Pornucopia: The Cult of the Body I

crudenude By M.K. Styllinski

“Lying is the native language of porn stars because they can’t afford to tell you the truth. Not only would it ruin the fantasy for their fans but more importantly, it would ruin the amount of their paychecks.”

– Shelly Lubben, ex-top porn-star


Even though responsible cosmetic surgeons insist that their clients must be 18 to have surgery, many girls (who are now mature much more quickly) will be seen by the surgeon if accompanied by an adult such as a parent. It is the army of advertisers, television makeover shows, obsessive celebrities and film stars which create the demand for the booming global business of cosmetic surgery. [1]

A recent study found that by the age of 12, three-quarters of girls disliked something about their appearance and by 16, one in four were considering cosmetic surgery. [2] In the US, cosmetic surgery is another symptom of a growing number of insecure girls and women. Americans spent just under $12.5 billion on cosmetic procedures in 2004. [3] Some of the most popular treatments include liposuction, tummy tucks, breast enlargements, eyelid surgery, face lifts, lip implants, and rhinoplasty. Non-surgical cosmetic procedures are also rocketing with Botox and collagen fat injections, chemical peels, micro-dermabrasion, haylauronic acid and laser hair removal, all up by large percentages, hyaluronic acid being the most significant at a whopping 659 percent. [4] Or perhaps you want a: “… booty like J-Lo’s? With buttock-boosting surgery, it can be yours!” In nearly every US state plastic surgeons are being inundated with requests from patients to provide them gluteal implants, the latest rage among young and not so young, American women. [5] In 2004, the upward trend in popularity for cosmetic surgery continued to almost 11.9 million surgical cases. According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) this represents a colossal 465 percent increase in the total number of cosmetic procedures.[6] Once again, the onus on women to change is represented by a total of 90 percent of all the surgery with men at only 8 percent. The most common procedures for age 18-and-under were: laser hair removal, chemical peel, microdermabrasion, rhinoplasty, and laser skin resurfacing.

The number of teens who choose to get plastic surgery is also on the rise. 335,000 people 18 years and younger had plastic surgery in 2003, up from about 306,000 in 2000. Although much of this includes procedures that could be considered necessary such as scarring, facial or body abnormalities, or where individuals suffer from severe psychological stress, equally appears to result from children’s distorted attitudes to their bodies. Consequently, the most common procedures teens choose include nose reshaping, ear reshaping, acne treatment, and breast reduction/enlargement.

In Scotland, UK, under the influence of ever more available pornography and glamour rags hundreds of teenagers have had National Health Service (NHS) funded cosmetic surgery, including breast enlargement, some of them in a desperate bid to escape being bullied at school. [7] While across the Atlantic, a rise in breast enlargements for teens in California stem mainly from peer pressure and the quest to find the perfect image for graduation. One surgeon commented on the latest influx of 16-18 year olds who regarded the surgery: “as having your hair done or getting a new watch.” [8] Or, as another surgeon expressed it, breasts are indeed a “fashion item.” And with prices for breast augmentation starting at just under $4,000 to $10,000 this is definitely a nouveau-riche teen market that ultimately plays havoc with girls’ transition to womanhood and their place in a male dominated world.

As in the US, Australia’s Gold Coast graduates are taking on jobs to fund their wish for bigger breasts or smaller noses.  Singapore’s recent boom in cosmetic surgery includes a surgical makeover package “the trendy new thing to do in a wealthy city-state, where girls as young as 15 have their features altered or enhanced.”[9] Or if you tire of the dangers of silicon perhaps you would like to grow your own breasts via stem cell research, currently the rage in Russia? [10] There appears to be no limit to the lengths to which our body sense is forced into new synthetic designs and no limit to the number of surgeons willing to line their pockets to do so.

