25
Aug
2016
0

Book Review: Ethical Porn for Dicks – A Man’s Guide to Responsible Viewing Pleasure by David Ley, Ph.D.

/

I’ll start right off the bat with full disclosure. I know the author, David Ley and I am a big fan of his work and his previous books. I am mentioned in a list of people David thanks in his acknowledgements. So, if you are looking for a review that starts with a stance of rabidly anti-porn, this isn’t it. What you will get is my honest opinion of the book.

Ethical Porn for Dicks – A Man’s Guide to Responsible Viewing Pleasure by David Ley, Ph.D.

The short version of my review is this – it is fantastic. Stop reading this review, get a copy, and start reading it right now. Everyone.

LeyPornReview1The book is an incredibly easy read. Ley writes in a casual, friendly style, as if he’s just having a conversation with you. This isn’t a book that sets out to prove its points with piles of detailed research. However, Ley easily references current research without getting bogged down in technical details. There is a list of sources in that  back that you can use to delve deeply into the science or completely ignore. A fun bonus feature is the scattering of petro-porn – petroglyph images depicting sex and sexuality.

It is clear from the outset that this book’s primary purpose is not defending porn. Ley’s starting point is that porn is neither inherently good nor bad. What matters is how it is made and used. I doubt that it will convince many, if any, staunchly anti-porn folks to change their mind. What is will do is help people that use or want to use porn but struggle with any number of issues related to its use. Ley navigates through a wide variety of topics including societal norms, frequency of use, types of porn, issues about the porn industry and those employed by it, porn use in relationships, potential legal issues, conflict with personal or religious values, and physiological impacts such as brain changes, erectile dysfunction, and the “death grip.”

There are a lot of fantastic takeaways in this book. For me, one of the most important is that there is actually a lot we can do in regards to the ethics of porn use. It isn’t an all or nothing proposition. We can make choices that are more responsible and ethical both for ourselves in the moment and that push the larger concept of porn to behave more ethically. Ley shows us how.

There is at least one negative takeaway for men. Ley states that the most common fantasy in the U.S. is a three way with 2 women. While evidence suggests that 70-90% of men report having this fantasy less than 5% of the male population actually experiences it. That’s a lot of disappointed guys!

LeyPornReview2This book will appeal to a lot of audiences despite the fact that this book is targeted at men for reasons Ley discusses in his book. It can help women see new perspectives on why men use porn that are very different from the societal messages that tell women it is because you “aren’t enough” or the reasons currently being almost hysterically screamed in a state of panic in the media and politics today. That shared understanding between porn users and their partners can help to improve relationships.

As a therapist I immediately saw I could integrate this book into my work. Given the sad state of education about sex and sexuality in general and the incredible lack of it in therapy training, I encourage every therapist to read this. It provides not only better insight to what may be happening but also positions you to see what types of approaches and interventions can be effective.

Even if you are anti-porn, give it a read. You may just find a nugget or two that shifts your perspective even a tiny bit.

My summary is the same as my introduction – It is fantastic! Read it!

~~

 

0 Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

Leave a Reply