By Professor Gail Dines

Teens raised on porn have trouble with the real thing.

Gail Dines is a professor of sociology and women’s studies at Wheelock College in Boston. Her latest book Pornland: How Porn Has Hijacked Our Sexuality looks at how a generation bought up with hardcore porn is now finding it difficult to form intimate and lasting relationships.

The internet allows access to hardcore porn 24 hours a day. According to Professor Dines this has changed the way many men view sex.  Research shows that some boys start to access internet porn as young as 11 years old, often before they have had a chance to form any healthy relationships with girls.  Instead they are accessing images of brutal sex acts designed to “dehumanise women”.

Prof Dines said “In the vast majority of porn today, sex is not about making love, as the feelings and emotions we normally associate with such an act – connection, empathy, tenderness, caring, affection – are missing, and in their place are those we normally associate with hate – fear, disgust, anger, loathing, and contempt.”

In an unflinching look at the porn industry, this book examines the way porn shapes and limits sexual imaginations and expressions. It exposes the porn industry as a cruel, violent and harsh world of extreme behaviour.

In reality many young women are also affected by this porn culture; giving them doubts about their bodies, their sexuality and their relationships.  Increasingly their partners expect them to indulge in many of the sex acts they have seen. This is creating expectations that some teenage girls feel uncomfortable with but may end up conforming to in order to please their boyfriends. If they do not, they face the risk of losing them.

“Many of the men I talk to believe that porn sex is what women want, and they become upset and angry when their sex partner, perhaps their wife, girlfriend, or a one night hook-up, refuses to look or behave like their favourite porn star. The women often refuse to perform the sex acts the men have routinely enjoyed watching, and next to the screaming orgasms and sexual gymnastics of porn sex, real sex with real women starts to feel boring and bland,” said Prof Dines.

The book also highlights the fact that increasing some men are finding it difficult to reach orgasm without pulling up porn images in their head or think about having sex with their favourite porn star when they are with their partners. This disconnects them from their partner emotionally while desensitising them to the sexual acts they are performing.

Prof Dines argues that rather than sexually liberating or empowering us, porn presents us with a series of acts which are disconnected from human emotions and intimacy.

These acts are performed without the boundaries of equality and respect and outside a caring, loving and committed relationship; the emphasis is on personal self gratification rather than the giving and receiving of mutual pleasure.

Prof Dines concludes “As long as we have porn, women will never be seen as full human beings deserving of all the rights that men have. This is why we need to build a vibrant movement that fights for a just society.”

Writer Helen Splarn. Editor Dr Ramesh Manocha
Source: Pornland: How Porn Has Hijacked Our Sexuality by Prof Gail Dines