Thursday, March 12, 2009

Is an apple a vegetable? (My appologies to Anderson Cooper)

No. It's not. This question is kind of like asking "Is pornography adultery?" If you have no clue about botany or nutrition, sure you could make the argument that the tree-growing fructose-containing apple is, in fact a vegetable. Similarly, if you have no clue about relationships, sex, or performance art you could make the argument that someone who is alone with their computer watching people ze never has met and never will meet while engaging in the sexual act one performs upon one's self is actually committing adultery.

I hate this question. I hate this idea that masturbation and/or watching porn is "cheating". How is this cheating? Doesn't adultery have to involve another person, not just a picture of another person? What's more, if you think about someone else while having sex with your partner is that adultery? Well, if watching porn is, then thinking about someone else while you're having sex with your primary partner most certainly is as well!

However, it doesn't matter how fervently you argue that apples are vegetables and that watching porn or masturbating is the same as cheating; it's just not fucking true. It's not. I don't care how many degrees in botany or nutrition you have, apples aren't vegetables, and porn isn't adultery.

Here's why: infidelity involves another person. Whether it's an emotional affair or a physical one, someone else is involved. So, unless you've got Multiple Personality Disorder, masturbation regardless of what you watch while doing it, does not involve another person and is therefore not infidelity.

But people hate porn. Some people hate porn (some people hate apples too), and will do whatever the fuck they can to give it an even worse name than it already have. There's a whole lot of bullshit that people use to reason this view, but it basically boils down to an idea that masturbation is "wrong" (why?), and watching other people fuck is "wrong".

And yet, suppose that someone likes to watch CNN while masturbating -- does that mean that watching CNN constitutes adultery? No. It means that they really like to be informed about what's going on in the world. But none of these anti-porn assholes would even make that argument, they would just say that that person is "sick" and that it's "wrong" to beat or rub off while watching Anderson Cooper. I highly doubt that. Have you seen Anderson Cooper?

But the bottom line is, for these people, that masturbation is wrong, porn is wrong, and anything and everything even remotely associated with either of these things is wrong. Morally wrong, and a danger to your relationship because if your partner finds out that you've been masturbating while watching Anderson Cooper, ze is going to think one of twho things:

  1. OMG! Ur so sikkkkk!!!
  2. Hey, can I play?

And sex for recreation is also wrong.


Briohny said...

Hi! Just came upon your excellent blog via a link from Savage Love comments. I'm interested in you use of the personal pro-noun "ze". Why have you chosen "ze" in particular? Did you coin this yourself, or is a part of a larger "ze phenomena" that I am missing out on?

How I have longed for such a word!

Also: I think you are right about apples and pornography!

Rachel said...

"Ze" along with "hir" are gender neutral pro-nouns that I first heard about when the Young Turks' Cenk Uygur interviewed Alissa Quart, who had done a piece in the NYT called "When Girls Will Be Boys" about women who didn't identify as women.

I have used it ever since. I'm not sure where it came from, but you should be able to find some kind of etymology online using the Googles.

And welcome to the blog!

Dori said...

I agree, watching porn is most definitely not cheating. However, one thing I would be worried about should I find my partner with porn is what the actual content is and how are they translating that to our sexual relationship. I personally have some porn myself which I do enjoy, and I am able to distinguish between images or videos I find hot, and what happens between me and my partner. I have dated a lot of people who have counted porn watching as sexual experience and instead of listening to the needs of their partners, have tried to emulate the porn they read or see. Makes for shitty sex when your partner cares more about looking like a porn star or performing like one than actually pleasing their partner or being pleased themselves.

That being said, I realize that this is more a failing in how we deal with sex socially and of my taste in partners. Sex is still a taboo, so talking about what works and what doesn't gets stunted, and I had bad enough taste to date people who were so self absorbed or abusive that me asking for something sexually was seen as an insult or something to control me with. I don't blame the porn for any of that.

DaisyDeadhead said...

Did he HAVE to challenge Michael Phelps to swim with him (on "60 Minutes")? I mean, talk about over the top!