL animals.

    Christian, your dog is gay.

  2. I don’t have much to add here except that I completely agree and feel there are a lot of viewpoints stated in this post that many, many people need to read.

  3. Alex–LOL!!!

    This conversation just makes me edgier and edgier. Grrrr…..

  4. I had come up with the conclusion that a person can not be truly open-minded about a subject unless they are willing to truthfully acknowledge the possibility that their belief is wrong.

    Pornography, by definition, is a moral issue. For a Christian to say that there is nothing wrong with pornography is nearly synonymous with saying that the church (or God) is wrong. (Good luck with that)
    Which is why I find any discussion about morality with a Christian (or any religion with such a purely faith-based system) to be mute because they will blindly follow their beliefs to their grave.

    It’s for that reason that I’m highly skeptical when anyone, claiming to be Christian, says they are trying to come to terms that pornography is okay, is pretty much full of it. (Have I had this conversation before; this seems really familiar)

    Back in the previously posted discussion with Christian he brings up injuries which are fairly common, and not just sexually related. I’m fairly certain there are cases of rectal perforations occurring during colonoscopies. Let’s not forget the cases of perforated eardrums because people choose to ignore the warnings on the Q-Tip box. Sure, you’re not going to die from a perforated eardrum, I only say that people (including doctors) stick things in a structure that wasn’t designed for that.

    Also, bringing up mirror neurons makes me wonder what university he got his doctorate from. 90%, 80% (to be fair), of neurological science is theoretical. Sure we know how many structures of the brain work, but we don’t know why. To somehow use mirror neurons as empirical fact that pornography is harmful makes me think he’s just that much closer to a malpractice lawsuit. “Really? I didn’t know doctorates came from Cracker Jack boxes”.

    I could go on and on but I think I made my point. If not I’ll outright say it; he’s grasping at straws trying to convince you that porn is bad.

    Sorry. The government, long time ago, proved there was no empirical evidence to support any cause/effect link between porn and violent behavior. Which is why they resorted to going for drug charges, prostitution, etc. Or listened to anyone from the industry that had a grudge.

  5. from Greek pornographos ‘writing about prostitutes’, from pornē ‘prostitute’ + graphein ‘write’

    noun
    printed or visual material containing the explicit description or display of sexual organs or activity, intended to stimulate erotic rather than aesthetic or emotional feelings.

  6. Thank you, Brian! Good to know. I’ll keep that ‘theoretical’ point in mind while I’m reading.

    I am not beyond exhausting all possibilities in lines of questioning and information through research, but I fail to see a fearful reaction to sex as a healthy one. Seriously, sex crimes are illegal. This is why people get uncomfortable mingling the word “pornography” with actual crimes because “the porn industry” is a legal industry. People who commit actual crimes in it should be reported and reprimanded. People who lure others in under false pretenses, engage in abusive practices not agreed upon by all, harass and bully performers into doing things they don’t want to do, etc… There is a line that is constantly crossed and conflated with illegal activity because these people are either uninformed because they don’t have all the information or informed and ignore information.

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