Let’s Talk Porn!
Did you know:
- 25% of internet search requests are related to sex
- 35% of internet downloads are pornographic
- 62% of young brits watched porn in the last month
- 55% of young brits do not think sex in porn is depicted as loving and consensual
- 51% of young brits think porn focuses on male pleasure
- 45% of young brits say porn has been their main source of sex education
- 71% of young brits say porn has given them ideas to try out in the bedroom.
(18-25yr olds, Deltapoll 2019)
And even more worrying is that extreme pornography is becoming increasingly normalised and according to YouGov the distinction between porn and real sex is becoming blurred for many Britons.
What does it all mean?
Let’s consider both the Deltapoll and the research done by YouGov. Just under half of the young people questioned said pornography was their main source of sex education and 55% said that what they watch is not loving or consensual. Now, take that into account that what used to be considered hardcore is now considered mainstream. Every young person literally has 24hr porn in their pocket, I mean what young person does not have a smart phone? and this pornography is considered by many to be their primary source of sex education. That scares me!
The average age a young man starts viewing porn is 11 years old. Where does this leave a young person whose sexual template is just being formed? In my opinion, young people are receiving an increasingly warped view of relationships and intimacy through their use of pornography instead of forming their views and sexual identity through organic experiences. The porn industry is not there to educate our young people or reflect genuine sexuality, the industry is driven by profits and profits alone.
Low Sexual Self-Esteem and Insecurities
Sexual insecurities that young people have may come from the gap between their expectations (the ideal) and their reality (the real deal). They have a picture of who they should be or how they should be and then they have the reality of who they actually are as a sexual person. Porn sends out the wrong messages, it creates too many unrealistic sexual expectations. Boys question the size of their penises, they may feel that should be able to perform for ages (isn’t perform an interesting word here?), they should be sexual athletes in the bedroom. Girls may feel that they are too hairy, too fat, have the wrong size breasts, not get excited enough, are not vocal enough, wet enough, not willing to do enough… the lists for both go on and on and on.
The Run-Away Train
The porn industry is like a runaway train, I’m not sure who is in control anymore. However, I do know that porn addiction is on the rise and the clients I see are not dirty old men. They are young (and older) confused individuals who are hooked on something, that leaves them feeling full of shame and self-loathing.
The good news is young people are open to learning new ways and they are more emotionally engaged than ever. My hope is that we start educating young people a lot earlier on the healthier ways to view sex, sexuality, relationships, and intimacy. We need to educate our young people on the dangers and the addictive nature of pornography. Pornography will never go away but at least we could give our young people a healthier framework to view it from.
If you are struggling with your use of pornography and would like to speak to someone in confidence contact us below.