Porn Is Finally About To Be Taken Seriously

By Rachel Barth
March 29, 2014 | 8:50 am

Let’s face it. Most adults study porn — devotedly. Though sometimes we don’t reach the end of a video lesson before dropping out.

Like everything else in the world, sex ed is evolving to fit the digital age. First there was the birds, bees, and bananas of sex education, then came the come-to-class-naked courses called Sexuality Education.

Now welcome porn education, with Routledge’s Porn Studies — a scholarly journal exploring pornography and sexual representations through a deeper, um, lens.

The academic journal, first publicized in the summer of 2013, has delivered its first issue on the porn industry, straight from the hairy palm that feeds it: the internet.

“We believe it is the right time to launch this journal because the subject is so politically and emotionally charged. Pornography has a public presence as an object of concern and as a metaphor used to designate the boundaries of the public space,” University of Sydney Professor Gerard Goggin said in a statement.

With articles like “Gonzo, trannys, and teens – current trends in US adult content production, distribution, and consumption,” “Porn and sex education, porn as sex education” and “Fair-trade porn + niche markets + feminist audience” — which asks if feminist porn is an oxymoron — the journal scopes the industry, its methodologies, and its effects, by combining a cocktail of academic voices, in-depth research, and a forum for users to engage on topics and issues.

“My goal is not to get all people to like porn, but to understand that it is worthy of discussion,” Chauntelle Anne Tibbals, author of “Gonzo, trannys, and teens…” told VICE News. “Porn is a part of society and involves social actors. These social actors work, have families, and myriad interests. Porn is just one part of their lives.”

The journal’s change in approach to an industry often addressed with heated emotion and right-wrong debate brings further academic insight into an arena that, according to a 2013 study by porn site Paint Bottle, consumes nearly 30 percent of all data transferred across the web.

From lewd pop-up ads and X-rated movie trailers, to mobile apps for porn on the run, it’s becoming incredibly easy to consume visual sex. Yet porn has the rare distinction of being everywhere and nowhere at once.

Viewed mostly alone, behind closed doors, sometimes with embarrassment, in the privacy of the incognito browser on Google Chrome, it’s one of the only industries where concerted efforts are made by the product, and its delivery vehicles, to keep its consumption unseen.

Porn Studies challenges the societal norm of porn-shame, but beyond that, it addresses the serious impacts and tactics of a major industry.

The journal’s publishers state in “Porn Studies: an introduction” that they are not interested in work that is either antagonistic or celebratory.”

“We do not simply want to reach those areas where porn studies are quite well established — for instance, in film and media studies —we also want to reach out to those where there is hardly any sustained publication of academic work — for instance, business, marketing, and human/computer interaction … By offering a space for researchers to develop conversations across different disciplines, the study of porn will move in new directions. This is how areas of study grow and develop over time.”

An area of study ready for growth. Choice words.

Eva Margot Kant, who teaches Human Sexuality at the Columbia University School of Social Work, told VICE News that putting porn in a peer-reviewed academic journal gives it true significance.

“The more we can have discussions around sexuality without demonizing it or devaluing someone’s experience, I think the better off we’ll all be, whether we agree with it or not,” she said. “But I think anything in this realm has to have guidelines, even in an academic setting. A porn journal, if it is information-based, and not done as a titillating sort of thing, then I think it’s valuable.”

The first issue of the journal is available to view free online until May 31. Following that, consumers can purchase online articles individually, or order a complete hard copy for $104.

Sexuality Educator Rips the Bandage Off America’s ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ Sore Spot

By Staff Editor
Oct 9, 2013 – 6:11:39 PM

( – New York, NY – Let’s face it, most of us don’t like to talk about what happens behind closed doors and between the sheets. It’s often difficult to share our thoughts and fears with friends, partners, or strangers. It can be an awkward subject for everybody; and besides, pillow talk should be private, right?

However, sex is a vital part of life. So whom do you turn to if you have questions regarding your sexual health? According to Eva Margot Kant, LCSW-R, a nationally-acclaimed educator, speaker and sex/psychotherapist in private practice, “Open and honest discussions about sexuality and sensuality is not only normal, but it’s also healthy.”

Kant who teaches Human Sexuality at New York’s Columbia University Graduate School of Social Work, explains, “It’s important to address these personal issues to achieve total overall health. Unfortunately, research shows that medical professionals don’t always have the time or the mindset to engage in these discussions with patients.”

Quantum leaps have been made in recent years in the diagnosis and treatment of life-threatening diseases and chronic conditions, as well as in how to communicate with medical professionals. But when it comes to caring for one of the most vital and interconnected of all human conditions, sexuality, it seems society too often suffers from lockjaw. ·

According to a study in the March, 2012 issue of The Journal of Sexual Medicine, University of Chicago Dept. of Medicine researchers learned that only 40% of 1,150 OB/GYNs surveyed routinely asked patients about sexual problems or dysfunctions (Lindau, et al, 2012). ·

Research indicates that while 90% of doctors, nurses, physiotherapists and occupational therapists agree that addressing sexual issues is important to holistic patient care; most lack specific training and 94% are unlikely to initiate discussions on sexual topics. (Haboubi and Lincoln, 2003) · Less than one-third of medical schools surveyed in the U.S. and Canada require / or even offer a course on human sexuality to future medical professionals. (Solursh, et al., 2003)

As we appear to get closer to “Treat ‘em and Street ‘em” medical practices Kant believes the climate surrounding interpersonal communication between healthcare clinicians and patients continues to worsen. “There’s a widening divide between healthcare consumers and professionals, whereby both sides feel pressured and misunderstood. Developing better communication leads to patients’ ability to speak to their doctor about anythingthat affects their overall health. Being able to make a quicker and more accurate diagnosis as a direct result of this open communication will not only save on expenses, but quite possibly save lives too”. More than 75% of cardiovascular patients surveyed experienced some type of difficulty with sexual function. 98% of these surveyed patients believe sexual functioning should be addressed relative to overall treatment. Although most would opt-in to having a discussion about their sexuality and cardiac care with their cardiologist, only 15% of these patients have had that conversation. Sadly, the truth is that regular physical exertion, including sexual activity, has been associated with adecreased risk of cardiac events (Vazquez, et al, 2010).

Talking to their clinician would dispel myths.

“No general conversation between a doctor and their patient is complete if it doesn’t at least provide the opportunity for people to express concerns or raise questions about sexual issues,” Kant says. “People of all ages have questions about their sexual health but are afraid to bring them up during visits with healthcare providers. This can result in undiagnosed or misdiagnosed health issues.”

Kant is often asked to speak to various healthcare and consumer constituencies on ways to bridge the communication gap between doctor and patient, especially in regards to sexual health. “My workshops educate, advocate and empower consumers to learn how to speak up for themselves and navigate through the often scary waters of the today’s healthcare system. This guidance helps healthcare providers better address their patients’ concerns about sexual needs.”

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