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Old 02-10-2011, 07:46 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Is porn setting unrealistic expectations for the young?

My wife and I were discussing porn and the recent thread about porn's affects on libido and such. But our discussion went to our thoughts on how porn seems to us to be setting an unrealistic expectation about appearance, and how that may be affecting young people so much more than people of our generation.

When we were establishing our self-images and our own expectations of what people looked like, particularly in the context of what nude people looked like, we were generally establishing those images based on real people. There wasn't a lot of easily available porn for either of us. And what was available didn't seem to focus on extreme youth or exaggerated beauty, either. Women had normal breasts, implants were pretty much non-existant, and no women that I ever saw more or less nude were shaved.

Now it seems that not only is porn ubiquitous but it takes real effort to NOT have it invade every internet experience. I'm no prude by any stretch, but I'm a father, so that's what I'm talking about when I say "invading." And every image, it seems, is cookie-cutter. Rather than describe what I'm saying, I'd just refer you to the Tittie Board. Please don't take this as a critique of anyone's personal tastes; you like what you like and it's not my business.

Anyway, I didn't grow up with the expectation that every woman looked like the median image in any given picture thread here. I've kind of developed the opinion that young people who are exposed to modern porn in such a constant barrage are having their expectations altered in ways that may not be as healthy as previous generations enjoyed. Older generations had their own sets of hangups to grow up with, of course, but not such an expectation of uniformity of youth/perfection/size/shape.

In addition to static images, there's of course the discussion of porn setting performance expectations, but this thread isn't about that. I think that's been beaten to death here and elsewhere. This is about static images only, and the idealization of "beauty" that seems, in my opinion, to accompany it.

Discussion and others' thoughts are invited.
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Old 02-10-2011, 08:02 PM   #2 (permalink)
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The short answer is yes. The long answer is too complicated to cover here.

The one thing I would say is, expectations about sex in general. Porn has popularized what were once fringe activities like, anal sex, facials and shaving, to the point where they are the expected standard. As far as body type is concerned, I would say mainstream images have more to do with cementing body image than porn does.
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Old 02-10-2011, 08:28 PM   #3 (permalink)
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As long as folks know it's unrealistic, there are no unrealistic expectations. Two shaved, plastic people doing joyless clam diving followed by a soulless bj followed by vaginal followed by pulling out and finishing for the billionth time obviously isn't an accurate representation of the real thing.

The real thing is so so so so so much better.
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Old 02-10-2011, 10:51 PM   #4 (permalink)
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The thing to remember is that many (if not most) get their understanding of the mechanics of sex through porn. Sure... sex ed or parents can provide the realities of tab A into slot B but the messy, grinding erotic understanding of sex only comes from two places... experience and porn.
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Old 02-10-2011, 11:35 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I'm going to post a grand tirade on this topic when I get a chance, but let me warm it up with another question:

"Is television setting unrealistic expectations for the young?"

- Money flows like wine, we all drive Ferraris
- The world is populated by clever serial killers
- You're a moron, but you're successful anyway
- Everybody is thin, all fat people are comedians

Modern entertainment breeds unrealistic expectations. I am far more worried about all the violence shown in the media than I am the sex.
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Old 02-11-2011, 04:47 AM   #6 (permalink)
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You forgot the most important one:

every minimum wage convenience store clerk lives in the most incredible apt you've ever seen.
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Old 02-11-2011, 05:35 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Yea, they do but like posted earlier - its all fake expectations - t.v., movies and all that. Much better in real life - with a open minded lady (or whatever you prefrence is) by you'r side.
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Old 02-11-2011, 01:52 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Plan9 View Post
I'm going to post a grand tirade on this topic when I get a chance, but let me warm it up with another question:

"Is television setting unrealistic expectations for the young?"

- Money flows like wine, we all drive Ferraris
- The world is populated by clever serial killers
- You're a moron, but you're successful anyway
- Everybody is thin, all fat people are comedians

Modern entertainment breeds unrealistic expectations. I am far more worried about all the violence shown in the media than I am the sex.
I think that is a bigger problem. I like how they have all these warnings on TV shows that might infer sexual situations even though they don't show anything. Yet, I can watch two guys fighting almost to the death every night.

I don't know what porn everyone is watching, but I like very real, amateur stuff. Yes, they care about the way they look sometimes, but that is normal. I care about being in shape and exercising. And there is nothing wrong with shaving, it looks a lot better without hair down there.
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Old 02-11-2011, 01:58 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I am of the opposite opinion. Lets use the 80s/90s. All you would see in your daily life would be magazines and TV of beautiful people. There were few outlets or areas to SEE alternative lifestyles, interests or clicks.

So the VOGUE cover, was THE only way beauty could be seen. Playboy etc.....

Now, past 2000. The internet has undone all that, playboy subscriptions are so low they are going into other business ventures to stay alive. People no longer have to pick from their 4 channel TV or 25 magazine rack to see an interest. With the internet, you can see REAL people in your area of interest.

Lets say you like tattoo's on your private parts. Good luck finding that before, you were considered a freak and had no way to find others like you. Now, I bet you can find thousands of people just like you, and you can indulge in that interest to your hearts content. No longer having to touch any mainstream or watch any top40 TV show program with pre-defined beauty standards.

