This Mockingbird Article About Sex and Internet Porn

quotes literally all of the good bits of the Alain de Botton piece it’s riffing on; dodges de Botton’s more banal or wrongheaded generalizations (AdB writes as if internet porn is a male problem not a human problem, and says sex can get in the way of “other things we care about, like prosperity, safety, and happiness,” which is a list of three things I don’t care about all that much); and adds some gentleness of its own. You should read it! But I will give you a quick teaser of the AdB piece because the good parts are very good:

It is perhaps only people who haven’t felt the full power of sex over their logical selves who can remain uncensorious and liberally “modern” on the subject.Philosophies of sexual liberation appeal mostly to people who don’t have anything too destructive or weird that that they wish to do once they have been liberated.

However, anyone who has experienced the power of sex in general and internet pornography in particular to reroute our priorities is unlikely to be so sanguine about liberty. Pornography, like alcohol and drugs, weakens our ability to endure the kinds of suffering that are necessary for us to direct our lives properly. In particular, it reduces our capacity to tolerate those two ambiguous goods, anxiety and boredom.

Mockingbird pc here; AdB here if you really want to.

About Eve Tushnet

CLOSE | X

HIDE | X