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Pornland: How Porn Has Hijacked Our Sexuality

3.87  ·  Rating details ·  1,114 ratings  ·  134 reviews
Professor Gail Dines has written about and researched the porn industry for over two decades. She attends industry conferences, interviews producers and performers, and speaks to hundreds of men and women each year about their experience with porn. Students and educators describe her work as "life changing."

In Pornland—the culmination of her life's work—Dines takes an unfl
Hardcover, 204 pages
Published June 29th 2010 by Beacon Press (first published 2010)
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3.87  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,114 ratings  ·  134 reviews

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Gail DinesPornland is the first book I’ve read about pornography and I think it was an excellent place to start. Using very clear language and thought-provoking analysis, Dines breaks down porn in ways that I found convincing and accurate. Admittedly, my personal layperson thoughts about porn and its effects on popular culture, business, sexuality, race and gender were often quite similar to Dines’, though obviously in a less-informed, critically organized and researched form. Pornland has con ...more
Dustin Wax
Mar 16, 2010 rated it liked it
Profoundly flawed but important nonetheless. Relies heavily on rhetoric of drug addiction (people don't view porn, they "use" it; they don't have a habit, they have an "addiction"; porn featuring young women is not "teen porn", it's "Pseudo-Child Pornography" or -- absurdly -- "PCP" for short) and super-dodgy research methodologies (the link between rape and porn is supported by interviews with sex offenders; what about the men who watched porn and *didn't* rape anyone?). But this is an importan ...more
juicy brained intellectual
dines says a lot of interesting things, and some things i agree w/ (and some things i disagree w/!), but i think my major issue w/ this book and anti-pornography activists in general is that it's so incredibly reductionist

in her conclusion she says "as long as we have porn, we [women] will never be seen as full human beings deserving of all the rights that men have." i don't think that's a realistic approach. porn has existed in different forms for as long as people have been fucking. it's going
May 03, 2011 rated it really liked it
I've basically read as much of this book as I can stomach for now, for research purposes. This is not to say that I don't like the book, but rather that the porn culture that Dines describes is horrific. She doesn't hold back, and nor should she.

Dines is a feminist and her discussion deals with the ways that pornography affects women in the industry, but also in society at large. She traces the way that in the USA a ratings war between Playboy, Penthouse and Hustler basically made pornography mo
Ryan Mishap
Aug 26, 2010 rated it really liked it
What's the difference between erotic fantasy and industrialized distribution of graphic depictions of women sexually degraded? The difference between an individual's sexuality and the products of a multi-billion dollar industry.

This is a very sharp look at the modern business of pornography and how it is shaping our culture--the stories it is telling men and women. The descriptions of movies and what they depict are often hard to read, but I would hope that it would be difficult for any empathe
Feb 05, 2012 rated it did not like it
Frustrating and poorly argued. Lots of tangents that have a tenuous connection at best to how pornography is consumed in today's society. Her personal revulsion for certain sexual acts is obvious, and she seems to feel that the only reason a person would want any kind of kink or non-"vanilla" sex is because they've been brainwashed by "Pornland" (the experimental world we currently live in) to believe they need/want it. I found much of this kind of argument condescending and irritating.

The gener
Linda Smolenski
May 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorite
This book is absolutly amazing.
The author brings actual examples from sites that portray the women as being nothing more than sex toys. She explains how seemingly "in control" "empowered" porn mega stars are actually anything but. She goes into the psychology of hardcore pornography and how it punishes and debases women. The effects it has on a whole new generation that is being brought up on accesible porn as sex education and the effects it has on men and women who do know better. The mental
Oct 21, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Chris by: Jessica Valenti
I love the British series Coupling. It's like Friends but actually funny and good. There is a talk at the dinner table in one episode about what the difference between porn and erotica is. This book further illustrates that theory.

I did not know that the types of porn that Dines mentions actually existed. I mean, really, how is that a turn on? I have to use that, I think if I actually write what that is my computer will burn down in shock and embaressment and I'll be kicked off this website.

I me
Chris Tempel
Dec 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Has the overall message I've come to independently that everything you put in your body: images, movies, books,food, social media, affects your mentality cumulatively. So many people deny this and say that we are supposed to see these things, or that it is somehow ok, under the guise that we are to "be critical", instead of understanding the deeper rooted accumulation of BULLSHIT that has made us sick.
Melissa Stacy
First published in 2010, the nonfiction book "Pornland: How Porn Has Hijacked Our Sexuality," by Gail Dines, was absolutely the best book I read in 2017. This stunning read has earned a top spot in my heart as one of my favorite books of all time.

