Why i stopped watching porn/ Ran Gavrieli

By Ran Gavrieli 15/03/2013  Translation: Gad Ben-Moshe and Ran Gavrieli

 

If you would have talked to him a few years ago, Ran Gavrieli would have been able to recommend to you on a movie with a couple of school girls having “fun”. But you’re talking to him now, after four and a half years of aiding women living and working in the SEX industry.

 

Two and a half years ago, on a summer night near the old central bus station in Tel Aviv, they found the one they called “Linda”, with a broken throat. Our main concern, in the STD mobile clinic, was to hide Linda’s occupation and cause of death from her five children who came from the south to the scene of the event, and later to the pathological institute in Abu Kabir.

 

Her youngest son was already a sergeant in the IDF, and her eldest was 35 years old. For years, every morning, she made the trip to work in housekeeping in North Tel Aviv, they didn’t suspect a thing. At night she returned ready and attentive and they – as sensitive as kids are – knew how to repress and hold their questions until they were completely forgotten. And now she was strangled by a John. Who learned on the internet how convulsions cause the vagina to shrink so it’ll intensify his orgasm. “Better than f___ing in the ass”, said the actor.

He was supposed to stop before Linda lost consciousness, but something went wrong with his coordination.

She took in 15 men like that a day.

Now try hiding that from the children.

 

We stood there trying to get our stories strait with the field coordinator of the clinic and two dumb cops who were completely obtuse to the hard ship the truth would cause the family. There are a lot of women in Porn and Prostitution who are not eager on living, on the contrary. And still, their biggest fear is to be murdered like that. Because it’s not the fear of death that gets to them: it’s the guilt of hurting their children that is too much of a burden.

 

Linda got her nick name after an incident with a ‘client’ in the late 80’s. Though personal video cameras were rare, demented johns were all around. This fella’ fell in love to an obsession with Linda. So in a lapse of judgment, right before climaxing, the camera dropped from his hand crushing her left eye socket.

 

Her colleagues on the street who knew the john immediately knew what was what. They were also privileged in experiencing the fear of being with him, his weird sexual practice and his heavy video camera going up and down swinging over their heads. There was another before her that the camera broke her nose.

 

Linda told us that story when we were sitting in her room at the brothel and the doctor was taking her blood. We were looking for a little laugh while filling up the forms. When she revealed to us her real name she also explained how she got her nick name: When she returned to the street with a black eye, her colleagues gave it to her as a gesture to the Heroine of “Deep Throat”, Linda Boreman aka Linda Lovelace.

Incidentally, Linda Lovelace later on went to testify that she was forced to participate in the film undergoing abuse and death threats. Her husband used to beat her up and pimp her out to his friends at gun point. He then proceeded to make her “act” in Pornographic movies. “Deep Throat” grossed over 600 Million dollars. Linda Boreman didn’t see a cent.

 

I met Linda from Tel Aviv as a volunteer in the mobile STD’s clinic, as someone who comes to reach out and offers help and rehabilitation. Why there from all places? I couldn’t tell you. There are plenty of unfortunate souls who need help. I just wanted to mark a V on my humanity and I wound up with victims of human trafficking and prostitution. Linda was not the only tragedy I came to know, but she was probably my first reason to stop consuming Porn.

 

Here in Our Neighborhood

 

“Let me see your belly”, said the man with the crude face. He’s on the fast track to cumming, all rules of proper conduct and manners surpass him at this point. “Your belly, whore, your f__ing belly! You think I’m too old? That I couldn’t get you pregnant too?”. He’s eyes are blazing. She returns an empty look. His thrusting becomes rapid and he commands her to take off the cheap black lace covering her growing belly.

She complies.

His left hand is hurting a breast filled with milk, and his right is relentlessly pointing the CellCam up and down, from his penetrating organ to her lips, and look of distress. He promised he wouldn’t show her face and he paid an extra 50. She’s here anyway. Might as well let him think he’s a porn star. What does she care?

The rotting stench of his breath gets to her as his back arches and his face skwinches. A growl of bad breath. Another. And another one even deeper. A crude hand grabbing on to a round belly, black fingernails claw into the flesh, now she’s worried: will the baby feel a sharp pain?

