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Porn Norms: New Research Reveals the Truth

See how your Internet porn habits compare to other people’s with a provocative new study. Dr. Smartass has the details.

By (@doctorsmartass)

December 7, 2009

Got a question for Dr. Smartass? E-mail doc [at] esarcasm.com.

Dr. SmartassAs a (semilicensed) virtual doctor, it’s my obligation to keep up with all the latest research from the scientific community. That, my friends, is the singular reason for what some people — I’m looking at you, Mrs. S — have described as my “obsession” with pornography.

While I do regularly cover sex-centric subjects, I would like to take a moment to point out that porn is far from the only area in which I specialize. Regular readers will know that I’ve discussed everything from breast interpretation to the science behind password selection.

Now, with that addressed, let’s move onto today’s topic: pornography.

From my inbox:

Dear Dr. Smartass,

How do I know if I’m looking at too much porn?

-Kevin

Kevin, you smut-craving cad, let me share a little story with you: As a young man, I used to look at porn for hours every day.

What — were you expecting a longer story?

Porn NormsAnecdotes aside, Kev-O, unless porn’s consuming your life, you’re probably A-OK. In fact, a recent study from the fine nation of Canada helps confirm that.

The researchers, from Université de Montréal (the accents in the school’s name help indicate its impressiveness), sought to categorize the effects of pornography on men. The following quote, which I swear to you is 100 percent real, pretty much sums it all up:

“We started our research seeking men in their 20s who had never consumed pornography. We couldn’t find any.”

This tickles your dear doctor’s funny bone to no end. And, evidently, that’s far from the only bone being tickled.

According to the men and women of Montreal, single guys view porn three times a week on average, with each session lasting 40 minutes. (“YOU CAN LAST 40 MINUTES?!” thousands of women are likely exclaiming right now.) For gents in relationships, the porn frequency drops down to 1.7 times a week — that remaining 0.3 must be from the session where the girlfriend walked in midway — with each viewing lasting about 20 minutes.

Other interesting findings from the study:

  • Most boys start to seek out pornographic material by age 10.

    God bless the Internet.

  • In the younger years, males “quickly discard [porn] they don’t like and find offensive.”

    By age 17, however, we’ll watch pretty much anything involving a nipple.

  • Most grown men consume pornography primarily by themselves.

    Does “in your office at work” qualify as “by yourself”?

  • Men who view pornography tend to support gender equality and feel “victimized by rhetoric demonizing pornography.”

    Your virtual doc certainly feels victimized by that (and finds that feeling oddly arousing).

  • Most men “don’t want their partner to look like a porn star.”

    That’s not to say they wouldn’t hit it with Tera Patrick in a heartbeat, given the chance.

So, Mr. Kevin, there’s your answer: Porn’s the norm. In fact, our nation would be far worse off without it. Read my previous column, “5 Reasons Internet Porn Is Good For America,” to find out why.

Remember:

Looking at porn is no cause to feel shame.
And using a Web site is always fair game.
Just be sure to plan for the peak;
Buying new keyboards adds up week to week.

Until next time,

Dr. Smartass






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