I bet you watch porn. Or if not, I’d wager you know dozens of people who do. Humans have been getting a kick out of watching other humans getting hot and sweaty for years.
But with the recent massive rise in free porn (shout-out Pornhub), numerous issues have arisen from how sex is portrayed in porn, and the impact it has had on young people’s sex lives.
This week, I did a little digging on the effects of porn, to find out just how much of an issue it is for the sex lives of this generation.
“Using porn to guide sexual activity is like using Jackass to model behaviour.” – Merlyn Gabriel Miller
- Over 30,000 people are watching porn at any given second.
- 1 in 4 Google searches are for porn.
- 76% of millennial viewers are men.
- The most viewed porn star ever… is Kim Kardashian.
And porn is evolving with technology. The emergence of Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality means that these days you can fully immerse yourself in these videos. Soon we will see teenagers growing up with the technology to be able to have virtual sex, without ever having been taught anything about sexual education, or what sex even means to them.
The risk is a generation growing numb to sex, unable to establish meaningful relationships without employing preconceived ideas of what their sex should be like.
But that’s the future. What has porn done to today’s youth already?
- Erectile dysfunction – a growing number of male 20 somethings are having trouble ejaculating, being turned on, or maintaining erections due to their porn habits, according to previous research.
- Falling libido – in 1988 in a survey among teenagers, 51 percent of women and 60 percent of men reported having had sex. In 2017, that has fallen to 42 percent of women, and 44 percent of men. That’s a sizeable drop. Teenagers are having less sex, even in an age with Tinder, Grindr, and Bumble.
- Warped ideas of real sex – a 2018 study of Pornhub found that in the Top 50 videos on the website, only 18 percent showed a woman reaching climax, in comparison to 78 percent of men. Doesn’t seem entirely fair.
- Loneliness – porn use and loneliness have a significant correlation, that works both ways. The more porn you use, the more likely you are to be lonely. Porn use has also since been linked to relationship distress and disrupted attachment.
For those unaware, NoFap is the complete abandonment of masturbation, with many users on the site reporting enhanced awareness, clarity, and improved confidence. These modern-day superheroes are the extreme – I’m not saying give up masturbating and repent your sins, just maybe relax with the weird hentai.
There is no evidence to suggest not masturbating provides superpowers (or enhanced awareness, if you will). In fact, evidence suggests that masturbation can improve your sleep and reduce stress levels.
PornFree is something I would sooner endorse. It’s a sub-reddit with the goal of helping those who feel the negative effects of porn to reduce their usage. They’re currently on day 299 of their year-long “Stay Clean 2018” challenge, which you sign up for and seem to confess when you have failed and restart.
I’ll be the first to admit that I always thought that porn was fantastic. It’s easy to access and completely free. But from statistics alone we’re already seeing the effect porn is having on this generation and their sex lives, and with the emergence of VR/AR, it may only be the beginning for future generations. Porn isn’t going anywhere, but the manner in which we compare or use it with our own sex lives, even subconsciously, is proving to be unhealthy. It may be worth exploring other avenues of sexual gratification that don’t create damaging images of women and (potentially) affect your ability to have real sex.