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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sex Basics and Sexual Health » becoming desensitize with porn?

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Author Topic: becoming desensitize with porn?
B. Adriana
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About two months ago I started looking at a website with nude photos. After a month and a half I started watching porn, and I searched for safe website to go on. The porn started with basic man and woman sex and I got somewhat aroused. The next day I saw a video with 5 guys and a Girl and I got even more aroused with this, but still I wanted to see more. The video that had me actually masturbating and having an orgasm was 2 women and a man. I don't know if it was the moaning or the women getting oral pleasure that aroused me more. At I felt weird to have an orgasm to this since I only get them by having sex with my boyfriend.

After having a conversation about porn with my boyfriend, he said that over time i'd get desensitize to what I already watch and escalate to even more intense porn. Is this true? Can moving on to intense porn also lead to a more intense sex life?

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Heather
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"desensitize" is a tricky word in this context. It means becoming less sensitive, and if someone's tastes in porn changed from, as you say, seeing a couple having sex to seeing a triad or a group having sex, that would not mean a person has become less sensitive in any way.

What's most likely is just that you saw one thing then got curious about other things. People are naturally curious about just about everything, sex and sexual media included. As well, most people masturbate in the world, and so reaching orgasm through masturbating is nothing close to uncommon, whether it's with porn or without it.

Can porn -- of whatever kind -- influence people's sex lives? It can but also might not, and how it might isn't something simple. It's just like any other kind of media: if you watched cooking shows, for instance, might it change how you eat or cook? It could, but it also might not.

But again, you're using words about this which are tricky for me. What one person considers "intense" might be someone else's normal or even boring: another person's normal might seem intense or extreme to someone else. Know what I mean?

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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B. Adriana
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I didn't mean group sex as a more intense porn, sorry I should of added more. When I say more intense porn I mean more like BDSM. My boyfriend thinks that if i watch enough porn i'd start watching BDSM or something close to that. I personally don't find that interesting but he thinks sooner or later I will.
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Heather
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But see, even BDSM is some people's normal, healthy sexuality. So, while that might seem "more intense" to you, that's someone else's everyday sex life.

See what I mean? Trying to put sexuality on any kind of scale of more to less extreme is really problematic, because people are so sexually diverse.

Now, should you find yourself looking at material that's violent or ethically questionable -- like where someone is clearly not consenting -- that might be something to talk about, especially if you then find you're inclined to do that in real life. And if you find you're watching things that make you feel really uncomfortable or unhappy and can't seem to stop, that's something to talk about, too.

But so far, I don't see any cause for concern here, and we also can never assume what someone fantasizes about or likes watching will be something they want to do in real life, just like plenty of people watch movies about mountain climbing with no actual desire to do it. [Smile]

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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heero222
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Desesitized would mean that what normally gets you aroused either stops working for you completley or partially. So lets say that you can normally get aroused within 1-5 minutes of watching a man and women scene but then it starts to take 30-45 minutes to reach the same level of arousal. That would be desensitization. Starting to watch different stuff like bondage, etc isn't the same thing its just an expansion of your tastes in what you like.
Desensitization can happen though, from personal experience I can tell you it takes pretty heavy usage over a long period of time before you start to get bored with the material so it is not something to worry about.

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Heather
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nighteyesv: I'm actually off the clock, so I can't dig into your response too much, but I do need to note that I'm in disagreement with what you're saying here from a current sex education/sexology perspective.

You're using that term in a way I know it used to be used decades ago, but really isn't in current use/understanding anymore within these fields in my experience, especially with increased study and understanding of the diversity and fluidity of human sexual response and desires.

[ 06-06-2011, 10:25 PM: Message edited by: Heather ]

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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heero222
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Hi Heather. Well I don't know about how the experts in your field use the term "desensitize". All I do know is how Merriam-Webster the Dictionary used by all us common folk defines the word.
"Desensitize" as defined by Merriam-Webster="To extinguish an emotional response to stimuli that formerly induced it" or "To make insensitive or nonreactive to a sensitizing agent".
Since Merriam-Websters version of the word went out of style decades ago perhaps the experts in your field should call and give them the updated version.

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Heather
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I'm fairly certain the dictionary isn't informing people about the span of minutes for feeling aroused from a given amount of media or sexual stimulus like you did above. My objection wasn't how you (or the dictionary) were using the term generally and broadly, but how you were using it very specifically and about sexuality in a way which I do not find to be sound or supported.

[ 06-08-2011, 11:56 AM: Message edited by: Heather ]

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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heero222
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You are right the dictionary doesn't give a span of minutes nor was I doing so. I was trying to explain to B. Adriana what the meaning of the word she was asking about was using an example that I believed would be easy to understand and which fit the context of the question. The example was just intended to proivde understanding of the word not to say that such and such a number of minutes equated to desensitization.
Though I do find it interesting that you seem to be saying that "desensitization" when it comes to sexual stimulis is impossible. So if someone performs or witnesses the same sexual act a Trillion times and there is absolutley no variation in the act nor any acts performed or witnessed in between the acts then a person is guarenteed to have the same sexual response to it every single time for a trillion times in a row?

