A documentary called Porn on the Brain aired in the UK, but you can watch it on YouTube for a limited time. I recommend it, but there are some intense images and subject matter, so keep that in mind before watching. Like all documentaries, there is an agenda. However, I think this documentary’s agenda is more than reasonable. To me it seems that they have highlighted what a lot of folks know to be true: Internet pornography is not the same as the pornography from "back in the day" and use of it in adolescence is pervasive. Yet, no one is talking about it.
Since 2009, I’ve been praising Cindy Gallop in my lectures for her brilliant website makelovenotporn.com and this witty TED talk. She tells ABC news she noticed when she would have sex with younger men, they would have “porn sex” instead of “real sex” and that porn seemed to be the new default sex-ed for millennials. So, she created a website which compared sex acts seen in porn with how they might be received in real life. This site became wildly popular among sex educators such as myself, for its ability to highlight the differences between porn sex and real sex. However, Cindy’s next endeavor seems to have deviated from that a bit, in my opinion. She launched makelovenotporn.tv in January. It is a site that will only showcase real people having real sex. This is an extremely refreshing concept. However, it is still porn. It is just regulated amateur porn. Which is much better than most mainstream porn in terms of depictions of sexuality. However, frequently seeking out any sex on the internet will still be extremely problematic for some and potentially problematic for teens or anyone who frequently does so (due to the way one’s brain reacts to porn vs. sex). Unfortunately, I don’t think makelovenotporn.tv is the perfect antidote to internet porn. We still have to learn how to have intimate sex with people (if we want successful relationships), and we don’t learn how to do that from masturbating while watching others get it on. We can really only develop those skills from experiencing vulnerable sex with another human being.
Another TED talk! That didn’t take long. Dr. Philip Zimbardo, yes the same guy who conducted the infamous Stanford Prison Experiment, discusses “The Demise of Guys”. This talk makes me wonder, “Is excessive pornography use like sexual ADD?” On a more serious note, I think boys and young men are really being underserved in our culture. We need more avenues for boys and men to explore aggression and competition in healthy ways, instead of compulsively doing so with technology. Furthermore, unless you are Jewish, we really don’t have a
cultural right-of-passage from boyhood to manhood, except maybe through fraternities and gangs. How does a boy know he is a man in our culture? Also, if we could make a conscious effort to foster healthy masculinity what would we want healthy masculinity to be? You can also check out the website that was launched in response to this talk for some more exploration of this topic.
I am a TED talk junkie. Expect to see a whole lot of TED talk videos on this blog. I'm also a fan of Gary Wilson's website: yourbrainonporn.com. However, I do wish the information mentioned was cited in a more formal way. You really need to put on your detective hat to find the original data, but it is there. Please let me know what you think. When I discuss these concepts in my lectures, I find people are both blown away and eager to learn more as they apply this process to their porn use or to someone they know.
About this Blog:
I'm here to help us discuss sexuality, gender, sexual media, and social media by integrating information from academic and mainstream sources. I do this so you can be informed about what is going on in the sex research world and apply the research to your life. I hope this process produces more sexually competent people who raise sexually competent kids.
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