Cybersex and its ramifications

By  |  0 Comments

By Matt Barnett

As a former high school teacher, it is clear to this writer, that one issue that we all face in our time, is the proliferation of pornography and its new effortless accessibility. But what are the ramifications surrounding this ‘issue’? Is it even an issue at all? In short, is pornography a negative or a positive thing?

The advent of the internet has undoubtedly had an impact on modern day culture; we are clearly living in the digital information age. In stating the obvious, the internet has created the phenomenon whereby we don’t have to visit the library to attain information any more. Most referencing is done, now days, quoting online sources. (Do doctor’s surgeries even still stock ‘National Geographic’ magazine? In fact, this writer was in a doctor’s surgery just yesterday and didn’t recall seeing even a trace of a magazine during the waiting period but remained in stasis checking an I phone with everyone else.)

Today, we are arguably spoilt for information. We can search for anything, and in less than one second, find the answer. We receive the answer in the form of web sites almost instantaneously. But what are the ramifications of this? Were we designed to live in such a fast paced, high-powered world? Can we cope with all of this information and still live healthy lives? Is there such a thing as a healthy life, and what does that look like?

Whole teams of professions and professionals have dedicated their lives, devoting themselves entirely to answering this question, and a typical life will have multiple and diverse ‘input’ from multiple sources. General Practitioners, Psychiatrists, Psychologists, Nutritionists, Homeopaths, Naturopaths, Personal Trainers, Coaches, Life Coaches, Philosophers and Ministers all have strong opinions on what constitutes the answer to this question, and these opinions may, in some cases, differ vastly, and may not concur at all.

The result is that it is arguable that we now live in a time where the consumer is free to pick and choose which ‘information’ he or she chooses to use, or in fact discard; after all, we must remember that the answers that these professionals provide are, in fact, opinions, nothing more and nothing less.

One issue though, that they might not agree on, is where they stand when it comes to pornography, and in particular, internet pornography. As stated earlier, as a former teacher, one of the biggest battles faced, was seizing the kids attention, and in particular, away from social media, and even more perilous material. But again, is internet pornography perilous?

Perhaps a good place to start is to take an evidence based approach. A quick google search produces a plethora of material on the subject.

A particularly pertinent site states that pornography creates an emotional bond with an artificial world, and that all people have a critical need for human intimacy and emotional connection with others, and that when someone views pornography, they end up creating an intimate bond with an artificial, fake world and can actually lose the ability to bond with real people.

It states that pornography is sex without intimacy, and is about sex being used for the wrong reasons, and is sex without emotional closeness, and that the underlying hunger remains unsatisfied, and that the viewer starts wondering what is wrong with their relationships and gets irritated or depressed, and that people end up feeling emotionally empty and disconnected from those around them.

It states that pornography is ultimately unsatisfying, and that while pornography use may result in a short term high, it eventually results in feelings of emptiness, low self-esteem and deep loneliness, and that it creates emotional distance in relationships, and that because the world of pornography is artificial and cannot satisfy the need for emotional intimacy, this basic need remains unmet, creating an appetite for more and more. It states that pornography triggers an addiction cycle in the brain, and that studies show that using pornography use may result in actual brain function changes in someone who has an addiction: alcohol, drugs, or pornography. Because pornography use can become an actual addiction, viewers are not able to stop through their own will power. It states that pornography addicts will need to engage in the same difficult recovery process a drug addict has to go through.

It states that pornography is unfulfilling, and that using pornography to feel pleasure and escape feelings of low self-esteem, anxiety, boredom and frustration creates a gateway for addiction, and that when the rush of pleasure disappears, the feelings a user is trying to escape from appear stronger than ever, and they are compelled to repeat the cycle. Over time, their brain chemistry is altered and a full-fledged addiction occurs.

It states that there is a great deception, and that, while initially, you were attracted to pornography because of the positive things it did for you, (“I love the rush I feel,” “this is my favourite pastime,” “I feel lonely,” “This is my reward for making it through a rough day…”) Eventually, it will do just the opposite. (“I no longer feel an emotional response to anything,” “There is nothing in my life I enjoy doing,” “I feel totally isolated from the world,” “My anxiety levels are at an all-time high…)

It states that pornography is an imitation of the real thing, and that with pornography, we use sex as a substitute for nurture, intimacy, and love, and that sex is no longer a wonderful source of connection between our deepest selves and a beloved partner; it becomes a commodity used to avoid intimacy and mask needs that should be met through human connections.

It states that because pornography is an addictive substance, it creates an appetite for itself, and that it creates an appetite which increases over time as you spend more and more time viewing pornography, and that the time viewing pornography can jeopardize work, relationships and interests in healthy pastimes. It states that with pornography, over time, the pornography the viewer first started viewing becomes mundane, and that users escalate to view things that once they would have considered as going too far or totally wrong, and that users feel increasing desire to do things which will damage their reputation and their relationships.

The web site states that, in the long run, pornography will not sure up a shaky ego, will not fill the emptiness left from childhood wounds or abandonment, will not save a shaky relationship or a failing marriage and is not satisfying, and that, in fact, it will magnify each emotional wound from the past and cripple your ability to meet your essential needs, damage your ability to have a healthy relationships and leave you unable to sexually or emotionally respond to your partner.

There is help out there, though, but that information would constitute a separate article.

Find us on FacebookFind us on FacebookFind us on FacebookFind us on Facebook