WARNING: The content of The Zephyr Lounge: After Dark may say to hell with decency. Needless to say, this area is restricted to people aged 18+. The Zephyr Lounge: After Dark may touch base on, and present, material that may be of a profane and/or sexually explicit nature and should probably not be viewed by anyone. But, this is the Internet after all…
Category: Sex & Culture
Sex is important. So is culture. So is sex and culture inter… coursing… Yep, that happened.
I’m not ashamed to admit that I love McDonald’s. I still eat Chicken McNuggets like they came from the table of Zeus himself. McDonald’s fries are still the best fries in the world. Hell, even the fact that I can’t go into McDonald’s without being subjected to Fox News hasn’t crippled my love of the place.
I have been indoctrinated by Ronald McDonald more effectively than any holy-rollin’ evangelical preacher who ever tried.
At the same time, I do not love McDonald’s as much as this guy.
That’s just a small sampling of Tweets about the sitophiliac incident making its tour of the World Wide Web.
The fact this story is trending speaks to our cultural relationship with paraphilias. For most of us, our thing likely isn’t a “long-winded sexual struggle” with something from a fast food dollar menu. Instead it’s hair color, eye color, breast size, booty, nurse outfits, shaved genitalia — generally innocuous stuff. But for other people, their paraphilias are a little more outside of the scope of what we would consider “normal.” After all, this isn’t the first time the Internet buzzed about someone practicing sitophilia.
Just a couple of years ago, Twitter user @VERSACEPOPTARTS uploaded vines of himself screwing a Pop Tarts box, followed by another vine of him fornicating with a Hot Pocket. But the shock vids didn’t stop at merely Internet uploads. He also sent them to the official Twitter accounts of both purveyors of snackage, which resulted in the companies blocking him and account closures by both Twitter and Vine.
With the @VERSACEPOPTARTS incident in mind, maybe I’m reading too much into the McChicken debacle. Maybe the McChickenlover just thought “how can I break the Internet” and decided since he did not have Kim Kardashian’s ass, he would instead just James Deen the shit out of a McChicken sandwich. At the end of the day, regardless of why this video exists, I think it is screenwriter Adam Herz‘s fault.
When it comes to fetishes, “to each their own,” even if that fetish involves breastfeeding.
There are plenty of sexual fetishes out there, many of which define the relationship of the people involved. Some couples engage in dom-sub relationships. Others dress up like animals. I say “to each their own” when it comes to how people interact intimately, even when the intimacy between two people crosses over into whole new realms of bizarre.
I’m not talking about furries either. There are things more bizarre than furries.
ABRs involve the suckling of a woman’s breast by one or more adult partners on a regular basis. The nursing isn’t necessarily sexual for all ABR couples, instead a method for cultivating intimacy and tenderness between partners. In Jennifer Mulford’s experience, her arousal and sexual fulfillment from having her breasts played with during sex contributed to her stumbling upon a website devoted to ABRs, relationships of which very grew envious.
She dedicated herself to finding someone with whom she could have an ABR, which led her to discussing her desire with an ex-boyfriend, Brad. He mentioned his favor of large-breasted women, which prompted Jennifer to bring up ABR. Brad was open to the idea and their relationship began.
“At that moment I knew I had a partner for life… We both wanted the same thing out of the relationship — a magical bond that only breastfeeding can achieve.”
Jennifer quit her job as a bartender to devote her time and energy to their relationship, which involves dry-feeding and pumping her breasts to produce milk in two-hour intervals.
ABRs aren’t necessarily a new thing. The whole concept of adult women nursing other adults has been noted through most of modern human history. In the Middle Ages, subliminally erotic visions of saints have been noted, wherein breastfeeding is a poignant factor. Caritas Romana, or Roman Charity, is a story about a woman who breastfeeds her incarcerated father who was sentenced to death by starvation. A variation of Caritas Romana appears at the end of John Steinbeck’s 1939 novel, The Grapes of Wrath, and like the source material, presents a conflict between choosing to maintain a cultural taboo, resulting in someone’s death, or breaking the taboo to save them.
In pre-industrial England, “wet nurses,” who are employed to breastfeed children, were used to feed ailing adults in efforts to treat illnesses like pulmonary tuberculosis. Instances of women breastfeeding adults are also found in Islamic cultural lore and early-20th Century German philosophy.
There also exists a bar in Tokyo called The Bonyo Bar that employs nursing women to satisfy the erotic lactation fetishes of the bar’s patrons.
In the 2006 article “The breast/nipple/areola complex in human sexuality,” Dr. Roy J. Levin, a behavioral scientist, noted various studies about lactation and breastfeeding in adults.
