Pornography addiction. Is it a serious concern? When healthy men in their 20′s describe their inability to perform as ‘normal,’ I think it’s safe to say that porn is a problem.
Both men and women are victims of the hyper-sexualized culture porn presents. Pornography is becoming increasingly accessible and affordable for everyone. It’s just a click away. This is affecting how men and women engage in real life relationships and sexual encounters. Porn not only objectifies women but it gives the impression that sexual intercourse is OK with ‘no strings attached.’ Women learn that their most important asset is their body. This leads to negative self-images and lowers self-esteem. Their identity is entirely dependent on their physical appearance and how sexually active they are. In the past, depictions of naked women used to be realistic. Nowadays, a woman has to have a super skinny waist, massively inflated breasts, long legs and a perfectly sculpted backside. No one, however, can possibly look like this without masses of plastic surgery. So what is porn teaching women? That the only way for them to be desirable is to hop on the plastic surgeons cutting board? This is not only unfair to women, but also to men. It increases their expectations of what women should look like and how sexual intercourse should be.
Not only do women look unrealistic, but they act unrealistically. They are all overly keen to be used and even abused as sex objects. Female porn stars are willing to subjugate themselves to whatever the man wants. What about the men though? They are equally as unrealistic as the women. The men have perfect bodies and muscular tone, but more than that they appear soulless and unfeeling. They have zero respect or empathy for the women they’re with.
So it’s been established that men and women are depicted in an utterly bizarre light in pornography. What about the sexual intercourse itself? Porn turns what ought to be sexual intercourse into mere masturbation. Instead of focusing on the other in the relationship, it’s all about self-gratification. Intimacy and connection are not important factors. Instant pleasure takes supremacy. Moreover, real sexual intercourse appears boring in comparison to pornography. How can it not when porn sex is all about multiple partners, toys, props and skimpy outfits which are not usually present in normal sex. Also there is no concern of pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases or fulfillment of relationships in porn. With the multiple partners and lack of contraception, these should be quite serious concerns. As well as this, sexual intercourse in porn is always perfect. There is no such thing as erectile dysfunction or any other sexual problems.
Real men who are heavy viewers of pornography are likely to suffer some sort of sexual problem such as delayed ejaculation, difficulty in remaining erect and inability to be turned on by real partners. The good news is that this is 100 percent fixable. The bad news is that it takes time, effort and a determination to combat the porn culture. When people consume a great deal of pornography, they are actually rewiring their brains. The neurochemical, dopamine, is a key factor in the rewiring process. Dopamine provides the reward responses in the brain. Sexual desire arises from dopamine signals. The culprit for porn-induced erectile dysfunction is the desensitized dopamine system in the brain. When dopamine is over stimulated, it has a paradoxical effect. One would need larger hits of dopamine to receive the same effect. If one starts out watching soft porn, after a while to feel the same effect, one will have to progress to hard core porn and so on. This is because the brain decreases its ability to respond to dopamine signals. Like any addiction, one builds tolerance to the drug whether it’s nicotine, cocaine, alcohol or pornography.
As stated, it’s possible to overcome porn addiction and erectile dysfunction. The only way to do this is to avoid the extreme stimulation that the internet offers. It seems to take approximately 6-12 weeks to return to normal functioning.
So pornography has brought about dissatisfaction within love lives, erectile dysfunctions, insecure women and misinformed men. What good has it brought, if any? The need to establish attachments and love is as basic as the need for nourishment in human beings. Porn, however, denigrates this and pumps us full of unrealistic expectations. I believe it is time to focus on what will bring us long term happiness rather than instant gratification. It’s time to pay attention to our real partners rather than some distorted ideal. It’s time to have a fulfilling sex life rather than a dysfunctional one. It’s time to put the fantasy aside and live in the real world.
Castleman, M. (February 15, 2011). 6 Ways Porn Can Hurt Your Sex Life. AARP. Retrieved August 11, 2013, from http://www.aarp.org/relationships/love-sex/info-02-2011/how-porn-hurts-men-sex-life.html
Robinson, M. & Wilson, G. (July 11, 2011). Cupid’s Poisoned Arrow. Psychology Today. Retrieved August 11, 2013, from http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/cupids-poisoned-arrow/201107/porn-induced-sexual-dysfunction-growing-problem
Stockman, J., B. (n.d.). 7 NEGATIVE EFFECTS OF PORN. Resurgence. Retrieved August 11, 2013, from http://theresurgence.com/2011/11/19/7-negative-effects-of-porn
TEDxTalks. (May 16, 2012). The Great Porn Experiment: Gary Wilson at TEDxGlasgow. Retrieved August 11, 2013, from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wSF82AwSDiU
Image credit: sophiayq. (n.d.). Palma Vecchio-Resting Venus. Photobucket. Retrieved August 12, 2013, from http://s15.photobucket.com/user/sophiayq/media/1518-20PalmaVecchio-RecliningVenus.jpg.html