Certified Sex Therapist Marty Klein Wants You to Believe Porn Is Harmless

Many adult industry lawyers like Marc Randazza are not content to defend their clients on narrow constitutional grounds. They could say, for example, that yes this material is reprehensible but we must protect it so that more worthy speech will not be threatened. Instead, they apparently want you to believe that porn and the lifestyles promoted by porn (bondage, sadomasochism, swinging, casual sex) are actually liberating and good for you.

To this end, Professor Randazza presents us with Certified Sex Therapist Marty Klein:

Dr. Marty Klein is an American marriage counselor and sex therapist. He describes his goal as: “To tell the truth about sexuality, help people feel sexually adequate & powerful, and support the healthy sexual expression and exploration of women and men.” He is highly critical of censorship and the anti-pornography movement.

Dr. Klein publishes an online newsletter, Sexual Intelligence, and has another website where he promises “straight talk on sex, love, and intimacy.” Dr. Klein claims that “Each year he trains thousands of professionals in North America and abroad in clinical skills, human sexuality, and policy issues.”

Let’s look at what messages Dr. Klein is communicating in Sexual Intelligence…

March 2000: The Myth of Sex Addiction
The concept of “sex addiction” really rests upon the assumption that sex is dangerous. There’s the sense that we frail humans are vulnerable to the Devil’s temptations of pornography, masturbation, “promiscuity,” and extramarital affairs, and that if we yield, we become “addicted.”

June 2000: Victims of Pornography Month
If groups like this would simply come out and call themselves “Citizens Against Eroticism” or “Americans United to Restrict Sexual Expression” it would be easier to gauge just how much support they have. But hiding behind the specter of sexual violence or the protection of children simply obscures their real agenda. And it cleverly prevents the formation of any effective constituency to oppose them. Who wants to be seen as favoring child molestation, slavery, or rape?

September 2001: Drafting Child Porn Stoolies
South Carolina has become the latest state to demand that untrained service workers become snitches about alleged child pornography. Along with the state’s photo developers, computer service techs are now required to report any images of people who appear to be under 18 having sex or in “sexually explicit postures.” Neither photo developers nor computer technicians will receive any training with which to implement this mandate.

October 2001: Book Review: “Not In Front of The Children”
Marjorie Heins is a project director at the National Coalition Against Censorship. Her wonderful new book is Not In Front of The Children: “Indecency,” Censorship, and the Innocence of Youth.

Combining scholarly detail with an engaging style, Heins examines the long history of “protecting” children from “indecency,” from Plato through the Victorians down to the Internet. She presents a history of the idea that young people need special protection from sexual imagery, as distinct from sexual activity itself. She exposes the complete lack of any evidence that such imagery actually harms young people, as well as the ways in which American society has meticulously ignored this lack of evidence.

April 2002: Child Porn Extortion Attempt
…Their threats could only be credible with the cooperation of:

* The media, for scaring everyone about a supposed “epidemic” of child pornography–which is almost impossible to find, and is used by a tiny, tiny percentage of the population;

* Citizen immorality groups, for exaggerating the incidence of child pornography as the basis for their fund-raising, for using phony data to exaggerate the danger that America’s kids are in, and for linking anything sexual with everything bad…

January 2003: Book Review: “Pornography, Sex, & Feminism”
This is a terrific book by a fascinating guy. A philosopher at the University of New Orleans, Alan Soble has written a number of books and papers on various aspects of sex, love, and intimacy…

In his latest book, Soble demolishes conservative feminist critics of pornography by beating them at their own game. First, Soble has done something heroic–he’s actually read the work of Andrea Dworkin, Catherine MacKinnon, Phyllis Chesler, Diana Russell, and others who have written massive, often-emotional tomes about the evils of pornography.

Soble demonstrates how most of these anti-porn arguments stem from assumptions and concepts that are never articulated or examined, such as “natural,” “normal,” “degrade,” and “moral.”…

Soble also shows that most anti-porn feminist and conservative descriptions of pornography are rarely accurate. Describing today’s porn as invariably violent, filled with coercion, mutilation, animals, and cruelty is a common tactic–and dramatically inaccurate. Soble wonders if these critics have ever seen mainstream pornography, or if they’re attacking demons of their own intrapsychic hell.

