As Featured on News Cult: What to Do and What Not to Do When You’re in a Car Accident

As the proud survivor of 4 car accidents in the past 2 months, I feel securely qualified to give advice on what to do, and, more importantly, what not to do, when you’re in a car accident. Here are your checklists (please note, these mainly apply to immediately after the accident occurs. Unless it kills you. In which case you’ll be dead so you won’t be able to do or not do any of these things):


1. Take pictures

Make like an Asian tourist and snap snap snap snap snap! Take every possible picture at every possible angle. And don’t move your car until you’ve gotten every photo of where it was and what it looked like when the accident occurred. And do the same with any other cars involved too, if you can. If the other driver tries to move their car don’t be afraid to voice your strongly worded disapproval. And fuck everyone who’s honking at you for blocking traffic. #dealwithit.

Trust me, you’ll be glad you got all paparazzi up in that bitch later on when you’re trying to put together the pieces of what happened and prove to State Farm in forensic detail exactly why and how you’re not at fault and they display a shocking level of idiocy and lack of integrity and you’ll have to take their ass up and up and up the ladder until there isn’t anywhere for them to go but down I mean we’re talking all the way to the Supreme Court if it comes to that don’t underestimate us STATE FARM you have no fucking idea the dragon you just woke.

2. Exchange info

ALL the info. Driver’s license numbers, license plate numbers, phone numbers, home addresses, emails, insurance info (including policy numbers and effective dates), full legal names, dates of birth–literally everything there is to know about each other. No detail is too small, no fact too insignificant. I mean fuck, ask them what their relationship status is, if they like to drink and what size they wear if you have to. PAINT. A. PICTURE. people! You never know what you’re gonna need.

3. Call the police

I don’t care if you barely scratched their bumper. A police report is going to be vital later on when things get crazy and people start accusing people of untrue things because they don’t want to pay for things or get in trouble. In other words, a police report will help you in your crusade to take the other party and your insurance company DOWN.

4. File a report with the DMW

You’re legally obligated to do this if there are any injuries/deaths or there is more than $700 worth of property damage (at least in California) in order to prove you had insurance at the time of the accident. Don’t be the asshole without insurance. Why the FUCK should someone else essentially have to pay for YOUR car insurance. Literally if you’re that person drive off a cliff.

5. Note the date and time and where it occurred

You need to record EVERY fact that is associated with the accident. If ever there was a time to let your OCD run rampant, this is it.

6. Note what happened to cause the accident

To the best of your ability. Your veins are going to be pumping adrenaline and everything is going to be a blur, so just try to keep your cool and not be rushed by anyone and walk yourself through your experience and perspective of what happened. Write it down so you don’t have to worry about remembering it. This part is essential, because we forget everything. We can’t even remember when we put our tampon in, let alone all the events that led up to and occurred during a car accident.

7. Try to get a witness

Whether that’s someone standing nearby or a security camera at a business close by–ask around because your insurance company will ask you for witnesses. But make sure they’re reliable. Of course every witness testimony is going to be subjective, but I’m just saying maybe don’t ask the junkie whose home on the curb you crashed into.

8. Ask to bypass insurance if the damage is minimal

And there were no injuries. And everyone involved is honest/not an asshole. That way, you can avoid raising premiums. Because the last thing we need is a $250 bump in our monthly rate for barely tapping into our sweet old Asian man neighbor who we’ve actually always admired from afar and has a cute little dog and we think they’re best friends and we’re kind of glad this happened actually because we were finally introduced to him even though we’ve only been neighbors for 5 years (although let’s be real we still don’t know how to pronounce his name).


1. Admit fault

Honestly even if it’s totally your fault, don’t admit it at the scene. For starters, you may FEEL like it’s your fault/you may feel guilty, but when you’ve had a chance to rationally review the situation you may come to realize it actually wasn’t your fault. Also, if you admit fault, you pretty much just nailed your own coffin shut. I’m not saying it’s completely irreversible necessarily, but it can and WILL be used against you.

