Pamela Anderson Is Now Weirdly Shaming People Who Watch Porn

Guys, it might be time to take a moment of silence. The Baywatch era Pamela Anderson we all knew and loved is officially over, and we must mourn her departure.

What happened that could have triggered such a tragedy, you ask?

Well, In a recent op-ed piece for the Wall Street Journal, Anderson teamed up with rabbi and counselor Shmuley Boteach to denounce the adult entertainment industry as fodder for “losers.”

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Related-ish: 11 Women Confess The Craziest Things They Watch In Porn

Wait, really? Pamela Anderson, the former Playboy model and mega sex icon, is touting the belief that porn is dangerous and detrimental to society?

Let’s see if we can break this down just a bit.

The letter begins, rather dramatically, by hearkening back to the Anthony Weiner scandal which occurred earlier this week.

If anyone still had doubts about the addictive dangers of pornography, Anthony Weiner should have put paid to them with his repeated, self-sabotaging sexting.

Boteach and Anderson apparently believe that the Weiner scandal could have been avoided, if pornography wasn’t an initial influencer. (Because, you know, men who are utterly faithful and devoted couldn’t possibly be swayed by anything other than porn.)

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The bizarre writing duo continues, by denouncing pornography and its hazardous effects on men (it should be noted that the male perspective is the main emphasis of the article). Boteach avers that the practice of watching pornography corrodes “a man’s soul.”

From our respective positions of rabbi-counselor and former Playboy model and actress, we have often warned about pornography’s corrosive effects on a man’s soul and on his ability to function as husband and, by extension, as father. This is a public hazard of unprecedented seriousness given how freely available, anonymously accessible and easily disseminated pornography is nowadays.

The op-ed describes  a dystopian future, where men trash their marriages and relationships as a result of pornography, leading their families to “suffer.”

 How many families will suffer? How many marriages will implode? How many talented men will scrap their most important relationships and careers for a brief onanistic thrill? How many children will propel, warp-speed, into the dark side of adult sexuality by forced exposure to their fathers’ profanations?

The piece goes on to list statistics from the American Psychological Association which support the notion that pornography leads to reported dissatisfaction in men’s sexual relationships. However, it blithely brushes over an important perspective which is never actually explored in the op-ed:

By contrast, many female fans of pornography tend to prefer a less explicit variety, and report that it improves their sexual relationships.

So, let me get this straight: all of this information that you’re spouting is alarmist and negative, but only where the male gaze is concerned?

The fact that women readily admit to reaping  benefits from the availability of porn is not even considered in your tirade against the adult entertainment industry?

The male experience as it relates to porn is ultimately more important and worthy of discussion?

Cool, just checking.

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Also, don’t forget about the favorite justification for any conservative movement: “BUT WHAT ABOUT THE CHILDREN?”

It is a fair guess that whereas drug-dependency data are mostly stable, the incidence of porn addiction will only spiral as the children now being raised in an environment of wall-to-wall, digitized sexual images become adults inured to intimacy and in need of even greater graphic stimulation. They are the crack babies of porn.

The op-ed describes the generations of men who are “cruising the internet” for cheap thrills, instead of curling up with their wife and kids (or whatever it is that devoted husbands do in their spare time). The post effortlessly conflates watching porn (an act that almost no one in their right mind considers “cheating”) with the act of sexting (something that many people in committed relationships would take issue with).

These are men who, by any objective measure, have succeeded yet regard themselves as failures. These are men who feel marooned in lassitude because they enjoy physical security, who feel bereft and bored even if they are blessed to have the committed love of a wife or girlfriend. These are men who believe that cruising the internet for explicit footage of other women or sharing such images of themselves over the remote communication offered by smartphones are risqué but risk-free distractions from the tedium.

Anderson and Boteach admit that there isn’t really backtracking to be done in the world of pornography, and that what is actually required is an open conversation about the effects of porn (a notion that seems surprisingly reasonable, despite the scaremonger nature of their previous remarks).

The march of technology is irreversible and we aren’t so naive as to believe that any kind of imposed regulation could ever reseal the Pandora’s box of pornography. What is required is an honest dialogue about what we are witnessing—the true nature and danger of porn—and an honor code to tamp it down in the collective interests of our well-being as individuals, as families and as communities.

Apparently, the op-eds authors are also under the illusion that gender rights have been readily established, and that everything is now hunky-dory in the land of sexual equality (a hilarious notion, considering the fact that women are mentioned a grand total of once in this post).

The ubiquity of porn is an outgrowth of the sexual revolution that began a half-century ago and which, with gender rights and freedoms now having been established, has arguably run its course.

The op-ed calls for a “sensual revolution,” which will emphasize the importance of intimacy and emotional depth in sexual relationships. The language is all well and good (who doesn’t appreciate intimacy?), but also smacks of devout religiousness — which is kind of a polarizing move when you’re discussing the matter of pornography.

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The op-ed ends with an even more divisive assertion:

Simply put, we must educate ourselves and our children to understand that porn is for losers—a boring, wasteful and dead-end outlet for people too lazy to reap the ample rewards of healthy sexuality.

So, essentially, if you find yourself single and without a stable relationship in your life, you deserve to sit in your dry, sexual wasteland and think about what you’ve done, you LOSER.

While the intentions behind Boteach and Anderson’s op-ed are presumably well-meaning, this kind of attitude toward pornography is precisely why people (both men and women, thank you very much) choose to be furtive about their pornography habits, ignoring them as though they were a dirty little secret. It’s much more plausible that the feeling of socially-enforced guilt associated with consuming porn has a more detrimental effect on one’s sexual relationships than the actual pornography itself.

Perhaps we should be working to take away the shames associated with sexual fantasy, rather than reinforcing them?

As someone who was responsible for the sexual awakenings of many prepubescent boys (and girls, honestly), you’d think Anderson would be a little more supportive of that idea.

Related-ish: 10 Guys Confess Their Super Secret Porn Watching Habits

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