3 minute read.

Porn is not about sex. Not truly, anyway. That’s not something you expected to read today, is it?

The problem is, porn does a stellar job of selling itself as a specific version of “sexy” and pretending to be about sex. We’ll even go so far as to say it’s a product of the commodification of sex, but it’s not actually about sex itself.

Porn Actually Discourages Healthy Sex

Consider the facts. Study after study has shown that porn is directly related to problems with arousal, attraction, and sexual performance. [1]. Porn leads to less sex and to less sexual satisfaction within a relationship. [2] Researchers have shown a strong connection between porn use and low sex drive, erectile dysfunction, and trouble reaching orgasm. [3] Many frequent porn users reach a point where they have an easier time getting aroused by internet porn than by having actual sex with a real partner. [4] One recent study even concluded that porn use was likely the reason for low sexual desire among a random sample of high school seniors. [5] Who has ever heard of that—low sex drive among a sample of people with raging hormones?

Related: How The Porn Industry Hijacks Natural Sexual Curiosity And Hooks Teens

Look at it this way: if porn were totally about sex, there might be more effort on the part of the producers to prevent this sexual dysfunction among their consumers, rather than promote it. Or, better yet, to promote sexual satisfaction among their consumers, rather than prevent it. [6][7][8][9][10][11]

Even more, if it were truly about sex, even aside from all the sex problems porn fuels, there might just be less incentive to employ isolating compulsion and addiction as the industry’s leading marketing strategy.

Allow us to explain.

Creating Dependency Sells

We all know the phrase, “sex sells,” right? But not only sex, porn shows how objectification sells, dehumanization sells, and turning people into nothing more than products sells. So if it’s true, that “sex sells,” why would promoting a compulsion and obsession with fantasy (that can become addicting) be essential to the survival of the porn industry?

As it turns out, loyal, compulsive consumers are the best, since it all comes back to the steady flow of money and clicks. And, unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be a reliable line preventing enterprises from going too far, until it’s too late. Consider the tobacco industry: after discovering the relationship between mental health and self-medicating cigarette use, they donated thousands of free cigarettes to psychiatry facilities, mental health groups, homeless shelters and soup kitchens. [12] Why? To further fuel the dependency they already know they create. Too far, right?

Related: Why Bad Sex And Low Self-Esteem Result From Watching Porn

This isn’t a new trend: if an industry can induce an escalating compulsion or addiction to boost their profits, they will. They have, and they do, and they will. The porn industry can easily tap into the sexual dependency they fuel in consumers, leverage that sexual dissatisfaction, and better solicit dependency on their pornographic product for arousal. It’s a money-making vicious cycle that our sex-obsessed society has bought into, hook, line, and sinker.

If the porn industry can disrupt a healthy, satisfying sexual relationship by encouraging a dependency on their product, they’ve just hooked a paying customer. And that’s incentive enough to monetize compulsion and market pornography as a “healthy” expression of one’s sexuality when, really, it’s just another way to make a buck. Or in the porn industry’s case, $97 billion bucks, and counting.

Don’t Take Fake

We stand by our opening line: porn’s not about sex. It’s as simple as that. The porn industry is feeding into addiction, and exploiting otherwise natural human behavior for no other reason than to capitalize on the response. It’s not about sex, it’s not about entertainment, it’s not about erotica. It’s about money.

And every consumer is a victim to their shady scheme, whether they realize it or not. Yet another reason we fight: to defend the human experience against a corrupt industry and to actually promote healthy, real sex.

What YOU Can Do

XXX = $$$. The harmful effects of pornography are real. If you’re down with this movement for love, SHARE this article and help spread the word.

