You see, in real life, real love requires a real person. And a real person has thoughts and ideas and talents. Maybe they’re quirky and fun to be around; maybe they’re a great listener and always take time to hear how you’re feeling; or maybe they’re awesome at karaoke and being with them gives you the courage to get on stage too. Every person is a unique mix, and it’s that awesome blend that we fall in love with.
Of course, pornographers can’t offer any of that, so instead they capitalize on the fact that the real people that real love requires come with some complications. In real life, there’s a chance your partner will be having a bad day or a bad hair day. Maybe they’re tired or under a deadline, so they don’t have time to do exactly what you want. And they have needs of their own that need to be considered.
In porn, all of that can get edited out: any physical flaws can be quickly Photoshopped away; no matter what’s happening to them, the people on screen can be made to look like they’re having a good time; and no one seems to have any needs of their own, opinions, or feelings to consider. Besides, if anyone fails to immediately satisfy, there’s always someone new to click to.
Doesn’t sound much like real life or real love does it? Here’s the thing: not only is porn a fantasy, but it also makes it harder for users to have real loving relationships.
Why? Because just like many other multibillion dollar industries, pornographers feed viewers completely unrealistic expectations in order to keep customers coming back. Real love isn’t any more like what happens in porn than the average Marlboro smoker is like a 6’ 9” cowboy. But it works out well for pornographers since the more porn a viewer watches, the more their real relationships don’t seem exciting enough, which gives them a reason to turn back to porn. And the more they watch porn, the more likely they are to be indoctrinated with porn’s version of how relationships should go.
Since porn often portrays women as nothing more than sex objects that need to be dominated, it’s not surprising that porn users often start seeing real women that way as well. In one study of porn’s effects, researchers broke participants up into three groups: to one they showed a high amount of pornography, one a medium amount, and the third a lower amount, and then followed with questions about what participants thought about women. Results showed that the more porn a man was exposed to, the more likely he was to prefer that women be submissive and subordinate to men. Since most women in our culture are taught to expect love to be built on equality and mutual respect, seeing women as subordinate isn’t exactly a great start to lasting love.
For those lucky enough to have found a special someone, using porn can take things downhill fast. Research has found that after men are exposed to pornography, they rate themselves as less in love with their partner than men who didn’t see any porn. On top of that, another study found that after being exposed to pornographic images, people were more critical of their partner’s appearance, sexual curiosity, sexual performance, and displays of affection.
Over time, those who consistently use porn often may even lose interest in finding love altogether. Frequent porn use is associated with feeling cynical about love in general, less trust in romantic partners, and with feeling like marriage is confining.
Porn doesn’t do any favors for the user’s partner, either. Since so much of men’s porn is only about what the man wants while ignoring anything about what’s good for a woman or a relationship, wives and girlfriends often end up feeling like their partner doesn’t really value them. Many partners of porn users end up depressed, anxious, and feeling like they can never measure up.
Of course, pornographers don’t bother to mention any of this. Part of porn’s fantasy is that a person can live in both worlds—that they can create a real, loving relationship, but also bring in thousands of other sexual partners as long as those partners are kept behind a computer screen. In reality, a porn habit can take a serious toll on a person’s ability to offer someone real, unselfish, meaningful love—which often means that in the end, they’re left without much more than what’s behind that computer screen.
This post is taken from the website, http://www.fightthenewdrug.org
Citations to support the statements in this post are available upon request.