By Cheyanne Mandeville

There’s been a lot of debate recently on whether porn is helpful or hurtful to a society. Some say watching porn spices up relationships or gives a sexual outlet to those who can’t find it otherwise. It helps us find what we like and dislike because lets face it–you’re not going to learn that in abstinence education. But some say watching too much porn kills your sex drives and gives young men unrealistic expectations.

Personally, I feel the same way about porn that I do about drugs and prostitution. People are going to do it anyway, so it might as well be done as safely as possible. If you want to watch porn all day long, knock yourself out, but don’t shit on porn stars, sex workers, or “sluts” immediately afterwards. Professional porn stars are tested bi-weekly and have a say over what scenes they’ll perform or not. It’s not true that porn stars come from shitty families and have depressing childhoods and have no other options or talents. That stigma isn’t stopping anyone from doing porn, but it is making their lives more shameful and less respectful. As a woman, I don’t think it’s wrong for women to be in (professional) porn because we’re ALLOWED to like sex and use sex to make money IF we chose to. Recently, I listened to an interview on the podcast “Guys We Fucked: The Anti-Slut Shaming podcast” with porn star Asa Akira and she thinks she has the greatest job in the world and has a list of “no’s” that she absolutely won’t do. Outside of her occupation she’s married to another porn star and they otherwise have a monogamous relationship.

[Note: Before the PC police pull up, I use mostly male pronouns because almost every study I researched is on porn’s effect is on men, not women.]

The old saying goes, “everything in moderation…even moderation.” The reason porn is becoming such a hot topic is because people are watching it so much more than they used to thanks to online sites. The internet (the way we view it today) came about in 1990 and approximately 7 seconds later the first online porn site popped up, so it’s not surprising that Millennials (born 1982 to 1997) have higher risks of porn addiction. The idea is that if you’re watching too often you have a distorted idea of what sex is like. This is particularly dangerous for young girls who don’t have any sexual experience dating guys for the first time who have already been watching porn for years.  Let’s face it, the porn industry isn’t going to teach your sons about consent and boundaries so if parents aren’t talking about it from an early age, porn might be the only sex ed. they have.

The addiction aspect is the result of doing the same action over and over again to reach a positive outcome…aka release dopamine, so it makes sense why someone would want to watch porn in the first place. Orgasm = dopamine release. What continues the addiction may be “The Coolidge Effect,” the phenomenon in which males have a renewed sexual interest in new partners as an evolutionary way to essentially pass your DNA to as many partners as possible. In the case of porn an image of a boob might satisfy you at first, but as years go by it takes more and more boobs to satisfy that initial desire. So, if you do become addicted or watch way too often it takes far more explicit content to arouse, thus causing problems in the real world.

According to a 2007 study from the American Journal of Medicine, more than 18 million men in the U.S. over age 20 claim to suffer from erectile dysfunction  disorder (ED). When the brain gets re-wired, it takes a higher arousal threshold in order to get an erection, to a point where such a state of arousal becomes impossible. The study says that so far there is not enough research to draw the line of how much porn men can watch to prevent this. So, proceed with caution…

A recent study claims the motive behind any addiction whether it be drugs, alcohol, video games, or porn is that the behavior itself isn’t addictive but rather a lacking in some area of social interaction that causes the addiction. Which explains why some people can get addicted to something and others can use it whenever they want without it ever becoming a problem. For a lot of people watching porn is a perfectly healthy way to relieve stress. With everyone being so busy, it’s a good outlet for not only single people but couples as well. I read an article claiming we should actually be watching more porn:

“I don’t think pornography is a replacement for the real thing, but research has shown that having a healthy masturbation schedule actually makes us better sex partners — and partners in general. While being good for your physical and mental health, it’s a way to continue making sure that your own sexual needs are being met outside of the bedroom, which is likely why it’s so common, even for those in relationships.”

Erin Flaherty, writer for website The Frisky, says, “Surveys show that anywhere from 70 to 95 percent of adult men and women get it on alone, and, yes, that includes people involved in monogamous relationships.”

And according to a Redbook survey, 68% of married women watch. 72% of married men do, according to a Playboy survey. I didn’t see any statistics on couples watching together, but I think the key there is that if both partners can discuss boundaries and have a realistic idea of what sex is irl, then it could actually benefit the relationship.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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