Arvod is a new website.
It starts from a prejudice that pornography does not exist. Or, at least, that in as much as it does exist, it does so not because of anything inherent in representations of sexuality or expressions of opinion on the subject, but rather because of something imposed from outside. Pornography exists only because of the taboo against it. The taboo comes first. Otherwise representations of sexuality would be as mundane or matter-of-fact as representations of anything else. This might seem to be expressing the obvious. But it is the single most important thing about pornography. The simple fact that defines pornography. And the thing that is invariably absent in any discussion on the subject. The vexed questions of morality and taste surrounding porn are suddenly laid bare and exposed as circuitous nonsense once one considers this elementary fact. The real question that ought to be asked is, whose or what interests are served by the taboo?The word, “pornography” is a very recent word in etymological terms. From the Ancient Greek “porne” (harlot) and graphein (to write). In English it was in use from the 1850s to refer to the pornography of the classical world. The poor Victorians were shocked by the art uncovered at Pompei and Herculeneum and needed a word for the genre. But it was only as recent as the beginning of the 20th Century that the word was first used to refer to contemporary literary or graphic works. The power of a word is huge. By the mere invention of a word manufactured from two Greek words something that had only existed as an opinion about certain subject matter became a distinct genre. The word is used only as a pejorative. And that is the essence of its meaning. Pornography is bad. Very bad. The depiction of sexuality is disapproved of —disapproved of because other people might enjoy it, …or because other people need to be protected from seeing or it. A modern dictionary (OED) definition of the word is “Printed or visual material containing the explicit description or display of sexual organs or activity, intended to stimulate sexual excitement“. But all this tells us is that descriptions or representations of sex are pornography. The intention to stimulate excitement adds nothing other than presumably condemnatory mens rea. After all if one were to describe or depict positively any subject: lawn mowers say, or patchwork quilts, one would intend to stimulate excitement about lawn mowers or patchwork quilts. The clue as to why it is disparaged is provided by the answers to the questions: Who are those who disapprove? And who are those others who need protection from seeing it? Mervyn Griffith-Jones QC famously inadvertently put his finger on the issue in 1960 when he asked the jury in the Lady Chatterley’s Lover trial, “Is it a book that you would even wish your wife or your servants to read?” This provoked actual laughter in the jury. None of them had servants, and several of the the jurors were married women. Who was Mr Griffith-Jones that he might read Lawrence if he pleased, but people like them, the jury, should be denied the right to decide what they may read? In 1960 the British public had grown tired of the heavy hand of authoritarianism. Censorship is the hallmark of the repressive State. It is Power that seeks to limit Liberty. It is the Powerless who the Powerful purport to ‘protect’, when in fact it is their own position that they are anxious to protect by denying that freedom of expression which might bear the seed of dissent.But why sex? Why should our rulers be so concerned about what their citizens get up to between the sheets? Why should religion always repress people’s sexuality and stifle sexual expression? Why should rulers and religion have been concerned for centuries with meting out truly obscene punishment on anyone who offended against a narrow code of imposed sexual morality? The purpose of all Religion is always to support a hierarchy (a word with a theological origin). Autocrats and despots rule by the grace of God. Power is conferred on the King by the Sky God. And if the King is forced somehow to give some show of democracy, it helps if the electorate are a mob. Mobs are malleable and easily persuaded. Alienating people from their own bodies and their fundamental biological purpose is a means to acquire absolute control. Deny people the freedom to pursue a human destiny here on Earth. Require from them absolute obedience in return for a ludicrous nonsense consolation prize of a some kind of life after death. Dress it up as morality. Morality? if you please. Then you own them. They have no freedom of thought. No freedom to think outside of an imposed frame of reference. They do not make up a Demos. They are the Mob. Liberty is indivisible. To allow freedom of speech only within a permitted range is no freedom at all. Freedom of expression is the fundamental freedom which is the necessary condition for all liberty. Human beings are sexual beings and sex is the motivational spring behind every human endeavor. Our sexuality is the core of our identity. Censorship of pornography – control of your freedom to impart or receive information and ideas relating to sex – is the attempt to enslave you.Arvod exists to explore, produce and publish pornography with an attempt at honesty. We will be publishing our own original content, but we also welcome contributions from our members. Porn is preoccupied by the ‘male gaze’. This is inevitable given the cultural suppression of female sexuality. And we would be very pleased to consider a women’s perspective on pornography. Arvod is however an edited website, it is not an open forum. We welcome different opinions and debate, but here at least anything you read or see has been edited by us. So unlike other websites that publish user-generated material we will not have self selected material. If you have suitable original picture sets, videos, essays or short fiction that you would like to see published we would be pleased to consider your material. Please read the submission guidelines here.
The Arvod site has two sides. The open public site and the member subscription site. Essentially the two sides mirror each other, but the subscription site allows full access to all the features and content previewed in the public area.