Opinion
 

The Porn Supremacy



For David Cameron and his summer interns to state all porn will be blocked for adults “unless they actively choose to unlock it” is betraying the real waste of time and money this pathetic notion already is, argues Mark O’Connell

So apparently “online porn” is “eroding childhood”. That is according to Prime Minister David Cameron. But Mr Cameron is forgetting that online porn is not meant for children. It is meant for adults… and horny teenagers who twenty years ago would tear and share a copy of Fiesta in the woods like it was a Prezzos focaccia.

Oh dear. Have I crossed a line by suggesting teenagers are both sexually active, if not aware? Hopefully yes. Because they do. And they have younger siblings. But they also should have parents or guardians – adults who should quietly monitor such things from the side-lines rather than bring in virtual Berlin Walls with the Presbyterian mantra “nothing to see here, move along”.

Porn – online or otherwise – is not eroding childhood. Parents who let their kids have days and weeks of unsupervised computer time are eroding childhood. Parents who don’t give their parents blank bits of paper to let their imaginations soar are eroding childhood. Parents who think activity is the same as upbringing are eroding childhood. Parents who never bother to have open discussions about sexuality and the various expressions of it are eroding childhood. Politicians who think sexuality is an either/or scenario for teenagers and young adults are eroding childhood. Where there are gaps in a society’s honesty about all sorts of sexuality, then that is where the problems start. As for “family friendly” porn filters…. when the Ron Jeremy was porn meant to be “family friendly”?!

Of course no-one is advocating CBBC starts showing In The Nudity Garden, Very Blue Peter (though some of us all got our jollies in the 1980s when Peter Duncan would forever walk across hot coals in a sumo nappy…. I hope I remembered that right?!) or the Great British Bukkake Off (“did you make this icing yourself?”). A five year old should not be allowed to see hard-core porn. Or any porn. Likewise, a five year old not be given booze and fags. Or leave school without being able to read or write. At least a quick wank (and teen boys have many of those, sorry Mr Cameron) doesn’t need a child to be able to read or write, yet when are Michael Gove’s failings as Education Secretary going to be held up as “eroding” childhood?! And how many five year olds are actually watching “hard-core rape scenes”? Most five year boys are repulsed to even think of holding hands with a girl on the way to assembly let alone get remotely near to watching The Rapes of Wrath. The only angry birds kids want to see are the ones they throw at pyramids for maximum game points, not East European call-girls beaming live on their webcams from B&Bs in Luton.

This obsession with what kids are thinking sexually is a tad more unsettling than little India from Islington happening upon daddy’s online beach babes. Are we to travel back in time to ensure every 1970s kid doesn’t pop into a boozer and clock the KP roasted nut advent calendars of nipplery? And maybe we could not allow Katie Price onto Children In Need the same week her and a cage fighter are trying to shock us with tabloid details of their sex life?

Kids don’t give a toss about anything they don’t want to give a toss about. Although when they do want to have a private toss, they will. And they will go down to the virtual woods today. And will not be in for a surprise. For two days in 1986 our school was feverish because someone had smuggled in a copy of The Living Body book. Yes, the stolen pages of a 1970s hippy woman with her folk singer nipples like burgundy frisbees created a brief queue in the boys’ bogs. Yet by home-time everyone’s attentions were already on tonight’s episode of Dempsey And Makepeace. The Daily Mail will no doubt tell us that wicked online porn, benefit porn and refugee porn is breaking Britain in two like one of those copies of Fiesta found in the woods. Yet The Daily Mail has no problems forever showing stolen snaps of celebrities teen daughters “getting a bit curvy on the beach now that they are sixteen”.

There is a difference between banning something and simply and intelligently making sure kids don’t come across it. I don’t swear in-front of my god kids. But I am not wanting laws to make sure no-one else does either. Because what happens when those kids get older and hear a swear word or cop a peek of an online Californian vagina shaved into the stars and stripes? Never mind eroding childhood. Forever pretending that people don’t swear or have sex….that will erode adulthood. Besides, it is not the internet’s fault. The internet has evolved and risen through porn. Blaming the internet for porn is like blaming pubs for selling booze. We might all share memes of cats being hilarious near open pianos on a daily basis (and I really wish people wouldn’t), but it is porn that statistically has pushed and upheld the usage of the internet.

With 70% of many relationships now allegedly starting online, we are on seriously dangerous ground if we are going to pretend the internet is the horny elephant in the room that must be dressed in sensible clothes and sent to Sunday school. Likewise when governments bandy about parlance like “online” and “social media” you know they haven’t a clue about how it works and is used. There is a reason the use of dating, Show Me Your Bits and no-frills-fun apps are going through the roof as their users bob south. It is because people want it. All sorts of people. Like a Pimms in the summer or a glass of Port in the winter, it is all about what you fancy as an adult. I am not expecting every child to be given Pimms in the afternoon break and a nip of gin before their swimming class, but nor am I wanting to be told Pimms and gin is bad because kids can get access to it. Kids can get access to what they want. They always have. That’s why they are called children and we are called adults. Otherwise you just have a society where everyone is treated like kids.

And which kids are looking at “hard-core rape scenes”? Sorry Mr Cameron  – but how do you remotely gauge that enough to even come up with nationwide ruling that seriously impinges everyone’s ability to be a free thinking adult? Presumably the PM and his anti-smut avengers have put a big wad of Treasury cash aside to refund the millions of British people who have the internet for porn reasons. And whilst we are at it, are we banning all lady workers from sharing their Phwoar Pic of the Day? And maybe the BBC cameramen at Wimbledon will have to stop finding the ample chested blonde in the audience in-between games because that will erode childhood too?

And what exactly is “obscene content”? One man’s obscene is another woman’s ‘first base’. Who is dictating that? By their very nature obscenity laws are a waste of time. Again, I am not advocating Babestation starts doing school programmes. But likewise if any kids are encountering “online rape scenes” then good luck to ‘em as most online “rape” scenarios are hilariously naïve and badly acted – “no, what are you doing man…. I only came in for a new tyre”, cue everyone losing their clothes most willingly. Isn’t all hard-core stuff thus called because it has to be paid and signed in for? And if there is one thing I bet kids won’t do and it’s pay for their porn! Meanwhile it is socially fine that the same kids are playing hard-edged computer games depicting faux LA street crime, armed hookers and misogynistic car culture? I’d much rather any teenagers are getting their jollies from online porn than beating up virtual women in the virtual alleyways of a virtual San Remo. There is also this naivety that a teenage kid wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between fantasy and real – as if none of us can tell right and wrong until we get our National Insurance cards.

For David Cameron and his summer interns to state all porn will be blocked for adults “unless they actively choose to unlock it” is betraying the real waste of time and money this pathetic notion already is. Actively choose?!! Every adult in the country who wants to clock a bit of online nookery will be actively choosing themselves into blindness. In fact, I am off to actively choose right now.

Mark O’Connell is a comedy writer and author and once found porn down the woods. www.markoconnell.co.uk

Words: Mark O’Connell

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