Masturbation and porn: The good, the bad and the ugly of rubbing one out to skin flicks

Masturbation and porn: The good, the bad and the ugly of rubbing one out to skin flicks

Let's get one thing clear, pornography has become mainstream thanks to the internet. Back in the "bad old days", you really have to go out of your way to watch porn. Take the case of video stores. Generally speaking, video stores have mainstream or regular movies up front and then they have a special x-rated area that is basically sealed off or curtained off from the rest of their movies. In other words, you have to go to some sort of backroom or talk to the clerk to get access to porn films. It's not like these videos are front and center of any video store's collection.

Prior to that, you actually have to go out to specific adult theaters. These specific theaters are dedicated to adult movies. Those days are gone.

Now, if you have a mobile phone, tablet or laptop, you can access porn all day, every day. That's how pervasive pornography has become. This has triggered a sea change in people's attitude towards porn. Again, back in the "bad old days", if people hear that you're into porn, they look at you as some sort of a pariah.

You're now living in a day and age where people readily admit to watching adult entertainment. This is a new term for old-fashioned pornography. Make no mistake about it, thanks to the fact that the internet has enabled people from all over the world to access porn on a 24/7 basis, it has become mainstream.

Porn on your phone

People's attitude towards it have shifted from the scandalous to routine and everyday acceptance. Now, this doesn't mean that people have welcomed it with open arms. It's not like our society is encouraging people to go into porn. Instead, Americans and western Europeans, in large part, have adopted "practical attitude" towards porn. It's not really viewed as a necessary evil, but it's viewed as something as just part of modern-day life.

With this in the background, it is no surprise that our collective attitude, as a culture, has changed when it comes to masturbating to porn. Rubbing one out to skin flicks is viewed in equal parts comedic, pathetic and alarming. But the truth is, even though some people still manage to raise their eyebrows when hearing that somebody they know watches porn, there's the understanding that modern porn culture is pervasive. In other words, everybody has access to it and we should all have a mature and adult approach to people's (both men and women) reaction to adult entertainment.

Porn and its link to masturbation is not a one-sided issue

In the 1800s, there were actually campaigns against masturbation. In the West, masturbation is seen as a personal weakness because it leads to uncontrolled and habitual behavior. Ever since the days of classical Greek philosophers, low self-control has always been looked as a moral failure. In the East, particularly in Indian tradition, there's a lot of importance placed on the integrity of a person's body. More specifically, when somebody's able to preserve vital fluids like semen, they are able to hang on to their whole being and this translates to a more powerful and spiritual existence.

No less than Mahatma Gandhi believed that masturbation leads to personal weakness and moral failure. Punctuating all of these wide range of use of masturbation is of course a religious issue. This involves the backdrop of our modern attitude towards porn and masturbation. It's not as one-sided as you think. If you were to slice and dice it, modern discussions about masturbation and porn can be categorized into: the good, the bad and the ugly.

The good side of porn and masturbation

Japan enjoys one of the lowest crime rates on the planet. This is no small feat considering the fact that Japan has a quite a large population. Still, given its huge population, its crime levels are almost non-existent. In fact, there's very little sex crimes occurring in Japan. The answer is simple. Japan's Manga gives us a hint to the answer to this puzzle.

When you read Japanese sex Manga or Hentai or their gay versions, you can see a tremendous amount of sexual violence. Rape, for example, is a very common theme. This is puzzling because Japanese rape figures are actually some of the lowest on the planet. The connection is actually quite stark and pretty basic: Japanese Manga and extreme fetishes and fantasies provide a socially acceptable sexual release.

When looked at at this perspective, porn can have a therapeutic effect on the culture. Instead of people acting out on violent fantasies or anti-social behavior, they can express all that sexual angst, and misdirected energy rubbing one out to porn.

The bad side of porn

The not-so-positive side of porn involves the actual people that are in front of the camera. These are real people. These are young guys and girls who are making irreversible life decisions. It's tempting to think that if you're 18 and you sign on a waiver that your sex videos are going to be broadcasted to millions of people, people would forget after a few years. It's tempting to think that given enough time, you can switch careers and retire from porn and lead a normal life. If only things were that easy.