 

He pulls himself from on top of her. He doesn’t say a word, just films his spew on a 3rd trimester pregnant belly. Finally he lets out a moan and asks her for a towel. She gestures with a look towards the towels on the chair behind him, then reaches her hand to the dresser, grabs a toilet paper role and picks up his remains. After he leaves she grabs a wet towel and cleans herself up.

 

She tries to block out his mean face resemblance to her father’s. Reminiscing would only bring more pain. She is preoccupied anyway, dreading the days to come, the future that awaits her and her unborn child.

She straightens the bills and clips them, turns on the television in full volume, tights up the bed sheets and opens the door to her room, as if calling out without words “Next!”

 

Four and Half years I’ve been volunteering and working to help women and minors who got caught in prostitution. This young mother, who didn’t spare me any detail on her encounter with the man that looked like her dad, was one of those who really left her mark on me. It’s hard to say why her and not someone else, I think it has to do with her intelligence.

The more intelligent and self-aware the woman is the harder it is for her to suppress the traumas with defense mechanisms.

 

This particular young mom wasn’t born into this life, Not at all. She is but one of an increasing group of girls who get a little bored and a little bit curios and find themselves mixed up with predators on the internet. As they undress a little, take a couple of pictures and somewhere along the road cross the line between a flirt and a sexual act. You can find these girls in every school in the country.

I lecture in dozens of high and middle schools per year and I can assure you: In almost every school there’s at least this one girl who trusted the wrong guy and found her nudity traded on WhatsApp and spread on the web.

That’s where it starts, after that comes – infamy, loneliness, transfers, relocations and Facebook and public harassments that follow her where ever she goes. Most of the time there’s also parental neglect or complete lack of parenting, but not always. These are the new faces of Porn and Prostitutions’ victims.

“Porna”, by the way, means whore. “Graph” means documentation or record.

 

The Experience and the Consciousness

Catharine MacKinnon, a Professor of Law who helped Linda Boreman, wrote that “Pornography is a means through which sexuality is socially constructed, a site of construction, a domain of exercise. It constructs women as things for sexual use and constructs its consumers to desperately want women to desperately want possession and cruelty and dehumanization. Inequality itself,  subjection itself, hierarchy itself, objectification itself, with self-determination ecstatically relinquished, is the apparent content of women’s sexual desire and desirability[…] Women are in pornography to be violated and taken, men to violet and take them… “

 

Yes, Porn has a formidable cultural influence. The stray girls we have here are simply the real version of all the slutty college girls we fantasized about while jerking off. This is the reality our girls are raised in. The new definition of womanhood, in tales, the ability to fuck without emotion, connection, security or kinship.

 

These aren’t just girls from broken homes we’re talking about. They are also the lovely girls with straight A’s whom we raised. Remember Michael Douglas’s daughter in “Traffic”? She was President of the Volleyball team, President of the debate team with an astronomical GPA. So, how do these girls get so low as to suck an illiterate drug dealer’s dick while he takes a video of her fucking two guys from the hood without an original tooth in their mouth or a condom on their dicks?

 

How? That is an excellent question. The answer lies – Not solely, but most definitely in part – in the Porn Industries food chain. When a private user in Jerusalem is showing a gallery of movies from “College Fuck Fest” “Bang Bus” or “Porn Fidelity” his double click is not lost. It feeds industries worth over billions of dollars and promotes forceful transportation of women, escorts and girls from Moldova, Thailand and Congo to multiple rape and brothel homes in London, Stockholm and New York.

The cynical use of values such as the freedom of speech and occupation brings with it a whole perspective where women are but a commodity for men. Now don’t kid yourselves with your bullshit enlightenment: You also objectify men as an economical entity and women as a sexual one before any other measure.

 

I’m not trying to create some kind of theoretical feminist discourse. I wonder how it can be that Ada Yonath, one of the most brilliant minds of our time, wins a Nobel Prize and the press in Israel is far more concerned with her hair due than with what she has to say. I also don’t believe that the problem is just with us Men – Consumers.

What I am interested in, is to understand how come there is an entire generation of girls who’s dream is not to win the Nobel Prize, because they are too busy losing to much weight and looking for people to tell them how “hot” they are.

