When I was doing the Sexological bodywork training, one of the other trainees, Michael, talked to me about porn addiction.
He said that a lot of younger men have become completely immersed in porn, and it was affecting them sexually. Specifically, they found it hard to have sex when it wasn’t pornified, and they would find sex boring. The consequence was that impotence, low libido and so on had gone from being a problem of older men to an epidemic amongst younger men. He was interested in Sexological bodywork, because it was about becoming more embodied, and less reliant on fantasy.
Anyway, since starting practice, I’ve learnt that Michael is right: it is a widespread problem. And without getting too philosophical about it, it does seem to be part of a more general disembodiment in our culture that’s getting worse. When I would come home on the bus as a kid, everyone was rioting, fighting and destroying the seat fabric. Now, it’s as quiet as can be, because everyone is on their phones. You hear of some young men in Japan that don’t go out at all, they just stay at home watching porn.
In my other identity as a meditation teacher, I find this disembodiment too. People seem to think, not that they are a body, but that they have a body, and that it is a distant and unreliable servant.
And applying it to sex, it’s a disaster. The one adult chance for adult joyful play and connection is being played out to a sort of script. We are not interested in what we do, we’re interested in what we ought to do. We’re not interested in what we feel. We’re interested in what we ought to feel, and anxious that we’re not feeling it.
It’s a big problem.