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Sharing about harmful effects of porn in a thread in feminism

(39 Posts)
Italiangreyhound Mon 11-Apr-16 18:20:31

Over on chat we are having a helpful but rather sickening conversation about porn and it's negative effects on young people.

www.mumsnet.com/Talk/_chat/2610074-Anybody-up-for-a-general-chat-about-the-damaging-effects-of-porn-on-young-people

This was prompted by originally sharing the article on this thread...

www.mumsnet.com/Talk/womens_rights/2609569-Very-sad-article-about-porn-and-how-it-affects-relationships-for-young-women

I just thought, as Chat threads disappear after 30 days, that people may wish to share their stories anonymously of negative experiences of porn and other may wish to write to their MP about how porn is harming our nation's children.

I am not interested in positive experiences or free will choices, I am interested in young people negatively impacted by porn (or older people who were impacted negatively by its use in the past) or people (women and men) negatively impacted by working or being coerced to work in the porn industry.

I am well aware MPS may not want to read a thread on Mumsnet but Mumsnet themselves may wish to take this further and sharing stories in one place like this may be of use. You could still point your MP to it!

Please only share your own true insights or information you are permitted to share on behalf of another anonymously. I recognise this is all anecdotal but I also feel sharing, and being heard, could be useful.

This is for anyone who wants to share or read about ways:

to share the damaging effects of porn and early viewing or porn, - so to de-normalise it

to inspire others to write to their MP about safer controls or any other measures to challenge the view that porn is normal and that it is not dehumanising

to share resources to fight porn/useful links etc

to share ways of talking to children about it

and finally, to assist people in contacting their schools about this type of thing.

Thank you.

MatildaBeetham Mon 11-Apr-16 18:31:16

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Italiangreyhound Mon 11-Apr-16 19:44:29

Thank you Matilda let's hope others agree!

onahorsewithnoname Mon 11-Apr-16 19:55:51

The ubiquitous smartphone makes it impossible to prevent young people being affected by porn. I don't know what the answer is but it's truly terrifying.

Italiangreyhound Mon 11-Apr-16 20:09:38

But onahorsewithnoname are you saying because people have access to something they will use it? Apparently kids have access to drugs from a young age, school age, they can buy alcohol young too, I was smoking at 12 and drinking in a pub at 15, but I don't think everyone was. I was offered various drugs at 16 and sex with total strangers and did not take people up on the offer.

It just means are kids need to know. You don't need to look at that shit, you don't need to be pushed into watching it, its degrading to others and degrading to you too as the voyeur (age-appropriate language, of course) and schools need to be empowered to remove phones in school time if they are miss-used.

Italiangreyhound Mon 11-Apr-16 20:10:14

Sorry, they can buy alcohol young too should be they can access alcohol young too

Italiangreyhound Mon 11-Apr-16 20:10:49

are kids - sorry our kids

VestalVirgin Mon 11-Apr-16 22:42:10

But onahorsewithnoname are you saying because people have access to something they will use it?

I wonder the same thing. I successfully managed to not even own a smartphone, and to never watch porn.

Children are not mindless little robots that will just do everything just because they can - though I admit peer pressure may be a problem for other people. (Not for me. I had few friends, and they never tried to pressure me.)

All that is needed to keep children away from porn is the same method you use to keep them away from drugs; the "just say no" method.

(Unless that comment about smartphones was with regard to the possibility of a teenager viewing porn on his smartphone and waving it in front of unsuspecting classmates, but somehow I don't think that's something that happens often.)

You can't protect children from being indirectly affected by the fact that others view porn, but that doesn't have much to do with smartphones.

Italiangreyhound Mon 11-Apr-16 23:01:57

VestalVirgin Re "Unless that comment about smartphones was with regard to the possibility of a teenager viewing porn on his smartphone and waving it in front of unsuspecting classmates, but somehow I don't think that's something that happens often."

I think this may happen, kids may tell kids to watch it, so we need to tell our kids both it is not OK to watch porn and * it is not ok for one kid to force you to look at anything you don't want to look at* so empower our kids to actively say no, as you say, just as we encourage them to say no to drugs and smoking and alcohol.

I wish some 'celebs' would come out against porn just as sports people came out against smoking.

