I recently talked to another blogger on Substack who invited me to do a curation challenge he did to get in the flow of putting his work out there. A long-form essay or blog composition can sometimes be difficult if you’re not used to writing consistently and publishing on a deadline, so I decided to try the curation format. After all, I’m consuming content throughout the week anyway; I might as well talk about a few things that stood out.
Americans are having far less sex than normal.
A recent study indicates that Americans are having less sex. The study suggests that the sexual behavior of a population, whether it be solo or partnered, “contribute to mental and physical health, sexual and gender identity development, reproduction, cognitive function, happiness, sexual pleasure and well-being, interpersonal relationships, and quality of life.”
“They found that while 24% of adults reported not having penile-vaginal intercourse over the prior year in 2009, 28% of adults reported not having intercourse over the prior year in 2018. Adolescents were also increasingly abstinent – 79% reported not having sex over the previous 12 months in 2009, while 89% reported not having sex over the previous 12 months in 2018.
The data also permitted the researchers to estimate how often the average American adult aged 18-49 has sex each year. In 2009, it was about 63 times. In 2018, it was about 47 times.”
When narrowing in on the younger demographic, the article linked above says:
A number of potentially convergent social and cultural changes may contribute to these substantial shifts in young people’s sexual behaviors. Widespread internet connectivity and emerging new technologies have added a new medium for providing sexual experiences outside of physical sex with a partner (e.g., sexting, easy access to sexually explicit media)
The study also says that “although there has been a significant decrease in partnered sex, an increase in sexual behaviors described as aggressive and violent, such as choking or slapping are being reported.”
So, partnered and solo sex are on the decline, but when we do engage, there is an uptick in aggressive and violent sexual behaviors?
If studying the sexual behavior of a society is an indicator of where they are holistically in terms of physical/cognitive well-being, what does it mean when we are sexually aggressive with one another?
Have we objectified one another so much that we can hardly stand to swap spit anymore, but when we engage in sex, we wanna slap that person around like they do in certain genres of pornography?
Speaking of porn.
Why spend the effort creating a meaningful connection with another human being when you can just type in ‘Romance’ on Pornhub and get all the hollow feels you want in an instant?
Pornhub just released their 2021 Year in Review
An excerpt from the review states:
The popularity of searches containing ‘romance’ and ‘romantic’ more than doubled, alongside a 139% increase in ‘passionate’ searches. Among Pornhub’s gay male visitors, searches for ‘bromance’ grew 288% in the last year.
Dr. Laurie tells us that “Human connection has become far more important this past pandemic year. Many people have experienced loneliness and isolation and may be craving love, intimacy and romance. So the next best thing to a partner it seems, are the fantasies of romance.”
It’s nice to see people are able to fulfill their desire for human connection via “the next best thing.” Is a porn category the next best thing to actual human connection, or is it a precursor to even less human-to-human intimacy?
I believe the latter is the case.
This is very interesting, though. When in the confines of loneliness and isolation, we fantasize about tender passion but are increasingly met with violent tendencies in the bedroom.
Don’t get me wrong. I understand that sometimes a little rough play is desired and asked for in a consensual way. But, where did the concept of being choked and slapped during sex come from? Porn seems to fetishize things that, in most circumstances, would not be considered appropriate in real life and, in some cases, are illegal.
Violence, rape, non-consensual acts, incest, etc., are all types of fantasies that porn introduces its audience to.
Some argue that these fetishes are merely fiction and should not be taken literally. Some may also argue that fetish porn is a good outlet and actually prevents people from acting out these things in real life.
I resist these notions and declare that porn perpetuates unrealistic expectations of sex. It preys on novel dopamine hits with increasingly extreme genres and drives more abuse and violence in our culture.
The fetishes that porn promotes do not prevent sexual exploitation and abuse from happening; it clearly normalizes it.
Porn strips away humanity down to the ultimate objectification and spoils something that, by all indications, is supposed to be, so healing researchers use it as a marker for societal prosperity.
In a recent interview, singer Billie Eilish told Howard Stern that porn destroyed her brain, and she wakes up with night terrors and sleep paralysis because of her exposure to violent and risky genres of pornography. She was exposed to it at the young age of 11, and her tastes became more extreme through years of watching it.
The naked truth is porn also destroys relationships, marriages, families, self-worth, patience, and civil equanimity. We are an angry society and ripe for polarization because we already see each other as objects.
I can’t help but wonder if porn now supersedes sex out of convenience. We are a contactless delivery people now, which seems to apply to our sexual lives as well.
By the way, porn fuels sex trafficking and violence against women and children. There is no way to tell whether the pornography you are watching is consensual or coerced.
This story is about my nephew’s friend. She was trafficked here in the United States. The article is graphic, horrific, and hits way too close to home.
Last year I started donating to a foundation called Fight The New Drug. Its mission is to educate the public about the perils of pornography through peer-reviewed research and personal accounts. I am not affiliated with this organization, but I appreciate the work they are doing to get the message out.
Donate as well if you feel called.
So, Americans are having less sex yet watching more pornography, playing more video games, and generally escaping their lives and avoiding contact with one another in a myriad of ways.
More research needs to be done to determine if the decrease in sex is somehow correlated to the increased access to internet pornography. All I know is my home state Utah needs to chill! (see below)
I have many thoughts about why Utah has such a high rate of porn subscriptions, but I’ll save those for another post.
Instead of my usual podcasts section, I will leave you with this infographic containing some pornography statistics.