Porn, Sex and Russell Brand by Dr. David Ley

Feb 25, 2015
Anti-Porn
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Monday, a video appeared on the YouTube channel of an anti-porn group called “Fight The New Drug” featuring comedian, actor (and former husband of Katy Perry), Russell Brand speaking about “the harmful effects of porn and how it alters ideas and perceptions about sex.” The video originally appeared on Brand’s own YouTube channel. 

Russell Brand on Hardcore & Softcore Porn, by Dr. David Ley

There’s a fascinating backstory about the Salt Lake City, Utah-based “Fight The New Drug”, which we’ll address soon. Today, however, we asked Dr. David Ley, PhD, for his insight into the outspoken Brand’s remarks about porn and sexuality.

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Russell Brand is a passionate man, and I enjoy his comments on life, sex, love and politics. He may not always be accurate, but he’s always well-intended and forces us to think about important issues.

A lot of people have concerns like those that Russell is voicing, where they, like him, use porn and then feel guilty about it. But, what Russell fails to explore, is the question of whether this guilt and shame is the result of porn, or a circular effect of our social attitudes towards sex and porn? In other words, does Russell feel guilty because society has told him that he should feel guilty about it, and time spent watching porn is a waste of time, and is not very healthy? Is Russell here being the voice of Big Brother Morality, telling people they should be ashamed of their sexual desires and behaviors? It seems so, and that’s a little sad. He is usually more resistant to being an arm of “The Man.”

Russell’s thoughts and concerns are guilty of comingling two separate issues – masturbation, and porn-watching. This is a very common trick of the anti-porn movement – they treat masturbation and porn-watching as the same thing. They attack masturbation covertly, by attacking porn-watching.

Does he have a problem with porn, but not with masturbation? That remains unclear. He asserts that sex is about relationship, intimacy and love. Well, maybe. But for many people, sex is also about recreation, stress release, exploration and adventure.

Masturbation doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with love, or connecting with other people, or the universe. So, I’m left wondering if Russell believes that masturbation itself is an equal waste of time? In which case, I think it would help Russell to see some of the research that shows that people who masturbate more tend to be healthier, wealthier and wiser, about their own sexuality, and how to integrate sexuality into their relationships?

People who watch porn often do so to understand their own sexual desires better. Many LGBT folks first encounter orientation-consistent material through porn, and view such material as a very healthy part of their sexual learning/identification process. People who watch porn often have more novel, adventurous sex within their monogamous relationship, and tend to be more accepting of sexual diversity.

I think it is noteworthy to remember that Russell spent some time in American sex addiction treatment. This is an industry which idealizes sex for love and intimacy, and often suggests that masturbation and porn are inherently questionable, and are, at best, morally iffy. I think his proclamations here are voicing that internalized guilt and suspicion – masturbation and viewing of porn should always be viewed through a lens of skeptical suspicion.

But, I agree with him – I think people should be more mindful about what they are doing in life. Watching television is also not so very productive, doesn’t connect with the universe, or facilitate relationships or love. Lots of the things we do don’t meet that criteria. But I agree with Russell – we should pay attention to that. For me, watching silly Youtube videos of people pontificating about things they don’t really understand? That definitely qualifies as a waste of time that I’d like to cut out of my life…

Dr. David Ley, Ph.D is a practicing clinical psychologist in Albuquerque, NM, and author of The Myth of Sex Addiction & Insatiable Wives.

http://www.amazon.com/David-J.-Ley/e/B00348D2JQ

Follow Dr. Ley on Twitter @DrDavidLey

 

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neognosis
neognosis
5 years ago

I’m quite sure a 21st Century Taboo Culture is not a sign of human progress.

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