Blog

“I Wish You Looked Like Her”: How it Feels When My Partner Compares Me to Porn

By April 30, 2019 No Comments
i-wish-you-looked-like-porn-boyfriend-compares-me-to-porn-sad-porn-kills-love-couple-diverse

Many people contact Fight the New Drug to share their personal stories about how porn has affected their life or the life of a loved one. We consider these personal accounts very valuable because, while the science and research is powerful within its own right, personal accounts from real people seem to really hit home about the damage that pornography does to real lives.

This true story sent in by a supporter shows that porn can often breed comparison in relationships and reduce intimacy between partners.

I haven’t struggled with watching porn personally but I did struggle with my (now ex) partner.

He always watched it. He always wanted to do new moves that I wasn’t interested in or comfortable doing. He always compared my body to the women in the videos he watched and would say things like, “I wish you looked more like her.” He would show me the video and my self-esteem plummeted to nothing. I got severely depressed from it and I didn’t know what to do. I always tried venting to friends and they would always say, “It’s normal for men to watch porn in a relationship. Don’t overreact.” But I don’t think it was.

Since then I have moved on and gotten into a relationship with someone who feels the same way about porn that I do. I feel like porn just ruins relationships and can ruin men’s/women’s self-esteem if their partner continues to watch it.

J.

Porn hurts relationships

This Fighter’s experience is backed up by research into how porn impacts relationships. Spoiler alert: studies continually show how porn does not contribute to the lasting emotional health of relationships.

No one ever woke up and said, “Today, I want to get out there and ruin my current and future relationships. I’m going to cut myself off emotionally, undermine trust, and leave my partner feeling confused, rejected, angry, and betrayed.”

No one says that, but a pile of research shows that’s exactly what can happen as a result of consuming porn.

It’s probably no surprise that women tend to view porn and its effects very differently from men. [1] While women and men can both struggle with pornography consumption, studies have shown that many women—even if they believe that pornography consumption is okay for other people—see no acceptable role for porn within their own committed relationship. [2] And no wonder! The evidence that porn can harm relationships and partners is overwhelming. [3]

Two of the most respected pornography researchers, Jennings Bryant and Dolf Zillman at the University of Alabama, studied the effects of porn and media for more than 30 years. They found that consuming pornography makes many individuals less satisfied with their own partners’ physical appearance, sexual performance, sexual curiosity, and affection. [4] They also found that, over time, many porn users grow more callous toward females in general, less likely to value monogamy and marriage, and more likely to develop distorted perceptions of sexuality. [5] Other researchers have confirmed those results and added that porn consumers tend to be significantly less intimate with their partners, [6] less committed in their relationships, [7] less satisfied with their romantic and sex lives, [8] and more likely to cheat on their partners. [9]

Consider Before Consuming

That doesn’t bode well for any relationship where one partner is consuming porn, especially since most of us want and expect our intimate relationships to be built on trust, respect, commitment, honesty, and love.

The truth is, it’s okay to not be okay with your partner’s porn habit. And what’s more, it’s a lie that everyone—including and especially men—watches or needs porn. They don’t.

This is why we raise awareness on the effect of porn in relationships—you and your partner deserve to know the truth of how it can harm intimate bonds. We fight to not let those who consume porn be consumed by their porn.

Conversation Blueprint

Get Help – For Partners

If your partner is struggling with porn, you are not alone—know that there is hope, and there is help. As you navigate this difficult situation, there are supportive communities and resources available to you. Below, we’ve got a non-exhaustive list of several resources for those experiencing betrayal trauma. Because this isn’t a complete resource list, feel free to look for more betrayal trauma resources that are catered to your specific needs and/or location. Note that while both men and women can experience betrayal trauma, some of the resources are gender-specific. Please also note that while some of the resources below are religiously affiliated, Fight the New Drug is not.

