LifePorn

My recently acquired jade egg practice as led me through the familiar internet rabbit hole and into unknown territory. In this land of Reddit’s r/NoFap community and www.yourbrainonporn.com, porn is bad for you. And I don’t disagree. I can let you do your own reading and internet research but the gist of it all is that porn is like too much sugar and fatty foods. Sex is good and food is good but porn and junk foods are artificial, processed and they disrupt the brain’s neurochemicals and create addictions.

But that’s not what this post is about. While porn is bad for sexual wellbeing and junk food is bad for physical health, I think that there is another type of porn that is bad for our lives. Junk food is also called “comfort food” and it often only feels good in the moment. Porn can make us feel the same way and a lot of people on r/NoFap say they feel awful after watching it. This other type of “porn” or “comfort/junk food” is more about general life satisfaction than sexual or physical health. So I coined it as “life porn.”

LifePorn, like sex porn and junk food, is a product of our modern times. It used to be that sugar and fatty foods were hard to come by and processed, artificial foods were nonexistent. Now, sugar is added to almost anything and everything. It used to be that the only way to see a hot girl/guy in the nude was to actually hook up with a hot girl/guy or buy a copy of Playboy/Playgirl. Now we have free WiFi and PornHub. LifePorn is also usually digital in nature. I define LifePorn as “a less than accurate representation, often digital, of a life that is seemingly preferable to ones own.”

LifePorn is your favorite TV shows and movies that make you compare them to your own life and you wish you could be a part of. It’s certainly on your Instagram feed and Facebook timeline. It’s in the Snapchat stories. It can be in books and magazines too. Hell, it can even be in blogs. Life is good, sex is good, and food is good. But LifePorn, sex porn, and junk food are unhealthy distortions of reality that cause problems.

They are supranormal in that they artificially “raise the bar” for reality. Fruit has lots of healthy sugars but compared to candy, a banana won’t taste sweet. Porn can let you have imaginary sex with a hundred new people that are exactly your type and who can and will do whatever crazy shit you can dream up all in one night. Real sex just isn’t like that- it usually happens with one other person at a time or several at the most, but not hundreds. And LifePorn does basically the same thing for life.

In my experience, the symptoms caused by LifePorn are nostalgia for other times, a mistaken belief that everyone else is better off, and just a general desire to be anywhere other than where I am. It’s the classic ” the grass is always greener syndrome.” I would use LifePorn as a way of making myself feel better or distracting myself from my present reality. Bored? Scroll through the Snapchat Discover page. Sad? Watch a movie to feel better. Life sucks and you wish it didn’t? Watch Coronet films or old movies and think about how different and obviously perfect life was before you were born and if you could only recreate that type of lifestyle, then you’d be happy.

The problem with this is that I’m constantly wanting a life other than the one I have. And this means that I’m constantly trying to create the life that I want, instead of loving and living the life that I have. There’s a lot to be said for creating the life you want, and following your dreams, etc. but when the life you want is based on artifice then it’s time to stop trying to create a life and instead just want the life you have.

And step one of that is just living your life! I’ve posted about digital wellness on here before and the fact of the matter is, living life means looking forward and looking around and looking up, not looking down at a screen. Real life isn’t lived online or in TV and movies. Life is lived in the world, on Earth (and the rest of our solar system, when/if commercial space travel becomes a thing). Of course I still use the Internet and I still watch TV and movies. But since becoming aware of how LifePorn affects me, I try my best not to use it to fill the sadness or the boredom or to feed the nostalgia.

In my experience, the root of nostalgia, especially nostalgia for a time or place that you’ve never experienced is the mistaken belief that things were better then or there. I would think that things were better in the past because people dressed better and behaved better and dating was easier and people talked more instead of being on their phones all the time and friendships were richer and if I lived back then, I’d have more time to do things because I wouldn’t waste it on the internet and life would be better. But when I really look at why I think it would be better, there isn’t anything to prohibit me from enjoying what I thought was only available in another time or place other than my own perspective and my own habits.

So want the life you have and just live it.

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