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3 Lies Porn Taught Me About Sex

by Tyler Ward on July 1st, 2014 in Men

3-lies-porn-taught-me-about-sex-blogSadly, most people—both men and women—don’t know what sex is today.

It was a fall day in third grade. I jumped off the bus and abided by my normal routine of climbing my next-door neighbor’s fence and knocking on the front door to join Jackson, my next door neighbor, in whatever nonsense he was getting into that day.

From the moment he opened the door, something about the wild in his eyes and the smirk on his face told me today was different. He anxiously invited me in, quietly shut the door behind me, and ran upstairs. I followed him to the back of the house where a storage closet opened up to a walk-in attic.

Apparently his mom wasn’t aware of the dozen boxes of Playboys packed away when she asked Jackson to organize the attic that day. He wasn’t sad about her ignorance, and neither were my preteen hormones. We spent the next sixty minutes skimming the magazines and creating misconceptions about sex that would take me years to understand.

My earliest sexual awakening was built on fantasizing about women who weren’t actually real. These bad ideas about sex continued to be facilitated by the occasional exposure to pornography throughout my teenage years. And even though I never developed an addiction, my exposure was enough to keep me thoroughly misinformed about sex.

Most men have their own version of this story. According to recent statistics in 2013, 85% of men look at pornography at least once a month. And part of the 85% or not, we’ve all likely been misinformed about sex by marketers and the media throughout our lives.

Pornography has lied to us about sex. (Tweet This!) It elicits and perpetuates ideas about intimacy that are actually more about fantasy than they are about real sex. It has taken a gift given to us to cultivate a lasting relationship and turned it into an act of self-fulfillment. It has—both subtly and significantly—stolen from the meaning, beauty, and long-term benefits of sex for most men today.

Here are 3 lies porn taught me about sex.

1. Sex is conquest.
The woman on that computer screen requires nothing more than that you look at her. And though conquering her in your mind may somehow make you feel validated, there’s nothing truly validating about it.

Sex is so much more than some physical conquest or achievement. It’s designed to facilitate real, holistic connection—mind, body, and spirit. And though this artificial validation porn offers can be addictive, the holistic connection of real sex offers so much more than a momentary high.

The complete physical and emotional proximity of sexual intercourse,” says Mary Anne McPherson Oliver, “is the single most important factor in the creation of the couple’s unity and deeply, irrevocably, and continually alters the people involved.”

It’s no secret that if a man has any bit of explorer in him, it doesn’t take long to experience every part of his wife’s body. And sure, sex with her may not always be as “new and exciting” as with digital companions—but it’s far more excitingly dynamic, far more beneficial in the long-term, and far more human than pixelated images can ever be.

2. Sex is an escape.
Porn is not about sex,” Paula Hall, a sexual psychotherapist, says. “A man doesn’t need to look at pornography for six or seven hours if he just wants sexual gratification. It’s about escapism. It’s a secret world they can disappear into, as many addictions are.”

On the contrary, sex in marriage requires that we actually show up. (Tweet This!) And not just with our bodies, but with our whole selves—physically, emotionally, spiritually, and psychologically. Sadly, these artificial sexual experiences that seem to effortlessly remove us from our world of stress and uncertainty have been said to make real sex not feel worth the effort and vulnerability.

The truth is that artificial sex offers little more than a brief escape followed by a harsh return to the same stressful and uncertain reality.

In contrast, the effort and vulnerability involved in sex with your spouse is an investment with an incredible return. It offers holistic intimacy, rather than the emotional emptiness of porn. And while it is an effective stress-reliever, it also creates a long-term reality in your marriage and family that you likely won’t want to escape any time soon.

3. Sex is about an orgasm.
You offer nothing to that woman on the screen. She, on the other hand, offers you the chance to feel validated, to escape, and to indulge yourself with a few moments of pleasure. Therefore, your alleged experiences with her make the intentions of sex entirely about you and what you can get from her.

But real sex is designed with a different intention in mind.

Sex is scientifically proven to be one of the more effective cultivators of intimacy in marriage. As one expert puts it, “There’s convincing evidence that oxytocin [the hormone released during sex] is involved in mediating stability, pair bonding, and monogamy; all the enduring parts of love.”

What your spouse offers you are the true benefits of sex. And these benefits aren’t limited to the ecstasy of an orgasm—but include the physical, emotional, and spiritual connection that is cultivated with the person we get to wake up next to tomorrow morning.

It’s this enduring kind of love—real love, with a real woman—that’s worth abandoning fantasy for. And let’s make no mistake about it, you can’t have both.

 

 

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  • biz

    Thanks for this excellent post. I look forward to reading more in your latest book!!

  • Albibird

    My earliest sexual thoughts too were of a fantasy… a character from a computer game. Not even a main character. But he was one of the supporting good guys, and a bird – even then, I found that hot. Who could resist cuddling up to a lover with feathers?

  • Great post! An interesting look at the dangers of porn. I thought the three points were spot on!

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