2. Make any promises

Don’t say your insurance will take of it, or you’ll pay for anything out of pocket, or that you’ll take your car to any specific shop. You are not in the condition to say things that make sense right after an accident. Actually you’re never in that condition. But just don’t talk. And if the other person is a pushy chubby foreign exchange student driving daddy’s $100k car and still in braces, tell him to kindly fuck off, as you will not be pressured into any decisions at this time.

3. Say you’re sorry

You’d think it would be ok to say sorry, regardless of fault, because we’re compassionate human beings we’re not ANIMALS. But NOPE. Because the other people involved will turn on you faster than you can finish your sentence (“…NOT sorry. I WAS GOING TO SAY SORRY NOT SORRY.”) and use that against you too, as proof of you admitting fault. Saying you’re sorry is NOT you actually admitting fault, but people will spin that shit until it turns to gold for them and you’re left with nothing but a rotting pile of shit to trudge through. That’s what you get for being decent. Have I taught you NOTHING?!? NEVER be nice to ANYONE!!!

4. Speculate

Don’t try to determine what happened outwardly. Keep all that shit to yourself. You don’t want to come to any mutual conclusions with the other party. Because then they’ll run off to your insurance company like a little tattletale bitch and tell them you both agreed on something that you did NOT, you were just throwing ideas out there, just MAKIN’ CONVERSATION.

5. Leave the scene

Obviously. If you’re the person that hits and runs, be prepared, because I’m going to find you and I’m going to hit and run you right the fuck over.

6. Call your insurance company right away

Give yourself a day to let the adrenaline leave your system and to gather your thoughts so you can present them with the most cohesive depiction of the accident. But ALSO, do not let them bully you into confessing fault or agreeing to a liability decision or payout number or anything else right away. They’ll want to get rid of you as soon as possible, so just make sure you remain calm and assertive. If you need to scream hysterically at them in order to accomplish that, I fully support you going ballistic.

Featured on News Cult:

As Featured on News Cult: Social Media: Let’s Discuss

Let’s just dive right in. Social media is the worst thing to happen since Hitler. From Facebook to Instagram to Twitter to Snapchat, it’s a fast-growing parasite. Everyone is on it–like fucking crack cocaine, or meth (whichever is more popular I don’t know I’m not Lisa Ling get off my back)–because it’s the easiest way to paint a picture of your life that looks a hell of a lot better than what’s actually going on with you. It’s the photoshopped version of your existence. But we all know that underneath it, you’re 80% cellulite, wrinkles and fat rolls. Join the fucking club.  

And we all play along with it too because we want to believe and prove that our life is really so awesome. But I think we all secretly hate social media at the same time. It’s like networking: everyone does it because they feel like they have to, when really they would rather go home, collapse onto the floor, pop some sleeping pills and doze off to the sound of The Real Housewives facing off on Reunion Parts 1-10, hugging a bag of Cheetos, any day. 

Why are we all partaking in this pathetic charade? Like, if you want to propose to your girlfriend, great (although tbh not great because we all know marriage is a disaster waiting to happen, whether in the form of divorce or pleasure-less, missionary position-only sex, if any at all, for the rest of your lives), but why are you broadcasting it to the world with 400 photos of the ring and endless public declarations of your love for her? How about you just tell her…? Like, frankly, we don’t give a fuck. And it seems kind of disingenuous that you need to brag about your engagement all over social media. It seems like you’re trying to validate it. Which makes us think it’s not really all that great of a situation after all. And that in reality, you’re one more squeezing-from-the-middle-of-the-toothpaste-tube situation from breaking up and her going back to her much sexier, more adventurous, bigger-dicked ex.

