Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Is porn to blame?

After learning that dressing like a porn star = getting rated a 10 on Hot or Not, I started to read the chapter on the rise in pornography in Eric Schlosser's "Reefer Madness" the other day, and suddenly the light bulb went on. Maybe Internet personal ads aren't the only factor in the frustration that so many singles are having with dating today -- there's also the impact of Internet porn.

I've always considered pornography fairly harmless -- a fantasy world that exists outside the bounds of our "real" flesh and skin interactions. Though even from my high school days, my friends and I never felt we could live up to the airbrushed women in Playboy and Penthouse, who they themselves couldn't live up to their fantasy images. (I became friends with a woman who posed in Playboy once -- not only was she really smart, but, she was now bespectacled, overweight and really frumpy! You would have never imagined her as a centerfold.)

But I started to think of the ways that the fantasy of unlimited access to thousands of women has changed the way men relate to us. I just feel a lot more objectified out in the personal ad world, with men reacting and responding purely to my legs, my breasts and my face, and all but ignoring anything else I have to offer from the neck up (like a college education or an inquiring mind.)

There are of course, smart men who appreciate a woman for more than the physical -- though it seems that more and more, men have sexual fantasies and tastes that stretch outside the boundaries and deeper into the realm of what they're seeing on Internet porn sites.

A new Harris poll confirms my hunch.

"When men look at pornography, what effect does that have on the women who love them? Fully 47 percent of women and 33 percent of men believe porn harms relationships between men and women," stated an article today on Netscape.

"Even so, we are a nation divided. An online Harris Poll of 2,555 U.S. adults finds that when it comes to pornography, we're not sure what should be done about it. Women are generally much more critical of pornography than men. As a result, a small majority of women, but not of men, favors government regulation of pornography on the Internet if that were possible.

"About half of all adults believe that pornography raises men's expectation of how women should look and that it changes men's expectations of how women should behave. About the same amount say pornography is demeaning towards women, although this view is more widely held by women than by men.

"What is the effect of pornography on kids? If children see a lot of it, 30 percent of adults say it distorts boys' expectations and understanding of women and sex, while 25 percent say it makes kids more likely to have sex earlier. Just 7 percent think it distorts girls' body images and their ideas about sex. Only 2 percent say looking at pornography helps children better understand sexuality."

Tuesday, November 8, 2005

Am I really a 9?

Just for the heck of it, I decided to post a photo of myself on the Internet's favorite haunt of raging narcicists -- Hot or Not.

I always though Hot or Not (which now bills itself as an online dating site!) was the ultimate in superficial. Who wants to be rated like movies, or wines or for that matter, livestock?

But spending time there with a friend, flipping around the men (a motley collection that included a few she-hes) and women (ranging from downright scary looking to more gorgeous than many celebrities) we found that Hot or Not is a lesson in what we've been programmed to believe or accept, universally, as beautiful. It's amazing to see that almost consistently your rating matches, almost exactly, the rating that others gave that person's photograph.

We noticed that men in suits consistently score higher marks.

But criminal-looking guys with tattoos and the Harley look also often score above an 8 too.

A heavily made up Transexual or man in drag scores way higher than a real woman in plain clothes.

Affluent looking, well dressed men consistently score higher than goodlooking grease monkeys.

A thin woman with an ugly face will always score higher than a beautiful chubby one.

Heavy makeup and fake boobs score high marks. The more you look like a Hooters waitress or a porn star, the higher your score!

And skin sells, baby.

So I posted three photos: on was a very natural picture in a bikini top and a sarong, without makeup. That one scored a very surprisingly respectable 8.2.

A photograph in makeup with styled hair, miniskirt and a skimpy top scored higher, 9.

And I got an amazing 9.7 (and three nominations for the HOT OR NOT hall of fame) when I posted a photograph in a Halloween costume with a bare midriff, silver false eyelashes, a blue waist length wig and very heavy makeup.

I have to say, this was the best boost to my self esteem I've had in years. There's nothing like having 250 people rate you above average to make your day.

So is "beauty" more than skin deep -- or is it just about showing flesh and wearing heavy makeup? At least on Hot or Not it is.

Monday, November 7, 2005

I'm afraid to look in my in box

Here is the latest batch of real doozies that a service called Perfect Match dished up in my in-box. There was a guy who just whined continually about how much he hates personal ads, then there was the sex crazed guy with the snake around his neck ... and a man who has a profile that might make one assume he's a petty thief or small time criminal or maybe a member of the mafia.

I logged off Perfect Match. Delete! Delete!

the brutally honest guy

Wow reality set in today about this online dating ritual. I have realized that on every search the same faces show up time and time again and I mean over a LONG period of time. Many years ago I thought , " This online is a way to meet people" now what about 8 years later I am more so like " I need to take up drinking and lieing to find someone" I can't find it fun to write 10000 emails back and forth when two live only 30 miles away. I don't like the computer rather lone sit at it for hours on end discussing what the past HE did that makes her so hurt. Well guess maybe this isn't for me , you kids have fun and remember if you never settle for just ONE , your gonna be here ALONGGGGGGGGG time listening to the same sorta stories I have.

whe he's looking for
I thought I was looking for a woman as a companion but seem to have just wasted ALOT of time listening to excuses and lies. Well life in my world goes on be it alone or with someone so I guess I shall look at the big picture and laugh at the others that believe they really know who they are but paint such a picture that says the other. Good luck I have chores to do rather then sit here

The snake guy (yes, his photo showed him half nude with a snake around his neck)

how he's different

i've never been married, have no kids, well except my dog, lol. i'm not controling, nor abusive, and beleives a woman should have her own freinds and life separate, from the one we have together. i was in the very first mr. romance contest, in san diego. i was asked to pose for playgirl, but turned them down. i used to work building movie sets. i have worked in theater, been a roadie. i play guitar, dance, and sing, i also like to write and love to draw. i am a very sexual person, with a very high libido, and i know how to please a woman. i have a great sense of humor, and im sure i can make you laugh. so if you are looking for a bestfreind/lover, and like to have a good time, i'm your man.

who he's looking for

i am looking for a woman that is inteligent and creative enough to find me. oh , so you need a few clues, ok. well you already know what i am called. all you need now is where to find me. lets see, there are two places you could look, you could look somewhere very warm, or maybe you could go to the alps and just yodel. i hope this is enough for you to know what kind of woman i am looking for, hope to to hear from you soon.

how he's different
playing in the mud with my truck

the criminal guy

how he's different
i like the beach,night life & the jym. sex,sex & more sex with the right lady is the one thing that I think about constantly. i would like it more if my sexual drive can transformed into an emotional & spiritual state.

how he's different
interests - [you, if we match] hobbies - [devious, pushing limitations] backround - [ask your local authorities] goals - [make a difference, take over world]

who he's looking for

A true partner in crime. Oe who is willing to let go and let destiny take its course.