My desired outcome from writing and sharing these articles is for people to start healthy conversations.
WARNING: THE FOLLOWING CONTENT MAYBE TRIGGERING FOR SOME READERS
Porn is NOT a sex manual!
Is the porn industry sexually abusing men?
Let’s lift the lid and have the conversation on an uncomfortable subject without blame and shame.
I have added my 100 reasons below to help you make your own decisions.
A typical couples counselling presentation where porn use has become an issue for the couple and potentially the family.
Husband– say’s sex with my wife is just not good enough anymore and she has not fulfilled my sexual desires. Especially when the women look completely different to her. I am just not happy with our sex life.
Wife– say’s It’s really a self-esteem killer for me which spirals into our sex life it’s sad and heartbreaking. I feel he is having an emotional affair watching other naked women in provocative positions and sometimes the acts are cruel and unnatural. He wants me to perform in the bedroom like the girls he watches on porn. I can see our family falling apart.
‘Porn addiction’ isn’t a clinical diagnosis. Currently, it falls under the definition of compulsive sexual behaviour disorder (CSBD) – terminology that was introduced by the World Health Organisation (WHO) in 2018. CSBD is characterised by ‘a persistent pattern of failure to control intense, repetitive sexual impulses or urges resulting in repetitive sexual behaviour’.
The slippery slope of CSBD can have very negative consequences:
In one study of 271 battered women, it was found that 30% of the abusers reportedly used pornography. The study concluded that “the majority of women (58%) whose abusers used pornography acknowledged that the pornography had affected their abuse…
In my capacity as a Therapist I work with men who say
“I thought I would never push or hit a women, but I did”
Now I’m not saying all porn watches commit potentially heinous crimes. What I am saying however is, be very aware of what and how you are being influenced.
I’m not convinced that people realise just how toxic to the brain some behaviours can be: Pornography and the process of dehumanizing sexual partners (2020) – Your Brain On Porn
Many serial killers brag about their obsession with porn and the need for the darker the better.
e.g. Ted Bundy and Stephen Port
It can be a very slippery slope for many. Online child sexual exploitation and abuse in Canada: A statistical profile of police-reported incidents and court charges, 2014 to 2020 (statcan.gc.ca)
There is strong evidence of a rise in Domestic abuse and child sexual abuse in direct correlation with the billions of porn sites readily available.
I encourage individuals and couples to have an open conversation about their feelings and attitudes toward porn and its consumption. The effect it has on their relationship, their family and the broader community.
As a Couples Therapist I constantly address potential concerns related to unrealistic expectations in the bedroom, communication issues and the impact of porn on intimacy and sex within relationships.
My concern is that couples are not talking openly about their sexual needs and how they want to feel fulfilled and connected with their partner. Couples would benefit greatly by talking about personal boundaries and bottom liners, these are their personal “non -negotiables”
I see many couples in their 30’s & 40’s not having sex. One of the major contributing factors is that men are using porn as a means of instant gratification.
Let’s be honest here: Men experience an ejaculation (not a fulfilling euphoric connected orgasm) on their own watching porn, without having to put in the work to connect with their partner. Most men tell me this is not what they want to do, they feel ashamed, dirty and unfulfilled and they certainly do not brag at the pub about their secretive behaviours.
Definitions explained: Ejaculation is the expulsion of semen from the penis. Orgasm is a feeling of intense pleasure, relaxation, and connection that is associated with sexual climax. In most men, orgasm and ejaculation happen simultaneously but they are in fact different physiological events that can occur independently of one another.
The number one & two reasons people turn to porn in a committed relationship is: the inability to communicate
(A non-sexual relationship defined can be defined as less than 10’ times in one calendar year)
In my professional opinion, the porn industry knows how to target the most vulnerable in the area of sexual needs, being males. In some ways, men could be, being sexually abused by this industry. It promotes the act of disassociation and shame based behaviour also dehumanising humans.
