Bookmark and Share

Can Porn Be Harmful

Published: January 31, 2013
Dear TeenHealthFX,
I'm an 18 year old male and I like to look at porn magazines. But I heard its addictive and can ruin my future sex life and relationships. So I stopped looking at it. Everyday I have urges that I need to see women and I feel like getting out of the house just to meet women. I masturbate at least once a day. Can porn really be harmful? Am I normal? What should I do?Can you please help me?

Dear Can Porn Be Harmful,

From an emotional perspective, masturbating once a day is not considered to be excessive. According to the American Psychiatric Association, masturbation is only problematic when it gets in the way of daily activities, like going to school or work, or other daily activities. However, this does not take into consideration a person’s religious or cultural beliefs which can play a significant role.

Erotic material depicting behavior that is intended to cause sexual excitement and can be used by individuals and couples as part of a normal healthy sexual experience is not viewed as harmful.

However pornography that degrades objectifies and dehumanizes women or men can lead to the exploitation of others. It can condition a person to only be aroused when their partner is forced to act out the images that have been viewed. Any pornography involving minors is morally wrong, illegal and would be a sing of significant pathology.

Pornography probably raises some tough questions for you. Ask yourself the following questions and it will help you understand how you feel about pornography.

  1. Why do you feel that looking at these images cause you distressed
  2. How do you think the people involved are being treated?
  3. Does anything you are seeing conflict with any religious beliefs you might have?
  4. How would the people in your life you look up to feel about these images?
  5. What makes you think you might become addicted to pornography?

Watching pornography and masturbating are not a guarantee of a ruined sex life. However, there are ways in which it can negatively affect it. To prevent this from happening, consider the following:

  • Pornography generally does not portray what feels good for women – so it can give men who watch it a false impression about what is enjoyable for the opposite sex. If you go into sex with your partner only imitating what you have seen through porn, odds are it is not going to be a pleasurable experience for her. This is where communication between you and your partner will be key – talking with each other about what feels good for each of you. 
  • Pornography is not the best place to take notes on how to make sex better. The positions portrayed in pornography are often used because they highlight the different sex organs – but that does not mean those positions are the best and most desirable. Again, communication is needed between partners to ensure both people are comfortable and finding pleasure in what they are doing.
  • Remember that pornography is appealing to people’s fantasies. If you get too wrapped in porn and the fantasy of it, it might make the reality of sex less appealing. If you come to expect that you and your partner are going to look and act like porn stars in your own sex life, then you are probably setting yourself up for disappointment.
  • Pornography is about sex, not feelings. Being intimate with someone you care about is not just about physical pleasure, but also about being emotionally intimate with someone you care about. This aspect of sex is important in relationships, and if your model of how sex should be is from pornography, you are missing out on an entire aspect of sex – the feelings and emotional connection that can be present between two people.  

Hopefully by taking into consideration the issued we raised you will be able to come to your own conclusions about what is right for you.

 

Signed: TeenHealthFX

Ratings