Beyond deep throat
CTALK - Cito Beltran (The Philippine Star) - September 16, 2020 - 12:00am

They say that there is nothing more irritating than a reformed smoker, a former alcoholic or drug addict speaking of the evils of drugs or alcohol incessantly, a “Born Again” believer inviting friends to reform or repent, or a previously fat unhealthy person turned health buff or “vegan” telling us to improve our food choices and our lifestyle. Let me add to that, another “character”: A former porn addict! The only difference with this group is that the sin or the addiction is very private, intentionally hidden because that is part of the “allure” or the excitement and it is not addressed as “damaging” like other addictions – or so we think.

The only time people see it and treat it as a problem is when a person graduates or evolves into becoming a sex offender, a pedophile or is publicly shamed by others, often for political reason or as a “hate crime.” We only take notice when our country is ranked as one of the top producers of child pornography, when a scenic tourist spot gets labeled as pedophilia capital of the country or when online research or surveys in 2017 and 2018 ranks Filipinos among those who spent the longest time watching porn across the world and when the annual “Pornhub Insights” report states that Filipino porn addicts spent an average of 13 minutes and 50 seconds on the adult site in 2018. If this was not bad enough, informal surveys in churches indicate that the addiction to pornography, just like drugs, creates increasing “doses” or graphic realism so much so that people who start with pictures, magazines, etc., eventually start looking for video and audio, then the addiction moves towards complex themes and scenes until the person starts seeking live performers and ultimately becomes the “performer,” where they engage the services of real people or get into illicit relationships. Something that many men don’t talk about in the global world of pornography is the “twin sin” of pornography – namely masturbation.

The sad reality is that many men, even women, who are sunk in pornography don’t realize how the incessant input of porn basically changes a person’s value system, model of intimacy, self respect, discipline and respect for others. Many marriages are ruined because wives will never come up to the image and expectations created by porn and imaginary performers and relationships of the twisted kind. The addiction to porn and self-gratification can be so intense that your wife or partner could be in the room and think nothing about watching and relieving oneself. As a psychologist recently shared on AGENDA, sex is such an over powering stimulus that animals and even people lose self-control. Sadly, people also lose respect for others. I have time and again shared how disgusted I was to learn of a father who regularly asked her adult daughter to buy him a monthly adult magazine on the way home. The sorry lazy ass could not even go out and buy his smut personally; he had to “dis” or disrespect his daughter in the process of feeding his addiction to porn.

Last week, a very young Congressman Rep. Juan Fidel Felipe Nograles, vice chairman of the House justice committee, filed a bill seeking to amend The Anti-Child Pornography Act. In its present form, “RA 9775 allows internet service providers to install software that would block access to and transmittal of child pornography and notify authorities within seven days of detection of any internet address that may contain child pornographic material.” The weird part is that the same provision also states that “nothing in this section may be construed to require an Internet Service Provider to engage in the monitoring of any user, subscriber or customer or the content of any communication of any such person.” In other words, the law is saying you could if you want to but this law is not requiring you to do so. It essentially gives the telecoms and ISPs a backdoor or an excuse because the law says they don’t have to. I found this really strange and I told the good congressman that the minute any material that is child pornography in nature is made, aired, shared or sold, a crime is or has been committed and we are all obligated as ordinary citizens or corporate citizens to report the matter to the authorities.

For his part, what the congressman wants to do is to give the telecoms company and internet providers the responsibility and the legal obligation to block and report any activity that qualifies as “child pornography,” regardless of the provisions of the Privacy Act which has ended up protecting people who in the first place should be known to the public – whether they are COVID positive or if they are engaged in child pornography. In any case, I appealed to Congressman JFF Nograles to consider expanding the ban on pornography online in the Philippines. Consider the fact that Facebook, Twitter, etc. are all applying community standards and values as a basis for blocking or dropping posts and accounts, why then can’t the Philippine government go in a similar direction. Yes, let’s all fight the production and sale of child pornography but let’s not stop there, let’s work together to ban all forms of pornography online and not just monitoring radicals, rebels or government critics.

We need to act on this now as our society adapts the new normal of the digital world. Pornography of all kinds will mushroom as Filipinos continue to have limited movement and interaction. We should not evolve into a sexualized society where obsession with pornography is seen underneath animation, old men leering after women dressed as school girls and ultimately fulfilling fantasies through sex tours and ruined families and marriages. It’s not only COVID-19 we need to worry about.

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E-mail: utalk2ctalk@gmail.com

CHILD PORNOGRAPHY
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