A New Kind of Pornography

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Porn is not harmless

But neither is romance.

It may not come with a warning message of the explicit content

Which may be disturbing to sensitive or under aged viewers

But it’s just as dangerous.

Many researchers and parents and rehabilitated addicts warn of how porn ruins one’s ability to have meaningful intimate relationships

That’s funny because that’s exactly what romance does.

It started with the chick flick / romcom evolution

No longer was the supermodel swept off her feet by the equally impeccable handsome actor

But ordinary people found perfect, surreal, enviable love too…

Old Rochester has his Jane, plain Bella has Edward, cold Ifemelu has Obinze, wacky Jamie has Nikki, demonic Azazel has Jason, Abby Barnes has blimming Brian and even Jay-Z’s got, well…

And then there’s me…

And I’ve got Penguin Books and Vintage Books and People and Heat and YouTube and Tumblr and Vine and Twitter and Facebook and Pixar and Disney and Tristar Productions and Sony Pictures Entertainment and 20th Century Fox all to remind me of what “ideal” love looks like

And soon it wasn’t the explicit staged sex scenes that have the ability to numb one to romance

But the overwhelming bombardment of ideal romances that created unrealistic expectations of love. I had seen thousands of versions of it that if it hit me in the face I’d totally miss it

‘For it is then when I have recognised the type of love story, when I have pigeon-holed it in my mind as belonging to such-and-such a category – it is at that very moment that I am betrayed, for, lo, there is sudden witchery, and a wand is waved, and it is though a line of African dancers comes running in suddenly, and I find that a whole number of people are laughing at me from behind the feathers and painted wood of their Congo masks.’

But there I am; knowing fully the side effects of excessive romance consumption

Yet I continue to consume, self-destructing, and repeating the cycle again and again

‘Classifying the love story, tabulating and cataloguing it as belonging to a certain sub-section of particular group – indexing it and labelling it as conforming, in respect of characters and plot and incident, to a well-known and clearly recognised pattern.’

*Extracts borrowed from Herman Charles Bosman’s Old Transvaal Story

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