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Perceptions from a Porn User

Posted by Alex on 09.March.2015

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Russell Brand is a well known an actor, author, radio host and activist. He also hosts a YouTube channel called “The Trews”. Recently he published a video entitled “50 Shades – Has Porn Ruined My Chance Of A Happy Marriage?” (Disclaimer: This video contains some language that may offend, view at your own discretion). He speaks not only about 50 Shades, but also about the media centered culture in North America as a whole.

As is the norm for YouTube's comment section, people were quick to weigh in, either in disagreement or defense. Russell expresses an interesting view. As a long-time porn user he briefly explains the role that it has played in his life, as well as the contrast between the influence and access of pornography during his teenage years and now.

There are three things in particular to address here.  First, he talks about the influence of prolonged exposure to porn in adolescence. One of the biggest advances in pornography in recent years is the way in which it is accessed. Before the advent of high speed Internet, people who wanted to view pornography had to intentionally go looking for it. Magazines or films had to be purchased, kept, and oftentimes hidden. When wanting to view something new, it had to be purchased. Today, in contrast, a quick Google search will yield access to endless amounts of pornography.  

According to Forbes, as of 2011, pornography accounted for 4% of the million most popular websites on the Internet and 13% of web searches. In reality, there is no way to know exactly how many websites are pornographic, but they exist and are readily available. Pornography seems to be a low risk means to an end—sexual gratification. When combined with its availability, this makes it an enticing opportunity. Russell addresses the consumer’s perception of the actors and actresses in pornography. He raises the question of whether it is possible to view pornography without objectifying the people in the videos.

He also speaks briefly about the idea of porn as an addiction ­– based on his own experience. Although researchers are currently divided on the subject of porn addiction, it remains an important part of this conversation. The fact that researchers find addictive patterns difficult to accurately study due to a lack of a control group (people who don’t watch porn) speaks for itself.

Pornography allows its users to detach from reality. People viewing industry-produced pornography are watching actors and actresses pretend to feel a certain way.  The intimacy is pretense, therefore a false type of intimacy. As a result, pornography separates the physical act of sex from intimacy in a relationship, leaving it one-dimensional. 

Russell Brand is a user, but not a fan, of pornography. He recognizes its potential influence on the young and is honest about his own struggle to quit using pornography. He is not alone in this, but we applaud his honestly and advocate for more conversation on this topic. For more information check these websites out fight the new drug and your brain on porn.

Check out some of our other blogs on this topic.