Susie Bright: Raising the Minimum Age for Porn


A Modest Proposal:

Raising the Minimum Age for Porn

"Can a girl of 21 really know what she is consenting to when she signs a release form for a pornographer? Does she really understand what the ramifications might be later in life?

"That is why I propose that we raise the minimum age of consent to participate in pornography to 65..."

Jon Swift, the author of this proposal, is perhaps the hardest working satirist in the English language since his redoubtable namesake.

(Susie Bright is a guest blogger)


  1. Given that privacy appears to have been a 20th century concept — both because invasions thereof are becoming more common and because the current generation appears to care less about it than we did — I think it may be unclear that there *are* still ramifications.

    Or that they’re any worse than walking around with day-glow hair and an assortment of piercings.

    (Reminds me of the gal I saw last summer, who had what I *hope* was a temporary tattoo on her lower belly. The tops of the letters were just visible above her beltline, and looked suspiciously like “Abandon all hope”…)

  2. She doesn’t know what she’d getting herself into when she gets married either, or when she has her first kid. I didn’t know what I was letting myself in for when I was born. We should require all babies to be over 65.

  3. I spent most of my life trying to undo just about everything I got myself into until I realized, late in life, what the undoing was getting me into . . . nothing.

  4. These proposals for raising the age of consent for photo releases seem mainly directed at the “Girls Gone Wild” people.

    But the issue here isn’t that these young women are too young to know what they are doing, it is often that they are too drunk.

    Rather than raising the age, I think it would be better to require that the release form be signed twice, at least 48 hours apart, to give the person time to decide if this is really what he or she wants to do.

  5. He may be a hard-working satirist, but he’s got a long way to go if he wants to match Swift as a prose stylist. Rhetorical questions make my head ache.

  6. Am I the only one who was lead right into that? I took it seriously until the end. Heh. Just like his namesake, it seems.

  7. …Actually, it should be lowered to 17. Think about it, kids: According to the feminists, women reach maturity both sexually and intelligently than men at an earlier age. So if that’s not total bullshit, then a 17-year-old girl should be mature enough to sign a model release form and give total consent.

    Let the flames commence :-P

  8. The whole porn-phobia thing is mostly about the state propaganda and control. Native peoples do just fine running around naked. Porn and non-porn are the same thing for them. I can see a wonderful 21st century coming in this respect. Pity my youth has gone.

    1. Native peoples do just fine running around naked.

      Porn sometimes involves more than being nude in the Garden of Eden. Native peoples mostly aren’t being tied down and gang-fisted. Mostly.

  9. I agree with Joe (I usually say 3 days — it’s a discussion that seems to come up a lot).

    Raising the age to 21 strikes me as something that’ll get fubar-ed. It will either:
    -make existing teenaged porn more valuable entrenching the existing porn makers
    -outlaw existing teenaged porn illegal, destroying the value of existing libraries (and as we know, content is valuable for decades, that’s why we need 70 year copyright terms).

    And that’s in the best case. Not to mention that you might have a chance of telling if a girl is under 18, but how will anyone be able to ID “illegal” porn with 20 year olds in imported porn?

  10. #22 Antonius

    “Porn sometimes involves more than being nude in the Garden of Eden. Native peoples mostly aren’t being tied down and gang-fisted. Mostly.”

    Sure. When the source is polarized it changes character. The current sexual extremism is a result of a very long oppression. It will settle down.

  11. I’m 24 and wish to NOT see elderly porn (which is actually around & very popular in japan, so I have been told). I do agree 21 might be a better age to be in the porn industry though. Although, you could still get drunk girls for Girls Gone Wild, sadly. I don’t think there is an easy solution for this dilemma. Also geez, old people porn… think of all those old folks who would of broken their hips during filming. LOL *shivers at the thought of old people grinding bones*

  12. This strikes me as another reaction of the older generations. Her beliefs are erroneous for two reasons.

    First, she believes that flashing boobies on film can harm/ruin/destroy someone’s life. Second, she fears that the long tail of internet data retention will not allow someone to escape an indiscretion of the past.

    The up and coming generations will be different than those before. When the teens of today are tomorrow’s hiring managers, they will search Google for details on their potential hires. But, will they fail to hire because they find a photo of someone holding a red plastic ‘beer’ cup when they were 16? A boobie photo from 19? No. Why not? Because they themselves have photos floating around the internet. Everyone will. And…no one will care.

    If anything, I expect this whole trend to help our society be more open and accepting.

  13. Even though raising the age would never happen, I wish it would.

    That BB post about Max Hardcore still haunts my dreams — do you think those girls knew what they were signing up for? Do they have PTSD? I sometimes wonder if porn documents the very worst moment of a person’s life.

  14. But you can still join the army and kill people at 18.

    Our provincial love of violence and aversion to sexuality is alive and well.

    In American society, there is a little issue with death and violence, but if it includes a breast, it becomes pornography, and is restricted.

    On the specific issue of age, there must be a solid line between adult and child, and once we reach the status of “adult” then our decisions should become fully our own.

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