Porn and negative body image (no, not me!)

Submitted by Pinup on
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One of the many arguments against porn is that most female porn stars have perfect bodies that the average woman isn't likely to obtain, and that this further perpetuates unrealistic physical ideals. I'm sure we've all heard of at least one woman finding her partner's dirty magazines and wailing "Is THIS what you want me to look like?!" - and I'm sure some of you have been that woman at least once.

But for a while now, I've been wondering...what does porn do to men's body image?

I've only been in two serious relationships. Both guys have used porn (#2 stopped using it because of me), and both guys were very dissatisfied with their bodies.

#1 had an eating disorder (I will spare you the details), thought he wasn't muscular enough (he was a martial arts champion and once carried me for 2 miles when I twisted my ankle), and thought his mixed-race skin tone was too dark.

#2 ate right, worked out daily, and was still short and stocky, which he resented. He actually believed that he needed to be tall, ripped, and have perfectly chiseled features to be attractive. I thought he was adorable the way he was, but he nit-picked his own looks on a regular basis.

The last time I heard from #1 (2 years after things ended), he was still on a starvation diet and intense exercise program - and given how much he liked porn, I can only assume he was still using it.

#2 no longer hates his looks, and was seeing someone new the last time we spoke. He hasn't used porn in over 3 years, and now dreads going to friends' bachelor parties because strippers tend to be involved.

Am I on to something?


Porn is definitely causing a lot of male insecurity, not just about looks, but also "alpha-ness", member size and performance. One of the most gratifying aspects of listening to men recover is watching them rediscover appreciation of their own looks, as well as an appreciation of everyday women.

The beauty of the situation is that those issues just fade away (pretty much) if they stay away from overstimulation. They don't necessarily need counseling. They don't necessarily have deep issues. They're just feeling vulnerable because of the neurochemical changes associated with addiction processes in their brains. When balance returns, so does their natural mojo. Yay!