I’m saying something that I’ve not really seen many men say, or at least, many men who don’t have moral issues like their faith guiding them towards this conclusion – Porn has fucked up my generation.
Now, I know there will be people out there calling bullshit on this before I have a chance to explain, and that’s okay. If you’re happy with the amount you watch and what you watch – fine. It’s not my place to tell you what to do, but this is just about my experiences and what I’ve seen.
In modern classrooms, during your early years of secondary school you get the full sex education rap. That meant for us a ~30 year old VHS tape featuring a woman walking out of a shower and talking about the fact she has a vagina. It developed over the years, learning about safe sex a bit more and what we were meant to do should we end up with a girl. It was pretty basic. The only mention of gay sex was a brief clip in the tape where they stated it was bad for you and the age of consent was 21.
This leads me in to my first point – that sex education isn’t being taught by schools anymore. There’s a lack of honest debate in schools about sex – the classes you’re given are basic and don’t go beyond the fundamentals. If you are questioning your sexuality or have more in depth questions you aren’t even told where to get information. You aren’t taught good consent, you aren’t taught to respect your partner and you aren’t taught the emotional impact of sex. So, where will young people pick up on this information? Porn. And it doesn’t take much to figure out that learning to respect your partner through the medium of pornography isn’t the best idea.
Why watch a teacher awkwardly draw and label a crude meter-tall penis on the board, when you can go home and watch a skinny Asian girl take 3 cocks without batting an eyelid? Young people fire up their search engine of choice and what was once a quick search for boobs with SafeSearch disabled rapidly develops into a twice-daily trip to PornHub where they sample all the delights that the internet has to offer them.
Access is a problem, since parents are now giving their young ones computers, iPhones, etc with unrestricted access to the Internet. You might argue that parents should install monitoring software and web filtering software to ensure their darlings don’t gain access to any illicit websites but it is difficult and expensive to filter at hardware level, which is required for using anything besides a desktop computer. It can also be hugely inefficient for the parent, as it can block legitimate websites, which leads to frustration with the system, and ultimately it’s removal. But you cannot blame parents for the problems that porn brings.
So I’ve covered what leads young people onto pornography, but not the problems with porn itself.
Porn is meant to be a fantasy, an escape. You’re meant to leave your brain at home, have a quick one and be done with it. But young people are easily susceptible to the misrepresentation of sex. After a while watching it, the viewers find it hard to differentiate between fact and fantasy which leads to their real world expectations being brought into line with that of the porn industry. This is my second point – that porn is unrealistic and damaging young people.
I was asked by a female friend, worryingly, if men expect anal sex from a partner. I responded with no and wondered where the question had come from. It turns out that a number of her friends had been told by their boyfriends that it was normal – but the only place I’ve found it common is in pornography. It’s not even like that is the worst of it. Pornography has to get more extreme in order to keep people addicted when they become desensitized to the more vanilla stuff. They add in all kinds of fake, unsustainable and crazy shit to keep people watching and continue squeezing ad revenue out of them. The widespread acceptance of harder pornography is meaning the fringes are becoming the mainstream and the view of sex given in pornography is being skewed to a complete extreme.
With the wider user base found in the Internet, porn is having to develop at an alarming rate to keep young men hooked through the rest of their lives, even during a relationship or marriage. What they experience in real life isn’t anywhere near what their mind does when the pants are down and the incognito window is open. It is damaging young men’s minds and warping their expectations into what they see in porn, even if they don’t realize it. It’s hard for addicts to even realize they’re addicted. There’s a disconnect between the romantic side of sex and what men and being told to want.
But what are they being told to want? Porn is teaching men to use women, that they are just objects of sexual desire that exist solely for their pleasure. It teaches you that women want sex no matter what, even if they don’t seem like it at first. It borders on normalizing rape and violence against women, by teaching men to control and use women for sex. This is a dangerous idea to be spreading, especially to people aged around 11. It contributes to the rape culture we live in, with victim blaming because “all girls want it”. Sexism is rife even in young people. Why? Because they’re told through porn and other media to control and demean and treat women like shit.
And is this going to be easy to fix? No. Porn is big business, and business usually wins. If you decide to give up watching porn, it’s a personal thing. I think you’ll feel better in the long run, and your partner should like it. It’s not easy but it is worth it. If you have kids, teach them the dangers before they find it themselves.