Link to Cambridge Porn Debate Video


For some reason I thought the Cambridge Union Society didn’t plan on making the video of the debate available for the public.

I am so happy to be wrong.

Cambridge Union Society

“This House Believes Pornography Does a Good Public Service.”

I begin at the 22 minute mark if you feel like skipping ahead to my speech. For extra fun, here is the account I wrote after the debate in Februrary.

6 thoughts on “Link to Cambridge Porn Debate Video”

  1. What an awesome debate. Thanks for sharing and great job defending porn, and subsequently self exploration and individuality! :)

  2. Thanks for linking this, it was great to watch.

    I think the most important point is one that Johnny made, which essentially counters Lubben’s position. If there is abuse in porn – and I have no reason to believe there isn’t – then that’s unfortunate, and it’s a problem worth addressing. However, it is not an argument against porn in general, much of which is not produced by means of exploitation.

    In the spirit of your favorite talking point, Lubben’s position was a moving anecdote, but it doesn’t effectively condemn the whole of the porn industry, let alone the fundamental principle of pornographic expression itself.

    Any talk of the negative effects that porn has on society (like Dines argues), aside from being purely speculative, ignores the positive effects it may have, and is ultimately more a symptom of our cultural views on sexuality (which are largely unhealthy), than an indication that there is something wrong with pornography as a form of media. I believe one of the students addressed that issue in her brief point.

    Frankly, I felt Woolfson’s analogy to the infant learning to walk was a huge stretch, and it relied too much on the hypothetical of unwilling exposure to pornography. The kind of harm he describes is the result of abusive treatment, including the pressure to perform, and the effects of our culture of shame – which is something that porn is not responsible for. In effect, he’s pointing his finger in the wrong direction.

    To me, it was no surprise at all that out of all the lecturers, Gail Dines’ speech was the most obscene. I’ve seen this trend before, and I think it says a lot. Yeah, it’s no coincidence she makes money off of, and gains attention from, the porn industry. She is just able to assuage her guilt complex by reassuring herself that she’s fighting porn, while denying the pleasure she derives from indulging in it. That doesn’t make for a very positive role model, though.

  3. I just wanted to say how much I loved this debate as well. I’ve started writing about sex somewhat and in the main, we’re just so embarrassed to talk about it. Given I’ve gained little in the way of education, save for reddened faces and a hasty changing of the subject (especially amongst the guys), how else do we learn about sex, save from porn or ignorance? It’s our national sex education programme, for better or worse. It may be to do with our English temperament, I don’t know. We’re either uptight or “smashed”.

    There is a terrific amount of sex-negative polemic, so it’s great to find stuff like this and Brooke Magnanti’s blog. I’ve lived in almost complete ignorance of sex right into my adulthood. The thing I am learning as I go is that the vast majority of the populace do as well.

    @zharth: amen, brother!
    @sexademic: sock it to ‘em

  4. I’ve recently come across your blog and am enjoying the edification of perusing your pages. But most importantly, I want to thank you for doing this work in the world, for standing on a clear ground of exploration and experience that lends a bright authority and inspiration to the message you are conveying. The amount of work we have to undertake to find, inhabit, and celebrate our basic humanity can be daunting, which makes it all the more valuable to find those who are doing it in style. Thanks again.

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