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Antigenderstereotypificationcrucader
There is a thread on this forum called Art vs Porn, where many people have expressed their views, mostly pro art and defining the Warwick Rowers as the latter, rather than the first. But does it serve the common good to define nudity as either one, or the other? Isn`t there room for a wider scope and more categories between the two?

The reason I raise this question is because of how much I feel the views and focus on nudity has changed for the worse. When I was a teenager in the 80`s, nude scenes occurred fairly frequently on both the small and big screen, and movies like Porky`s and stars like Rob Lowe became box office successes in movies which almost was guaranteed to contain nudity. As a result both nudity and sex became something which felt natural to us. So we showered and changed after PE or swimming in communal showers and changing rooms as the most natural thing in the world. Occasionally there even was a towel-fight - or someone as a prank turned the water on cold in someone`s shower, and was chased around as a result. We were free, happy and had few worries.

Today it is not like that at all, unfortunately. Not only has nudity become the preferred weapon of bullies, spreading nude images snapped without the subject being aware, and spread around among other pupils, causing many school youths to no longer shower after PE or swimming at school, but wait until they get home - out of fear of being filmed or photographed without their knowledge. Because of the abundance of images of perfectly shaped bodies everywhere, from fashion and popular culture to porn, youths have split into two: those terrified of having their body being exposed - or exposing themselves, out of fear they are not considered attractive enough to be welcome to do so; and those who are so happy with their looks and bodies they use the appreciation and praise they get from strangers when taking their clothes off either online or at clubs, to fill a void, or to feel good about themselves getting praise for their body and feeling attractive.

Porn has become so common and easily available that what used to be regarded as extreme, today is almost common place. At the same time big sites like Youtube, Facebook and Instagram are ruled by archaic restrictions and views regarding nudity, almost banning it in all forms, giving the impression nudity in itself to be a definite no no. And as a consequence youths curious to see nude bodies are left with the porn industry as the most obvious option. 

What is even weirder is that there is absolutely no scientific indications nude bodies in themselves are harmful to view - not even for children. Violence and aggressive behavior on the other hand, can be harmful to watch - even for adults. Likewise degrading words like slut, fag and more also are more harmful for society than nudity is. 

The fact so much content showing nudity have been banned and deleted from the big sites like Youtube, Facebook, Instagram and more, has caused even milder forms of nudity from film or television (plus projects like the Warwick Rowers) to be included on porn sites. There even exist sites specializing in celeb nudity - whether exerted from films or tv series, or private content snatched or hacked from personal mobile phones and similar - which have made many actors think twice about agreeing to nude scenes, out of fear that when they are taken out of context they can be used as porn. 

The result is what should have been our personal ownership of both what we were comfortable with showing and viewing has been removed from us as a choice - instead those decisions are made by the sites. Since with the big giants being so keen to remove most types of content showing nudity, people with a desire to view such content either are forced in the hands of the porn industry or to go off line. Opening the market for yet another option for nudity, the app Only Fans. That is an app, if I have understood it correctly, where people against a fee is allowed to follow and view uploaders of content with nudity produced by themselves (at least that is the idea and the official version - I don`t know if pirated content have been sneaked in too).

Had sites like Youtube, Facebook and Instagram been less extreme in their judgment of what content should be allowed, and only banned actual porn showing sexual acts, and not nude bodies in themselves, nudity would not just have been regarded as either art or porn, but there would have existed a third version in-between the two.

Had such an option existed, ordinary movies and tv series would have (through their stories) had been able to show a more accurate and truthful image of what sex and relationships is and can be, opposing and neutralizing the often extreme depictions and character representations of the porn industry. But still had the titillating factor of nudity included. And with nudity not depicting actual sex allowed on the big sites, the stigma and fear of having their image and scenes abused on porn sites, would be less for actors and movie makers alike, since the no no factor their ban currently attach to such content would no longer have been there. 

All it would have taken was a less restrictive and more precise definition of what content to allow, and not to allow. Nudity allowed - but with an age limit  (I would recommend 15+ instead of 18+) - as long as it did not depict any actual sexual acts, nor contained violence or degradation.

