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Do men want women anymore... or just porn?
The ubiquity of online porn is changing the way men relate to women... so much so that they're no longer interested in their offline partners, says Davy Rothbart in New York
 
With the internet, men have such easy access to porn that many are detaching from their real-life partners, writes Davy Rothbart in New York.
With the internet, men have such easy access to porn that many are detaching from their real-life partners, writes Davy Rothbart in New York.
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With the rise of the internet, porn has become part of many men's daily routine, writes Davy Rothbart in New York, a phenomenon that's having a strange effect on the American male libido. Such easy access to porn has arguably sapped men's desire for their real-life partners and caused them to detach. "Porn is not only shaping men's physical and emotional interest in sex on a very fundamental neurological level, but it's also having a series of unexpected ripple effects — namely on women," Rothbart writes. Some men have grown so accustomed to the porn star aesthetic that they're no longer aroused by their real mates. Here, an excerpt:

Though porn research is the subject of much debate and barb-flinging (with religious groups seizing on any study to prove that porn and masturbation are wrong), scientists speculate that a dopamine-oxytocin combo is released in the brain during orgasm, acting as a "biochemical love potion," as behavioral therapist Andrea Kuszewski calls it. It’s the reason [that] after having sex with someone, you’re probably more inclined to form an emotional attachment. But you don’t have to actually have sex in order to get those neurotransmitters firing. When you watch porn, "you’re bonding with it," Kuszewski says. "And those chemicals make you want to keep coming back to have that feeling." Which allows men not only to get off on porn but to potentially develop a neurological attachment to it. They can, in essence, date porn.

And as tripod-in-the-corner porn evolves into a high-def wonderland, our grasp on whether we’re watching sex or actually having sex may, with the help of oxytocin, loosen. Many of the men I interviewed spoke of the charge they get from watching their favorite porn actresses. But they also had a tendency to describe the act of watching porn as though it were a real sex act they had participated in — making their emotional investment in porn all the more concrete.

Read the whole story in New York.

 

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