Porn:

Who’s on top in this debate?

Credit: Andrew popik

It has titles like Lethal Squirt and OH! Zone. Sometimes it’s Playboy and Penthouse. And for some, it’s as simple as a Victoria’s Secret catalog or a sexy commercial on television.

It’s pornography — ever-present in today’s society. It denotes nothing but stereotypes, usually of a 13-year-old boy sitting alone and entertaining himself.

But in reality, there are so many different opinions out there that it’s hard to label. And it’s not just horny single men; the porn industry includes women, too.

Tramaine Jackson, a sophomore communication technology major, said he knows women watch porn either with other women or with their boyfriends — both of which are a turn-on.

Amanda Cooper, shift manager at Ambiance, The Store for Lovers in Middleburg Heights, said more women visit the novelty store than men.

“I think women are more apt to shopping for sex toys,” Cooper said.

Nicole Talboo, manager at a Parma lingerie store, said 95 percent of her customers are women.

Talboo also mentioned that because of the store’s location near a high school, there have been many younger customers coming in.

“I see girls as young as 14 buying items like G-strings,” Talboo said.

The store, which sells lingerie, bras, panties and a love board game, tries to show women what is sexy and fun.

“We want women to feel sexy and powerful,” Talboo said.

Grossing $10 billion a year, porn is a big business, according to Social Problems, a sociology textbook.

Morgan Soeder, sophomore nursing major, said porn is a “sexual and physical display used for gratification.”

And she said this kind of gratification is unnecessary.

“Pornography has negative effects for life,” she said. “If you’re in a relationship, it gives you a negative idea of sex and how it should be. You have this idea in mind that sex is for pleasure and not for people in love. Sex to me is love, and without love, it means nothing.”

Bruce Friesen, associate professor of sociology, said porn is a way for the viewer to feel power or control.

“Porn puts sex in a social context, and it can be an erotic experience,” Friesen said. “The way porn is developed is in traditional male notions of power in sex. It fulfills their fantasies of control, domination and power, and this is erotic to males.”

Friesen said it is possible for people to become absorbed in pornography.

“Most people are just casual observers of pornography,” he said. “But some people lose control and become absorbed. This absorption could stem from bad childhood experiences, and pornography may seem like a good escape.”

Brittney Schumacher, freshman exploratory major, said she doesn’t take porn seriously.

“Porn is funny. I don’t get anything out of it,” she said. “It is somewhat degrading to women, but if they are willing to do it, then I guess it’s OK.”

Soeder sees it alittle differently.

“Porn gives men a reason to disrespect women,” she said. “If the viewer is young, they will think it’s acceptable.”

So are women entering another sexual liberation movement similar to the one of the past?

It may seem so.

Exploring the stereotypes around women and pornography, we went out shopping — two reporters disguised as innocent young girls.

Sara Macho

Strategically hidden among the glossy movie posters and new releases in a local video store lies the mystifying world of adult videos.

Strolling around the adult video section of a Kent video store, I felt strangely amused by the predicament I had fallen into — a reporter with a mission to delve into the mind-“blowing” world of adult entertainment.

When I entered the sexual lair, I came face-to-face with an older adult male with a wedding band on his finger. He only had one head and no visible scales, so I couldn’t help but acknowledge that he was normal. He could have been a father, and the children and wife may not have any idea about their husband and dad’s private sexual agenda.

Mr. Sexual Agenda didn’t stay long after my arrival, though, maybe he felt uncomfortable or intimidated by my presence.

But how do men feel about women looking at porn?

As I circled around the video store’s adult section, I thought maybe the women stars of these videos were simply trying to convey a message. But maybe the message doesn’t agree with the morals many women hold today. I walked out of the store feeling slightly different.

Maybe female porn stars are persuading women today to embrace their sexuality. I’m not saying go to a party tomorrow night and join an orgy, but welcome the qualities that make females strong and beautiful.

Allison Remcheck

I had always seen it in movies, like a scene from an old Western: the swinging double doors that lead to the secret, adults-only place in the back of the store. Usually some older man stood guard by these doors to make sure no one passed through.

I didn’t know for sure what people could find behind the doors. I pictured shelves of discretely wrapped packages, something similar to the wrapping that covers embarrassing packages in the mail.

But I didn’t know what I would be in for until I passed through those swinging doors myself and crossed over into porno-land, otherwise known as the adult video section.

I actually laughed out loud, and I started to wonder who was actually watching this stuff.

We decided to approach one of the Family Video employees, who wished to remain anonymous, as did most of the people interviewed on this subject.

This employee said the porn-viewing audience is mostly male and consists of college students and men in their 30s and 40s.

And the best-seller behind the doors is One Night in Paris, starring Paris Hilton.

“That one’s always out,” the nice, anonymous employee said. “They’re intrigued by it.”

Next we went to The News & Photo Shop, and spoke to Heather Clark, junior advertising major and sales clerk.

This store has a blocked-off corner full of adult magazines and a similar audience as Family Video.

“I’d say it’s mostly males,” Clark said. “If it is females, they normally come in with a guy.”

And as for the age group?

“It ranges, really,” Clark said. “Probably 30s and up. Pretty old.”

These weren’t the answers we were expecting, so we tried one more place, Dairy Mart, where another anonymous employee was willing to talk to us.

Her shoppers were mostly male, and her answers were similar to the other places. So we asked her why she thought a middle-aged male audience was viewing the pornography.

“I don’t know,” she said. “Maybe they’re lonely.”

Contact features reporters Sara Macho at [email protected] and Allison Remcheck at [email protected].