Or like soooo what, you’ve moved on from us and are dating someone new, congratu-fucking-lations, we get it, you’re super happy in your new relationship and she’s much skinnier and prettier and dumber and shallower than us and you’re putting it on blast to make yourself feel better about the fact that you’re a deeply unhappy, sociopathic piece of shit. B.F.D. Like… and? Here’s a thought: keep it to yourself. You’re not fooling anyone, least of all us. We’re FINE. We’re doing great without you–we’re taking lots of knitting classes and eating lots of mac ‘n cheese and getting to bed really early on a regular basis, so we aren’t affected by your sad display of fake self-satisfaction. Plus, you don’t see us bragging all the fuck over the Internet about how awesome the scarf we knitted is, or how impressive it is that we ate 5 bowls of microwave mac ‘n cheese in a row, or that we sometimes go to bed at 7:30 PM because we can’t face reality. So stop shoving all your B.S. vapid attempts at proving that you’re better off without us in our faces/social media feeds. NEXT.

How about we all just own up to our true selves and stop competing in this toxic contest to be the best, the most attractive, the happiest, the most content, the sexiest, the richest, the most cookie cutter? That shit’s boring. We’re all flawed beings, fumbling around just trying to make it. Where are the representations of that reality on social media? How about instead of picture perfect selfies, we start posting photos of what we REALLY look like when we wake up? How about instead of bragging about how expensive and meaningful and earth-shattering our wedding was, we talk about all the problems that need solving in the world, which are far more important than any show of material wealth could ever be?

In fact, I hope that one day we see you social media posers on the street because your jig will be up–you’ll be bickering with your latest fling about how she’s too “needy” and she’ll be at least 10 lbs heavier than the pictures depict, and before you can snap a concocted selfie, we’ll swoop in and catch a candid photo of what you REALLY are: a bitter, lonely, unsuccessful lamb with a receding hairline, dead-end job, and mommy issues. We’ll upload that all over the place. On REPEAT. We’ll post that shit to every social media platform possible, and pretty soon it’ll be in the Cloud, and nobody understands that motherfucker so good luck taking it down you’re gonna need some fuckin Steve Jobs resurrected from the dead black magic sorcery shit for that to happen.

Featured on News Cult:

As Featured on News Cult: 10 Cons of Having Big Hips

Yesterday we covered the pros of having big hips. Today we’ll cover the cons:

1. It’s hard to fit places

Like into and out of the car in tight parking spaces. Or behind chairs at tables in restaurants on the way to the bathroom. Or on a couch with other people.

2. Pants don’t fit

They just don’t.

3. Their association with the Kardashians

Let’s get one thing fucking straight: the Kardashians’ endorsement of waist trainers is deplorable and a prime example of their ethical bankruptcy and willingness to whore themselves out and promote anything and everything to enlarge their grossly excessive wealth. They’re literally encouraging girls to go back to the days of corsets so tight you couldn’t breathe and removing your ribs so your waist would be socially acceptably small. WHY IS NO ONE TALKING ABOUT THIS?? For starters, it’s unhealthy from a medical perspective, and the sociocultural implications for gender equality are deadly. Their big hips and butts and curves aren’t real. Their hips DO lie. And we don’t want to be associated with them and their internal organ-crushing, self-objectifying, greedy promotion of highly unrealistic and dangerous beauty standards.

4. People expect you to have kids

Since your hips are “childbearing;” well maybe we don’t want to contribute to the overpopulation of the world and waste our time trying to raise decent human beings who inevitably are going to be corrupted by social media and pop culture and who need potty training when that should just be a NATURAL FUCKING INSTINCT

5. They move

A lot. With every tiny step you take. God forbid you try to run (which we don’t of course, but if we WANTED to, which we wouldn’t of course), then be prepared for a lot of hip swinging, like we’re talking wide, gelatinous, up-and-down motions, which will slow your pace drastically.

6. Good luck fitting into a dress

That’s not custom made. Again, we don’t care about dresses because we don’t care about dressing up because it takes effort and is uncomfortable and represents society’s shallow fixation on appearances, but if we were to try to stuff ourselves into a dress that’s not made of spandex, we’d only fit into the top and/or bottom maybe, def not the middle.

