Media Consumption Affects Your Sexual Arousal, For Better Or Worse

Peter Kleponis

The media we consume does have an impact on us. Advertisers influence us every day. They determine what we wear, eat, drive, and even smell like. Just look at the polyester leisure suits men wore in the 1970s (or take my word for it, they were bad) and you will see how strongly we can be influenced by advertisements and fashions.

Pornography can also have a great influence on what and whom we are attracted to. I see this often in my office. Tom, a 35-year old man was brought to my office by his wife because he insisted she engage in deviant, risky sex acts with him. He even wanted to video record them having sex. His use of Internet pornography had led him to become interested in deviant sex and to believe his wife would also enjoy it. She obviously was not interested. Consumed media caused this situation. It did not come from the natural arousal of spouses.

Through normal development, everyone develops their own unique set of sexual attractions. Dr. Patrick Carnes refers to this as one’s ”arousal template,” the “total constellation of thoughts, images, behaviors, sounds, smells, sights, fantasies, and objects that arouse us sexually.” This is influenced by our families, friends, values, communities, genetics, and the media. From this emerges the type of person and the kind sex to which we are attracted. This is why some men are attracted to tall blonde women and others are attracted to short redheads.

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