Porn Purgatory: why porn is ruining our sex lives

With the many sex-pectations that porn produces, maybe it's time to accept that porn is ruining our sex lives.

ruby-butler
13th November 2021
Image: @StockSnap via Pixabay
Porn is a predator killing our sex lives. It’s about time we started talking about it. 

The $97 billion industry has infiltrated itself into everyone's lives and drastically changed our attitudes towards sex. It has become the global sex educator and is misleading children from an incredibly early age as to what sex is. With its heavily stylized sexual scenarios, over-performative female characters, no use of protection, never a word of consent and videos depicting violence against women, we are being brought up in a society where our values regarding sex are completely warped. 

Children, as young as primary school age, are exposed to violent porn videos portraying non-consensual, unprotected, and dangerous sex. With a sex education system in England that teaches children nothing about what sex is actually like, it is not at all surprising that children believe that what they see in porn is what happens in reality. Studies have shown that adolescents consuming violent porn are six times more likely to be sexually aggressive compared to adolescents consuming non-violent porn or no porn. Quickly, people can become desensitized and develop a need for even more novel stimuli such as rougher videos and consuming higher volumes of porn. Not only is porn conditioning children that violence in the bedroom is normal, but adolescent porn consumption has also been associated with a stronger belief in gender stereotypes with men more likely to view women as objects. 

Some men don't try ways other than penetrative sex to help women enjoy themselves due to the normalized idea that it is not necessary.

Of course, it is women’s sex lives that are being destroyed the most because of porn. Porn fosters destructive views such as that every woman will orgasm through penetrative sex. This means a lot of men skip foreplay, which is essential for most women and thus neglect women’s needs. Some men don't try ways other than penetrative sex to help women enjoy themselves due to the normalized idea that it is not necessary. All of which can often lead to an uncomfortable and even painful experience for the woman. Not only that but seeing female porn stars constantly fake orgasms puts a pressure on women to feel as though they must orgasm to enjoy sex and to boost the man’s confidence, as well as be performative for the person they are intimate with to replicate what both men and women are used to watching in porn. This means that for many women, it is difficult to be natural during sex and telling your partner what works for you, and what does not, is daunting because there is the expectancy that women will orgasm through penetration alone. Porn takes away the focus of female pleasure which we now see reflected by reality. Instead, porn uses female characters to harbour the focus on male pleasure and when the man finishes, it is assumed that sex has also finished. 

Image: @kropekk_pl via Pixabay

Porn is a huge cause for our nation’s negative self-image. Promoting prosthetically altered bodies, disproportionately large penises, and setting unrealistic trends for women as to how they should maintain their body has made us all self-conscious in the bedroom. Rather than enjoying the sex we can find ourselves questioning what the other person is thinking about us, such as our grooming choices and the shape of our penis and breasts all because of the images porn bombards us with of what the ‘normal’ body looks like.  

However, sex sells, and it is the making of these insecurities that gives a huge boost to the economy. Women are spending thousands every year on laser hair removal, breast augmentations, razors and bleaching to keep up with these misogynistic trends. In recent years labiaplasty (plastic surgery procedure for altering the labia minora and the labia majora, the folds of skin surrounding the human vulva) has massively taken off with people with vaginas feeling self-conscious of the way their vulva appears as it does not look like a duplicate of the ones we are so accustomed to seeing in porn. 

Yet despite 64% to 70% of men watching porn and around 55% of women, porn remains a taboo and not talking about it is exactly what got us into this problem. 

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