The rise of pornography in the last decade has often been referred to as the ‘sex revolution’ of the world. Today, over 13,000 pornographic films are made every year to be uploaded onto one of the four-hundred and twenty existing pornographic sites.
The pornographic business revenues billions that even Hollywood rivals, and while we know this is because ‘sex sells’, is pornography really ‘sex’?
I’ll never forget an interview I watched of Baywatch star, Pamela Anderson, on ITV’s ‘This Morning’ in 2016. The blonde bombshell, one of the most iconic and sensual women in recent times, discussed her worries over the evolution of pornography, and its accessibility to this generation.
“If you’ve ever been treated in bed like a pornstar… it’s no fun”, she said, “being slapped – spit on- THAT’S sex these days”.
Pamela Anderson by Mercy For Animals at Flickr
It was a surprise to hear one of Playboy’s iconic cover girls to be talking about the dark side of pornography. But it was even more alarming to discover that friends of my age, at twenty-three, have encountered similar behaviour.
“When a woman is lying in bed in lingerie, and her partner locks himself in the bathroom and looks at a computer, there’s something wrong there,” one of them recently complained over a glass or two of wine.
Video games and the internet have given Millennials unprecedented access to the most extreme pornography, and many young women are now impacted by how it translates into the minds of modern men.
This beggars the question; is pornography the primary source of sex education for young men today?
Well, it certainly seems to be. We all remember what sex education was like in school. I recall how we all laughed and joked whenever we heard the word ‘period’, how it was accepted that women were passive and men were predatory.
Gay sex was never even mentioned; many schools emphasised abstinence and sex ed was delivered times by poorly trained, embarrassed teachers (although, I do applaud the teachers who have to teach it to a classroom of rambunctious thirteen year-olds).
The net result? Men are learning what sex is from porn and its impact is nothing short of terrifying.
HOW DID WE GET HERE?
It started with the advent of girlie magazines in the 1950s, and X-rated rental films in the 1980s but the arrival of the internet changed everything. Today, the number of porn pages online is estimated at 700m-800m and internet porn is easily available in the anonymity of home. It’s even free.Porn has gone mainstream.
According to recent stats, boys, on average start watching porn approximately at eleven years-old, which is extremely worrying. Not only can pornography portray acts of brutality or cruelty, but usually porn makes the male actor the dominant participant and often is a brutal way.
Jonathan Rolande on Flickr at House Buy Fast.
Generally, in porn, sex always occurs very easily, everybody has a high time, and nobody ever protests or says ‘I don’t want to do that’. Because of this, it’s not uncommon for a woman today to have been asked by a partner in the past to carry out a sexual act that she is deeply uncomfortable with. Worse still, women are often not even asked – because it’s assumed she will like it.
So, how much is pornography negatively affecting modern males?
When you break it down to a purely biological function pornography makes many men believe the sex should last a certain amount of time and, when they realise their performance is lacking, they can develop conditions such as erectile dysfunction. Erectile dysfunction is becoming increasingly widespread every day, and it’s believed that one in ten males have this problem between the ages of thirteen and twenty-five.
Luca Rossato Young Boy Reads Playboy at Flickr
It’s accepted that masturbating to porn once to three times a week won’t have an adverse effect on a man’s intimate life and normal sexual arousal, but doing it everyday might.
Dr. Angela Gregory, a psychosexual therapist at Nottingham University Hospital, advises men suffering from conditions brought on by overuse of pornography is to go at least ninety days without masturbating or looking at porn to reboot the system to normal arousal.Would this be a challenge for guys suffering from this problem? For sure.
Is virtual sex more convenient than real sex? In Japan, a survey carried out by Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare, reported that many men between sixteen and twenty-four have no interest in sex because of their dependance of pornography.
Image from Mandy’s Taking a Few New Clients Photostream Flickr.
Real sex with real women does not excite them, and they simply aren’t bothered. For guys like this, it’s much more convenient to whip out the computer to look at virtual women to enjoy for a couple of minutes.
The Independent UK newspaper summarised that nearly half of Japanese people are starting their 30s without any sexual experience, according to new analysis.The country is facing an abrupt population drop as a burgeoning number of young adults avoid sex and shun romantic relationships.
Many men remarked they “find women scary” as a poll found that 43 per cent of people aged 18 to 34 from the island nation say they are virgins, said the paper.Internet porn was to blame said a woman who was asked her views on the results of the survey.
Danny Choo Flickr Anime Magazines
This brings me neatly to the issue of how men’s minds have been warped through the virtual world of porn. Young men and women are certainly being shown what sex is, how it feels, what its protocol and expectations are, by pornographic training, and this is having troubling results.
In my experience, I’ve noticed that many men have developed precise, narrow tastes when it comes to the kind of women they find desirable. In my personal life, it’s not uncommon to hear male friends discussing a glamour model’s C cup breasts by saying she “needs a boob job to do that job” or fat-shaming a woman because she is bigger than a size 12, the average and most common size of women in Ireland.
Andrea Dworkin, an anti-porn activist since the 80s, made a point that I think many of today’s women would agree with.
“Pornography is not making men into raving beasts. On the contrary: the onslaught of porn is responsible for deadening male libido in relation to real women as ‘porn-worthy’. Far from having to fend of porn-crazed young men, young women are worrying that as mere flesh and blood, they can scarcely get, let alone hold, their attention”.
So said Naomi Wolf after a college campus tour.
In sum: women are now expected to behave like actresses in porn flicks. Emphasis on “actress.” Even porn stars don’t behave that way at home.And how do the actresses act? It’s male fantasy: It’s all about the guy.”
Andy Wilson Black and White Playboy image at Flickr
THE FUTURE OF PORN?
Unfortunately, the more accessible the pornography business becomes, the more it is going to be an issue for women of this generation and beyond.
Will the problems caused in relationships by pornography only stop in another hundred years when men can virtually have sex with the pornstar on the screen? Will the standards for men ever change back to focusing on real women?
I have no idea. All I know is that I know I am not the only woman uncomfortable with the evolution of pornography as it not only effects my own life but the lives of many women across the globe.The objectification of women in porn is sickening because it creates an unattainable fantasy for men.
Generation Porn has literally fucked themselves out of fulfilling sex lives. And that’s the real tragedy.
By Ailsha Davey