Citations

[1] Carvalheira, A., Traeen, B., & Stulhofer, A. (2015). Masturbation And Pornography Use Among Coupled Heterosexual Men With Decreased Sexual Desire: How Many Roles Of Masturbations? Journal Of Sex And Marital Therapy, 41(6), 626-635. Doi:10.1080/0092623X.2014.958790; Voon, V., Et Al. (2014). Neural Correlates Of Sexual Cue Reactivity In Individuals With And Without Compulsive Sexual Behaviors, PLoS ONE, 9(7), E102419. Doi:10.1371/Journal.Pone.0102419; Sun, C., Bridges, A., Johnason, J., & Ezzell, M. (2014). Pornography And The Male Sexual Script: An Analysis Of Consumption And Sexual Relations. Archives Of Sexual Behavior, 45(4), 1-12. Doi:10.1007/S10508-014-0391-2; Poulsen, F. O., Busby, D. M., & Galovan, A. M. (2013). Pornography Use: Who Uses It And How It Is Associated With Couple Outcomes. Journal Of Sex Research 50(1), 72-83. Doi:10.1080/00224499.2011.648027; Stewart, D. N., & Szymanski, D. M. (2012). Young Adult Women’s Reports Of Their Male Romantic Partner’s Pornography Use As A Correlate Of Their Self-Esteem, Relationship Quality, And Sexual Satisfaction. Sex Roles, 67(5-6), 257-274. Doi:10.1007/S11199-012-0164-0; Maddox, A. M., Rhoades, G. K., & Markman, H. J. (2011). Viewing Sexually-Explicit Materials Alone Or Together: Associations With Relationship Quality. Archives Of Sexual Behavior, 40(2), 441-448. Doi:10.1007/S10508-009-9585-4; Morgan, E. M. (2011). Associations Between Young Adults’ Use Of Sexually Explicit Materials And Their Sexual Preferences, Behaviors, And Satisfaction. Journal Of Sex Research, 48,(6), 520-530. 8(6):520-30. Doi:10.1080/00224499.2010.543960; Janssen, E., & Bancroft, J. (2007). The Dual-Control Model: The Role Of Sexual Inhibition & Excitation In Sexual Arousal And Behavior. In Janssen, E. (Ed.), The Psychology Of Sex (Pp. 197-222). Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press; Zillman, D., & Bryant, J. (2006). Pornography’s Impact On Sexual Satisfaction. Journal Of Applied Social Psychology, 18(5), 438-453. Doi:10.1111/J.1559-1816.1988.Tb00027.X
[2] Minarcik, J., Wetterneck, C. T., & Short, M. B. (2016). The Effects Of Sexually Explicit Material Use On Romantic Relationship Dynamics. Journal Of Behavioral Addictions, 5(4) 700-707. Doi: 10.1556/2006.5.2016.078; Doran, K., & Price, J. (2014). Pornography And Marriage. Journal Of Family And Economic Issues, 35(4), 489-498. Doi:10.1007/S10834-014-9391-6; Sun, C., Bridges, A., Johnason, J., & Ezzell, M. (2014). Pornography And The Male Sexual Script: An Analysis Of Consumption And Sexual Relations. Archives Of Sexual Behavior, 45(4), 1-12. Doi:10.1007/S10508-014-0391-2; Poulsen, F. O., Busby, D. M., & Galovan, A. M. (2013). Pornography Use: Who Uses It And How It Is Associated With Couple Outcomes. Journal Of Sex Research 50(1), 72-83. Doi:10.1080/00224499.2011.648027; Maddox, A. M., Rhoades, G. K., & Markman, H. J. (2011). Viewing Sexually-Explicit Materials Alone Or Together: Associations With Relationship Quality. Archives Of Sexual Behavior, 40(2), 441-448. Doi:10.1007/S10508-009-9585-4; Morgan, E. M. (2011). Associations Between Young Adults’ Use Of Sexually Explicit Materials And Their Sexual Preferences, Behaviors, And Satisfaction. Journal Of Sex Research, 48,(6), 520-530. 8(6):520-30. Doi:10.1080/00224499.2010.543960; Yucel, D., & Gassanov, M. A. (2010). Exploring Actor And Partner Correlates Of Sexual Satisfaction Among Married Couples. Social Science Research, 39725-738. Doi:10.1016/J.Ssresearch.2009.09.002
