A new wave
In the current time pornography and sexual content is more accessible than ever which has both pros and cons. On one hand sexual liberation and freedom in one's sexuality is more present in society than ever. However, there are also a lot of people suffering from such things as porn addictions and having a very negative representation of sex.
Not only is there more pornography on the internet, but apps such as TikTok, which has a suggested age range of 12+, often has posts removed due to people exposing themselves and speaking on topics that certainly don't match a 12+ suggestion. The point is, in 2022 sex is almost everywhere you look and it can be harmful in many ways.
What's the harm?
Overexposure to sex is harmful to young men and women in many different and varying ways, but from a male perspective, this article will lean more toward the harm it does to young men. As little as 15 years ago, the main source of pornography available was purchasing either a DVD or a magazine. However, now you are only ever one google search away from an entire library of hardcore pornography, which isn't just available to adults but also children who have their own devices.
Whether or not you think pornography is morally correct or not, one thing can be agreed upon and that no 10 to 14 year-old children should be having their first sexual experience through a screen filled with graphic and sometimes damaging content. Pornography teaches neither proper sexual education and certainly does not teach any lessons on consent or how to respect others' rights.
A different kind of addiction
Porn addiction has differences and similarities to other addictions. Famous actor Terry Crews admits to his own addiction almost costing him his marriage. So, porn addiction can cost you relationships and cause those around you just as much harm as yourself. However, you could walk past hundreds of people suffering with the addiction everyday and you would never know.
People have admitted to sitting and watching pornography for hours on end, no longer finding it arousing but almost like a routine. Porn has often been blamed for a 'diluted' libido; this is because when a person is constantly exposed to hardcore sexual content for hours on end, for weeks, months or years, then 'regular' sex in the real world does not seem as exciting as it may have once. Unfortunately, this leads to people testing societal boundaries such as consent and age limits. This in turn leads to a demand in such content being created and more male and female actors being in harmful environments.
So, is porn wrong?
It isn't for one person to say if porn as a whole is wrong. Some people who produce sexual content on sites such as OnlyFans feel empowered by their profession and also are doing it in a safe environment where they are essentially self-employed and can lay their own ground rules. However, mass production of pornography on sites such as PornHub has been very openly criticised by many.
Here, the actors don't have as much as a say and the power dynamic leans towards the producers and directors. Porn, of course, has certain benefits, such as people who feel conflicted with their sexuality having a way to explore it by themselves. But, if porn is to become a more accepted and normal part of society then the production of it certainly needs to be done in a safer way and it needs to be more ethically sourced.
What needs to change?
Aside from the production and sourcing of porn, one thing certainly needs to change and that is the stigma around it. Porn is still such a taboo topic of conversation, something parents still convince themselves their teens don't watch.
Parents, teachers and any other sources of sexual education should rethink the way they speak about porn. Instead of the traditional 'porn is bad' approach it would be far more beneficial to take a realistic approach of setting an age guide for young adults and also making sure they do not watch anything produced in an immoral way.
Overall, porn is such a modern problem in society and so there will not be any clear societal view of it for many years and due to its polarising nature they may never be one. One thing is for certain, however, more needs to be done to make it more acceptable to talk openly about struggles with pornography or even the problems it has caused in one's life. It is important not to 'kink shame' people, but it is equally important to keep tabs on those who feel the need to push the boundaries of what is 'acceptable' just to feel any form of excitement any more.