Ok, so previously I blogged about the pornography filter. Although I am still vehemently opposed to government restriction on what consenting adults can choose to do, I will contradict my earlier work as follows.
Pornography is NOT natural.
Big statement that I will have to back up. Ok, so being attracted to attractive human beings is normal. Choosing to look at/create/be part of static images of naked people is also more natural. Our brains are capable of telling the difference between a static photograph or painting and real life. But video pornography. This is where things get complicated.
There is a growing body of evidence (I will cite this when I can be bothered to sit down and look up references but I have a load of extra work to do, so this is secondary to my current aims) that supports a claim that the hormonal shift associated with masturbating to orgasm whilst viewing sexually explicit videos does not create a distinction between the actual act occurring and the simulated act occurring on the screen; in short, our rational brains are no match for powerful biochemistry.
This creates pathways, that associate the viewing of pornography with arousal, and deviates from the norm of finding a partner attractive. We are now encountering a growing body of young men who suffer from anorgasmia, anarousal and a plethora of other problems. I can count myself in this number.
Yes, I also used to view pornography on a regular basis. And it did two things that I was not aware that it was doing. The first is that ruined my bedroom experience. Real women are complex human beings with emotions and pornography always fails to convey this. In short, women in porn do things that real women would never ever do. Clearly this creates some degree of disappointment; women don't match up to expectations. Well clearly one would turn back to what wasn't creating disappointment. Which is a relationship killer.
The second is that it changed my perception of women. I would wonder completely inappropriate questions (does she shave her pubic hair, I wonder if she like sucking dick) when dealing with friends, relatives etc. that were female. I viewed women as sexual objects. Not as human beings with feelings and emotions and issues. No that was secondary to my aims. And it is this casual objectification that I am thoroughly opposed to.
Now I am presenting anecdotal evidence which is one of the worst forms of evidence but I can only come from my experience.
I first encountered the nofap community on 4chan, many years ago. Back then I thought it was laughable, but then I read some of their work. Now I disagree with no masturbating. Masturbation is completely normal and isn't harmful. It's the gratification that's the problem. I found myself in a hole that was attributable entirely to pornography use. So I finally made the decision, back in April, to stop. And I did. And although I've slipped from the wagon once or twice, I've made a conscious decision to stop viewing explicit images and videos. And I've noticed a few changes. For the first time in my life, I could see the objectification of women. And it horrified me that a) it was so prevalent and b) that I had been a part of this. Women are judged by male dominated society for their EVERY decision. Institutions such as science and medicine are set up to exclude typically female desires (such as having a family, settling down etc.) And it is vile.
The second is that I no longer feel pressure when I chat with females. I have always had a lot of female friends but when I was in the sway of my pornography addiction, I would have intrusive thoughts about them on a regular basis. This has been abated entirely. I no longer wonder about the bodies of friends. I accept it's not my business. And it's great. My friendships feel so much better now, and I don't feel dirty anymore. It's a fantastically liberating experience.
So, it's not prudish to give up porn. Personally I'd recommend it. Do yourself a favour and quit watching it, and watch your anxieties and problems fade away, and your life should (if you allow it) blossom!