That in many countries teens can see nudity both in cinemas and on tv, but if they are on Youtube the age limit is 18+, is ridiculous. But more than that, extremely unfortunate, since it makes many teens find that nudity and much more on porn sites - even Twitter and Google. Google which ironically owns Youtube. Yet the content they are restrictive about on one platform is available, and more extreme stuff too, on the other. A journalist I know had the misfortune of doing research for a story about a Danish ballet student expelled from an elite dancing college because he had participated in gay porn movies. 

My friend thought he would easily locate a photo of the young man by googling Danish gay porn star. Not knowing that there was more Danish gay porn stars than the dancer, and one of them doing films of a nature much more raw and extreme than the dancer.

What if he had been a teenager with the skills to either have an account with a fake age, or the ability to bypass filters, who had read the story of the same dancer and was curious about what he looked like professionally? 

Youtube and others might think they are protecting youths and teens with their restrictions on nudity, but my fear is that they are doing exactly the opposite. By leaving the youths the porn sites, and more explicit, raw and extreme images and films, as the most obvious alternative. Allowing the porn industry to be the main influence of what youths identify as good sex, and how they feel about both their own, and other people`s, bodies.

Do we really want the porn industry to take care of sexual education? Isn`t that a job better left for either schools, or more ordinary movies or tv series, where the relevant issues can be addressed deeper and more truthful to real life?

 
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bejjinks
I'm having a hard time boiling this down to a point. I think you are trying to talk about a third option, that nudity can be art, or porn, or this third option. But because you keep asking "Is it one or the other?", albeit not using the exact same words each time you ask, people assume that you are asking "which is it, one or the other?".

So if it is neither art nor porn, talk more about what this third option is. I agree with you that nudity should be more natural, neither art nor porn. This is a different question from the other thread because the other thread is art vs porn in which case I take the side of art. If your question though is natural vs art, I take the side of natural. One of my favorite scenes in any of the films was when Lucas brought groceries in from the car while naked. That was great because he wasn't posing for art sake and he wasn't posing for porn sake. He was simply bringing in the groceries and his nudity was completely natural.

Your specific example about the Danish ballet student is confusing though. Are you talking about teenagers that might want to learn the truth about that Danish ballet student but can't do the research because that true news story gets labelled as porn?
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Lefkippus
I haven't read the post above yours but I agree with you, bejjinks, about the scene of Lucas taking the groceries from the car. This was one of the most powerful sections in any of the recent films from WR. And I think this is that third option. I am not interested in porn, and I have increasingly lost interest in the lengthy sections of posing for the 'art' shot. What I really enjoy, and what sends the message most clearly about inclusiveness, friends having fun and playing sport together,  and the irrelevance of clothing, is when the guys are continuing with normal activities, naturally, but without clothes.
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Antigenderstereotypificationcrucader
bejjinks wrote:
I'm having a hard time boiling this down to a point. I think you are trying to talk about a third option, that nudity can be art, or porn, or this third option. But because you keep asking "Is it one or the other?", albeit not using the exact same words each time you ask, people assume that you are asking "which is it, one or the other?".

Your specific example about the Danish ballet student is confusing though. Are you talking about teenagers that might want to learn the truth about that Danish ballet student but can't do the research because that true news story gets labelled as porn?




Sorry for the late reply, I have both struggled to find this forum of late, but also been extremely busy.

I understand you find it difficult to boil it down to one point, since I am reflecting on, and addressing, a lot of things in that article/essay/monologue, or whatever you want to call it. From the fact that nudity in movies and television is being presented on porn sites, actors are targeted for images of their bodies to be displayed on such sites, school children are so afraid of being photographed nude they don`t shower after PE. other young people have discovered undressing and displaying their body and sexuality on apps like Onlyfans is an easy way to make money, at the same time as the biggest sites Youtube, Facebook, Instagram and more are very restrictive on nudity in all forms. But if you force my hand, my point is the fact nudity seems to be seen either as art or porn both seems to exclude even the most innocent nudity from the big sites (and I include Warwick Rowers models in that category), making that type of content easiest available on porn sites which often are free, but which have links to other subscription porn sites - often with a much harder and more extreme content.