In many cases, normal men start acting unpredictable, irrational, angry, secretive and somewhat not normal. Porn Addiction Symptoms: How to Know If You’re Addicted to Porn (menshealth.com)
The porn industry has changed over the years. It is now full of cruelty, exploitation of women, men and children. There are risks to watching porn, it can and does become an obsession for many:
Excessive porn use can have negative consequences on an individual’s mental, emotional, and physical well-being, as well as their relationships. While the impact can vary from person to person, here are some signs that someone may be using porn too much (note every brain is different some are more effected than others) (1) The Mechanism of Addiction | Your Brain on Porn | Animated Series | Part 1-8 – YouTube
Neglecting Responsibilities: If porn consumption starts to interfere with work, school, or other important responsibilities, it might be a sign of excessive use.
Compulsive Behaviour: Feeling a strong urge or compulsion to watch porn regularly, even when it’s not wanted or needed.
Inability to Control Usage: Being unable to stop or reduce porn consumption despite attempts to do so.
Isolation: Spending excessive time alone watching porn instead of engaging in social activities or spending time with loved ones.
Relationship Problems: If porn use leads to conflicts or dissatisfaction within intimate relationships.
Decreased Productivity: A significant decline in productivity or performance in other areas of life due to excessive porn use.
Neglecting Hobbies and Interests: Losing interest in previous hobbies or activities because of spending more time on porn consumption.
Neglecting Self-Care: Neglecting personal hygiene, eating habits, or sleep patterns due to excessive porn consumption.
Escapism: Using porn as a way to escape from stress, emotions, or real-life problems.
Impact on Sex Life: If porn use starts affecting sexual performance or satisfaction with real-life partners.
Sleep Disturbances: Having trouble falling asleep or staying asleep due to late-night porn consumption.
Feeling Guilt or Shame: Experiencing feelings of guilt, shame, or self-criticism after watching porn.
Persistent Thoughts about Porn: Constantly thinking about or anticipating the next opportunity to watch porn.
Increased Sensitivity to Sexual Content: Becoming increasingly sensitive or desensitised to sexual content, seeking more extreme or explicit material.
Withdrawal Symptoms: Experiencing irritability, restlessness, or anxiety when attempting to cut back on porn consumption.
Neglecting Emotional Intimacy: Relying on porn for emotional intimacy instead of engaging in real-life emotional connections.
Difficulty Concentrating: Experiencing difficulty focusing on tasks or daily activities due to preoccupation with porn.
Using Porn as a Coping Mechanism: Using porn as a way to cope with stress, loneliness, or emotional pain.
Feeling Disconnected: Feeling disconnected or detached from real-life relationships or emotions.
Decline in Mental Health: Experiencing symptoms of depression, anxiety, or other mental health issues due to excessive porn consumption.
Dr Jordan Peterson has expressed concerns about the potential negative effects of excessive pornography use on individuals, particularly men. He has highlighted the following points:
1. Addiction and Escalation: Peterson has warned about the potential for pornography consumption to become addictive, leading individuals to seek increasingly explicit or extreme content to achieve the same level of arousal. He views this as a concerning trend that can negatively impact relationships and personal well-being.
2. Reduced Motivation and Ambition: Peterson has expressed concerns that excessive porn use might lead to a decrease in motivation and ambition in some men. He argues that porn can serve as a form of instant gratification that distracts individuals from pursuing meaningful goals and responsibilities.
3. Impact on Relationships: Peterson has discussed the potential consequences of pornography use on intimate relationships. He suggests that frequent porn consumption may create unrealistic expectations about sex and intimacy, leading to dissatisfaction and conflict within relationships.
4. Self-Improvement and Responsibility: Peterson advocates for personal responsibility and self-improvement, encouraging individuals to examine their habits and behaviours critically. He often emphasises the importance of taking ownership of one’s actions, including decisions related to media consumption, to lead a more fulfilling life.
