What Does “Watching Porn” Even Mean?

Masturbation Stats

Image via Gizmodo

For decades, I’ve heard or read that watching porn has this or that effect on us as individuals or as a society. What’s striking about this conversation in the media and online is how rarely the term masturbation is used when discussing “porn watching habits.” Watching Porn has become a euphemism for masturbation that’s both incredibly inaccurate and troublingly uninformed, I would say even intentionally misinformed. Guys aren’t foremost “watching porn,” they’re jacking off and using the visual material to add to their enjoyment and excitement. They’re not passive observers, they’re active participants in the process of sexual housekeeping and a lifelong relationship with their penis through visual stimulation.

Moral and intellectual prejudice regarding masturbation has been the go-to position for millennia, and it’s important to speak openly about it instead of couching it in a jingoistic phrase that addresses none of the scope or substance of the issue involved. I think the real message is that there are moments when “decent” people can’t be controlled by religious indoctrination or social shame. That they’re masturbating isn’t something shameful in itself, yet over and over again the underlying message is that if only these people (usually they are men) had real character, they’d be doing something “productive.” Every orgasm takes you one step away from being a better citizen, apparently.

To me that’s like saying, well, if only he hadn’t stopped to eat three times a day, he might have contributed something to society. Masturbation is not only a physical need we have as men, but it’s also an imperative. Whether we approach that ethically and mindfully is a different subject. How often we need it is an individual concern, but enjoying masturbation several times per week, or per day, only means you’re able to celebrate your libido more to your own satisfaction. It’s not like you’re stealing something from yourself or anyone else. Masturbation is, or can be, a reward and respite away from the tensions and complications of our lives. Taking some Me Time isn’t selfish, it’s practical and necessary.

Is sex or masturbation addiction a problem? Yes, for some people. Does “watching porn” cause problems in some relationships? Yes, for some couples and families. Should all “porn watching” be painted with such a broad brush? Absolutely not.

Searching for “US Porn Watching Statistics” brings up over 4 million results with Google Search. It’s not like I’ve read through a majority of them, but again and again the articles I do see often misuse the statistics to fulfill an agenda. People with religious convictions have a right to believe what they want, but so many of these messages seem to use straw man arguments without really getting down to objective truths, choosing instead to go for outright bigotry and ridiculous shaming.

Here’s a quote from an article listed seventh on the Google Search for Masturbation and Porn:

1. Effects on bones– If you do extreme masturbation (8 to 10 times in week) and continue this habit for long time like for six month then this will make harmful effects on your bones. When person try to masturbate lot in short amount to time them he or she started to ejaculate type of white part of bone which include phosphorus, carbon and other minerals which are extracted from bones. If you masturbate a lot, you will begin to feel your knees and elbow joints start to make sound when moving, just like a very old person.

2. Effect on your face – By watching a person’s face you can tell that how much he masturbate or include in sexual activities. And even you can tell which hand he use lot to masturbate. Those who masturbate lot their cheeks started to shrink, narrow and go inside just opposite of chubby. Pimples are natural in young age but those who masturbate, for them pimples and acne create big problems. They increase in numbers and make bigger in size on face. Make spots on face. By that face look ugly. Masturbation also make asymmetric you face for example if person masturbate lot from his right hand then his face will be narrow and asymmetric from right side.

 

The author is not even trying to hide their ignorance, and yet out of over 6 million results, this article is number SEVEN in relevance.

What feeds this ignorance is a prejudice toward sexuality and the people who enjoy freedom of sexual expression. This bigotry must be exposed and held against the light. Being pro-masturbation doesn’t mean being pro-exploitation of women, children, men, animals, or whatever else people get up to in their private darkness. It means accepting and embracing our sexual nature and building a lifelong role where sex and masturbation make our lives better, happier, and more fulfilling.

The issue of representation of women in commercial pornography is an important subject to address, and there’s no question that it’s a difficult terrain to maneuver through between women and the men who jack off using female imagery for stimulation. Men are capable of exploiting women on every level in our society, and for some women that precludes every other consideration. But men have a right to their sexual desires too, if they’re not hurting anyone.

Commercial erotica itself is geared most towards the appetites of straight cis males. That is it’s purpose, to inspire straight men to masturbate and ejaculate. I can’t speak for men who enjoy getting off by watching hot sexy chicks, but there’s nothing in that which is inherently shameful if everyone is a willing participant. As far as I’m concerned, if that’s what you’re into, and the women performers want to be there, that’s a plus and good on everyone involved. People who do the work to turn us on are sexual angels. I’m always really grateful to see a hot guy exposing himself for my pleasure. It’s not exploitative, it’s a back and forth form of arousal, pleasure, and orgasm.

Gay porn is much more accepting of the voyeur/exhibitionist dynamic. The moral qualms with gay pornography revolve more around acceptance of gay expression and desire than exploitation of the performers. But again the negative messages all fall back on the old trope that masturbators are morally compromised, that jacking off is a drug that will drag your life down and leave you friendless and addicted to a sad, desperate and disgusting drug-like experience.

It’s time we talk directly about masturbation as masturbation, the way images are incorporated into our masturbatory expression with a sense of playful exploration of what we find sexually appealing. People need to be called out to stop the euphemisms and speak directly about the subject before we can take the discussion seriously.

