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As requested by our donors, this is an episode on the effects of porn. While there is no causal evidence of aggression, healing, or change in perception there are many experiences people who consume porn have:
sensations of arousal
intense pleasure
changes in self-image
new body expectations of themselves or partners
desire for cosmetic surgery
acting dependent for arousal and pleasure
depression
fear
loneliness
divorce
more traditional gender roles
normal theatrical sex
expanded sexual knowledge
more experiences/experimentation
increases in communication
rise in sexual expression
self-doubt about the normalcy of their own sex lives
feelings of inadequacy or injustice about non-porn lives and partners
coercion to do what's on the screen
sexual harassment
exposure to sexual diversity (behaviors and identities)
sexual stimulation without rejection, infection, pregnancy, or criticism

...I'll share the reference list soon...

Thank you to everyone who made this video possible! Stay curious!
(Intro plays)

Lindsey: There's actually quite a bit of research on the effects of porn, but none of it settles whether or not porn is helpful or harmful. I did find a sort of common ground in this odd review of literature: the effects are not a result of the porn, they're a result of the people. In the words of the sociologist/sexologist Ira Reiss, "Our reactions to sexually arousing films or books provide insight into our personal sexual attitudes. What we are really reacting to is not the objective material but rather a projection of our own innermost feelings concerning the type of sexuality presented."

Take for example this glass of water. I'm going to put yellow food coloring in it, because this episode's about porn. The question is often, "Does porn cause aggressive sexual tendencies?" Dr. Reiss is suggesting that's like asking if water causes things to float. If we just put a cork in there, then the answer will be yes, but what about a lollipop, a key, or battery?

I know, displacement, density, but in this water these things, most things in this room would not float. Because, like tendencies of sexual aggression, it's not an effect of porn, it's an effect of personal sexual attitudes. You want to know the effects of porn? Depends on who's going in the water. So who?

50- 99 percent of men consume sexually explicit material.
67 percent of them think it's acceptable behavior.
30-86 percent of women consume it, 49 percent of them think it's acceptable.
90 percent came in contact with it by age 16, 50 percent by age 11.
I'll give you a moment with these stats.

These numbers are millions of unique individuals who comprise a multi-billion dollar market. Their experiences with porn, or what you may call the effects, are also varied and there are so many of them.

Here's the list so you can judge for yourself whether or not they're positive or negative. People who use pornography may experience: sensations of arousal, intense pleasure, changes in self-image, new body expectations of themselves or partners, desire for cosmetic surgery. Some people may act dependent on porn to become aroused or feel pleasure, 83% use it recreationally, 11% are at risk for reality like the remaining 6% who use it compulsively. This may lead to secondary experiences or effects to friends and family who may struggle with depression, fear and loneliness, some seek counseling and/or divorce.

The 44% of partners who watch porn with each other experience more dedication to the relationship, increased sexual satisfaction, and higher levels of intimacy. Other experiences: people who consume porn tend to hold more traditional gender roles, normalize theatrical sex; as in porn sex is thought to be the way sex "should be."

For many, pornography is a source of sexual education, leading to more sexual knowledge. With porn, people expand their sexual experiences, increase their communication, they say, "yeah, let's do that," or "no, I am not doing that." Sexual experimentation goes up, and sexual expression.

Some doubt if their own sexualities are normal and adequate, others may feel cheated by not having the sex lives of porn stars, or partners like porn stars. There's coercion to do what's on the screen, and sexual harassment. There's exposure to sexual diversity, behaviors and identities. An example is of a woman now knowing that squirting is natural. One of the most common experiences of porn I suppose is really an effect of masturbation: that you can have sexual stimulation without rejection, criticism, infections, pregnancy or a partner.

My take is that porn can be an industry that teaches healthy sexuality and positive attitudes toward others. Stay curious!

This episode was funded by generous support from viewers like you. Check it out! Patreon! To thank you for making Sexplanations possible, I asked which topic I should sexplain and the effect of the vote was the effects of porn. Thank you to everyone for the cool opportunity to stay curious.

It is like porn, see, cuz you get wet. (laughs)