[3] Wery, A., & Billieux, J. (2016). Online Sexual Activities: An Exploratory Study Of Problematic And Non-Problematic Usage Patterns In A Sample Of Men. Computers In Human Behavior, 56, 257-266. Doi:10.1016/J.Chb.2015.11.046; Sutton, K. S., Stratton, N., Pytyck, J., Kolla, N. J., & Cantor, J. M. (2015). Patient Characteristics By Type Of Hypersexuality Referral: A Quantitative Chart Review Of 115 Consecutive Male Cases. Journal Of Sex And Marital Therapy, 41(6), 563-580. Doi:10.1080/0092623X.2014.935539; Carvalheira, A., Traeen, B., & Stulhofer, A. (2015). Masturbation And Pornography Use Among Coupled Heterosexual Men With Decreased Sexual Desire: How Many Roles Of Masturbations? Journal Of Sex And Marital Therapy, 41(6), 626-635. Doi:10.1080/0092623X.2014.958790; Voon, V., Et Al. (2014). Neural Correlates Of Sexual Cue Reactivity In Individuals With And Without Compulsive Sexual Behaviors, PLoS ONE, 9(7), E102419. Doi:10.1371/Journal.Pone.0102419; Janssen, E., & Bancroft, J. (2007). The Dual-Control Model: The Role Of Sexual Inhibition & Excitation In Sexual Arousal And Behavior. In Janssen, E. (Ed.), The Psychology Of Sex (Pp. 197-222). Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press;
[4] Voon, V., Et Al. (2014). Neural Correlates Of Sexual Cue Reactivity In Individuals With And Without Compulsive Sexual Behaviors, PLoS ONE, 9(7), E102419. Doi:10.1371/Journal.Pone.0102419; Sun, C., Bridges, A., Johnason, J., & Ezzell, M. (2014). Pornography And The Male Sexual Script: An Analysis Of Consumption And Sexual Relations. Archives Of Sexual Behavior, 45(4), 1-12. Doi:10.1007/S10508-014-0391-2; Kalman, T. P., (2008). Clinical Encounters With Internet Pornography, Journal Of The American Academy Of Psychoanalysis And Dynamic Psychiatry, 36(4), 593-618. Doi:10.1521/Jaap.2008.36.4.593
[5] Damiano, P., Alessandro, B., & Carlo, F. (2015). Adolescents And Web Porn: A New Era Of Sexuality. International Journal Of Adolescent Medicine And Health, 28(2), 169-173. Doi:10.1515/Ijamh-2015-0003
[6] Stewart, D. N., & Szymanski, D. M. (2012). Young adult women’s reports of their male romantic partner’s pornography use as a correlate of their self-esteem, relationship quality, and sexual satisfaction. Sex Roles, 67(5-6), 257-271.
[7] Leonhardt, N. D., & Willoughby, B. J. (2017). Pornography, provocative sexual media, and their differing associations with multiple aspects of sexual satisfaction. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 0265407517739162.
[8] Wright, P. J., Bridges, A. J., Sun, C., Ezzell, M. B., & Johnson, J. A. (2017). Personal Pornography Viewing and Sexual Satisfaction: A Quadratic Analysis. Journal of sex & marital therapy, 1-8.
[9] Wright, P. J., Steffen, N. J., & Sun, C. (2017). Is the relationship between pornography consumption frequency and lower sexual satisfaction curvilinear? Results from England and Germany. The Journal of Sex Research, 1-7.
[10] Streep, P. (2014, July 16). What Porn Does to Intimacy | Psychology Today. Retrieved from https://www.bing.com/cr?IG=FB9ECA2CF0B14AFA94389B910FC62216&CID=08EB4C27E8D6635D156C475CE97962E2&rd=1&h=Ty7A4uvM4GxC-eioxvddLTfFNlv4zBgWNPq-EM4bltw&v=1&r=https%3a%2f%2fwww.psychologytoday.com%2fblog%2ftech-support%2f201407%2fwhat-porn-does-intimacy&p=DevEx,5056.1
[11] Scott, E. (2017, August 12). Watching porn is leaving women unsatisfied by real-life sex, says new study. Retrieved from http://metro.co.uk/2017/08/12/watching-porn-is-leaving-women-unsatisfied-by-real-life-sex-says-new-study-6847635/
[12] Initiative, T. (2017, August 21). Tobacco is a social justice issue: Mental health. Retrieved from https://truthinitiative.org/news/tobacco-social-justice-issue-mental-health

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