The Truth about Online Porn

The Truth about Online Porn

Have you ever watched porn? Or been tempted? With the rise of the internet, access to online porn is relatively easy and straightforward and more people are watching it than ever before. We can watch pornography on our television, on our laptop and even on our mobile phone when we’re out and about.

Watching online porn can often be associated with stigma and shame but can porn be a positive thing and educational? Here we explore this very question, finding out whether it’s ok to watch pornography, and answering some very commonly asked questions; does sex have to last for hours, is what you see in porn expected in real-life, who are some positive porn experts to learn from and what to do if you think you may be suffering from a porn addiction. 

Is it ok to watch online porn?

Yes! It’s absolutely fine to watch online porn, but perhaps lean more towards watching ethical porn or educational porn. Ethical porn is defined as being legal porn that promotes fair pay, good working conditions, testing for sexually transmitted infections, pro-condoms and are more realistic than typical mainstream porn. There’s a lot of movement at the moment around mainstream pornography, with online porn being male pleasure dominated, having unrealistic beauty standards, a lack of sensuality in porn, and issues such as revenge porn, rape and non-consensual sex videos. It’s important to highlight these important topics regarding pornography so you can see that although there is positive porn out there, there is also some negative porn. 

There’s no shame in watching online porn and it can be a good way of learning about the different practicalities and positions that encompass having sex as well as gaining inspiration in the bedroom. However, as long as you understand that what you are watching is fiction with many of the ‘scenes’ or positions that are showed in pornography being unrealistic and are not representative of real-life - and you should never make anyone do anything they do not want too. Also, like most things - it needs to be in moderation, watching online porn occasionally is ok but if you feel it’s impacting on your life, then it might be time to seek support.  

Does sex have to last for hours?

There’s a misconception that sexual activity has to go on for hours to be truly satisfying, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Porn stars are paid to create movies based on sex, so if the whole sexual activity was over in 5 minutes it would be a pretty short film. That’s why sex performers draw sex out for as long as possible to make the ‘film’ more interesting and keep you watching for longer. In real-life, as long as you and your partner are both happy with how long the sex lasts - then there really isn’t anything to be concerned about. 

Is what you see in porn expected in real-life? 

This is another common misconception that occasionally happens when one or both partners watch pornography. You may feel like you have to be sexually confident and take part in lots of different sex acts when having sex with your partner, but this is incorrect. Consent is the most important thing when having sex or taking part in sexual activity with a partner - if there’s something you do not feel comfortable doing, you should never feel pressurised into doing it. Many of the scenes in pornography are magnified and heavily edited - so these ‘perfect’ scenes have been designed to only ever show the best bits. 

What are some positive porn experts to learn from? 

Erika Lust is an ethical porn director who creates films that focus on consent, female pleasure with a wide range of diverse performers who actively ask their partners if they want to use condoms.

Kenneth Play is a ‘sex hacker’ who produces educational videos and online material on all things sex, including how to pleasure women. Kenneth argues that “sex education should be explicit, practical and literally shown in a real world application”.

Can I get addicted to watching pornography?

Yes. Some people can get addicted to watching online porn, the same way other people may be addicted to sex or drugs. When someone enjoys pornography, the ‘reward centre’ in the brain becomes activated and the feel-good hormone Dopamine gets released - it’s this ‘hormone’ that people can often become addicted to and over time may need high levels of porn to sustain the euphoric ‘high’ that comes from a dopamine release. 

Those with a porn addiction tend to;

  • Have a preference for porn rather than having sex with their partner
  • Have a loss of interest in daily activities and responsibilities
  • Being unable to stop watching porn, despite identifying you would like to stop
  • Preference for watching porn rather than socialising 
  • Spending too much money on porn that you are unable to afford
  • Using porn in inappropriate places
  • Using porn to cope with emotions, such as sadness, loss, anxiety or depression.

Pornography addiction can cause serious harm to close relationships and your life, so it’s always important to seek help as soon as possible.

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