Dirty habits die hard

Sex on Tuesday

During a recent interview for a position at a student organization, I was asked, “If you got stuck on a deserted island what are the three things you would want with you?”

Wanting to be completely honest, I answered, “I would just really want some porn.”

The other two items were a book and Bejeweled if you want to know, but obviously those items are less essential.

I have the porn habits of an adolescent boy. Whenever I have convenient breaks in my schedule, I’ll come home after class, eat a snack, watch some porn, rub one out and go back to campus. During breaks, when I spend weeks back home in Southern California with nothing to do, I’ll hole up in my room and watch videos up to five, six, seven times a day. Porn is also fun to watch recreationally when I’m not trying to get off — the full-length films with real plots and mind-blowing acting are my favorite.

There are many varieties and ways of accessing pornographic videos. There are options to stream, download or torrent videos from countless outlets offering XXX content. There are private companies that require a membership fee for their content, but the quality of expensive premium porn is usually worth it. Most people frequent free porn sites where you can simply stream videos uploaded by other people.

Due to the sheer amount and variety of porn, there should be something for everyone to get off to. The general belief is that porn is mainly for men, but I know lots of ladies who love watching porn as much as I do. After all, one of every three visitors of adult websites is a woman, according to Familysafemedia.com. For those who don’t enjoy straight, mainstream porn, there are sites and companies that specifically produce erotic content for women, queer and LGBT persons.

I previously thought porn only consisted of 15-to-1 gangbangs and German dungeon sex, which is terrifying. But a friend got me into porn one day when I was Skyping with him and he immediately started sending me links to naughty videos he was absolutely positive that I would enjoy.

It turned out I do love watching porn — I just wasn’t watching the right stuff. Aside from the hardcore, patriarchal content, there are great videos that simply feature attractive people having sex. It’s fun to watch sexy people do sexy things in super sexy mansions in San Fernando.

But porn generally has a bad reputation because it’s believed to be a dirty habit that’s reserved only for extreme perverts and boys experiencing puberty. It’s not the guilty pleasure I readily admit to during icebreakers in discussion sections, since people tend to associate pornography with fetishes and sex addiction. Public disapproval of porn also derives from the general stigma against the habit of masturbating.

There are definitely many problematic aspects of porn, with its wide availability on the Internet today. The world of Internet porn is a jungle where one wrong click can lead you to watch the scariest scene of your life. Pornography is largely catered toward men, which in turn eroticizes male dominance. It is an appealing form of sexual education for young people who are unaware that such sexual content may be sexist and unsafe. The tags and categories in porn impose sexual characteristics on specific races, genders and sexual orientations. There’s a lot of misogynistic, violent and disturbing crap out there.

But I doubt all 42.7 percent of Internet users who view porn do so because they endorse sexual violence and misogyny.

There isn’t anything unnatural or anything to be ashamed of in watching porn. If you like having sex, there’s a good chance that you’ll like watching it too. It’s the safest way to experiment with sexual boundaries and a great resource for discovering new things that you didn’t previously find erotic. Porn makes it possible to enjoy and be turned on by sexual novelties without actually engaging in sex.

It’s important to recognize that sex in pornography is not always an accurate depiction of sex in real life. Unless it’s consensual, chicks aren’t pining to be called derogatory names, physically dominated or ejaculated on. Videos tend to skip over the crucial but awkward parts, like putting on a condom or having an actual conversation with the person you’re having sex with about consent. Pornography is essentially just like the movies — but you cannot allow what you see on screen to become what you expect in real-life situations.

Porn can be used in constructive and beneficial ways to enhance your sexuality and lifestyle overall, and it also allows for the possibility of sexual activity and satisfaction during times of solitude. It’s convenient to get off whenever and for however long I want to without setting time aside or having to cater to someone else’s needs. However, procras-turbation does get to be a real problem sometimes, because looking at naked people is exponentially more fun to do than most of my other daily tasks and obligations.

So if you’ve ever felt like a fiend for jerking off in front of your computer too often, don’t worry: You’re definitely not the only one. Anyone who tells me that porn is a nasty habit has obviously never seen an X-Art video.

Contact Nadia Cho at [email protected].
Follow her on Twitter @nadiiacho.