Porn (Yikes)

I didn’t lie, this is a very controversial topic. (This blog is way longer than I thought it was going to be, sorry! Please read to the end though!) Below I’m going to have an essay I wrote for one of my college classes. We were required to write an informative essay, and this was mine. The professor suggested I try and publish it, so here I am (I have modified some of the wording from what I wrote two years ago). I know there are a lot of mixed thoughts on pornography. For a lot of people it is a day-to-day part of their lives and others think it’s disgusting. Some people are open about their porn habits but most aren’t. My thoughts are porn awareness should be taught. I don’t think it’s healthy, I’ve seen the affects it’s had on people’s lives, I don’t think it’s worth it. But those are my thoughts. I also believe that you do you, and I’ll do me, so if you disagree with any of my thoughts and have the research to back your point that’s fine. I respect your opinion. I’m not here to try and change it, just to state my own.

**Disclaimer: This article focuses mainly on men watching porn, so writing this from a woman’s standpoint will likely have influenced the flow of the essay, also I made an attempt to keep religious beliefs out of the piece.

***In the class we read and article called Eating Local, Acting Loco, the bottom line of the article was that the world is changing and are we doing anything to keep up, should we have to try and stay up to date? The assignment was to write an informative essay on something that is changing in our world; if I remember correctly. Now here is mine, Porn Changing Society 

The article Eating Local, Acting Loco threw light on many interesting changes that are happening in the world now, specifically in Hamilton. In the article, the immigrant workers were faced with changing times. Their beloved market was upgrading with the vision of becoming a more modern and local market. This resulted in many of the immigrant stall holders losing their place in the market. One could say this was the result of a corrupt government, which may be true. However I feel it had to do with a lack of education and an ill attempt to embrace the “new” and prepare yourself for it. With that thought in mind I can’t help but think about a change that’s sweeping the world I grew up in. A change that a vast majority of people don’t know how to deal with; and in many cases refuse to even acknowledge.

Many of the 90s kids like myself remember growing up with a telephone that had a cord and was attached to the wall, and if you wanted to communicate to someone you could stand there and talk. We 90s kids remember when entertainment was the field behind the house and an imagination. As a 90s kid I have been able to live though the changes that happened at the turn of the century. There are many out there who enjoy the constant connection cell phones have to offer; not to say that I don’t, but consider this. Things have gotten out of hand with constant media connection, so much so that children as young as 11 are developing long life addictions to devices right underneath their noses; and quite literally I might add. Addictions that were never an issue before to the mass amounts they are now.

Now many of us have a cell phone by the time we’re licensed to drive. What’s become more popular since I’ve had a phone the last six years is the data plans. It’s jaw-dropping that right there at our finger tips we have access to anything we could ever want. This is such a change from when I was growing up. You can now be sitting in your bedroom and do all your shopping, while listening to your favourite music video or you could book your next vacation, flight and all. You can play your favourite online games with all of your online friends; warm and in the comfort of your bed. Then when the night gets late you have all access to all your guilty pleasures. Porn is available in mass amounts, made easy to access, categorised to ensure you get exactly what you’re looking for in under a minute.

So what do you do then? You snuggle the blankets to your chest and scan through well over 20 different base categories that open up to ten plus more categories each, 50 plus if you search fetishes. Now you’re all cuddled up and ready to indulge in someone else’s sweaty sex. You’ve decided that tonight is a bondage kind of night. So you watch your 20 minute video and feel great after having done whatever it was you needed to do to get that final rush. Little did you know while you were indulging in your secret little pleasure your mind was well at work. Producing mass amounts of dopamine, your feel good chemical. This chemical as well as your oxytocin chemical make you feel good. So good that you’ll likely go back to porn again expecting the same dopamine flood you got the first time. And yes you may get that dopamine flood the first few times, but after a while to combat your flooding dopamine levels your brain’s dopamine receptors begin to numb themselves. With fewer receptors working, even if you’re getting the same dopamine fill as before you won’t feel as good as the first time. Now because you’re not getting what you want from your simple bondage porn you decide to dip your feet into something a little more “hardcore”; maybe something like rape or gore. Now just like last time it’ll get you that flood for a while until your dopamine receptors burnout again. While your dopamine and oxytocin is being released your brain is developing new neuropaths connecting the feeling of happy and satisfaction with porn. Which is why porn makes you feel the positive rush it does; because your brain has been wired that way. Though all these effects are damaging, thankfully they are reversible.