Betrayal Trauma Recovery

Recover

Bloom

Addo Recovery

Citations

[1] Olmstead, S. B., Negash, S., Pasley, K., & Fincham, F. D. (2013). Emerging Adults’ Expectations for Pornography Use in the Context of Future Committed Romantic Relationships. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 42, 625-635. doi:10.1007/s10508-012-9986-7
[2] Olmstead, S. B., Negash, S., Pasley, K., & Fincham, F. D. (2013). Emerging Adults’ Expectations for Pornography Use in the Context of Future Committed Romantic Relationships. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 42, 625-635. doi:10.1007/s10508-012-9986-7
[3] Minarcik, J., Wetterneck, C. T., & Short, M. B. (2016). The effects of sexually explicit material use on romantic relationship dynamics. Journal of Behavioral Addictions, 5(4) 700-707. doi: 10.1556/2006.5.2016.078; Park, B. Y., et al. (2016). Is internet Pornography Causing Sexual Dysfunction? A Review with Clinical Reports, Behavioral Sciences, 6, 17. doi:10.3390/bs6030017; Braithwaite, S. R., Coulson, G., Keddington, K., & Fincham, F. D. (2015). The influence of pornography on sexual scripts and hooking up among emerging adults in college. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 44(1), 111-123. doi:10.1007/s10508-014-0351-x; Resch, M. N., & Alderson, K. G. (2014). Female partners of men who use pornography: are honest and mutual use associated with relationship satisfaction? Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy, 40(5), 410-424. doi:10.1080/0092623X.2012.751077; Poulsen, F. O., Busby, D. M., & Galovan, A. M. (2013). Pornography use: who uses it and how it is associated with couple outcomes. Journal of Sex Research 50(1), 72-83. doi:10.1080/00224499.2011.648027; Morgan, E. M. (2011). Associations between Young Adults’ Use of Sexually Explicit Materials and Their Sexual Preferences, Behaviors, and Satisfaction. Journal of Sex Research, 48(6), 520-530. doi:10.1080/00224499.2010.543960; Maddox, A. M., Rhoades, G. K., & Markman, H. J. (2011). Viewing Sexually-Explicit Materials Alone or Together: Associations with Relationship Quality. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 40(2), 441-448. doi:10.1007/s10508-009-9585-4; Bergner, R.M., & Bridges, A. J. (2002). The significance of heavy pornography involvement for romantic partners: Research and clinical implications. Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy, 28, 193-206. doi:10.1080/009262302760328235
[4] Zillman, D. & Bryant, J. (1988) Pornography’s impact on sexual satisfaction. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 18, 438-453. doi: 10.1111/j.1559-1816.1988.tb00027.x
[5] Zillman, D., & Bryant, J. (2000). Influence of unrestrained access to erotica on adolescents’ and young adults’ disposition toward sexuality. Journal of Adolescent Health, 27(2 Suppl), 41-44. doi:10.1016/s1054-139X(00)00137-3; D. & Bryant, J. (1988) Pornography’s impact on sexual satisfaction. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 18, 438-453. doi: 10.1111/j.1559-1816.1988.tb00027.x; Zillman, D. & Bryant, J. (1984). Effects of massive exposure to pornography. In Malamuth, N. M. & Donnerstein, E. (Eds.), Pornography and sexual aggression (pp. 115-138). New York, NY: Academic Press.
[6] Park, B. Y., et al. (2016). Is internet Pornography Causing Sexual Dysfunction? A Review with Clinical Reports, Behavioral Sciences, 6, 17. doi:10.3390/bs6030017; Minarcik, J., Wetterneck, C. T., & Short, M. B. (2016). The effects of sexually explicit material use on romantic relationship dynamics. Journal of Behavioral Addictions, 5(4) 700-707. doi: 10.1556/2006.5.2016.078; Sun, C., Bridges, A., Johnason, J., Ezzell, M., (2014). Pornography and the Male Sexual Script: An Analysis of Consumption and Sexual Relations. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 45, 1-12. doi:10.1007/s10508-014-0391-2; Maddox, A. M., Rhoades, G. K., & Markman, H. J. (2011). Viewing Sexually-Explicit Materials Alone or Together: Associations with Relationship Quality. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 40(2), 441-448. doi:10.1007/s10508-009-9585-4; Bergner, R. M., & Bridges, A. J. (2002). The significance of heavy pornography involvement for romantic partners: Research and clinical implications. Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy, 28, 193-206. doi:10.1080/009262302760328235
[7] Minarcik, J., Wetterneck, C. T., & Short, M. B. (2016). The effects of sexually explicit material use on romantic relationship dynamics. Journal of Behavioral Addictions, 5(4) 700-707. doi: 10.1556/2006.5.2016.078; Maddox, A. M., Rhoades, G. K., & Markman, H. J. (2011). Viewing Sexually-Explicit Materials Alone or Together: Associations with Relationship Quality. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 40(2), 441-448. doi:10.1007/s10508-009-9585-4
[8] Minarcik, J., Wetterneck, C. T., & Short, M. B. (2016). The effects of sexually explicit material use on romantic relationship dynamics. Journal of Behavioral Addictions, 5(4) 700-707. doi: 10.1556/2006.5.2016.078; Morgan, E. M. (2011). Associations between Young Adults’ Use of Sexually Explicit Materials and Their Sexual Preferences, Behaviors, and Satisfaction. Journal of Sex Research, 48(6), 520-530. doi:10.1080/00224499.2010.543960; Maddox, A. M., Rhoades, G. K., & Markman, H. J. (2011). Viewing Sexually-Explicit Materials Alone or Together: Associations with Relationship Quality. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 40(2), 441-448. doi:10.1007/s10508-009-9585-4; Yucel, D. & Gassanov, M. A. (2010). Exploring actor and partner correlates of sexual satisfaction among married couples. Social Science Research, 39(5), 725-738. doi:10.1016/j.ssresearch.2009.09.002
[9] Braithwaite, S. R., Coulson, G., Keddington, K., & Fincham, F. D. (2015). The influence of pornography on sexual scripts and hooking up among emerging adults in college. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 44(1), 111-123. doi:10.1007/s10508-014-0351-x; Maddox, A. M., Rhoades, G. K., & Markman, H. J. (2011). Viewing Sexually-Explicit Materials Alone or Together: Associations with Relationship Quality. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 40(2), 441-448. doi:10.1007/s10508-009-9585-4

Send this to a friend

Like all websites, we use cookies. By continuing on this site, you agree to our use of cookies. More

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.

Close