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May 16, 2022

I Realised Looking at Porn was Harming my Love Life—That’s why I’ve Kicked the Habit.

During times when I didn’t have a partner, I used to enjoy looking at porn (or what I liked to call “erotica” because it sounds classier).

But I found that with the passage of time, watching other people having sex was beginning to desensitise me to the many special pleasures of being intimate with a partner, and I decided it was better to stop.

This was combined with my increasing awareness that many of those women on display might have been trafficked or abused in some other way, and paid poorly for work they were forced to do, so porn wasn’t a turn on for me anymore.

My own taste in sexual material has always run to images which showed women being natural with themselves. I’ve never been interested in looking at demeaning or aggressive sex. In my own love life, the physical parts have always been less important for me than the sense of connection and the excitement of knowing someone and being known by them, in the most naked and intimate way.

Research shows that the effects of porn are similar to those of a drug like cocaine—which I never really liked taking because it made me feel stupidly excited even though I wasn’t doing anything. That was an empty experience, and I think it’s the emptiness of porn, combined with the powerful neurological kick it creates, that is potentially damaging to the young men that are getting addicted to it.

It also explains why many of them escalate to more extreme images to get the same effect, as the hormonal jolt of the more vanilla material wears off. And apparently, a growing number of teenage boys who use porn regularly are seeking medical help for impotence.

I’m concerned that no one seems to be thinking seriously about the effect that unlimited access to porn is having on the brains, feelings, and behaviour of younger boys and girls who are watching it. Knowing how porn works on our brains, surely we should be worrying about that as much as we would if somebody was giving away free drugs outside our schools.

People who choose to use illicit drugs should be more aware of the harm that the drugs they’re supporting causes to the people caught up in it, and to the communities where they operate, and I think exactly the same can be said of porn. It’s yet another reason why I’m choosing to steer clear of it from now on, and to put more time and effort into strengthening my real relationships.

 

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