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Porn is screwing up love

Addiction is ruining marriages and romantic relationships; sex education can help

Published: 10th March 2017 09:45 PM  |   Last Updated: 11th March 2017 07:28 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

BENGALURU:Sex and death are rarely discussed in Indian homes. This silence leads to misconceptions and porn becomes a guide to sex.

Many marriages and romantic relationships are ending because of one partner’s unrealistic expectations from their sexual partner, say lawyers and doctors who interact with couples regularly. This is what independent filmmaker Madhureeta Anand found too, while researching for her educative web series Know Your Porn.

“I spoke to several men and women and found that since people lack access to proper sex education, most men think pornography as the way to have sex with women,” she says.  
She found that 70% of all internet traffic comes from pornography.

End of Romance
Pramila Nesargi, a senior High Court lawyer says, “Every other case I get is of couples who are distressed from excessive viewing of porn. Husband forces the wife to see porn because he expects the same in bed... if she refuses, then he threatens to go to other women for sexual favours. Porn has become the order of the day and many people believe night does not begin without watching such a video.”

Such couples may or may not divorce each other, she says. “The wife usually fears to file a complaint against her husband fearing loss of security,” says the lawyer, “and she is compelled to give in.” Counselling also does not help, she says, because men refuse to go for sessions. “They do not want to discuss their private life in front of someone,” she says.  
Dr Shubha Madhusudhan, clinical psychologist, Fortis Hospital, talks of a couple who had not consummated their marriage even after three years. “One of the reasons for disinterest in sex was excessive watching of porn,” she says. “Cognitive distortions are common among these men... they keep impossible expectations from their wives. We also come across a woman who was disgusted with her husband’s obsession with such videos and smashed all the DVDs with her bare hands and suffered severe injuries. Porn addiction can wreck relationships.”

Rape videos
Disturbingly, there is an excessive consumption of child and rape pornography.  “70 per cent of students who watch rape pornography say that they feel like raping (someone) after watching it,” she says. “Porn leads to bad sexual practices and misconceptions... women say that men expect them to do what they see in such videos.” Women watch porn too, but according to her research: “They watch to understand why men watch these videos.” Only 25 per cent of the women, in the sample she studied, claimed to watch porn.
Porn has always existed but now, with technology, it available in your palm. Psychologists and psychiatrists say that watching porn by itself is not harmful, what is, is the excessive watching.  
Dr Shubha says, “There is an element of sex in porn but it is the exaggeration in it that makes it popular. In the imagination everyone believes themselves capable of every act but, in reality, the person may not be physically capable of doing them. Many men who are addicted to porn tell me they have problem having a healthy sexual life.” The doctor calls for a healthier attitude towards sex and more open conversations. "One has to remember that life is sexually transmitted,” she says, “and we need education to break lots of myths around sex. Many sexually incompatible couples go for divorce these days.”
 

Watching porn has its own advantages and disadvantages, according to Dr Bhupendra Chaudhry, consultant psychiatrist at Manipal Hospitals. “It may give you new ideas and, if a person has a basic understanding of sexual activity, he or she will know how to apply what he or she sees in the video. If the person is not well aware about sex, then he or she could be misled by the depictions. Sex is a part of life.”

Calling pornography a fantasy, similar to  movies or theatre that people watch, he says, “It is the best to have sex education. Sex is also a physiological need. When you learn how to eat good or drink good, you should also learn about good sex.”
So when should you begin sex education? It is a debatable question, says Dr Bhupendra, adding, “It should start gradually in the teens. Many may think it should intially focus on pregnancy prevention and advance to different levels as they grow older.”

know your porn
The web series Know Your Porn is expected to release in June this year. The co-producer Madhureeta Anand is raising Rs 10 lakh for the film on a crowdfunding platform Wishberry. The series aims to create awareness about pornography and how important is sex education. The five episodes, three minutes of each, will cover different topics such as myths about porn and the legalities. Madhureeta says, “We chose crowdfunding because we wanted participation from the public right from the start.” The non-fiction series will have only text against a black background.

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