Rego: The importance of masturbation but the perils of pornography

Shay Rego

Editor’s Note: The views expressed in the following column are those of the writer only and do not necessarily represent the views of The Collegian or its editorial board.

The act of masturbation and watching porn practically go hand-in-hand so it’s hard to imagine one without the other. While the two seem to fit perfectly together, they’re actually a toxic combination.

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Masturbation itself is actually good for the human body. Watching porn however is not always necessarily a healthy addition to the mix.

It’s important to recognize the benefits of one without the other. The number of college students who watch porn is astronomical with numbers upwards of 76.5 percent of students using the Internet alone for entertainment according to the Archives of Sexual Behavior.

As college-aged students, we have the potential to make an impact on the world around us. We must recognize the possible negative effects of pornography and how to enjoy masturbation without it.

at least 10 percent of college students are addicted to online sexual activity.

While excessive masturbation can be harmful to everyday life and relationships, masturbation itself is not an act of evil. Specifically, the orgasm as a result of masturbation has numerous health benefits such as relieving pain, reducing the risk of heart disease and even helping us live longer.

An orgasm through masturbation releases oxytocin. A study conducted by Ashley Leonard of Robert Morris University discussed how masturbation is a proponent in reducing stress levels as well as releasing endorphins and maintaining normal blood pleasure levels due to this release of oxytocin.

Orgasm as a result of masturbation also releases adrenaline. A release of adrenaline can have a wide variety of benefits ranging from enhanced memory and decreased stress levels.

Pornography is normalized in our society as an acceptable means of solo assistance and pleasure. However, something as seemingly harmless as watching porn has greater but less transparent negatives effects both on the mind and society. 

According to Fight The New Drug, porn rewires the brain which can lead to addiction. A recent survey conducted by Amanda Giordano of the University of North Texas found that at least 10 percent of college students are addicted to online sexual activity. PornHub released a report in which it showed that an average of 64 million users viewed their website daily.

Another negative effect of porn is how it creates unrealistic expectations of sex for its consumers. Porn dictates sex as something that is always sexy and perfect, and we know sex is not all that.

Screen sex makes it seem like it’s easy for a man to get an erection or that women are always readily naturally lubricated or even depicts anal sex as something easy. None of this is genuine in the real world and we cannot expect these things from our partners.

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Pornography also promotes ideas of rape culture. Women are often depicted as just sexual objects on the screen. Research covered in the Journal of Social, Evolutionary, and Cultural Psychology suggests that the majority of porn utilizes women as the main vehicles for a man’s orgasm.

Megan Mass wrote a research paper on the influence of pornography on college students. In her paper, she reinforces the idea that women are sexual objects of individual pleasure rather than mutual pleasure as 100 percent of the men in heterosexual porno orgasmed on screen compared to just 1 percent of women.

Some of the more racy and violent porn can also promote the idea that women enjoy forceful and violent sex. This completely misrepresents many people’s sexual preferences. 

While watching pornography as a means to help oneself get off seems both normal and necessary it’s essential to at least consider turning off the screen when getting down to business. 

What can I offer in place of porn? A fresh dose of imagination!

Shay Rego can be reached at letters@collegian.com or on Twitter at @shay_rego.