Porn has often been a touchy subject. Now that we’ve gotten an extremely bad pun out of the way, we can talk seriously about porn and its effects, mainly the negative ones on young males and females today. If we look back 10 or 15 years ago, pornography was an industry that survived through back alley video stores and top shelf magazines in your local newsagent. Even I remember a time where my older brother handed me down the relics of a bygone age in the form of Zoo magazine and Nuts! where I promptly hid them in a location more secure than a presidential fallout shelter, for fear I would be caught with them and scolded.
Unfortunately, or fortunately, depending on your view; the advent of extremely fast internet speeds gave wind to the sails of what was online pornography. The porn industry went from offering DVDs over the web to streaming videos directly from their websites nearly overnight and allowed more and more people to have access to their content completely anonymously. One of the banner-carriers in this shift was Brazzers, who led the way in streaming HD videos in early 2006. They recently celebrated their 10 year anniversary in 2015.
Porn could now be viewed by anyone who had access to a decent internet connection, where one could view millions of videos in hundreds of genres. Suddenly, supply and demand were walking hand in hand down the aisle towards a bright future in the online porn industry.
Reading back, I make this sound like a happy ending (no pun intended). People watch porn, porn stars get paid, porn producers get paid and everyone is happy…
If only this was the case.
The wide availability of porn has led to teenagers viewing this content and learning their sexual education from a hardcore video where a woman is basically used as an object by one or more men. This leads to a typical male teenager thinking that this is what sex is like in the real world. Obviously, it is not.
Now, I’m not saying that sex is a sin, and for two adults who understand the difference between porn and real life to get up to all sorts in the bedroom is perfectly fine. But when young males think that by ejaculating on someones face without their consent is how people treat each other in the bedroom, I’ve got a few objections to say the least.
I can’t say that I have seen this in my peers or in those who are younger than me first hand, but from scrolling through Facebook it is obscenely obvious the impact that online pornography has had on the generations below me. Pre 2007, it would have been a ‘sin’ to walk around my town revealing anything other than ankles and arms. Today however, young men and women are engaging with each other on a highly sexual level e.g: Sending nude pics, attempting to show cleavage or other qualities in selfies, “twerking”, going to the gym to get a “ripped” body etc… The generation below me (males more so) tend to see these pornstars as role models.
Adolescence is often a very trying time for males and females. In my time we did have access to social media and were able to communicate with members of the opposite sex in a virtual way, but online pornography seems to have made young males braver and young females more open to sending pictures of themselves or posting pictures framed in a way to attract attention. Although some of these young people are genuinely worried about how this is affecting them. According to the NSPCC –
“ChildLine receives calls and messages every day of the week from concerned young people, who feel they are being badly impacted by the way they and their friends can view unlimited online pornography.”
From the above statement, we can see that young people themselves are worried about the way this is affecting them and how it affects their friends. Further down on the site, a message is shown from an anonymous young boy aged between 12 and 15 –
“I’m always watching porn and some of it is quite aggressive. I didn’t think it was affecting me at first but I’ve started to view girls a bit differently recently and it’s making me worried. I would like to get married in the future but I’m scared it might never happen if I carry on thinking about girls the way I do.”
It is widely known that women in the porn industry are treated very poorly and are often described in the films promotional material using derogatory terms such as: Whore, slut and cum bucket to name a few. The men in these videos often call them these names too as they perform various sexual acts with these women. So, if young boys, on the edge of puberty are learning their sexual education off of these videos, they will automatically think it is ok to call their potential partners these names and perform the same acts as the males in the videos they watch. The above quote clearly shows that young people are aware of this.
This has had an effect on young females too. From watching these videos, a young male has certain expectations as to the nature of his first sexual encounter(s) and will expect the female to perform these acts on him for his enjoyment. Therefore, if the female won’t perform these acts, the male would deem her as undesirable as she does not meet his sexual expectations, therefore she must comply and conform to the standards set by these videos. That’s a horrible thought. When I first encountered females, I considered myself lucky to have been able to kiss them! It just goes to show how times have changed in this digital era. According to the website Psychology Today on the effects of pornography on adolescent boys –
“Pornography shows us a world where relationships mean nothing and immediate sexual gratification means everything. Therefore, the adolescent viewer’s brain is being wired to expect that sex and relationships are separate from one another, and that men and women’s bodies should be sexually exaggerated as they are in porn–which can lead to shame about one’s own body as well as failure to be aroused by the bodies of others.”
“Sex and relationships are separate from one another…”. Does this hint that the recent rise of the “hookup culture” we live in is due to online pornography? My personal feeling is yes, it is. Pre 2007, there was no such thing as casual sex amongst young people outside of college. Sex between two young people was often a nervous and highly thought out decision. Yet now we live in an age where I could hop on Tinder and find someone close to me for a hook up, and this is socially acceptable in both my generation and the ones below me.
I’m not trying to say that I’m a Saint either. I’ve watched my fair share of porn videos in a purely utilitarian nature. But the difference between myself and the younger males of this digital age is that I received a proper sexual education in school and at home (the birds and the bees etc…). I know that porn films, no matter how real they make it out to be, are acted and scripted (would anyone really believe a woman would let a man do some of the more horrible things to her and not expect a large sum of money?). That is the difference between young males now and me when I was their age; I was taught properly and know how to separate the real from the fake, knowing what was right and what was wrong. These days I often find myself asking; where have all the gentlemen gone? Did they all simultaneously disappear when MTV and the Kardashians became popular?
I have always strived to live the life of a gentlemen; dress well, behave well, show respect to everyone. But when I hear stories of young males mistreating women, and the mistreating of women in general I get very annoyed, especially when nothing is being done about it.
Obviously, if whoever you decide to engage with in debauchery agrees to ejaculating on various body parts or other highly sexual acts; fire away (last time). When both parties know that it’s not real and are ok with it, the act is fine no matter what you’re into (within reason obviously). However, when young males think that by ejaculating on a woman’s face (or anyones face) is how you show love? Someone should sit them down and tell them how to treat their partner properly. At the very least more emphasis should be put on sexual education in secondary schools.
Sex can be really fun, especially when it is enjoyed by both parties. However, porn is ruining the potential for it to be fun in a vast majority of the young male population today; by giving them false expectations on how it should be and how they should act.
The featured image is taken from Pexels.com. I placed a Gaussian blur over one half of the models face and repeated it numerous times to get the desired effect.
NSPCC website – https://www.nspcc.org.uk/fighting-for-childhood/news-opinion/online-porn-evidence-impact-young-people/, Last accessed on the 12/4/16.
Pexels Website for picture of model – https://static.pexels.com/photos/51969/model-female-girl-beautiful-51969.jpeg, Last accessed on the 12/4/16.
Psychology Today website – https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/sex-lies-trauma/201107/effects-porn-adolescent-boys, Last accessed on the 12/4/16.