How Internet Porn Is Changing How Men and Women Are Having Sex


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Sexual satisfaction is important for pair bonding in a relationship, as well as for one’s own psychological health. What’s more, we’re living in an age where personal fulfillment seems to be the ultimate goal. Despite this, men and women today may be having less fulfilling sex lives than in the past. One reason, the internet has altered human sexuality in a myriad of ways.

There have of course been positive impacts. The internet has helped normalize BDSM and kink, and revealed to the world different relationship configurations, which of course impact sex. These can include what New York Times sex columnist Dan Savage calls, “monogamish,” swinging, and polyamory (or ethical non-monogamy). Rather than be trapped in the dichotomy of monogamy or dating, we now have other options. It’s also allowed those with certain kinks and fetishes to feel acceptance and find fulfillment, as well as become a part of their own community.

Now for the bad news. There’s been some talk that the internet may be causing a minority of men to experience porn-induced erectile dysfunction. Internet porn obsession coupled with chronic masturbation saps interest or capability, when it comes time to be with a partner. The urological community has gone back and forth on whether this is a legitimate condition. One particular research paper contends that instead of a physical problem, such men may be conditioning themselves to orgasm only with a certain kind of stimuli, be it tactile or visual, which may confound sex with a partner.

Men who are obsessed with online sexual stimuli may condition themselves out of a fulfilling encounter with a partner. 

Now for the first time, a study published in the Journal of Sex Research, looks at how internet porn may have impacted female sexual functioning. These findings also tease out larger questions about how much sexuality is biological behavior, how much is psychological, and how much social. The female orgasm has been seen as the pinnacle of  the sexual encounter. So has internet porn enhanced or inhibited the female climax?

Léa J. Séguin at the University of Quebec in Montreal, led the study. What Séguin and colleagues found was, it wasn’t the age when masturbation started or a woman’s dexterity in the pursuit. It wasn’t the number of sex partners she had either. What determined whether or not she could orgasm during sex, was whether she was mindful during the experience and how connected she felt with her partner.

“Social representations, which appear in a variety of media, can influence the way sexual experiences are perceived and understood,” researchers wrote. “While pornography is not the only medium in which orgasm is portrayed, it is the most explicit, and it is widespread and easily accessible.” What they looked at was how male and female orgasm was portrayed in 50 of Pornhub’s most viewed videos. Each was analyzed and coded for the “frequency of male and female orgasm.” Researchers coded content by the orgasm-inducing sex act the onscreen couple engaged in. This included auditory and visual indicators.

Porn may send the signal that the female orgasm is less important. 

This study found that while men orgasmed 78% of the time in these videos, women climaxed only 18.3% of the time. Among these, clitoral stimulation—how most women orgasm, only occurred 25% of the time. The message this sends, researchers say, is that the male orgasm is an imperative, while the female one—not so much. They also wrote that “mainstream pornography promotes and perpetuates many unrealistic expectations regarding women’s orgasm.”

Research shows there’s a wide variety in when and how women climax. Though many start masturbation early, the average American woman loses her virginity at age 17, and most don’t orgasm then. In fact, most women don’t begin having regular orgasms until they’re in their 20s or 30s. Greater comfort with sex and their bodies may be the reason.

Another issue is that some women just naturally have a hard time orgasming. They may not climax regularly as a result. Studies have shown that the ability to climax through intercourse and to a lesser extent masturbation, is at least partially genetic in nature. The rest is “physical processes or subjective responses to those processes.”The results of this study fit into what is known as sexual script theory, which states that humans fall into certain sexual scripts which society deems acceptable.

A woman’s outlook on sex, how comfortable she with it, and her connection to her partner, all play a critical role in her ability to derive sexual satisfaction. 

So what about the female orgasm overall? A study published last year in the journal Socioaffective Neuroscience & Psychology, had some interesting findings. Using statistics from nationwide surveys, they looked at the sexual experiences of over 8,000 Finnish women. The number who said they orgasm from sex always or nearly so, fell 10% between 1999 and 2015. Internet porn and unrealistic expectations may have played a role. But researchers identified other reasons as well.

Why Finnish women? “Finland is one of few countries with nationally representative surveys of sexual activities and values among the adult population.” Such a survey was conducted in the years 1971, 1992, 1999, 2007, and 2015. People’s sexuality liberalized over time, the data shows, following a similar trend in the rest of Western Europe.

According to this study, whether or not a woman orgasmed during sex depended on her sexual self-esteem, how good she and her partner are at sexual communication, how skillful she feels in the bedroom, and her own sexual limitations. Other factors included the ability to concentrate during sex and her partner’s technique. The things that prevented women from climaxing most were fatigue, difficulty concentrating, and stress. While 50% of women in a relationship said they orgasmed during sex most of the time, only 40% of single women did.

So the takeaway is that couples who communicate well, especially about desires and fantasies, are mindful during sex, and do things to increase their connection, have the best sex lives, complete with oodles of orgasms for both partners. That’s as long as they don’t become obsessed with internet porn, take cues from reliable sources, and are mindful of how they conduct their sex lives. Should you have a female partner, the best way to make her climax when sex is on the menu is to relax her, relieve her stress, and connect with her on a deeper level.

To find out more about how internet porn obsession can affect your sex life, click here:

Watching Porn Frequently Could Make You A More Religious Person


Pornography sites get more visitors than Netflix, Amazon, and Twitter combined. Despite this, X-rated videos remain a taboo, something people rarely talk about or admit to viewing because of a moral stigma. In an ironic turn of events, a study published in the Journal of Sex Research suggests that those who watch porn more than once a week tend to become more religious.

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Use of pornography has skyrocketed in recent decades, prompting an equally large uptick in research focusing on the industry’s social factors. Previously, high religiosity had been associated with low pornography use — almost all religious groups disapprove of the material. The current study suggested that those who watch pornography only occasionally become less religious over time, while those who watch it more often become more religious.

The research followed the same people over a period of six years, measuring both their pornography use and religiousness along the way. The sample included a nationally representative group of 1,314 adults who answered questions about their pornography use and their religious habits. Even after controlling for outside factors like age and gender, use of pornography was associated with low religiousness at the end of the study until the rate of consumption became more frequent than once a week. At this point, religiousness increased.

“Findings suggest that viewing pornography may lead to declines in some dimensions of religiosity but at more extreme levels may actually stimulate, or at least be conducive to, greater religiosity along other dimensions,” wrote study author Samuel Perry of the University of Oklahoma.

He further explained that exposure to pornography may inspire guilty feelings, especially if a person is violating the rules of their religion. This could at first lead them to distance themselves from religious activities. As pornography viewing increases, people may find ways to rationalize their behavior, or even turn to religion to try and overcome the behavior that is making them feel guilty.

According to Dr. Jeff Louge, a counselor and assistant professor at Sagu Christian University, 47 percent of Christians say pornography is a major problem in the home. Many other faiths, including Islam, maintain that pornography is a no-no for religious followers. If this research is correct, however, that heavy pornography use may be driving people closer to their faith rather than farther away.

Does porn affect the brain? Scientists urge more study


Researchers found less gray matter in the brains of men who watched large amounts of sexually explicit material, according to a new study.

The research, which appeared Wednesday in the journal JAMA Psychiatry, could not determine if porn actually caused the brain to shrink however, and the authors called for additional study on the topic.

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“Future studies should investigate the effects of longitudinally or expose naive participants to pornography and investigate the causal effects over time,” said researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin, Germany.

The institute recruited 64 male subjects aged 21-45, “with a broad range of pornography consumption.”

The men were not told initially that the research was monitoring their brains on porn, rather that it was “a scientific study including (MRI) measurements.”

The men were told during a later phone interview that questions about pornography would be part of the research, and none dropped out.

The men filled out surveys, describing how much porn they watched. Their responses averaged a little more than four hours per week.

Their brains were scanned with MRI technology while they were shown sexually explicit images from , along with non-sexual images of people exercising.

“Our findings indicated that volume of the right caudate of the striatum is smaller with higher pornography use,” said the study.

Furthermore, when sexually explicit material was shown, the men’s MRIs showed diminished function in a part of the brain that processes motivation.

But were with smaller striatums seeking more porn, or did more porn make the brain smaller? Was it a consequence, or a precondition?

“Individuals with lower striatum volume may need more external stimulation to experience pleasure and might therefore experience pornography consumption as more rewarding, which may in turn lead to” more watching, said the authors, concluding that more study is needed.

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