IdealWeather Thu 14-Apr-16 21:42:01

When looking at some links from the thread in the OP, I came across that article in The Telegraph about an app to use by schools to talk about porn.

The article is very negative about it, saying that it will only serve to increase the interest of teenagers and make them aware of something they don't know about they clearly haven't see the stats about how many teenagers have come across porn.
The questions they want teenagers to ask are interesting.
Eg Why is a porn film always finishing when the guy has ejaculated? Etc...

I would prefer free porn to be banned but it's so pernicious that it will hard to police TBH.

So I much prefer education. Not just a 'don't go near that' type of approach but dissembling what porn actually is. What is happening to the porn 'stars', what sort of message is it giving about having sex, about relationship, is that appropriate etc etc
Lots of people (and I suspect esp teenagers) will find porn titilliating (sp??) and attractive. What we need to fight first and foremost is its influence and how it is seen, the same way that drugs aren't seen as good for you (even though there are plenty of people to say that they are OK too) etc... We need to be sure that they know that what they see is a film and will stay as fantasy, just like they will never drive their car the same way that James Bond does in Spectre. So no naked photos from their girlfriend, etc...

And then we need to educate much more about abuse, sexual abuse, coercion, emotional abuse. All the stuff such as 'I'll kiss you if you give me a blowjob' or 'let's get sex out of the way so we can have a nice time together'. Because of these behaviours are abusive but it seems that neither boys nor girls (nor a lot of the adults?) want/are able to see that for what it is.

VestalVirgin Thu 14-Apr-16 22:07:27

We need to be sure that they know that what they see is a film and will stay as fantasy, just like they will never drive their car the same way that James Bond does in Spectre

The problem with that is that, unlike James Bond's stunts, the sex in porn is real. The women in porn are real. The harm done to them is very real.

I have met men who thought porn was not real the way James Bond movies are not real, and therefore thought watching porn a harmless activity.

While maybe it is better for girls if their boyfriends would never do the things that the men in porn do to a "real" woman, this doesn't solve the demand for porn, and the harm done to the women who are coerced, financially or otherwise, into prostituting themselves in this way. (I consider it prostitution - that it is not the men they have sex with that pay them doesn't make much of a difference in the long run)

Italiangreyhound Thu 14-Apr-16 22:18:06

Vestal re "I consider it prostitution - that it is not the men they have sex with that pay them doesn't make much of a difference in the long run...." Totally true.

0phelia Thu 14-Apr-16 22:43:28

I'm not on the other threads, but I have been affected by the rise of free internet porn in my profession as a sex worker.

Back in 1997, there was a review forum called "Galahad" for users of prostitutes to rate their local, named fave prostitute. This then evolved to become "Punternet" over a couple of years. This spread like wildfire and also coincided with internet porn booming.

Over that time (from about year 2000) I saw a big increase in demand for OWO (Oral sex without a condom)
I also began to see an increase in demand for Anal sex.
Then an increase in demand for bareback (PIV without condom).

Comparing the work I did before year 2000 with years 2010 untill now, it's like a different planet.

The expectations of men are so high.

I speak with "Old-school" workers and users regularly, and we all agree sex has changed.

The impact of free and prevalent hardcore pornography has changed both male and female expectations, but predominately it is men driving these demands.

Men see it like a badge of honour to do certain acts on women, and are getting these ideas from porn.

bitofadoormat Thu 14-Apr-16 23:05:12

Good idea. Just checking my name change still working so I can post experience.

bitofadoormat Fri 15-Apr-16 00:21:26

I'm 24. My ex was a little older. We were together as teens until recently.

I believe he is/was addicted to porn.

He behaved in a manner similar to an addict. Needing a bigger "hit" to get the same high.

We first met when he was 16. Sweet, fairly innocent. A virgin. We were each other's firsts.

He probably looked at porn then too, but not as obsessively.

It's hard to pinpoint when it started. It was such a gradual change. Perhaps when he went to uni and made friends with some quite laddish guys.

At first sex was quite soppy and romantic. Neither of us knew what we were doing. Then he started suggesting things. Just new positions at first. I was curious about where he was discovering them and he sheepishly admitted it was from porn. I wasn't particularly surprised as it was widely accepted among my friends that guys watched porn.

