The world of porn is moving in the millions, Being one of the most profitable industries in the world. While in the past it was considered a shameful thing, today there are few people who have never seen pornographic material. But since its creation there has been controversy and debate on the effects that its consumption can have, in particular in the domain of the couple.
Some people find it an infidelity-type betrayal for their partner to watch pornographic videos or to believe that they are doing it because they are already loved for it. Is it true? Does pornography destroy the quality of relationships? We start by defining what we are talking about, which is often confused.
What do we mean by pornography?
As most people already know, pornography is that collection of works or portrayals of explicit sexual content that are generated for the purpose of arousing or satisfying their viewers.
While currently, pornography consumption takes place mainly through the network and is based on audiovisual content in the form of videos. It is also considered as such all kinds of stimuli meeting the characteristics described above. Thus, one can find pornographic photographs or magazines or even written stories.
But pornography must be distinguished from eroticism. while the eroticism also partly tries to provoke the attraction of the user by innuendo (may or may not include all nudity and sexual attitudes) and may relate to the artistic, in the case of pornography it is shown in its entirety for the fundamental purpose of obtaining sexual gratification. It is also important to note that what is considered pornographic can vary widely between cultures, between subjects of the same culture, or even at different times for the same subject.
Once we visualize the concept of pornography, we can see what effects pornography has on the couple’s world.
Effects of porn on relationships
The emergence of pornography and the study of its effects on the population that consumes it, a controversy has arisen over how it can affect a couple’s functioning.
The answer to how pornography consumption can affect a relationship largely depends on the characteristics and considerations of each of its components. There are people who they still consider pornography consumption to be a betrayal or something disturbing that results in a lack of self-desire. The reason for this conflict is usually insecurity, fear of losing the partner or the desired trait.
In this regard, a study carried out in 1989 indicated that men consuming these products ended up feeling less sexual and emotional interest for their partners, judging them less attractive in comparison. However, while this study had broad repercussions, it was conducted with a very small sample size that did not really generalize the results.
A more recent conclusion
More recently, this study was replicated with a much larger sample. Through several trials, the aim was to assess the impact of viewing pornography and its effect on the attractiveness and feelings of the people analyzed towards their partners.
The results showed that there is no relationship between the two factors. In this way, one can consider that no, the consumption of pornography (as long as there are no factors such as addiction or is used as a means of avoiding and frequently escaping from reality) it does not generate a decrease in desire or love for the couple.
It should also be borne in mind that the consideration given to sex and sexuality in general has evolved over the course of history, and that there is an increasing amount of information and the presence of sexual elements in our daily life. This means that over time things like porn consumption have become much more prevalent and standardized, so the idea of one of the couple seeing porn isn’t that strange and is less inclined to live in a negative form.
Beneficial effects of its consumption
In fact, the current consumption of pornography may even be beneficial for many couples.
And, unless used as the sole medium for sexual learning, pornography can provide a lot of ideas for ways to enjoy sex in different ways than usual. There are couples who see this type of material together, using it as a way to stimulate and increase libido while providing them with ideas on different games and ways to enjoy their sexuality together. At the individual level, it can stimulate the imagination and desire.
Likewise, pornography generally includes aspects and people of different backgrounds and orientations. It can help break some taboos, as well as in some cases it can help some people get to know their own body (For example in aspects such as female masturbation, which still today is still a taboo for some people) and the means to stimulate it.
It can also be used as a tool to make explicit and communicate desires and fantasies that would not normally be expressed. In fact, it is sometimes recommended in certain marriage therapy because it allows you to learn and share moments of physical and mental stimulation together.
Situations in which it may be harmful
While the consumption of pornography is not negative and does not harm the relationship, as it is with most things. it can be negative if used dysfunctionally or excessively.
This is what happens with those people who turn to pornography to escape problems with the couple, using it to escape and not face conflict. The same goes for highly reprimanded people with low social skills who may resort to these materials as a compensatory mechanism, limiting their interaction. In these cases, the existence of bad mood and low self-esteem and the use of pornography cannot be recorded. git generates temporary relief to lower mood later.
Additionally, in some people, pornography can be addictive. And is that as with any addiction, there is a frequent and prolonged consumption over time of a stimulus which over time requires more and more to obtain the same effects. Subject may spend excessive time and limit interactions with environment (including partner) and set aside other responsibilities and activities. Likewise, withdrawal or absence of this can cause strong anxiety, irritability and hostility which can end up seriously damaging the relationship.
Other side effects
Another case where it can be harmful is when pornography is used as the only means of sexual learning. It should be borne in mind that the world of pornography reflects the sexual relations between actors and actresses who are often distinguished by their physique and their sexual attributes, relations which also have specific characteristics (high duration and intensity, determined roles and attitudes. during relationships …) and that they focus on genitality.
In this way, certain stimuli and certain ways of doing things are normalized, which can lead to expectations of what constitutes a satisfying sexual relationship which can then be difficult to achieve in reality. There is also a risk of avoid and trivialize affective aspects and penetration can only be identified with obtaining satisfaction, without regard to other activities which may be erotic and pleasurable such as massage, kissing, playing or fondling.
- Balzarini, RN; Dobson, K .; Chin, K. and Campbell, L. (2017). Does exposure to erotica reduce attraction and love for romantic couples in men? Independent replications of the study by Kenrick, Gutierres and Goldberg (1989) 2. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 70; 191-197.