Letter: Screen porn

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The Independent Culture
Sir: I welcome James Ferman's attempt to initiate a debate on the relaxation of the rules relating to video pornography ("Porn is no different from Viagra, says censor", 13 August) and would agree with him that "the public is ahead of the politicians on this issue". However, the analogy he draws with Viagra is flawed.

Viagra assists impotent men in rebuilding their sex lives and so enhances their relationships and increases their self-esteem. Since most pornography is consumed by men with what Mr Ferman describes as "vicarious" sex lives it cannot be said to enrich many relationships and, as David Aaronovitch points out (Comment, 13 August), since most men are ashamed that they are aroused by pornography it is unlikely to do much for their self-esteem.

"Viagra" is fast becoming just another salacious word used to spice-up soundbites and press releases. This is a shame as it hinders proper debate about issues that deserve serious consideration.

MARTIN WILLCOX

Sheffield

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