Marina Hyde picks up Naomi Wolf’s point with reference to recent ‘footballer party’ allegations and says, Porn is screwing up young men’s expectations of sex
And so to a vexing riddle of our times. Namely, if six footballers can have six girls each, why do they only want one between them? The answer is actually incredibly simple (and has nothing to do with repressed homosexuality). It might be partly that they enjoy team activities and it’s a kind of extended goal celebration, but it is primarily because that is what they see in porn. And porn is screwing up sex. Not sex in relationships, but the kind of casual sex in which it would be nice to think people could indulge in a mutually enjoyable, non-exploitative fashion. In this context, footballers are not qualitatively different from plenty of other young men, it’s just that being regarded as demigods makes it easier to act in this way.
Several years ago Naomi Wolf pointed out that the proliferation of porn, particularly on the internet, was the way most young men and women were now, in effect, taught about sex – “what sex is, how it looks, what its etiquette and expectations are”. It had a significant impact on the way they interacted. She wondered whether all the sexual imagery around represented the true liberation of sex, or whether “the relationship between the multibillion-dollar porn industry, compulsiveness, and sexual appetite has become like the relationship between agribusiness, processed foods, supersize portions, and obesity”.
No matter where you stand on it, porn has undoubtedly skewed many young men’s expectations of sex, and many young women’s sense of sexual obligation.