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How Pornography is Shaping the Next Generation of Adults

Updated: Oct 29, 2018

Everybody watches porn nowadays: we are human, we have certain needs, and erotic pictures always help to 'grow the mood'. However, with the unstoppable rise of the internet, these once harmless images started to develop into a exaggeration of fetishism and violence, uploaded for everyone to find anonymously and easily.


I had recently come across the work of a Czech artist, Filip Kůrka, whose work focuses on sexuality and pornography. On his Instagram profile, he defines himself like a ‘Czech young painter who watched too much porn in the childhood. And that’s why he’s been a victim of the porn industry’.



Such a clear and honest revelation gave me a lot to think about, and I would have later discovered he is not the only one in such position. A first research brought me immediately to Gail Dines and her lecture Pornland, from her homonymous book, in the video below.



According to Dines, pornography is now affordable, easy to access online and anonymous: these three qualities are what is needed to drive demand. Furthermore, she explained how it is crucial to take into consideration that not only adults have access to this type of content. On average, she disclosed, the first age at which a kid searches for the word ‘porn’ on the internet is 12, when too young to distinguish the fantasy and the reality of these images. In an age in which new media empowered pornography to become affordable, accessible and anonymous, and given the fact that we are facing a generational shift in the approach of sexuality, it is crucial to understand how medias helped to build such a powerful marketing strategy around the porn industry and how the porn culture is now integrated with the popular culture.


The subject, which will soon be elaborated in a more complex theses in an academic environment, caught me initially very unprepared. I have to admit, my first encounter with porn was when I was 15 years old, with my partner, to try to ‘spice things up’ little (as that would be any relevant/appropriate at that age). It was one of those ‘old school’ porn: it was about a man with cancer, a too-expensive-doctor and a wife that would be willing to do literally anything to save her husband. You can imagine the rest. Even at that age, after a first ‘this is ridiculous’ laugh, I could not go through with it because of how disgusted I was. And that was pretty much it: until recent months, I have never watch or even search for porn again.


But my experience, now 10 years old, is very different from what is happening now: curious kids, just at the beginning of their journey to become adults, hope to see naked women or people having sex online, but instead there are faced with sexist, violent, hardcore porn. They don’t know what adults do when they have sex, they have no idea of what sex intimacy is. So young boys start to believe forcing themselves onto a woman is the norm, while young girls look up to these beautiful and easy women who give their bodies away. And if we think this is a finite problem, consider that, back in 2013, porn sites get more visitors each month than Netflix, Amazon and Twitter combined.


No one could ever tell humans to stop watching porn. Sex is part of our lives and how you decide to experience it is entirely your choice. But when selecting what to watch, make sure you avoid these typologies, going instead for one of the many feminist porn sites (if you are a guy and you are reading this, remember than feminist does not mean for women, but that treats men and women equally). The next generation of young adults will be grateful!



Illustration by Kate Bernardi


[Cover picture adapted from Gail Dines' Pornland's book cover]

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