Advocate.com recently ran a great little article by Don Shewey, author of the wise new book, "The Paradox of Porn: Notes on Gay Male Culture."
On his publisher's website, Shewey says, "Based on my twenty years of experience as a sex therapist/educator and pleasure activist, this book-length essay explores the topic of pornography from a unique, specifically gay male perspective, surveying in depth what’s valuable and what’s problematic about the ubiquitous forms of erotic imagery we encounter on a daily basis."
Buy Don's book on Amazon.
Below is the introduction from his article for Advocate.com followed by a link to the story.
At the non-traditional seder I attended at Randy’s house a few years ago. I don’t recall whether the canonical four questions were addressed. I only remember the rather startling question that Mathew posed out of the blue: “Why are gay men so bad at having sex?” Since more than half the men in the room had been to bed with Mathew, it took a few minutes to ascertain that he wasn’t making an accusation but sharing a genuinely philosophical inquiry. I had plenty to say in response, from my perspective as both an active-duty slut and a gay male sex therapist.
Many forces stand in the way of gay men’s healthy sexual and emotional development – external shunning and internalized homophobia, religious- and/or family-based shaming, consumer-capitalist encouragement to treat each other and ourselves as commodities – all of which converge in the paradoxical pleasuredome of pornography.
Porn has done gay men a great service by providing resonant images that validate our desires, liberating us from ignorance, opening up possibilities, activating our erotic bodies and our imaginations, allowing us to vicariously enact experiences beyond our reach, and giving us a safe way to navigate through times of fear and loneliness. At the same time, porn has done us a great disservice by distorting our ideas of what constitutes normal bodies and normal sexual functioning, liberating some inhibitions but installing others in their place, enslaving us to libidinal impulses at the expense of our health and mental well-being, luring us into dark pockets of obsessive-compulsiveness that leave us isolated and shut down, and modeling a culture of sexual behavior that is so narrow, mechanical, and emotionally bankrupt that we hardly know how to treat each other as human beings.