I feel like I’m really behind the times on this topic and it’s been done a million times before…
..regardless, I’ll plow ahead since this is still pretty interesting.
To begin, I’d like to overshare with my own adolescence and experience with porn, and its impact on masturbation.
One of my uncles, with my parents’ permission, got me a subscription to Playboy when I was 12 or 13 years old. Sort of fucked up all around now that I think back, but by that time me and my friends were already discovering these types of things on our own anyway, primarily from our old man or divorced/single uncles, that type of thing. It was around that point when I discovered masturbation, by accident as it happens as it wasn’t something I had set out to do. So magazines “found” or obtained were mine and my generation’s foray into porn. And by today’s standards, Playboy is pretty tame, but it was enough to whet my 15-year old self’s imagination for fapping. Later on in high school, probably by the time I was actually having sex with my high school girlfriend, I discovered my old man’s porn stash. This was a locked wooden box that had VHS tapes buried within (things like Debbie Does Dallas and an old parody film on the Adam’s Family). Being resourceful I found a way in, and on the few occasions I had the opportunity to watch, this new discovery was exciting, taboo and somewhat entertaining, but in no way did it match the excitement of real-life actual sex.
Even in college, porn wasn’t really something that was even an issue. This, again, was before DVDs, and if there was porn out there on servers, I don’t really remember seeing it until later in my college career (late 90′s). I think I had a few Playboys and maybe a VHS movie or two, but those items weren’t pulled out with any real occasion. Partly due to effort required and partly due to having access to the real thing. It wasn’t that I didn’t enjoy porn, but it was more like an occasional treat for variety in fapping, versus needing it to fap. This theme was consistent through my adulthood, and now, the only time I watch porn is as an appetizer for the real thing with Holly. And because I’m old school, I actually purchase full length DVDs of the stuff, which admittedly has been hit or miss with Holly, but I just can’t really fathom a conversation of “Hey Holly, want to hook the ole’ computer up to the TV upstairs and download some YouPorn clips?” Anyways, that’s my story, I’m guessing pretty typical for guys in my generation and before. Any sexual dysfunctions I have (still some occasional PE) are from being overly anxious and wrapped in my head versus anything porn has caused, or so I believe. With today’s generation it’s an entirely different story.
With the proliferation of laptops, tablets and smart phones, anyone has access to instantaneous internet porn at any time they want for free. Watch the TED video below, but apparently boys (primarily) as young as 10 (?!!) start finding and watching porn, then essentially due to the chemical feedback loop from more and more watching, rewire their brains on the dopamine response.
I’ve read of stories of teens and men in their early 20′s essentially having full on sexual dysfunction due to porn addiction. This video explains things pretty well:
Since I was removed by 10 years from this reality, I never really learned this was a problem until recently following my curiosity’s rabbit trail of crumbs. I think for me, as a father, this is pretty scary stuff and is something I will need to discuss with my kids (especially my son) as he comes of age. Simply being aware that this is an issue is important, it’s like learning there is a new drug out there that all the kids are doing, it’s free, and easy to obtain.
I came across such a site: http://yourbrainonporn.com/
Holy shit. I had no idea how big and bad this beast has grown.
I remember when the entire “pornography experience” was girly mags some friend stole from some relative, and we young boys eagerly thumbed through it, thrilled that we were doing something we were not supposed to…looking at the pictures of naked women and feeling the rush of dopamine and testosterone the simple sight of nude females effects on the pre-adolescent male brain.
Grown men aren’t immune to porn addiction either. If you check out Athol’s forum, you’ll find variety of stories where porn addiction is/was killing marital happiness and interest in the spouse.
So you likely all know this stuff already, but in case you didn’t, I thought it was a something to keep an eye on with setting boundaries with kids, since porn seems to have a lot more adverse impacts with the younger set as their brains are forming than with mature men. So while it can add a little spice to a marriage, it’s not a problem until it’s a problem, and if you’re watching it frequently alone or if you allow free access with no internet blockage or filters to adolescent sons, it could EASILY become a problem. Stay alert, communicate and talk about the implications and in short, be a good man and parent in this matter.