Is it ethical to watch AI pornography?

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If you’re in your 20s and 30s, you probably watch pornography. Millennials and gen Z are watching more pornography than any other age group and are more likely than any other demographic to experiment with AI pornography.

As technology advances, AI-powered tools and techniques are becoming increasingly sophisticated and accessible. This can lead to indecent content, including deepfakes—videos in which a person’s face is replaced with someone else’s without their consent. Social media platform X (formerly Twitter) recently faced a scandal when it was hit by Taylor Swift’s deepfake.

But what about other types of AI pornography? How might using it affect you, and how can you make sure you’re using it ethically? I am a sex and relationship therapist, so I am interested in helping clients with a variety of sexual issues, including porn use issues. I am also curious about the ways in which AI can be used positively to create porn that is not only ethical, but also educational and sexy at the same time.

The effects of watching AI porn

While it’s perfectly normal to be curious about sex, watching too much pornography can affect your sexual satisfaction — and AI porn is no different. For example, you might start comparing your partner to the highly realistic, but impossibly perfect, digitally generated actors of AI porn.

Already, research shows that men who frequently view online porn may experience erectile dysfunction. This may be due to idealistic depictions in pornography compared to real-life sexual encounters. AI pornography will likely extend this further, with AI porn avatars able to participate in sexual acts that would not be possible, or accessible, to real people.

Women who watch porn have different opinions. Some women have noted positive changes, including a reduction in shyness associated with sexual pleasure. But others have expressed concerns about the standards of beauty in pornography, calling them unattainable.

This stance is widely shared by anti-porn campaigners, who claim that porn demeans and objectifies women. They believe it instills ideas of male supremacy, which potentially leads to violence against women.

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