On porn in the 21st century

| Staff Columnist

I do not watch porn. Okay, so I lie—I watch porn about four times a year. It’s a special occasion—I tend to lay down the satin sheets (I have the only twin-sized satin sheets in the world) and light some romantic candles. Throw some John Mayer on the old iTunes. For me, porn is like that bottle of wine your parents whipped out when dad got a raise (sorry to place porn and parents in the same image). But I actually have a thoughtful and justified reason for my restraint. Porn is ruining sex for millions of adolescent boys across the world.

Sure, I subscribe to some of the typical criticisms of porn. It instills young men with an unrealistic and outrageous perspective on sex. It minimizes the act of sex to a form of entertainment, replete with actors, a set and corny ’80s bass grooves in the background.

These are legitimate complaints, but what really bothers me about porn is its obliteration of the innocence and organic nature of an adolescent’s sexual awakening. In my parents’ day (sorry to bring it up again), sex was that enigmatic, tantalizing subject discussed in hushed voices during recess. It gradually took hold of young minds as an abstract concept and slowly—and with experience—became a fully formed notion.

[poll id="30"]

That is the romantic, nostalgic version of the sexual awakening. But with a laptop and an Ethernet cable, any kid today can lock himself (or herself) in the bathroom for days, watching naked people with exaggeratedly large sexual features do it with each other. The romance of sex is gone. It may as well be “World of Warcraft.” Every gross detail of sex is right there on the Internet, even organizing your weird fetishes by category.

Though that sounds tempting (I haven’t found anyone else in college who likes naked Civil War re-enactments as much as I do), the effect of this de-romanticization of sex has far-reaching consequences. All of that awesome sex on the Internet seriously inhibits self-discovered sexual creativity. We live in a new age of sexual liberalism; you’re no longer considered a hippy because you like to get weird in the sack. But porn operates against the tide of this new social freedom. It prevents us from thinking for ourselves, from imagining something that hasn’t already been perfected by Jenna Jameson. Despite all of the embrace-your-sexuality rhetoric in society, a generation of kids can’t even think of sex without a mousepad.

All I’m saying is that porn shortens our path of sexual discovery and leaves no room for exploration. And in my opinion, that’s a damn shame.

  • Lexington Steele

    Obviously you haven’t seen my film ‘Lex the Impaler,’ that shit was crazy romantic. The casual onlooker would have presumed eternal love in the way Sophie Evans and I made–nay, created– love in that motorbike scene.

    Look, I agree with you that 98% of the guys in this business wouldn’t know the first thing about love. But don’t throw Lex in there with those guys. I have been stereotyped before, and it hurt. I don’t want to be stereotyped again or else I may have to get out of this business. I can’t tell you how hard it is to get a boner when you deeply believe your work is a disgrace.

    -Lex Steele

  • G

    This is a great piece, I very much enjoyed your thoughts on the matter. I used to believe that every guy worships porn, but it’s nice to know that there are mature and sensible guys on this campus. i totally agree with you that porn ruins the romance and thrilling sense of sexual discovery in relationships. It demeans both sexes and objectifies the act. Sex should be a free and creative expression of love, not a simulation of some cheesy, insensitive, and love-less perversion.

  • LMG

    Brilliant!