We all know that the Internet has changed our lives in more ways than one. However, have you ever thought about how it’s changed that one topic that no one likes to talk about out loud? That’s right; the Internet has not only changed the way we work and earn but SEX as well.
Let’s start with the most obvious one – the rise of internet pornography. I know most girls won’t admit that they watch porn, but according to Marie Claire, one out of three women watches porn every week. Do I even have to mention guys? I know all of you watch it.
The ready accessibility of porn means that people can easily watch sex videos, explore their weirdest kinks and fantasies, and more. Imagine having to go to the “adult video store” 20 years ago. No thanks!
Related to porn is the rise of “standards” when it comes to sex. Just like other industries, the porn industry often has certain standards that can be seen in much of its content: lots of makeup, fake breasts, skinny girls, lots of moaning, dirty talk, slapping, and so on. Naturally, people probably learn from these standards and emulate them when they get down to business.
As much as people might be conforming to these kinds of “standards” present in a lot of porn, where else are you going to learn “how to have sex?” Are you going to ask your health education teacher or mom? I don’t think anyone would want to ask their teacher in front of the whole class “how to have sex.” As for asking mom, yeah that would be a great way for me to get smacked in the head!
The New Sex Ed?
Sex standards are one thing – actually learning about sex via the Internet is another. In a way, the Internet is a substitute for your “sex education” class that you never paid attention to. From what girls and guys like, to favorite positions, to how to make your partner orgasm – the Internet is a bastion of knowledge for all things sex. I don’t think your average sex ed or health education class can say the same (or maybe I wasn’t paying enough attention…)
Sex Toy Delivery
Anyone who’s ever walked around Times Square in NYC will notice the various sex shops around, that offer an array of sex toys for the savvy consumer. Would you ever want to get caught going into one of those places? I think it’s fair to say that most wouldn’t.
According to Chad Braverman, COO of Doc Johnson, a pleasure product company, when the company started in 1976, there were about a half-dozen adult product enterprises in the world. Today? The pleasure products industry is worth a mind-boggling $15 billion. With the Internet, there’s no need to venture into a sketchy Times Square sex shop on a cold, NYC winter evening. You can choose from countless sex toy options online and have your pick delivered straight to your door. Not satisfied with the thousands of options online? Design your own and have it 3D printed at the post office.
Everyone’s different, but personally, sexting is the most annoying part about how the Internet has changed sex.
Nudes (especially the infamous “dick pic”), unsolicited sexual messages, and so on must have been a lot harder to send before the Internet (imagine receiving a dick pic via snail mail). As any girl with an Instagram or Snapchat can attest, receiving these pictures is almost the norm these days. Even for people who you DO want to sext, you need to be careful: don’t end up like one of these celebrities who got screwed over for sexting people!
Before the Internet, the only way you met potential partners was through real life – work, friends, friends of friends, and so on. Now, your options are limitless – I mean how many dating apps are there these days? Add to that apps and websites that aren’t even meant for dating like Instagram and Facebook, where a “like” or comment can lead to more than just feeling e-popular.
Closely related to the above, online dating has changed sex and dating profoundly – and that’s probably only in the past few years. While meeting people online probably isn’t “the norm” yet, it’s somewhat normal now, especially in NYC. I imagine that in the past, meeting people via sites like “Match.com” was considered weird and a great way to get killed by some creepy serial killer.
Most people would probably agree that Tinder, an app released in 2012 that is mostly known for hookups, really made online dating (and hookups) more mainstream.
Now, while there’s still the possibility of ending up on the set of American Psycho, it’s more normal to be on dating apps like OKCupid, Tinder, J-Date and so on.
Even more than just the online-induced one-night stand or fling, online dating is becoming a way to meet a real partner. In 2005, most Americans viewed online dating as weird, but today, nearly half know someone who uses the Internet to date or has even met a spouse or partner via online dating.
Most people probably won’t want to hook up with people they don’t know – that is if others in their circle will know about it. With the advent of the Internet, attitudes about sex with strangers have changed as meeting people online can circumvent the usual judging eyes. In theory, you could meet someone online with none of your friends, family, or others ever knowing about it.
This “power” of anonymity has even led to entire sites dedicated to cheating on your spouse like Ashley Madison, whose slogan reads: “Life is short. Have an affair.”
For better or worse, it’s clear that the Internet has changed sex just as radically as other aspects of our lives, such as work. Can you think of any other ways that the Internet has changed sex, dating, and the way we meet potential romantic interests? I think it’s fair to say that we’re only getting started.