As a major symptom of our narcissistic culture we are seeing a rising tide of body-centrism manifesting through the highly lucrative worlds of entertainment. Voyeurism is a standard mechanism of T.V. and cinema. Our desire for  “reality T.V.” and “true life” drama veers dangerously close to feeding off and “getting off” on the cruel and degenerate, the salacious and gratuitous, to which we are now all accustomed to believing is somehow “entertaining.” The task of entertaining (or entraining) the new generations of children has been taken on by what has been called the “pimp and whore” culture of the pop world, where role models appear to be celebrating the underbelly of human trafficking and prostitution that befall millions of girls and young women worldwide.

Pop icons such as Christina Aguilera, or Rhianna fresh from the factory line of “made-to-order-music” simulate endless videos of choreographed “orgies,” while scores of Beyoncé’s and Britney’s writhe around their male dancers creating “doggy-style” dance poses, pouting cynically while their managers and accountants salivate. They are curious ambassadors for a kind of soft porn consciousness for emerging teenagers. School girls think that this is worthy of their aspirations in order to be liked and loved adding to the burgeoning pressure to conform and perhaps even contributing to a rise in the early onset of puberty. [11]

X-factor, American Idol and Big brother reality shows are the mainstay of weekend television. Programmes such as Dutch reality TV show “Pimp my life” is a case in point and representative of an extreme but increasingly common trend. Tramps are plucked off the street, given a state of the high-life then sent out to get a job within a certain timescale. The cable Music channel MTV’s “Pimp my Ride” that showcases new talent all normalise and popularise the jargon of the underworld. This creates the idea that prostitution and exclusive sex are cool and hip. They become role models and legitimate aims of the young, tied as they are into fashion and entertainment that are so much a part of youth consciousness. When such images are partnered with multi-million dollar advertising campaigns the emptiness of this programming only reinforces insecurity and self-esteem problems. To be liked, one must be thin; to be accepted one must be wearing the latest Nike trainers; to be desired one must be, above all super-sexual. Too bad that these are purely tried and tested marketing ploys aimed at tapping the freshly rushing hormones of youth in order to provide maximum dividends for the old.

Sex, not least pornography, has settled easily into the mainstream flow. It is not a question of playing a puritanical card or being prudish concerning the nature of human sexuality, rather, the mainstreaming of the sex industry as a relatively marginal influence has come to occupy a strategic and central position in the development of international capitalism and sociocultural mores. We see the continuing “prostitution” meme manifesting in implicit and explicit terms. Entertainment is the residual leftover of this toxic economy in human misery.

With adulthood effectively being sold to kids of a younger and younger age, there is now a kind of caste snobbery in the classroom where children judge each other by their branding and their wealth. Teens now aspire to be twenty-something’s in a manner more desperate than even ten years ago. Look at glossy magazines and the almost pre-pubescent girls on many advertising campaigns appear to cater for the pederast within the fashion industry than the ordinary buyer.  You may also find it difficult to correctly age teenagers now as we walk in the high street. This has ramifications for sexual misdemeanours and alleged felonies when 14 year olds look 6 to 7 years older due to biological factors, peer pressure and the associated influences of the entertainment and media industry that demand their brand of “perfection.” The two influences may not be unconnected.

2013 MTV Video Music Awards - Show

The Miley Cyrus entertainment puppet who introduced the “twerking” phenomenon as another variant of simulated sex. An updating of the Madonna school of programming. And of course, this is merely another form of female emancipation? Or just the whore archetype projected as role model?

In the late 1990s up to 2003 Magazines such as “Nuts,” “Zoo,” “Bizarre,” “Loaded” “Guts” and many others were filling a marketable gap between soft and hard porn with accompanying stereotypical images, often positioned next to violence and death depicted from all four corners of the world. However, their appeal has waned, not perhaps due to their content, rather to the notion of accessibility: why buy a magazine when you can view it on your i-pad for free? If we remember the previous summary of neurology and visual imagery contouring certain neural fields, we can see that this could be considered an important factor in the distortion of developing emotions and the emerging world views of children, notwithstanding the chemical components of addiction and early stereotyping.

