Monday, February 13, 2006
Porn-to-go starting to take off
Call it pocket porn, mini-porn, even porn-to-go. I am sitting in an edit suite completely dazzled by the cultural trend that is racing across the screens in front of me.

When the video iPod debuted back in October, there was great acclaim over the idea that we could download music videos, prime time television shows, and even movies, and carry them with us and watch them when and where we liked. Four months later, we're downloading alright. But on iPods, video cell phones and PDAs, some of the hottest content by far is pornography.

People in the porn industry, and even some major communications companies, say they've never seen anything like it. Since the dawn of the Internet, people could bypass adult video stores or hotel movie rentals in search of pornography. But now, they don't even need to have the stuff stored on their computers. So people are loading up the little hard drives on their hips with, well...hips...and a whole lot more.

It's intriguing, titillating, even a bit amusing. But I'm left wondering how I'm going to feel the first time I'm with my kids and we run up on someone watching a pod full of porn.
Posted By Tom Foreman, CNN Correspondent: 7:42 PM ET
  50 Comments
Well I guess that means you'll have to actually be a parent that monitors the activities of their children.

What a concept.
Posted By Anonymous Christopher Neal, Playa Del Rey, CA : 7:57 PM ET
Well, deal with it! I do not have a video iPod and I do not support the porn industry but we had magazines before and porn have been around even before the piramids! just call it 21st century. I am more concenr abou parents relaying all their kids education on the system rather than spending real time with them. Even, going to church became a social gathering long time ago. Show your kids what life is about based on your experience and that is it.
Posted By Anonymous Rei, Caracas, Venezuela : 7:58 PM ET
A perverts dream come true. Porn has its place but not in the mall on an ipod. What ever happened to the right time and place for everything?!?
Posted By Anonymous Julie,Erwin, TN : 8:00 PM ET
As long as they are keeping to themselves and not showing it to your kids, you have nothing to say. What people do with the thier own gear is none of your business.
Posted By Anonymous Don, Houston, TX : 8:03 PM ET
I'm really not surprised, and I'd be surprised at anyone who was surprised by this.

What I'd really like to know, though, is where are these people watching the porn? Maybe they're watching it in public areas like planes and trains and busses, but I'm not sure how likely that is. Do they go to a private place in the the park or into a restroom to watch? These are the kinds of questions that would need to be answered before we can determine how likely it is that our kids will run across someone watchin porn on their ipod, and that's the angle I'd like to see CNN investigate.
Posted By Anonymous Susan, Tiburon CA : 8:15 PM ET
When the internet came out and search engines became viable ways of finding information, I remember hearing some ridiculous statistic saying something like 80 or 90 percent of searches were for "sex related" content. Astounding as it was, it has stayed in my mind as I have grown, knowing that our society must not wear its reality on its sleeves.

So, its really of no surprise to me that this new "phenomena" is happening on the video PDA/iPods. In fact, I'd even wager dollars to donuts that the manufacturers of these machines banked on it. They'll report abnormally high returns on these devices, but they probably expected it, just couldn't tell their investors that porn was the real reason they should invest in them. Corporate America is smart enough to have seen this one coming.
Posted By Anonymous Spencer, Portland Oregon : 8:20 PM ET
I personally feel that pornography is a very private thing. Although you may find some downloaded to my computer, it actually makes my list of things I would not want to be caught dead with.

How anyone could manage to not restrain themselves until they reach the privacy of their own home is beyond me.

What happens when people become unable to control their physical reactions to such stimuli? "Excuse me, I have to go to the bathroom. Oops! I forgot my iPod."