7. You’re like a bull in a china shop

Literally–if you were in a china shop, your hips would be knocking stuff off the table left and right. And they do–you in the Glassware & Stemware section of Macy’s? Fuggedaboutit.

8. Massages are awkward

Because when it’s time to flip over onto your back, you bring allllll the sheets with you.

9. They stand out

It’s hard to blend in (like literally the only thing we want–for no one to see us or try to talk to us) when you require a wide berth on the sidewalk.

10. People comment on them

Here’s a tip: the next time you’re tempted to make an observation about a girl’s “curves,” swallow your words. And choke on them.

Featured on News Cult:

As Featured on News Cult: 10 Pros of Having Big Hips

To my big hipped brethren: fret not, for there are pros to our pear hourglass-shaped figures. Here they are:

1. You can carry your laundry basket on them

Whenever it’s laundry time, I just hoist the basket up on my hip shelf and get to walking. It’s like those African ladies who carry water on their heads. Except with a dose of white privilege.

2. Childbearing

Should you choose to ruin your life have kids, big hips will ease the birthing process. Thinking about that makes me cringe does it make anyone else cringe I’m trying to be a good feminist and like not shudder at the thought of it but right now we’re struggling.

3. You can open doors with them          

Just give a swift hip-check to the door and voila: it’ll open to its widest berth.

4. You don’t look like a prepubescent boy

It’s as simple as that.

5. They’re an excuse to wear leggings

Because spandex is the only thing that fits both your hips and the rest of your lower half.

6. They’re good for dancing

More hip = more stuff to shake.

dance animated GIF

7. They create space

They’re the equivalent of walking with your arms out Jesus-style; they make you take up more space, which means that other people can’t infringe on it. The less hip you have, the closer people can get to you. Which is just ew.

8. Hula hooping is easier

Obviously the most important perk of all. Like, you practically don’t have to do any work–the hula hoop just sits on your hips for DAYS.

Hips animated GIF

9. Curves

We just like curves. Curves on curves on curves on curves. There’s something so natural about them. They give a body character; make it interesting. They tell a story.

dancing animated GIF

10. They’re a good pedophile-repellant

Pls see #4^^

Featured on News Cult:


As Featured on News Cult: What to do When You’re Out Sick

While being sick sucks, we also love it because it means we get to stay home. Endless sneezing, snot, coughing, fever, nausea and chills? We’ll take it, if the alternative is going to work. So here’s what to do when you’re home sick.

1. Watch TV obvi

But nothing too cerebral–we don’t want you trying to process the multitude of familial tensions and indecipherable political plot lines of Game of Thrones (which frankly you don’t even understand at your prime which means you’re basically a social pariah since you couldn’t make it past season 1) when you’re 3 NyQuil’s and a half-a-bottle of Benadryl deep.

2. Take baths

Steep. You are a human tea bag. Let the heat wash the toxins out of your body. Imagine me saying this in the most yoga-teacher voice you’ve ever heard. Actually on second thought that may make you want to kill yourself so maybe don’t.

3. Sleep

Some of us are incapable of napping, so drug yourself if you have to.

4. Eat

The other day my chiropractor was like “starve a cold feed a fever” and I was like bitch I’m on a 24/7 feeding cycle don’t tell me to stop eating because I have a cold I’ll KILL YOU.

5. Cry

You can blame it on the cold/allergies. Even if you don’t have a cold or allergies. Stomach flu? “I’m crying because I have a cold and/or allergies. What the fuck do you care?” (I don’t know who’s like challenging your tears when you’re sick but like just in case.)

6. Lie on the floor

I feel like all of my lists are these same 6 things. But seriously, lying on the floor is salvation. Maybe because it’s like some metaphorical act of surrender. And despite what Winston Churchill said, always always always give up. Just like drugs, giving up is always the answer. Children: take note.

