The 5 Impacts That Porn Had On My Relationships


It is now estimated that children first encounter pornography at the age of 11. However, around 1 in 10 children stumble across it before the age of 10. With limited and often outdated sexual education available in secondary school, porn is often the first and likely to be the most influential ‘sexual education’ that a child/young adult will receive.

I had the misfortune of discovering pornography around the age of 11. I was aware of the basics of what sex was, but I hadn’t yet received a formal, in-depth education. Seeing porn seemed like ‘filling in the blanks’ I was curious about. It was something I took literally.

I felt surprised and terrified. Upset even. Are these the types of emotions that young people should feel towards the concept of sex? Absolutely not.

These are the 5 negative effects that porn instilled into me from such an early age, those of which I believe have likely contributed to the sexual attitude and culture that our society currently shares.

1. It sets a synthetic and unreasonable body image. 

Diversity is not porn’s strong point. There is a clear ideal image for women: stick thin, big and perfectly inflated breasts (that usually look disproportionate with her tiny figure), completely devoid of body hair, full face of makeup, and exhibiting skin as if cellulite and stretch marks were just a common myth.

If a video does include a deviant of this ideal, we’re usually given what feels like a degrading ‘warning’ in the title –  for example, ‘Fat Bitch’ and ‘Hairy Ape’. Not only does it rarely provide its viewers with a range of realistic body types, but it also denounces them when they do appear.

It’s no fresh news that women suffer from low body confidence due to poor representation. Not only does it exacerbate these self-esteem issues in women, but sets an unrealistic standard in the minds of men. 

The 5 Impacts That Porn Had On My Relationships

2. It teaches nothing of consent.

There’s often very little communication in porn. I have never seen a scenario when a simple question such as ‘Would you like to do this?’ is asked. It’s more of something that is just… done.

Trailing further into the dark, there is a frightening amount of rape-like fantasies demonstrated. Too many times, I’ve seen women say ‘stop’, cry, and generally look like they hate what is happening: the act just continues. 

This has somewhat become a norm in pornography – something so normalized that a younger me was utterly terrified to assert the words ‘no’ or ‘stop’ in a sexual scenario. It seemed so unnatural to me; I had only seen women suffer in submissive silence. 

The 5 Impacts That Porn Had On My Relationships

3. It degrades and objectifies women.

It only takes one quick glance through the home page of Pornhub.com to see how it glorifies its women. For example, ‘Passed out slut letting me fuck her brains out and blow my load in her’ – this was the third video down and therefore considered a ‘normal’ pick.

Just looking at this one title, it communicates the misogynist messages that porn too frequently delivers. Firstly, she’s not a human being to be respected, she’s just a ‘slut’. Secondly, we have blurred contradiction on consent: she’s ‘passed out’ which logically means she cannot consent, however this unconscious female ‘lets’ him do it anyway. Not quite sure how that works. Finally, it implies that sex is something that is ‘done’ to her rather than something she mutually enjoys and engages in. 

This level of objectification occurs in nearly every video title and its content. The pitch is often focused on the female, making her presence the object of the clip: ‘Fat whore forced to do this’, ‘Horny slut takes that’, not to mention the lack of humanity granted to her name. Not only is she the central object to be consumed in the video by the viewers, but she is also the object for fulfilling whatever sexual act her male partner desires. 

The 5 Impacts That Porn Had On My Relationships

4. It does not enforce mutual pleasure and enjoyment.

Similar to my point above – if objectification is a central theme, mutual satisfaction can rarely be shown synonymously. The pleasure is focused on the male side, at the expense of the female, whether it works for her or not.

Worse still, male pleasure is often associated with that of what a female is not pleasured with. If this wasn’t the case, then why are there so many videos displaying women crying and expressing dissatisfaction as the male continues or even gets more involved? 

This is an awful message to be sending to both genders about sex. I went through all of my teenage years thinking that sex was something that happened to me, something I ‘put out’ for. It wasn’t something to feel excited or positive about. It was a mere dread. 

The 5 Impacts That Porn Had On My Relationships

5. It normalizes violence and extremities.

Studies suggest that the more violence people are exposed to, the bigger the need for even further violence to sustain the same satisfaction achieved initially. Not only that, but it normalizes it. I went far too long believing that I should grudgingly let partners ‘spank’ me, roughly pull my hair and shove me around wherever they pleased – because this is more than normalized in pornography. 

With just about every category and fantasy covered on the internet, I felt that it became somewhat of an expectation to recreate and fulfill an abundance of these categories too, despite them not appealing to me. I’ve heard men tell me things like ‘You’ve GOT to do anal at least once’ and brand me an undateable bore when I express my wish not to engage in certain things. 

I think that a mixture of overly objectifying, violent and extreme content alongside the lack of consent, respect, and mutual enjoyment is what contributes towards this overbearing pressure that has previously been placed on me and, I highly suspect, millions of other people.

The 5 Impacts That Porn Had On My Relationships

How has porn impacted your view and feelings towards sex? Has it ever had an effect on your relationships? Comment your own experiences of it below!

Feature image source: http://thescienceexplorer.com/brain-and-body/women-have-remarkable-variety-orgasmic-experiences-researchers-explain
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