Will British MP’s online sex habit block David Cameron’s porn filter?
In July 2013 Britain’s much beloved Prime Minister David Cameron, possessed like Tony Bliar before him of his own saint-like infallibility, announced to the country that up to 95% of households in the UK would have pornography blocked by their internet provider, unless they actively chose to receive it. Online porn was “corroding childhood” and “distorting” children’s understanding of sex and relationships, he argued.
Personally I beg to differ. Porn is no more provably corrosive than war movies or computer games, in my humble o. Your average guy is about as likely to go and whack off over his girlfriend’s nose after watching a pop-shot as he is to mow-down the school lollypop lady after playing Grand Theft Auto. Of course the nutters and freaks in society will always be with us. The evil, mad minority. They will do their crazy shit regardless of how careful we are. Bad is bad. But most normal people know where the boundaries lie between the harmless fun that can be had blowing zombies’ heads off on a computer screen and what is acceptable in real life. Same with porn. Lay off, Dave.
Cameron’s Big Brother proposal was described at the time by one of his own advisers, in less than charitable terms, as ‘absolutely ridiculous’. Quite how ridiculous became apparent this week when official figures were released revealing that over 300,000 attempts were made during the past year to access pornographic websites from the Houses of Parliament. That’s a lot of masturbation we’re paying for. No wonder they’re fiddling their expenses.
Following the shameful outing of thieving MPs during the great Expenses Scandal of 2009, is this but the latest example of our politicians (those paragons of moral rectitude) shooting themselves in the face, in terms of their standing with the public? If it does nothing else it illustrates perfectly the double standards often talked about sex, particularly the sex industry.
In public no one has a good word to say about porn. Yet in private every man and his dog seem to be logging on to get their daily fix. This can be quite literally, as in the Houses of Parliament, or via the numerous pornographic fantasies we indulge during the course of an average day. I’m talking those innocent reveries involving seduction of the boss’s smoking hot p.a. in the disabled toilet after a drunken office party, the shameful quickie with your best friends’ girlfriend in the back of the car, the leisurely 69 enjoyed in your neighbour’s bed while he’s away on business. Not forgetting the random strangers we pass every day on the street and take home to deflower in our head-beds. God forbid our families and friends ever find a way to download these thoughts, discovering the guilty secrets we harbour inside. The filthy fantasies we all entertain, morning, noon and night.
I’ve written about this at length in Sex on the Brain, in which I explore the moral confusion surrounding our public and private sex lives. Who hasn’t, at some time in their past, indulged in a bit of light rape fantasy, either as victim or perpetrator? Okay, that’s a loaded word. Let’s say an S&M fantasy, a bit of the old tying up and gagging. A playful slap. Restraint. Yeah that one. Bondage, domination, mild coercion. Now hands up who would actually go out and do any of that stuff for real. Not many, right? But the fact is that most of us carry a whole bunch of this kinky stuff around in our heads that we’d never admit to, or do in real life. And if truth be known, none of us thinks we’re doing anything wrong. It doesn’t feel weird or sordid when we have these sexy thoughts. We don’t feel like depraved monsters. Because we aren’t. We’re just normal, doing what comes natural. Fantasising with our imaginations, filling in the gaps life can’t fill. Dreaming we’re rich and powerful like the movie stars we can never become. Getting the girl we know we’ll never have. Life puts all that beauty in the shop window and says no, you can’t have any.
Sexual desire is something we all experience, almost every day of our lives. It’s as ubiquitous as our appetites for food and drink, as necessary for our survival. That’s why the porn industry exists. Like the food industry. It’s there to market its product to us as desirably as possible, and make money out of doing so. It sells because it fulfils a deeply basic need. If nobody wanted it, it wouldn’t exist. Yet it’s become one of the most lucrative industries on the planet. So why does porn get such a bad press?
No one seems to have a problem with movies that portray graphic slaughter, murder and mutilation. Yet the minute a penis sticks its head into shot the world is outraged. One glimpse of pussy and squeamish politicians swarm from the woodwork howling in protest. I have a theory why this is, and it’s this. Religion. Our prudishness about sex is purely and simply down to our puritanical past. Surprising as it may be in our thoroughly secular modern world with all the knowledge science has placed at our fingertips about the universe and the evolution of humans in it, we are still largely ruled by bible-thumping leaders who have no problems firing cruises missile into cities full of millions, yet who, burning up with righteous indignation, would happily send a hooker to prison for the sin of having sex with another human being. I mean, it’s one thing to go off and do something manly like slay a nation of non-believers in battle, but doing a bit of furtive begetting on the side with your neighbour’s wife is completely beyond the pale. Stoning is too good a punishment for such sinners. Fire and brimstone awaits. If you’re watching porn, better prepare yourself for hell and damnation.
To such believers I would say this. Are you sure? Really sure? About what you do? What you believe? Your certainty about what’s right and wrong? For everyone? Who says? Prove it. Do you even know if your own spouse is faithful, for instance? I mean in body and soul? Remember Billy the BJ Clinton? JFK? Jeffery Archer? Edwina Currie? It’s a long list, and it’s a lonely existence being the spouse of a world leader. All those weeks you’re away from them on foreign visits, conferences, summits, not knowing what you’re up to. Those young, tall, fit bodyguards who have to stay behind and look after them. The gym-hardened bodies under the wide-shouldered suits. The testosterone-fuelled hardware packed inside. The holstered pistols with their capacity to sprout lead. The slabbed pecs. The karate knowledge. That’s a lot for a woman’s imagination to go to work on, during those long lonely evenings at home alone, when she feels horny and the kids are in bed. You think she only gets the urge when you’re around? What spaceship did you fly in on buddy? She may not be to everyone’s taste but personally I find Samantha Cameron’s innocent doe-eyed look a bit of a turn on. Especially with those figure-hugging business suits she wears. The pretend-demure flat shoes. The coy glances. For what it’s worth, yeah, I would. Is that a crime? If so I plead guilty. As for Michelle Obama, well, frankly most guys I speak to think she’s got enough body to take on three men at a time. You know something? I might just put me a little porn movie on tonight after dinner. Maybe download a few news bulletins online, about the Obamas and the Camerons. Run them together in my head, then go to work.by