Sometimes it seems like pornography is a big issue for me, and sometimes it doesn't. It depends on definition, I guess. (THAT sounds like a cop out.)
Here's why it's not an issue: I've never subscribed to pornography, and at 43 years-old the times I've paid for a magazine in my life you could count on one hand, I bet. Once I bought a Playboy and through it away before looking at it. When I was in my 20s there were a few times when I bought a more mainstream magazine because I knew that particular issue contained semi-nude photos. My experience with internet pornography is the same...mild sights that you don't even have to be a certain age to access. One site shows full women entirely nake1d, but I guess because it is all full adults, soft lighting, artistic-type poses, and no violence, I guess it is considered not a big deal. There was a very brief period when I looked at more violent stuff, but it was a kind of processing for me, and I got over it and have never looked back. So, I guess pornography is not an issue for me. I probably view it LESS than men who were never abused.
Here's why it IS an issue: I hate myself for even thinking of being interested, and also sislike myself for not being interested more. I first encountered pornography when I was around 11-13. Dad's Playboys. I didn't really understand it all. My Mom hated it; despised it, and yet also said something like, "Go ahead and look." It was as if she was saying that it was a disgusting thing that made me a man. If I looked, she disapproved. If I didn't, maybe I wasn't boyish enough. I still don't know how to figure all of that out, but there are times when I hear a feminist talking and I want to shout, IT WAS MY MOM THAT MADE ME LOOK! Of course, I didn't need much enouragement.
This wasn't like Mom or anyone else was with me when I looked. I was alone. But we all knew where they were kept. We all knew Mom would have preferred not to have any in the house at all. And Mom told me with disdain to go ahead and look if it interested me; it was natural.
When her father died, we were clearing out his stuff and found a pile of pornographic calendars; and Mom gave one to me. I told myself it would be disrespectful to throw that away. But, again, it wasn't out of respect for my grandfather that I looked at it.
Around that time, Mom always gave me a calendar for Christmas, and one year I asked for a swimsuit one. I found out later my brothers thoght taht was really messed up for me to ask my mom for a calendar like taht and for her to give it to me. I think they were probably right.
Also at that time, Mom would sometimes watch me get dressed, standing at the door to my room. Sometimes she wouldn't be wearing anything on top. She would be talking to me or asking me things so of course I had to look at her, and I would notice her body. It wasn't like the models, but, still I looked. I feel like the same part of me that is interested in pornography is the part that made me interested in my own mother. It's just sick, and I wish I was different.
Just the other day I found out one of my brother's kept his friend's collection of centerfolds in a folder in his room. I never had a clue. My brother and at least two friends knew they were there, but I didn't. Why didn't they tell me? Maybe they thought I wasn't interested. I was too good. (Better student, a little churchy maybe, etc.)
It's all sort of mixed up.
"This is not my shame, this is their shame." Mona Eltahawy