Porn: the new normal

In response to my post yesterday, a reader in her early 30s wrote: “Here in the UK, doctors have started seeing girls as young as 12 turn up with anal prolapses and other rectal and vaginas traumas because watching porn is so endemic amongst teen boys that they think extreme and dangerous acts are the norm – plus the men in porn act like rapists too – and girls submit to these things (or are forced into them) also thinking this is part of ‘normal’ sex. And a friend of a friend is a sexual health advisor and over the last few years she’s seen a huge sea change not only in terms of what boys are demanding from girls but in terms of how girls view sex: when she talks to them about their pleasure, or what they like, they are utterly confused. Porn is teaching them that sex is about the awful, painful, degrading things that they have to accept boys doing to them. They didn’t even know stuff like it not being acceptable to be spat on, choked or called vile names. It’s utterly terrifying.”

A reader who works in the modelling industry replied: “I’m in Australia and have been sexually active since I was 14. (I’m now 43.) All those things you wrote in the last para ^ happened to me (+ more) & I thought i was being ‘sophisticated’ by being ‘adventurous’. It’s such a lie. And then it spreads to all areas of life/the relationship.”

And another reader wrote: “It is precisely what you say about thinking you’re being sophisticated etc. at the time and not being able to realise the impacts of this later in life. It scares me that roughed up violent sex is presented as the norm in porn. I used to think porn is harmless but there are so many horrible consequences from it and it shifts the goal posts of normal.”

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