The first time a person is confronted with porn, it's a shock. Why does exposure to porn have such a profound effect on the mind? Why is it a trauma? Why does the adrenaline level escalate as it does in other trauma cases?
It is a boundary issue. It's a conscience issue. It's a human rights issue.
We know that we should respect another person's boundaries, but porn purposely confuses the mind by suggesting that the porn performer is inviting us to invade and invalidate the normal boundary, disguising sexual abuse as 'normal' sexual behaviour or even as a sport or entertainment.
An internal conflict (cognitive dissonance) is instantly set up. The mind's dialogue is pushed to make a judgment/moral decision. It might be, "This is wrong! It's horrendous what is being done to that person. I'm outraged and disgusted and I will be on guard against being confronted with abusive images in future." Or, if the unsuspecting male viewer has painful emotional injuries, the internal dialogue might be very different. Very often, an emotionally needy viewer sees a naked female who appears to be inviting him into her sexual zone. He projects his deep need to be loved and desired onto the porn performer, imagining that she desires him; she would never reject him; she values him. The projection of emotionally positive qualities onto the porn performer legitimises his action to engage in sexual relations with the stranger. He loses his grip on reality and no longer imagines this prostitute to be a stranger. Soon he imagines her to be 'his' sexual partner. So his decision is made. "This is wrong, but I'm going to do it anyway." The man's emotional needs cloud his judgment and he doesn't see the violence he is commiting against the porn performer and himself, further deepening his emotional wounds. "When you sexualize violence against women, you render the violence invisible.” (Gail Dines in "The Price of Pleasure" http://bit.ly/mcspFh).
When a person makes the decision to sexually abuse somebody and dehumanise them, they have made a decision to commit violence against them. Contrary to the words of Bob Seger in his extremely pornified song called, "Night Moves," just because two people make decisions to sexually abuse each other, doesn't make that a non-abusive arrangement. Night Moves was released in 1976. The lyrics confused teenagers in the 70's about normal sexual behaviour.
Re-write it, Bob!
Bob Seger's lyrics claim that two selfish people can sexually abuse each other, but not harm or be harmed by 'getting their share, when neither one cared." Trying to convince himself that 'neither one cared' is ridiculous - unless he is claiming that he and his partner are both psychopaths. Bob would certainly care if the other party mocked his back seat efforts, called him a turn-off, told him he was a failure, had bad breath etc. Bob's female 'partner' would certainly care if Bob called her fat, compared her unfavourably to another woman, told her that he, like Mick Jagger 'can't get no satisfaction.' The risk of being emotionally gutted is exceptionally high when people engage in the gamble of one night stands, hookups or emotionally disconnected sexual behaviour.
Porn trains people not to care for others. "No-one cares - they're all getting their share!" Porn trains people to behave in narcassistic ways - super selfishly, focused on their own satisfaction at the expense of others. Porn is training our society to become more intensively abusive. However the argument is that disconnected sexual interaction makes people happy, but why then do porn performers and prostitutes suffer so much emotional anguish that the overwhelming majority have to resort to drugs, alcohol and pain-killers to cope with the stark reality of not caring that they are being used and knowing that they are not being cared for. If the 'job' brought them such wonderful satisfaction, wouldn't they line up to do their performances for free? The only conclusion is that these women recognise they are being used, but they have decided that if they are going to be used, they will get something out of the abusive arrangement - money. Porn is sexual abuse. Prostitution is sexual abuse.
Dr Tim Jennings explains (in his YouTube video linked below) that during sexual interaction, the brain is bombarded with chemicals - most importantly, dopamine and oxytocin (the bonding chemical). To deny that these chemicals are active during sexual inteaction is to deny our human biological science!
When Bob Seger claimed in his song "Night Moves" that 'neither one cared, we were getting our share' that's not an accurate description of what actually happens. Normal bonding hormones are released during enjoyable sexual relations, but 'modern' expectations are that these bonding responses should be seen as unnatural inhibitions to 'free love.' Somehow human beings are supposed to be able to enjoy having sexual contact with multiple strangers and yet not suffer any emotional pain when the bonding hormones impact their brain.
If we play with fire - our own brain chemicals, why should we be surprised when we are burned/hurt?
Porn insists that viewers purposely isolate themselves emotionally from their sexual 'partners.' Some viewers succeed in insulating themselves and shutting down their intimate emotional responses. They become accustomed to using and abusing others to gain sexual gratification. Other viewers can't completely overcome the desire to bond with the sexualised strangers in porn and prostitution and hookups, and these users project their emotional needs onto the porn performer.