Lets hope they have the courtesy to make it behind closed doors.
Posted By Anonymous Geoffrey, New York City, NY : 8:30 PM ET
Aren't we moving toward a time when porn will be an everyday part of life and the world around us, even to our kids? This sexual boom seems to be leading us BACK to a complacency with sex as a part of life, whether exploitative, beastial, or in the name of love. Is that so bad, or good?
Posted By Anonymous Leslie Westbrook, Natchitoches, Louisiana : 8:30 PM ET
Never mind kids observing someone else viewing "pod porn".What about the ones (and I think it is safe to say their are probably many)who download it and view it on their own iPods? I suppose we all should have seen this coming though.It is sad that with so many good things happening with technology their have to be bad ones too.
Posted By Anonymous Jennifer, Durham, NC : 8:34 PM ET
If you should come upon another person in a car next to you watching porn you can always call the police. There have been several occurances of this in the press over the past few months and I believe those people were charged by police. I wouldn't personally waste my time, but you can be sure its going to happen more often in the future. Its the world we have created and get to live in...
Posted By Anonymous Harold, Merrimac, MA : 8:34 PM ET
Well should that moment where you and your kids "run up on someone watching a pod full of porn," either you could feign puritan embarrassment (and hopefully the iPod user tells you to mind your own business), or you could use the opportunity to have an honest talk with your kids about sex. Do you similarly blindfold your children from poverty, discrimination, pollution, and a host of other vices?
Posted By Anonymous Dennis, New York : 8:36 PM ET
Like many things we humans have developed over the last century technology has it's good and useful side and its not so good side. Because of technology, obtaining information is, literally, at the tip of our fingertips. However, the fact that downloading pornography is on an increase says more about people than the technology itself and/or the accessibility of information. Maybe the focus should not be on the technology itself but on our societies need/desire for a steady diet of pornography. Another discussion direction; what is missing in the lives of some people that they feel the need to see these images, what need does pornography fulfill? Another more important focus maybe directed at the people that participate and produce these pornographic images and/or movies. Pornography is a disheartening human condition and has nothing to do with technology or the ease in which it allows us to gain access to images and information. I think porn speaks volumes about how disconnected humans are from themselves and ineffectual some are at developing meaningful relationships.
As far as explaining to your children if you come across someone watching a pod full of porn. Well, that will be a significant teachable moment for you as a parent. You will know what to do when or if it happens.
Posted By Anonymous Donna, Minneapolis,Mn. : 8:37 PM ET
If we don't want our kids to get an eyeful of pod porn, why is it right for us?

And how heartbreaking, that the day before Valentines Day, our beloved men are sitting in an office "dazzled", intrigued, and titillated by the hips, tips, and lips of these women. Women who convey realities that aren't truly REAL about themselves and their audience.

Our amazing, intelligent, thoughtful men are entranced by these fantasy-inducing images, while becoming isolated from the real, satisfying love they could have.

These images brand themselves on our men's minds, thereby becoming an even more portable replay source.

Each image adds more weight to the veil between men and women and the true intimacy we might have shared.

I'm sorry, Tom, but Pod porn is not something to be celebrated. It is something to be mourned.

Porn--no matter what device displays it-- doesn't just rob women of their dignity, it also throws a terrible blanket of guilt, secrecy, and consuming-but-never-satisfying sexual appetite over the hearts and minds of our men.

This is not convenience-to-go, but destruction-to-go. And I, for one, grieve its arrival.
Posted By Anonymous Kelli, Birch Bay, Washington : 8:43 PM ET
Just like anything else in our society it needs regulation... I personally feel that it should not be viewable in public areas, especially areas where children are present... but if you want to watch it in your car, while you are parked, that's a totally different matter...
Posted By Anonymous Mohamad, Boulder CO : 8:44 PM ET
You are going to have to get very close and very intimate with the porn-carrying iPod holder to view what's on his screen.
Posted By Anonymous Dean Rotbart, Santa Monica, CA : 8:46 PM ET
I think porn is degrading to humans and diminishes us as a society but I do believe people have the right to watch and participate in whatever they chose as long as it doesn't infringe on the personal rights (or space) of others.
Posted By Anonymous Pat Peschel, Onalaska, WI : 8:46 PM ET
Ipod meets Porn is just another evolution of the Internet as Erotic Delivery Platform. Forget the Christian Right, Taliban, and Hasidic Jews. Puritans of all stripes will fall before this perfect melding of Technology and Desire.
Posted By Anonymous Garrett Osborne, Marina Del Rey CA : 8:49 PM ET
I think it's ironic to even have this in the news - on the same pages where reports of murders and rapes by porn addicts are given. It's a very sad day in America when people will eat all the filth they can get and then laugh about it. Families are crumbling, children have no parents, and yet the porn industry is booming. I feel sick to my stomach to even read this is happening.
Posted By Anonymous Jean Lancaster, sc : 8:51 PM ET
As long as pornography is legal, its use should probably fall under the same guidelines/laws related to alcohol use. Public use should be prohibited and "publicly intoxicated" people should be fined/arrested.

