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Talk Nerdy to Me: Preventing #pornproblems

Have you ever had one of those awkward moments where you inadvertently revealed an interest that you assumed that your peers would share, but then they like, totally didn’t?  Like that time you started singing the theme from Hannah Montana, waiting for your bestie to chime in like she does when you start singing throwback 90s boy band hits, only to find she was giving you the “WTF” face?

The day I divulged a guilty pleasure to 50 plus pearl-wearing, smiley-faced, innocently doe-eyed, college women while trying to turn up the heat in an ice breaker game was kind of like that, except a hundred times worse.  It was that game where everyone stands around in a circle with one person in the middle having to say something they like, possess, or have done, and everyone with that in common has to run across the circle to a new space, and the leftover person start the process over.  Despite competitively sprinting at every moment that I needed to, I finally got left in the circle.  After people who were blonde, had been out of the country before, or owned a dog had run across the circle, the directors of the organization said it was about time to make the game a little dirtier, so that we could really loosen up around each other.  “I like everyone,” I started in the format of the game, “but I especially like those that like porn!” I said with enthusiasm, altering my stance in preparation of the chaos that was about to ensue as I fought the stampede for my place in the circle.
But nobody ran.
Not easily embarrassed and relatively straight-forward, I opted to point at them all and shout “Liars!” rather than try and pull it off like a good joke.  I laughed at this social blunder as thoughts of what to say next intermingled with thoughts of why people would rather run from porn than for it.  The followings are problems typically associated with porn, and why they don’t have to prevent you from experimenting with it.
1. It promotes unrealistic expectations.
Knowing that men fantasize about porn stars, women often feel inclined to acquire a similar look, but let’s face it – your college budget of both money and time is simply not conducive to a perpetual fake-n-bake tan, flawless bleached blonde hair (which would make you so washed out without that tan!) in perfect curls, french manicures, saline fun bags, a personal trainer, and full-body laser hair removal.  Let’s not forget pornography’s unfair influence on ideas of male sexuality, either.  After all, the only 6-pack your college boyfriend has is probably of Natty Light, and let’s just say that if more guys were of bigger-than-average size, it wouldn’t be “average,” now would it?  It is vital to remember that porn stars are either “blessed” with certain attributes (and an arguably different set of scruples) and went into the business due to the attention it got them, or they strive to alter their physical appearance in pursuit of the career.  Expecting your partner or yourself to uphold these “standards” is nonsensical and could be detrimental to each other’s self-esteem, as well as decrease the potential to be attracted to one another.
If achieving the look weren’t painstaking enough, the act is even tougher to follow.  When feeling dejected that every sac session is not like a cross between Cirque Du Soleil, a Vegas strip club, and a lion hunting antelope, there are a few things to remember.  First of all, porn is intended to be effective with visuals alone and is thus more over-the-top to meet that goal, kind of like gestures have to be bigger to be understood from far away.  Also, what looks good is not always necessarily what feels good, and what feels good in real life may not be something that would be exciting to watch.  Hey, even the missionary position can get the job done in real life, but the prospect of watching it doesn’t exactly make anybody want to break out the lotion and/or popcorn, right?
2.    It creates dependency. 
Pornography can be almost as addictive as Words With Friends, but unlike ingenious cellphone applications, too much of the former can hurt your sex life.  OK, maybe playing Words With Friends can hinder sexy time too?  The point is that, as with any guilty pleasure, porn should be utilized in moderation.  Otherwise, the aforementioned visual stimuli may be the only thing that can arouse you or your partner, rendering usual sex ineffective without it and causing the addicted person to need more and more to achieve the same outcome. 
If you and your partners’ sex life seems to be dwindling, too much porn–and the dance done with it–could be to blame.  If porn viewing is increasing and physical encounters are on the decline, it’s definitely time to take your favorite naughty site off of your bookmarks and get back in bed with each other.  Limiting porn and even your solo sessions to times when you are away from each other for a while could help, but if you find that you can stay turned on for yourself, your partner, and Ron Jeremy, by all means, keep it up. 
3.    Some people consider it cheating. 
Society sometimes regards watching porn as amoral, especially if the viewer is in a relationship.  It is sometimes argued that receiving sexual pleasure without the involvement of your partner is adulterous.   Here’s the harsh truth: Visual stimulation is everywhere.  From sex scenes in a movie to models in an otherwise informative magazine, we are constantly exposed to aphrodisiac eye candy.  If a boundary is drawn at pornography, should we censor our partners and ourselves from anything that isn’t Rated G?  You should probably control their minds while you’re at it –just to be safe.
I say unless number 2 is an issue, there is no need to worry (until your partner starts kicking you out of bed to cuddle with Mr. Macintosh).  Many guys who do not feel able to admit to their partners that they watch porn do it anyway, and many of them have been doing it since the time when there were still only 150 Pokemon.  If you think of it that way, blocking “Emo Video Game Slut Plays With Joystick” would be sort of like your man burning your binder full of poorly written love notes from your middle school…kid you hugged between classes.  The best thing to do is be open and rational about it.   Unless you’re into sharing your X-files, there is no need to enumerate all of your forays into the X-rated to your partner, but a simple understanding could relieve a lot of unnecessary pressure. 
If these things are kept in mind and it does not contradict your personal morals, pornography can actually be beneficial to your sexual health.  It is widely known that sex can improve mood, and sex alone or with the Internet should not be underestimated in this department.  A climax releases chemicals that can relieve stress and even help you sleep.  So when you don’t have someone around to do the deed, a little loving on yourself could actually help you – well, love yourself.  Solo sex with and without porn can even improve self-esteem as it awakens your inner sex god or goddess, assisting you in exploring things you may have never thought to try or didn’t know you liked.  If you and your partner are both open to it, this could even be done together.  Either way, porn has its pros, and I don’t just mean Jenna Jameson.  You know what they say: “Give porn a chance!”  Or maybe it’s “peace.”  Whatever.  

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