Why Porn Makes People Unhappy

Friday, 1 November 2002

[Picture of a man and woman on sofa]PORNOGRAPHY originally referred to the written word. When I use the word, I mean all media — still photographs, comic books, oil-paintings, movies — every form of media.

Some people will want to argue about this, but that’s merely a diversion to cloud the issue. And the definitional pedantry doesn’t stop there, for some people will argue that pornography means different things to different people, and that what some people consider mild, inoffensive, soft porn titillation is hard core to prudish types with a sheltered upbringing.

They would argue that before I can discuss porn, I have to define what it is in some way.

Opinions on taste, culture and etiquette (such as this) are always difficult to pin down; they are always in flux. But I don’t actually think it is as important or relevant to what I am trying to say as you might believe.

I really do think that if you watch a porn film or read some pornography, you are being subjected to the ideas of other people. You might consider that what you are seeing is “the right way” to do something, or you may perceive a failure in your own naturally-found approach. Either way, Porn becomes the benchmark.

  • So I ask: Is it a good idea for pornography to be allowed to set our personal standards? Should porn have such an authoritative role in culture and society?

Then, when you are actually in a relationship and you are performing sex — what happens? Do the porn images come to mind? Do you mimic, or feel you are copying what you have seen or read? Do you therefore feel false, unoriginal or even inadequate? Has your experience with porn made you happier with your sex or more unhappy?

My point here is that, without porn, you would be simply lost ” in the moment” during sex, you would be focused and the matter would be entirely personal. You would be attending to your needs and that of your partner. Porn is an interference.

And I think that the stronger the porn, the bigger the influence. Let’s put it this way: if you have been a heavy user of porn, and have become comfortable with heavier and more extreme degrees, it becomes ever less likely that you will meet a partner who shares that same level of comfort, so porn will have made you more unhappy.

Today, both males and females are influenced by media projected body types — skinny, large breasts, long legs, no cellulite, fat lips, long lashes etc. for girls and for boys, a big penis, a six pack, and plenty of head hair.

Is it possible that porn might make you feel less happy with your partner? I think so.

Now, what about those people who need porn because they are disabled, ugly or in some way so unacceptable that they cannot expect a relationship? My answer remains: porn will ultimately make them more unhappy. It’s a bit like showing pictures of drinks or movies about pubs to an alcoholic.

I honestly believe that porn should be avoided; it is too easily available, and we are too impressionable — especially at a subliminal level. Look, if we are susceptible to TV and ad campaigns, can we take the risk of being exposed through porn? Can we accept the power of suggestion attacking us at our most vulnerable and more private?

At the end of the day, I know there have been millions of people who have been happy without porn, but I struggle to think of anyone who is made happier and healthier as a result of using porn.

Quite honestly, being free of porn is empowering, liberating and more satisfying!

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One Response to “Why Porn Makes People Unhappy”

  1. derrick Says:

    “Senior shadow cabinet member Michael Gove said titles such as Zoo and Nuts reinforced a “shallow approach” to women, and linked them to a rise in feckless fatherhood and family breakdown.

    In a high-profile speech on family and society, Mr Gove also accused Gordon Brown of undermining communities through an obsession with state control.”

    “Publishers of “lads’ mags” should be held to account for encouraging irresponsible young men to view women as sex objects”

    http://uk.news.yahoo.com/pressass/20080804/tuk-lad-mags-link-to-family-breakdown-6323e80.html


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