People who think they 'need' a sexual outlet by interacting with a sexual stranger, can be classified as being hypersexualised. Well adjusted single people (and even celebate people) don't 'need' sex. Well adjusted couples enjoy sex as part of a healthy, permanent, exclusively committed, emotinally intimate relationship, but they too, don't 'need' sex.
In contrast, in the same way as a drug addict is driven by his cravings, so hypersexualised people fear not being able to get their next 'hit' of sexual activity.
Sexual interaction for a hypersexualised person (incorrectly termed 'a sex addict') is not about giving and sharing emotional connection with someone they care about; its focus is on taking from someone else, manipulating them if necessary, to satisfy their sexual cravings. The goal is achieve physical release by using any sexualised object they can locate - naive, young people; emotionally injured people; porn performers; prostitutes or hookups. Both men and women can become hypersexualised.
While all those who seek 'sex with strangers' are emotionally wounded, they seem to form along an emotional spectrum. At one end of the spectrum are those who are still trying to gain emotional closeness, comfort and bonding by engaging in sexual interaction with strangers. They are 'looking for love' ie emotional connection coupled with sexual release. This awkward strategy, is of course, the reverse of how a normal, healthy relationship develops. At the other end of the emotional spectrum are those who perhaps are said to 'have no soul' - the psychopaths, sociopaths, narcissists or other serious personality issues. "They are getting their share" and they just don't care about how their actions effect others.
The idea of having 'sex with strangers' is anti-human. Scientists who have studied the brain and how it behaves during sexual interaction reveal that it is normal for human beings to bond emotionally during physical sexual connection.
Sex was meant to bond two people together in love. It was never meant to be a non-bonding, emotionally detached activity. The human brain does not respond during sexual activity in the same way as it functions during other emotionally independant activities. The human brain is not wired to function during sex as if sex was a sport or entertainment. Sex is not designed to dehumanise, objectify or enslave another soul. Sex was meant to bind the couple in love.
Dr Tim Jennings explains the chemistry in the video "The Chemistry of Sexual Activity" below.
All Porn is Violence
Porn is a violent attack against a person's privacy, sexual identity, boundaries, dignity, emotional health and mental well-being. As with all addictions, with repeated exposure, the brain adapts to the shock/trauma. Sexual abuse and the invasion of other people's boundaries becomes habitual and appears less damaging especially when society condones the sexual abuse. This is called becoming desensitised to porn, or specifically, becoming desensitised to the trauma of sexually abusive imagery.
The violence that is committed against the porn performer causes an adrenaline rush. There should be no adrenaline rush where there is no danger as is the case in a mutually loving, committed, emotionally intimate relationship. The continuation of porn use and sexual abuse will cause a psychological injury called hypersexualisation. This is the stage where pornified, hypersexualised people are told, "Get your head out of the gutter" because all of their thoughts seem to revolve around abuse of the sex organs.
Just because porn has been forced on you every time you have to go online for work or research or even to just surf the internet, it doesn't mean that each exposure is not injuring you or altering your perception of what is normal, respectful sexual behaviour.
In fact, scientific research proves the opposite. Our thinking and attitudes definitely change when we are exposed to everything and anything. The world of advertising confirms that truth many times over. Companies keep on pushing their adverts, paying large sums of money to do so, despite knowing that people don't usually want to watch their adverts. The merchants' motto seems to be, "Keep confronting the mind and it will surrender eventually."
Our eyes need to be guarded, along with our ears as these two senses are particularly targeted for abuse by the porn pushers/advertisers/merchants.
Continued Exposure Causes Desensitisation
Sexual abuse occurs by being confronted with unsolicited exposure to porn imagery online. Online sexual abuse can be identified and includes the following:
visual rape (being confronted with unwanted sexualised images when online);
being sexually aroused/irritated without the viewer's request or consent;
being shocked/traumatised when exposed to unwanted sexualised imagery;
being exposed to triggering imagery while trying to recover from sexual abuse addiction;
victims of sexual abuse experiencing trauma/flashbacks when confronted with unwanted sexual imagery, sounds, scenes;
misinformation about normal, human, adult sexual behaviour;
abusive, disrespectful, painful, power-imbalanced sexualised behaviour being accepted and condoned as being normal human sexual behaviour; and
sexualised violence against another person (adult or child) or animal.