7. Read trashy magazines

Again, this will be the only literature you’ll be able to digest since it will require no brain power. Also, this is a good opportunity to judge. Mainly what celebrities wear when they go grocery shopping.

8. Google eHarmony commercials


9. Have a friend over

You’ll only have your unemployed friends to choose from, so you’re already looking at a pretty lame selection, so don’t expect much. But maybe they can bring you ice cream. In which case their existence won’t be for nothing.

Featured on News Cult:

As Featured on News Cult: Why I’m Voting for Bernie Sanders

You mean besides the fact that he’s ridiculously good looking and has a voice that can only be described as sensual? There are lots of reasons I think Bernie Sanders should be the next U.S. president. Before now, I had lost all hope in the U.S. political system. I was convinced it wasn’t even worth voting anymore, because the only choices were evils, just on a scale of lesser to more. And I still think that’s the case, except when it comes to Bernie Sanders. I think he’s our one and only beacon of hope before we plunge further into an irreversible,  corrupt, 2 party system that’s ostensibly democratic but in actuality run by corporate America. And a lot of people think he doesn’t stand a chance. But he needs to be given a chance in order to stand one–don’t count him out before he’s had a fair shot.

For starters, Bernie is a true public servant. Meaning he has spent his career working for the people, not getting rich or dying trying. Different sources will give you different numbers, but on average his net worth seems to be between $300-500k (in 2013, it was $330,506). Which basically means he owns a house. In stark contrast to Hillary Clinton and most of the other candidates, whose net worths are in the tens of millions. He believes that there shouldn’t be such extreme wealth inequality. Which to me is just a basic human principle–how is it ok that there are people sleeping on the street, starving, lacking adequate healthcare and access to education, while the next block over there are people living in such excessive wealth, corrupt with power and greed, setting sail on their yachts after they cheat on their taxes and earn money off the backs of underpaid laborers (for example, please see: Walmart, which Hillary Clinton was on the board of for 6 years, or Bernie Madoff, or Republican proposed tax cuts for the wealthy, or Wells Fargo’s subprime lending fraud, to name a few)? How can we all sleep soundly knowing that such disparity in wealth and corruption of power exists?

Sanders’ emphasis on wealth inequality represents his focus on fixing domestic issues in the U.S., which leads his international policy towards peace. Because if there is peace, there is no need for war or for the U.S. to engage in it internationally, which leaves more time, money and effort to spend on fixing domestic issues. It really is that simple: he wants to work on improving the United States, and not making things worse abroad. And he has a proven track record in this: he voted against the Iraq War, has been advocating to lower the U.S. military budget since 1992 in favor of redirecting those funds to domestic issues like poverty, education, industry, etc. (the military budget has gone from $270 billion in 1992 to now $610 billion), and has consistently condemned the inhumane use of torture as a tactic of war. Again, to me, peace is a basic human principle: it makes no sense to fight violence with violence. Call me naïve, but war is so clearly and disturbingly counter-intuitive, and if we ever have a shot in hell of it ending, we need a president who will actually work to end it (Obama insisted he would, but in reality has waged deadly drone wars and didn’t pull troops out of Afghanistan as promised).

Sanders supports less overstepping, meddling, and violence by the U.S. not only abroad, but also domestically. For example, he supports an individual’s right to determine what to do with his/her own body, as opposed to the government being able to choose; he supports racial justice and the demilitarization of police in the U.S.; and he supports an individual’s right to privacy, as his consistent voting record on the Patriot Act proves. And he supports not only each individual’s right to these freedoms, but also government oversight for the sake of protecting those individual freedoms. For example, he advocates for the right of every person to be able to access healthcare and education by way of government measures.