Even the term Porn itself is misleading. What does that encompass, that one term? There are thousands of kinds of erotic or openly sexual imagery circulating today online, and putting it all under the umbrella of Pornography is seriously twisting the term to fit an agenda.

Is BateWorld pornography? Are men posting cock pictures and videos of themselves pornographers? Is the literally unending stream of amateur men and women on Tumblr posting pictures of themselves or of other amateurs pornography? If masturbation isn’t involved, is it still pornography? Is my jacking off to picture a friend sent me “watching pornography?” If I masturbate watching, say, Forrest Gump, does that make it pornography? (For the record, I’ve never done that…).

The whole subject is so messed up. There seem to be few standards to discuss the realm of porn-related masturbation with any intelligence or rationality. This is a serious, scholarly subject and it requires that we address it with maturity and openly without prejudice. Most of these articles seem to be out to deny that those who masturbate have any dignity or that masturbation itself has any fundamentally positive place in our lives.

Let’s start challenging these discussions to reflect the reality of the subject, free from sexual bigotry and moralizing. Adult humans need masturbation. How we express that is what’s important, not WHETHER we express it. It’s often the shame and prejudice attached that lead to problems that wouldn’t be there in the first place. To get to any healthy discussions of the subject, we’ve got to start speaking about it truthfully.

7 replies
  1. Cocktime412
    Cocktime412 says:

    Love this: “embracing our sexual nature and building a lifelong role where sex and masturbation make our lives better, happier, and more fulfilling”

    Reply
  2. apalmer5
    apalmer5 says:

    Interesting theory about what makes us tick sexually. As an older bator its an issue I’ve dealt with over the eons. Gosh from my first stumbling across the sex ed section in a bookstore as an early teen & then the next visit finding the erotica section right next to the sex ed. And I was hooked. It was like omg my penis can read. And then having to deal with the issues when mom would find my hidden stash & do her best to shame me in a futile effort to discourage me.

    And like many of us here, I’ve used porn to fuel my sessions for like ever.

    Reply
  3. doggyboner
    doggyboner says:

    Preach it brother! It’s about time some good articles come our pushing back on all the sex negativity. I try to promote a positive message and lifestyle about sex whenever and wherever I can. I host the Sexual Liberation and Christian Masturbators groups here on BateWorld.

    I agree we should look for other terms for porn, like erotic film, or watching other people fuck Lol. Coz that’s what it is and it’s beautiful and natural and something we seem to have lost along the way unless we have opened the bounds and participate in group sex or camming or circle jerks.

    Masturbation and sex should be open and with no shame watching erotic vids.

    Reply
  4. Anonymous
    Anonymous says:

    It’s a safe bet that it was a woman who wrote that stuff about the deleterious effects of masturbation. We men here on the site should be aware enough to know that women view sex and sexuality as a commodity to be exchanged for resources and security. Anything that women view as competition must be DEALT with.

    From a woman’s point of view…

    Porn-BAD.
    Escorts/Prostitutes-BAD.
    Gay Sex-BAD.
    Masturbation-BAD.
    Sex Robots-VERY BAD.

    Why?

    IT’S COMPETITION.

    Reply
  5. Rej Leatherman
    Rej Leatherman says:

    What bothers me the most about the porn industry is — with few exceptions — it’s run BY STRAIGHT MALES, FOR STRAIGHT MALES. Now, I understand that the overwhelming majority of their customers are going to fit into that category, so that’s where the bulk of the resources go. Makes perfect sense from a financial point of view.

    The problem comes when they try to branch out. For example, when a predominantly straight site goes after gay men — of which I am one. They will put a choice that allows one to see the gay videos, but every time after watching a video, or selecting one and deciding it’s not your style, you exit the video.

    The website doesn’t take you back to the gay section, but rather, it defaults you back to the home page — for the straight men. Now, think about this — if you were a straight guy and every time you wanted to change videos, you had to re-maneuver through the “gay’ section? How annoyed — to say nothing of destimulated — would you be?

    The solution is surprising simple — you simply ad one “fork’ to the software. (It’s called an “If/Then”). You ask the person about his sexual orientation. After he selects it — he’s taken to that section. And it becomes part of his profile, so he’s ALWAYS taken there. Also, many web sites have divided their porn into countless categories — for the straight guys. For us gay guys — it’s all just under “Gay”. I realize there are several orders of magnitude more straight videos, but have you ever tried scrolling through more than TEN THOUSAND selections? I have. How about a search engine that doesn’t seem to know the category “Gay” exists?

    True story. I was on a site where I knew THE EXACT TITLE of the video I was looking for. I entered it, including the word “Gay” at the beginning of the string. NOT ONE GAY VIDEO CAME UP.

    Or, those ads that pop up for other websites? What POSSIBLE good is it to advertise straight porn on the gay section of the website? I know that many times, it’s an outside company doing this, but I also know that a few of the larger gay sites advertise through those third-parties and would LOVE to have their ads placed there. No one wins in this situation.

    And it wouldn’t even be all that difficult. But, the people who run this industry don’t know, for example that, even though we refer to ourselves as the “LGBTQ” community — there is virtually no crossover when it comes to sexual tastes.

    A transgender person IS NOT THE SAME as being gay. Or lesbian. Or bisexual. Those three terms refer to “sexual orientation”. Transgender is referring to”gender identity”. Not EVEN CLOSE to being the same thing — with the exception of them all being misunderstood, minority communities.

    OK, rant over. You get the idea.

    Reply

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