Pornography 'grips you with claws'

by | Sep. 21, 2010

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William's wife didn't have a chance.

It didn't matter how attractive she was. William wanted her blonder, taller, thinner and to have a larger bust. He wanted her to resemble the kind of women he had become used to since his elementary school days, when he first discovered his parents' stash of pornography.

The child may have struggled to understand his fourth-grade geometry, but he had memorized intimate angles of a woman's body.

It didn't matter that the porn he was perusing was old-school — pages of conservatively posed Playmates. He didn't need the high-definition sex videos that would saturate the Web decades later.

A few glossy pages on occasion were enough to hook him — for the next 40-plus years of his life.

"It grips you with claws like you can't imagine," said William, now a 50-year-old Salt Lake City man who spoke about his sex addiction on the condition of partial anonymity.

For the next 15 years of his adolescent life, his "occasional" exposure to pornography programmed in him a particular understanding of what sex is, as well a clear impression about its perceived roles: Her role is passive, ever ready and always wanting more. His role is to show up.

Such modern pornographic conditioning is leaving women to wonder if they can ever satisfy the kind of sexual appetite millions of men are learning to anticipate during days, months and years of pornographic education, often while they're young.

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