Is porn damaging your sex life without you even realising?

2016-03-10
When I was younger my parents didn’t get the internet for ages. It meant that the first half of my teens was MSN-less, email-less and porn-less. I learnt early on, with deep disappointment, how much more our culture sexualises the female body over the male. Any TV programme that warned ‘contains scenes of a sexual nature’ was worth a watch, but would mostly be limited to tit shots. Resulting that my first wank was to Love is the Devil, an arthouse biopic of Francis Bacon. When you’re starving, you don’t pass up scraps. Finally I grew tired of setting the VHS player (remember those?) to record 3am Italian-language films set in Turkish bathhouses for the sake of an ass flash. The male underwear section in the Argos catalogue was unsatisfying. I took matters into my own, very horny hands. One weekend when my vigilant Mum was away, and my Dad was snoring the sleep of the drunk, I moved the entire computer in the dark of night to its rightful home next to a landline socket. And suddenly I was online. The first thing I typed into Google was ‘cocks’. Google predicted what I wanted was ‘nine inch cocks’. Well yes, why not. From that launch pole(s), I spent the whole night gloriously wanking. But perhaps looking back, even more important than the hardcore imagery, was the relieving proof that men really fucked men. Previously, the only real references to gay butt-fucking existing were in schoolboy jokes. Gay men on TV were steeped in endless innuendo to mask their inherent sexlessness. Now on the screen, blood-gorged cocks thrusted up between sculpted buttocks; guys had their legs in the air, their legs on his shoulders, their legs spread doggy style… Men moaned, men kissed, men orgasmed, men enjoyed gay sex. Porn essentially became my sex education. gay sex and drugs It produced a love affair with porn that I had difficulties finding the heart to break off. In my teen years I would watch the screen lusting to have sex with those men, but somewhere in my 20s porn became a viable alternative to sex. Not that I’d turn down a hot guy in a club, but when horny at home Pornhub was a lot less effort than finding a Grindr meet. Your laptop doesn’t care if you’re unshowered, hungover and haven’t put your contact lenses in yet. I knew it’d become problematic as it began to infiltrate my actual sex life. If he’d cum first and I had to catch up, sometimes I’d conjure a particular scene or star to help me get there. I no longer watched porn lusting to be in the action but as a voyeur. When I was getting regular sex, occasionally I had to concentrate on what excited me about my boyfriends’ bodies. Ultimately my sex urge is still higher than my porn urge, yet it shouldn’t have been an issue. “In my clinical experience of working with gay men who tend to masturbate with porn and/or have chemsex tendencies there is a clear disconnection between the body and mind, which could result in sexual dissatisfaction,” says 56 Dean Street’s lead psychosexual therapist Remziye Kunelaki. “Some men can become too conditioned to certain images of porn where it’s difficult to replicate in a sexual experience with a partner. “The mind relies on the wondering of what’s going to happen next and does not enjoy or appreciate the moment. I usually recommend mindful masturbation as a way of learning to reconnect from within. That is a masturbation exercise free from porn or fantasies, led purely by bodily clues with the intention to remain focused on the sensations throughout the experience. Mindful masturbation can be a difficult exercise for most men initially, but it can prepare one for a more connected and present sex in the future.” Headshot Porn is the wallpaper of the chillouts. When gay men share what porn they watch in those spaces, it can be illuminating of deepest desires - a whole host to do with self-esteem and masculinity. A 20-year-old who wants to watch bondage porn and asks to be spat at in the face as he’s fucked. Or a strange twist of technology, voyeurism and sex: a guy wanting to be filmed fucking another guy so he could then wank off to the video on the Apple TV. I don’t want to demonise porn and presumably, like drugs, it can be enjoyed healthily in moderation. I can’t claim I’ve managed to stop completely either - but I have cut down consumption for the sake of more connected and ‘in the moment’ sober sex. Because all porn wanks blur into mediocrity, apart from one scene I remember giving me the most intense orgasm: unexpectedly, the bottom looked into the top’s eyes with simple, absolute intimacy. If that’s illustrative of my own desires, then I know I’m not going to find it on a screen. 'Let's Talk About Gay Sex & Drugs - Porn' is on Thursday 10th March at Ku Klub (30 Lisle Street,WC2H 7BA,  just above Leicester Square tube) from 6.30pm. Free entry and all welcome, whether to speak or listen. Featured speakers on the night include: Rich Watkins Rich Watkins Rich is a musical theatre trained actor and singer. Having followed Let's Talk About Gay Sex and Drugs since its humble beginnings back in 2014, Rich is proud to be once more getting behind the infamous LTAGSAD mic. He'll be bringing some of the best porn-related musical theatre to the stage this March, as well as some reworked Disney. For a 26 year old male, Rich has an uncharacteristically keen interest in Disney. And he's looking forward to sharing it with all of you. ​Siân Docksey Sian Docksey Siân is a sit-down joke writer and stand-up joke-sayer, usually responsible for the "Siân" department of double act Siân & Zoë. She has written for Channel 4 Shorts and BBC Radio 1, and most recently "ACTED" REALLY HARD as a Welsh vegan lesbian in Queers by Patrick Cash at the Kings Head Theatre. You can find her arguing with the internet on Twitter at @siandocksey Dominic Davies Dominic Davies Dominic Davies is the founder of Pink Therapy and a Clinical Sexologist (which means he helps people have better sex). It’s fashionable to demonise porn with a lot of talk about porn addiction and whilst no doubt some gay men watch way too much, porn can also be helpful to educate and inform e.g. rekindle a couple’s tired sex life. Ashley Ryder Ashley Ryder Gay porn star, and now director Ashley gives us his take on porn, sex and drugs. Words: Patrick Cash More stories Patrick Cash: Does teenage love affect our relationships in later life? What was the world of gay porn like in the 1960s and 70s?