Study suggests elderly men love porn—and they feel weird about it

Spoiler alert: Men your grandfather’s age love looking at porn. But they don’t feel any better about that fact than you do.

A study of 2,000 men aged 50 and older confirms that plenty of them are looking at pornography online. They certainly had access to such materials before the Internet—movies, magazines—but 82 percent of survey respondents said their porn habits increased post-Internet, due to how easy it is to find sexy stuff online. Seventy-six percent of those over 60 said if they had to leave the house for a public place to purchase it, they wouldn’t. It’s simply too convenient to stay home.

The study was undertaken by Tim Rollins of Stop Procrastinating, an app designed to block and filter one’s Internet traffic from distracting stuff (say, pornography). “The survey was anonymous so [participants] could be as candid as they wished,” he told the Daily Dot via email. “I guess the older one gets, the less worried one is about being candid.”

The surveyed men answered some prying questions, revealing that 45 percent feel guilty about their porn habits, with 58 percent of them thinking porn is simply wrong. This didn’t necessarily stop them from engaging with it, though.

“They felt like this because [porn] turns women into sexual objects and can degrade relationships between men and women,” said Rollins. “[It can destroy] normal pleasurable sexual experience. Men using porn too much could objectify women more, which means they have less meaningful relationships with them. So if an older man is looking for a new relationship, it could lower his chances.”

Marriage and family therapist Kevin Skinner has written extensively about the intersection between porn consumption and healthy relationships. One does not need to be of a certain age (or even a certain gender) for porn to be a serious interpersonal problem.

“My research indicates that many women are experiencing trauma and many men are struggling with compulsive behaviors and other mental health concerns like depression and anxiety,” writes Skinner. “These real-life challenges make relationship bonding and connection much more difficult.” In another post, he writes that “individuals who consume porn daily are dealing with more than just porn. They are apt to be experiencing depression.”

Porn usage doesn’t necessarily mean there is trouble afoot, so how does one identify if his or her own Internet porn habits are a problem before he is an aged man responding to a questionnaire about them? “Research shows there is a problem when it comes compulsive and when the men (or women) take longer and longer to orgasm and need to view different material to get there,” said Rollins.

Photo via Hernan Pinera/Flickr (CC BY SA 2.0)

Dylan Love

Dylan Love

Dylan Love is an editorial consultant and journalist whose reporting interests include emergent technology, digital media, and Russian language and culture. He is a former staff writer for the Daily Dot, and his work has been published by Business Insider, International Business Times, Men's Journal, and the Next Web.