by Jason Stotts

Scientific American recently had a good article on pornography called “The Sunny Side of Smut.” It’s one of those rare articles about porn that actually looks to the facts, instead of rationalistically condemning porn for its imagined detriments like many feminists and religious people are wont to do. In fact, the article says that:

Contrary to what many people believe, recent research shows that moderate pornography consumption does not make users more aggressive, promote sexism or harm relationships. If anything, some researchers suggest, exposure to pornography might make some people less likely to commit sexual crimes.

There you have it, if we all watched more porn, the world would be a better place.

While I agree with the article, I do think there is one danger of porn that isn’t addressed: porn creates unrealistic expectations about penis size. Imagine a virgin guy who has had no sexual contact with anyone else and who, because he does not play sports or go to the gym, has never been around other nude men.  Consequently, he has no examples of what size real human penises are.  The only place he will have ever seen penises is in porn.  Thus, his idea of what size a penis should be is going to be way off.  Consider that to be in porn, you really need an 8″ cock or larger.  There are even cocks in porn that are 9″, 10″, or even bigger.  However, if you are using these kinds of cocks as the exemplar of what size regular human cocks should be, you’re going to be sadly disappointed as the average human penis size is 5.877″ with the majority of men being between 5.5″ and 6.3″. This is wildly different than most people think of as the average penis size and this expectation has been incorrectly set by porn.

The solution, of course, is to remember that porn is fantasy, not reality, and you should not read too much into it.  Sadly, though, too many people will think that men who are wildly anomalous and who represent less than 5% of the population are actually the average, which is never good and leads to much disappointment and frustration.

If there’s interest in it, I’ll do a follow-up post about penis size and enhancement.

6 Responses to “Pornography”

  1. Working Man

    Jason, I’ve heard lots of male Objectivists express guilt for looking at or reading pornography. What do you think of this phenomenon?

  2. JasonStotts

    I think the phenomenon is deeply rooted in christian shame and guilt. There is nothing morally problematic about watching pornography. There is nothing morally problematic about masturbation. In fact, I think that we should all know how to masturbate and to do it well in order to not be sexually dependent on our partners or sexually unfulfilled when we do not have partners. Watching porn is no more than a fantasy that you see before you, instead of in your head.

    If you want to provide the specific arguments that these Objectivists are using, it’d be easier to show you where they go astray.


  3. Aarron

    I don’t think larger than average penises in porn cause anymore unrealistic views for men than the body shapes of leading males in mainstream movies does. Brad Pitt, Will Smith, etc… not just talking about the buff action stars. That is not the average body shape. Same goes for lifestyles portrayed. $2000, suits, corporate jobs that a guy can leave from at any moment without getting fired, silicone wives with perfect hair, never a car that isn’t this years model… that’s how it goes.
    Want real and you have indy movies . Want real you have amateur porn.

  4. Jack

    Off topic, but here is a critical review of ‘Sex At Dawn’. The book was reviewed by a major university science department and found to be scientifically flawed:

  5. JasonStotts

    I disagree. I meet lots of men (and women), who think the average penis size is 7, 8, or even 9 inches. I think it’s different from other kinds of fantasy insofar as most people don’t see many erect penises in real life and get much of their data about what the size should be from the only source they see: porn.

    I do agree about the indie and amateur porn and I think it’s better overall.

  6. JasonStotts


    There are some problems with Sex at Dawn, there’s no doubt. But, I think that overall the book is very solid and, if nothing else, the book encourages people to take a fresh look at some very interesting issues.