Are relationships over? Is romance no more? In this digital age, where we are wired into the online experience and connections are increasingly made over electrons as opposed to in person, where does that leave the human connection? Never before has it been so easy to talk to people all over the world, but are we online to the detriment of actual interaction? Are people preferring masturbation to physical interaction?
Today’s column comes courtesy of a reader who is wondering just that and figures the Dirty Talk advice column is the place to ask. They figured correctly—I have a number of thoughts on the subject, as it is a topic of interest to me. I am, as they might say, an extremely online sort of person. Does romance have a chance or is it run over by the information superhighway, left to molder on the side of the road?
“This might seem like an odd question, but I keep thinking about it, and I figured you would be the person to ask. It seems to me that there seems to be a lot of people now who have come to prefer masturbation and pornography as opposed to having actual physical sex. Does that seem to be a trend you are noticing?”–Porn Over Real Naughtiness?
What an excellent question PORN! I’ve actually thought about it a lot over the years as an advice columnist and educator.
The short answer? Sometimes, yes.
Now let me expand on that. I am not a scientist and I do not have a well-researched study or data to back up my short answer. What I have is observation and opinion, which, while not peer-reviewed, is coming from a place of substantial experience.
Masturbation And Porn Have A Lot Going For Them
Are people preferring masturbation and porn to actual physical sex these days? Let’s be honest, masturbation and porn have a lot going for them. You don’t have to leave your house, brush your teeth, or get out of your pajamas. You don’t have to shave or shower. You don’t have to think of some witty banter to impress a potential partner. You don’t have to pay for gas, toll, parking, or dinner. Porn is immediately and easily convenient. The variety is infinite and the accessibility is undeniable.
For most of human history, we didn’t have such ease and convenience. There was no television, there was no internet, and photography is a relatively new invention. The very first photograph was taken in 1826, which was not all that long ago. Most people were born, lived, and died in the same twenty-mile radius. An exposed ankle was scandalous and children born out of wedlock were a disgrace and could ruin your life. Not that people didn’t have extramarital relations and hook up for the sake of hooking up, but pornography, as you and I know it, was much more difficult to come by, if not impossible. Drawings were the best we could do, and paper was not particularly cheap or mass-produced.
It is easy to lose sight of that and forget how many folks rushed into a marriage with a person they weren’t even that compatible with, just so they could have someone to get freaky with. With limited options, you accepted the yoke of matrimony in order to get access to the flesh.
We Live In A Golden Age Of Sex
We live in a golden age, you and I, and the sexual buffet we have before us is past our ancestors’ wildest imaginations. STDs? Mostly curable. Birth control? Mostly accessible. ED? More treatable than ever before. Societal sexual shaming? Lower than it has ever been. Same for shotgun weddings.
It wasn’t that long ago that a 23-year-old Frank Sinatra was arrested on the charge of seduction. When a man convinced an unmarried woman of good repute to engage in an inappropriate encounter with him under the promise of marriage, thereby ruining her reputation, it was an actual crime. Nobody is getting arrested on a seduction charge these days.
If some people decide that hopping online and summoning up porn in any style, any shape, any hair color, any variety without even popping a breath mint first is easier than meeting up with an actual human, well, who can blame them? We live like Greek Gods and are spoiled for choice.
The people that want to meet up with other actual flesh and blood humans are generally going to be able to do so. Whether it be a bar, a club, a swinger party, hiring an escort, or going on a date, most people, if they really really want to, will find someone to interact with in some way.
How Many People In The Past Would Have Chosen Porn And Masturbation Over Real-life Sex?
The real question, at least in my eyes, is how many people in the past would have chosen porn and masturbation over real-life sex, if they had the option available to them. If someone from 1347 could get a skin mag from Ye Olde 7-11 or power up the magic box of the internet and rent a porno for a good masturbation session as opposed to engaging in the down-and-dirty in the hay barn with someone who had never seen a shower, would they? In my opinion, yes.
I don’t think more people are going for porn and self-pleasure as opposed to interacting with others, it is more like we finally have the option on the table. The people that find it the easiest to fit into their lives do so, and the people that want to do skin on skin do that. There is nothing wrong with preferring porn and masturbating over real-life hookups, and it certainly has a lower risk of child support payments and STIs.
I am glad the people that want the convenience of porn have it as an option and I don’t see it as any different a choice of sexual expression than one done with another person. I love that we have the option that we do these days, and as a very online person, I don’t want to go back to erotic drawings on cave walls. As nice as they no doubt were for the time, we have it much better these days, and I am very grateful for that fact.
Keep it Kinky My Friends,
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