“Approximately 33 to 50% of mothers described breast feeding as an erotic experience, while some 25% expressed guilt because of the sexual excitement that they felt (von Sydow, 1999). In a few cases the arousal is strong enough to induce orgasm which causes some nursing mothers to abandon breast feeding because of the sexual stimulation (Dickinson, 1949, p. 67; Masters & Johnson, 1966, p. 162). In a questionnaire on orgasm and pregnancy published in a Dutch magazine for women, Gianotten (1988) asked ‘Did you experience, while breastfeeding, a sensation of sexual excitement’, 34% (total n¼153) answered ‘Yes’ and to the question ‘Did you experience, while breastfeeding, pleasurable contractions in the uterine region’, 71% answered ‘Yes’. Of these 153 women who had been breastfeeding who replied to the question ‘Did you experience, while breast feeding an orgasm (during or as the result of breastfeeding)’, 12 (8%) answered ‘Yes’.”
In considering the studies referenced by Dr. Levin, it’s likely that eight percent of mothers are having orgasms while breastfeeding, while at least 30 percent are experiencing sexual arousal. It’s not wonder that adult breastfeeding has been a thing and is now a growing fetish trend.
For Jennifer and Brad, the line between nurturing and sex is thin, but manageable. They both feel they are better off having each other and the type of relationship they’ve chosen,
“It’s been difficult to distinguish the difference between nurturing and sex. Although it’s so beautiful and peaceful it’s also erotic. It’s been hard to get through the first few nursing sessions without being tempted to have sex, but each time it’s getting easier… I can come home from a very stressful day and seconds after Brad latching on I feel a sense of peace and calm. For that time I feel like we become one. I have yet to feel anything more comforting. It’s a bond that no one can come between.”
Should laws continue to exist that make teens who sext sex-offenders?
Among young people, text messages like these are a common enough occurrence to warrant concern from parents, teachers, pastors, politicians, and well-meaning, but laughably bad, public service announcements.
Welcome to the wonderful world of “sexting” — just another thing parents who “just don’t understand” are allowed to do, while teenagers have to wait until they are old enough to be kicked out of the house for sexting the boyfriend their parents don’t like.
While sexting — or sending someone sexually-explicit messages or photographs via cell phone — is neither morally good nor bad on its own, there are many people who believe the practice to carry significant social detriment, up to the point where “sexting” is considered a criminal act with serious consequences.
In most states, teenagers who are within two-to-three years in age can have consensual sex without much fear of legal retribution (the so-called “Romeo and Juliet laws”), but in a lot of those states, what has become a more-common-than-not teenage sexual ritual has been put in the same legal arena as child pornography, based primarily on decades-old laws meant to apply to adults who exploited minors. In essence, sexually-suggestive material of teenagers produced and held by teenagers thinking with their genitalia is no different than sexually-suggestive material of teenagers found on the hard drive of that weird guy who lives by himself in that unsettling house at the end of the block. In a lot of jurisdictions, even consensual sexting between teens who fall within the age differential for “Romeo and Juliet laws” are arrested, tried, and convicted for producing, distributing, and possessing child pornography. Many go to jail, while more have to then register as sex offenders.
Even though most prosecutors won’t touch consensual sexting with a 10-foot pole — similarly to how most prosecutors won’t touch consensual sex between minors within 2-to-3 years of age with a 10-foot pole — some actually do, and the consequences can be devastating. The Crimes Against Children Research Center at the University of New Hampshire estimates that 7 percent of those arrested for child pornography in 2009 were minors who had either sent or received a dick pic, tit pic, or slit pic with full consent.
For context, a total of 4,901 child pornography-related arrests were made in 2009 and 7 percent of that number is 343. For additional context, in 2000, there were a total of 1,713 arrests for child pornography (of which 3 percent were minors) and in 2006, there were 3,672 arrests (of which 5 percent were minors). This means about 50 minors were arrested for child pornography-related crimes in 2000 and 184 were arrested in 2006. From 2000 to 2009, the rate of minors being arrested on child pornography-related charges increased 586 percent, compared to just a 186.11 percent increase in the overall rate.
Many U.S. states at least have some understanding that kids will be kids and send dirty pictures to each other. After all, it’s not like this is anything new. In my teenage years, dudes and bettys exchanged suggestive material with iZone sticky film and MMS messages sent from a Motorola Razr. My parents and grandparents’ generation exchanged Polaroids (even though you weren’t supposed to shake them… Outkast…). Their parents and grandparents’ generation exchanged tintypes… I guess… when the camera didn’t blow up and immolate the (un-)lucky photographer who got to see the goods.
These states have tried to amend existing statutory rape and child pornography laws as a means to keep sexually-charged teens free of the brand of societal retribution given to Jared Fogle, but there are still instances when teenagers engage in hormone-drenched consensual pornography only to be socially-branded in a similar manner to that of former Lostprophets vocalist Ian Watkins. Considering that most (not all, but most) teenagers who engage in sexting aren’t doing so maliciously, does it make sense to criminally equate their exploration of sexuality (at the age in which biology demands they do so) to a guy busted for child sex tourism or to a guy who fucked a baby?
