One of my favorite shows is “Entourage,” despite its depressingly poignant way of reminding me that all of the fancy luxuries in my life are lacking. If you watch the show, you’ll know that world-renowned porn star Sasha Grey has squeezed her way into this season’s shenanigans. Of course her presence on the show stimulated me to investigate her more mature content performances, and I have to say, I’m impressed. Homegirl can swallow a cock whole with a smile in her eyes like you wouldn’t believe. I mean, don’t get me wrong, deep throating can feel tantalizingly sexy. But for goodness sake, where is the uvula on that woman?

[media-credit id=20177 align=”alignleft” width=”250″][/media-credit]Now, before you ask if this “research for my next column” was actually an excuse to watch something filthy online without feeling ashamed, I’ll tell you upfront that I am already a frequent porn indulger (Side note: if the fact that women also take pleasure in porn is coming as a shock to you, let me just say: Wake the fuck up. We’re sexual creatures with healthy appetites for nasty shit just like you). I am by no means an addict, and I would never turn down physical intimacy with a partner to click my mouse alone, but I do watch porn and enjoy it very much.

It’s nothing to be embarrassed about, and furthermore, it can be a healthy way to connect with your deepest sexual desires and turn-ons. The key is not to allow virtual imagery to completely overtake your fleshy fantasies in the sack and to separate yourself from the oversimplified categorization most e-porn is based in. If you find that you absolutely cannot ejaculate anymore until you watch a bald, pregnant midget squirt her puss-juice in public, you might have a problem.

On a more local level of XXX on the WWW, we at UCSB are lucky enough to host an academic outlet for our skin-flick obsessions, largely thanks to faculty member Constance Penley, who has devoted much of her research to sexually explicit media and pornography. Yes, she’s that badass professor you’ve heard about who teaches a class devoted entirely to porn, but she also happens to be one of the most brilliant and engaging lecturers I’ve ever had the opportunity to listen to. What’s intriguing is that she studies and discusses something we’ve all been raised to crave yet scorned to enjoy.

So why study pornography? Is it so we can actually beat off during lecture instead of wasting our time with Sudoku? Not quite. Porn is worth anal-yzing because it is more than just a teenage secret hidden in a wad of tissues. Pornographic material is entertaining, motivating, wide-ranging and dare I say, culturally valuable. It is at once escapist and hyperpersonal. In fact, the only thing it is definitely not is something to be ashamed of.

Why then do society, largely governmental bodies and religious moralists equate the modern cyber masturbator with nothing more than a dirty leper guilty of criminal behavior? I believe the fundamental issue here is the vague nature of the idea of obscenity. I personally think it’s indecent and vulgar to spend 10 straight hours in front of a screen playing World of Warcraft. How is video game indulgence any more dangerous or crude than me rubbing one out to some onscreen bodily fluid exchange? Think about that one the next time you’re jiggling your joystick.

Now that I’ve rationalized your porno-mania, before you use this newspaper to wipe the jizzle off your screen, let’s think about why you like what you like when you’re on a late night date with your computer and your hand. Since it is by definition meant to be vulgar, I tend to relate the porn films I like to the genre of horror. The scariest movies always capture my most wretched, unimaginable fears, so in turn, the pornography I enjoy usually depicts my most extreme, degrading, borderline unreasonable desires.

What I want to get across is, if you feel grossed out about something you’re naturally turned on by, don’t take it so literally. Just remember that it’s meant to be hyperbolic — you don’t have to be hungry for some ass-stretching double-stuffage during your next hookup to enjoy watching it online.

So sit back, pop in your Pirates collector’s edition disk and grab a hold of that lubed-up junk. Because the only unjust thing about watching porn is hogging your roommate’s bandwidth.