I read this book in two days, but kept it up on my "currently reading" list for much longer -- just because I liked seeing the book on my Goodreads wall every day.

Gail Dines has an excellent TED talk featuring various highlights from this book. There i
May 25, 2013 rated it did not like it
Read Dines' books and listen to her speeches and you'll come to the conclusion that she believes that all sex is rape. She blames capitalism and cites sources from the left side of politics. But what's ironic and almost hilarious (it would be if she wasn't in favour of fascistic legislation), is the abundance of pornography usage in conservative regions such as Utah. To make matters worse, she ignores the varied and detailed studies conducted that have shown an inverse correlation between accept ...more
John Kennedy
Jun 28, 2010 rated it really liked it
A fascinating book written by a feminist professor who has been lecturing on porn for 20 years, a span in which the industry has become more demeaning toward women. Dines explains, in graphic language and detail, how porn really isn't about sex but rather about humiliating and degrading females. The vast majority of porn scenes today are not what real women would do in real life.
Yet porn has impacted, fashion, media and women in America: "Whether if be thongs peeping out of low-slung jeans, reve
Ann Douglas
In this thought-provoking book, sociologist Gale Dines explores how what she describes as "porn culture" has permeated mainstream pop culture -- and what that means to adult men and women as well as teenagers and young adults growing up in a world in which ideas about what it means to be masculine or feminine are being skewed by a multi-billion dollar porn industry. Her arguments are compelling and disturbing. To those who would argue that the hypersexualization of women's bodies has been empowe ...more
Aug 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is an eye-opener to someone who doesn't watch TV, and hasn't participated much in popular culture. After reading Dines' book, I can see where an acceptance of porn has worked its way into movies, print, and even the design of children's clothing. While I see sex as something that should be / can be celebrated in life (and the lives of consenting adults), I cannot accept the moral rightness of porn as a product to be sold in an industrial fashion. It's just so oppressive on so many levels. B ...more
Rebecca Huston
A book that is going to bother most readers, and infuriate nearly everyone, no matter where you stand on the pornography debate. Very raw, very disturbing and not for most. While I was glad to have this book written, and seeing the damage that gonzo porn can do -- gonzo porn is very violent, very misogynist -- it's also strident and repetitive. Read at your own risk.

For the longer review, please go here:
Jan 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A sometimes gut-wrenching yet even-handed discussion of the pornification of our culture, and how mainstream pornography's rampant sexism and racism may be making our culture more hostile to women, people of color, and children.
- The book starts out with a chapter covering the history of porn in America, beginning with Playboy and it's subsequent battles with Penthouse and Hustler and how this lead to an expansion of what pornographic material was deemed appropriate. I felt like Dines' covering
Aug 22, 2011 rated it liked it
I read this book on an airplane and during the four hour flight, there was a little TV on the seat in front of me that played ads the entire time. You couldn't turn it off, so I was just forced to glance at car commercials the entire time. The situation was frighteningly relevant since this book is about the slow creep of hypersexuality into our media and it actually did scare me a little bit to think about how we can barely control the images we're exposed to on a minute-by-minute basis just li ...more
Carolyne Borel
Oct 29, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: essays
I picked this book after a reflection i had on how sexualized everything is in our societies, and how fed up i was with it. Yet, it is about understanding the road which led us here.
Lo and behold, i was far from expecting what i was about to read in this book! I sometimes had to put my reading on hold, not just to get away from the really hardcore stuffs Gail Dines describe, but also to change my mind, as this reading can really get to you, in a "get you down, depressed and sad" kind of mood...
Jun 02, 2011 rated it really liked it
Gail Dines explores the detrimental effects that heterosexual pornography has on women and men throughout society. She is eloquent in the distinction that an anti-porn stance is not necessary anti-sex. Dines chronicles the ways in which the prevalence of porn on the internet has pushed the limits of extremism and ultimately resulted in what was previously gonzo as mainstream. The detailed accounts from actual pornography and interviews with male actors and producers in the adult film industry cl ...more
Sep 02, 2010 rated it did not like it
I tried hard to have an open mind about this book after all the bad press it received from my uber-liberal-feminist blogroll. Some really valid points at times and the sections about the history and business models of popular magazines/video producters was interesting but the arguments got a little outlandish at points and I lost interest when she started to critique "hook-up culture". Old hat.
Feb 18, 2012 rated it liked it
I didn't think pornography was as lurid as it was described in this book! I always thought it was just films of girls taking their shirts off (which was bad enough). Who knew things like gonzo pornography, money (cum) shots, vomiting and urination fetishes existed? Reading this made me realize how totally ignorant I was of the roots of the hypersexualized culture that surrounded (and continues to surround) me, which, thank goodness, I ain't anymore.

