Bullying. Shaming. Cat-calls. Abuse. It’s not only trafficking victims who are degraded by pervasive porn use: we all are. Pornography puts a price tag on our bodies and a measuring stick in our hands to beat each other (and ourselves) with. Value is found in smooth curves and bulging muscles. Wrinkles and deformities are hidden at all costs, if at all possible. We are judged by the contours of our skin, not the content of our character. Victimless? I don’t think so.
There’s another kind of sickness growing in the shadow of the pandemic. It feeds on isolation and loneliness, and our quarantines and lockdowns have created the ideal breeding ground for its growth, which is already being documented. Unlike the virus it’s nothing new, and I’ve seen the destruction it can leave behind.
I remember the eyes of my friend – I saw it there. More precisely, I saw nothing. His eyes were empty, and I found it unnerving to see them looking around with no life in them. I’d seen plenty of tired eyes, sad eyes, and eyes filled with fear – but I’d never seen eyes so full of emptiness. No spark. No motivation. No concern. Nothing. Except for one thing: pornography.