A while back, I asked an American intelligence officer on social media why pornography was legal in the United States, yet prostitution was illegal. He proceeded to mute me, either because he was infuriated by the question, or he was merely stumped and stupefied by it. Nevertheless, it is a question that is worth asking and exploring, given that to some inquisitive minds, the idea that pornography can be rampant and ubiquitous, yet escort services and prostitution are illegal and prohibited in the United States may not make any sense. In other words, it is a paradox that is worthy of resolution.
As Sigmund Freud argued, the illegality and prohibition of sex outside of monogamous marriage aims at a kind of “civilized morality” that ends up being to the detriment of both the individual and the society as a whole. Aside from the double standards and hypocrisy that arises from a “civilized morality” imposed upon people’s sexuality, there are also health and physical risks associated with the imposition of such rules, morals, and standards on sexuality. As Freud argued, a “civilized morality” towards sexuality “cripples virile selection – the sole influence by which an improvement of the race can be attained, for among civilized peoples vital selection is reduced to a minimum by humane and hygienic considerations.”
Thus, in the United States, those in power have sought to “legislate” sexuality, and in turn, the legislation of sexuality “is of a juridico-discursive character” to borrow from Foucault. Both the legislation of sex and the “juridico-discursive character” of such legislation aims for “a singular modulation of sexual conduct.” Only monogamous marriage with the aim of procreation is “free of fault” based on such legal and discursive impositions and standards.
But neither the legislation nor the “juridico-discursive character” of such legislation pertaining to sexuality explain the abundance, free flow, and ubiquity of pornography in our society. As one author noted: “Ironically, pornography has become almost invisible by virtue of its very ubiquity. It seeps into our lives, identities, and relationships. We are so steeped in the pornographic mindset that it is difficult to imagine what a world without porn would look like.” It follows that there has been a “pornification of our culture” which now needs to be assessed and understood. In turn, the “pornification of our culture” has burdened and buried many people under “troughs of depravity” which cannot be escaped or fended off overnight.
Only a personal initiative and strategy towards repentance and sanctification can empty and relieve the individual of the pressures and stresses of a “pornified” culture and society. On one hand, an individual has to economize and regiment the supply and the ubiquity of porn in a “pornified” culture, while on the other hand, the economization and regimentation of porn has to aim at a revival and sanctification of the individual’s body and spirit after its brutalization and torture at the hands of a “pornified” culture and society. As Osho suggested, sexuality is a form of “energy” above all else. Thus, the pornification of culture amounts to the brutalization and torture of an important energy and life-source that is an integral part of an individual’s holistic health and well-being.
Why our current day and age is perhaps more precarious and unstable than any other day and age in the past is because of the blatant and impudent “condemnation of modesty” which one must note is unprecedented in human history, as Augusto Del Noce noted. Hence, the pressures and stresses of a “pornified” culture are augmented and exacerbated by the mainstream condemnations of basic modesty as well as by the peer pressures and “groupthink” of the mainstream which attack and oppose the upkeep of basic notions of goodness and modesty around the world.