February 2003: Pedophile Hunt Continues
Two high-profile child-porn busts last week highlight fundamental flaws in our society’s continuing obsession with those who appear to have a sexual interest in children. These cases tell us nothing about kiddie porn and too much about our fear and our future…

…Paul Rubens (Pee-Wee Herman) was charged with one misdemeanor count of possessing a depiction of children under 18 engaging in sexual conduct. Police carted away 30,000 pictures and 650 hours of film, which court documents describe as “a vast and valuable historical collection of artwork, kitsch memorabilia and adult erotica…”

Pee-Wee has a collection of enormous cultural significance. Only he knows whether he jacks off to it. Regardless, American courts say we should destroy pieces of our own history–exactly like Roman and Communist tyrants who wrote their predecessors out of history books and chiseled them out of public statuary. Like those tyrants, we wish to erase a past that challenges our contemporary reality. Is the present that fragile to need such protection?

Our legal system gives the image of children’s eroticism no existence as cultural artifact, sociological phenomenon, historical reality. By taking it completely out of context our society strips it of true meaning; demonizes it; and ultimately leaves it to those who are confident in their biases and invested in everyone’s proud ignorance. What hubris, as Homer would have said, to think we know everything there is to know about such an important subject.

“Sadomasophobia” Tied in Knots
There’s very little that’s new in sex. But a few weeks ago I was privileged to hear the results of two new studies of individuals who play with sexual sadomasochism–erotic power play, as my San Francisco colleague Bill Henkin calls it.

Researchers from the Los Angeles Sexuality Center, led by Dr. Pamela Connelly, have now shown scientifically that S/M players are no less emotionally healthy than non-players. Indeed, in many areas they were healthier. [Request to Dr. Klein: Please provide details of this study so we can examine it.]

Saying that someone is no more sick than the average vanilla hetero may be damning with faint praise, but if that’s America’s standard, then let’s use it. Let’s use this validated scientific data in custody battles, job discrimination suits, and in the training of psychotherapists and physicians. And let’s eliminate the urban legend that people who like to spank or be spanked are acting out some kind of abusive background. This is Freud gone wild, the bastard child of Oprah, Dr. Laura, and well-intentioned but misguided child molestation activists.

…As Dr. Charles Moser and others have been saying for years, S/M is more an orientation than an erotic menu selection. Connolly’s study shows that people with this orientation are more like everyone else than they are different. In a wiser future, what other erotic predilections–now pathologized and thus punished in family court proceedings–will we realize are orientations rather than paraphilias or deviance?

For now, start remembering the word Sadomasophobia. Connolly coined it to mean, like homophobia, a fear and hatred of a sexual orientation not one’s own. One day, divorced parents warring over child custody will be prevented from using an ex-mate’s S/M practices as evidence of parental unfitness. The kids of those parents will be in debt to researchers like Connolly, Moser and Ottawa’s Peggy Kleinplatz.

June 2005: “Victims of Porn” Month: Puh-leeze
On May 19 the U.S. government held yet another hearing about the effects of sexually explicit material. This one was focused on “victims of pornography,” sponsored by Citizens for Community Values.

According to their website, the “victims of pornography” include:

* “Boys and girls that have lost their innocence by viewing pornography at an early age;”

* “Women who are being treated with disrespect and sexually abused”;

* “Children used for the sexual satisfaction of fathers, stepfathers, and men they trusted”;

* “Neighbors that have increased crime and decreased property values because of the proliferation of pornography in their communities.”

The government hearing accepted these claims as fact–even though these claims are demonstrably inaccurate. They have been repeated so often they have achieved the status of ultra-truth–stories that sound so true, and fill so many cultural and emotional needs, that their truth is not only no longer examined, it’s considered irrelevant. The actual truth is that no one has ever shown that adult use of adult pornography has ever resulted in poor interpersonal adjustment, anti-social behavior, or increased crime. But no one in authority seems to feel the need to respond to these facts.

April 2006: Divesting Porn–and Integrity
This one’s so hypocritical it’s difficult to find a sufficiently nasty analogy.

The Texas Teacher Retirement System is going to divest its $100 billion investment portfolio of any companies receiving 10% or more of their income from topless bars, porn films, and other sexually-oriented businesses.

