18 Reasons Porn Might Be Evil: Is Healthy Porn Possible?

18 Reasons Porn Might Be Evil: Is Healthy Porn Possible?

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You knew, eventually, we’d have
to talk directly about porn.
Right?

2021 Update: We’ve got to update our porn data based on this massive world disorder, called the pandemic. As single people suffer in their isolation, I think porn *can be* a healthy release. But just like consuming any form of entertainment, you can go for horror, humor, or serious. Porn is the same way. There is a lot of unhealthy and *evil* porn out there, and for the most part you can get anything for free. You name it, there’s porn about it. There’s an amazing book called A Billion Wicked Little Thoughts that did some deep data analysis of our porn preferences, kinks, and obsession with youth. It’s an interesting read. The big take away, a huge percentage (majority) of healthy adults below the age of 60 watch porn in some form at least once a month. I’m not advocating you go out and start googling porn ideas, no. But I do think there is a balance in any form of entertainment.

If you don’t get too attached to the *value* of the experience, the release, you can let go of some of your stigma about porn. If you want to. If you’re violently opposed to porn, you’re probably reacting to the dirty porn on the web. Yes, there is a lot of really awful stuff out there. I don’t seek any of it, but it seeks me. Meaning, no matter what site you use to find you niche, you will see some gross and abusive stuff. If you are easily triggered, you should stay off the normal porn sites like the industry giant PornHub. But don’t be discouraged, if you’re interested, there are soft porn sites, all-girl, all-boy, all LBGQ+, all anything you might think of sites. As they discovered in the Billion Thoughts book, there’s porn for everything. If you can think of it, there’s probably porn about it.

Don’t like porn? Okay. Curious about porn? Seek it out in the safety of your own bedroom. Think porn might bring some spice to your relationship? Probably will, if you can find a genre that is not upsetting and that is activating. When you see something you like, but may have never seen before, there’s a rush of dopamine. It’s sort of like drugs. You get high from porn. And, if you listen to the anti-porn police, you need more and more. Porn is not a gateway drug. Porn may lead you to challenge your own ideas of your sexuality. But don’t be alarmed if seeing two men kissing turns you on and you’ve identified as a straight man. What research has shown us, our proclivity to porn doesn’t mean we want to DO the act. Just because gay or lesbian sex gets me excited, it does not mean I’m gay or lesbian. (grin) What I am is try-sexual. I’ll try anything three times. To make sure the first two times weren’t just lame experiences.

I don’t advocate for porn. But I also get frustrated with the *porn is evil* crowd. Porn is like any other drug. It’s dangerous when used in an obsessive or addictive manner. So, if you want to wade into the waters of some fetish your afraid you might like, you might find that porn will give you an introduction. You can then decide what you want to experience in real life. So far, in my experience, though I identify as a lesbian, I have yet to fulfill that dream. (half-kidding)

Be safe. If you feel upset or triggered turn it off. Porn is not for everyone. But a sexy kissing scene in any major R-rate film these days has an element of porn. They just don’t zoom all the way into the act. Take it easy. If you find something you like, ask your partner if they’d like to try it. Better yet, talk about porn with your partner. Maybe you can watch a clip together and see what happens. Do what makes you feel good, and leave the rest behind.

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Porn is part of our modern lives. Our children have probably learned more about relationships (good and bad) from television and porn. It’s part of why all of us are so confused about what makes for a healthy relationship. You watch GIRLS on HBO for a few seasons, and you can catch a glimpse of our younger generation’s relationship views. It’s dark. It’s a bit misogynistic. And it’s fueled by images of dysfunctional relationships and dysfunctional sex.

It’s time for our conversation to come out of the closet about porn. There IS good and bad porn, yes. But it’s about what YOU like. It’s not about what I like. And it’s not up to YOU to tell me if my porn is good or bad. It’s an individual’s decision. When you get into a relationship, it can be part of the conversation. It should be part of the conversation. But eventually, even in a relationship, our ideas and feelings about porn can vary. That’s okay.

Our Taste in Porn

Our taste in movies and music are also very different. And while some people will claim Terrantino is evil, you can probably agree that his movies are either IN your taste and preferences of they are OUT. It’s 100% up to you if you want to go see the latest blood-ballet movie. But don’t tell me I can’t go see it because you don’t like it. We need to talk about this. We need to talk about porn in a similar light. And as men and women often feel very differently about porn, there are things we can all learn from exploring our sexual desires and preferences. Porn is a way to explore those outer edges. If you want to. If you don’t, that’s perfectly okay by me.

Here’s a post I wrote on The Off Parent back in 2014.

We all watch it. It’s the biggest thing on the internet. And we watch it for different reasons. And yes, just like any other drug, addiction and abuse will occur. Porn is no different than alcohol. Either you can handle it or you can’t. And knowing that information about yourself you can make a decision, either you use it or you don’t. Porn is the same way. (Disclaimer: I know we don’t *all* watch porn, I was being dramatic. Forgive me.)

There is a lot of new information and misinformation coming out about porn. (Forgive the pun.)

Is There Healthy Porn?

Here are 18 things you’ll hear or read about porn. How many of these statements would you mark a TRUE? (Let’s check-in on the other side.)

