Josh Barrie | Contributing Writer | Friday, 8 May 2015

Porn

Men's Attitude To Porn Is Far More Complex Than You Think

The Debrief: We veer from assuming all teenage boys are addicted to porn by expressing disgust in middle age who admit to watching it. But what if you just feel a bit ambivilent about the whole thing?

Last month, politician Simon Danczuk admitted that he watches porn, stating that ‘I am a man of the world and it is a part of life, many people do.’ He’s right of course, numerous studies have shown that most men have watched porn, and plenty do it regularly.

But what if you don’t? What If you’re part of the 0.0001% of the male population who have no interest in it? Or, like me, if you have a little interest, but are largely ambivalent. What if, like me, you find porn boring, contrived and formulaic. Because most of it is made with very little imagination and all the moaning sounds the same.

A man knocks on the door of a large white house; a woman answers. ‘Oh look!’ exclaims Trisha, it’s husband Bob’s tanned best friend, Danny. But Bob isn’t home. Shame. Trisha better loosen her dressing gown and prepare for some stimulating conversation about gardening.

A few awkward scenes and various sex positions later, Danny’s exploding all over the Trisha’s face. And that’s it. It’s like watching come dry. In fact, often what men search for is relatively 'basic' - age is a defining factor. One study shows that guys like watching teens, though the 'MILF' theme is also popular, while searches for lesbians are 132% higher amongst women than men.

So far so standard, but with audiences getting younger, porn growing more accessible, and more extreme at what point does porn can be more than just a turn-on?

Nobody benefits from Victorian attitudes to porn and sex – and I’m not against the idea as such. I just think once you’ve seen a few teenage years' worth, there’s nothing left to delve into – at least, nothing that isn’t erring towards the dark and perhaps illegal (some of the stuff people used to parade around at school was full-on harrowing). At the very least, the well of excitement has run dry. 

But has my brain had been frazzled as a result of all that youthful viewing? I didn’t feel it heightened my expectations or desires to a point of extremity. But then how do I know? I’ve grown up in a world where porn is everywhere. When I think about it, in my early teens, I probably watched it to the point of obsession – conversations in school changing rooms proved I wasn’t alone. One guy used to nip home at lunch time for a quick session. Perhaps it was that intensity that puts me off now.

'I certainly think that when I first left home I watched hours upon hours of porn,' my friend Joe confirms. 'I suddenly had my own computer in my room, and no internet monitoring.'

But for most of my friends - including my mate Chris, that interest in porn has waned over the years: 'When I was younger I used to watch it more than I do now - every opportune moment. Porn isn't something I take too seriously. I do sometimes enjoy an absurd scene with a teacher, or an older woman, but after I jizz I get on with my day. Porn hasn't affected how I see women... at least I don't think it has.

Sometimes I do wonder if the sex I have (especially when drunk) might be different if porn didn't exist. I understand there's a difference - but our generation is so exposed to it.'

But can all this exposure be damaging?  I'm not particularly surprised by the BBC report that states that young people are addicted to porn and upset by the things they see - there's some pretty nasty stuff out there. And one older friend, Nick, who grew up in a time before the internet (omg), underlines this. 'I grew up in a time when porn was limited. In my youth porn was titillating and illicit precisely because it was so much more difficult to access anything beyond a magazine or softcore video.

'I sometimes catch a glimpse of the top shelf of a newsagent magazine rack and think how archaic it seems now. Perhaps I was lucky to come from a generation where pornography, like so much other content, is so easily accessible, and mostly free. But then again, maybe today's generation are having much more fun and are more experimental?'

And I suppose all this fuels my detachment. Along with the unrealistic, over-fetished world of bad acting and cheap fancy dress. To me, porn serves a purpose; provides a service. It's reached saturation. It’s all so overdone now that its creators have totally lost the plot and the whole point: porn is, essentially, to help a wank along. Not mess up sex and make 10-year-olds think all massages lead to anal. 

But the one thing I’m certain of is that the only way to make things better is for us all to start being more honest about our porn consumption. A middle-aged man talking about his porn consumption is met with disgust, and beyond your teenage years, porn becomes a more illicit affair, and it shouldn’t. 

Nearly everyone watches porn - both men and women. Sometimes together, sometimes not. But without honesty and openness, it creates an area of life completely uncharted; hushing all the naughtiness away never helped anyone. 

Like this? You might also be interested in: 

Periscope Porn Has Inevitably Arrived. But Is It Any Good?

Sex Toy Maintenance 101

How To Introduce Your New Boyfriend/Girlfriend/Casual Sex Partner To Your Particularly Niche Fetish

Follow Josh on Twitter @joshbythesea

Picture: Lukasz Wierzbowski 

 

Tags: Sex, Sex O\'Clock, Porn