Now porn can’t be all bad can it? It is a fact, you’re physically changing the layout of your brain and in some cases shrinking your frontal lobe; which is the lobe in charge of reasoning and reality; but there must be something positive about watching porn. Well, there is. You do get many of the same positive effects that you’d get from sex from watching porn and its partner in crime masturbation. Porn can relieve anxiety and stress like sex. It can aid headaches and cuts the risk of prostate cancer. These all seem like super good bonuses. So now we can push to the side the fact that porn is an addiction that rewires your brain. If only we could. Though porn may have these few benefits in common with sex; porn and masturbation does kill your social life. Porn makes you angry and hostile, and irrational if asked to stop. Many people who watch porn feel as though they lead a double or secret life. They begin to disconnect from loved ones and some in extreme cases have lost their job. Porn causes the user to lose track of time in large amounts. If this isn’t enough to make you reconsider typing in http://www.p*rnh*b.c*m then consider this. Porn causes erectile dysfunction. “How?” one may ask. Think about it this way; when your little bondage flicks can’t get you excited, what then? You will need to start watching much more intense pornos in order to even get excited at all. Yet another way that porn leads you hand in hand deeper. This can lead to men unable to keep an erection during sex with another human being likely because they’re bored and desensitised to sex. This can then cause performance anxiety concerns, you begin to develop self-confidence issues, you’re frustrated and anxious; some of the very things you started watching porn to get rid of in the first place. Now on top of that your genitalia doesn’t work.

Though many of the issues faced by porn users are the same across the board for boys and girls, girls do experience a few things on a greater extreme that men don’t when watching porn. The dopamine affect and the gratification is the same but girls experience much more of an emotional toll. Research has shown that what turns a girl on when watching pornography is often linked with a hurtful event in her life, thus further contributing to her brokenness. Porn will normalise things that a girl is not emotionally or physically ready to handle; then when she is in a situation that porn has taught her is “okay” she won’t have control in the situation. Girls will begin to objectify men, as men do women; and sex will be constantly on their mind. A young girl victimised by porn will feel less valuable to men and will have no confidence in the bedroom. Many girls; when grown up and ready to start relationships will have developed two separate sexual personalities. An addiction to porn is able to completely shape a young girl’s sexual future.

This is a growing trend that should raise concern. As internet porn becomes much more accessible it is reaching generations at younger ages. Studies have shown that men introduced to internet porn at a younger age have a harder time recovering from the negative side effects as opposed to those who are older and had been introduced to internet porn at a later age. Like previously stated this has to do with dopamine in the brain. While you’re young, your dopamine receptors are still in development, so the effects of porn are much greater. Thus resulting in a generation that is easily angered, hindered with a poor attention span and a distorted view on sex. Many men and women will struggle with this, they will not be able to adapt in a healthy way to the over exposure to sex. Moving forward we need to make sure that we, acknowledge porn as an addictive problem and educate not only ourselves in the negative effects of porn but the children that are growing up in the era where porn is right at your fingertips.

The world is rapidly changing. We crave instant gratification, and instant gratification is delivered on a silver platter in every possible area the internet can meet those “now-now-now” needs. This easy access to the world is especially true with porn, which is far more detrimental than just playing video games or watching the latest movies. Porn is an addiction. As a changing society it is crucial that we acknowledge that porn does damage its victims. We as a people need to educate ourselves so that we aren’t drawn into porn’s vicious cycle. We need to educate ourselves so we can inform those that don’t know the addictive powers of porn; but ultimately we need to educate ourselves so that we can help the victims that are being tossed around in the confusing mess of porn addiction.

References

deTar, J. (n.d.). Are You Watching Porn Too Much? Retrieved from Men’s Journal: http://www.mensjournal.com/health-fitness/health/are-you-watching-too-much-porn-20130821

Dubinsky, L. (2012, 07 23). What I Wish I’d Known Before Watching Porn. Retrieved from HuffPost Healthy Living: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lauren-dubinsky/porn-addiction_b_1686481.html

Get the Facts. (2014, 08 08). Retrieved from Fight the New Drug: http://fightthenewdrug.org/get-the-facts/#sthash.CqEXicIY.dpbs

List of pornographic subgenres. (2015, 01 23). Retrieved from Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_pornographic_subgenres

Luongo, N. (2014, 01 14). A 90s Kid Living in 2014: Then and Now. Retrieved from HuffPost Tech: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/nikki-luongo/a-90s-kid-living-in-2014-_b_4552153.html

Porn Addiction. (n.d.). Retrieved from ProjectKnow.

Taylor, S. (2009, 12 09). Study says porn damages mind, heart. Retrieved from Deseret News: http://www.deseretnews.com/article/705350139/Study-says-porn-damages-mind-heart.html?pg=all

 

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