Alex Biles / Uncategorized

Porn for the Pope (Alex Biles)

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I stumbled across an interesting piece about a week back, detailing the effects that the mass proliferation of Internet pornography has had on American males, citing a number of harrowing interviews and studies along the way. It is part of a 2011 series in New York, the magazine, entitled, “Drowning in Porn.”

Among the shock-and-awe are tales of men who make sure to beat their wives home from work for some alone time with Ms. Macbook Pro, weekly “dates” with favorite starlets and dudes who manage to fake orgasms, an act that is surprisingly not that uncommon.

These guys are all similar in at least one respect — they masturbate frequently. On a typical day, their brains may be bombarded by images of 400 vaginas, 800 breasts, 4000 toes… whatever it is they may be into — all before heading into class or work. This apparent overexposure has resulted in two major repercussions.

First, overly realistic experiences during and after masturbation:

Scientists speculate that a dopamine-oxytocin combo is released in the brain during orgasm, acting as a “biochemical love potion,” as behavioral therapist Andrea Kuszewski calls it. It’s the reason after having sex with someone, you’re probably more inclined to form an emotional attachment. But you don’t have to actually have sex in order to get those neurotransmitters firing. When you watch porn, “you’re bonding with it,” Kuszewski says. “And those chemicals make you want to keep coming back to have that feeling.” Which allows men not only to get off on porn but to potentially develop a neurological attachment to it. They can, in essence, date porn.

Second, unrealistic expectations in the bedroom that remain largely unfulfilled:

A 34-year-old ad exec, told me, “I get on SpankWire or X Videos—you could carve ice sculptures with my dick. I take a girl home from the bar, though, and I’ll be up for a minute while she’s going down on me, but once I put a condom on and we start going at it, it’s like the Challenger exploded—all the flags are at half-mast”… A lot of guys have come to expect P.S.E. [the “Porn-Star Experience”] as a common thing—snatches waxed bald, access to every hole.

This all culminates in an interesting juxtaposition between a new influx of scientific validation about the potential downsides of living in an age of readily accessible pornography, coupled with a right-wing Catholic and Evangelical establishment that has demonized “obscenity” for almost as long as Hugh Hefner’s been getting some. This isn’t a tiny minority we’re talking about either.

It was only a month ago that former contender for the GOP nomination, Rick Santorum, attacked the “scourge of pornography” by promising he would stringently enforce obscenity laws, if elected. Current legislation prohibits distribution of hardcore pornography on the Internet, on cable/satellite TV, on hotel/motel TV, in retail shops and through the mail or by common carrier. Michele Bachmann also shared a desire to ban pornography earlier in the GOP campaign.

“America is suffering a pandemic of harm from pornography… Pornography is toxic to marriages and relationships. It contributes to misogyny and violence against women. It is a contributing factor to prostitution and sex trafficking,” Santorum said, before continuing. “As a parent, I am concerned about the widespread distribution of illegal obscene pornography and its profound effects on our culture.”

But while Santorum and Bachmann continue their crusade to legislate morality, up to this point they’ve ignored much of the empirical data on the matter while continuing to make claims that porn contributes to violence against women.

“Santorum doesn’t seem to notice that as porn has become ever-more available via the Internet, the prevalence of rape has plunged. Since 1991, the national rate has fallen by 86 percent — compared to a decline in overall violent crime of 65 percent,” Steve Chapman writes in The Chicago Tribune.

Of course, taking that anti-science position on pornography extends to Santorum’s adherence to creationism and rejection of the widespread consensus on climate change, which he states is nothing but “junk science.”

But now, in an exemplary case of irony, science may just be on the side of Santorum and the anti-porn microcosm he represents, at least to the extent that excessive viewing of pornography can result in sexual dysfunction. Although citing those liberal college professors may amount to adultery for Santorum and gang,whether how they parse out “porn science” and “climate science” remains to be seen. Will they “hit it” while they can, or opt for blue balls?

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