It gradually progressed. I really wish I hadn't let it go on for so long.

He started wanting to do more "hardcore" things. Especially anal stuff. I didn't want to do anything.

He would sulk if we saw each other and didn't have sex. He never wanted to cuddle or kiss if it didn't lead to sex.

I ended up trying some things that he wanted because I didn't want to disappoint him. I felt disgusting, but let him do them again anyway. I'd pretend I enjoyed them even though I felt repulsed. Because I didn't want to be unsexy.

A lot of my friends have been through similar. There's so much pressure on young women, probably even worse now, to be "up for it" and willing to try everything.

I stuck with the relationship far longer than I should have and our break up was complicated. But one thing sticks in my mind. I'd recently been diagnosed with IBD. He told me that he was reconsidering our relationship because I'd never be able to have anal sex due to my condition. I reminded him that I've always been upfront about not wanting anal sex. And he told me that had been OK because he though I'd change my mind later on.

At the time I thought I was heartbroken but now I am glad to be free of him. But I'm scared to date again because I worry that many guys will be just as sex obsessed. And that there will be the expectation that I will do various things. I also worry that I so easily gave in to the pressure and sacrificed my own comfort and pleasure for his.

I have never had an orgasm. I do not enjoy masturbation, though I pretended to for his benefit. He told me it was a turn off that I didn't do it.

I faked an orgasm every single time we had sex for our entire eight year relationship. I don't know if he knew. I doubt he had ever bothered to learn anything about female orgasms so probably wasn't suspicious that I always came at the same time as he did.

So many of my memories of our relationship are of me "lying back and thinking of England" or rather "enthusiastically" participating in sex that did very little for me.

He was a really sweet guy before the porn. He used to watch it every night that we were apart. I used to occasionally nose in his browser history. He made little effort to cover his tracks. The most disturbing one was some sort of incest scenario (all adults). I asked him WTF he was watching and he claimed he had clicked by accident. There were all sorts of weird ones with groups and anal etc.

It progressed to chatting online to random women. And random women sending him naked photos. I feel so ashamed now that I put up with it all for so long.

But porn and anal sex and sex pressure is considered normal nowadays.

Italiangreyhound Fri 15-Apr-16 03:02:24

bitofadoormat thank you for sharing and I am so sorry to hear about your experiences. I hope you can come to terms with the past and meet someone new who will treasure you, cherish you and love you as you deserve to be loved and not treat you as a play thing.

If you feel it is helpful to explore some non-judgemental therapy, to help you move forward, that may help you. I had anxiety many years ago (not related to sex at all) and counselling really helped me.

0phelia thank you for coming and sharing your experiences.

I am curious, and please tell me to but out but do you have any plans to stop your line of work and change to do something else, or have you already?

For all the women pressurised into doing things you did not want to do- it is not your fault, I know you know that, but the pressure in our society to judge ourselves, judge if we do something and judge of we do not do something, is so strong. You are precious. thanks thanks thanks

Men who do not recognise your worth are not worth it!

0phelia Fri 15-Apr-16 08:26:25

Absolutely! I'm retiring the day I turn 40. This is not far off. I've made some investments so financially our family will be secure.

0phelia Fri 15-Apr-16 08:39:42

I often find the older men who didn't grow up with internet porn to be gentler and more respectful than the younger ones.

There's a tendency with the younger ones to want to slap you about a bit, that sort of thing. (Not after a sharp word from me though).

Grimarse Fri 15-Apr-16 08:45:54

Ophelia, do you have any colleagues/friends from other countries/cultures? We Brits have always been pretty uptight about sex, porn etc. Other countries (Nordics, Netherlands) have historically had a far more open attitude. I am wondering if this change in young men's behaviour is similar across the board, or whether it is more noticeable in the UK?

0phelia Fri 15-Apr-16 09:04:05

Grimarse Good question!

I find the Japanese and Germans to be the most respectful towards the working girls regardless of their generation. The Scandinavians are brilliant, very relaxed and matter of fact, comfortable in groups and good fun!

I'd say other European counties are seeing the same increase in the hardcore acts amongst their young men.

0phelia Fri 15-Apr-16 09:14:10

I know Japan is experiencing real problems and a predicted population collapse because so many of their young adults aren't having sex or going out.

Don't know enough to say if it's because of internet porn, but you sort of wouldn't be surprised if there was an element of that.

VestalVirgin Fri 15-Apr-16 12:06:06

I have never had an orgasm. I do not enjoy masturbation, though I pretended to for his benefit. He told me it was a turn off that I didn't do it.

So sad - good for you that you got rid of him!

But this seems to be a symptom of pornification - men think they want women to enjoy sex, but actually don't, they just want the illusion of it.

A woman who actually masturbates because she likes it is a woman who knows what she wants, sexually. And that is not what porn-addicted men really want, because it would mean they don't get to reenact porn.

Back when I became a feminist, the fact that many women had never had an orgasm was considered a symptom of male-centric sexuality, and masturbation was supposed to be empowering, something you did for yourself.

This "I want you to masturbate, but not because I think you'd enjoy it but because I have seen it in porn and it's a turn-on" is so perverted - fake sexual liberation. And it becomes so much harder to see the reality through all those lies.

If a man doesn't care whether you have an orgasm, you know that he doesn't care, but if he claims he wants you to have an orgasm, and tries new positions (that aren't intended to increase female sexual pleasure, but just to look cool in porn, but how would an inexperienced woman know?) you can get the feeling that there's something wrong with you, not him, when you still don't have an orgasm.
And as a result, there is a lot of pressure to pretend you enjoy it.

Now that I have written about this ... it is strangely similar to how the whole transgenderism thing distracts from the actual oppression actual women face.

This is patriarchy's new tactics, apparently: To pretend that everything has changed, while in fact, not much has changed at all.

crazycatdad Fri 15-Apr-16 13:12:06

But this seems to be a symptom of pornification - men think they want women to enjoy sex, but actually don't, they just want the illusion of it.

This. Porn not only gives the impression that women are routinely orgasming every other minute during sex, but that the men don't have to make any particular effort or talk to their partners about what does and doesn't feel good to make it happen. Harder and faster is always the answer in porn.

Italiangreyhound Fri 22-Apr-16 20:59:08

Anyone from the chat thread want to share there views on this one, as chat thread will disappear after a set period of time.

KindDogsTail Fri 22-Apr-16 22:15:37

I have just been looking back on this thread after Italian posted the link again from a Chat thread on the same subject.

Bitofadoormat I hope one day you will have a good relationship. I am so sorry for what happened. It is very sad as the guy sounded sweet to start with. Thank goodness that you put a stop to it. I am from an older generation and never have had to experience anything like that.

Ophelia thank you very much for coming on here and sharing what you know from your experiences.

I wonder if a person could actually ask a man before going out with him if they are into porn? I am so worried when I think of the young girls having to go through with horrific porn affected sexual non-relationships.

After browsing in W.H Smith's and looking in his book, I was recently interested by a guy called Matthew Hussey who has become a well known womens'
dating guru/coach even though he is only twenty seven himself. He seems to be extremely popular.

I thought some of his ideas sounded quite good for example about women holding up high standards for themselves, having passions, etc. So I was looking up more.
Then I saw that in an article in Glamour magazine he suggested a couple watch "Adult movies together".
e.g it seems all too possible he may be into porn and so desensitised at age twenty seven that he needs this to feel sexual enough.

He has a huge following. So now all the girls will think it is normal to watch porn while having sex. If anyone read those articles Gio posted recently and saw one girl's experiences with this, it is horrible to think what the repercussions can be.

Here is a quote from his "Try-sexual article" in Glamour Magazine

^3. Linger on the adult channel a little while.

Hussey says, "Many people see adult entertainment as cheap, dirty, and unnecessary. But the truth is, watching it with your partner can be a huge catalyst for an amazing sexual experience. I think a large part of why some people are shy about doing this with their partner is it's seen as a taboo and something someone watches when they don't have the real thing. Some are also afraid that their partner will pay the video more attention than them. This isn't the case. We know men are visual creatures, this is a simply a visual stimulation all while having the physical presence from you. It's the ultimate. Find a style that works for you and it will be like having a naughty third party there to turn you both on."^

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