3 Ways Porn Is Harming Relationships and Sex Lives
Porn consumers can get so obsessed with chasing flashy fantasies that they miss out on real life and real relationships. This is one of the big lies of porn, that you can have it both ways.

The truth is, porn can take a heavy toll on real-life relationships. Many people report feeling distressed or hurt by their partner’s pornography consumption, but even if a partner has no issues with their significant other’s porn habit, it can still damage the relationship. 

In fact, research consistently shows that porn consumption is associated with poorer relationship quality and sexual dissatisfaction.

1. Unrealistic Expectations
Porn can shape the way people think about sex. Despite how unrealistic pornography is, research indicates that many young people report trying to copy porn in their own sexual encounters, and that the pressure to imitate porn was often an aspect of unhealthy relationships.

Studies also show that increased pornography consumption is associated with the enjoyment of degrading, uncommon, or aggressive sexual behaviors.

A number of other studies also show that the sexual scripts in pornography can socialize consumers toward sexual aggression, cheating, and risky sexual behaviors.

These concerns about realistic expectations are particularly important when it comes to children and teens who are still forming their understandings of sex and relationships. With so many young people viewing pornography so early in their lives, many end up internalizing toxic or harmful messages about sex.

That’s scary for a lot of reasons. Young people who consume porn often expect their partners to act out what they’ve seen, even if it’s painful, degrading, or dangerous. And as people adopt the unrealistic standards of porn, they often end up feeling bad about themselves and dissatisfied with their partners.

Learning about sex from porn also means absorbing a lot of dangerous ideas about sexuality and women. Research estimates that as few as 1 in 3 porn videos (33.9%) and as many as 9 in 10 videos (88.2%) portrays violence or physical aggression, and that women are the targets of aggression 97% of the time.

2. Objectification
Another reason why some porn consumers struggle with their sexual health and understanding is because of the nature of porn itself. Porn portrays people as little more than bodies that exist for the viewer’s sexual pleasure.  

With habitual porn consumption, it can become more difficult for consumers to see themselves and others as anything more than sexual objects, and as a result, it can be more challenging to develop and nurture real relationships.

“There’s a certain way of experiencing sexual arousal that is the opposite of closeness,” said Dr. Gary Brooks, a psychologist who has worked with porn addicts for the last 30 years. “At best, it can be managed somewhat by some people, but most of the time it creates a barrier that poisons relationships.”

3. Sexual Functioning
When someone regularly consumes porn, they can become accustomed to being aroused by the imagery and endless novelty found in porn. Pretty soon, natural turn-ons and real relationships aren’t enough, and many porn consumers find they can’t get aroused by anything but porn.

Thirty years ago, when a man developed erectile dysfunction (ED), it was almost always because he was getting older—usually past 40—and as his body aged it became more difficult to maintain an erection. Chronic ED in anyone under 35 was nearly unheard of. But those were the days before internet porn. 

These days, online message boards are flooded with complaints from porn consumers in their teens and 20s complaining that they can’t maintain an erection. They want to know what’s wrong with their body, but the problem isn’t in the penis—it’s in the brain.

While research on the links between compulsive porn consumption and sexual dysfunctions is ongoing, many therapists and clinicians are reporting a rise of patients seeking help for such problems.

Despite porn’s promise of improving consumers’ sex lives, there is growing evidence that compulsive porn consumption is directly related to erectile dysfunction, sexual dysfunction for both men and women, problems with arousal and sexual performance, difficulty reaching orgasm, and decreased sexual satisfaction.

The research is clear—porn is not a harmless pastime, especially when it’s hurting a romantic partner. 

The kind of “intimacy” porn offers is nothing more than empty sexual stimulation. Intimacy is understanding someone at a level porn never attempts. 

You can choose to recognize porn for the deception it is. You can reject porn’s toxic messages and choose real life, real relationships, and Real Love.

If you feel pornography is harming your relationship or sex life, Watch the Free Case Study to learn if working with us is a good fit.

Sal Harper

Sal Harper helps women regain confidence, self-worth and self-esteem.  She is an expert at helping betrayed women conquer infidelity by deploying her secret weapon and using her signature 4-step process even if it's been years since the initial discovery. If you're interested in overcoming betrayal faster or eliminating emotional triggers and negative intrusive thoughts then definitely contact us and request a free strategy session today.
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