EDITORIAL: This poor, young man has grown up with porn so he has no idea what he has lost. It is the challenge with 2 complete generations that grew up as internet porn took over the web. Their innocence was stolen by extremely dangerous, illegal and obscene products. If we want to protect the children, we have to stop Porn Valley from turning them all into this young man, a 23 year old who has no idea what true intimacy is!
I’ve spoken to many young men grappling with their porn addiction and the sense of loss they feel over something they know they should have but can’t experience since their sexuality was formed by pornography. It is very true, we need a real dialogue about healthy sex and sexuality but we can’t begin until we can get adults to stop joking and laughing about sex and body parts. We can’t teach the children until the adults grow up!!
When 23-year-old writer Isaac Abel wrote a powerful piece on Salon asking “Did porn warp me forever?” he set off a conversation about how watching online pornography during adolescence impacts men’s sexuality later on.
HuffPost Live host Ricky Camilleri spoke with Abel Tuesday, as well as HuffPost Women editor Margaret Wheeler Johnson, author Naomi Wolf, MakeLoveNotPorn founder and advertising consultant Cindy Gallop, and activist John Stoltenberg about the subject.
Abel described the appeal of Internet porn, “I think to an extent it’s actually being physically turned on by the rapid deviance, by sort of the addictive progressive perversity of being able to click from one climactic scene to another.” Wolf said that pornography consumption can diminish men’s ability to climax and become aroused with their real-life partners, and Johnson pointed out that the ubiquity of porn creates a sexual standard that impacts women just as much as it does men. “It creates certain expectations about what women will be willing to do, what women like. It informs how women think they have to behave in sexual situations,” she said.
But perhaps it’s not just porn that’s to blame for the sense Abel wrote that he and other young men have of being alienated from their own sexuality.
“If the only cues you’ve ever been given are from porn … then those are the cues you’ll take,” said Gallop. “If we don’t talk about sex in the real world, they don’t know how. The issue isn’t porn. The issue is the complete lack in our society of an open, healthy, honest dialogue around sex for real.”