21 Men Reveal How Porn Shaped Their Views Of Sex

In an age of unprecedented access to pornography, there seems to be one central — and polarizing — question: Is porn detrimental or benign to the way young men learn about and understand their sexuality?

It’s a question that’s been tricky to answer, given the range of experiences men have with porn. Much of the research out there points to porn as a source of relationship strain and the cause of infidelity and sexual dissatisfaction. Other studies, however, have found that porn has no effect on sexual functioning.

Opinions on the matter vary, too: Many Americans — 71 percent, according to a 2014 survey — think porn is morally unacceptable, while others consider it a matter of erotic rights.

When it comes to porn, what we do know is that a good sexual education outside of viewing pornography has become increasingly important — as many men learn, porn isn’t always such a good indicator of what sex IRL is like.

To gain a little insight on how men interpreted their first glimpses of porn, we (unscientifically) polled our male readers, asking them to tell us how they thought it shaped their sexual development. Within 24 hours, we received nearly 150 responses.

Some men said they learned about sex through early Internet-era downloads, while others caught their first glimpse of nudity via stolen issues of Hustler. And everyone who responded seemed to get something different out of the experience. How a guy interpreted the porn he saw really depended on the guy.

Here’s what 21 men had to say:

1. “I mostly learned about sex from porn, rather than sex ed.”

I was in 5th grade when I first looked up porn, around the same —> Read More

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