Former Playboy cover model Pamela Anderson has co-written a piece for the Wall Street Journal warning of the dangers of porn. She and co-author rabbi Shmuley Boteach use the recent Anthony Weiner story as a starting point to discuss the dangers of porn addition:

From our respective positions of rabbi-counselor and former Playboy model and actress, we have often warned about pornography’s corrosive effects on a man’s soul and on his ability to function as husband and, by extension, as father. This is a public hazard of unprecedented seriousness given how freely available, anonymously accessible and easily disseminated pornography is nowadays…

The statistics already available are terrifying. According to data provided by the American Psychological Association, porn consumption rates are between 50% and 99% among men and 30% to 86% among women, with the former group often reporting less satisfactory intimate lives with their wives or girlfriends as a result of the consumption. By contrast, many female fans of pornography tend to prefer a less explicit variety, and report that it improves their sexual relationships.

Their prescription is what they call a “sensual revolution” which amounts to a culture shift on attitudes about porn:

Simply put, we must educate ourselves and our children to understand that porn is for losers—a boring, wasteful and dead-end outlet for people too lazy to reap the ample rewards of healthy sexuality.

The idea of Pamela Anderson becoming an anti-porn crusader is a bit hard to grasp at first. It’s like Guy Fieri becoming a crusader against calories or KISS’s Gene Simmons becoming a proponent of marriage. Hmm. Maybe that’s not a good example.

On the other hand maybe Pamela Anderson is in a perfect position to make this argument. For most people, the reaction to an argument like this would be an instant backlash suggesting the author was a prude who needed to stop living in the Victorian era. It’s pretty difficult to level that one at Anderson who Fox News notes has been on the cover of Playboy 15 times, more than anyone else in the magazine’s history.

Despite this, Anderson is already getting the backlash from the Daily Beast where author Amy Zimmerman attacks her, “outdated, gendered take on pornography consumption.” The piece reads in part:

Anderson’s op-ed feels like the outdated moralizing of a former sex icon who’s just a little bit out of touch. Anderson has made a career out of selling sex in moderation, for personal profit. From Baywatch to Playboy and back to Baywatch again, Anderson was the iconic blonde bombshell, and an important prototype for deliberately marketed, unabashedly sexy stars like Kim Kardashian and Nicki Minaj. But with this male-centered, sex-shaming finger-wagging, Anderson has revealed an inability to rebrand. Her condemnation of widely accessible porn might be more internet-phobic than anti-sex; a fear of the unknown consequences of evolving technologies. It seems that the commodification and dissemination of sex, a machine that Pam Anderson was once so tapped into, has gone wireless and high speed, passing her by in the process.

Again, it is jarring to hear this message coming from the Baywatch star, but as Zimmerman points out, Anderson was also one of the first victims of internet porn:

In 1995, a private sex tape of Anderson and her then-husband Tommy Lee was snatched from their home. Due to the legal issues inherent in the dissemination of stolen property, it took two years for the sex tape to go viral. It made an estimated $77 million in less than a year on legitimate sales alone. The public assumed, as one does in the wake of a celebrity sex tape, that the leak was a deliberate ploy for pocket change or publicity. But as Anderson confirmed years later, “I made not one dollar” off of the stolen footage.

Whether you agree with her take or not, Pamela Anderson is someone who has both benefited immensely and been personally and publicly harmed by porn. That puts her in a unique position to discuss the topic.