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What is wrong with watching porn while I am in a relationship?

 

What would be your reaction when you discover that your partner watches pornography? Would you feel insecure, offended or it wouldn’t bother you at all? For some persons, catching their partner in the act of watching pornography may leave them with feelings of mistrust, insufficiency, or anxiety about their sexual performance. Do you think pornography can be used among persons in a romantic relationship?

The conflict

A monogamous relationship is made up of two people who have different opinions about what they consider appropriate behavior in a relationship and different tastes and views about pornography. There is no doubt that catching a partner while they are consuming porn can cause tension in the relationship. While pornography in a relationship is not necessarily bad, some persons may take offense or feel insecure when they find their partner consuming pornographic material. Even when they are the one consuming porn, they feel like they are cheating on their partner or some sex therapy experts advocate the consumption of ethically produced pornography as healthy and harm-free

Do people in relationships consume porn or is it just speculation?

Many people in relationships watch porn regularly without any negative effects on their relationship. There’s conflicting research on how porn affects relationships. Some studies show watching a lot of porn is associated with less happy relationships and worse sex between couples, whereas other studies have found positive effects of watching porn in relationships. Meanwhile, other studies have actually found watching porn might improve relationships.

Why do people in relationships watch porn?

Some people in relationships might watch porn because they’re not satisfied with their current sex life or are unhappy in their relationship. Or it could be something completely unrelated to that. Many people watch porn simply to relax, release stress, and get some physical pleasure without having to bother their partner.

Consuming pornography, cheating, and secrecy. Is there a connecting line?

An easy way porn can hurt your relationship is through secrecy. Keeping secrets of any kind from your partner can hurt the relationship, create a feeling of distance between you, and erode trust over time. Especially when it comes to porn, some people hide their use specifically because they believe their partner will be upset about it or because they know their partner isn’t okay with it.

Some people view porn as a form of cheating or as competition to their sex life as a couple, and so discovering that your partner has been secretly watching porn behind your back can be particularly hurtful.

The effects of porn on relationships. What research says

2018 study found people were more likely to report positive effects on their sex lives than negative effects, including things like better sexual communication, more sexual experimentation, and more comfort with sex in general.

Some people believe porn “desensitizes” the brain to pleasure, such that it requires more and more intense stimuli to get sexually excited. A 2014 study found men who watch a lot of porn do tend to have less gray matter and reactivity in their striatum, a part of the brain related to our reward system. The researchers guessed this could either mean that watching porn shrinks this pleasure-related brain region or it could just mean that having this brain configuration makes watching porn more enjoyable, which is why people who have brains like this watching porn more often.

2015 study actually found regular porn use was correlated with a stronger sexual response in men and a stronger desire for IRL sex with a partner. In a 2019 review of existing research on the subject, researchers found “little to no evidence that pornography use may induce delayed ejaculation and erectile dysfunction” and found the evidence of the connection between porn and sexual dissatisfaction to be “inconsistent.” Some clinicians have found watching porn can be effective in overcoming erectile dysfunction, and many sex therapists and other sexuality professionals recommend porn as part of how to learn what turns you on.

All that said, some studies have shown that the more porn a man watches, the more likely he is to want to incorporate sex acts he sees in porn into his actual sex life with his partner.

How to deal with your partner who watches porn

If you’re upset that your partner is watching porn, talk to them about it. Suffering in silence will only make matters worse. Ask yourself and discuss with your partner:

  • Why are you bothered about your partner watching porn?
  • How does it make you feel about yourself? About the relationship?
  • Why does your partner watch porn?
  • What is your sex life like? Could it be better?
  • How can both partners’ needs be met with the most compassion?

 

If you’re worried about the reasons your partner is using pornography, a reputable sex therapist can work with you both toward healthier porn consumption or other productive habits.

No one should watch porn if they don’t want to. In every couple, there are things one person wants to do and the other doesn’t, whether it’s bicycling or shopping, or watching a TV series. Human beings are different, and at a point in a relationship, everybody has to admit they enjoy something that their partner doesn’t. That’s part of growing up and being an adult. Keep in mind that

  • Healthy relationships are built on trust.
  • The key to a strong, long-lasting relationship is the couple’s ability to build emotional intimacy.
  • Pornography may create unrealistic expectations about your spouse and sexual behavior.
  • Communication is important in relationships.

 

Sources:

https://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-27470/3-ways-porn-is-affecting-your-relationship-and-what-you-can-do-about-it.html

https://www.mercurynews.com/2017/02/15/porn-lies-and-relationships-palo-alto-sex-therapists-advice-to-couples/

 

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