Serpent's Egg

The Eroticism of Fat Men

Why do so many men watch porn in public places?

Are we becoming normalised to porn?
Are we becoming normalised to porn? CREDIT: PA

It’s not often that I have cause to feel sorry for an MP. But a nice bit of light relief from the current political chaos was a photo, shared earlier this week, which appeared to show a politician watching something rather interesting on his smartphone, in the House of Commons.

MP Anna Soubry posted the picture on Twitter in the wake of the general election, asking ‘Is this the first Parliament where everyone thinks they’re a winner when in fact we’re all losers except the DUP?’

But eagle-eyed social media users started to wonder what was on the screen of the man sat in front of her – Jonathan Djanogly, MP for Huntingdon.

Hundreds of people piled in, accused the MP of looking at porn at work. In the end, Djanogly was forced to confirm it was actually this image on his Twitter feed (and that he had been in the Chamber, not the House itself):

View image on TwitterView image on Twitter

This MP appears to be casually checking out Gordon Parks’ “Showgirls Playing Chess” in the Commons.

(via @Anna_Soubry/ @DieZauberer)

Nonetheless, it did raise the interesting question around the way we use our phones in public and the workplace. You see, I have found myself in situations where I have had something entirely improper on the screen of my mobile phone, in a setting where nudity really  does not belong.

When I’m bored, my fingers take on a life of their own. I flick at the screen of my phone: first Twitter, then Facebook, then my email and by that point, if nothing else has caught my attention, Tumblr.

If you’re not familiar with Tumblr, it’s a blogging platform that has become a bit of a haven for porn. Like on Twitter and Instagram, you chose who to follow, then your account curates photo and text from all those sources. I follow a variety of people from fashion designers to foodies – and in that mix, is porn. Indeed, a study in 2013 concluded that 11.4 per cent of Tumblr’s blogs were “adult”. Which means that a staggering one in 10 of its blogs contained images of people doing the nasty. And that was four years ago.

So, yes, occasionally, when I’m waiting for a lift or a train or I’m in a boring social situation, I will flick over a website that provides me with porn, weaved in with all sorts of other amusing images and articles.  And that seems completely normal.

porn
CREDIT: GETTY

I am not the only one. I can’t count the number of times I’ve sat behind someone on a train who is absent mindedly watching porn or looking at nude photographs. Just looking. Like they would at the football results or Candy Crush.

Cara, 31 told me that she recently sad behind a man on a bus who was scrolling through escort profiles of scantily clad women, presumably selecting someone he wanted to have sex with. This sort of behavior would once have taken place via a nervous phone call from a phone box. For a man, just a few years ago, getting in touch with a sex worker would have likely been the result of consideration and effort. Now it’s a lazy search engine enquiry.

Porn is in much the same place. Once, if you wanted to access X-rated images, you had to put on a wig and a trench coat and ask a man behind a greasy counter to sell you a magazine. Then internet was invented.

I’m a little jealous of those who grew up in a time when typing the words ‘YouPorn’ into a search bar weren’t an option. I can only imagine the excitement that would have come from illicitly acquiring a magazine or video that contained things you had never seen before.

A male acquaintance, who wanted to remain anonymous, admitted to me that he sometimes watches porn at work

But, as with all wonderful things, porn comes with downsides. I strongly believe that our over-exposure to sex has left us needing to have more and more extreme relations. And I also wonder whether our on-screen pursuits are seeping into our everyday lives more than we realise.

A male acquaintance, who wanted to remain anonymous, admitted to me that he sometimes watches porn at work.

“I work long hours, in an office that values presenteeism. If I didn’t occasionally watch porn at work I’d never watch it at all. But I admit that sometimes it’s a weird feeling to be in the bathroom watching a woman having a threesome, and then go back to my desk and swap back to seeing women in a professional context instead of a sexual one.”

I don’t find that having nudes in my Tumblr feed changes the way that I treat the people around me, but there’s no question that it makes me see sex and nudity as unremarkable. When Amber Rose posted a picture of her vulva earlier this week, I didn’t blink an eye. Nudity is nothing to think twice about and I wonder if that might be stripping away some of the magic.

Old Man Watches Porn at Coffee Shop

00:20

Porn is not shocking and it’s not shameful. Yet, as a sex writer, I’m torn on this issue. It’s wonderful that people feel freer than ever before and that those of more niche sexual persuasions, like BDSM, know that they are not alone.

But the thing about porn is that if it’s not illicit or secretive or hidden, it’s less of a thrill. If you can have it whenever and wherever, it becomes considerably less exciting. In fact it becomes so unexciting that you end up flicking over it on your mobile phone while you’re sitting on a bus, or in the office.

Shocked by my own lack of shock at all this, I’ve taken the step of deleting the Tumblr app from my phone. It can’t be good for me to think that naked bodies on a phone screen are par for the course. From now on I’ll be viewing mine illicitly, vintage style.

Anyone got a VHS player I can borrow?

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Information

This entry was posted on June 16, 2017 by and tagged , , .

Follow me on Twitter

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 219 other followers

Blog Stats

  • 126,407 hits
%d bloggers like this: