Monday, January 30, 2012

Let's Talk About Porn!


It's been a while but the Real Talk is back in full effect and what better way to get the ball rolling than to discuss a controversial topic such as PORN! That’s right I said it.....pornography. The word that caused such disdain when I quizzed people about it.

First and foremost it’s not just men that struggle with this addictive behaviour, women do too. I wanted to gauge people's thoughts on the subject and whether they felt it damages relationships? I've heard a lot of mixed opinions on this topic. Some have been quite frank and stated that their partners know they watch porn and don’t have a problem with it. However if you scratch the surface I guarantee they're not as comfortable as they portray. Others have vehemently expressed their disgust and can't understand the fascination with it.

My friend told me about a guy he met. He’s in his early thirties, has a girlfriend and she is expecting their third child. The thing is he visits prostitutes on a monthly basis. He considers it a treat and doesn't have to deal with any emotional baggage. Those are his words not mine. This is a classic example of how porn has spilled out into his real life. Pornography is an issue across all ages, sexes, ethnicities and even religious beliefs.
If I found out my partner was watching porn I’d feel disappointed, mistrusting, and a little degraded. Especially if it went on to affect our relationship/ sex life which I believe it would. If you are exposing yourself to certain images, behaviours, fantasies then surely you’d want to rein act them?  It could start off minute as something you would have never considered before being exposed to porn. My main concern would be that sex would be less emotional and more objectifying. I wouldn’t want to feel silenced into ‘it’s what some guys do' and that I wouldn’t understand.  Does this mean I’d have to then accept it?   

The thing about porn is that it will almost certainly alter how you view sex. It sets unrealistic expectations in the minds of men and women. I've heard women say that you can’t satisfy a man that watches porn as they expect more and more from you. A woman may accept their partner watching porn but it doesn't mean they're happy about it. Regardless how much self-esteem you have it will get damaged by this behavior. 

'Pornography also creates havoc because it causes viewers to focus on themselves- what stimulates, satisfies and pleases them.  Their concentration is on what they want the other person to look like, act like and do for them……They become obsessed with those fantasies and with satisfying themselves. …' (Excerpt from Your Knight in Shining Armour)

I personally feel that pornography use can ruin relationships. People feel that the external effects of porn are less explicit, this doesn't mean it isn’t damaging. Porn can infiltrate your mind on a unconscious level. You think you've got this behaviour under control but it will often seep into your actions/ behaviors, conversations, thought patterns even your dreams.  The unconscious always comes to the forefront. We often use the following analogy in Counselling. The unconscious is like a dead body thrown in a lake eventually it will rise to the surface.

What are your thoughts on Pornography? Do you feel it's harmless? Is Porn only a problem once when it becomes an obsession?
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