Is Porn Replacing Sex?

Written by Claire Colvin

I was both surprised and deeply saddened by a video on CNN this morning that asked “Has Porn Hijacked Sexuality?” The video shows an interview between CNN anchor John Roberts and author and sociologist Gail Dines.  Dines is the author of the book Pornland which looks at the effect of pornography on people’s view sex and even of their own bodies.

The stats in the interview are horrible:

  • 420 million pages of pornography on the internet
  • 42 million sites
  • 68 million searches for porn EVERY DAY

But the one that stuck with me the most was when Dines said that the average age a boy first views pornography is now 11. As she goes on to explain, the danger for these boys is that at 11 they haven’t had any other sexual experiences, so when they see these images they become the boy’s baseline, their “normal” for what sex looks like, for what it is and what it should be.

Roberts goes on to quote a study from 2003 that found that in 56% of divorces one partner was a habitual user of pornography.  As Dines explains, “Porn is industrial strength sex.  Next to that actual sex looks boring and bland.” The fiction is so potent they become incapable of enjoying or even participating in normal, healthy, intimate relations.

As part of her research Dines has spoken to many in the porn industry and it’s their responses that really stopped me cold.  When she asked them, “Where does the industry go from here?” they responded that it feels like a runaway train.  They have no idea where things are going because the consumer demand is for darker and darker material.

The easiest way to stop a runaway train is to go nowhere near it in the first place.  But what if it’s already too late for that? If you or someone you know is there is help available.  If you would like to talk privately with a mentor, use this form to submit your request and we’ll match you up with a mentor who will contact you by email.  Mentoring is a free and confidential service.

These articles are also a good place to start:

Helping Your Husband Battle Pornography
Sex Addiction
Help! My Husband Doesn’t Want Sex
Women Addicted to Porn
The Effects of Internet Pornography

xxxchurch.com is an amazing resource for anyone dealing with issues with pornography.

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17 Responses to “Is Porn Replacing Sex?”

  • Jason says:

    My girlfriend and I watch porn while we have sex sometimes.

    The problem is not porn if anything porn should be more accepted then it is. Maybe sex is boring and bland because people are afraid to truly be themselves and ask their partner for what they want in the bedroom.

    As long as porn is ‘a bad thing’ there will be this stigma around it, it will lead to bad sex, bad relationships, and inevitably divorce.

  • Claire Colvin Claire says:

    Jason – there are always going to be differing opinions on what constitutes great sex but I have to disagree with your blanket statement that more porn for everyone is the answer. I do agree with what you said about communication – how can partners please each other if they don’t speak up about their needs and desires? However to suggest that not watching porn causes divorce – I haven’t seen a study yet that agrees with you on that one.

  • Enzo says:

    Dear Claire,
    We don’t need “MORE porn for everyone”, we just need no stigma.
    Jason doesn’t say nor suggest “not watching porn causes divorce”.
    he just says that “STIGMA around porn will lead to bad sex, bad relationship, divorce”.
    Even if it’s not true in all cases, I can only agree: If you’re comfortable about explicit pictures, you’ll be comfortable in your sexual relationships (I mean if you except children and violence in pornography)
    Communication is very important, as you said, and images can help to communicate, not only with words, but mostly without words: caresses and gestures, sighs and moans, smiles, laughs and giggles…

  • Claire Colvin Claire says:

    Enzo,

    I cannot agree with you on that. Viewing pornography has not been shown to improve intimacy. There is a difference between trying educate yourself and viewing explicit images. If intimacy is the goal, pornography is a road that does not lead there.

  • Webcam Sexo says:

    Sex is necessary, feeding the body and soul. Porn is like cream that gives taste to food. If done well the result will be wonderful, if you will only eat cream stomach pain

  • John says:

    Claire,

    I’m with you on this. Mankind’s appetite regarding sex has gotten so perverted that we have convinced ourselves that pornography is necessary to enjoy what God had given us completely, without error. You don’t need porn to improve communication or the enjoyment of sex. I can’t believe that the people who think that porn is okay really have accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior of their lives. Maybe they’re reaching out because they want to experience the incredible joy of a life lived under Jesus.

