Is Porn Changing the Way We Kiss?

I’m afraid youngsters don’t kiss as much as they used to, particularly during sex. I watched Rules of Attraction last weekend, a 2002 cults film based on Bret Easton Ellis’s book. While it is seven years old, it is still accurate in its depiction of sex-based relationships on campuses. Sexual desire is abundant, but not much emotional connection. Perhaps I shouldn’t have been shocked then, when I remembered that there was no kissing in the sex scenes about halfway through the movie. I thought it was odd; when I grew up in the 1970s, making out was an necessary prerequisite for even the most casual sex. Young Devotion Parkplatztreff provides more info.

When thinking about what’s changed in the last 30 years, I immediately speculated that this may have everything to do with the ready availability of porn. Technology has allowed many young men to see graphic, every day porn. It’s a common activity for male bonding among college guys. Throughout recent years, porn has displayed habits that have rapidly become part of the young heterosexual mainstream scene, including Brazilian waxing and kissing girl-on-girls. Now it seems that the anal sex activity among young people is rising significantly, thanks to its success in porn. There is evidence today that girls feel forced to take part in threesomes and encourage their partners to ejaculate on their faces, the quintessential shot of porn flick income.

I wanted to do some research, ahem, and tried out some of the porn pages to see for myself. Bingo Bingo. Lots of grinding, bit of kissing. And this was true even on amateur sites where everyday people post their own sex videos to share the love with the crowd. While thirty years ago I was not a major porn user, I believe that there was not much kissing in those movies either. What’s different now is that for young people, porn is now the main type of sex ed and they replicate those habits in their own lives. What kissing I found online was strange, almost reptilian. I found that this is called pornkissing: kissing someone with a tongue but no lips, much as in adult movies (UrbanDictionary.com). (Interesting aside, I found much more passionate kissing on gay [male] porn pages. It wasn’t the norm, but plenty of videos were called to suggest that the actors were in love, so it was obviously a draw for some spectators.) Interestingly, very little work was done on kissing. A survey of 1,041 college students at Albany’s State University of New York in 2007 showed some fascinating details about how the genders vary in their understanding of kissing: most women see the first kiss as making it or breaking the momentum.

Just 10 percent of women would consider having sex with a guy without first kissing, while men thought that kissing was much less necessary.

Men find kissing a means to an end, including obtaining or reconciling sexual favours.

Women kiss to develop and track their relationship status, and consider it a key factor in finding a partner.

Kissing is biologically powerful; it releases feel-good dopamine and endorphins into the brain, lowers levels of cortisol (stress hormone) and oxytocin floods the brain.

Women enjoy kissing before sexual experiences, during and after.

More than half of the men said they’d be happy to have sex without kissing, compared to 15 percent of the women.

Men expect kissing to lead to sex half the time compared to women getting one-third of the time.

Men are more likely to start French kissing with their saliva, maybe hoping to arouse the woman with the testosterone.

Degustation of another’s saliva gives you their “chemical signature.” Saliva and sweat contain pheromones, which help you assess a person’s attractiveness which compatibility.

Since the vast majority of porn audiences are men, and since the majority of porn is made by men, it is no wonder that porn focuses on what men want. Yet what are the long-term consequences in our society for emotional intimacy and relationships as young people hear the bulk of what they know about porn courtship? How do women feel that porn standards are a part of the standard sex script?