All of these stances Sanders takes, as far as I’m concerned, boil down to believing in humane treatment and equal rights for everyone. Of course there are countless other issues to consider, more than I can cover here, but these examples give you a good idea of his overall platform. It’s easy to oppose him on grounds of wealth privatization–in other words, if you believe in hoarding wealth, and an “every man for himself” ideology, it’s easy to accuse him of being  a grubby communist who doesn’t believe people should be able to keep the money they earn. But what that argument fails to take into account, besides a basic level of compassion for humanity, is that a lot of the wealthiest people don’t earn their money all by themselves. They earn it by employing and underpaying laborers, through inheritance when they’re born into privilege, and by cheating, whether by insider trading, evading taxes, or tying up their money in trust accounts so that the countless people suing them can’t access it. Yes, those are just a few, broad examples, but if we’re being honest, we know that’s often the case (again, please refer to the above examples I gave: Walmart, Bernie Madoff, tax cuts for the wealthy, and Wells Fargo). So why should those people’s wealth be protected above all else–including other’s rights to live, above the poverty line, with access to adequate healthcare and education?

And even if the top 1% earned their money completely above board, where is the recognition that all lives matter, not just rich lives, and that maybe it doesn’t make sense to be spending billions keeping the wealthy wealthy, when so many people are living in such despair? And if nothing else, can we at least all agree that the wealthy shouldn’t be getting tax breaks, compared to the wealth-less? I mean seriously, fine, keep your billions of dollars, Top 1%–but don’t expect to pay less taxes than someone who makes 1/1,000,000 what you make while they struggle to keep food on their table, their families healthy, and to get their kids through school day in and day out.

Featured on News Cult:

As Featured on News Cult: Are We Supposed to Tip for These Things? I Don’t Get It

There are certain things we all know we’re supposed to tip for, at least in the U.S. Unless you’re a total dick. Like wait staff at restaurants, valets, and mani-pedis, to name a few. But there’s a whole host of other things that I have no idea if we’re supposed to tip for. Maybe I’m just an idiot, which is a strong possibility, but I’m confused about tipping etiquette for the below situations.

Knife sharpening 

Like, when you take your one nice kitchen knife (which is a start give us a break adulthood is hard and expensive plus it serves a double purpose as a cooking utensil AND weapon) to Williams-Sonoma, are you supposed to tip the guy who sharpens it? Especially because knowing us, it’s going to need a lot of sharpening, if it’s even salvageable from all of our non-/improper use.  

Car service
Like when you go in for an oil change, or to have your tires rotated, or a multi-point inspection… Literally no clue if you’re supposed to tip. And I feel like this is one of those situations where if you’re not supposed to tip, it’s insulting if you do, so you really have to get it right. This is why I just awkwardly linger when I pick up my car and try to read any social cues that may point me toward an answer. Which usually gets me approximately nowhere except a solid minute or so of uncomfortable eye contact between me and an unfortunate mechanic. But, hey, I’ll take it–it’s the most intimacy I’m gonna get probably ever. 
Bike service
Same as with cars–when you take your bike in for a tune up (which like who actually does that but whatever), do you tip? And bike people are so intimidatingly hip, so this is 1000x worse than cars. With their tight-by-choice jeans vs. our just increasingly-getting-tighter jeans, and their aggressive beards, and their keys on their carabiners–like, we get it, you’re so tragically uncool you’re cool again.
Crossing guards
Say what you will, but if you jaywalk, a crossing guard is out of a job. If that isn’t tip-worthy, I’m not sure what is.
Pet grooming
And like what if they make your pet look like shit? Which is impossible for some of our pets because they’re glorious beautiful mythical creatures from magical lands and are better looking than Helen of Troy. But still. Or what if they have to squeeze the anal glands? Isn’t that like a guilt-tip situation?
A colonoscopy strikes me as perhaps the task most deserving of a tip, right?
Hotel Maid
It’s sups awk when you’re in the room as they’re cleaning it and you’re like ahhh I don’t know if I’m supposed to tip her should I tip her how much should I tip her and should I just hand it to her or should I leave it in an envelope or like aren’t I supposed to leave it like under the pillow but how can I do that if she’s standing right there I knew I should’ve followed my therapist’s instructions and gotten out of bed and gone outside this morning or alternatively, I should’ve never gotten out of bed and just put the “do not disturb” sign up which frankly sounds like a better plan so suck on that, mental health professionals.

