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Mouthwash, campfires and porn - the link is obvious when you think about it! Image Banner

Mouthwash, campfires and porn - the link is obvious when you think about it!

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Mouthwash, campfires and porn - the link is obvious when you think about it!

Todays blog is verging on the partisan, but it is not my intention to make political, moral or social pronouncements, tempted as I am.  But I was struck yesterday by the publicity a certain mouthwash manufacturer gained by ‘giving’ supplies of its product to researchers at a university in Wales. The research was to find out if the product killed the Covid-19 virus – which it did, not surprisingly as it contains a level of alcohol and other chemicals which are already known to kill bugs.  Despite other media outlets setting out the limitations of relying on such a product to defy a dangerous virus, the manufacturer’s share price has increased quite significantly. 

My theme in this blog today is about big-picture things which apply to the corporate global economy and thereby logically, also to the sex and porn industry. Broadly speaking the theme is on exploitation – not of an overtly controlling and power-induced way but in more invisible and pernicious ways.

Like many other corporate entities, the sex and porn industry exploits the innate, primitive drives of people to promote its power and profit for those involved in its making and promotion. Now I’m not crusading here but I am fascinated that these innate drives, which are encoded into our genetics, are so powerful that they over-ride rational thought and trap some of us into taking unnecessary and grave risks. In this sense, the corporate entity – in this case the sex and porn industry, takes full advantage at our peril.  We become – addicts become – lured in by duplicitous and deceptive promotional and marketing ploys because we are, at our genetic core, very vulnerable to the need to meet these primitive needs.

To illustrate, take the mouthwash example again. There will be many whose fear of Covid-19 and its effects on their well-being will ‘drive’ them to buy the product (which conveniently appeared in most media reports – themselves all unquestioningly positive).  Fear is an innate survival mechanism which several hundred thousand years ago would have kept us alert for predators to promote survival of the human gene.  Corporate entities feed off this innate fear response at the expense of their unwitting consumers who are bedazzled with the potentially misleading messaging wrung out of the research.

In the sex and porn industry several primitive drives are exploited. Primitive, genetically encoded drives for pleasure (primitively this would be satisfied by meeting physiological needs like food and warmth), and procreating, ensure survival make the modern human (man mostly) very ‘attuned’ to highly accessible and mostly free pornography as it plays directly into these basic instincts. Drives also for psychological security and safety mean that many addicts of the products of the sex and porn industry find frequent refuge in massage parlours, sex clubs and porn sites. 

These drives are based on primitive motivational forces designed to help us avoid danger and annihilation. In hunter-gatherer days for example, these would have nudged us into seeking out safe havens such as a sheltered forest or cosy cave.  Sabre-toothed tigers and marauding rival tribes of yore have morphed into new modern-day dangers such as work stress, financial insecurity and relationship loss to name but a few.  Modern ‘man’, like his early ancestors, still seeks an escape from the ravages of his world – sex and porn are the contemporary equivalents of his ancestors’ caves, campfires and clubs.

My aim here is to illuminate the link between sex and porn addiction and our primitive drives. Fear, pleasure, safety and other primitive, unconscious instincts make us vulnerable to disingenuous and misleading modern-day ‘predators’ that are ready to pounce whenever the opportunity presents.  Multinational corporations seek to sell as much as possible regardless of the consequences - so prey deviously on greed and fear. Sex- and porn-promoting businesses prey on other instinctual urges, also to make their contribution to the economic good (!).  As in deluding claims about mouthwash, so too does the porn industry not lead to the promised land but instead lures unsuspecting users into a solitary virtual world that is far from safe and more likely to lead to self-destruction of sorts.  

 

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