Porn 101: The Only Class Some Students Study All Night For

Porn 101: The Only Class Some Students Study All Night For


His eyes are bloodshot as he sits at his desk, working on his computer in the late hours of the night. Midterms? No. Term paper? Yeah right. It’s 3 a.m., and porn is the only subject that has his focus.

Pornography generates $57 billion annual revenue worldwide—$12 to 14 billion in the United States alone. American porn revenue is larger than the combined revenues of all professional football, baseball and basketball franchises.

As of today, there are an estimated 420 million adult web pages online.

Sex therapist Louanne Cole Weston, Ph.D, explained in a study in 2004, “…more is only one click away.”

College students contribute greatly to this revenue.

One hundred students, 50 males and 50 females, on the Mercy College Dobbs Ferry campus were surveyed about their pornographic viewing. Ages ranged from 18 to 36 years old.

Approximately 26 percent of students on campus answered that they do not partake in viewing porn. The other 74 percent admit that they do. As some may have guessed, most of that percentage is male. Out of that 74 percent, only three percent admitted to watching it more than 10 times a week, and the rest only watch it one to three times a week.

Only three students admitted that they are subscribed to pornographic websites. Three quarters of the students download porn on their phones, laptops, and iPods while in the dorms, as there are no firewalls to prohibit content. They have access to and download porn on the Internet as fast as they can access Facebook.

With the pressure of watching sexual activity comes the pressure of engaging in sexual activity. Young women in college fear that they cannot compete with female porn stars when it comes to pleasing their partner. They become insecure about how they look because porn stars are an ideal vision and a perfect partner to have in the bedroom. If they cannot offer what porn stars offer on camera, then they feel as if they will not be able to keep a guy satisfied.

“Sometimes I feel like he watches porn more than he pays attention to me because I’m not as sexy as the girls in the videos,” said junior business major Melissa Bongiorno of her boyfriend.

Other women feel quite the opposite about competition with porn stars, because even though some women are greatly affected by pornography, they are also purveyors.

Nearly 70 percent of women surveyed have watched pornography, with 17 percent admitting that they were addicts. Nearly one in three women stated they have visited a pornographic web site in the past month.

Many critics of pornography say that porn videos degrade women. Some students feel as though it is stupid, and don’t understand why they are allowed to produce these types of videos.

 “Many videos do disrespect women; however, there are some which are healthy and playful,” freshman biology major Alec Lomba said.

Yet some women have different views.

Psychology major Brittany Boccio said, “I love it. It’s a good thing to have when bored or sexually frustrated and there’s no other outlet.”

Junior Legal Studies major, Jeremy Lovera  said, “I do not believe it’s demeaning towards women. People have different morals in life and it is their choice.”

Students who are in a relationship with someone may have partners who oppose their watching scandalous videos, yet others have no problem with their partners watching porn.

Boccio enthuses, “I have no problem! I watch it and so does she! She watches it more than me!”

“My ex-girlfriend had a problem with my watching porn, but my current girlfriend is okay with it and also watches occasionally,” Lovera added.

Porn can be part of a healthy relationship, but in some circumstances it can hinder intimacy.

Bongiorno says, “If he likes porn so much, he should just date a porn star.”

Yet student Ali Violando said, “Watching porn has actually helped and enhanced the relationship.”

“Some people go there because the intimacy in the relationship is as high as the person can stand it. If they were to unveil the sexual interest which is sort of their closely held secret, the intimacy would be way too high for their own ability to tolerate it, so they save it for elsewhere,” Weston explains.

People who parttake in watching pornographic videos may have higher expectations in the bedroom with their partner and expect them to do similar positions as the women in the X-rated videos.

“Sometimes people are just going to it for things they wish they could do in real life,” says Weston. “It fills in a gap in their own relationship. They have a partner who doesn’t like to do oral sex and they love it themselves, and they’re in this relationship and they want to stay, so they go and look at pictures of oral sex.”

Senior social work major Tyashawn Teachey is one of the people who have a higher sense of sexual fantasies due to porn. “I want to feel love and compassion and by trying new things with my partner that were in the porno, I believe we can achieve that.”

“Porn is a great way to learn things,” Lovera said.

College students are more likely to become sexually addicted to the act than most adults. Because porn is so affordable and achievable and anonymous, men between the ages of 18-22 are more likely to get addicted.

There is a fine line between a compulsion and addiction; however, the differences are important.

Erik Jansen, Ph.D, a researcher at the Kinsey Institute, criticizes the use of the term “addiction” when talking about porn because he says, “It merely describes certain people’s behavior as being addiction-like, but treating them as addicts may not help.”

One sign of addiction is when students are up until 2 or 3 in the morning and not waking up in time to go to class, or choosing not to go to class, and doing poorly in school.

Lomba reacted, “I do believe that students can easily become addicted to sex because students are easy to influence.”

“I think of porn addiction as a label that’s used to put down behavior that’s disapproved of socially,” Violet Blue, a sex educator and author of The Ultimate Guide to Adult Videos, told WebMD. “A lot of it is shaming masturbation.”

Students may argue that they are not addicted to porn, but too “in the mood” to not go to class since they do not want to suffer from temporary fluid congestion in the testicles (slang term “blue balls.”)

Some colleges include sex in the curriculum. Classes dealing with sex are offered in a variety of areas such as sociology, psychology, English, business, and filmmaking. These classes are very popular among students.

According to the National Coalition for the Protection of Children and Families, 50 universities around the country offer classes in which students study pornography. Mercy College is not one of those schools; however they do have a Human Sexual Behavior class available to students.

While students might not have problems with the subject matter, many outraged parents have sounded off. Many students taking a class that includes pornography opt not to tell their parents that they’re enrolled.

Porn is available to anyone and everyone. While one must be 18 and over to enter an adult video store, cable and websites have no age limit. There are warnings before the program comes on, but many teens do not abide by those warnings.

“Watching porn and masturbating is healthy,” Lovera emphasized.  “If it is so unaccepted, the school wouldn’t have such easy access to websites and videos.”