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Why Watching Porn With My Partner Was a Terrible Idea

By February 14, 2020 February 20th, 2020 No Comments

In society today, many people have the idea that porn is a great way to “spice things up” in a relationship or that it can be a healthy thing “for couples to watch together.” We get comments like this from people all the time.

What’s interesting is that some of these people even recognize that porn is harmful for individuals, but then also seem to think that when porn is consumed with a partner, it suddenly becomes a great tool for the bedroom. This skewed thinking is only made worse by the misinformation being promoted everywhere we look.

Just take a look at some of these headlines from popular online news sources:

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But while the internet may have you believe otherwise, science and research are proving time and time again that porn can warp relationship expectations, destroy intimacy, and drive a wedge between partners and their intimacy.

Decades of research from major institutions supported by countless personal accounts from people all over the world confirm that porn is, in fact, not harmless, and we wouldn’t be doing society a service by saying it is. All someone has to do is evaluate the existing research on porn to understand that this issue is bigger than what you might normally hear about porn being a tool to “express sexuality” or “spice up relationships.”

Two of the most respected pornography researchers found that consuming pornography makes many individuals less satisfied with their own partners’ physical appearance, sexual performance, sexual curiosity, and affection. [1] They also found that, over time, many porn consumers can grow more callous toward females in general, less likely to value monogamy and marriage, and more likely to develop distorted perceptions of sexuality. [2] Other researchers have confirmed those results and added that porn consumers tend to be significantly less intimate with their partners, [3] less committed in their relationships, [4] less satisfied with their romantic and sex lives, [5] and more likely to cheat on their partners. [6]

“Porn Kills Love” is an impactful statement that is meant to spark awareness and motivate a change in perspective in our porn-saturated world. It encompasses, in a simplified statement, what the research is saying about porn’s impact on society as a whole, as well as individuals and their ability and/or desire to healthfully bond with others.

Our declaration is “Porn Kills Love,” not that “insert consumer’s name” kills love. Our message is directed at porn itself, not at the person who consumes it. In fact, consider how most porn consumers have no idea that porn is harmful—and why would they? We live in a world where porn is completely normalized, celebrated, and even promoted.

Related: Here’s Why Those Who Struggle With Porn Aren’t Bad People

Porn is, at best, heartbreaking, and at worst, downright destructive to relationships.

To further show the reality of these facts, the following story was recently sent to us by a young married woman who told us how porn became an unwanted part of her relationship and what happened when she decided to join in.

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What the letter said

Dear FTND,

First of all… I LOVE your page! Secondly, I would like to share my story.

I had only been dating the guy who is now my husband of five years for a short time when I first walked in on him watching porn. Up until that point, I had no idea. I had so much respect for him before this happened. It hurt me because this wasn’t just some casual, new relationship, he was my best friend too. I decided then and there that I was having none of that and I broke up with him in despair.

The next day I took him back, because he said “sorry” and “it will never happen again.” I could tell he truly was sorry, but what I didn’t know was that he had been addicted to porn for quite some time. Not long after this incident, I felt I just couldn’t trust him anymore. Every few weeks I would check his search history to be sure he was being honest with me and I would find links to porn sites throughout his computer. He would swear to me that he hadn’t watched it, until I told him I had checked his computer. This made me feel worthless as a person, more than words can say.

RelatedHow Porn Hurts A Consumer’s Partner

We weren’t involved sexually (I wanted to wait), but his porn forced me to feel like I had to sleep with him or else I would lose him.

So I did. And from then on, we were physical all the time.

But his obsession still continued. I began to slowly spiral into a depression that ultimately led me to attempting suicide. I always felt as though I was never good enough. 

Then one day it dawned on me. What if I join in? What if I watch porn with him?

So that’s what I did.

And what happened was that I became just as hooked to porn as he was. It began killing the love in our relationship and completely destroying the respect we had for each other, (or what respect was left anyway). It made me a totally different person. The reality vs. fantasy was all too much for me to handle until porn seemed to become more of a reality than my actual reality.

One day, I came to realize what was happening and we both realized we needed help.

RelatedHow Porn Damages Consumers’ Sex Lives

Slowly but surely over these last few years, we began healing. We started counseling and we talked in depth about everything, which is something we couldn’t do while we were drowning in the world of porn. It took a long time and it was hard, but I knew we had to throw out those DVDs and ditch the computer.

We did everything in our power to save our relationship and now we are happily married (I can finally say this and have it be the truth)! We have been porn-free for a few years now. We have our trust back for one another, as well as our respect. I guess you could say, love took hold where porn left off.

Thanks for all that you do!

– S.

Brain Heart World

A common story

This story is actually way more common than you might think. It is not uncommon for partners of porn viewers to end up looking at porn as well, either out of curiosity to see what they’re being compared to or in a desperate attempt to salvage the intimacy in their marriage.

Related: How Porn Taught Me To Let Guys Use My Body For Sex

Just recently we received another inbox message from a young married woman saying this:

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These are real stories from real people who have had their relationship torn apart by the harmful effects of pornography. Still think porn is harmless, personal entertainment?

Science, research, and personal accounts are all adding up to saying the same thing: porn kills love. If you’re reading this, we believe you deserve better than what porn offers.

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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] 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.
[3] 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
[4] 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
[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; 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
[6] 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
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