There’s much that I want to quote from Matthew Lee Anderson’s survey of pornography’s pernicious and destructive influence on our culture, but I’ll just settle for this:
But it is the orgasms of the audience — not the performers — that make pornographers money. The man who watches pornography is himself the product: it is his pleasure that the industry aims at, his satisfaction that matters most of all. The women and men who perform before an audience become objects of their audience’s gratification; but the bitter, brutal irony of the pornography industry is that by aiming at such pleasure the audience objectifies itself by becoming a product in a commercial transaction. Porn degrades everyone involved in it, but its customers most of all — for they are the unwitting dupes who do not realize the game that is being played against them.
And then there’s this follow-up by Alan Noble: “In so many ways pornography epitomizes the sickness of our age. It combines radical individualism, consumption, technique, industrialization, commodification, choice, disembodiment, hyperreality, disposability, violence, exponential growth of data, unrestrained technology.”