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Alain de Botton wants better online smut

Site will liberate net from "stupidity, brutishness, earnestness and exploitation"

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Clearly not satisfied with being the thinking woman’s sex symbol, philosopher Alain De Botton is taking on sex in a new digital venture that will attempt to position pornography – mostly the online iteration- as a therapeutic tool rather than a grubby thrill. De Botton issued a press release from his philosopher think tank The School of Life extolling the virtues of porn if executed in the right fashion. "No longer would sexuality have to be lumped together with stupidity, brutishness, earnestness and exploitation. It could instead be harnessed to what is noblest in us."

The philosopher is in the midst of building a website called ‘Better Porn,’ which aims to spotlight the higher art of online sexcapades.

"The real problem with current pornography," De Botton wrote in a press release announcing the launch," is that it's so far removed from all the other concerns which a reasonably sensible, moral, kind and ambitious person might have. As currently constituted, pornography asks that we leave behind our ethics, our aesthetic sense and our intelligence when we contemplate it." The site will therefore offer users "a version of pornography which wouldn't force us to make such a stark choice between sex and virtue – a pornography in which sexual desire would be invited to support, rather than permitted to undermine, our higher values.

Very few details are available about the site and it remains to be seen what the business model will be.

In a Q&A with the Guardian on the weekend , de Botton said, “pornography, like alcohol and drugs, weakens our ability to endure the kinds of suffering that are necessary for us to direct our lives properly. In particular, it reduces our capacity to tolerate those two ambiguous goods, anxiety and boredom….The entire internet is in a sense pornographic, it is a deliverer of constant excitement which we have no innate capacity to resist, a system which leads us down paths many of which have nothing to do with our real needs.”

In case you were feeling guilty he adds, “it is at moments when we feel an irresistible desire to escape from ourselves that we can be sure that there is something important we need to bring to consciousness – and yet it is precisely at such pregnant moments that internet pornography has a habit of exerting its maddening pull, thereby helping us to destroy our future.” ®

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