How big a collection of cheesecake (or beefcake) pictures is creepy?

Also, when does a picture become porn?

This has become a subject of discussion in a support group I belong to in the real world. One member of the group has expressed disapproval at the revelation that another member has literally thousands of pictures of scantily-clad persons in their possession. As their owner tells it, none of the photos are pornographic, at least as I define the term; that is, though many of them are nudes, and a few of them depict multiple persons, none of them depict sexual activity (not even masturbation) more advanced than kissing.

The person who objects to to the collection opines that the effort of gathering and sorting so many pictures is troublesome in itself; the fact that they aren’t techically pornographic doesn’t matter.

I’m not sure what I think. On the one hand, I think that the fact that the person who owns these pics is so reluctant to give them up is itself a red flag that the pictures are potentially unhealthy for this person. On the other, I don’t know that the simple number of pictures matters.

So what do y’all think?

I’ll take the easy one first. What is porn.

I know it when I see it. Purely subjective depending on who you ask. For me, it crosses the line into porn when, for me, there is no artistic element. And even that line is about a mile wide in shades of gray.

How much is too much? In these days of nearly free digital storage, I can’t say that there is a limit.

I’m just wondering why none of the photos are actual porn. I mean, “scantily clad”? What is this, 1890? Are there women wearing bustles, showing their ankles?

And why is it anyone else’s business?

A picture is porn when the person looking at it uses it for sexual purposes. So, the same picture can be porn to one person and not porn to another person.

I’ve always just found it easier to declare all nudes to be pornographic. If we just go with “using it for sexual purposes,” then Rule 34 says there’s nothing that isn’t porn.

In general I’d say it’s nobody else’s business. But this is a support group for persons with sexual compulsivity issues; the members have concerns persons without such issues do not have, and gather in an attempt to help one another manage their issues.

That’s not what rule 34 says. It says that if it exists, there is porn of it. I don’t think you can extrapolate that to mean “if someone beats off to it, then it’s porn”.

If this person spent the same amount of time and money on a coin collection, and was equally unwilling to give his hobby up, would it still be unhealthy?

This totally changes my answer.

It’s then SLIGHTLY more of an issue. I guess that the yardstick is whether the pictures are having a negative impact on the person’s life. And unless 1,023 pictures are no problem but 1,024 pictures are, then the quantity is not an issue at all.

I used to date a woman–let’s call her Lynn–who collected baseball cards. She got obsessed by it, and squandered thousands of dollars on it. Literally thousands: her grandparents had left her a nice-sized bequest and she spent it all on cards. My ex had a tendency to become addicted to certain activities, you see, not so much for their own sake but for reasons I shan’t get into here. It was very hard for her to give up the card collecting.

So, yes, if Lynn began collecting stamps coins and was unwilling to give the hobby up, it would be worrisome.

To my mind it’s not the number of pictures so forth as the effort involved in maintaining the collection. If, say, the person whose hobby began this thread were constantly sorting and reclassifying the pictures (e.g., adding multiple tags, worrying overmuch over the nomenclature of each photograph, and so forth) I would say that, given his or her history, he or she was in dangerous territory.

I really can’t speak to whether the members of this group would consider this a problem. But assuming these are digital pics downloaded from the internet, the number really doesn’t matter.

I mean, people look at sexy pictures on the internet all the time. A guy who sits down for an hour of browsing cuties on the internet could easily look at over a hundred pictures. If does this just twice a week, that’s nearly a thousand pictures in a single month. Now that this person saves them all might have something to do with compulsiveness or not, and it’s an open question as to whether surfing for cuties is healthy in and of itself, but 1,000 doesn’t seem like an incredibly large number of sexy pictures. Heck, I have over… I mean, um, hypothetically speaking, it seems reasonable.

Or, what tdn said more concisely.

I think you’re focusing on the wrong questions.

If the collecting IS as time-consuming and detailed as you imply, the person in question definitely seems to be exhibiting compulsive behavior of some sort (unless they have a genuine academic interest in this style and are genuinely collecting for archival and preservation purposes).

Given that this person is seeking help with sexual issues, I think the important questions are: are these photos wank fodder for the person? That’d be a big red flag. And WHY are they compulsively collecting? If they do it to take their mind off things or relax, it’s not necessarily a BAD thing. Some people like doing hobbies instead of other forms of entertainment / relaxation. Nothing inherently wrong with that.

Are you sure that unwilling is the word you meant to use here? I have several hobbies that I’m unwilling to give up. That doesn’t mean that they’re a problem for me.

Are we talking about a physical collection of photographic prints, or digital images on a computer?

In the case of digital images from the Internet, having several thousand is really easy. All you have to do is save 3 pics a day and you’ll have a thousand after a year.

Sign up to some email groups, and you can get hundreds of pics/day without doing anything but leaving your email app running. If you count Gmail’s online email storage, shit… I haven’t checked my “adult” email account in ages, but I bet it’s full. Many, many thousands of pictures are sitting in that account right now.

Why do you guys think terabyte hard drives were invented?:smiley:

Why? “Wanking” is perfectly normal behavior. How is it any different from having the Penthouse and Playboy collections people had decades ago? Or for that matter having thousands of music MP3s or vinyl records?

Given that jpeg files cost nothing and storgage space costs nearly nothing, I don’t see the problem with having hundreds or even tens of thousands of pictures. Other than maybe you might be venturing into compulsive digital hoarderterritory.

The one potential problem I see, as with any compulsive behavior, is when it starts to interfere with personal relationships or work. For example if you continually forgo human contact in lieu of the internet.

But some people can manage both. A good friend of mine spends an excessive amount of time on YouPorn. But his wife is like “I don’t care. Just as long as you aren’t trying to have sex with me ten times a day.”

The guy is in a support group for people fighting compulsive sexual behavior. Chronic masturbation CAN absolutely be destructive behavior. If you’re actively trying to change that behavior, hoarding a big stash of erotic photos is probably a lousy idea.

I’d need more info to actually pass a judgment on the specific situation, but what I’m hearing boils down to:

Guy is reaching out for help with sexual compulsion.
Guy is engaging in behavior that could promote sexual compulsion.

I don’t see how unless you can’t control when and where.

It can be an addiction. If you’re spending so much time at it (and/or preparing for it) that you can’t accomplish anything else you wish to with your life, that’s not good.

Especially if you don’t even derive much pleasure from it.