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Porn never hurt anyone, right?


Porn can be a video, book, photo or cartoon of sexual behaviour.  There are lots of different kinds of porn out there too.  Porn shows videos or images of people engaging in sexual acts but doesn’t usually have a (believable or realistic) story line about the characters – the focus is often on the physical acts not so much feelings, emotions or relationships.  People watch and use porn for different reasons.

Porn has changed a lot over the years, becoming more violent, easier to find and access (you don’t have to order a video tape on the phone and wait until it arrives in the mail – instead it finds you on your ‘smart’ phone; you can hardly avoid it) and it has become more acceptable.  Because porn is now violent, accessible and acceptable it is impacting on real life sexual relationships and real people in ways that are quite destructive.

SO WHAT’S WRONG WITH THAT?

1)     It’s Violent – Porn has become more violent and hardcore and most of this violence is directed at women.  One study found that 88% of porn contains physical violence and that 94% of that aggression is directed at women.

Porn often shows women just taking part in sex acts for the man’s enjoyment. The sort of sex acts that porn workers demonstrate, are often not what real men and women find fun, sexy and enjoyable.  Lots of porn shows the women enjoying rough, painful and degrading sex acts and the men going on and on like jack hammers (or energiser bunnies) for hours– this is not realistic. Porn provides an unrealistic representation of ‘pleasure’ that can be harmful, humiliating, and/or violating to the participants. It also gives a really unrealistic expectation about what male and female bodies look like.

2)     It’s (too) Accessible – The average age of a person when they are first exposed to porn now is 8 years old… Eight! With the internet in most homes and most phones across Australia, people of any age can access porn.  Because of its availability lots more people are viewing it and learning from it.

3)     It’s Acceptable – Because porn is so easy to access lot of people are viewing it.  And because lots more people are now viewing it, watching porn is becoming acceptable… normal even.  What it is also doing is making porn’s representations of sex and sex acts seem normal and acceptable – even though they are often degrading, non consensual and violent.

HOW DOES THIS ALL LINK TO ‘RAPE CULTURE’? This nasty mix of violence, accessibility and acceptability is spreading a horrible message about sex and relationships.  Because so many young people now use porn as their ‘sex education lessons’ these horrible messages are spreading fast.  Porn is teaching us that men are aggressive walking penises who want to inflict pain on women who  enjoy being used, abused and degraded (and let’s be clear, on Planet Porn that is ALL women) –what a load of bollocks!  Studies have also linked porn use to changes in the way people think.  The study showed that when a person views violent porn they were less likely to feel for (empathise with) someone who has experienced rape and sexual violence.  So essentially, porn is teaching people that violent and non consensual sex (and let’s be clear – non consensual sex = rape) is ‘normal’.  Porn is not normal or real. Sex in the real world can be messy, embarrassing, funny, playful, exciting, awkward and sometimes even a little bit boring. Sex in the real world has wobbly bits, body hair, blemishes, random noises and smells and even bumping foreheads or teeth. And that makes it far more intimate and real than sex on Planet Porn.

How much do you really know about porn? Head to the Fun and Videos page to take a quiz on Porn Sex vs. Real Sex.