Personally, I don't want my children exposed to anyone viewing pornography. Parking lots are public areas and therefore off-limits.
Posted By Anonymous Christopher King, Milford, PA : 8:56 PM ET
People ultimately have to police themselves on many things. The only thing that stopped my porn addiction was easy availability on the internet - no one was telling me no, no one knew but me, and it hit me, why am I wasting my life with this crap - so I stopped.
Posted By Anonymous greg, elmira ny : 8:56 PM ET
Hello Tom, yes ... that's the down side of fast-moving technology. It's progressing so rapidly that we thought we need only concern about its obsolescence, but beyond that: our morality is relentlessly challenged! Thanks for bringing up the issue. Indeed, parents need to be forewarned of the latent menace to their children. Forewarned is forearmed, right? Look forward to watching it.
Posted By Anonymous V.A. Churchill, Houston, TX : 8:57 PM ET
How does a parent regulate an ipod??? For all the instep I thought I was with educating my nephews about sexuality today, promiscuety, etc. are you telling me they can go to the mall and watch it on there ipod??? Perplexing very perplexing.
Posted By Anonymous Julie, Erwin, TN : 8:57 PM ET
iPod screens are very small...if your child can get close enough to see what the person is watching you need to look after your kids better.
Posted By Anonymous tom, norfolk, VA : 8:59 PM ET
It continues to amaze me that people are worried about what others are watching. Keep your eyes to yourselve and off of my iPod.
Posted By Anonymous Lance, Wichita, KS : 9:00 PM ET
We are witnessing a cultural meltdown due to things like pornography. Decades down the road, it will only lead to more distressing social problems and disfunctionality.

