couples and porn: dealmaker or breaker?

couples and porn: dealmaker or breaker?

Pornography in couple relationships has been a thorny issue for some time. Couple therapists’ suggestions on how to manage the use of pornography still vary widely, with some supporting the use of porn in relationships, advocating its ability to increase relationship connection and others being firmly against it.

Contemporary research, however shows that pornography can hurt couple relationships. Deirdre Barrett in Supernormal Stimuli describes this kind of activity as a stimulus that causes normal human stimuli to wane. Pornography may be a supernormal stimulus. With pornography use the view might be habituated into this sugar rush; as such it has that constant craving-but-never-satiated aspect that other forms of addiction carry. The impact of this can be that normal sex becomes much less interesting for porn users. In fact, use of pornography by one partner can lead to the couple having far less sex, ultimately reducing relationship satisfaction and promoting disconnection.

There are other factors about porn use that can rupture a relationship:

  1. intimacy for couples is a source of connection between two people.  But when one person becomes habituated into masturbating to porn, they are actually turning away from the other.
  2. when viewing pornography, the user is in total control of the experience, in contrast to normal sex in which two people are in negotiation and are working towards satisfying each other. Thus a porn user may form the unrealistic expectation that sex will be under only one person’s control or “it’s all about me”.
  3. the porn user may expect that their partner will always be immediately ready for intercourse. This is unrealistic as well.
  4. some porn users rationalize that pornography is ok if it does not involve partnered sexual acts and instead relies only on masturbation. While this may accomplish orgasm the relationship goal of intimate connection is still confounded and ultimately lost.

Worse still, many porn sites include violence-physical and emotional- toward women. Viewing porn therefore could be seen as actually agreeing and colluding w with this violence-or at least encouraging the commodification of womanhood.

It would seem that pornography could pose a possibly severe threat to couple relationships; a serious and prolonged debate about this is long overdue.

 

Resources

Your Brain on Porn: book

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Your-Brain-Porn-Pornography-Addiction/dp/099316160X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1473669196&sr=8-1&keywords=your+brain+on+porn

Rise in youth porn

http://pornstudycritiques.com/research-confirms-sharp-rise-in-youthful-sexual-dysfunctions/

the way the internet changes the brain https://www.theguardian.com/film/video/2013/aug/05/in-real-life-documentary-teens-internet-video

so called pornified culture   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_YpHNImNsx8&app=desktop

healing from porn https://pornpainhealed.com/

ex porn stars tell their tales    http://fightthenewdrug.org/10-porn-stars-speak-openly-about-their-most-popular-scenes/

how pornography changes the brain

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Wired-Intimacy-Pornography-Hijacks-Brain-ebook/dp/B002YX0GSM/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1473335183&sr=8-2&keywords=neuroscience+of+porn

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