How Does Porn Affect Relationships? Part Two

 

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 Some say pornography is bad for relationships, some disagree. But a new factor is crashing the argument.....

 Disclaimer: nothing in this article is intended to be interpreted as medical advice. If you have been affected by anything discussed in this article we urge you to speak to a qualified medical practitioner.

Fast-Click Internet Porn

In our last article on porn and relationships we looked at the changes in how high speed broadband has caused a dramatic shift in porn from “naked ladies” to increasingly extreme “fast click porn” which taps into the “Coolidge effect” in the male brain. This relates to the dopamine (the pleasure hormone) hit which strikes the male brain whenever a new sexual situation presents itself; the key being that it hits when the sexual situation is new.

This has led to some unexpected side effects which can best be illustrated by the fact that Playboy magazine removed the depiction of nude women from it’s pages in 2016 because mere naked women couldn’t compete with what men were watching on the internet.

Which brings us back to the original question; is porn good for relationships? 

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Is Porn Good For Relationships?

Some research says it could be, other research says not so much.

Kohut from the University of Western Ontario did a bottom up survey interviewing men and women who used pornography. Most of the porn users interviewed claimed it did not have a bad effect on their intimate relationships. They claimed that, on the contrary, couples who shared porn together increased their levels of communication and intimacy.

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What Do the Experts Say?

However, different researchers wanted to analyse the effect of pornography on relationships over a period of six years, using the US regular social attitudes survey PALS (Portraits of American Life Study) where they analysed the answers and relationship status of porn users, and then went back to those same users six years later.

They found that those who had originally said they used porn were now significantly less happy in their relationships than previously. Now there's a bit of a chicken and egg situation here....did they turn to porn because of dissatisfaction in their relationship, or did their relationship suffer as a result of use of pornography?

It's a hard argument to have, and we would probably continue arguing until the end of time if it weren't for a new factor to throw itself into the mix. A factor that has even the most avid - especially the most avid - porn consumer sit up and take notice.

 

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Impotence

In his popular talk “ The Great Porn Experiment” Garry Wilson talks about the neurochemical effect of “fast click” porn addiction on the human brain and how it sets up a classic addictive cycle of binging and craving. So what? Here’s the kicker; it numbs the pleasure response. Carlo Foresta of the Italian Society of Andrology and Sexual Medicine (SIAM) carried out a survey of 28,000 Italian men which revealed that many became hooked on porn as early as 14, and a common side effect over time was loss of libido and impotence. These growing levels of impotence among young men is so widespread it is being referred to as a “silent epidemic”.

Except that it isn’t so silent; in the US no less than 12 States have passed resolutions since 2017 that online pornography has become a public health crisis.

The Reboot Nation

It is becoming increasingly clear that is the “fast click porn” dopamine overdosing is having a significant effect on the human brain. Food and sex are primary human needs, but both normally have “satiety” signals: the signals that say "I've had enough, now". When those signals are ignored it doesn’t tend to be healthy.

However internet porn-induced impotence doesn't tend to be permanent. A huge, global grassroots movement, the Reboot Nation, of men supporting each other through a process of temporary, deliberate abstinence - called "Reboot and Rewire" - in order to overcome impotence by weaning their neural pathways off the effects of fast-click porn.

This relatively new movement has been followed with great interest by researchers because of what they are learning about the human brain as a result. One very worrying finding has been that young men are taking nearly twice as long as middle-aged men to recover from "fast-click porn" induced impotence.

How can that be?

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Smartphone Brings Porn to The Classroom

Quite simply it is because middle-aged men started using “fast-click” porn once their brains had already reached adulthood, wheras younger men have had access to online porn since before puberty, when their brains were still developing. Astonishingly, and research is still young in this field, they found that many other mental health symptoms – ADHD, social anxiety, depression – actually disappeared in young men once they had gone through the “reboot” process.

This has enormous implications for parents.

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Porn At School: What Goes Wrong

Widespread use of smartphones by children has changed everything.

On average, parents are giving smartphones to their children at the age of 11 years old. Often aided by older schoolmates many children are accessing online porn, and their still-forming brains are being hard-wired by what they are seeing on Pornhub.

 

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Teach Your Kids Before Pornhub Does

Children are going to school and watching porn on their smartphones. It is where they are learning about sex. It is where they are learning about relationships. This is creating a hypersexualised environment for girls, often with catastrophic results. The effect on boys is not so immediately obvious, but there is increasing evidence that long term it is setting them up for real mental health issues.

So it is paramount to communicate with your children, educate them about sex and relationships. Let them know they can tell you anything and you will love them whatever. Teach them that porn is nothing like a relationship. Teach them to value themselves. To respect others.

Get to them before the porn industry does.

 

Sources:

  1. Perry, S.L., & Schleifer, C. (2017). Till Porn Do Us Part? A Longitudal Exmaination of Pornography Use and Divorce. Journal of Sex Research, 00(00), 1-13.
  2. Kohut, T., Balzarini, R., Fisher, W., Campbell, L., Impett, E., & Muise, A. (2018). Pornography’s associations with open sexual communication and relationship closeness vary as a function of dyadic patterns of pornography use within heterosexual relationships. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 35(4), 655-676.
  3. Kohut, T., Fisher, W., & Campbell, A. (2017). Perceived Effects of Pornography on the Couple Relationship: Initial Findings of Open-Ended, Participant-Informed, “Bottom-Up” Research. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 46(2), 585-602.
  4. Perry, S.L., & Schleifer, C. (2017). Till Porn Do Us Part? A Longitudal Exmaination of Pornography Use and Divorce. Journal of Sex Research, 00(00), 1-13.
  5. https://www.yourbrainonporn.com/
  6. http://www.rebootnation.org/

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