IntimacyRelationshipsSex

Why Hollywood, Not Porn, Destroyed My Ability To Have Meaningful Relationships

And Maybe The Internet Too

If you read me often then you’ll by now understand that I was once a Porn addict, and that had stunted my sex life in the bedroom for a period of time. It didn’t shape what I expected from a woman, but more so had tampered with my dopamine levels in the brain towards the sexual act. It had desensitized me to the act of sex, and what should have been super-duper arousing, wasn’t. But this isn’t what I’m here to talk about today, I more-so want to talk about how Hollywood impacted my impression of women and relationships more than Porn ever did. Porn was for one thing only, sex, Hollywood encompasses a whole other dynamic between men and women.

Whether they understand it or not, the films that are pumped out of Hollywood have a serious impact on young minds as they are growing up to understand the world.

Myself? I was a young boy that loved watching movies. We all did back then because there was no such thing as on-demand content 24-7. We had to wait patiently (and sometimes impatiently) for blockbusters to come out. And as we sat back and enjoyed whatever it was we were watching, thus shaped my entire views on how men and women interacted on a sociological level. I can’t say it was like this for everyone (tell me what you think in the comments!) but for me, as a high functioning autistic boy, I tended to feel that this was true to life.

I always (and still do) cheer on the underdogs. If you’ve ever seen a teenage film then it’s always the bullied guy with very few friends that always gets the popular girl and wins the day. I remember as a child suffering from quite a bit of cognitive dissonance at school. I always saw myself as the underdog person with few friends, but life never seemed to go my way. I always ended up sucking at school, and on occasion isolating myself from wider groups of people. I could never peg that down, even though I tried a lot. This, I guess, was around the time that my Nice Guy syndrome had started.

We all love a good survivor story, where the victim rises above the odds to win the day. Braveheart for example was one of my all-time favourite films for a while. Left fatherless, young William Wallace is sent off to live out his life with his Uncle in the crusades, only to come back and amass an army to take on the tyrannical English rulers. And yet there’s a deeper message in this entire film — that the underdog wins the day.

It’s a message steeped into our culture, and if you’re like me, then you’ll have developed quite a bit of outright anger to the world because good things should happen to you just like the movies say so. There was always lessons to be learned, and the overall prevailing lessons were more often than not fair and just. In the end I had to wrestle to the ground with the idea that the world is in fact not fair and just, and these messages, whilst meaningful, can create an awful imbalance in those kids that admire fairness. I see this already in Alex’s counselling sessions when he was telling his counsellor that he didn’t like that School was often unfair.

It wasn’t until I was about 27 that I began to realise that the world wasn’t good and bad, and there is no real sense of fair and unfair, but more so several hundred shades of grey. What may be fair and equal to me, may be unjust and harsh to the next person — I found this out when managing a team for the first time; our culture has a strong sense of what is fair and just, and that can often bond us together, or like more recently, tear us apart. Strong morality of wrong and right seemed to drift away until I was left with a bunch of choices that impacted certain members of my team in different ways.

We talk about Porn as the gateway drug, the drug that destroys relationships from the foundation upwards, but I’d like to add a further dynamic to this conversation. It’s not as simple as saying to me Porn ruined my life, no, it was my inability to form lasting relationships with other people in my life that ruined it. I turned to porn because that’s all I had, along with the drink and the drugs.

I can’t honestly say any of my friends had the same problems as me, and I’ve led a fairly open life with them, so I’d know if they had. They seemed to have normal childhoods moving in and out of relationships with men and women healthily as any regular person would.

We look at alcohol and drug addiction as if they are diseases, that we are unable to help ourselves (and often we aren’t) from moving at fast speed to the gutter. But actually, in my opinion, it’s down to emotional attachment. Addiction is a symptom of something more prominent.  I felt no need to regress when I had rebuilt my friend network back up, had a strong support network, and felt as if I belonged somewhere; essentially addressed all of my needs. As soon as they were being addressed, my life began to become fulfilled.

So movies came before the porn did. I had embraced the Arnold Schwarzenegger commando type, shooting a hundred men with one bullet, flexing my muscles, being the typical hyper-masculine man. Truth be told we all wanted to be like him, even although I wasn’t very masculine at all at that age. But there was an emotional disconnect for me. Relationships in the movies always had happy endings. There was never any turmoil within intimacy, and most romantic movies (or at least the ones I watched) always had the nerdy guys winning in the end.

*Spoiler — I’m a nerd!*

And not having a father on the scene I never really learned about healthy relationships, and talking about it to my mum was too embarrassing. So I took what I could get, and that was mostly what I saw on the TV because that was the closest thing I had to real life. Sadly, the TV isn’t real life — something I learned the hard way.

So when I couldn’t form a decent relationship with any woman because of my warped thoughts on relationships, spurred on by lax ideas of what good relationships between humans looked like, I turned to porn.

We actually never talk about this. I don’t think I’ve seen it discussed anywhere. How the absence of a discussion in the home can facilitate unhealthy ideas towards relationships. I had no-one I could turn to to ask about this stuff. And in my desperation I turned to the TV. This was my life.

Any thoughts?

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Raymond

Raymond is a Mental Health activist and cryptocurrency enthusiast. He fuels his activism by taking to the web and trying to create core change in the way people interact. As an ex-Community​ Manager, Raymond has a unique approach to communication and relationships and believes the way forward in life is improving the interactions between one another. Raymond started his blogging activities as a way to heal from a chequered past, and through this, his blog has become something far more empowering than he ever imagined. And thus, The Relationship Blogger Magazine was born.

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