A reader writes:
Your thread on onanism has piqued my interest. I don’t mind confessing that I’ve masturbated and not felt good about it. A few years ago I went through a rough time in my career (I was laid off during the financial crisis) and found myself in a very confused and angry place. I began to turn to more heavily to pornography during this time and, when I found I could not stop and that it was getting in the way of more productive activities, I actually broke down and began attending a 12-step “S” meeting to try and get some help. I was hesitant at first, fearing I’d be meeting with a bunch of sexual deviants, but it turns out that 12-steppers tend to be normal (although brighter-than-average) people who are serious about gaining control of their lives, and a lot of them are remarkably accomplished (at least in New York City).
That being said, a wide variety of people attend and I’ve heard more than one 12-stepper mention that they’d found quitting heroin to be easier than quitting their porn/masturbation/fornication addiction.
The last five years have seen the widespread adoption of huge 1080p television sets and retina-display iPads and FiOS Internet connections and so forth – all of it just fuel for the porn fire. In fact, according to this article, 30% of all Internet traffic is pornography. A choice quote:
Xvideos, the largest porn site on the web with 4.4 billion page views per month, is three times the size of CNN or ESPN, and twice the size of Reddit. LiveJasmin isn’t much smaller. YouPorn, Tube8, and Pornhub — they’re all vast, vast sites that dwarf almost everything except the Googles and Facebooks of the internet.
So, obviously, a lot of guys are jacking off.
But none of this is what prompted me to write you. What did prompt me to write you was coming across this Kickstarter project. (They also have this Craigslist post.) It’s a couple of guys trying to make a movie about kicking their masturbation habits. I don’t know if it will be any good, but it takes guts to tackle a subject that has so much shame surrounding it. This is obviously a conversation that society needs to have, so I think it would be great if they get their funding.