There are many cases of porn stars who were hounded out of the careers they entered after porn. Take the case of Evelyn Lin. She graduated with a marketing degree from the University of California and San Diego. It was very hard for her to get a professional job in line with her degree because of her porn past. By the same token, the porn performer Gauge had a tough time when she tried to become a nurse and enter the medical field. Once the word got out that she used to be a porn star, she faced a tremendous amount of ridicule and she eventually dropped out of the program.

Another downside to porn is that at its core, it treats women as objects. Put simply, the only value that a woman has, and to a lesser degree a man, is the amount of sexual satisfaction they bring to the table. Their humanity is diminished. Their personality doesn't count. You only look at them based on how much pleasure they can give you. This is not healthy. It teaches people to use others.

While a lot of feminists have embraced pornography as the ultimate form of feminist self-empowerment, let's get real here. Feminist-centered porn is the minority. Most porn out there still celebrates the male objectification of women. This leads to unrealistic expectations and has been toxic to relationships. In other words, if you think that all women should perform in bed just like a professional porn star, it's going to lead to disappointment when it comes to your own sexual experiences.

The truth is, professional porn stars are like professional athletes. They are able to perform in front of a camera at a much higher level than most people. If you were to define sex base on what you see on porn videos, you are not only going to be disappointed by your partner, you're also going to disappoint yourself.

Porn stats

The ugly side of porn and masturbation

The worst part of porn doesn't end with its bad side. It actually gets worse, it gets uglier. The bottom line is it rodes to your personal character development. When you watch a lot of porn, you become impatient. You lack discipline, self-control. Eventually, it bolsters your sense of entitlement. You become unprepared to the real world of relationships and intimacy.

You have to understand that real relationships require sacrifice. Becoming a more complete and mature person requires sacrifice and discipline. In fact, any kind of success requires discipline and self-control. Sadly, these are the things you lose when you watch a lot of porn and masturbate on a regular basis.

It doesn't matter whether you're a guy or a girl. When you make it a habit to watch porn and pleasure yourself, you're less likely to go through the time and effort required to meet the right person. You definitely lose the focus and willpower you need to go to the gym on a consistent basis to build a healthier body. Worse yet, you lose the raw ingredient you need to become a more successful person in life.

I hate to break it to you, but to become a more effective and successful person you need to commit. It doesn't matter how you feel and it doesn't matter how inconvenient or painful it is, you have to commit to a process. Maybe this takes the form of going to law school. Maybe this takes the form of a relationship. Maybe this takes the form of starting at the bottom of your career.

No matter what form it takes, you have to be patient and you have to put in the work day after day, week after week, month after month. Sadly, this is the first thing that you lose when you watch a lot of porn. How? Well, there's no discipline needed to watch something that turns you on and start masturbating.

You can do something about your porn addiction or porn-centered lifestyle

If porn has eroded your personal willpower and self-discipline, there's a lot you can do to reverse the process. First, you have to adopt a physical and mental routine that increases your focus. How do you do this? Adopt a daily workout routine. It doesn't matter how intense it is. It can be as simple as walking around the block or running a few hundred meters.

The key is disciplined consistency

Eventually, you will get used to it and then you can scale it up. You can increase its intensity or you can workout for a longer time. You can also adopt changes to your daily routine that increases your threshold for discomfort. A lot of people have started taking really cold showers early in the morning. Sure, this is a hassle, but eventually, you learn to toughen yourself up. Let's face it, the world out there is not fair.

Life is full of disappointments. When you make it a point to stop prizing convenience and comfort above everything else, you start becoming a more disciplined person. You're able to wait for a longer period of time. You're able to put in the work long enough for you reap its rewards. Most importantly, you're able to commit to relationships, careers and educational goals, so you can be rewarded later.

The best part to all of this is that it doesn't require you to become some sort of a hero. You just have to make a commitment to yourself that you will invest the right amount of time, effort and focus on your life. This means going to the gym more frequently and consistently. This means eating healthier and most importantly, eliminating porn and masturbation altogether. If other people can do it, why can't you?


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