Calvert Takes Part in Scholarly Porn Debate

CaseyCalvertLONDONCasey Calvert took on the question “Can Porn Be Good for Us?” in an opinion piece published on international news site The Economist. The op-ed is part of an eleven-day online debate about the topic of adult entertainment.

“As soon as I saw The Economist was planning a debate on porn, I knew I wanted to be a part of the conversation,” Calvert said. “Thank you to The Economist’s editors for giving me the opportunity to present my heartfelt viewpoint on the adult industry and misconceptions about pornography as a whole.”

In the opinion, which appears on The Economist’s micro-site for the debate, Calvert asserts morality and the shaming of those who are sexual has tainted the discussion of pornography and sex.

“Opinions on the morality of sex should not cloud opinions of pornography,” she wrote. “Porn is not sex. It is a representation, a performance, of bodies coming together…

“The First Amendment to the American Constitution means I am allowed to do what I do,” she continued. “It is my right and my freedom to have sex with many partners and record it for the world. If you don’t like that, or if you think that is wrong, fine. But we aren’t discussing the morality of my actions.”

Calvert also mentioned how pornography sometimes contributes to public acceptance of “fringe” lifestyles and practices.

“Porn has long offered a glimpse of the future,” she wrote. “Long before alternative sexualities were accepted in popular culture as they are now, porn accepted them. Gay porn, fetish porn — it has all existed as long as straight porn has. Porn accepts everyone. There is content for everyone.”

Debate panelist Cindy Gallop, founder of MakeLoveNotPorn.com, found common ground with Calvert.

“Pornography can be used to help explore our sexuality, including what we like and don’t like, to discover that there are others who share our sexual tastes, and to reassure us that when it comes to the extraordinarily wide-ranging spectrum that is human sexuality, there is no such thing as “normal,” Gallop wrote.

Panelist Robert Jensen, journalism professor at the University of Texas at Austin, took an opposing view.

“The ethic of pornography is pretty clear: Individual pleasure-seeking trumps all other values, and no one need pay attention to the consequences of either institutionalized male dominance or modern culture’s seemingly endless appetite for high-tech media that become more ‘real’ than our own lives,” he noted.

Moderator Helen Joyce, international section editor for The Economist, wrote on the debate’s website that discussions about pornography often involve more speculation, anecdote and moral judgment than fact, because facts are difficult to come by.

“Compared with other common activities, the evidence on the impact of watching pornography is unusually poor,” she explained. “That is partly because it is almost taboo to study it. Academics report finding it difficult to get funding for research into sexual functioning in general and pornography in particular.”

The debate began Nov. 17 and will continue through Nov. 27. The website’s registered users may vote throughout the debate period to determine which side is presenting their argument better.

 

Marty O'Brien

Marty O'Brien

Raised in the Appalachian Mountains of Kentucky, Marty O'Brien was the first of the O'Brien clan to obtain a college degree. A former sports journalist, O'Brien got a peek at the inner workings of the adult entertainment industry while on an assignment to cover the Los Angeles Lakers. He joined the YNOT editorial team in late 2010 and now specializes in technology , business news and ogling starlets.

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