 

When you sit in front of a porno you take part in defining society and culture. This is not a metaphor, this is not theoretical- it is completely practical. When a good kid with high academics and good scores pressures his girlfriend to have sex in front of a camera, it doesn’t derive from thin air. When they break up and he, as a well-adjusted promising individual, does not erase said photos but instead shares them online for the rest of the world to see, it’s not solely on him. The fault is on all of us.

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Let’s see you go with out

 

Statistics in the field of filmed prostitution – Porn – indicates that for every Jenna Jameson who holds her own production company making millions, there are another 10,000 young girls with incest history and great emotional distress. The average career of a porn star is about three months. That means, that after two to three sessions of filming, each session is 8 hours where every pore and orifice in her body is dismantled and tortured, she runs for her life.

The sad thing is that they are not in any emotional state to run far enough.

 

Women get in the porn industry from escort services or strip clubs and emitted to brothel houses and to the streets. 40% of them won’t make it to 50. The four most common causes of death are: STD’s, OD’s, Murder by clients and suicide. This is how Valery Heller, a survivor of sexual abuse as a child and the Sex industry as an adult, described her not so distant past: “I believed I existed only after I was turned on, like a light switch by another person. When I needed to be nurtured I thought I wanted to be used. Marks and bruises and being used were the way I measured my worth. You must remember that I was taught that because men were fucking my body and using it for their needs, it meant I was loved”.

 

Yup, they screwed her up. And she’s not the only one: It’s hard to say when exactly it happened, but eventually I realized that porn was screwing me up too. Back then I was in a serious relationship – a bad one, but totally serious. It was a roller coaster of emotional drama, the relationship before the one true love you find in your 30’s that brings order and stability to your life. Truth be told, I never was a porn ‘addict’ or a ‘Hard Core’ user, but I had a little taste of everything. Some breasts, a bit of MILF, BBW, a few college girls messing around, maybe a little homemade porn and Riming here and there.

 

That’s about it, but still I was invaded by Trojan Horses and Viruses. My computer was not the only system that needed a clean-up, my mind too. Now go formatting your own brain.

 

Porn is the essence of the male forceful domination apprehension; the filmed fantasy infiltrates our minds and enslaves our imagination to its imaging. What we used to fantasize about before doesn’t matter, sooner than later we find ourselves beating off angrily, gnashing our teeth while ejaculating on someone’s face, in our mind. It’s bad. And we’ve all been there.

 

 Go ahead, test yourself: can you still masturbate relying solely on your imagination? Can you even remember, what was your fantasy before the flood of silicone and violence washed over your brain? Let’s put it to the test, like in that Seinfeld episode, only much easier: instead of testing how long you can go without, masturbate all the time! Go crazy! Like in high school, 5 times a day if you want, only on one condition: No PORN. Not on the computer and not in your mind. Come on, step up to the plate. We’ve already declared on a day without smoking and a day without car accidents. Try two weeks without porn. You’re a grown man; it shouldn’t be too hard a task. You don’t even need an imagination to do it. A good memory should do the trick.

 

 

Blessed be the Reformed

 

It took me 18 month; from the moment I decided to dispose of porn to when I stopped using completely. I made my decision after meeting the other side – all the women who moaned, squealed and asked for more as if having the time of their lives, whom I met after the little red light was off and the damage was already done- but like every other bad habit, deciding is not enough. The body has its own pace. After so many years without using your imagination, it’s hard to jump start it on your own.

After all it’s not the 5 min. session in the shower or on the toilet; it’s the beating off when you’re bored, home alone with some spare time, what better than to look at naked women?

 

I won’t lie and say it’s easy for me or that my jerking off comes as quick as it had when I was 14. What can you do? We’re used to porn. Fantasizing is inaccessible. The mind can hardly remember how to launch the sequence without external visual aid.

But despite the hardship and my dependence, I am at peace with my decision to dispose of porn. It made me into that man that uses his memory when he longs for pretty women. Girls in tight sweaters I used to hang around their house on my bike. My undercover loves. Over the bra. Back then, a long time ago, before all that porn took over. When times were simpler.

ALL PICTURES SHOWN ARE FOR ILLUSTRATION PURPOSE ONLY