November 30, 2015

How Pornography is Ruining Men’s Sex Lives

Today, we live in a world that is centered on technology. Everything is readily available with the click of a button and people are constantly feeding into the latest social media craze. And unfortunately, that craze is often pornographic in nature.

Research shows that 12% of all websites are porn-related, 25% of all search engine searches are sex-related, and 35% of all downloads are pornographic. And shockingly enough, these numbers do not even account for the cornucopia of the user-generated content posted on social media sites such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

While pornography may seem like a harmless portrayal of fantasy and sexual desire, it is far more nefarious than that. It harms in a multitude of ways, such as encouraging violence and promoting unhealthy ideas about sexuality. To the average porn users, these effects are often ignored because they do not directly influence them—until one day they do. Many men find that after extensive pornography use they are unable to become aroused by an actual partner and often unable to form normal, loving relationships.

 Pornography can ruin the sex lives of men, and it can have a profound impact on a man’s mental and physical health. Specifically, it leads to lack of interest in sex with another person, erectile dysfunction, and delayed ejaculation. Gabe Deem, a recovered porn addict explains his experience: “How could I possibly have erectile dysfunction? I was only 23 and physically healthy…it took me nine months to recover normal sexual function.”

While many incorrectly believe that sexual dysfunction can only happen in older men, the condition is extremely real and can happen to any man at any age. Some signs of porn-induced sexual dysfunction include: being able to achieve erections and orgasms from pornography but struggling with one or both when with an in-person partner, only being able to achieve orgasm with a partner by replaying porn clips in mind, and a man’s real-life partner feeling like the “other woman.” The number of men suffering from sexual dysfunction from pornography use is increasing exponentially every day.

This condition not only affects the male users but also their partners. Research has found that women whose husbands or boyfriends look at pornography frequently are less happy in their relationships than women whose male partners are either infrequently using porn or do not view it at all. Furthermore, excessive pornography use in men increases harsher judgments regarding their partner’s physical attractiveness and the woman’s feelings of insecurity. Therefore, it is evident that heavy pornography use by men in committed relationships often has adverse effects on their partners’ wellbeing and their relationship in general.

Additionally, other research shows that exposure to pornography is associated with more permissive attitudes towards casual sex, higher likelihood of engaging in risky sexual behavior, dominance of men over women, and more acceptance of sexual violence. Because many men regard porn as their personal model for real-world relationships, these effects are especially problematic. Pornography generally includes no romanticizing, no talking, and no emotional connection, thus teaching these male users that relationships are purely physical. Thus, these men are unable to form healthy relationships and unable to one day marry and start a family unless they break free from the allure of pornography.

It seems as though this pornified cultural shift is not changing any time soon but rather escalating. A study done by Sun, Bridges, Johnason, and Ezzell (2014), which sought to examine how pornography relates to sexual experiences of college men, showed that nearly all participants had previous exposure to pornography. Additionally, out of the participants who identified as pornography users, 99.5% of them used pornography occasionally for masturbation.

So, it is time that we as a society address these concerns. Pornography is like a drug—it is enticing and exciting at first yet deceptively malevolent, causing a plethora of concerns for both the user and society as a whole. With more and more research being done on this area every day, we at NCOSE are hopeful for more concrete evidence of this epidemic and subsequent awareness on the issue of pornography. We need to break free from the pornified mold to embrace healthy relationships and healthy sexuality.

Works Cited

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/love-and-sex-in-the-digital-age/201401/is-male-porn-use-ruining-sex

http://pornharmsresearch.com/wp-content/uploads/Sun-Bridges-Johnson-Ezzell-2014-Pornograhy-and-the-male-sexual-script-An-analysis-of-consumption-and-sexual-relations.pdf

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/gabe-deem/porn-addiction_b_4495344.html

Danielle Jahn

Intern

Danielle Jahn is a Communications, Press, and Digital Strategies Intern at the National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE). She is a senior at The Catholic University of America and plans to graduate in the spring with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and a minor in English. Danielle is passionate about advocating for human dignity and is interested in the “hook up culture” among college students and the legality of sexual exploitation.

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