What is Pornography?


What is Pornography?

It’s actually spelled Pornography and not Porngraphy, which is how many people spell it.

As humans, we have a peculiar interest in sex. A toddler, in trying to understand the human body, is most likely to be first fascinated by the sexual organs. Also, besides hobbies, dreams and family background, sexuality is another topic commonly broached by adults who are getting to know each other. A corrupt politician would be more concerned about protecting a sex scandal than a money laundering scandal. This is because the world would turn a blind eye to financial corrupt practices, considering it as a norm, but go agog once sex is mentioned, despite sex being a natural human activity. For example, when you hear the name, Monica Lewinsky, you will think of Bill Clinton. And when you think of Clinton, what comes to mind is a sexual scandal. Clinton’s job as the president of the United States might have been impeccable, however, that sex scandal would always be a dent to his image, his name. Sex is that powerful. It is so common, yet so significant, that it catches the interest of all. And it is on this almost incomprehensible fascination about sex that pornography thrives.

Pornography is the graphical portrayal of any sexual subject matter with one exclusive aim—causing sexual arousal. Popular media through which pornography is presented include films, magazines and books. Other less popular forms include painting, sculpture, drawing, phone calls, and animation. It is said that the word “pornography” was derived  from two ancient Greek words: pórnē (prostitute) or porneía (prostitution), and gráphein (to write or record, to illustrate). Joining these words together, pornography was earlier defined as a written description or illustration of prostitutes or prostitution.

Pornography focuses on the portrayal of the sexual act rather than the act itself. What this means is that creators of pornography are more interested in showing to their audience what they feel the sex act should be like, and not what sex actually is. For example, porn stars often have attractive bodies—men with chiseled abs and muscles so taut that they glisten, voluptuous women with seductive eyes and flat stomachs. They are directed to moan and make facial expressions with the sole intention of creating a perfect depiction of sex capable of stimulating sexual desire, depictions that may or may not be obtainable in reality. 

Sometimes, pornographic contents have backdrop themes which help heighten the mood. These themes or stories try to mimic various life events and create a notion in the mind of the audience that sex can happen anywhere, anytime. In pornographic sites, these themes come as categories, offering the audience an array of explicit sexual materials to choose from. Some of these categories include incest porn (mother-son, father-daughter, brother-sister, stepmother-stepson), MILF (a scenario where an older woman seduces a much younger boy, most commonly her son’s friend), sleeping (for the somnophilic audience), BDSM (for the audience fascinated by hardcore sex, and whose sexual pleasures and fantasies exist at the threshold of pain). The list is endless. With pornography, there is something for everybody—even down to sexual acts considered taboo.

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