  • Porn kills marriages or other committed relationships.
  • Men abuse porn more frequently than women.
  • All porn starlets are abused as children.
  • Sexual dysfunction is largely a factor of the rise of porn in our lives.
  • Porn creates unhealthy stereotypes about men and women, but mainly women.
  • Porn is gross, bad, sexist, repulsive.
  • Porn is awesome and a great way to spice up your ideas for sex with your partner.
  • Watching porn with your partner can be a huge turn on.
  • Men want to watch porn, women want to watch romance.
  • Men and the mafia-run the porn industry, and all other sex industries.
  • That woman from Stanford that is paying for her college education by working in the porn business is not really that hot.
  • Porn is all a lie.
  • Porn is unhealthy.
  • Porn is big business.
  • Either you are for porn or against it, there is no middle ground.
  • Porn is bad for you.
  • Christians are united against the evils of porn.
  • There is no such thing as healthy porn.

Well, what do you think? Do any of these statements about porn resonate with you as TRUTH or LIES? I know porn is a lightning rod issue. Some people, a young man I was coaching yesterday, are spiritually opposed to porn. “It’s in the bible,” he said. We can agree to disagree on this one.

“Don’t knock masturbation. It’s sex with someone I love.” – Alvy Singer, Annie Hall

It’s no mistake that porn is big business. And that bigness is due to our love of watching people have sex, in all it’s gory or yummy variations. And to come down on one side or the other about porn does not defend all kinds of porn. There is some porn that is abusive, sexist, misogynistic, and disgusting. And those are my opinions. I know BAD PORN when I see it.

The corollary is true. I know healthy porn when I see it.

Porn Teaches Us, Like It Or Not

And… to be clear… I like SOME porn. And I do believe there is such a thing as Healthy Porn. It might not be as easy to find as all the other varieties of porn. And it might not be the most profitable form of porn. The kinkier the porn, the more likely it will be that people will pay to see it. Mainstream porn is free. Kink-porn or fetish-porn costs money.

Did I say I like porn? Oh, yes, I did. And there’s a small percentage of the porn on the web that I find tastefully done, with healthy (hetero – because that’s my personal orientation) relationships, and seemingly healthy and consensual sex. And while I’m perusing porn, in search of something tasty to me, I stumble across a lot of porn that is distasteful, to me. And while this is not a frequent occurrence (neither searching for or watching porn) for me, I cannot imagine a world where the censors (ala 1984) came down and told us what porn we could watch and what porn would become illegal.

So, entering the discussion recently is the Porn Addiction movement. The idea being, that porn is harmful and should be avoided. And to carry the addiction metaphor a bit further, we need to be reprogrammed or weened off our porn habits, in order to have or recover healthy relationships again. The damage is being done to ourselves, our relationships, and indirectly to all the victims of the porn industry. If you listen to these sites. tweeters, evangelists of the Porn Recovery business you begin to hear fire and brimstone rationalizations and miraculous recovery tales that sound a bit too much like born-again Christianity for my comfort. But again, I don’t agree with 99% of this material.

Porn Addiction and Dysfunctional Relationships

What I do agree with is this: Porn can be a problem for certain people at certain times of their lives. AND porn can be a healthy release of sexual energy, either solo or with a partner. You can choose to disagree or agree with me. But please don’t tell me your view of the world is “truth” or “righteous.” And in that same argument, tell me that I am dirty, addicted, and a moral degenerate because I choose, on occasion, to watch people getting it on.

When you frame porn in terms of GOOD or EVIL you’re starting a religious war that has no business getting in our homes or our pants. At least not mine, thank you very much.

I don’t believe I have ever been personally scarred by porn. I also don’t have a craving for porn. And I would guess that most of us have a craving for physical closeness.

You will define healthy porn for yourself. Or you will choose to disagree with my entire argument. I’m fine either way. And I would tell you that my personal relationship to porn is rather loose and informal and doesn’t look anything like an addiction. Let me be truthful and clear: my relationship to porn doesn’t look like addiction today. Maybe in the past, in various periods of my life, I might have seemed addicted to porn. I would say I was exploring my sexuality, both when I had an opportunity to be with someone and when I was alone.

I don’t believe I have ever been personally scarred by porn. I also don’t have a craving for porn. And I would guess that most of us have a craving for physical closeness. And when that closeness is not available from another person, who’s to say fantasy and closeness with ourselves is bad?

Woody Allen said it best in Annie Hall. (Please forgive my use of Mr. Allen, given all the controversial information about him and his sexual problems.)

“Don’t knock masturbation. It’s sex with someone I love.” – Alvy Singer, Annie Hall

That sums up my perspective of healthy porn. Exactly.

Always Love,

John McElhenney – life coach austin texas
Facebook  | Instagram | Pinterest |  @wholeparent

As a certified life coach, I’ve been helping men and women find fulfilling relationships. If you’d like to chat for 30-minutes about your dating/relationship challenges, I always give the first 30-session away for free. LEARN ABOUT COACHING WITH JOHN. There are no obligations to continue. But I get excited every time I talk to someone new. I can offer new perspectives and experiences from my post-divorce dating journey. Most of all, I can offer hope.

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