Today, more than ever before, I think there is LESS standardizing of sex, beauty, lifestyle expectations.

Though people still see only what they want to see. And that means not realizing you can't afford a $200 cell phone contract when you work at a quickie mart for most.

Heck, I am saving pennies and have a crap phone, but the kid at McDonalds behind the register has the newest iPhone, huh? I guess a phone is the new "Shoes/Jeans status" we had in the 80s/90s.
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Old 02-11-2011, 03:41 PM   #10 (permalink)
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As said above it's not just porn that sets unrealistic expectations but the media in general, however I think most adults can separate the difference between fantasy and reality. Which of course includes the separation between porn and what you will expect in your own bedroom.
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Old 02-14-2011, 07:18 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Is porn setting unrealistic expectations for the young? Yes.

I can see how young boys are lead to think all guys should have horse dicks, young girls think that all women should be able to take said horse dicks anally and enjoy it, should have huge breasts that defy gravity, etc.

Some young teens know that porn sex and porn stars are not how things are in real life. For the rest of the young teens, they should be told that what they see in porn has little to do with real world sex.
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Old 02-15-2011, 02:29 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by remy1492 View Post
I am of the opposite opinion. Lets use the 80s/90s. All you would see in your daily life would be magazines and TV of beautiful people. There were few outlets or areas to SEE alternative lifestyles, interests or clicks.

So the VOGUE cover, was THE only way beauty could be seen. Playboy etc.....

Now, past 2000. The internet has undone all that, playboy subscriptions are so low they are going into other business ventures to stay alive. People no longer have to pick from their 4 channel TV or 25 magazine rack to see an interest. With the internet, you can see REAL people in your area of interest.

Lets say you like tattoo's on your private parts. Good luck finding that before, you were considered a freak and had no way to find others like you. Now, I bet you can find thousands of people just like you, and you can indulge in that interest to your hearts content. No longer having to touch any mainstream or watch any top40 TV show program with pre-defined beauty standards.

Today, more than ever before, I think there is LESS standardizing of sex, beauty, lifestyle expectations.
I absolutely cannot thumbs up this post enough. Perfect, Remy. In the words of Beetlejuice: You made my millennium. Great fuckin' post, bro.

So true. Today's porn diversity is allowing people to eat what they want for dinner instead of the usual menu of silicone-injected bleach blond bimbos. I'm completely not into blond women with gigantic fake breasts and caked on make-up in ridiculous nightclub outfits. It really does nothing for me.

Praise Allah and Al Gore for the Interwebz. Without this technology, I wouldn't be able to find pale tattooed emo girls with pixie cuts doing delightfully naughty nerdy things on my no-collar budget. A lot of guys tend to find these girls tomboyish or ugly or call them lesbians. I can't get enough of 'em, myself. I don't define a woman's sexual attractiveness based on their hair length and breast size. And masturbating looking at mainstream porn, for me, is no different than eating McDonald's fast food: it doesn't really satisfy what I'm looking for as a quick release snack (and gives me horrible diarrhea).

My point? I don't want what mainstream porn is selling... and thanks to the diversity of material out there... I don't have to take it.
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Last edited by Plan9; 02-15-2011 at 02:34 AM..
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Old 02-15-2011, 02:55 AM   #13 (permalink)
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yes may be but i am not sure fully
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Old 02-15-2011, 03:19 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Is porn setting unrealistic expectations for the young? Absolutely

What everybody needs to know and understand is that no one can compete with fantasy and porn is us unreal as the movies.
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Old 02-16-2011, 03:26 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I think so. As an adult with real world experience, I know that porn is just a fantasy. Sometimes fantasy is fun and even healthy. But a young inexperienced teenager doesn't know that. I remember back to looking at porn when I was young and I know if gave me the wrong ideas; I wasn't ready for real sex because all I knew was what I saw in porn.

For adults, I absolutely agree with the contrary view that porn is becoming less mainstream and the modern internet has made it easy to find fringe fetishes. However, for young people this could be even more damaging than mainstream porn. Imagine a young person who gets hooked on a fringe fetish and doesn't realize that not everyone likes that. It would be quite a shock for both this person and his/her first partner to find out that real sex is a lot different from what they've seen.
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Old 02-16-2011, 04:13 PM   #16 (permalink)
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I don't know what type of sex you all are watching, but the amateur stuff seems like it would be pretty close to reality.

I think it is the frequency that might be out of proportion. And the idea that everyone is always ready for sex.
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Old 02-16-2011, 04:57 PM   #17 (permalink)
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I don't think there is an equivalence of expectations created in mainstream television/film vs porn.

For many men (and women) our first experience of sex comes through porn. We have no previous experience with which to compare. While later experiences with actual sex can temper this I don't think it is a stretch to suggest that porn colours our expectations.

To be clear, I recognize that there is an abundance of variation. I am not really even talking about fake tits and bleach blonde hair. I am talking about sex and understanding of the mechanics of sex. I am also talking about how fetishes for things like facials and anal develop (i.e. not in a vacuum).

Again, this is not simple cause and effect thing. Like the human psyche, it's more complicated than that.
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