Board member Greg Poole told the American Family Association that the Retirement System has a professional interest in the welfare of women and youth, and therefore can’t, in good conscience, invest in pornography: “To think that we are in some way, by the use of our money, promoting something that is so degrading to women and children–it just seems irresponsible,” he says.

Yes, if you’re going to demonize sex, trot out those women and children…

———

Dr. Klein styles himself the apostle of tolerance and free love, but this love and tolerance doesn’t extend to his critics. He recently published this exchange on his blog:

A reader named Janet has sent a vitriolic response to my criticism of the concept “victims of porn” in Sexual Intelligence.

She says, “You totally missed the real victims…there is no
pornography without the object of lust…this sends so many girls down a
path of self-destruction, eventual shame and abuse in the porno
world…where their self-esteem is forever damaged. They typically end up
like Playmate of the Year Anna Nicole…confused, sad, and powerless to
end their own misery.”

This is a great example of the confusion and sex-negativity in the
anti-porn world. They believe that lust is dangerous; that working in
pornography is shameful; that no one could make a rational decision to
participate in it; and that doing so somehow robs women of their
adulthood. Oh, and that there’s always a great alternative to being in
porn. What would Anna Nicole be if there were no porn—Secretary of
Agriculture? Professor of astrophysics? Or just one more average jane,
working the nightshift at 7-Eleven and hating her life?

But the real highlight of Janet’s nastygram is this: “I am not
surprised that you arrogantly only see this from a man’s point of view.
Why not call your website
Womenarenothingmorethan-
abodyformyselfindulgentpleasure.org.”

Ah—now she gets to the problem: I’m a man. And so I can’t possibly
enjoy, respect, or like women. I’m a man, and so I can’t be thoughtful
about sex and gender. I’m a man, so my desire for pleasure is obviously
selfish and aggressive. Janet, I’m sorry you live in such a terrible
world.

But Janet, I’m afraid that you’re no feminist, and you seem, well,
too lazy to think. What you’ve done is just as bad as dismissing a
woman’s opinion as “just a woman being emotional,” or “women just don’t
get it,” or “she’s just premenstrual.” If we want to get beyond “women
only think with their hormones,” we have to get past “men only think
with their penises.”

Since you don’t know me, and obviously haven’t bothered to read my
work, maybe you’ve missed my actual blind spot—if I desire the
victimization of women, maybe it’s because I’m Jewish, or left-handed.
And if my piece were written by a woman—how would you account for the
attitudes you find so appalling?

We live in a time where science is considered just one more opinion,
and having strong feelings is equated with being well-informed. Put the
two together, and meaningful discourse is impossible. The result is
public policy that makes things worse: abstinence ed, Amber Alert, the
battle over Emergency Contraception.

By dismissing someone’s well-researched thoughts as merely the
predictable artifact of their gender, you dishonor women, men, and
thinkers. You disqualify yourself from any important conversation.
You’re just talking about your fear and anger.

Some of us are having a serious discussion about the fate of the world. Please don’t change the subject.

———

On March 9, we decided to let Dr. Klein know Janet was not alone, so we sent him this email:

Dear Dr. Klein,

Janet’s views deserve a bit more consideration than you seem inclined to give them. The victims of porn are real, numerous, and varied (see our Impact of Porn category) [link modified here for readability].

I believe these selections from our FAQ at NoPornNorthampton.org get at the heart of the problem (emphasis added):


You just want to roll society back to the way things were in the 1950s, or maybe the 1650s, don’t you?

No. The sexual revolution and other developments since the 1950s have brought important gains, such as more opportunities for women and more rights and respect for the GLBT community. At the same time, today’s society has problems. Rates of divorce are persistently high, with troubling impacts on children. Rates of sexually transmitted disease are “a major public health challenge”. About one-half of all pregnancies are unintended. Rates of domestic violence and child sexual abuse are high. Domestic violence and sex crimes go unreported on a large scale.

We don’t want to roll back the clock and give up the changes that were good. We want to preserve these gains while moving forward to address the current problems. Porn is part of what’s holding our society back. It portrays sexuality in a way that generally ignores the problems and risks or even makes fun of them. The messages of porn can and should be countered with more complete and accurate information about sexuality and relationships.


We appreciate that there is a long-standing romantic vision that if we can only dispense with all ‘unnatural’ social restraints, a sexual utopia will envelop the world. Unfortunately, the reality is when you dispense with all restraints, the strong come to oppress the weak. This is exactly what we’re witnessing between porn producers and performers, between porn shops and communities, and between porn viewers and victims.

