Is porn ruining men’s sex lives?

Is porn ruining men’s sex lives?

It’s a popular cultural trope these days that watching porn is making men, especially young men, sexually dysfunctional. “Porn is ruining the sex lives of an entire generation,” trumpeted Business Insider a few years ago, citing a Psychology Today report relying on bit of neuro-nonsense to get the point across:

Today’s users can force [their] release by watching porn in multiple windows, searching endlessly, fast-forwarding to the bits they find hottest, switching to live sex chat, viewing constant novelty, firing up their mirror neurons with video action and cam-2-cam, or escalating to extreme genres and anxiety-producing material. It’s all free, easy to access, available within seconds, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

This basic narrative, with its mixed techno/sex panic and vaguely scientific undertones, can be seen everywhere from New York magazine to consumer health sitesEsquire to The American Conservative to The Daily Mail,Christian websites to Thought Catalog.

Many use a common tack: starting with a person or group of people who found porn to be problematic (a self-described porn or sex addict, members of the“No Fap” Reddit community), then extrapolating these experiences to make a more general warning about porn’s detrimental effects. The genre subtlyshames both women and men—the former for not being enough like porn stars to keep their men interested, the latter for letting their libido rule them—and often veers into discussions of whether more government intervention is warranted.

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