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Can Your Porn Habit Stay Separate from Your Relationships?

By January 19, 2021No Comments

Despite the massive amounts of research that indicate that porn is unhealthy for consumers, their relationships, and the world in general, there are still some people who aren’t quite on board with the #PornKillsLove movement.

For example, check out this tweet:

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Clearly, a portion of society is under the impression that porn doesn’t affect them, and it certainly doesn’t affect the people around them. We’re here to give visibility to the existing research that tells a different story.

Porn doesn’t only affect consumers

Here’s an inconvenient truth: while porn is something you can choose to consume by yourself, watching explicit videos of strangers having sex doesn’t just affect you—it affects your partner too, but not for the better.

Two of the most respected pornography researchers, professors Jennings Bryant and Dolf Zillman at the University of Alabama, who have studied the effects of porn and media for more than 30 years, said that when it comes to porn use “no rigorous research demonstrations of desirable effects can be reported.” [1]

In other words, in all the serious research that’s been done on porn, no one has found that it has any benefits. What several studies have found, however, is that porn can cause serious damage not only to the consumer, but also to those closest to them—especially their partner. [2][3][4]

Give One For Love

Can you have it both ways?

The truth is, in healthy relationships, reputable research in general shows you can’t have it both ways. Studies show consumers can’t have the instant gratification of thousands of virtual sex partners and a satisfying long-term committed relationship.

The long-term studies paint a very different picture than what you might be hearing from pro-porn advocates. The preponderance of evidence from a dozen or more in-depth, longer-term studies consistently show porn consumption lowering relationship satisfaction, emotional closeness, and sexual satisfaction. [5]

Related: My Wife And I Loved To Watch Porn Together—Until It Ruined Our Intimacy

Let’s take a look at some more info.

• A 2012 study by Amanda Maddox and her team concluded that individuals who never viewed sexually-explicit material reported higher relationship quality (on every measure) compared with those who viewed the same explicit material on their own. [6]

Related: Can Porn Improve An Intimate Relationship?

• In one of the few studies to follow married couples and their pornography consumption for several years, researchers found that porn did, in fact, harm relationship quality and satisfaction. The researchers concluded:

“In general, married persons who more frequently viewed pornography in 2006 reported significantly lower levels of marital quality in 2012… Pornography’s effect was not simply a proxy for dissatisfaction with sex life or marital decision-making in 2006. In terms of substantive influence, the frequency of pornography use in 2006 was the second strongest predictor of marital quality in 2012.”

• A new study published in 2017 examined the impact of couples where one partner consumes more porn than the other—which is a pretty common pattern. The researchers concluded that “greater discrepancies between partners in pornography use were related to less relationship satisfaction, less stability, less positive communication, and more relational aggression.” [7]

Related: How It Feels To Finally Be In A Relationship With Someone Who Doesn’t Watch Porn

Study after study has shown that contrary to popular belief, porn itself is bad news for long term relationships. Not an unsupportive and porn-disapproving partner, but the porn itself. The majority of research reflects that porn negatively affects satisfaction within the relationship and ultimately can lead a person to withdraw from a loved one.

As porn becomes more normalized, we want to be a source of information pointing out that porn is not harmless. This isn’t a moral argument. This comes down to you and your personal relationships, and the opportunity to make an informed decision about what will make them indefinitely thrive.

Love Can't Be Clicked - Charcoal

Why this matters

The myth that porn is a “natural” relationship-booster is everywhere in our culture. We’re out to change the conversation using the facts, and let people know that they deserve better than the toxicity of porn in their lives.

Choosing real love means choosing to fight for the healthiest relationship possible—research makes it clear that porn isn’t part of that. Do yourself and your partner a favor and ditch porn for good. We think you’ll be more than glad you did.

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] 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
[2]  Henline, B. H., Lamke, L. K., & Howard, M. D. (2007). Exploring Perception Of Online Infidelity. Personal Relationships, 14, 113-128. Doi:10.1111/J.1475-6811.2006.00144.X; Stack, S., Wasserman, I., & Kern, R. (2004) Adult Social Bonds And The Use Of Internet Pornography. Social Science Quarterly, 85, 75-88. Doi:10.1111/J.0038-4941.2004.08501006.X; Schneider, J. P. (2000). Effects Of Cybersex Addiction On The Family: Results Of A Survey. Sexual Addiction And Compulsivity, 7, 31-58. Doi:10.1080/10720160008400206
[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; Perry, S. (2016). Does Viewing Pornography Reduce Marital Quality Over Time? Evidence From Longitudinal Data. Archives Of Sexual Behavior, 46(2), 549-559. Doi: 10.1007/S10508-016-0770-Y; 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; 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; Stewart, D. N., & Szymanski, D. M. (2012). Young Adult Women’s Reports Of Their Male Romantic Partner’s Pornography Use As A Correlate Of Their Self-Esteem, Relationship Quality, And Sexual Satisfaction. Sex Roles, 67(5-6), 257-274. Retrieved From Https://Yourbrainonporn.Com/Young-Adult-Women%E2%80%99s-Reports-Their-Male-Romantic-Partner%E2%80%99s-Pornography-Use-Correlate-Their-Self.
[4] Park, B. Y., Et Al. (2016). Is Internet Pornography Causing Sexual Dysunction? A Review With Clinical Reports, Behavioral Sciences, 6, 17. Doi:10.3390/Bs6030017; Perry, S. (2016). Does Viewing Pornography Reduce Marital Quality Over Time? Evidence From Longitudinal Data. Archives Of Sexual Behavior, 46(2), 549-559. Doi: 10.1007/S10508-016-0770-Y; 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; 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. 8(6):520-30. Doi:10.1080/00224499.2010.543960; Zillman, D., & Bryant, J. (2006). Pornography’s Impact On Sexual Satisfaction. Journal Of Applied Social Psychology, 18(5), 438-453. Doi:10.1111/J.1559-1816.1988.Tb00027.X
[5] Wilson, G. (2013). Studies Linking Porn Use Or Porn/Sex Addiction To Sexual Dysfunctions, Lower Arousal, And Lower Sexual & Relationship Satisfaction; Retrieved From https://www.yourbrainonporn.com/studies-reported-relationships-between-porn-use-or-porn-addictionsex-addiction-and-sexual
[6] Maddox, A. M., Rhoades, G. K., & Markman, H. J. (2011). Viewing Sexually-Explicit Materials Alone or Together: Associations with Relationship Quality. Archives of Sexual Behavior40(2), 441–448. http://doi.org/10.1007/s10508-009-9585-4
[7] Willoughby, B. J., Carroll, J. S., Busby, D. M., & Brown, C. (2016). Differences in pornography use among couples: Associations with satisfaction, stability, and relationship processes. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 45, 145-148, doi: 10.1007/s10508-015-0562-9
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