The wisdom lies in deciding which social restraints to loosen, which to leave alone, and which to strengthen, not in abandoning them altogether…


Being anti-porn really means you are anti-sex, does it not?

We are not against sex. We are against mindless sex, abusive sex, sex without regard for issues like love, fidelity, commitment, pregnancy, disease and children.


Porn shows actions between consenting adults. Do you have a right to criticize them?

There is evidence that porn can be addictive and harms many viewers, but let’s go further. Let’s look at your assumption of “consensual behaviors”. Today’s pornographers seem to have less and less use for this convenient screen around their activities:


“The look in her eyes tells us that she would like this bondage session to be over pretty soon. Forget it, girl!”


Punishment Porn: “Whether-She-Wants-It-Or-Not”

Martin Amis, “A rough trade”:

A single issue of Adult Video News (April 2000) yields the following. Last October porno star Vivian Valentine attended the XXX-Treme Adults Only vacation in Mexico sporting the black eye she copped from Jon Dough on Rough Sex (Anabolic Video).

“I have no regrets or bad feelings about it,” she said. Regan Starr who worked on the second film in this “line”, Rough Sex 2, had a different take. “I got the s**t kicked out of me,” she said. “I was told before the video–and they said this very proudly, mind you–that in this line most of the girls start crying because they’re hurting so bad…. I couldn’t breathe. I was being hit and choked. I was really upset, and they didn’t stop. They kept filming. You can hear me say, ‘Turn the f***ing camera off’, and they kept going.”


Arguments for and against porn are just matters of opinion. Why force your opinion on others?

Porn and adult businesses have physical effects on the real world that have been extensively studied. That changes the matter from an academic debate about opinions to confirmed facts that people need to act on.

The notion that people freeing themselves from self-restraint would lead to a sexual utopia might have been plausible in the 60s, but it’s laughable now.


Marriage is an outdated practice, so there’s no harm in Capital Video promoting free love and infidelity in their films, is there?”

The harmlessness of marriage-free living would certainly be news to many children of divorce. Barbara Whitehead presents excellent analyses of this issue in The Atlantic:
“The Love Family ideology has no theory of permanence or binding obligation. It is oriented to adults’ interests and satisfactions because it emphasizes freedom of individual choice. You can pick the one you love and ditch the one you no longer love without a backward glance. That’s great for adults, but children don’t have the same freedom of choice or the same enthusiasm about moving on. From a child’s standpoint the Love Family ideology is inadequate because it offers no basis for permanence in family bonds and commitments. When these bonds are lost, children suffer emotionally, especially in their ability to trust. We’ve set up a failure-to-commit factor for the next generation.”
–Barbara Dafoe Whitehead, “What We Owe”, The Atlantic, February 1997 (may require a paid subscription)

“According to a growing body of social-scientific evidence, children in families disrupted by divorce and out-of-wedlock birth do worse than children in intact families on several measures of well-being. Children in single-parent families are six times as likely to be poor. They are also likely to stay poor longer. Twenty-two percent of children in one-parent families will experience poverty during childhood for seven years or more, as compared with only two percent of children in two parent families. A 1988 survey by the National Center for Health Statistics found that children in single-parent families are two to three times as likely as children in two-parent families to have emotional and behavioral problems. They are also more likely to drop out of high school, to get pregnant as teenagers, to abuse drugs, and to be in trouble with the law. Compared with children in intact families, children from disrupted families are at a much higher risk for physical or sexual abuse.

“Contrary to popular belief, many children do not ‘bounce back’ after divorce or remarriage. Difficulties that are associated with family breakup often persist into adulthood. Children who grow up in single-parent or stepparent families are less successful as adults, particularly in the two domains of life–love and work–that are most essential to happiness. Needless to say, not all children experience such negative effects. However, research shows that many children from disrupted families have a harder time achieving intimacy in a relationship, forming a stable marriage, or even holding a steady job.”

–Barbara Dafoe Whitehead, “Dan Quayle Was Right”, The Atlantic, April 1993, reprinted at the Catholic Education Resource Center


Doesn’t your campaign smack of elitism?

