Blog entry

toward an ethical pornography

song of the day: Girls On Film / Duran Duran
word of the day: aphrodisiomania / abnormal sexual interest

well, it rained like crazy last night. you guessed it: our roof STILL leaks. ten days and $5,000 after we first discovered the leak, we have moved the leak exactly one foot north on the roof. that's after a complete re-build top to bottom.

hee hee. you have to find that at least somewhat funny. hee hee.

i was up last night till 4:30 in the morning doing taxes from 1999, for some reason my 1999 file was corrupted, and i have to re-file them five years after the fact. it's always a weird vibe when you go through all those receipts from an earlier stage of life. almost all my money was spent on gas, hotels, postage, and music equipment. a few hookers. 'lil blow. anal beads...

speaking of anal sex, hard-core porn sure has gotten a lot more hard core, hasn't it? i mean, in a purely data-gathering capacity, one does survey the inter-objective sexual landscape from time to time, and in doing so acquires a sense of the prevailing trends, noting distinctions between various epochs. good science is emperical. you assemble the appropriate instruments, sensitive devices engineered to register the desired information- an eyeball, reptillian brain stem, circulatory system, and a penis- remove your pants and begin conducting research. sometimes this takes hours, but one needs reliable and exhaustive readings or one will be laughed out of the serious medical journals. i've done my homework, and that's why i have credibility when i tell people porn has changed. it used to be much more about people just doing IT on camera- penis in vagina, hand on breast, penis in mouth- typically woven through an imaginative and engrossing narrative. those elements were enough for us then, it was a time of innocence, people watching people balling, moaning over the hypnotic waves of a Wah-Wah pedal. maybe someone would come on someone's face, or there might be a three-some, or four-some, or big gang bang, or some sodomy, or anal tongue darts- but it was all quite harmless- the viewer was voyeur, peering through a technicolor keyhole into what was pretty much the normal behaviour of any exhibitionist nymphomaniac. we were happy then, with our simple dirty, consensual sex.

but the lower right porn-quadrant has changed. wholesome perversion is gone, pushed out of the culture like small sex-towns and their mom 'n pop whore-houses, replaced by an obsurd techno-carnival of horrors, pulling unsuspecting viewers (mostly middle aged house-wives and empty-nesting retired grandmas) into an obsession with EXTREME, SHOCKING, and violent sexuality.

and its wonderful

that we recognize that, so as to apply a corrective response toward restoring health and balance to our most primal, instinctual discipline. porn never was much on subtlety, surprise, and certainly not interiors (unless you consider fisting an inter-subjective praxis). but now days you can't move your mouse without falling through the trap door to yet another site devoted to simultaneous double-anal penetration, or bukkake, or elephantitis of the penis, or beastiality, or shit-eating, or gagging / puking blow jobs, or incest, or helicopter-style coitus. very often these sites also contain curse words.

but seriously, this does bring us back to the question of ethics. is it ethical to participate in such acts, and more importantly is it ethical to even observe them as an anonymous voyeur? this is all brings me back to the reason i stopped having sex with groupies (back before i was in love and married i went through some rather...dynamic sexual exploration for a few years). there are at least two layers or depths to the ethics question and porn, or a promiscuous life style.

in my view, ethics does not prohibit or proscribe any particular behavior. ethics are codes or rules observed by a group of people, what is ethical depends upon the people, the circumstance, the time, etc. this is NOT an advocacy of pure relativism- a meaningless expanse of pure subjectivity. morals and ethics are inter-subjectively established and without them the meshwork of societies and families and friendships would fall to shit. ethics require taking the role of other, doing onto others as you would have them do to you, and many other considerations- ethics is tightly woven with the moral line and also especially the cognitive capacities or depth of "perspectives".

it is perfectly ethical, for instance, for two consenting adults to engage in mock rape with gagging / puking oral sex, film it, make a movie of it, and share it- if they both want to do that, and are fully conscious and capable of determining what the act and its implications are for all people involved. the catch is that last part: PROVIDED they are sufficiently capable of determining what it is they're participating in, why they're doing it, who it will affect, and to the best of their ability- how it will affect them. if everyone involved is perfectly conscious, and consenting, then no problem- go mock rape, eat shit, double anal penetration gang bang to your hearts delight.

it's perfectly ethical for a musician to fuck groupies on the road, provided everyone involved or affected is perfectly clear on what it is, what it means, how it will affect everyone, etc etc.

the problem is you almost never actually have a situation between two people even remotely resembling those circumstances, much less three or four, and on up. it's practically a purely theoretical, hypothetical situation. this is certainly and especially the case if one of the people in question is an authentic practitioner (one who has consciously devoted their life to the awakening of all beings, for the sake of the whole).

in my situation back when i used to have sex with lots of women, i thought i could do it and still be ethical if i was perfectly crystal-clear about everything from top to bottom, if i maintained complete and total honesty from the first moment to the last, and if i repeated the facts over and over. then there could be no manipulation, no misunderstanding, no deception, no using, and no violation of the bodhisattva's vow. as soon as there was even a hint of the possibility of sexual interaction, i would launch into my speech, holding direct eye contact and going through all the main points:

*i absolutely am not available for a relationship. our having sex is not a relationship, and will not lead to a relationship. it is purely and exclusively a physical act which will be concluded when we part, nothing more.
*i have no idea if or when we will ever be together again
*i'm going to continue to see other people

etc, etc. you get the idea. i would issue all the disclaimers and consider myself clean, clear, and officially operating within the bounds of integrity. but it was a total fucking lie. because you can only operate from your OWN clarity, and 99% of the time, the person you're dealing with, who's saying "YES" to every one of your statements- is actually incapable of consenting from clarity. the WHOLE REASON they want to fuck you is because they're fucked up, confused, lost, mislead, delusion, and SUFFERING. remember now, your STATED vow in life is to serve the awakening of all beings for the sake of the whole. that means ENDING suffering.

people who are suffering- even people who are suffering very deeply- can be very, very convincing and seemingly self-possessed. they are articulate, charismatic, charming, relaxed, engaged, apparently fully present- and guess what? they are simultaneously LOST at a deeper level and not fit to make such choices. so i would run through my idiotic, asinine laundry list of qualifiers and disclaimers, the girl would listen very carefully, exhibit all external signs of "getting it", then we would shag, and it would immediately become apparent that the "agreement" was a rouse, a phantom.

you categorically CANNOT fuck someone and not co-mingle Karma. you categorically cannot fuck someone who is suffering and operating under the influence of an unconscious agenda without CREATING more Karma for both parties and in fact the whole Kosmos.

that FACT of FUCK is this: unless you find yourself in one of those extraordinarily rare instances when TWO fully awakened, healthy beings mutally consent to whatever sex it is, you are creating karma and violating a fundamental premise of the bodhisattva's vow. this goes double for all the scum sucking, bottom-feeding spiritual teachers who fuck their students. yes, including the FAMOUS ones, and yes, including the famous ones who say they're practicing crazy wisdom, or TANTRA, or whatever the hell the convenient tradition is they hijack in order to transact their gross / subtle / causal abuse.

eventually it became acutely miserable for me to sleep with anyone i wasn't in a monogamous relationship with, because the hideous discord between my heart-felt vow (serve Love, relieve suffering) and my behavior was intolerable. it's simple: it's UNNATURAL to be unethical, and if you knowingly, willingly continue to act unethically, it will really fuck you up. anyone who has practiced sincerely for any length of time, who has a modicum of intuition and inter-subjective sense knows that. at best a life of superficial, casual sex is just sticky and yucky (no pun intended), and creates a dense drag on the spirits of those involved. at worst it is a serious field of land mines that can destroy many lives. so, before i was even with my wife, even back when i was single and on the road, i just stopped fooling around because i knew i was sabatoging Love, i knew i was undermining the Mystery (although, we have to remember that even the steps away from IS are steps directly toward it, and ethics are of the relative realm, and God is an absolute ineffable).

and that's the problem with porn. the people involved are mostly fucked up, lost, confused, deluded- suffering. i do, very sincerely feel that the impulse to explore things like double-anal-penetration-puking fist-fucking-gagging-deep-throat action is a natural, normal human curiousity- but what we're finding on the web are the 99 percentile of instances where its just an unconscious tornado. our humanity is incredibly rich and varied, and all the shadow stuff is there to stay whether we like it or not. but that doesn't mean we can forfeit what is plain and evident as practioners: we shouldn't contribute to or participate in anything that perpetuates or increases suffering, and we should do whatever we can to eliminate suffering and support the recognition of awakened awareness. we have to find healthy ways to inhabit and express our shadow aspects, allowing our full Self to exist and abide. and so, how can we move toward an ethical pornography?

Recent Tweets

Upcoming Shows

Stuart is not touring at this time.

Subscribe to Latest Shows from Stuart Davis

In the Press

Not since Bob Dylan burst through has Minnesota produced such a confident and creative songwriter and social observer.

-Minneapolis Star Tribune