The connection between abuse and the drastic change in accessibility of porn and its gradual mainstreaming into prime-time viewing is not necessarily the cause but it can be seen as an underlying shift in perception whereby children are encouraged to step into the cross-hairs of a premature, precocious sexuality. The role models both in fashion and MTV-Pop lifestyle offer a mix of what one writer bluntly called: “The Empowered Whore Archetype,”[1] and a stick-thin drug-chic lauded in the fashion industry. And on other hand we have the gym-pumped male who wears eye-liner, the uniform of gelled-hair and tattoos while seeking to emulate the myths of Don Juan promiscuity to match the new low standards that girls are encouraged to aspire.

Veteran journalist and feminist Joan Bakewell expressed her disquiet on this issue in a recent article:

“So what is there to complain about? It is the availability – indeed, the marketing – of such raunchy videos to the young and impressionable that disturbs me. Something has shifted in our culture to bring sub-teens within the orbit of suggestive sexual activity. T-shirts with cheeky, even lewd slogans – jokes that only adults can understand – are designed and sold to the under-10s. Children can hunt on a multitude of television channels for something that looks vaguely adult and vaguely transgressive. Can it be good for them?”

Set against a narcissistic culture, increasing abuse and acceptance of what is essentially, a psychopathic world-view – the answer has to be no. As Bakewell eloquently states, she was certainly at the forefront of sexual liberation in the 1960s, yet while this cultural shift pushed the boundaries of adult sexuality it bears little resemblance to the level of sexual imagery which bombards children and young adults on a daily basis. This amounts to an induction of pathologies where “traditional values” (without the baggage of conservative or religious connotations) are seen as “quaint” or passé.

The transition of Miley Cyrus as actress and girl-next-door role model, to the pop star-whore archetype is a particularly graphic example of the music industry’s manipulation of soft porn sensibilities marketed to the younger generation. Whether Ms. Cyrus thinks she is striking a blow for feminism or simply believes that this is indeed a suitable marketing coup to rake in the dollars, is anybody’s guess. For such a transformation to take place her producer (or pimp)  has clearly taken advantage of the emerging womanhood of Cyrus and exploited it to its fullest extent. The music standing on its own merit seems lost in yet another new phenomena of “twerking.”

Sex and music have always been joined at the hip. This time however, the sophistication of technology, has made it highly accessible (not least, musical content and often occult imagery – but that’s another subject ) which means that the lowest common denominator of instinct and gratuity is assimilated into the highly impressionable and emotional minds of the young 24/7.  Official Culture demands it. With no role models available to mitigate this onslaught and fused with so many other subtle addictions tweens and teens are exposed to highly charged imagery flooding the fives senses. Not only is this way too early but it is gratuitous to the point of complete saturation.

Alongside all this sexual hoopla and no doubt following on from trail of gratuitous-porn-gore-violence-set-to-motown-music so beloved of film director Quentin Tarantino, we have the massive popularity of the US TV drama series Dexter currently cleaning up on ratings and book sales. It tells the story of a forensic scientist by day and psychopathic killer by night, hacking and bludgeoning his way through various unsavoury characters who “deserve to die” no doubt acting as an entertaining catharsis for the millions who tune in. Of course, the character is sexy, funny, ostensibly caring and intelligent. He could be anyone of us. Is it merely the same re-enactment of serial killer voyeurism, or is there now an acceptance of the psychopath as somehow human and honourable if he takes out the dregs of humanity? And what message does this send to kids unconsciously grappling with the very real effects of psychopathy in our culture at large?

This inverted super-hero rides on the back of a glut of vampire, demons and werewolf movies and books aimed at teens and young adults. Evil hasn’t become just an anti-hero but the hero or heroine to root for.  The “good and evil” duality has all but disappeared to be replaced with “evil vs. evil” along with all the seductive trappings of black leather, buxom babes and steely-jawed sensitive males. The film Underworld (2003) about a beautiful gun-toting vampire who falls in love with a werewolf has the promotional catchphrase: “Which side will you choose?” The choice has become like so many elections the world over a choice between “the lesser of two evils” which in fact, is no choice at all.