Why no, the reverse is true. The most visible porn advocates have been
saying that freedom of speech is so important, it trumps all other
things people might value, such as a safe neighborhood, one that’s
comfortable to walk around in, economically prosperous, where people
won’t be harassed or solicited for sex.

Porn advocates appear to be indifferent to the suffering of ordinary people, whether it’s porn workers with STDs, spouses of porn addicts, or cities whose downtowns can’t grow due to the presence of an adult business. Despite mounting evidence of the social harms of porn,
the porn advocates assert they simply know better what’s good for
America, and that the people can’t be trusted to impose the slightest
regulation on adult businesses or soon we’ll all be burning books.
There’s no evidence that adult-use regulations in Hollywood, New York
or Boston have led to censorship, but the real world seems to matter
little to porn advocates. That’s elitism.

We can also look at this from a power perspective. Who has access to millions of dollars, fancy prep schools, exotic cars, expensive lawyers, Ivy League MBAs and luxury homes? The porn merchants. On the other side, vulnerable young porn workers, small towns with limited resources, parents busy raising children. Who are the elite in this situation?

———

We look forward to Dr. Klein’s reply, hopefully something more substantive than this casual swat he published from one of his readers in February:

Correspondence: Manipulation in Massachusetts
Reader Sandra Seaman writes,

Clicking through a google ad for a website suggesting that “Porn Hurts Women” took me to a page dedicated to the eradication of “adult” businesses in a town, based on secondary effects claims. Since this town is nowhere near me, I don’t feel that I’d be particularly effective in any public support of the business owner. However, I thought perhaps any readers of yours near Northampton, Massachusetts might be concerned about this particular brand of zealotry.

Indeed, www.NoPornNorthampton.org wants to keep an adult store out of the town. They repeat the same tired arguments–opinion, emotion, irrelevant claims (“pornographers are just in it for the money”), and the old story that porn leads to child molestation. No science. No data.

And not enough integrity to say, “We can’t prove that this store will hurt our community or our kids, but it makes us feel really, really nervous. We want to feel better, so we want to take away their right to operate a legal business, and take away our neighbors’ rights to patronize this legal business.” That could be the basis of an honest conversation, instead of making up scary stories about how looking at pictures of adults having sex turns people into child molesters.

If it’s data you want, Dr. Klein, we invite you to start reading these dozens of studies about the impact of porn, these testimonies about porn’s harm to marriage and children, then peruse these studies about secondary effects. You can call it “erotica”, but today’s porn is rife with abuse. It is not a sufficient rebuttal to just wave your hands and say all this evidence is “demonstrably inaccurate”. If it is, we need to see a lot more demonstrations.

We can’t let the Dr. Klein’s doublespeak pass without further mention. For him, child porn is “children’s eroticism” and abusive practices are “erotic predilections”. Dr. Klein’s approach is one of the most invalidating we’ve ever encountered. People and communities report suffering from porn and he responds with ridicule rather than compassion. It’s remarkable for someone who holds himself out as a therapist and a trainer of clinical skills.

We are concerned that victims of abuse could hesitate to seek help for fear of encountering people like Dr. Klein, who would cheerfully throw them back into the lion’s den, with the admonition that they should enjoy being devoured. It’s no wonder that sex crimes and domestic violence are heavily underreported.

See also:

National Feminist Antipornography Movement
“…even the toughest women–women who at rape crisis centers routinely
deal with sexual violence–find the reality of pornography so difficult
to cope with. No matter how hard it may be to face the reality of a
rape culture, at least the culture still brands rape as a crime.
Pornography, however, is not only widely accepted but sold to us as
liberation….

Now on Sale at Amazing.net (explicit language)
Darkside
David and Jennifer have a marriage on the
rocks. In desperation they seek out a marriage counselor who proposes a
revolutionary new method of therapy. David and Jennifer have free reign
to cheat on each other for the next 24 hours. Their sexual inhibitions
are set free and their fantasies fulfilled as they visit The Dark Side.

Recap: How Things Stand, and What You Can do

Porn addiction
is a well-documented phenomenon that breaks up families. At a 2003
meeting of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, two-thirds of
the 350 divorce lawyers who attended said Internet porn contributed to
more than half of the divorce cases they handled.

