GFYs Are the Latest in Porn — But Can They Harm Your Sex Life?

Ladies and gentlemen, meet the GFY. It rhymes with spiffy, and it’s a magical little piece of technology brought to us by the wonder that is HTML5. What are GFYs? Essentially, they’re GIFs, but better: They’re still image loops, but they load faster, they run smoother, you can pause them and start them up again, and they can play sound. Think of them as what might happen if a GIF and a YouTube video had a lovechild together.

Naturally, the porn industry is having a field day with these things. Reddit’s GFY porn subreddit (NSFW!), for example, already has over 13,600 subscribers, and it’s only been around for a few months. This might just be the future of porn. But could the GFY, as awesome as it is, have a negative effect on your sex life? Maybe.

The real question is about whether the bite-sized pieces of sexiness that are porn GFYs, when they become as mainstream as regular Internet porn, will shorten our sexual attention spans — which are apparently already growing shorter anyways. According to Rob Weiss, an expert on the intersection of sex and technology, the more intense the visuals, the more intense the dopamine rush from orgasm — and the harder it is to get the same pleasure from sex with a real, live person. “When you escalate the imagery — the kind of sexuality you’re looking at and the speed at which it is delivered — viewers get more of a dopamine rush from the experience,” he says.

I am by no means anti-porn, but I do see how this might be the case. If that’s the way our brains function, they’re going to run into trouble when it comes to GFYs, purely due to the speed at which they can deliver explicit content. That said, though, it’s already so easy to get a hold of porn that I can’t imagine GFYs will have that much of an effect on us — love it or hate it, we’re already exposed to so much XXX content that just another delivery method probably won’t change things too much.

That said, though, the technology is pretty, no?