September 10th, 2015
There is a website and nascent movement called “Fight The New Drug” that uses the hashtag #PornKillsLove to talk about pornography as an addictive material. It seems to be targeting young people who are struggling with their budding sexuality and the temptation to look at pornography.
There’s a lot of data on that website and from my brief research it appears to be garnished with a few sprinkles of facts in order to give its’ fear-based bullshit a sheen of legitimacy.
My feelings about this type of thing are nuanced like most rational people. I’m going to try to work it out for you in real time on this post because I think teens deserve a b.s.-free dialogue about this that isn’t about foisting fear and shame on them. So think of me as your cool/weird Uncle/friend-of-parent that you never see dropping dimes on your impressionable heads.
First of all, let’s acknowledge that people can become addicted to pornography. Some people get addicted to alcohol, cigarettes, drugs, pills, gambling or any one of many other things.
That does not mean that pornography is an addictive thing. Many people have watched pornography and enjoyed it without turning into a trenchcoat-clad pervert. I can’t give you any accurate numbers on this because most of the people I survey refuse to answer.
If you think you are addicted to pornography, there are ways to deal with it. Prayer probably won’t be one of them.
No one has ever grown hair on their palms because of masturbation. I’m thirty-seven and my palms are as hairless as the day I was born.
Everyone you know or meet has masturbated at least once. Every male you meet has done it more than once. Most of the girls you meet have done it more than once. Occasionally you will meet a girl who says she tried it once and didn’t enjoy it. That girl is probably lying.
Masturbating is fine if you do it in your room. The shower is also fine. When you get a place of your own, you’ll be able to do it anywhere in the house you want. That’s why you should want to grow up and move out.
If your folks burst into your room while you are masturbating without knocking first or warning, then they deserve to have that image burned into their brains for life. You have a right to privacy.
I haven’t talked about pornography much yet. It seems to be easier to get access to pornography now than it did in my youth. In my day, you had to look at magazine and play videotapes on VCR if you wanted to see pornography. Many of you now get smartphones before you start puberty and can look up whatever you want whenever you want in the comfort of your own room. The family VCR was in the living room. This is my version of “you kids don’t know how good you have it”.
If you worry that you are becoming desensitized by watching pornography, be warned that you can become desensitized by doing anything repeatedly. Go to school five days a week, watch TV all night, football on the weekends. When you do anything over and over again, you become desensitized to it. Come next spring, remember how you felt about beginning a new school year. How it feels like a lifetime ago. And now you just want the summer to hurry up and start.
Pornography does not “kill” love, whatever that means. Do you know how many people who are in love today have watched pornography? Again, the people I ask these questions to never answer and tend to call the police and say to me “get off my property”.
You are not going to turn into a feeling-less “Walking Dead” extra because you happen to enjoy visual stimulation. Eventually you will find someone you like or love and have a nice relationship with them. . . I assume. I might be the exception that proves the rule here.
In the United States, we have this thing called “community standards”. This determines whether something (a porn video) violates obscenity laws. If you’re on Redtube or Pornhub or such, you’re watching a video that is not considered obscene and criminal.
There are certain types of pornography that are outright illegal. Stuff that involves minors or animals. Redtube and Pornhub and their brethren in the streaming video business won’t allow such material on their websites because if they did they would be shut down immediately. The governments of the world don’t condone that kind of stuff, nor should they.
Nor do the production companies who make porn make obscene material. Porn is a multi-billion dollar industry. They make plenty of money showing consenting adults.
As for the reality of pornography. . . that’s a different kettle of fish. Pornography is not what sex is really like. If and when you have sex, you’ll understand what I’m talking about. If you try to act like the porn performers do in their scenes, you will feel silly and your partner will wonder just what the hell you think you’re doing.
Porn is a show. It’s lit in a special way. It has a music bed in the background. It’s edited to leave out the parts where someone farts or the awkward fumbling. They are professionals and performers. You are not nor should you try to be on prom night.
You know how you watch “The Bachelor” or whatever Kardashian show is on E! and you think to yourself “There’s no way they act like that in real life”? Well, the same applies to porn and sex.
Because porn is an industry and a business, it is also a job. The people who you watch in many of those videos are professionals and get paid to do that. This does not make them bad people or prostitutes or pimps. It’s a job and every job has good days and bad. They are not forced to do the job they are doing.
Former vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin has watched pornography. If only to see the porn parody made about her to see if the actress looked like her (she didn’t).
Steve Jobs watched pornography. It’s in his biography, near the back I think.
President Barack Obama has watched pornography, as well. He’s probably watched the Obama porn parody that had the Sarah Palin parody actress in it.
Your parents, your teachers, leaders in the community. They’ve all seen it. Probably liked it, too. So why are you supposed to be doomed?