Toss out the brown paper wrappers and the trench coats. With the Internet, people can easily get porn sent right to their personal e-mail accounts--and millions of Americans view this proliferation as immoral and harmful.
Is porn's proliferation destroying relationships between men and women? Or is it providing harmless fantasy that ultimately improves our sex lives?
On Monday night, at the Wilshire Theater in Los Angeles, Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, the author of "Kosher Sex," Hustler publisher Larry Flynt, and talk show host Roseanne sat down with journalist Robert Scheer--famous for his Playboy "I've got lust in my heart" interview with President Jimmy Carter--and a crowd of nearly 1,000 (including at least one hooker) to tackle these issues and more.
Beginning on the evening of May 3, 2000, Beliefnet will broadcast this provocative discussion about porn, sex, and marriage.
Rabbi Boteach emphasized porn's destructive effect on relationships. "Pornography breeds insatiability" and "is about fundamental boredom," he said. It creates unrealistic expectations of what women really are, and that gets marriages into trouble.
Flynt, who advocated multiple sex partners to keep things exciting, made a First Amendment argument for allowing porn to stay around. The biggest applause of the night came when he declared: "People who consume porn simply want to be left alone, and the greatest right any American has is to be left alone."
Motioning toward the men sharing the podium with her, Roseanne said, "I think these two guys keep each other in business." Roseanne's principal objection to porn was that it doesn't teach men how to make love skillfully, but she seemed to backpedal from this anti-porn stance when she twice announced that she and Flynt would make a feminist porn flick together.
Beliefnet columnist Rabbi Shmuley Boteach is an American-born rabbi who founded the L'Chaim Society at Oxford University, the second-largest student organization in Oxford's history and a hub of intellectual debate and religious celebration for Jews and non-Jews alike. A frequent guest on the "Today" show, "Politically Incorrect," and "The Tonight Show," Rabbi Boteach is the author of 10 books, including "Kosher Sex" and "Dating Secrets of the Ten Commandments."
Larry Flynt is the controversial publisher of Hustler magazine, the founder of Larry Flynt Publications, and an outspoken defender of pornography and the First Amendment. He is the subject of the critically acclaimed film "The People vs. Larry Flynt."