Being a bunch of nature worshipers who like to honour fertility, Pagans tend to have a pretty open minded and relaxed attitude to all things sexual. We have no objection to people of any orientation, and anything consensual is fair game. I find it very easy to accept that there are people who like to watch, and people who like to display themselves. It would be easy, based on that, to assume that I’m also pro-pornography, but I’m not. There are a lot of things very wrong with porn that put it wholly at odds with Paganism. Here are ten reasons porn is not Pagan-friendly.
1) It isn’t about consent and personal taste. Financial need, addiction and psychological pressure are used to take people way out of their comfort zones. Porn exploits participants.
2) Actors in porn have excessively large sexual organs, creating distorted perceptions of what a healthy body looks like. This damages our relationships with our own bodies, creates anxiety, encourages plastic surgery and takes us away from appreciating what is natural.
3) The whole culture around porn presents sex as something sleazy, dirty and forbidden. This is wholly at odds with the sacred way in which Pagans understand sex.
4) Porn frequently depicts aggressive, disrespectful relationships between people – use and abuse are commonplace. If you understand spirit or divinity as present in the world, this treatment is intolerable.
5) Pornography perpetrates unhealthy beliefs about women and the female body – that women exist to be used, that the female body is only good in so far as it gives pleasure, that women are sex objects. No Goddess worshiper could find this acceptable.
6) Porn devalues sex and commodifies it, which is wholly at odds with ideas of sacred sexuality held by Pagans.
7) Watching porn gives gratification with neither a sense of responsibility nor relationship. This is at odds with the ethics of most Pagans. We are encouraged by porn to forget our responsibilities to the people we watch — to forget their humanity, and our own. This is not Pagan.
8) Porn isn’t that sexy. It is often functional, lacking emotional engagement and devoid of sensuality. For anyone who values the erotic (as many Pagans do), this is a travesty.
9) Porn increases a fear of all things sexual in a significant number of people who do not like it. The more porn there is, the greater the risk that anything sexual (naked Pagans included) will be assumed to be much the same. Wider society may assume that because we are a sex-positive community, we are basically pedaling porn. We aren’t, and we need to make that clear.
10) Porn distracts from the real thing. It’s no kind of substitute for the joy and magic that actual people can create with physical love.
Erotic content can be beautiful and inspiring. It can prompt us to connect more deeply with our lovers and give us knowledge and confidence for exploration. Anything that celebrates and honours sex can be wholly in keeping with Pagan ethics, values, and lifestyles. If you are doing something that inspires you to love, to feel connection and a sense of the sacred, you’re living your Paganism. If, on the other hand, what you do alienates you and takes you out of the world, serving to devalue and render sordid, then it isn’t good Pagan practice.