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Saffron Raymie
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The most important sex organ is the brain, and arousal begins in the brain. To become aroused, you have to -think- that something is arousing. As you probably know, what each person thinks about life in general is incredibly diverse. Some people like pop music, some like rap, some of these people may get bored of rap and pop and listen to classical music, some may love rap all their lives and listen to nothing but.

Sexual tastes are no different. Human sexuality is so diverse and fluid that what you are aroused by once - say, a BDSM situation - may not arouse you next time, even though you absolutely love BDSM. Instead, you might seem to like watching exhibitionism, either as a random one off or a week, or ten years, or the rest of your life. Just like the fact that we may not be attracted to one gender in our lives, what we like to see in porn may vary - or it may not.

You could be reading a non-sexual book and suddenly it seems arousing. Or sit by a window and become aroused by the fresh air and people playing football in the park.

Sometimes, yes, a person may feel that things in their sex life has become routine. However, that could be after five times or five hundred times. Again, it's all about individual diversity. Some people feel that porn use in general has become unexciting to them, and instead they would like to try say, reading erotica or having sex without porn use, or watching porn with a partner.

If a person really does like to watch sexual act, say, female domination oral sex, then yes, that person may not feel like they need a change, and may be able to view that same act many, many times over lots of years and never become bored.

It's no different from likeing a certain genre of film. Say I like Romantic comedies. They always make me laugh, however, one day, I find that I'm a little bored of or 'burnt-out' on (seen too much of) Rom-coms. I then decide to try Horror. My best friend, however, absolutely loves Romantic comedies, he has them all on DVD and never gets bored.

Just like anything else in life, sex has no formula and it all depends on what we really like and those tastes can vary or they can stay the same. Perhaps someone is bored of seeing fellato (blow-jobs), when two years ago all they watched was fellato, and only fellato could arouse them. Now, all they want to see is foot fettish porn. It's not that they've become desensitized, it's just that they've become a bit bored and wanted somthing different. It's the same as being bored with skateboarding and switching to painting, even though all your friends may find they are happy skateboarding everyday with no variation.

Your sexuality is fluid, and you don't need more and more and more to be satified. You need what you want, which can change or stay the same. And, providing that you are happy with what you are watching, and you want to keep viewing pornography of any kind, it's perfectly okay to be a natural part of your sexual life, no matter what you find you like to see (as long as the people participating are consenting).

[ 06-08-2011, 06:48 PM: Message edited by: RaeRay2112 ]

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Heather
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nighteyesv : I think you're asking a really complex question.

Part of why is that in a lot of ways, sex is a lot like eating, okay? So, let's say that the "act" we're talking about is the act of eating a tomato. For sure, if we had the exact same kind of tomato prepared exactly the same way every single day, after a while -- pretty quickly, probably -- we'd likely feel pretty bored with it and pretty sick of tomatoes.

However, we might not feel that way if we didn't always have the same kind of tomato, or didn't always have it prepared the same way. And if we went one step further, and didn't ONLY have tomatoes at all, but ate a whole host of different foods that included different tomatoes prepared different ways, we'd probably find we felt like we were having new experiences with tomatoes constantly (as someone who grew up Italian and still often cooks that cuisine, I'm all over that).

See what I'm saying when it comes to what you're suggesting about sexual acts?

Mind, I don't think the user was talking about watching exactly the same film over and over again: in fact, I don't see her suggesting that at all. But if she did, then yes, she might well get bored with it (or, it might become very familiar and beloved, like a favorite blanket, who knows). Rae does a nice job talking about that, too.

But perhaps even more importantly, bored is far different, and without the kind of connotations as "densensitized." You can go ahead and use Google scholar and see what studies you can find on "sexual desensitization." Much to my lack of surprise, you're likely to find little or nothing, because that's a very specific concept usually about very specific things to apply to something as multifaceted and diverse as human sexuality, sexual desires and sexual response.

I also can't help but wonder if, say, you'd apply the same logic you're applying to pornography to sex someone has with say, a spouse of 20 years. Would we be worried about them becoming "desensitized" because they had that same partner for that many years only, and had, as one will over such a long period of time, probably had most of the kinds of sex they can have many, many times? See what I mean here?

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Heather
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One last thing:

quote:
then a person is guarenteed to have the same sexual response to it every single time for a trillion times in a row?
This is a question that again makes clear that sexuality is simply much more complex than the way you seem to be presenting it.

NOTHING, at all, guarantees a given sexual response for anyone, ever. Whether someone sees or does something fifty or three hundred times or never does, no one way of responding is guaranteed. A sexual activity we had the best sex EVER with last week may be something we do this week and only have ho-hum sex with. Something we see in media and find boring may be something hella exciting in real-life experience. Something that we never reached orgasm from can become something we do; something that used to get us there can stop having that impact.

Human sexuality is incredibly fluid like that, and there's really nothing anyone can do to try and control that fluidity.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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