The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly Truths about Online Pornography

By: Solomon Probosz

The birth of the internet has enabled many things that used to seem unimaginable, turn into a reality. Internet pornography is one of those realities. The days of buying nude magazines for self-stimulation are over. No longer must you secretly go to the sex store to buy pornography, no more trying to hide what you are doing from the outer world out of fear of being judged. Now, a quick google search will provide you with vast amounts of online pornography, for free, without the embarrassment of buying pornography in public.

To some, this may seem like the best thing to ever happen to the internet, but many others are fearful for what online pornography may be doing to the youth and even to older men. You may ask, “How can a little online pornography hurt anyone?” This is a hotly debated question with many studies being done to try and provide the answer. Still, with all the research being done to answer this question, there is no definitive answer.

Let’s start with the good. The main arguments about the benefits of pornography are that it can provide a distraction from the stressors going on in one’s life, it provides jobs, and it can help with infidelity.

Sometimes you just need a break. Whether it’s been a tough day at work, a midterm coming up that you haven’t studied for yet, or just from the stress of life in general. Pornography can be that break. Watching pornography will take your mind off of whatever is stressing you out, and for 10 – 30 minutes all your outside distractions go away.

Obviously it isn’t a permeant fix to whatever is stressing you out but turning to pornography for a quick break is much better than turning to drugs or constant over thinking. Sometimes that 30 minutes of freedom is all you need to clear your mind and turn your day around so that you can face your problems head on.

Pornography can be a very lucrative business for both men, women, and directors. Women have made millions of dollars through pornography. A man on average can make around $300 per scene and women on average can make $500 – $1,500 per scene. The richest porn star is Jenna Jameson who has made a whopping $30 million by appearing in 161 adult films and using her name to sell sex toys and memberships to her website.

Jenna Jameson

For some women and men, pornography is all they know. It is their only job. This may be because they can’t find any other job or they genuinely enjoy acting in pornography. Whatever the reason may be, there is no denying the fact that actors are making lots of money through pornography and it is immensely benefiting their lives.

It has actually been found that pornography can help with infidelity. When your significant other is on a business trip, instead of looking to cheat, they can just do a quick google search and be satisfied.

After pregnancy, many men have turned to pornography to satisfy themselves. They can’t have intercourse with their wife and pornography is a much better option than cheating.

Pornography also helps couples that have unequal sexual drives. If one partner is always “in the mood” and the other isn’t, it can cause frustrations for both partners. This frustration can lead to tension in the relationship and even cheating. Luckily, one of the partners can do a quick google search and satisfy themselves without being a nuisance to their partner or turn to cheating.

Now on the to the negatives. The main arguments against internet pornography are about how it can cause addiction, provide unrealistic expectations to youth about what sex is like, and that some women are being forced to have un-consensual sex.

The brain has something in it that has been termed the reward pathway. When this pathway is activated, the brain releases dopamine which makes humans feel good. This pathway is activated when a human eats, has sex, does drugs, and even when they watch pornography. This pathway is what causes humans to become addicted to drugs because when the dopamine is released it causes them to feel good and they want to repeat that experience again and again.

Brain Chemistry of the Reward Pathway

Pornography activates the reward pathway and makes humans want to watch more and more pornography. Like with drugs, humans build a tolerance for pornography and they begin to spend more time watching pornography and looking for more hardcore pornography to obtain the “high” they felt the first time they watched pornography.

Studies suggest that this can cause humans to become addicted to pornography but there hasn’t been many true scientific, systematic studies conducted about this so there is no definitive proof that this is true.

According to HufftingPost, the average age that people first view pornography is 11 years old. At this age, many children have not even had sexual education and have no idea what sex is like.

Being exposed to pornography at this age can give children a very skewed view as to what sex is actually like, it can cause viewers to feel anxiety about having sex, make them feel bad about their body, and, some have hypothesized, cause an increase in sexual aggression and violence towards women.

The ethics behind pornography are becoming a hot topic. Women are coming out and saying that they were forced into doing pornography.

When watching pornography it is almost impossible to tell if the women is there consensually or if she is being forced to do something she does not want to do. This makes it an ethical dilemma for the viewer because they don’t want to contribute to a women being forced to do something against her will but at the same time they want to watch pornography.

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