3 Reasons Anime Porn Is Bad for You

Today, there are a lot more people out there speaking out against pornography on the grounds that it really isn’t a very healthy industry. The more they read the stories of the women and men in pornography, the conditions of their work, the use of drugs, the physical pain, the instances of shady behavior among porn producers, the manipulation, the sexual abuse (both on and off camera), and the spread of STDs, the more people are saying, “If porn is this abusive, I don’t want to endorse it.”

Even when women consent to this lifestyle of abuse, people are still saying, “Look, I don’t care if she’s consenting to being abused. A woman who has forgotten her own dignity does not give me a green light to treat her as an object.”

Introducing Hentai

For many people, this is one of the reasons they enjoy other kinds of pornography that don’t involve live action filming. One genre of porn really corners the market on this, and it’s called hentai.

Hentai is the western label given to anime pornography and is derived from the Japanese word for “perverted.” Over the last generation, hentai has become some of the most popular pornography in the world. In fact, cartoon porn is currently among the most searched for niches of porn on certain Internet devices.

What do we say to this? Is cartoon pornography a more ethical option for porn consumers because it doesn’t involve live action actors?

Less Bad ≠ Good

First, if we find a form of media where women are not physically harmed or degraded in the making of a specific kind of media, this is a good thing. However, it’s also important to note that just because something is better than something else in one respect does not mean it is therefore “good.” Smoking a carton of cigarettes every day might be better than smoking 10 cartons, but smoking one carton should also not be labeled as “healthy.”

3 Reasons Cartoon Porn Is Still Bad

First, anime porn is infused with the same messages and values as live action porn. It’s all about the degradation and objectification of women for the masturbatory pleasure of men. The female figure portrayed is nothing more than an object for male pleasure. Women are still portrayed as powerless—either powerless over male advances or powerless over her own sexual euphoria that compels her to be used. Anime porn is marketed and sold with messaging as its live action counterpart.

Second, anime porn is just as addictive as live action porn. Addiction to porn—any kind of porn—is known by the American Society of Addiction Medicine as a “behavioral” addiction, where someone is pathologically pursuing neurological rewards their brain gives them when they engage in certain pleasurable behaviors. All kinds of porn addiction, regardless of whether the actors on the screen are filmed or drawn, are harmful to us because they warp our normal sex drive into something unhealthy and compulsive. Porn might feel pleasurable, but it’s ultimately the enemy of real satisfaction.

Third, anime porn is in some sense worse in its messaging that live action porn because the characters are completely malleable. Artists can make make the characters look exactly the way they want. Every fetish can be fulfilled, no matter how unreal or bizarre. Artists and consumers can pleasure themselves any kind of abuse and dull their consciences doing it. They can just tell themselves “No one is really getting hurt.” Because the films are animated, this has a disarming effect on the viewer. The consumer needs not practice any compassion for the character because she isn’t real. She’s just a lifeless scribbling of ink.

Hentai pornography is known showing the gross mistreatment of women through horrific acts of bestiality and even images of children having sex. Can we commend the makers and consumers of this material because they aren’t using real people—“I don’t like it when real children are abused, but I really like to get off to images of cartoon children getting abused.” Is this virtuous or healthy to shape our libidos around this kind of material?

Don’t be fooled. When people justify this kind of material, they’re often asking the wrong question. They’re often saying, “Who isn’t abused in the making of this pornography?” The real question they should be asking is, “Who is abused in the making of this?” The answer is: the viewer himself.