Pornography, it seems to me, presents a highly distorted image of men. While my research with thousands of men shows a different picture of “who men are sexually,” pornography imposes a rigid ideological view on male sexual feelings, expression and behavior. They are not the monolithic beings depicted in most porno images, nor do they find their authentic selves in pornography.
Ironically, pornography seems friendly to men — more than to women — but its underlying message makes fun of men. Subliminally, it tells men that their sexual expression is ridiculous, base, insensitive, even grotesque. Visually it frequently makes men look ugly and coarse, foolish and unappealing.
Who hasn’t seen porno images? They’re all around us, in magazines, on the internet and even in fine art. The makers and distributors of the images must believe men like them, that they are generally making “what men like,” because they market it to men, and the industry is growing. Although few women buy porno, most industry spokespersons claim that “the number of women is increasing”; any gain they refer to is nominal.
Do most men really like pornography? Do they find it laughable or do they think to themselves: I wish I could be like him, lucky guy?