premature ejaculation

The Dangers Of Porn: How Watching Pornography Can Hurt Your Sex Life and lead to issues such as premature ejaculation.

Pornography: it’s a subject that has caused controversy for decades for a variety of reasons. It’s also now more widely available and more easily accessible than ever. According to research performed by the Barna Group, nearly 80 percent of men aged 18 to 30 and 64 percent of men aged 31 to 49 in the United States view pornography on a monthly basis.

The increase in availability is having an impact on people living in the modern age. Of all the men surveyed in the Barna Group study, 18 percent thought they could be addicted to porn! This raises a few questions: How did porn consumption change in recent years? When does porn become an addiction, and how can watching too much porn affect your sex life?

Men Start To Watch Hardcore Porn at Young Ages

The prevalence of porn viewing among young men has increased significantly in recent years. According to studies performed in the mid-1980s and late 2000s, the average age of first viewing of explicit material (and type of explicit material viewed) is changing. In 1985, most men had seen a Playboy magazine by age 15—but in 2008, most men had seen hardcore internet pornography by the time they’d reached the same age. Why the change? More importantly, what impact does this change have on the lives of the men living in the age of instant, free access to porn?

Porn Can Literally Become an Addiction

When does watching a lot of porn become an addiction? One 2011 study of compulsive porn use defined it as “the inability to control the use of pornography and the resulting negative effects on quality of life or general functioning including damaged relationships, loss of productivity, impaired performance at work or school, job loss, financial expenses, guilt/shame, and personal distress.”

The Brain Of The Addict

Interestingly, recent neuroscience research performed by a team of researchers from Cambridge University showed that people who engage in compulsive sexual behaviours—including compulsively watching porn—show high activity levels in the areas of the brain that are active in drug and alcohol addicts. Participants in the research shared another thing in common with many drug addicts: a lack of desire or “wanting” the object of their obsession, while at the same time their brains making the demand that they get more of that thing, be it porn or drugs.

The Addictive Personality

In a 2013 study published in the Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy, another team of researchers found that it may simply be that people with certain personality traits are more likely to become addicted to anything—porn included. So if you know yourself to be prone to addiction, you may want to monitor your porn-watching habits to make sure it doesn’t become a destructive behavior.

Dependence on Porn For Arousal Has Been Associated with Sexual Dysfunction

Watching too much porn has been linked to real-life sexual dysfunction, including erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation and decreased libido—even in young men. This may be because porn rarely shows the “slower” moments that are involved with sex in reality, instead hyper-focusing on fast, intense, over-the-top sex acts. This can lead to actual sex seeming boring, and pornographic sex being viewed as the ideal.

The Fantasies of Porn Can Distort Expectations of Reality

Although porn is an exaggeration of real sex meant to entertain rather than educate (in the same way an action movie should entertain rather than be a guide for living your life), all too often people find their realities affected by excessive porn viewing. Men watching porn may begin to experience psychological erectile dysfunction, wondering why they can’t do the same things in their own beds that the actors in the films do on camera. They can also come to view sex as something that should mirror porn, leading to disappointments when their sex partners don’t perform like the actresses in the porn movies do. This can lead to sexual issues like erectile dysfunction, or mood disorders like depression.

Too Much Porn Can Cause a Breakdown in Real-Life Relationships

Gone are the days of having to walk into an adult bookstore and look a cashier in the eye as you purchase pornography. Now, the dirtiest and most hardcore porn you could ever want is just a tap or a click away, and you can get it right in the comfort of your home.

Finding porn is easier than ever. Maintaining a real-life marriage or relationship, however, is not. Women who love men who love porn may feel hurt by their partners’ excessive porn viewing, and may have their self-esteem impacted from constantly comparing themselves—in a negative light—to porn actresses (who have often had extensive plastic surgery to look like caricatures of femininity). Men who have come to need porn to feel aroused or to ejaculate may begin to distance themselves, both physically and emotionally, from the real-life partners. Some long-term, seemingly strong marriages have even ended in divorce over disputes over porn viewing and its impact on the people in the relationship.

The Bottom Line

Porn can be an entertaining medium, and no one is saying that occasionally indulging yourself is a bad thing. It can even be a fun, sexy way to explore new things in bed with a partner. However, when watching a porn movie here and there becomes a daily obsession, it can have a nasty impact on real-life relationships and real-life sex.

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