When I grew up, pornography was only available on the top shelves of newsagents. The idea that it could be available to me at the push of a button, or the swipe of my thumb, was unthinkable. Porn was something to be hunted down, not to just passively observe. You can't go so far as to say it's been normalised (you still won't see it ending the terrestrial TV schedule at night), but it certainly no longer has the impact it once had. While once upon a time some sexual practices were enigmatic whispers of what "some people do", how many of us haven't at some stage witnessed people engaging in watersports, watched a little bit of light spanking, or seen two girls eating their dinner from one cup?
The existence of porn addiction is contested by some psychologists. While obviously part of wider sex addiction, there are those who would argue that it does not exist as an addiction in its own right. But regardless of its diagnostic status, there's no doubt about the negative impact excessive and compulsive viewing can cause. The ramifications can be financial, social, mental and physical, sometimes leading to isolation, career loss, decreased productivity and depression. Surveys estimate that 1% of Internet users have definite symptoms of porn addiction, while as much as 17% show signs of problematic abuse.
Porn addiction is the topic for Prurience, an experiential theatre piece by Christopher Green that features as part of SICK! Festival on Wednesday 4th March at the Methodist Central Buildings on Oldham Street, Manchester. To book tickets, click here:
"Prurience is an experiential piece of theatre about pornography. Not about the producers or the participants but the consumers. It’s about addiction to porn.
Set in a fictional self-help group, you are invited to attend a meeting to discuss the huge change that the internet has brought to the sexual and social landscape of our lives.
This is a deft, skillful, entertaining, challenging piece of immersive performance from the creator of Office Party and The Frozen Scream."