So many disenfranchised youth on the streets of American cities are not finding meaning and purpose in the standard representation of family life plagued by socio-economic factors as well as the inevitable psychological dislocation which results. Instead many children and young adults gravitate towards gang culture which provides meaning and emotional belonging. However, many gangs require initiation tests of brutal violence and sometimes murder. Indeed, gang violence is one of the most pressing problems in both the UK, the US and Latin America. It indicates a spiritual vacuum in our youths that goes to the heart of Official Culture. Mixed messages in the representation of sexuality, emotions and the incessant focus on self-image and celebrity shapes the developing minds and bodies of the young. In turn, this will have a direct influence on their notion of morality, ethics and how they eventually perceive the world and their place in it.

Viewing explicit sexual imagery literally charges the blood. It is a bio-chemical “opiate”. After all, these are the chemicals that flow through our bodies that create liaisons, affairs, unions and marriages. The latter rituals are naturally very often doomed to failure precisely because of this false chemical romance. A frequent, early exposure to such visual stimulation in the child may in some cases a desensitisation which means a greater threshold of stimulation is required causing the desire to seek out material of a harder or more extreme quality. Increasing stimulation can lead to addiction whether child or adult. The former however, is more vulnerable to the power of such images due to the level of emotional immaturity and hormonal influences. The net result is an atrophying of the finer emotions and the ability to love in deference to power of instinct.

Former porn actress Shelley Lubben is an expert on the reality of the multi-billion dollar business. She even wrote a book about it called The Truth about the Fantasy Behind Porn – The Greatest Illusion on Earth which shatters the myth of glamour and sexual liberation that the industry and their models try to promote. Lubben believes that the porn industry frequently destroys lives and she is someone that is in the position to know.  She states: “I used to brag endlessly to fans and pornographers about how I loved making porn movies. I lied 100 percent of the time to 100 percent of the people.” [2]

Lubben has carefully researched some interesting statistics about the world of porn that has become so normalised in the 21st Century. On her website and her book we learn that:

  • 36 porn stars died that we know of from HIV, suicide, homicide and drugs between 2007 and 2010.
  • 66percent of porn performers have Herpes, a non-curable disease.
  • 2,396 cases of Chlamydia and 1,389 cases of Gonorrhea reported among performers since 2004.
  • Over 100 straight and gay performers died from AIDS.
  • 26 cases of HIV reported by Adult Industry Medical Healthcare Foundation (AIM), since 2004.
  • 70percent of sexually transmitted infections in the porn industry occur in females according to County of Los Angeles Public Health.
  • Chlamydia and Gonorrhea among performers is 10x greater than that of LA County 20-24 year olds.
  • The largest group viewing online pornography is ages 12 to 17.
  • More than 11 million teens regularly view porn online.
  • There are 4.2 million pornographic websites, 420 million pornographic web pages, and 68 million daily search engine requests. [3]

A more lengthy extract from Lubben’s book is worth including here in case the reader is under any illusion at all as to the nature of the industry. Here, from the horse’s mouth:

Many believe the widespread fairy-tale that women enjoy making porn movies but the truth is there are no happy endings for the women of porn. Women do NOT enjoy making porn movies and a closer behind-the-scenes look will show you several reasons why.

In the world of hardcore sex, an average day on the set for a porn actress is a long and tedious process. Women are told to come in around 8 am for makeup but it’s only to make sure porn actresses arrive on time to work. Porn stars have a nasty habit of arriving late because they’re often hung over from drugs or alcohol from the night before.

After make-up, porn actresses usually wait around long hours until it’s their turn to do their scene. Some scenes take an hour and some take several hours to film. It really depends if the male actor in the first scene could “perform” or not. It also depends if female actresses have to stop the clock because they can’t handle the pain of a hardcore sex scene.