Featured on News Cult:

As Featured on News Cult: Porn: Let’s Discuss

Screen Shot 2015-10-20 at 5.47.04 PM

Porn is a real doozy. I have so many thoughts and emotions and questions about it. It’s the one thing I can never make a solid decision about. I could spend hours (and have) debating back and forth on the subject. That may make me sound crazy, but what else is new. You’re probably thinking “Really, Alex? What is so complicated about porn?” Well since you asked, let me tell you.

Porn is supposed to be all about sexual fantasy. It’s a tool to stimulate fantasy and pleasure. And I have no problem with sexual fantasy or sexual pleasure, theoretically. I actually think they’re good. I think they’re normal and a part of life that is fun and exciting. And we shouldn’t feel guilty about our sexuality, like many of us have been taught, but we should express and enjoy it. But porn is the crossroads between fantasy and reality. It is real people acting out fantasies. So can it really remain in the category of fantasy? Sure, someone watching porn isn’t physically involved with whoever is in the pornography, but whoever is in it is a real person, somewhere, someplace.

And the reality of porn isn’t necessarily a problem, either. Except that we don’t know the circumstances under which it’s made. Namely, we don’t know the situation that the actors are in. Sure, some of them are renowned and so we know their history in more detail, including their age, background, “career path,” etc. But a lot of porn features nameless bodies and faces, whose stories we don’t know. We don’t know if they’re consenting, or if they’re even of age (barring cases where it’s blatantly obvious). And that’s one of the things I’m wary of. Especially when the porn is exploitative in one way or another.

For example, of the countless “categories” of porn on any given site, there are many that focus on a domination/submission dynamic. Whether that involves whips and chains or a gang bang or a teen/adult dynamic. And again, part of me is tempted to say that porn represents fantasy, and we shouldn’t condemn our fantasies because they’re natural parts of us, and fantasy is ok, if for no other reason than it’s not reality. So even if some porn promotes a domination/submission fantasy, it’s still ok because it’s just that: fantasy.

But another part of me can’t accept that. Because it may just be fantasy, but what if the fantasy is wrong? Like, I think people would generally say gang bangs are not great and a little rapey (if not actual rape), and adults having sex with underage teens is against the law, etc. So does the fact that porn is just a theatrical presentation of these acts that society at large would discourage in reality make it exempt from criticism?

This all begs the question too, is there even such a thing as “wrong” fantasy? How much can we control what turns us on, and how much should we? I know that as a feminist, I’m tempted to condemn the majority of porn because it exploits and objectifies women. But at the same time, if that is the fantasy that turns someone on, am I allowed to condemn that, any more than I’m allowed to condemn their sexual orientation (which I believe I am not)?

And of course there’s still the issue of not always knowing the age of the actors or how much control they really have. Like, in the case of the “teen” category–are the actors of age but playing underage? Or are they actually underage? And when it comes to the whips and chains, is the person being whipped and chained actually ok with it? How much are these actors agreeing to and how much are they not?

I realize I’m really just posing a bunch of questions here, but that’s because I think porn is a huge grey area. And while I recognize that this discussion is a complete boner killer and takes all the fun out of porn, I find it to be inescapable. Does anyone else wonder these things? I feel like a lot of us just turn on the porn, click on whatever video stimulates us the most, without scrutinizing why it turns us on, if it’s ethical, if it’s even ok that it turns us on, etc., and we just get to work and then move on with our lives. Which I’m not even saying is wrong–part of me thinks that’s great. But that’s exactly my point, though–how much questioning and analysis and thought are we required to put into porn, if any? I honestly don’t know the answer. What do you guys think?

Featured on News Cult: