Words by Ian Ngui Art by Anqi Meng
It is known that pornography can cause dynamic changes in the bedroom.
In moderation, it can be used to explore fetishes to test out with your partner to spice up your sex life. However, an addiction to porn has been compared by many to be similar to an addiction to drugs, with orgasmic amounts of dopamine released into your brain as you beat your meat till’ bruising. Over time, your brain is hardwired to increasingly demand more porn to reach the same amount of peaceful bliss as it begins to build a tolerance to the excessive levels of dopamine — an extremely slippery slope.
Whilst this may all remain a personal secret, it could possibly entail a multitude of problems when the real thing comes along.
How would you feel when your partner is right in front of you staring intimately into your eyes and sliding off their overalls, yet your little ween isn’t at maximum capacity? As an avid porn watcher in the past, I had my issues when I realised that sex was nowhere close to what I envisioned it to be from the safety of my screen.
With absurd plots such as step-family being stuck in furniture, real estate agents tempting tenants with ‘bonuses’, chiselled male bodies packing pumpkins in their briefs, and picture-perfect women with perfect skin and delicate breasts, isn’t it all too obvious that these scripts and models should not be what we expect in reality? While it can be acknowledged, no amount of self-awareness can prevent the rewiring of our brains as it begins to accept what we see on the screen as the norm.
Masturbation and sex should be seen as a very different activity. In his book Giovanni’s Room, James Baldwin addresses sex as “pretentious masturbation”, but truly it is much more than that. The dimension and act of seeking intimacy is absent as we indulge into pornography, even though it is a major factor in sexual connection. Unfortunately, indulging into porn affects the stimulation required during sex, which leads to a lesser sense of arousal as the habitual choking of the chode programmes the body to be satisfied with just the climax.
As your body becomes used to the quick masturbation sessions, poor stamina can often result. This can lead to situations where its 10 minutes in and Peter is exhausted, but foreplay has only just begun.
Back in 2016, celebrity Terry Crews released a video addressing his addiction to porn as a “dirty little secret.” In many ways, porn addiction can feel dirty and embarrassing to reveal to others, with implications of a lack of self-discipline and control. Crews himself admitted that his addiction to porn was sparked by something much darker than just a craving for intimacy; he had believed his wife ‘owed’ him sex and that he valued himself greater than her. This shows that for some men, an “incel”, or “involuntary celibate”, mentality begins to overpower their lives as they begin to believe and fantasise that the women around them owe a romantic or sexual connection to them.
Growing up through puberty, many of us get introduced to pornography and the near-immediate gratification we can get through it. A lack of opportunity for human intimacy brings future problems when we do get the opportunity to experience sexual connections with others. With society and religion seeing an addiction to porn as shameful and disgusting, addicts end up being unable to talk to others about it, allowing the addiction to gain further control over their lives. An online sub-community called NoFap on the forum site reddit was created as a safe space dedicated to helping men in overcoming this addiction. Numerous posts document the journeys of many who are hopeful in inspiring others going through what they have struggled with in the past. Scrolling through the subreddit, it parallels those of pages dedicated to quitting smoking, alcohol or drugs alike.
With porn much more accessible than other adverse substances due to the internet, the support in quitting this addiction has a long way to go, with its discussion yet to be fully acceptable in a public space. Whilst Crews may be seen as a legend for his transparency in opening up about his struggles, the general society has yet to catch up.
The full playlist in which Crews documents his journey to overcome his porn addiction can be found through the link here: https://bit.ly/2zl0CMc.