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Can Your Porn Habit Stay Completely Separate from Your Relationships?

By March 24, 2020 No 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:

Screen-Shot-2017-04-12-at-3.27.05-PM

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 very different story.

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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]

Become A Fighter

Can you have it both ways?

The truth is, porn often takes a heavy toll on real-life relationships. [5] When they discover that their loved-one is using porn, many partners feel shocked, rejected, abandoned, humiliated, and betrayed. [6] (See How Porn Can Hurt Your Partner.) The idea that “porn is a personal decision that affects no one else” is simply not factual.

Even if your partner has no problem with porn, it can still poison your relationship. Studies have clearly shown that porn erodes a person’s ability to love and feel love with a real partner. [7] When consumers are exposed to porn, they rate themselves as less in love with their actual partners, [8] and less satisfied with their relationships and sex lives. [9] They become more critical and dissatisfied with their partner’s appearance, sexual performance, sexual curiosity, and displays of affection. [10]

Ironically, porn is directly related to problems with attraction, arousal, and sexual performance, [11] as well as lower sex drive, erectile dysfunction, and difficulty reaching orgasm. [12] (See How Porn Damages Your Sex Life.)

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Bottom line: watching porn to learn about sex is like taking driving lessons from the Fast and the Furious saga—it’s probably not going to boost performance in a healthy or effective way.

Clearly, porn isn’t something that can be easily separated from a relationship. In fact, it’s entirely likely that porn deeply affects consumers’ relationships without them even realizing it.

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] 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 Dysunction? 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; 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; Schneider, J. P. (2000). Effects Of Cybersex Addiction On The Family: Results Of A Survey. Sexual Addiction And Compulsivity, 7(1), 31-58. Doi:10.1080/10720160008400206;
[6] Kalman, T. P. (2008). Clinical Encounters With Internet Pornography, Journal Of The American Academy Of Psychoanalysis And Dynamic Psychiatry, 36(4), 593-618. Doi:10.1521/Jaap.2008.36.4.593; Bridges, A. J., Bergner, R. M., & Hesson-McInnis, M. (2003). Romantic Partners’ Use Of Pornography: Its Significance For Women. Journal Of Sex And Marital Therapy, 29(1), 1-14. Doi:10.1080/713847097; 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; Schneider, J. P. (2000). Effects Of Cybersex Addiction On The Family: Results Of A Survey. Sexual Addiction And Compulsivity, 7(1), 31-58. Doi:10.1080/10720160008400206;
[7] Park, B. Y., Et Al. (2016). Is Internet Pornography Causing Sexual Dysfunctions? A Review With Clinical Reports. Behavioral Sciences, 6, 17. Doi:10.3390/Bs6030017; Voon, V., Et Al. (2014). Neural Correlates Of Sexual Cue Reactivity In Individuals With And Without Compulsive Sexual Behaviors, PLoS ONE, 9(7), E102419. Doi:10.1371/Journal.Pone.0102419; Kalman, T. P., (2008). Clinical Encounters With Internet Pornography, Journal Of The American Academy Of Psychoanalysis And Dynamic Psychiatry, 36(4), 593-618. Doi:10.1521/Jaap.2008.36.4.593; Henline, B. H., Lamke, L. K., & Howard, M. D. (2007). Exploring Perceptions 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[9]
[8] Bridges, A. J. (2010). Pornography’s Effect On Interpersonal Relationships. In Stoner, J. & Hughes, D. (Eds.), The Social Cost Of Pornography: A Collection Of Papers (Pp. 89-110). Princeton, NJ: Witherspoon Institute; Kendrick, D., Gutierres, S., & Goldberg, L. (1989). Influence Of Popular Erotica On Judgments Of Strangers And Mates. Journal Of Experimental Social Psychology, 25, 159-167. Doi:10.1016/0022-1031(89)90010-3
[9] Perry, S. L. (2017) 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; Wery, A., & Billieux, J. (2016). Online Sexual Activities: An Exploratory Study Of Problematic And Non-Problematic Usage Patterns In A Sample Of Men. Computers In Human Behavior, 56, 257-266. Doi:10.1016/J.Chb.2015.11.046; 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; 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; 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.20009.09,002
[10] Zillmann, D. And Bryant, J. (1988). Pornography’s Impact On Sexual Satisfaction. Journal Of Applied Social Psychology 18, 5: 438–53.
[11] Carvalheira, A., Traeen, B., & Stulhofer, A. (2015). Masturbation And Pornography Use Among Coupled Heterosexual Men With Decreased Sexual Desire: How Many Roles Of Masturbations? Journal Of Sex And Marital Therapy, 41(6), 626-635. Doi:10.1080/0092623X.2014.958790; Voon, V., Et Al. (2014). Neural Correlates Of Sexual Cue Reactivity In Individuals With And Without Compulsive Sexual Behaviors, PLoS ONE, 9(7), E102419. Doi:10.1371/Journal.Pone.0102419; 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(4), 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. Doi:10.1007/S11199-012-0164-0; 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; Janssen, E., & Bancroft, J. (2007). The Dual-Control Model: The Role Of Sexual Inhibition & Excitation In Sexual Arousal And Behavior. In Janssen, E. (Ed.), The Psychology Of Sex (Pp. 197-222). Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press; 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
[12] Wery, A., & Billieux, J. (2016). Online Sexual Activities: An Exploratory Study Of Problematic And Non-Problematic Usage Patterns In A Sample Of Men. Computers In Human Behavior, 56, 257-266. Doi:10.1016/J.Chb.2015.11.046; Sutton, K. S., Stratton, N., Pytyck, J., Kolla, N. J., & Cantor, J. M. (2015). Patient Characteristics By Type Of Hypersexuality Referral: A Quantitative Chart Review Of 115 Consecutive Male Cases. Journal Of Sex And Marital Therapy, 41(6), 563-580. Doi:10.1080/0092623X.2014.935539; Carvalheira, A., Traeen, B., & Stulhofer, A. (2015). Masturbation And Pornography Use Among Coupled Heterosexual Men With Decreased Sexual Desire: How Many Roles Of Masturbations? Journal Of Sex And Marital Therapy, 41(6), 626-635. Doi:10.1080/0092623X.2014.958790; Voon, V., Et Al. (2014). Neural Correlates Of Sexual Cue Reactivity In Individuals With And Without Compulsive Sexual Behaviors, PLoS ONE, 9(7), E102419. Doi:10.1371/Journal.Pone.0102419; Janssen, E., & Bancroft, J. (2007). The Dual-Control Model: The Role Of Sexual Inhibition & Excitation In Sexual Arousal And Behavior. In Janssen, E. (Ed.), The Psychology Of Sex (Pp. 197-222). Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press;
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