How Mainstream Porn Damages Men’s Sexuality*: One Man’s Confession

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I found this article over at lostclown’s blog.  She found it somewhere in hard-copy and retyped it because she couldn’t scan without distorting the text, or something like that.  Below is one man’s confession to how porn distorted and harmed his sexuality and caused him to sexually and emotionally harm women.

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Then the internet arrived. Designed to be a force for good and to share the knowledge of the world, it was immediately used, of course, to spread images of people having sex. The filth traveled around the glove like those ocean-going barges stacked high with rotting garbage. Only this was muck that everybody wanted, that found a welcoming port in every corner. In mine too.

Along with most other red-blooded males, I gleefully downloaded the photos, saw the pussies of Pamela, Paris and Abi. I cruised the sites and eyed up thousands of girls from every nation and in every position. When broadband arrived, I thought, “This is it, Utopia, a constantly refreshed supply of beautiful women, naked and performing for our pleasure.” Now we are all sultans.

(Some talk about his nephew and how his nephew’ll never have to buy a porn magazine from a shop because it’s just a click away on the internet. Also mentions that the nephew in question is 13)

But slowly it has become clear to me that I’m the lucky one after all, not him. In fact, I regard anyone who watches porn these days as being incredibly unfortunate. Why? Because it’s going to poison your mind, mess up your relationships and ruin your sex life.

That may seem like a sweeping statement, but I know it’s true because it actually happened to me. Nothing I’m about to confess is based on bland statistics or boring surveys or government research – it’s based on the fact that, in bed with a woman one night, I did something which caused her to feel fear and pain. I practically became a sex offender. And porn was to blame.

My transformation from nice guy to near-rapist began when I got into the habit of kicking off each working day by watching a bit of hardcore. I thought of it as my equivalent to a cup of coffee. A pick-me-up. Five minutes of online ogling before settling down to the grind of earning a living.

(explanation that ‘hardcore’ in this case wasn’t referring to anything underage or illegal, so it’s not as though he was watching ‘the shit with animals and torture and dungeons’, but the regular stuff often watched online)

The participants seemed to be clean and willing, and their activities appeared innocent enough. Certainly, I never felt I was being perverted by them, especially as my favourite one, called “Her Sweet Hand”, was entirely devoted to women giving hand-jobs. In my view this was only “second base” and therefore hardly pornographic at all.

If you’d asked me back then if watching these clips was affecting my sex life, I’d have said, “Yes, but in a good way.” The way I saw it, my libido was getting charged up like a car battery, so when I pulled a girl I would be raring to go. She’d get better sex, and I’d get a chance to act out some of the scenes I’d watched. Everyone’s a winner.

After a while, however, I noticed I was getting much more dominant in bed. Previously, I had been a pretty democratic lover, happy to share the workload in the three classic positions, but now I found I was doing a lot more doggy style. I would do it harder, too, and while I did it I would pull the girl’s hair and think, “Yeah, you’re getting it now, you dirty little bitch.” If sufficiently emboldened by drink, I would actually say those words, and plenty more besides. Then, after showering her who was boss for half-an-hour or so, perhaps pinning her down by the wrists for variety, I’d climax. But whereas in the old days, I was happy to come into my Durex or on her tits, now it had to be all over her face and neck like a white volcano.

(the segment preceding this is mostly just reiterating what’s been said before and not that interesting)

I can only guess how far down that track I’d have gone if I hadn’t been snapped out of it. But luckily – for me, anyway – I pulled a girl at a party and then went too far. Far too far. We got pissed, cabbed it back to my place and then I gave her the full Beast of Hammersmith treatment. I remember talking filth, going at her like a merciless jackhammer, when she first asked me to stop.

I didn’t stop. In fact – and this is the hard bit to confess – I gave it to her even harder. One… two… three strokes, riding the wave as she squirmed underneath me. I was engorged with power, my cock a weapon. But then she wrenched away from me, and I could see by the look on her face that A Bad Thing had happened.

It took a lot of fast talking and soothing hugs to calm her down. At one stage, I thought she might actually report me. When she left, I shivered under the duvet, shocked at what I’d done.

What had I become? And why? I had never acted like this before, so I deduced that it might be due to the internet porn I’d been feasting on. The next day, I visited some of the sites I’d used regularly. And slowly, just as a secret image used to emerge if you stared at those old fractal pictures long enough, the truth became clear.

Modern porn… it’s not about sex at all. It’s about cruelty to women. Almost all of it, especially the most popular “gonzo” king, is built on their humiliation. Again, let me stress that I’m not talking about the extreme stuff here, I’m talking about the mainstream. Your basic, entry level porn.

The problem stems from the fact that porn gets stale very quickly. There are only so many ways a man and woman can make love, so the adult-video makers have to up the ante constantly to maintain sales. Once, you never saw penetration. Then anal sex was a taboo. Now it’s pretty common to see triple anal penetration. As one porn director put it, “People want more. They want to know how many dicks you can shove up an ass. It’s like Fear Factor meets Jackass.”

Precisely. It is like Jackass. Painful and demeaning things – like getting cornhold or throat-fucked – are happening for our pleasure. And the discomfort shows on the women’s faces. They get hurt while we whack off. Looking back at my favourites with fresh eyes, I saw it clearly. Even in the “innocent” hand-job one, they worked without being pleasured themselves. They ended up been coated with spunk. They were, quite literally, sex objects.

You want to know the really worrying thing? Porn is a multi-billion dollar industry, famously bigger than Hollywood, and if the sight of women experiencing discomfort or humiliation was distasteful to the mass audience, it would have been edited out. Market forces would insist upon a correction. So the only conclusion to draw is that normal guys – not a tiny minority of perverts and weirdos, but you, your pals, your brothers, your colleagues – actually like seeing it.

Well, not me. Not any more. I’ve seen what they’re selling and I don’t want to buy it. And I warn you, everytime you watch a gonzo clip from “Meatholes” or “Exploited Babysitters” your subconscious is being bombarded with the same message. You won’t so much get brainwashed as braindirtied. And then – like it or not – there’s a chance you’ll bring what you’ve viewed into your real-life relationships. Monkey see, monkey do.

Personally, I’m now only going to use the computer for e-mails and poker. If I want porn, I’ll stick to the older kind where everyone appeared to be having fun. Say what you like about ’80s porn movies, at least I know I’m never going to end up like the blokes who starred in them. Mainly because I hate moustaches…

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* Porn-watching men’s sexuality is ruined, and they end up harming women they have sex with.  However, women IN porn are the MOST damaged of all because they are the physical receptacles of male sexual violence that is filmed and distributed en masse.  This damage is physical, emotional, mental and spiritual and often results in complex posttraumatic stress disorder.  There are just no winners when it comes to porn.

I’m looking forward to reading Gail Dines‘ 2010 book Pornland for a more extensive discussion on how porn ruins sex.  Not that I need convincing, as watching mainstream porn for just a couple of minutes is enough to see its harm.  I cringed in horror watching female porn “actresses” pretending they love the violence and degradation being inflicted upon them.  No healthy female enjoys this kind of “sex” because it’s not sex, it’s abuse.  My heart goes out to all hetero girls out there whose male counterparts are learning about sex through free online porn.  God only knows how many teenage boys’ sexuality is being ruined, and how many girls they will hurt in the process, and how many wounded adults this will create in the future.  This kind of education is so important and should be mandatory material taught in sex education classes in junior/high schools.

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