  • Sarah says:

    What if I’ve never watched porn? then meet my partner 2 years ago who had always used it in his life, (mainly when he was single. To him it has always been a pretty normal way.. He says he doesn’t need it now he is with me but I feel in my mind that I am shunning porn because I don’t fully understand it and I’m almost afraid of it because it makes me feel like my partner would be getting aroused by other women and not me!.. please help!

  • joyce says:

    Sarah,

    I think, if your boyfriend really do love you, then he wont look for another girl. Watching porn is never the answer to your problem.. I think pornography is a sin (in my opinion only) specially for people who are not yet in the right age,. I mean who are not yet married.

  • mugabi says:

    I totally disagree with Jason.Pornography is very dangerous and any one addicted to it needs deliverance through accepting Christ Jesus as their personal savior.

  • alan says:

    Well if a man is in a relationships and it falls apart because he no longer needs sex, it wasn’t a very deep relationship was it? I think the new dynamic helps create equality. The old ideas that men only want women for sexual attractiveness and women only want men for money should die. Women can earn their money independently and men can satisfy their urges independently. A true relationship should be about equality and being best friends first. Also, the idea that porn is misogynistic is not necessarily true. Some pornography is nothing more then couples who film their sex and upload it to the internet for free to share with everyone.

  • Iamdetermined says:

    God designed our bodies for sex. He chemically wired us to bond to our spouse/parnter. Porn is faux sexual gratification. Porn is a crutch for people who are crippled in their sexuality. Like a prescription drug take as needed to alleviate symptoms. The drug doesn’t remove the condition it aides in temporary relief. Porn portrays an unreal expectation of your partner. God created our sexual desires to be for and toward our partner not a sex video, a picture, or for a person walking down the street. Porn in any form, hard or soft should never be allowed in a healthy whole relationship. More often than not it destroys relationships and diminishes the capacity for true intimacy with your partner. Remember God designed our bodies to enjoy sex with our partner.

  • ko says:

    I think god is out of style. Porn operates on an urge that developed before the concept of god so Jesus will not prevent you from jerking off. Women used to have a monopoly on sex now they don’t. They are feeling left out and disenfranchised. The planet is overpopulated anyway. More porn, less children.

  • Claire Colvin Claire Colvin says:

    That’s a really interesting perspective Ko, but I disagree that, “Porn operates on an urge that developed before the concept of god”. God is much more than a concept. I don’t think I’ve ever seen someone advocate for porn as a form of population control before. I think you’d have a hard time finding a study that proved the health benefits of porn. In the same way that some reality TV shows cater to the lowest common denominator, porn can reduce real, powerful relationships down to not even just the act of sex, but watching strangers perform these acts. It gives us sex with no connection at all, like empty calories for the mind.

  • ko says:

    My point is that in order to reach its full potential has to be exempt from bargaining. Women are biologically programmed to wholesale large or small.
    men are programmed to get as much bang as they can. As soon as carnal money is taken from equation the lovers become free to explore their potential.

  • Claire Colvin Claire Colvin says:

    In order to reach what’s full potential? I still cannot agree that porn will free lovers to do anything.

  • ko says:

    Love is only possible for me when there is no fear that something will be taken away from me and given to another. This ability to take and give is the basis for jealousy. Love to a person is an extension of life towards the world. Modern romantic love is Pavlovian. It keeps people together for procreation. The only way to free the mind for love is to satisfy the primal hunger. If you are not Perelman, thinking about math is hard when you are hungry. The same is true for love: it is hard when one is hungry for sex.

  • Claire Colvin Claire Colvin says:

    Ko, It sounds like this is something you’ve put a lot of thought into. You said that, “Love is only possible for me when there is no fear that something will be taken away from me” but there is always the risk that love will be taken away. We are all mortal and even in the very best, most pure, most beautiful relationships one partner will die first and be taken away from the other. I wonder if your idea of love is unattainable? I do agree that it’s hard to think about love if all you can think about is sex, but having sex with other people is no way to bring you closer to the one you love. Coming back to porn, porn isn’t sex, it’s voyeurism. You can choose to take action and have a sexual experience while watching porn, but porn itself won’t satisfy the desire or need for sex.

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