How pornography is effecting individuals and modern relationships

The rapid increase of pornography is one of the relating legacies in the modern society. According to the blog “How many people are watching porn right now? (hint its a lot)”(2017), 23 million people visited the popular porn site pornhub in 2016, that is 729 people a second, which is a start to understand what a problem or maybe how normalized pornography is now.

It’s important to understand how pornography is affecting relationships and why individuals and couples using pornography and what effect it is having on these to them, good and bad. Are couples looking for new ideas to spice up their sex lives or is pornography threating our modern relationships? Pornography in relationships has been a very highly talked about subject. It is a subject that not even professionals agree about, professionals all have different recommendations on how to deal with pornography and they all can be very different to each other. Drs John and Julie Gottman explains how clinicians have suggested that if couples use pornography as a stimulus for intimacy, reading or watching pornography together as a couple then its ok and is believed by many professionals that it might increase relationship connection and intimacy. Drs John and Julie Gottman use this theory in their workshop they do called bring the baby home as their research shows that after having a baby arrives relationship intimacy gets less and something was needed to be done to make intimate sexual connection stronger. (Gottman 2016).

Why couples don’t want to have sex after child birth

However before looking at what will make intimate sexual connection stronger after child birth it is important to understand why either females or males don’t want to have the sexual connection with their partners as this could lead to more troubles in a relationship when one person in the relationship is wanting to use pornography to make their sexual connection strong when the other person isn’t ready to be intermate with their partners for medical or even psychological reasons. There are several reasons like the mother being too tired to enjoy any sexual intimacy, a recent study shows that each additional hour sleeps a woman receives her likeliness of wanting to take part in any sexual intimacy goes up by 14%. There is very clear reasons into why women struggle to have sexual intercourse after having a baby (Winder, 2017) which other professionals believe that is what needs working on in a relationship before introducing pornography as it can just make the women feel more insecure about themselves.

Pornography effecting relationships – The cons

Psychologist Deirdre Barrett explains how our once helpful instincts get hijacked in our garish modern world when one person in the relationship frequently viewing pornography images online hurting their partner and can seriously hurt a couple’s relationship. Barrett explains this by using our instincts for food, sex and protection. We now have access to a larger than life objects within the pornography world with sex objects, internet and magazines that desires people in often dangerous way. Animal biologists coined the term “supernormal stimuli” to describe imitations that appeal to primitive instincts and exert a strong pull than real things. Evolution psychologist Barrett applies this concept to the disconnect between human instinct and our created environment, showing us, how supernormal stimuli are major causes of today’s problems with relationships and trust. Barrett research found that when one person in the relationship watches pornography leads to the couple having far less sex and struggles with relationship satisfaction. (Barret 2010) This may be why normal sex becomes much less interesting for people using pornography, so couples are having less sex as one or both people in the relationships are finding themselves being more sexual interested in pornography than each other.

Pornography effects relationships – The pro’s

However, Dr Emily Nagoski believes that every woman is different as she has her own unique sexuality, like a finger print that women vary more than men in their sexual responses and the way their body responds to the sexual world. So according to Nagoski unless their partner knows them well enough to know their whole sexual preference, watching pornography to help increase their sex life won’t work because they don’t understand how their partner will response to different ways increase the sexual desire for each other. Dr Emily Nagoski believes that sex happens in a context, and all complications of everyday life can influence their context surrounding women’s desires and orgasms so their partner won’t really know what they desire from day to day. Nagoski research shows that the important factor for women in creating a fulfilling sex life is not what you do in bed or how you do it but how you feel about it, which means that stress, mood, body image and trust are big factors in a women’s sexual wellbeing. Nagoski believes that once this is understood in a relationship you can create a better sex life and profound pleasure within your relationship than people could ever be possible, a lot better than using pornography. (Nagoski, 2015). However, Dr John and Julie Gottman says that Nagoski research is unrealistic as their research shows that genital engorgement leads to desires for sex 10% of the time and 59% of the time for men (Gottman, 2017).

So shall we use pornography in relationships?

Pornography has proven to effect relationships if one of the people in the relationship watch’s pornography but what about the effect of pornography on an individual. Noah Church explains how at a young age of 9 years old he found naked pictures on the internet. He learnt how to download videos. When he was 15 years old video streaming came out and he started watching those. After a while he admitted that those videos didn’t arouse him anymore, so he moved on to new things, sometimes it just involved one women but sometimes it involved one woman and several men and sometimes even unwilling women. When Noah Church was in his final year of high school he found a woman, he liked and she like him as well. When it come to the lady being naked in his room in front of him his body didn’t seem interested. He explained how it was a disconnect from what he wanted and how his body was reacting. To start off with Church put it down to first time nerves, but six years later no matter what women was in front of him his body wasn’t seeming to be cooperative. It only seemed to be cooperative when he was watching pornography. Noah Church believed that his adolescent internet usage with pornography had somehow caused his problems and he had something called porn-induced erective dysfunction (Luscombe. B, 2016). This article has also explained how a growing number of young men are convinced that their brains were virtually in porn when they were adolescents. This article is a good example of how a culture that used pornography used to be acceptable is now highlighting how harmful it can be.

How pornography effects your health

In other research into how pornography is becoming damaging considers the chemical changes that occur in the brain and compare it with various types of addiction. If pornography addition is viewed objectively evidence indicates that it does indeed cause harm in humans about pair bounding. The DSM-5 which came out in 2014 had a new addition the diagnosis of hypersexual disorder, which includes problematic compulsive pornography use. Research from Hilton and Watts and even Gottman shows the express concern of the strong evidence with regards to pornography inducing violent attitudes against women. They believe it is irresponsible not to address this matter with the large amount of young people watching pornography. (Hilton & Watts, 2011)

The bottom line is that experts have now realized that pornography interferes with healthy intimacy between partners, changes the brain chemistry, negatively affects sexual performance and can also effect performance in other areas of life. Even though some professionals encourage the use of pornography in relationships to make their sexual connection stronger if both individuals in the relationship are willing to give it ago. However, pornography has proven to cause harm to relationships and cause serious threat to couples intimacy.

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By Amy Hellings