While waiting around, jaded porn performers usually end up in the rest rooms with bottles of alcohol and lines of speed or outside in their cars for a heroin fix or gathered in the back yard with other actors to smoke marijuana.

To add to the mind-numbing process, women are never able to experience sexual pleasure because of the continuous cutting during sex scenes. In the background the director constantly yells, “cut” and the flow of action is interrupted in order to get a better shot, adjust lighting or to wipe up bodily fluids. Repeatedly pornographers stop scenes and ask actors to “freeze” in position during very hardcore sex acts, which causes great physical and emotional pain for porn actresses.

I speak from personal experience when I say to be in the middle of a hardcore sex act with several actors at the same time and told to “freeze” in position for several minutes while lighting or cameras are adjusted is extremely painful and degrading. It’s also very humiliating when scenes are stopped in order to wipe up bodily fluids such as semen, feces and blood.

Despite the fact women do not enjoy making porn movies, they continue to lie to their fans and proudly insist they enjoy making porn movies. Of course they do. They get paid hundreds and thousands of dollars to lie because this is their occupation. Porn stars are paid professional liars who know how to “act” and they do it well. In fact, because porn stars spend a great deal time in front of the camera and never step out of character, they usually have greater acting abilities than mainstream Hollywood actors.

I used to brag endlessly to fans and pornographers about my extreme “Italian” sex drive and how I loved making porn movies. I would go on and on about how I needed more and more to fulfill my insatiable appetite. I lied 100 percent of the time to 100 percent of the people. Lying is the native language of porn stars because they can’t afford to tell you the truth. Not only would it ruin the fantasy for their fans but more importantly, it would ruin the amount of their paychecks. Don’t believe porn actresses when they proudly proclaim they enjoy making porn movies.

They’re ACTING.” [4]

 


Notes

[1] ‘Makeover shows ‘increase desire for surgery’ Reuters, July 13 2006.
[2] Quoted in ‘Teens max out on plastic’ Phil Bartsch, Courier Mail, May 01, 2006.
[3] Cosmetic Plastic Surgery Research Statistics and Trends for 2001, 2002, 2003 and 2004.
[4] Hyaluronic acid (also called Hyaluronan) is a component of connective tissue whose function is to cushion and lubricate. It has since been synthesized and marketed on this basis as a sort of “key to the fountain of Youth” and a remedy for premature ageing. The resultant gel is injected into the face to smooth lines, wrinkles, and scars on the skin.
[5] ‘Want a booty like J. Lo’s? With buttock-boosting surgery, it can be yours’ By E.J. Mundell, MSNBC Feb. 18, 2004.
[6] US physicians and surgeons survey by the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery 2004 (ASAPS).
[7] ‘Teenagers go under knife to beat bullies’ By Richard Gray, Scotland on Sunday, July 9, 2006.
[8] ‘Teens Getting Breast Implants for Graduation’ By Susan Kreimer, Women’s eNews. June 30, 2004.
[9] ‘Plastic surgery booms in Singapore’IOL South Africa, April 25 2006.
[10] Grow-your-own breast implants on the way’ by Sophie Goodchild, The Independent, March 28, 2005.[11] ‘Stress “fuelling early puberty’ BBC News, 7 February, 2006. “Children’s bodies are maturing faster unhealthy lifestyles and unstable family environments may be contributing to a fall in the age that girls reach puberty, research suggests.”
[11] ‘The “Empowered” Whore Archetype Destroying the Feminine’ by Thomas Sheridan thomassheridanarts.blogspot.com Sat, 22 Oct 2011.
[12] http://www.shellylubben.com
[13] Ibid.
[14] Ibid.

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One comment

  1. Very astute! This is essential reading on the viral zeitgeist that is infecting our young and leading us into a world of abuse. Haven’t been served so much truth all at once in a good long while – bravo.

    Liked by 1 person

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