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Pornography is killing us

in CAMPUS/SEX ED/VIEWPOINTS by

Pornography: a topic usually brought up amongst close friends, when alone in your bedroom or between you and your hand in the dark depths of the night.

I’m sorry to be the one to tell you that pornography is not the outlet to explore your sexuality, it does not give women one more step toward a feminist future, and it is sure as hell not healthy.

   Before I explain, you should know I am not some raging religious and conservative freak with an agenda to stop exploration through casual sex.

When I think of pornography, I think of dramatic boob jobs, emotionless sex, and categories alluding to violence against women and literally illegal things like “Underage teen gangbang.”

We all know that the average female isn’t a triple D, with a huge ass and shaved genitals just like the average male isn’t ripped with a 12 inch penis.

So, why do we enjoy watching a depiction of what is supposed to be real life sex? For entertainment and easy pleasure, sure. But what does that do to our minds when those expectations are never met?

In a survey of 40 students conducted by The VOICE, the average age of pornographic exposure was between ages 10 and 13 which reflects a national average statistic of age 10 presented to The New York Times in 2015 by the Crimes Against Children Research Center at the University of New Hampshire. With hardcore pornography at the disposal of anybody, children may be shaping the way they interact in their future relationships.

Pornography perceives sex to be this big production every time with no mistakes, no body hair, no love and a lot of aggression. Your laptop doesn’t say no. What happens when your partner does? You get angry, you want a refund, you want to smash it like they’re some toy. You disregard any sort of compassion for your partner and either take it and live dissatisfied, belittle them for not satisfying you, cheat on them or leave them.

  Pornography also increases desensitization and decreases our respect for women but this affects both men and women which makes the viewing of pornography a safety issue in relationships, according to Dr. Jill Manning, a licensed marriage and family therapist. In an interview with Truth About Porn, an organization educating viewers on the harm of pornography, Dr. Manning says a survey showed 70 percent of women who came to learn how pornography had been affecting them and leading them to objectify themselves met the criteria of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

Don’t even get me started about all of that crap about pornography helping you “explore your sexuality.” It’s bullshit. Exploration requires real human experience. Just because you see something on the screen that someone appears to enjoy does not mean that you will enjoy it too.

As one anonymous source told The VOICE, “I don’t watch much porn anymore but I remember watching some pretty intense/weird things that are not actual things I would like to explore in my sex life.”

Companies like Target and Walmart track their online analytics to see how the sales of one product succeeded over another, the same goes for porn. Every time you click on Jessica being deepthroated until she vomits, you victimize another girl by creating a higher demand for an industry that preys on women to cater to your interests. One way this demand is met is through sex-trafficking.

Wheelock College Sociology professor Dr. Gail Dines spoke to the Huffington Post in January of 2015 about this higher demand, and the relationship between pornography and sex-trafficking, saying “we know that trafficking is increasing — which means demand is increasing. This means that men are increasingly willing to have sex with women who are being controlled and abused by pimps and traffickers.”

Victims of human trafficking are usually between the ages of 12 and 14, and are female four out of five times according to an infographic by the University of New England’s social work department.

Pornography rewards you with the same positive highs we experience when exercising, talking to a loved one or, perhaps, shooting heroin. It sends doses of dopamine and oxytocin into your brain making you feel like you’re doing something good for your body, but it’s only a temporary reward.

The more you do it, the more your body and mind feel that they need it. In your brain’s reward center you have the like and want systems. You continue to want to view pornography more and more, but you end up liking it less and less each time.

Your tolerance increases at an incredible rate that eventually could leave men with erectile dysfunction and make it more difficult for both partners to reach an orgasm because your mind wants something it knows it has seen before, therefore feels it is possible but in fact, you never seem to get it.

I’ve received an endless amount of responses from college students who say it helps them explore their sexuality and it’s a good, natural stress reliever but it’s simply not true. It is masturbation, not porn, that allows you to explore your sexuality and relieve stress.

Masturbation has become attached to the act of watching porn. You do not need porn to get off and if you do that’s the way porn has rewired your brain. Yes, if you can’t get off without porn then you are a victim of pornography’s negative and addictive effects. You’re not alone. I’m in there with you. It’s awful.

Touch yourself, but without the porn. Make yourself feel good. Make your partner feel good. Do it for each other. Understand every nook and cranny of the person you’re choosing to love. And I mean, if it’s just casual sex, more power to you! Just be respectful and be safe.

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