PORNOGRAPHY COMBINED WITH COURTING SKILL DEFICIENCY CREATES GROWING SEXUAL PROBLEMS

Amazingly, we now live in a time where an alarming percentage of adolescent males are graduating from high schools that have never dated, not one date. And, based on questionnaires, interest in dating is alarmingly low as well. A University of San Diego study last year pointed out that the millennial generation should find sexual partners more easily due to Internet technologies such as dating apps. However, they are not. They are having less sex, and they are interacting less with others generally. Baby boomers find this mystifying. How does an adolescent male in the pinnacle of his sexual development have never dated? Moreover, an alarming percentage of young men are experiencing the most feared sexual dysfunction that historically has been reserved for old men, erectile dysfunction. All of us have endured one or more “Viagra” jokes, but how many of us have known this humor directed at an adolescent male? Is Internet pornography to blame for most of this? I suspect much of it is yet not as much as one might suspect it should be…

Many studies demonstrate links between Internet pornography and many sexual problems. For instance, research conducted by Cambridge University demonstrates the responses elicited within our brains to Internet pornographic images are strong competitors to sexual desire for partnered sexual activity. Internet pornography is near-instant access with near-zero effort to achieve sexual pleasure. No dating required. Just click, stroke, and voila! That is all fine and good if it is fine and good to live life without intimacy, which is the real causality. Living life without intimacy is a life dying. But what is really going on with these young men? Are they really just lazy about seeking romantic love in their life? Sure, in some cases, but developing sexual comfort requires interaction with a person, not a screen. The risk of sexual embarrassment is great. Most get that, but this risk is inherently relationally required. It is an internal tug-of-way that moves us forward. The risk never taken is an opportunity never achieved.

So where is the real blame for this lack of risk taking? Why, really, have so many young people never dated? It cannot be Internet pornography alone. Maybe a bigger yet more-difficult-to-understand reason is our young men [and women] never learning to “court”, or as a society not teaching them how to court and how to appreciate its joys and benefits. I’m not trying to let porn off the hook. Pornography is an extremely powerful stimulus leading to so many negative outcomes. Not knowing how to relate in ways that court a potential romantic partner or committed partner open up too many opportunities for pornography to flourish.

One of the best aspects of sexual addiction therapy at Coeur d’Alene Counseling, Inc. is helping sexual addicts develop positive sexuality and that includes how to court a potential partner and a life-long committed partner. Learning to court a partner is good for any generation and particularly valuable to the recovery of sexual addicts.