Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Entry | Next Entry

The Consolation of Pornography

When I was a kid in the 1970s, it was in no way exceptional for a man with no more than a high school education to earn enough money by working a blue collar job to buy a house, support a stay-at-home spouse, put kids through college, pay for medical and dental care, take family vacations and basically maintain a middle-class lifestyle. As I heard someone put it recently, back then, you had to plan to fail.  Middle class success was the default expectation.

Not so today.

Today, things are harder. The norm is that both husband and wife work. It's also the norm that wife divorces husband.
Why? According to Dr. Harriet Fraad, it's because, in the 70s, when any schmoe could support a family in the style of the American Dream, women had enough financial incentive to put up with his shit. He made enough that she was willing to be his domestic servant and sex worker.

Today, blue collar jobs that pay enough to buy that kind of domestic arrangement are all but consigned to the dustbin of nostalgia. As Dr. Fraad describes it, marriage today is for the rich. If the man doesn't earn enough to hire a domestic servant so that both he and his wife can enjoy a life of refinement, she has no use for him. What motivation does she have to work a soul-crushing service sector job AND THEN come home and do all the cooking, cleaning, and child-care, and provide sexual services?

The upshot? More marriages end in divorce than not, and it's usually the wife who initiates the divorce. Twenty-five-year-old men are likely to be living with their parents or living with multiple roommates. Neither arrangement allows for much privacy, but young men still want sex. Lacking the material resources necessary to support a wife, and lacking the confidence and social skills necessary to land and keep a female friend-with-benefits, they make use of ubiquitous internet pornography.

Is their dependence on porn one of the compensations of the post-prosperity era, or is it a +5 vorpal blade of respectable life destruction? It can certainly be both, but your ideological commitments and identity camp probably urge you to come down on one side or the other.

619 words

Latest Month

January 2019


Powered by LiveJournal.com
Designed by Ideacodes