Incidentally your question about the ballet dancer was about a friend of mine who is a journalist, and a few years ago got the shock of his life trying to find background info on a story about a Danish ballet student expelled from a Canadian elite dance academy and boarding school because he had participated in gay porn movies. When my friend typed Danish gay porn star in Google pictures, he discovered there was more than one Danish gay porn star than the ballet dancer, and the other one did movies of a type which resulted in images that that was more than my friend was prepared for. What does images was, I don`t know specifically - all I know is that he found them disgusting, and also assumed them to be illegal in our country. In my country porn of a violent nature is not allowed. So I assume they must have been of that nature, since he wasn`t sure if they were illegal - just assumed. Had they involved children or animals there would not have been any doubt they would have been illegal. So my point here was that if a kid read the story about this Danish ballet student in the newspaper, got curious about what he looked like, and googled Danish gay porn star, he or she could be in for some images they might not be prepared for.

My point was also that since it is Google, the company that owns Youtube, who provide access to that type of material with one hand - while at the same time remove and expel content or posters displaying nudity with the other (Youtube), is a little bit weird and hypocritical. It is almost suspicious how they ban ordinary nudity on Youtube, but have no hesitation whatsoever to include images showing both nudity and full on porn, so people just by clicking on those images will be brought straight to the sites where that image, and others like them, are.

More than making a point I was reflecting over how much the attitude towards nudity in media has changed since the days of Porky`s and Rob Lowe movies. a time when porn were either in magazines or on VHS tapes, and not legally available for anyone under 18. Compared to now, when kids are experts in getting around anything from filters to create false accounts where they allegedly are over 18, and that way manages to get their eyes over anything they like - and through sharing spreads it to even more and sometimes even younger.

Just a few weeks ago children, boys and girls as young as 6 and 9 were discovered to have accounts, and actively engage strangers on apps like Tinder and Grindr (source Sky News).

If you want my opinion it boils down this: As long as nudity is being censored on most tv and movies, plus the bigger and most used sites like Facebook, Youtube and Instagram, that will create a stigma of nudity being a no no, and not only cause young curious youths to look for it elsewhere - and nowhere is easier than on porn sites - but also inflict on them shame about their bodies, and fear of someone seeing it, or exposing it without their knowledge and approval. While other youths exposes their bodies willingly to get attention and be seen as cool, or to earn money from it. 

The problem, I feel, is the either or thinking, which consider some nudity as acceptable art - while other is disgusting porn. And as a consequence of this most of us do not feel at home with either definition, cause what some see as disgusting porn, we think of as just a nice nude body. While some of what is considered art, we find too strange to even relate to. The result seems to be that almost all nudity is seen as not art, but porn, on sites like Youtube and more - causing quite a lot of people to seek images and movies containing nudity elsewhere.

I see that as a problem. Especially since many young people seems to use porn as sex education and body ideals. Not only is eye-infections on the rise because some young people have adopted the practice of releasing in the face of their lover, but there has been a significant rise in gang rapes and inappropriate sexual touching of women in public places. Most of them committed by immigrants (that is an unfortunate fact - not racism). Why? Maybe because the difference between how they regard women especially, but sexuality in general, in the part of the world they come from is so totally different to how we view the same in the west. And with the porn industry as their only guide to how it is done here, is it any wonder things often go wrong?

Had more ordinary movies and tv shows contained nudity, from people changing in a dressing room, or walking into a shower, going for a skinny dip and similar innocent nude scenes, and also dealt in dept with questions relating to sexuality - from consent to relationships - the chances of a generally accepted standard and understanding would be much greater. Instead of now, when many young people get most of their attitudes and knowledge regarding sex and bodies from the porn industry, or from friends just as clueless as themselves. While other segments of society shun anything to do with nudity or sex altogether. Creating a divide between the various groups, which gives growth to both distrust and prejudices.

That is why I feel Youtube and others should be more inclusive in regard to nudity - and not judge the artistic value of the nudity, but more the type of it. Nude bodies allowed, and sexual simulations allowed with the age limit of 18. Leaving only actual filmed sexual acts solely for the porn sites. The major arenas whether on tv, the internet or at the cinema should reflect the content approved and wanted by the majority of the population. 

Hope this has made it a little clearer what I meant when asking "Does nudity have to be either art or porn.":-)
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