The Appeal of Amateur Porn

Oct 14, 2011 3:37pm

“Nightline” featured a couple Thursday who were in such financial dire straits, they turned to performing live sex sessions streamed to a pornography website to pay the bills and support their 20-month-old daughter.

READ the full story here.

We got an enormous response from viewers about the story: those who thought the couple had a right to do what they wanted in their own home, those who thought it was a good way to make a living, and those who thought it was an unacceptable way to make money or an unacceptable environment for the child.

The couple said they can make roughly $1,000 a week performing live sex sessions via webcam for five nights, and the site their videos are streamed through charges viewers $7 per minute to watch. Their story is scheduled to air on the Oprah Winfrey Network Sunday at 10 p.m. ET.

According to the Internet Pornography Statistics, roughly 43 percent of online users view porn web pages with pornographic content. There are over 24 million pornographic websites available on the Internet, with amateur porn now practically a staple option.

Dr. Gail Saltz, an associate professor of psychiatry at New York Presbyterian Hospital, said a pornographic film shot in a studio comes with a script and hired actors, but amateur porn gives a greater sense of excitement because of the realness of it.

“Porn has always been there but it was fictional,” she said. ”You don’t really know what they’re doing for sure … there’s a new trend towards amateur everything … and, at the moment, a sensational appreciation for it.”

Pornography is nothing new, but there is a growing trend of people filming themselves and posting it on the Internet, Saltz said. While she didn’t believe amateur porn itself is a growing trend, it has become more readily available because of technology.

“Porn is old. Porn is not new, and I think your own version of it is not really new,” Saltz said. “What’s new is technology at a very cheap cost, which allows you to do it and merchandize it in a greater way. … You can do it yourself. You can do it with a flip-cam. You can do it with your phone and you can put it up with no effort.”

Roughly 43 percent of online users view porn Web pages with pornographic content, according to the Internet Pornography Statistics. 

Another layer to this is that the couple featured in the “Nightline” piece participated in live sex sessions, where anonymous viewers could watch and tell them to perform certain actions. Saltz said that live Internet porn is a way for viewers to “up the ante to get the same level of stimulation.”

“People want to watch people having sex,” she said. “That live component, the intimacy of it, adds an extra layer of feeling present,” she said. “It creates the idea that it really is real, and I think people want that. They want to feel that this is really happening.

“What this is all about is people’s desire to identify with whatever their watching and place themselves in it,” she said. “That’s erotic. The closer the experience is to that, the easier it is to do that. That’s why live is appealing. We don’t know what’s going to happen next.”

For some young people, the ease of using the Internet has been around for most of their lives. Saltz cautioned that people often don’t think of the long-term consequences with posting and sharing their own amateur videos on the Web, where future employers or friends or even their children can discover them. That included the featured couple, who had a toddler together and would go to work while she slept.

“Their toddler won’t stay a toddler forever,” she said. “This would be pretty horrifying for a teenager to stumble upon.”

Saltz also offered tips for parents with children who might come across pornography while searching the Internet: Parents should keep the computer in a public place, put up parental blockers and not hestiate to talk to their children about it if they have questions.

“It’s very natural and normal for kids to have sexual curiosity,” Saltz said. ”The problem is what they would have gotten 20 years ago is not what they are going to get today. … They are going to see things that are violent, very confusing.”

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