11 thoughts on “Certified Sex Therapist Marty Klein Wants You to Believe Porn Is Harmless

  1. Dr. Klein is definitely living in a world with blinders on. Pornography is harmless? I was addicted to pornography for 30 years before being divinely delivered from the devastating addiction. And during the peak years of the addiction, I was physically worthless. I might as well have been addicted to drugs and alcohol. I was no better off. The addiction caused pain in my physical body due to excessive masturbation, it warped my viewpoint towards women – seeing them as nothing but sex objects and I have personally seen it’s hold on those addicted, break up marriages.

    The danger of this addiction is that the subject is so taboo that nobody wants to talk about it, let alone admit they’re struggling with it. I believe to this day that the shame and guilt caused by this addiction is why I was addicted so long. After finally realizing my life was wasting away and after constant prayers for help, the Lord divinely delivered me. I have since written a book and workbook about the entire ordeal. The book MEN LET’S TALK (Pornography; the Quiet Addiction) is my testimony and the companion workbook helps one understand whether or not they or someone they know is struggling with it.
    (see http://www.menletstalk.org)
    I currently have a online deliverance ministry seeking to help any and all I can and let them know they are not alone and victory is possible through the Word of God.

    After my deliverance, the Lord made it plain, through a few trips to the belly of the whale that my deliverance, cold-turkey, was so that I could help others know there is a way out through the Word of God.

  2. First off, I would like to state my belief in the First Amendment’s right to free speech. Furthermore, everyone in this great country of ours is entitled to their own opinions on highly debated topics which include those that are currently at the forefront of First Amendment discussion, most notably the NoPornNorth Hampton (NPN) website.
    However, I disagree with the light in which you pose the article “Certified Sex Therapist Marty Klein Wants You to Believe Porn Is Harmless.” In a legal context it is a weak argument because if you wish to attempt to regulate pornography in your community, obscenity must be proven to the court through the current, federal means of regulation: the Miller Test. This test is for obscenity and only applies to sexual content. The term “obscenity” is a precise legal term which is defined in Miller v. California (1973). For a work to be obscene, pursuant to the Miller Test the jury must find that the work, taken as a whole (1) depicts or describes sexual activity (as defined by statute); (2) that the work is “patently offensive;” and (3) the work appeals to the “prurient interest” in sex, nudity or excretion.
    The weakness of the website’s argument is shown by the numerous court rulings on the subject. In United States v. Ulysses, 72 F.2d 705 (2d Cir. 1934), the judge held that you had to look at the entire work, not just pick and choose passages: which seems to be the behavior of NPN’s website. Suffice to say, like it or not, pornography does have rights under the First Amendment in addition to their own regulations within their industry along with those created by the government.
    NPN’s goal, as stated on their website, “aims to increase awareness about the impact of porn on people and communities in addition to supporting the reasonable regulation of sexually oriented businesses in Northampton, Massachusetts.” Furthermore you state that “We are against mindless sex, abusive sex, sex without regard for issues like love, fidelity, commitment, pregnancy, disease and children.” Again, the pornography industry as it is today has many First Amendment rights and unless proven “obscene” the works are entitled to be presented to the consumer.
    It seems that NPN’s website wishes for us, the reader, to believe that pornography causes harm. It is my belief that you are entitled to your own opinion as it is free speech to do so, however your argument regarding Marty Klein and Marc Randazza has no evidence to support it, is strictly opinion, and is essentially supporting the censorship of constitutionally delineated free speech.
    Although I disagree greatly with your opinions and arguments, I simply suggest that you take a more objective approach to your legal arguments. I believe both sides of the argument should be presented objectively then left up to the reader to decide which way their opinion lies. The legal evaluation of content is critical and if you desire to change the law you must do so within a legal context.

  3. Thank you for your comment. We remain a bit frustrated that many people keep trying to characterize our approach as legalistic and pro-censorship. Nothing could be further from the truth. By addressing the arguments of people like Marty Klein, we are trying to show that abusive, violent porn can be harmful to the consumer and those around them. The goal is not to ban this material, but to convince people at the individual level to stop consuming it. This is awareness-raising, pure and simple. We are not trying to breathe new life into the obscenity-law strategy.

    As we pointed out in the first paragraph of our Marty Klein article, many porn defenders

    are not content to defend their clients on narrow constitutional
    grounds. They could say, for example, that yes this material is
    reprehensible but we must protect it so that more worthy speech will
    not be threatened. Instead, they apparently want you to believe that
    porn and the lifestyles promoted by porn (bondage, sadomasochism,
    swinging, casual sex) are actually liberating and good for you.