50 potential reasons why some men may choose to watch pornography:
1. Sexual Gratification: To experience sexual arousal and pleasure and they are aware of the risks
2. Curiosity: To explore and learn about different sexual acts or scenarios, cruel forbidden or not.
3. Fantasy, Fairy tales, Imagination: To fulfil sexual fantasies and desires.
4. Stress Relief: As a way to de-stress or escape from everyday pressures.
5. Entertainment: To find erotic content for entertainment purposes.
6. Self-Exploration: To understand one’s own sexual preferences and desires.
7. Lack of Sexual Activity: When there is a lack of sexual activity or opportunities for intimacy.
8. Convenience: It provides easy access to sexual content without the need for physical partners.
9. Peer Influence being a follower: Due to peer pressure or social norms.
10. Cultural Factors: As a response to cultural attitudes towards sex and sexuality. Can be illegal and forbidden
11. Body Image: To compare oneself with porn actors or to boost self-esteem.
12. Lack of Sex Education: Due to inadequate sex education and a desire to learn about sex.
13. Libido and Hormonal Factors: They believe it may Increase sex drive or hormonal influences.
14. Emotional Connection: For individuals seeking emotional connection in the absence of physical intimacy.
15. Loneliness: As a coping mechanism for feelings of loneliness or isolation.
16. Sexual Exploration: To explore and expand one’s sexual repertoire.
17. Experimentation: To try out new sexual acts or fetishes in a safe and non-judgmental environment on their own
18. Sexual Orientation: For individuals questioning or exploring their sexual orientation.
19. Relationship Satisfaction: To enhance sexual experiences within a committed relationship.
20. Procrastination: As a form of distraction or procrastination from other tasks.
21. Accessibility: Availability and anonymity make it easily accessible.
22. Sexual Performance: To gain insights or tips on improving sexual performance.
23. Erotic Art: Appreciating the artistic and aesthetic aspects of erotic content without cruelty to another humans body
24. Sexual Expression: As a form of self-expression and liberation.
25. Education: To learn about sexual health, consent, and communication.
26. Cultural Exploration: To understand how different cultures portray and view sexuality.
27. Empowerment: As a way to feel empowered and in control of one’s desires.
28. Remedy for Boredom: To pass time or alleviate boredom.
29. Sexual Compatibility: To assess compatibility with potential partners.
30. Lack of Sexual Satisfaction: When sexual needs are unfulfilled in a relationship.
31. Recovering from a Breakup: As a means of coping with a recent breakup.
32. Enhancement of Masturbation: To enhance solo sexual experiences
33. Social Norms and Acceptance: To feel accepted or “normal” in one’s sexual preferences.
34. Experimentation with and without Risk: Trying out new fantasies or scenarios and understands there maybe real-life consequences
35. Accessibility for Disabled Individuals: It provides sexual content for people with physical disabilities.
36. Virtual Intimacy: Seeking intimacy in a virtual context.
37. Coping with Trauma: As a coping mechanism for individuals dealing with past trauma or abuse.
38. Emotional Release: To experience emotional release through sexual content.
39. Sexual Identity Exploration: For individuals questioning or exploring their sexual identity.
40. Privacy: Enjoying sexual content in the privacy of one’s own space.
41. Control and Dominance: Seeking feelings of control or dominance in a sexual context.
42. Post-Surgery or Medical Conditions: As a way to maintain sexual pleasure during recovery.
43. Sexual Inspiration: To spark creativity or inspiration in personal relationships.
44. Managing Sexual Frustration and Anxiety: To manage their anxiety of sexual frustration or dissatisfaction.
45. Sexual Repression: As a means of breaking free from sexual repression.
46. Coping with Stress: To cope with stress through sexual release.
47. Hormonal Changes: Increased interest in sexual content during hormonal fluctuations.
48. Exploration of Sexuality Outside of Norms: To explore sexual interests that may be considered outside societal norms.
49. Sexual Adventure: Seeking excitement and novelty in sexual experiences outside of a committed relationship and opportunity to be aroused and have an emotional affair.
50. Cultural Acceptance: In cultures or societies where porn consumption is widely accepted or normalised.
50 potential reasons why some men may choose not to watch pornography:
1. Personal Values: Some men may have strong personal or religious beliefs that discourage them from watching porn.
2. Moral Reasons: Moral objections to the content or ethics of the porn industry.
3. Emotional Intimacy: A preference for seeking emotional intimacy and connection rather than solely sexual gratification.
4. Cultural Norms: Cultural or societal norms that discourage or frown upon porn consumption.
5. Family Values: A desire to uphold family values and set a positive example for others. They may have daughters and wish to protect them into the future by not support an industry that exploits women.
