By Colette Aikema
Porn is a problem. We know this. We’ve heard it many times before. We know it is extremely addictive. We know it destroys the human brain the same way heroin does. We know it destroys marriages. We know it creates abusers and rapists. We know it perpetuates human trafficking.
But have we ever thought about how it affects women?
No, not the women ‘in society’. Not the women in the porn films. No, the women who use it.
That’s right. Women who use it. Despite popular belief, many women use porn regularly. Not erotica, not softcore porn. No, the same porn that men consume is being consumed by women.
Yes, men are more likely to use porn. Yes, men’s brains are wired differently. But the same things that pornographers use to arouse men will also arouse women. It’s all sexual. It’s all alluring. For men and women alike.
So how does porn affect women who consume it? Why is this even an important question to ask? Shouldn’t we be focusing on reducing its use by men, since it creates sexual aggression in men?
Absolutely we do. We have to work on that. But we also need to work on reducing porn use in women. Not just because porn affects women the same way spiritually, relationally, psychologically, and emotionally. But because it affects women in more ways.
Women who consume mainstream (and therefore violent) porn are more likely to have rape fantasies. That means that women are being taught by the porn they watch that rape is arousing, it’s attractive, and it’s desirable. How far we have fallen.
Women who consume mainstream porn are less likely to label sexual violence as being, well, violent. Imagine what a perfect storm this is. We have pornographers creating hardcore pornography films by the thousands, teaching men to dominate and possess women. The exact same pornography films are also teaching women that they should want to be victims. That having a man (or several) make you cry, give you bruises, and make you bleed is not something revolting, but something liberating.
It’s extremely smart. Because under the banner of ‘consent’, sexual violence will become even more common than it already is. It’s also extremely disturbing.
So the next time you discuss pornography or think about its consequences, consider women. They do it too. They need help too. And right now, they’re being forgotten.