    To counter these arguments does not automatically mean you advocate censorship. In fact, it is anti-porn activists who have a good claim to being censored by the media in recent years. We want more information out there, not less.

    I’m not sure what you mean by a “more objective” approach. We have documented our arguments with numerous scientific studies, raw evidence, and personal accounts. These arguments are certainly not mere “opinion”. If we are distorting what the bulk of today’s porn is about, or its impact, please feel free to present counter-evidence.

    The problem I see with many clean, abstract legal arguments is they often ignore the facts on the ground. These facts include the severe secondary effects plaguing the areas around many adult enterprises, and the fact that not all citizens have equal power, such as access to high-priced lawyers. Consider, for example, the power imbalances between porn producers and performers, between porn shops and communities, and between porn viewers and victims.

    Porn defenders need to acknowledge that the suffering of communities and porn victims exists and propose solutions that are mutually acceptable. It is not acceptable to ask the victims to just ‘suck it up’, or ignore their suffering, or claim that abuse is good for them.

    Leaving aside the realm of free speech, I would be interested to know if you support improved workplace regulation for porn performers, so they enjoy the same level of protection as non-porn actors.

  4. I have read your website with interest. However, I find your comments in this article appalling.
    You do not have to agree with Dr. Klein. While I do not agree with most of the points you have made against his arguments, I certainly respect your right to express your opinions. But when you publish slimy innuendo like the following:
    “We are concerned that victims of abuse could hesitate to seek help for fear of encountering people like Dr. Klein, who would cheerfully throw them back into the lion’s den, with the admonition that they should enjoy being devoured. It’s no wonder that sex crimes and domestic violence are heavily underreported.”

    You reveal a side of your “movement” that is despicable. This kind of character attack by insinuation is beneath contempt. Anyone familiar with Dr. Klein or his work will respond to your hateful smear with the disgust that it so richly deserves.
    To care about your community and protecting your children is an honourable goal. But your willingness to stoop to such contemptible depths to silence anyone who disagrees with you does a grave disservice to your cause and dishonours those who subscribe to your views in good faith.

  5. We stand by this point. Dr. Klein comes across as highly unsympathetic to people with legitimate grievances. I would be reluctant to seek his advice on sex and relationships. People should be aware of the potentially serious consequences of his arguments and approach. He claims to teach thousands.

  6. How Dr. Klein “comes across” to you is a product of your personal biases. It is not a legitimate basis for character assasination, nor for slander.
    Dr. Klein’s “claims” to have taught thousands can be independently substantiated. The same cannot be said for your vicious smear of him based as it is on very selective excerpting, devoid of the context in which his words were written.
    You have an axe to grind, and in your fervor to have your points accepted, you are willing to stoop to any depths. That makes you as morally bankrupt as you try to portray those who disagree with you.

  7. Dr. Klein richly deserves vigorous criticism for his advocacy of “childhood eroticism” and abusive practises like bondage and sadomasochism. Characterize it as “slander” if you want, but our comments are relevant, fair, accurate and well-documented. I will not apologize for being “biased” in favor of compassion and truth.

    The comments we quoted from Dr. Klein are representative. They are not taken out of context. We provide the links back to those contexts so readers can judge for themselves. Your accusation strikes me as an attempt to avoid engaging with us on the merits of the issues. Do you support sex for children and hurting people in the name of sexual pleasure?