Can we not see where we are going with this?
Posted By Anonymous Ryan Farnes, Gaithersburg Maryland : 9:02 PM ET
That is as similar as taking a laptop computer out in a public space and viewing/listening to whatever strikes a fancy. There is no need for alarm, such things are blown out of proprotion everytime someone has a different idea as to how people use their technology.
Posted By Anonymous Nick, Fort Worth Texas : 9:02 PM ET
Parents are already having a hard time to control their kids with what they have in the desktop or laptop computers. Now it will be even much harder to deal with these small and mobile devices. It's like a virus, it will spread like an epidemy...
Posted By Anonymous Mike Le, Irvine CA : 9:04 PM ET
I think it's just a matter of dignity to not watch something like that in public. I can't imagine people doing a think like that, but I'm sure in rare instances, it might happen.
Posted By Anonymous Jonathan, Abilene, TX : 9:05 PM ET
Why the knee-jerk reaction that watching erotica on an ipod is going to somehow jeopardize children? Pornographic magazines are as easily portable as an ipod, and yet somehow, I have never seen anyone on a public bus, a park bench, at a restaurant, etc., reading one. Let's not be hysterical. Why is it perfectly okay to allow children to watch graphic violence or play graphically violent and morbid video games, but the mere threat of exposure to the sex act incites reactionary prohibition?
Posted By Anonymous Bill O, Honolulu, HI : 9:08 PM ET
Legislation is now surfacing on specific places where porn can be viewed. Recently, persons driving cars with passenger video screens have been cited because children, as well as police officers, were exposed to pornographic material. This type of legislation needs to include personal video equipment, if it doesn't already.
Posted By Anonymous A. Buckner, Stillwater, OK : 9:09 PM ET
Well, I guess we could teach our children to throw a rock at what they find offensive and maybe it will go away. This seems to be the current thing to do when one disagrees with freedom of the press. I prefer turning one's head, but, for the life of me, I doubt I will practice what a preach.
Posted By Anonymous Jayne, Charleston, SC : 9:09 PM ET
Yes, that's EXACLTY what our country needs: yet another 'organization' to monitor what we do on our personal pocket pcs. People should be able to watch what they want, when they want. Just because you have a child and they're bouncing around, peeking at someone's video iPod doesn't mean the person who owns it has to put it away just because a short adult is around.
I say, let them watch porn. And by them, I mean you and me.
Posted By Anonymous Marcie, Ithaca, NY : 9:09 PM ET
Ah the screens on iPods are so small and they have headphones after all, so it's not like anyone can see what they're watching. And as long as I can't tell that's what they're watching, I'm cool with it.
Posted By Anonymous Courtney, Chagrin Falls, OH : 9:10 PM ET
For the love of god, does it always have to go back to children? "Don't they know that kid's can see that?", "Do they not realize that children have access to those things?" First of all, age is an illusion it's all about the individual. And if you don't want YOUR young individual to be exposed to a certain activity, like I don't know, ipod porn downloading then don't put them in the situation where they will be exposed to that. I mean, it isn't like in our hypocritical puritan society that there are going to be people watching these videos in public! God forbid we really be free. So what this is coming down to is parents worrying about there kids stumbling onto the porn downloads when they are looking for some 50 Cent song. And it doesn't take a rocket scientist to come up with the solution to that. Because after all, wouldn't it be a horror if young America was knowledgeable on topics such as the human body and sex. On another note, why is this a topic? In Europe, do you think this would be a topic? If it was it would be more like: New Chart added to account for ipod porn download; the first #1? House on Hooters Hill! I mean this is almost as ridiculous as the fact that Janet Jackson´┐Żs Super Bowl peep show was even MENTIONED in the news. That day MILLIONS of American Christian families had to tell there teenagers what a boob was. What a shame!
Posted By Anonymous Mark, Montgomery, Alabama : 9:10 PM ET
If anybody didn't see this coming, I'd have to say he/she must've been a complete idiot,... of course porn was destined to get into this area! As far as regulation is concerned, I wouldn't see any reason that this needs to be regulated any differently than current porn laws ... porn is porn, whether viewed in a magazine, on the internet via PC, or on an iPod or cell phone.
Posted By Anonymous Cashman, Flagstaff, Arizona : 9:11 PM ET
I don't even want to think about why someone would want to be able to watch porn wherever they go.
Posted By Anonymous John, Atlanta, GA : 9:11 PM ET
I personally do not find this amusing. "Pocket Porn" is just another example of how our society is crumbling into an abyss of immorality. We no longer have any values. We have completely destroyed the principals upon which this country was founded.
Posted By Anonymous Dr. C.J. Springer, Kansas : 9:12 PM ET
Horrible, horrible thoughts come to mind with this revelation. I immediatly think of kids in the park totally oblivious to the man on the bench with ... "excited pants" ... What then to the ones who have no self control. I do think that we will see an increase in sexual offenses. The Con's aren't hard to imagine, the Pro's are. The question becomes, legally how do we keep pornography from walking through the parks?
Posted By Anonymous Jamie Mobley, Woodland, CA : 9:13 PM ET
Yes, I used to think internet porn was funny, too. Then one day my 10-year-old daughter was on the computer and let out a scream. When I came downstairs a pop-up had come up of a woman doing something to a man that I can't even describe in this public forum. A close-up yet. My son's teenage friend had gone to some sites that downloaded so much trash onto our computer that it had to be completely restored. I was upset but more than that I was sad, sad that this innocent little girl had to see this and in our own home yet. My point is that it's everywhere, and now along with having to listen to other people's violent and profane music while driving in my car, I can guarantee that people will find a way to intrude on our privacy with their porn as well.
Posted By Anonymous Karen, Columbus, Ohio : 9:14 PM ET
I do not see any problem with it... it is no different than looking at a magazine in a public place. To the gentleman that is concerned about his children seeing it, maybe he should teach his children not to look on someone elses computer (or i-pod) screen.
Posted By Anonymous MaasterC, Washington, DC : 9:14 PM ET
Twice I've seen a car in town that has two drop-down video screens, one for each of the back seats.

Both times I've seen it, both screens were playing rather hard-core pornography.

I suspect that existing laws already cover both this and public use of iPorn.
Posted By Anonymous Steve, Austin, TX : 9:16 PM ET
I personally feel that if you are going to be a parent, you should be a parent, make sure you know where your kids are at, and obviously if you are in an area where someone is watching their version of entertainment, you should either ask them to stop, (which would intrude on their personal space, have you ever SEEN the size of these tiny screens?) or actually *GASP* take your children away from the offending material.