6. Emotional Vulnerability: Avoiding potential negative emotional impacts associated with porn consumption.
7. Focus on Other Interests: Having other hobbies or interests that take precedence over watching porn they are good at self-management
8. Time Management: Prioritising time for other activities instead of watching porn.
9. Relationship Priorities: Focusing on building strong, intimate relationships with partners.
10. Emotional Well-being: To protect mental and emotional well-being from potential negative effects.
11. Lack of Interest: A genuine lack of interest in or curiosity about pornography.
12. Respect for Women: A desire to avoid content that objectifies or exploits women.
13. Avoiding Addiction: To prevent the development of a porn addiction or compulsive behaviours.
14. Physical Health: Concerns about the potential negative impact on physical health, such as erectile dysfunction.
15. Protecting Relationships: Avoiding potential conflicts or trust issues within relationships.
16. Personal Growth: Prioritising personal growth and self-improvement over porn consumption.
17. Spiritual Beliefs: Adhering to spiritual beliefs that discourage porn use.
18. Privacy Concerns: Worries about online privacy and data security associated with porn sites.
19. Childhood Trauma: Avoiding triggers related to past experiences of childhood trauma.
20. Sensory Overload: Concerns about overwhelming or desensitizing the senses due to explicit content.
21. Media Literacy: A conscious effort to critically analyse media consumption, including porn.
22. Mental Clarity: A desire to maintain mental clarity and focus on daily activities.
23. Real-Life Intimacy: Focusing on real-life sexual experiences and intimacy with partners.
24. Parental Responsibilities: Concerns about the potential impact of porn on children or family members.
25. Personal Discipline: Practicing self-discipline and moderation in media consumption.
26. Emotional Connection: Seeking emotional connection and bonding with others instead of solely sexual experiences.
27. Prioritising Emotional Needs: Valuing emotional needs and emotional intimacy in relationships.
28. Respecting Consent: A commitment to supporting ethical and consensual content in media consumption.
29. Mindfulness: Engaging in mindfulness practices and being intentional about media choices.
30. Healthy Body Image: Avoiding content that may contribute to unrealistic body image expectations.
31. Avoiding Guilt or Shame: To prevent feelings of guilt or shame associated with porn use.
32. Sex Education Alternatives: Seeking sex education from reputable sources outside of pornography.
33. Relationship Satisfaction: Believing that porn consumption may negatively impact a relationship connection and bond
34. Focus on Emotional Connection: Prioritising emotional connection over physical visual hyperarousal.
35. Protecting Mental Health: To safeguard mental health and emotional well-being from potential harm.
36. Prioritising Real-Life Experiences: Valuing real-life experiences and interactions over virtual dissociative content.
37. Maintaining Respectful Attitudes: To maintain respectful attitudes towards women and others in sexual contexts.
38. Avoiding Emotional Disconnection: Concerns that porn use may lead to emotional disconnection and a sexless relationship with their partner
39. Ethical Concerns: A commitment to supporting industries that align with personal ethical beliefs. They understand with the rise of the porn industry, there is also an increase of Domestic Violence and Child sex abuse.
40. Emotional Vulnerability: To avoid emotional vulnerability associated with porn content.
41. Prioritising Emotional Intimacy: Prioritising emotional intimacy and communication with partners.
42. Media Literacy Education: Education on the potential impact of media consumption on attitudes and behaviours.
43. Focus on Self-Love: To focus on self-love and acceptance without comparing to unrealistic standards.
44. Emotional Health: Prioritising emotional health and avoiding potential triggers from porn content.
45. Respecting Partner’s Boundaries: Respecting a partner’s discomfort or boundaries regarding porn consumption.
46. Mental Clarity: To maintain mental clarity and avoid feelings of mental fog.
47. Personal Empowerment: Empowering oneself to make conscious choices about media consumption.
48. Avoiding Addictive Behaviours: To prevent engaging in potentially addictive behaviours.
49. Personal Growth and Goals: To focus on personal growth and achieve life goals.
50. Fulfilment from Other Sources: Finding fulfilment and satisfaction from other sources beyond pornography