The subject of the pornography is a difficult discussion for many people to have. There seems to be a cultural and social panic over this.
Much of what is online and in books on the subject demonizes the porn, creating fear. Instant access to porn through devices is relatively new. It’s easy to get freaked out about it if you think porn is everywhere, just a few clicks away, invading the private space of our homes.
People are free to think about the pornography as they wish. Watch it or don’t watch it. That does not bother me. I am neither pro-porn nor anti-porn. However, what bothers me is the large amount of wrong facts about pornography that mislead the public and are unscientific. There is so much misinformation that real science is drowning in so much noise.
The purpose of this article is to bring some facts back to the debate. Some of these truths can be uncomfortable. But as a clinician, I am guided by clinical evidence rather than personal opinions or popular opinion.
The truth about pornography
It’s easy to demonize porn and point the finger at him for anything that’s wrong with relationships or sex life people. Focusing on quitting porn won’t solve your sexual problems, your relationship problems, or your sense of well-being. It won’t teach you anything about yourself, your erotic spirit, how to achieve psychological well-being. Being preoccupied with quitting watching porn will only teach you to repress certain parts of your erotic mind, which will only allow you to confront them again in the future, in other – perhaps – be even the worst forms.
Allow me to debunk some myths…
1. Porn creates a bad society
False: Data shows that sex crimes are lower in areas where there is greater access to pornography.
2. Porn creates objectification
False: Objectification focuses on a part of the body and makes it an object of sexual gratification without considering the human being as a whole. Research on sexual fantasies shows that men and women, even those who don’t watch porn, objectify. In fact, it seems that objectification is part of sexual desire and sexual arousal. Some people can objectify more than others, but that’s largely a normal human thing to do. However, when men objectify it can be perceived as more threatening, which is understandable, given the number of men who are sexually violent towards women. Indeed, some men can walk the line between amusing objectification and bullying women. Another interesting study shows that people who watch porn focus on the faces of the porn performers rather than the genitals, as the most exciting part is watching the performers having fun, indicating that there is an emotional component to watching porn. Both men and women have sexual fantasies on an emotional level.
3. Porn creates relationship problems
False: Porn is the easy and convenient way out to avoid problems in the relationship, but it does not create relationship problems. Other things create relationship problems, like sexual shame, high morals, contempt, anger, power struggles, low self-esteem, distorted beliefs about sex and relationships, insecurities, for n to name a few.
4. Porn creates erectile dysfunction
False: This is a very popular view promoted by anti-porn campaigns that is wildly inaccurate and unscientific. Several scientific studies have debunked this myth. In fact, being ashamed of watching porn is more likely to cause erection problems than the porn itself. The science of sexology also confirmed that pornography does not cause any sexual or mental health problems. Men who have erection problems and other sexual issues often turn to porn because it’s the easiest area to enjoy their sexuality without the “performance” anxiety, so it’s more agreable. The demonization of porn won’t solve sexual problems, it might even make things worse. The best way to solve sexual problems is to see a therapist who specializes in sexual disorders.
5. Porn “porn-ifies” the brain and will negatively rewire it, the brain needs to be rebooted
False: This is another popular opinion that has no scientific basis. The brain is not a computer and there is no restart button. Instead, the brain continually grows. Once we watch something that tickles us, it tends to stay in the brain and we tend to come back to it because it’s enjoyable and fun. The same process occurs if we look at something that repels us; we tend to stop watching it and never go back to it (refuting another misconception that porn habits are degenerating into illegal territory). The brain continues to develop with all the experiences we have. If we continue to have anxiety-inducing experiences of having sex with someone and watching porn without anxiety, the porn will continue to be more appealing. To stop watch porn and quitting masturbating for 90 days isn’t going to reboot your brain. In fact, it will increase your sexual shame and anxiety. And it won’t teach you how to have anxiety-free sex with partners in the way that really turns you on, which is the crux of the matter, in fact.
6. Watching porn leads to sexual offenses and sexual violence against women
False: this is probably the most alarmist propaganda against pornography. In fact, proper research consistently proves otherwise. Watching porn and masturbating is not pathological and does not indicate psychological problems. Several scientific research studies show that people who watch porn do not hold more misogynistic views towards women than those who do not watch porn. Some fascinating and surprising research has even shown that men who watch porn tend to have more egalitarian views towards women.
7. Porn is addictive
False: This is another well-known myth based on moralistic opinions rather than science. There “porn addictionis consistently rejected from all medical and psychological bodies because there is no clinical evidence of pornography’s addictive properties. The World Health Organization (WHO) has agreed diagnostic criteria for compulsive sexual behaviors (ICD-11), guided by scientific evidence, and has explicitly rejected the idea of ”sex addiction” and “drug addiction”. pornography”.
Most anti-porn and anti-masturbation organizations and books often cite hundreds of “studies” and “brain scans” to prove their point. Don’t be intimidated! Most of the “studies” cited in these websites and books are not scientifically based because they have poor methodologies and do not measure the relationship between porn, masturbation, and sexual satisfaction. They also associate causation and correlation. They ignore many important facts.
How to solve real problems with porn?
Of course, many people struggle with their pornography use. Because it’s not an addiction or a character flaw, we can better serve the public by ending the porn panic and focusing on the real issues: poor sex education, sexual shame, moral (or religious) values ) about porn, dynamic insecure relationship with partner(s), unsatisfying sex life with partner(s), and pre-existing sexual problems. Find a psychosexual and relationship therapist to accompany and help you.