  8. Very good. Your adept twisting of my words back on me to make me out to be the bad guy confirms my suspicion that you are well-versed in the politics of spin and deception. Someone challenges you for an unjust stand? Simply ask them where they stand on child molestation. Make it appear to the casual reader (and this is, after all, the internet) that it is your critic who has something to hide. In days gone by, the question was, “Have you stopped beating your wife yet?”
    Are you even capable of holding a rational discussion with someone who disagrees with your OPINIONS without attempting to smear them? Given our short exchange, it’s highly doubtful.
    For the record, I am firmly against sex between adults and children, or between adolescents and children, as is Dr. Klein, as he has stated repeatedly in his writings and workshops. I am not thrown into a moral panic by exploratory sex play between same-aged children, as this is a normal part of development and an opportunity for parental guidance. I am firmly opposed to exploiting that behaviour for the purposes of entertainment, or adult sexual enjoyment, just in case your next twist was to ask where I stood on child pornography.
    I am firmly opposed to hurting people for any reason. I am not thrown into a moral panic by CONSENSUAL participation by ADULTS in B&D or S&M. From reading your website it seems that you have adopted an ideology that says that these things must always be wrong in every circumstance. You are entitled to that opinion, ill-informed and ignorant as it may be.
    But, then again, this discussion is not about me. No matter how you try to twist and squirm it is about YOUR ill-advised and despicable attempts to discredit a highly respected, licenced, peer-reviewed therapist who has consistently practiced according the highest standards of his profession, and who was helping countless people while you were still wet behind the ears..
    You, however, do not have licence to smear anyone for disagreeing with your position. Not Dr. Klein, and not me.
    I am repulsed and sickened by your shameless duplicity and underhandedness. Since you are not capable of engaging in an honest discussion, I will no-longer participate in your shell-game.
    My sympathies are with people searching for reliable information who will encounter only your self-serving bunk.
    Let the reader beware.

  9. Thank you for clarifying your positions. I am glad you oppose non-consenting bondage and sex between adults and children. Nevertheless, I still wonder how Dr. Klein would counsel this person?

    Porn gets into dangerous territory when it makes the appearance of a lack of consent out to be sexy. A common theme in porn is that many women will initially resist many of the practices it celebrates, but if you persist, they will come to enjoy them. In other words, no means yes. This attitude seeps into many viewers:

    Testimony of R. M. M.
    : …we would have incredible arguments with each other. I
    would tell him I loved him, I only wanted to love him, I wanted to be a
    good wife, I wanted our marriage to work, but I didn’t want to be with
    these other people. It was he I wanted to be with, and no one else. He
    told me if I loved him I would do this. And that, as I could see from
    the things that he read me in the magazines initially, a lot of times
    women didn’t like it, but if I tried it enough I would probably like
    it, and I would learn to like it. And he would read me stories where
    women learned to like it.

    Testimony of Wanda Richardson, Harriet Tubman Women’s Shelter: If
    you look at a lot of pornography, it shows women being beaten,
    humiliated, tied up. It shows women tied and stabbed, poked, prodded
    and abused by devices, assaulted by several men or animals, and many
    ugly and degrading things. When you see a woman being battered, you see
    a lot of the same ugliness and violence at the same time. Not only do
    they portray women as liking and deserving this sexual abuse, it shows
    them as enjoying it, deserving it. And that is what one of the great
    myths of battery is, is that women deserve to be battered and that they
    enjoy it. If they didn’t like it, they wouldn’t stay…

    Testimony of Elana Bowman: I was working up the papers for a restraining
    order at the Domestic Violence Project, when a woman began telling me
    that her husband confessed to her that he had raped his daughter from
    his first marriage, and that he served time for it. She asked him how
    he could do that to his own blood. He answered that it was all right,
    that the little girl hadn’t minded it, and that he had enjoyed it
    enough for both of them. He had seen the pictures of it, and when girls
    did it enough, they liked it, and that they really did like it or they
    wouldn’t do it in the pictures he had seen. We talked more about that,
    and I asked her if she thought that the porn he read was any cause of
    what he had done. She said, “Of course,” and he had those magazines
    now, and she had had enough. She had a little girl too, and she was
    doing all she could to stop him from getting to her daughter.

    Testimony in Minneapolis: Role of Porn in Child Sexual Abuse; Pornographers Perpetuate, Profit from Dysfunction
    What distance is there between the depiction of children “begging” for
    sex in pornographic display, and Maggie’s father (in Kiss Daddy
    Goodnight) saying to then-three-year-old Maggie, “Tell me you like it.
    No, tell me you really like it. No, tell me like you mean it”?…

    Robert
    Jensen: When Examining Complex Social Phenomena, Scientific Method Has
    Limits; Listen to the Stories of the Victims (explicit language)

    “I know all about you bitches, you’re no different; you’re like all of
    them. I seen it in all the movies. You love being beaten. (He then
    began punching the victim violently.) I just seen it again in that
    flick. He beat the shit out of her while he raped her and she told him
    she loved it; you know you love it; tell me you love it…” [Silbert
    and Pines, 1984, p.864]

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