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3 Things Porn Fails to Show About Real Sex and Healthy Relationships

By October 24, 2019 No Comments
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Science and research have spoken: porn can change the brain and do real damage to relationships.

But as important as it is to raise awareness on the false, exploitive, and degrading nature of pornography, it is also important to recognize what porn doesn’t show or teach viewers about sex and relationships.

1. Porn doesn’t show how much we need healthy relationships in life.

Relationships are really important for human beings. As children, teens, and even as adults, we need a variety of strong, healthy relationships in order to thrive.

These include relationships with friends, parents, siblings, teammates, boyfriends, girlfriends, etc. Healthy relationships build self-esteem, boost mental and emotional health, and help us to live overall healthier lives. [1] Studies have shown that people in committed relationships are generally happier. [2]

Related: Why Pornography Prevents Sexual Satisfaction Instead Of Promoting It

Now, on the flip side of the coin, porn does the exact opposite for someone in the long-run. Porn does damage to real relationships like decreasing the mental, physical, and emotional health of the porn consumer, and is a legitimate fueling factor for existing issues like depression, anxiety, and loneliness. [3] Porn can’t even compare to the happiness and fulfillment that real love provides.

In fact, it’s a straight-up unhealthy “substitute.”

Truth About Porn

2. Porn doesn’t show the sacrifice required to be with somebody.

If you’re watching porn thinking it will teach you something about sex, you’re training for the wrong game. Porn will give you an education, but it only teaches toxic, exaggerated, and fantasized lessons that harm individuals and relationships.

Think of it this way: looking at porn for sex tips is like watching action-packed car chase movie scenes for driver’s ed. Not only does porn portray sex completely unrealistically, it also doesn’t promote healthy safer sex practices like using protection and getting tested for STIs.

RelatedHow The Porn Industry Hijacks Natural Sexual Curiosity And Hooks Teens

And that’s not all. Porn doesn’t portray the realistic give-and-take nature of a partnership. News flash: relationships can be challenging. They take sacrifice. Just ask anybody in a long-term relationship; relationships require putting the needs of another before your own. John and Julie Gottman are world-renowned relationship therapists and in their research on what causes relationships to last, they found kindness and generosity to be the top two factors. [4] Couples who were kind and generous with one another were more likely to stay together and to be happy.

Once again, porn is in complete contrast to that ideal.

Porn often highlights selfish sexuality and features violent or aggressive sexual acts. Research shows that porn can actually change and rewire a consumer’s sexual template, and with a majority of porn on mainstream and free sites showcasing a lack of female pleasure and intensified violence against women in general, you can bet there can be negative effects showing up in consumers’ relationships.

Be A Lover And A Fighter - Retro

In fact, when a team of researchers analyzed the most popular porn videos a few years ago, 88% showed physical violence and 49% contained verbal aggression. [5] Visually consuming physical and verbal aggression for sexual pleasure certainly doesn’t encourage more kindness and generosity in a relationship if that’s what a consumer is training their sexual template to be aroused and excited by.

Related: One-Sided Orgasms: Pornhub’s Most Popular Videos Don’t Show Mutual Pleasure

While healthy relationships involve trust and communication, porn decreases trust and communication in a relationship by isolating the consumer, promoting shame spirals. [6] It also sells the lie that being with another person requires sexual chemistry—and that’s it. The reality is, relationships and commitment take work, creativity, sacrifice, and sex won’t always be incredible every single time. But that doesn’t make it any less valuable or intimacy-building, or worth the fight.

Brain Heart World

3. Porn doesn’t show how incredibly amazing it is to truly love someone.

Yes, relationships can be challenging, but porn also misses out on how awesome it is to love someone and be loved by them through the highs and lows of life.

Porn will never become anyone’s life partner or best friend; it can’t replace someone who loves you and fights for you. In real relationships, you can share your life with the other person. You can be with them and hear them laugh, and cry. You can fall in love with their smile, the way they talk, their sense of humor, and more importantly, their heart and character.

RelatedWhy Bad Sex And Low Self-Esteem Result From Watching Porn

Love is an adventure—a chance to take on life with all its challenges and joys with a partner by your side. All porn does is take an exaggerated, unrealistic version of the physical pleasure of sex and detach it from true intimacy. Instead of sex being an awesome and meaningful part of connecting a relationship and bringing two people closer together, it becomes a two-dimensional selfish, hollow act taken from a script and intended for performance and self-gratification.

Don’t get us wrong, sex should ideally feel great for both partners, but that’s the point porn misses—it’s about mutual pleasure, mutual respect, and mutual consent. And yet, according to one study, on one of the largest porn sites’ most popular clips, 78% of men were shown having an orgasm compared to just 18.3% of women.

Bottom line: porn misses out on the fact that while being with a real person is difficult at times, it’s always worth it. Don’t fall for the counterfeit. Porn kills love. And love is something worth fighting for.

Fortify

Need help?

For those reading this who feel they are struggling with pornography, you are not alone. Check out our friends at Fortify, a science-based recovery platform dedicated to helping you find lasting freedom from pornography. Fortify now offers a free experience for both teens and adults. Connect with others, learn about your compulsive behavior, and track your recovery journey. There is hope—sign up today.

Citations

 [1] Johnson, Teddi Dineley. “Healthy Relationships Lead to Better Lives.” The Nation’s Health. Mar 2011. http://thenationshealth.aphapublications.org/content/41/2/20.full
[2] Chang, Louise. “People in Committed Relationships Are Happier Overall.” Web MD. 7 Dec 2005. http://www.webmd.com/sex-relationships/news/20051207/commitment-may-be-good-for-you
[3] Layden, M. A. (2010). Pornography and Violence: A New Look at the Research. In J. Stoner and D.Hughes (Eds.) The Social Costs of Pornography: A Collection of Papers (pp. 57–68). Princeton, NJ: Witherspoon Institute.
[4] Smith, Emily Esfahani. “Masters of Love.” The Atlantic. 12 Jun 2014. http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2014/06/happily-ever-after/372573/
[5] Bridges, A. J., Wosnitzer, R., Scharrer, E., Chyng, S., and Liberman, R. (2010). Aggression and Sexual Behavior in Best Selling Pornography Videos: A Content Analysis Update. Violence Against Women 16, 10: 1065–1085.
[6] Layden, M. A. (2010). Pornography and Violence: A New look at the Research. In J. Stoner and D. Hughes (Eds.) The Social Costs of Pornography: A Collection of Papers (pp. 57–68). Princeton, NJ: Witherspoon Institute.

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