Pornography is polarizing, even in 2016. A PRRI study shed some serious insight into where the lines and drawn, and why.
Americans have a love-hate relationship with pornography. On the one hand, porn is an excellent facilitator of erotic stimulus, an aspect of couple’s sexual relationships and the sexual relationships some have with their hands or toys. On the other, pornography is the bane of human existence, a sinful crutch for those with diminutive willpower and perverted lives.
Each instance when pornography has become a component in a story with wide-reaching social implications, a line is drawn and people are quick to jump on either one side or the other. Either you think pornography allows women to control their bodies in a way not normally seen in American society, or you think she’s a whore. Either you see pornography as a way for people to confront their sexual fantasies and be true to themselves, or you think the people are perverts, deviants, and sinful. Either you view pornography as something kinky to do with your partner, or you consider pornography, in any capacity, adultery. Either you view pornography as a part of our society that should continue to exist, regardless of your personal feelings on the matter, or you grab pitchforks, torches, and assemble a mob to shut it down at all costs.
I believe it’s this polarizing effect pornography has on the American public that has prompted so much study into why cross-cultural views on pornography are so stark. I believe these effects are also what prompted the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI), in 2014, to get down into the minutiae of the divide and attempt to discern what socioeconomic causes may be contributing to America’s failure to find common ground in the discussion about the efficacy of porn.
Above is pretty much as vanilla as pornography gets. The actors in the video aren’t diving into murky waters of fetishes and other acts that may draw ire upon themselves alone. There is no anal sex in the scene, nor bondage or potentially offensive fantasies or anything. It’s heterosexual sex on a bed in a manner that isn’t really dissimilar from what average, everyday couples do in the privacy of their own bedrooms. The video above is a replication of an intimate experience any John or Jane Doe would have with their significant other, partner, or spouse.
Yet, even something this tame is a lightning rod for controversy. Why? When diving into the demographic information of American on both sides of the pornography argument, some of the answers revealed make a fair amount of sense.
According to information gathered by PRRI, only 29 percent of people believe it is morally acceptable to watch pornography. Think about that for a moment. Just less than 3-in-10 people see no problem with viewing pornographic materials. When broken further down gender lines, 23 percent of women find it acceptable, while only 35 percent of men share the sentiment.
That number blows, like, 35 percent of all male stereotypes out of the water. The old adage — “all men look at porn and anyone who says otherwise is a liar” — apparently doesn’t hold up. But even if we were to further humor the adage, that means 65 percent of men feel bad about looking at porn after they do it, which is still mind-blowing.
Another interesting finding by PRRI is the variation between how people feel about pornography as an internal viewpoint compared to how they feel about it legally. On the whole, 39 percent said they would oppose legal restrictions on pornographic material (as in making pornography illegal or blacklisting the hell out of it), compared to 29 percent who supported changing pornography’s legal status on moral grounds.
According to PRRI, a college student and their grandmother both believe that pornography should not be restricted on the Internet (42 percent), but the college student is far more likely to think it is morally okay to watch it (45 percent versus 9 percent).
Views on pornography also showed interesting insights in partisan politics. People who identify as Democrats and people who identify as Tea Party Republicans are nearly the same when it comes to the idea of legal restrictions on pornography (41 to 40 percent opposed, respectively), while Tea Party Republicans are far more morally-accepting of viewing pornographic material than their more “moderate” conservative counterparts (27 percent versus 19 percent).
I would surmise this has more to do with partisan attitudes on liberty, as far-right conservatives (“Tea Party Conservatives”) are more concerned with autonomy than moderate conservatives. Many Tea Party Conservatives are basically hyper-libertarians, most of the time. It’s inconsistent, but they are.
Of course, while the PRRI analysis yielded some interesting results (to say the least), other results were standard fare. White evangelical Christians and people over the age of 68 were least likely to approve of watching pornographic material — 10 percent and 9 percent, respectively. On the opposite side of the playground, millennials and the religiously unaffiliated approve of pornography the most — 45 percent and 53 percent, respectively.
These numbers highlight a fairly well-known factor in the debate: religious attitudes and age contribute greatly as to whether or not someone approves of pornography, both dependent and independent of each other. The uptick in the religiously unaffiliated is a recent trend most commonly seen in younger Americans. Religious identity was a powerful aspect of who someone was through even Generation X, and its importance had a lot to do with community (and to a political extent, separating themselves from the “godless Commies” during the Cold War). Considering that, as of 2016, 68-year-old’s are the children of World War II combatants, who were themselves members of a generation with a large religious identity, it makes sense that drop off would start with their kids.
