Politically Bereft – Good Porn, Good Sex—Take Your Pick

Thanks to the Internet, access to pornography is faster and easier now than it’s ever been, which means that porn has branched out into ever weirder incarnations as users seek out more and more varied configurations of the cheap thrill. This can be seen as a normal development on the one hand, or a threat to public health and safety on the other.

But wait—can’t porn use be a part of healthy sexuality? And aren’t the people who say otherwise just jealous shrews, paranoid feminists, or religious prudes?

Sorry, but the scientific jury is in: If you value your sexuality, shun porn like it’s the devil’s collection agency.

But let me define my terms. “Pornography” for my purposes means printed or visual materials designed to reduce the spectrum of sexual experience to a basic, primitive, thrill-seeking urge that can be exploited for money. One could argue that in comparison to gambling or cocaine, for example, porn is a pretty cheap habit, especially while so much is available for free. But the true cost of heavy porn use is drawn from other, more valuable personal resources.

To surrender your sexuality to pornography is to eventually forget relational bonding, sensual expression, compassion, humanity, oneness, spiritual transcendence, or any of the other blessings included in the full experience of sexual bliss. Porn offers thrills. Period. And evidence is mounting that the pursuit of these thrills eventually shuts down higher functioning.

Ease and speed of access have rendered porn far more addictive; because searches are so quickly rewarded, the mind becomes hooked on the rush and keeps seeking more. Like drugs and alcohol, the substance has to keep getting stronger or the doses increased to create the same effect. The drive to keep the buzz leads to impairments in both sexual and mental functioning. Worse, the evidence is mounting that not just addiction but porn consumption alone is behind many violent crimes.

But don’t take my word for it. Read what the experts are finding:

Exposure to Pornography and Acceptance of Rape Myths (link)
Pornography addiction: A neuroscience perspective (link)
Influence of unrestrained access to erotica on adolescents’ and young adults’ dispositions toward sexuality (link)
Wives’ Experience of Husbands’ Pornography Use and Concomitant Deception as an Attachment Threat in the Adult Pair-Bond Relationship (link)

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