This was the first book I read about pornograp
Jan 06, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
At least one review on Goodreads needs to start with the final phrase of Dines' text "in a just society, there is no place for porn". Unless you agree with this there is no point in reading because the author uses no proper research methodology to arrive at this conclusion, only unfounded, self-contradictory assertion.

In fact Dines' takes the hackneyed feminist line that porn leads to rape and extends it to blame white heterosexual men for making racist, paedophile rapists of all other men. When
Jul 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Excellent account of the Porn Industry.
Dines entreats us to look at Porn's attitude towards women.
She shows how porn is promoted in our everyday lives -
even as we, on one level, deny it.

Interesting that porn consumption is most popular
in areas where gender/racial inequality
are greatest. In the U.S., Utah and the Southern states
take the lead. As Gail Dine states, "in a just world, there
is no room for porn."

The book is throughly documented with
examples of perversions that have grown
more violen
May 24, 2011 rated it really liked it
This book is definitely a must-read--especially for all you avid porn-watchers out there. It's well researched, smart, and incredibly readable. I was slightly turned off by moments of hardcore judgment (pun intended) which is why I gave it a 4/5. However, this book is extremely important and so relevant.
Mar 20, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: feminism, nonfiction
Well, I feel 5x sicker after finishing Pornland. This was so painful to read, for the obvious reason that the subject matter is so horrendous. But this is the world we live in, it's really important for people to know, and Gail Dines does not hold back. The violence and degradation inflicted on female porn performers is told in candid detail, and it's not pleasant. This is not an enjoyable read, but it is certainly an enlightening one.

Like most anti-porn activists, Dines gets accused of picking
Ted Morgan
Oct 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I cannot quite grasp what the author intends. She seems to restate Robin Morgan without adding much if any insight. We all hate child porn. We all hate objectification of women. Dr. Dines does not explain why objectification happens. She does point out how pornography distorts sexuality and how it invades our daily and immediate experience.

She does state how the porn industry traps our society. I think this book would be a good work to discuss in Sunday school or prayer group. I think it might
Jul 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Anybody who has ever watched even a second of pornography, glanced at a pornographic image, read a pornographic novel or contemplated what the pornography industry is like must read this book. Dines' book is thoroughly researched - complete with pages of endnotes. Her research backs up her anti-porn but pro-sex approach through a detailed examination of the pornography industry. As a white male dominated industry, Dines seeks to explore how what we watch in pornography informs our personal sexua ...more
Chryssula Kokossulis
Jun 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The title is kind of giving it away already, but I think it's an important very provocative and good title. And I say that even though there are some things that I don't agree with. Being American, her book has a certain tendency (but it can be applied onto Europe and other continents for sure). Having said that, a 21st century person interested in the topic should definitely read this book. Full stop. It's about pornography interferes with our perception of ourselves, our partners and also our ...more
Apr 27, 2013 rated it liked it
Dines made an excellent case for the concept of porn companies being on the forefront of new technologies, and finding a way for them to legitimise and mainstream their business. I think that the slow creeping inclusion of porn in mainstream culture is interesting.

While this was an interesting look at the porn industry, and the ubiquitous nature of "pornland", I felt that many of the underpinning beliefs allowed the conclusions that the author came to. The author obviously allowed her particula
Jun 02, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Pornography - its images, values and how it frames women as sexual objects for male gratification has seeped into mainstream society in a pervasive and insidious way. So argues Gail Dines in an emphatic style as she dismantles the myth that pornography is a benign social force, much less something associated with sexual liberation.

It's hard to disagree with several of her core arguments, namely that:

- Users of porn become desensitized to images they once found repellent and the drive to seek ou
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Gail Dines is an English–American feminist author, anti-pornography activist, professor, and lecturer.
“Porn is now so deeply embedded in our culture that it has become synonymous with sex to such a point that to criticize porn is to get slapped with the label anti-sex.

But what if you are a feminist who is pro-sex in the real sense of the word, pro that wonderful, fun, and deliciously creative force that bathes the body in delight and pleasure, and what you are actually against is porn sex? A kind of sex that is debased, dehumanized, formulaic, and generic, a kind of sex not based on individual fantasy, play, or imagination, but one that is the result of an industrial product created by those who get excited not by bodily contact but by market penetration and profits? Where, then, do you fit in the pro-sex, anti-sex dichotomy when pro-porn equals pro-sex?”
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