But even within religion, there are some shocking results. White Catholics were twice as likely than Hispanic Catholics to find viewing pornography morally acceptable (28 percent versus 14 percent). At the same time, while only 14 percent of Hispanic Catholics think watching pornography is morally acceptable, a staggering (by comparison) 66 percent do not believe it is morally acceptable to legally restrict it.
If all of this data has a central theme, an undercurrent, it’s that Americans, on the whole, just do not morally support pornography. While it doesn’t seem likely that there will be any meaningful legislation of pornographic material (insofar as regulation of content availability), the results that PRRI compiled are important in the sense that they help shed light on certain viceral reactions we have when it comes to human sexuality, the promotion of it, and gender roles.
At it’s core, the debate over pornography has more to do with rights than anything else. Sure, we can consider the topic on moral grounds, and we do, but morality is not something easily dictated when stark viewpoints make up the argument and no middle ground seems to exist. When Americans open the dialogue surrounding pornography with each other, it’s not normally centered around anything except what is the right thing (as is “liberty”) to do. When Belle Knox became a media sensation, the debate was centered around whether or not she should be allowed to get paid to have sex — to the point where she had to defend her right to choose sex work as a vocation amidst a flurry of threats of rape and violence. Around that same time, British Prime Minister David Cameron’s “porn filter” was activated, kicking into overdrive the conversation over whether or not a government has the right to regulate what its citizens view on the Internet.
While we spice up conversations about pornography with anecdotes derived from stories that may or may not be true and indoctrinated beliefs that may or may not be relevant or moral attitudes which may or may not have any concrete basis in either of those things, at its core, the debate over pornography is about autonomy. It isn’t about whether or not pornography is socially-detrimental or innocuous; it’s about whether or not someone should have the right to view it, or in some cases, do it.
Note: Before we dive into America’s porn habits, I feel it pertinent to point out that this post will be the first indisputable NSFW post on The Zephyr Lounge: After Dark. TZL:AD was created for this purpose, as well as for exploring different ways of writing, and so far it’s been pretty tame. But, this is the reason why this site exists and (presumably) the reason why you are here. So, without any further delay…
For a culture as puritanical as our own, we sure as shit love porn. Why wouldn’t we? Porn allows for the exploration of sexual fantasy and provides exquisite images by which to wank without any quantifiable social detriment. Even though some would argue the alleged perversion of society can be traced back to pornography, we obvious refute such a silly assertion, especially considering the pornographic industry is a billion-dollar-annually enterprise.
After all, it’s not like Americans don’t like to get fucked.
I assume it was with all of this in mind that Pornhub and Vocativ joined forces to find out exactly what kind of smut Americans like. Sadly, while we love watching people fuck on screen, there isn’t much variation.
In examining all 50 states, Pornhub and Vocativ found that the most common porn search term in each state was:
Only tiny ass Rhode Island felt that MILF’s (Mothers I’d Love to Fuck) were the hottest porn genre available.
The tiny archipelago state of Hawaii are really into Asians.
Louisiana alone really dug porn featuring “black” actors. However, three other states — Mississippi, Georgia, and Delaware — searched for “ebony” more than anything else, so I guess, in that regard, the phrase “post-racial America” does carry some weight somewhere.
Four states — Nebraska, Arkansas, Tennessee, and New Hampshire — may very well be sporting boners every Saturday morning.
Five states — Alaska, Washington, South Dakota, Kentucky, and Vermont — primarily chose porn genres that appealed to their forbidden lust toward their fathers’ new wife.
Another five states — Montana, Wyoming, Minnesota, Ohio, and Maine — apparently really enjoyed Cruel Intentions.
Surprise, motherfuckers! The remaining 30 states are big into girl-on-girl action.
But Pornhub and Vocativ didn’t stop with just searches. They dove further into Americans’ sanctum of sexual deviancy to find out which categories were most-watched in each state, via Pornhub’s database. Out of 100 available categories, of which more can be achieved through combination, Pornhub and Vocativ found:
12 states — Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Tennessee, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, and New York — definitely find appeal in black porn stars.
19 states — California, Nevada, Arizona, Texas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts — get their rocks off to women scissor-fucking and muff-diving.
The remaining 19 states — Alaska, Hawaii, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, Kansas, South Dakota, North Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Maine — primarily watch pornography starring girls who just recently received their high school diplomas.
Goddamnit, we’re boring. There’s so much porn out there and we stick to the basics? Where’s the imagination? Where’s the deviancy? I mean, shit, interracial and same-sex fucking isn’t taboo anymore. Let’s at least get some butt sex in there — after all, it’s on the rise.
But at least now we know. Even though our society is chock full of special interest groups who would love nothing more than for every American to only engage in relations for the purpose of siring more kids (in the dark… missionary… silent), at least we’re still at least using the Internet to make God cry.