Pornography does not deserve negative stigma

Opinions Columnists | Journalism senior

The porn industry does not deserve the stigma attached to it, and students would do well not to judge those who act in or watch pornographic films.

It is human nature to want to “do the do.” Sex is scientifically proven to cure headaches, relieve stress and aid with a variety of other ailments. There are plenty of ways to go about it, from the safe and normal to the all-out wild and mildly dangerous.

However, some people do not have someone in their lives to satisfy their basic desires—this is where porn comes in. When people think of porn, they often associate it with an image of a seedy industry full of dirty, disease-ridden people who are looser than a pair of sweatpants worn by the “after” model on one of those TV dieting commercials.

However, the reality of the situation is not so gruesome. The production of porn films works much like the production of their less-sexy counterparts. Porn films just happen to have happier endings than movies of more conventional genres.

Porn is a multimillion-dollar industry. This means a lot more people are getting their happy endings on-screen for the public’s enjoyment than one might expect. Some students may even sit in class next to fellow Bobcats who star in pornographic films. Contrary to the arguments many might make, these actors and actresses do not deserve our scorn. After all, those who star in porn films are getting paid to get off with clean professionals in a controlled environment, a situation that stands in stark contrast to the typical drunken hookup at a college frat party. I would go as far to say porn stars should be applauded for their efforts to help millions of individuals get off every day.

Porn is not just a form of entertainment. It can also, to a degree, be educational. With sexual education completely lacking in our public schools, porn can serve to teach people about how the human body works and how to satisfy their partners on a new level as well as give them ideas for fun encounters in the future.

Porn is not just extremely attractive people doing the dirty on camera. There is a lot of preparation, planning and safety checking that happens before any scenes are taped. Actors must go through a series of STI and STD tests before they are even considered for a scene or movie. Also, just like in any other type of show business, there are casting calls, auditions and callbacks for particular roles. There is a lot of production and planning that goes into creating a porn film.

The acting certainly is not Oscar-worthy, but there are still lines and dialogue that have to be learned. On top of that, actors must make sure they are in tip-top health physically, mentally and emotionally.

Certainly, being an actor or actress in a porno is a job, not just something that anyone can do.

Of course, where there is an upside, there is a downside. Porn can leave lasting scars on the actors. The movies will follow the actors for the rest of their lives, often making it hard to have a social or dating life as well as affecting future employment opportunities. Looks do not last forever and neither will an acting career, even in porn. Eventually many porn stars will need to find more mainstream jobs as they age, and with a job history in the porn industry, this can be tough. People often recognize porn stars on the street, and attention from overzealous fans can sometimes be too much to handle.  

Like most things in the world, porn has its ups and downs. Despite the negatives, the porn industry does not deserve the negative stigma that has been attached to it. Porn should be viewed simply as another form of entertainment, like a favorite guilty pleasure television show or a late-night snack.