Friday, December 13, 2013

Porn and Your Sex Life

It doesn’t happen very often that I find myself in agreement with Naomi Wolf (or vice versa) but yesterday was one of those days.

Writing for the London Guardian Wolf laid out the downside of porn. I have been blogging about the subject for years, and my views are consonant with Wolf’s.

Obviously, pornography is here to say. No one favors banning it. It is widely available and will remain so. In many ways, it ought to be available to adults. Free people have a right to make a free choice about what they want to look at, even how they want to get aroused.

And yet, few people know it, but pornography is also addictive. In excess, porn is not a harmless diversion. It effects behavior, in particular, sexual behavior.

If anything, those who are overdosing on porn are demonstrating why cultures have valued modesty. The absence of modesty, through rampant shamelessness diminishes desire and fetishizes sexual encounters.

Obviously, there are larger issues here. How much has our culture’s tendency to gender-bend contributed to the taste for porn? How much are young people being duped into believing that they ought to be watching porn, lest they not be sexually liberated? And how much of this addiction has been produced by young people doing as they were told: following their bliss?

The culture’s messages, its edicts and precepts do not always produce the desired results.

Wolf mixes anecdotal examples with more scientific research.

Among the anecdotal are these:

Couples in their late teens tell me no one they know can have sex without porn playing on a screen. A guidance counsellor at a private school asks where he can find help for his students - many of whom are so addicted to online porn that the obsession is affecting their schoolwork and social development.

When it comes to the science of pornoholism, as it is called, things are fairly clear. Among the consequences of the overindulgence in porn, as I have occasionally pointed out, is desensitization to erotic stimuli.

Wolf explains:

Yet the neuroscience of porn addiction is clear: watching porn causes sharp spikes in the activation of dopamine, a neurotransmitter in the brain, which makes people feel focused, confident and good.

The trouble is that this  short-term neurological arousal has long-term consequences. Firstly, it can cause desensitisation to the same erotic simuli that turned you on recently and, over the longer term, it can cause a greater likelihood of sexual dysfunction.

The user then craves more and more extreme pornography - violence and taboo images activate the autonomic nervous system, which is involved with arousal -  in order to reach that same level  of excitement.

This acclimatisation and desensitisation explains why images that were seen as fetishistic, taboo or violent ten years ago are now mainstream fare on porn sites.

She continues:

A final problem related to desensitisation is that men start to see their own partners as less attractive, and less able to arouse them by ordinary sexual behaviour.

And, of course, one woman can't provide the ever-changing novelty, that constantly renewed boost to the brain that porn artificially delivers by a mouse click of the mouse.

There are other ways porn use can negatively affect female arousal. If a woman feels uneasy about her partner's use of porn the stress of her resentment and anger can affect her own ability to become aroused.

The good news is that getting over the pornoholism is not very difficult. It requires one to stop watching porn, or at least, cut down significantly on one’s exposure.

Wolf echoes points that are reasonably well known:

I believe that with good health information, people can make more informed choices about how, when, and if they want to use porn, and even better choices about what kind of imagery they might seek out or avoid.

Those who wish to end their addiction - like ending any addiction - can do so with effort.

Men who have done so - that is for whom we have data - report a great sense of regaining psychological control, and heightened arousal with their wives or girlfriends. Mostly they are relieved not to be at the mercy of something that many of those who write to me feel they need - but don't especially like.     

Are we 'sexually liberated' if porn is taking over our thought processes and corroding our ability to sustain meaningful relationships? I think we are less sexually free.

A powerful industry is manipulating us - and ruthlessly exploiting some hard-wiring in the male brain - to turn us more and more into sexual and emotional robots, only capable of achieving sexual fulfilment in a room with a computer, alone.

Neither Wolf nor I want to moralize about pornography. And yet, at a time when more and more young people are becoming addicted to it, a word from the wise is surely in order… especially for those who know not what they are doing.

4 comments:

Andrea Ostrov Letania said...

Porn is also 'racist'-'interracist'.

It favors the pairing of white women with black guys, suggesting that white women are the most attractive and black men with big muscles and huge dongs are the most manly. Not much in the way of racial equality in porn.

So, porn promotes racial superiority of black men as superior males deserving to conquer and own white women.

It humiliates white males as flabby smaller-penised losers, and increasing numbers of white males get off from this humiliation of being cuckolded.

Jews dominate porn industry, and it's ironic that a people who suffered from the Nazi ideology of racial supremacism should be promoting a form of entertainment that says black males are racially-sexually superior to white males. In the linked video, the blonde shikse calls the black man the superior man and pleads for his 'superior seed'.

This video totally humiliates the white male as an inferior sorryass loser who should submit to the racial superiority of the black male and surrender his wife to the black man.

Why do Jews in porn promote stuff like this?

Is Nathan Abrams right?

http://www.jewishquarterly.org/issuearchive/articled325.html?articleid=38

Do so many Jews really harbor such hateful feelings toward white Christian gentiles?

"Al Goldstein, the publisher of Screw, said (on lukeford.net), ‘The only reason that Jews are in pornography is that we think that Christ sucks. Catholicism sucks. We don’t believe in authoritarianism.’ Pornography thus becomes a way of defiling Christian culture and, as it penetrates to the very heart of the American mainstream (and is no doubt consumed by those very same WASPs), its subversive character becomes more charged. Porn is no longer of the ‘what the Butler saw’ voyeuristic type; instead, it is driven to new extremes of portrayal that stretch the boundaries of the porn aesthetic. As new sexual positions are portrayed, the desire to shock (as well as entertain) seems clear."



Charles A Pennison said...

"Couples in their late teens tell me no one they know can have sex without porn playing on a screen"

WOW, really?

I've talked before how new technologies may be making us less mentally capable than previous generations, but I'm truly amazed to learn that a whole generation can't have intimate sex without a visual aid.

WOW!

Sam L. said...

The women in porn movies may well be better looking than my wife, but she's the one who's here turning me on.

Anonymous said...

I never got into it (despite many years of frustration) because I didn't want anything to remind me of what I was missing.