Is that so hard?
Posted By Anonymous Joshua, Louisville, KY : 9:17 PM ET
Tom,
I think this will be an eye opener for many people. We were just talking about pornagraphy in my office today. Wondering how many work hours per day are spent surfing for porn? Also, are males more likely to have an addiction than females? Now your bringing Ipods into the mix. It's a scary thought to think that your surgeon may be viewing his porn filled ipod prior to you going under the knife.
Posted By Anonymous Cheryl, Raleigh NC : 9:19 PM ET
I imagine that the vast majority of users have an inherent sense of public propriety. I mean, how often do you see someone reading an adult magazine in public? Yes, it does happen but that seems to be the exception rather than the norm.
Posted By Anonymous Michael, Watertown, MA : 9:19 PM ET
In typical American fashion, the first thing we think about is thousands of people walking in "public" places showing all children within eyesight porn on their ipods. Yet we haven't put together the fact that porn is a very private habit for people and the explosion of porn on the net is a direct result of people having an alternative to visiting the same "public" porn shops that they were embarrassed to visit in the first place. So it seems counterintuitive to think now that you can download porn to ipods people will no longer be embarrassed by a public display of their porn habits.
Posted By Anonymous Tom, San Francisco, CA : 9:23 PM ET
For all you who argue that people have a right to look at what they want and the rest of us should be responsible enough to guard our kids from it, well guess what. We also have a right not to have porn thrown into our kids faces. Our children have a right to grow up respecting women as people as not as degraded sexual objects
Posted By Anonymous Mike, NYC, New York : 9:24 PM ET
This is just a reality of modern technology; carrying media content in your palm. Realistically, the likelihood of you and the kids "running up" on someone with a "pod full of porn" isn't any more likely than you guys encountering someone with a "magazine full of porn" which are a lot easier to see than the tiny under-five inch ipod screen, (not to mention the fact that dirty magazines have been around for decades).
Posted By Anonymous William, Clovis, CA : 9:25 PM ET
I think it's a pollution to the mind of children everywhere. Porn makes sex so cheap. It degrades the purpose of sex for procreation, building a functional family and society. Children have enough problems in school to be distracted with porn on the ipod. Keep the sex private. Make it illegal to show X-rated movies on ipod in public.
Posted By Anonymous Willie, Short Hills, NJ : 9:28 PM ET
I don't find this information the least bit intriguing, titillating, or amusing. I think it is pathetic that it has now become impossible to shield our children from the perversity of this generation. I teach my children the difference between right and wrong and can only pray that they will turn away from wrong things and embrace righteousness accordingly.

The children of today will be the caretakers of the elderly tomorrow. After being fed with violence and sex during their formative years, they will surely be ANGRY MONSTERS when they grow up. I'm a firm believer of the saying, "What goes around,comes around". The promoters of this filth will surely get exactly what they deserve, someday...
Posted By Anonymous Janette, Fairmont, West Virginia : 9:28 PM ET
I am just curious. Was it only me that figured this out when we first saw the ads on television? I cannot even afford one and saw this coming for miles! We see these things now. Case in point. Two weeks before Christmas, I pulled behind a brand new Caddilac Escalade, complete with the nice video screens in the back of each front seat, and got the shock of watching a rather arousing scene of sexual intercourse while in traffic, and the couple IN the Escalade didnt look like they were playing checkers! For me, I have problems enough protecting my two daughters from this, and luckily, they were home at the time, but it just stands as another testament to the freedoms that are exploited in a way that no one can seem to stop. It will only get worse. Last summer while I was at a star party for our astronomy club, 6 college students just started having sex right next to my telescope. I asked them to leave, but they refused. After threatening them with action by the police, they left, but the damage had been done.

Until American stops letting itself be ruled by psycologists, minority groups, and liberal left wing radicals who cannot control themselves, this is what our nation is becoming - a place where we welcome anyone who wishes to walk all over the Constitution. We are supposed to be one nation - UNDER GOD - INDIVISIBLE. We ARE the example for the planet - so lets start representing human kind in the way it SHOULD be represented instead of exploiting our own Constitution.
Posted By Anonymous Alan Atwood Cedar Rapids, Iowa : 9:33 PM ET
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