Truth Joy Beauty

Just my thoughts and reflections about living and loving in the post-post modern age.

Is internet porn the beginning of the end for the human race?

After a particularly robust discussion on the topic of internet porn addiction involving a frank and open exchange of views I took it upon myself to do some ‘research’ into the subject out of interest.

To be honest, pornography has never really phased me. Nor have I ever really worried about whether or not my partner looked at porn. I just thought it was something that ‘all guys do’ whether they admit to it or not so why bother getting upset about it. Each to their own was my attitude. But more than that, I also considered myself a pretty ‘open minded’ individual when it came to sex and sexuality. To be honest, I guess I had a pretty naive idea about what porn actually meant and what it actually entailed. It did occur to me that an industry which trades on the subjectification of one human being over another was in essence problematic. However, two adults engaging in mutually satisfying sexual communication is one thing, but pornography has nothing to do with that. Pornography, and internet pornography at that is an entirely other animal.

However, putting all morality and feminist discourse aside what I discovered about the very recent phenomenon that is high-speed internet pornography and the effect it is having on men and in particular very young men, is actually pretty terrifying to say the least.

In my research, which existed of Googling the words “brain porn” I came across this site: www.yourbrainonporn.com which I highly recommend for anyone who is worried about excessive porn use and if it could be affecting other areas of their life. Well, chances are it is, according to the most recent research on the neurology of the brain and how it responds in particular to excessive porn use. Some of the findings may be of surprising interest to some of you. I won’t go into all of them here but the one issue which I think is of alarming importance is the link between increasing instances of erectile dysfunction in men (some as young as 21) which is linked to over use of internet porn.

For some of these young men internet porn has become a way of life, so by the time they hit their early 20s some of them have been accessing and masturbating to internet porn since they were in early adolescence. The problem with that being thus, because the adolescent brain is still forming, a dysfunctional relationship between internet porn and sexuality has become hard wired into their brains, so much so, that they can no longer be aroused by a real life person. Their brains have come to associate sexual satisfaction with internet porn. After a while, some of them report that they have no interest  in actually having sex with another person, they would rather watch porn and get off. How absolutely whack is that?!

According to one recent (2014) Canadian study, 54% of young men aged 16 -21 reported some kind of sexual dysfunction including erectile dysfunction and inability to orgasm. Frequency and length of use can also contribute to problems with RL (real life) sex. That is, years of use and frequency of use can wear out the brain’s natural reward system, hijacking it so that it no longer associates sex with real life women as a reward. It associates sexual reward with sitting alone in your room, in front of a computer with one hand on your penis and the other on the mouse.

There has been some recent debate as to whether sexual addiction is a ‘real’ addiction or not. Well, according to the most recent (2013) DSM-V (Diagnostic & Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) it is, as the brain responds in much the same way and the psycho-social behaviours that sex or porn addicts engage in are much the same.  Avoidance of real life situations, inability to connect intimately with another human being, isolation, shame, increasing instances of depression and anxiety have all been attributed to excessive porn use.

My question is this, if left unchecked and our young men of today are forgoing sex with real girls for the thrill of masturbating to porn alone then what does that mean for the future of humanity and relationships in general? The internet has made it easier to connect at a distance, social media makes it easier to ‘connect’ with others by simply ‘liking’ their post or photos. But, as a species, are we in danger of losing our ability to meaningfully connect in other ways? And if young men in particular are choosing to connect with the image of a porn actress (who will never reject them) on a computer screen rather than risk engagement with a girl (who may reject them) then what about the future of the human race? What about real sex, you know that ol’ chestnut, yeah reproduction of the species? Well that takes real engagement with another human being. And yes, human interaction can get messy. (The sort of messy that you can’t always wipe up with a tissue!) And if half the species are losing their motivation to engage in sexual behaviour with potential mates, then is it only a matter of time until the machines take over all together….?

For more information and links to actual studies check out http://www.yourbrainonporn.com

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5 thoughts on “Is internet porn the beginning of the end for the human race?

  1. nofaptilldeath on said:

    I think awareness is a good thing and if there is, indeed, a correlation between erectile dysfunction and porn addiction, I think somebody will decide to step in and consider that maybe porn websites should be a little bit more secure with who accesses it. However, I have a co-worker that told me corporations like coca-cola actually WANT kids to get addicted to their products at an early age. He continued to say that if you hook them early, you hook them for life. I’m not saying that we should get rid of free internet porn, but I do think that kids are the most vulnerable. If it continues, I’m sure we’ll see more cases of erectile dysfunction, unsatisfied sex lives, and unfortunately…an increase of divorce rates. Not good.

    • That’s an interesting point you make re corporations such as coca cola etc wanting kids to get ‘addicted’ to their products. There’s a reason why those companies get and stay big and that’s because they put a lot of money into market research into what makes their consumer’s tick. I should know I was a researcher for some of them! However, science is now confirming what market researchers have perhaps known for some time. The adolescent brain is way more malleable then the adult brain and that is one of the reason why we could be seeing such high rates of psychological and sexual dysfunction in boys at such a young age. I am not sure what the answer is, but I am sure that more research and more discussion needs to happen.

      • nofaptilldeath on said:

        Oh, absolutely. I’m all for change provided that change is based on scientific evidence. As you’ve learned on YBOP, things are still kind of developing. I definitely think we should be looking into it because if porn is really that bad over an extended period of time, especially when they start out young, then we need to be implementing some big changes to the porn industry.

  2. Pingback: Truth Joy Beauty

  3. Pingback: Porn addiction – it’s not just you. Truth, reality and hope for addicts and partners. | Francesca Palace Counselling

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