With pornographic content dating back as far as the Kama Sutra in 300 AD, the negative connotations associated with porn abound. It can be hard not to buy into the idea that porn is bad for you. Does it encourage violence and sexual abuse? Does it promote misogyny? Will watching porn have negative consequences for your sexual health? The answer according to science is probably not. Here is the truth about how porn affects your sex life.
What about porn addiction?
Not a real thing. Studies have shown that while some people may have problems regulating porn usage, chemical reactions in the brains of people with “porn addiction” are inconsistent with activity patterns of those with other addictions, such as alcoholism. An inability to regulate usage of porn is more likely to be caused by repression and negative feelings towards sex than actual addiction. In other words, if you’re reading this blog, you’re probably safe.
But isn’t it violent?
While the violent nature of some adult films may seem to be encouraging misogyny, a Canadian study found that those that frequently watch porn are actually stronger supporters of gender equality than those that don’t watch porn. The study also found that there was no difference in views on traditional households or identification as a feminist between those that watch porn and those that don’t. Porn may even be sexually empowering for some women.
Another study found that among those that enjoy “hardcore” porn, most users experienced only positive responses to the material. Experts believe that watching violent porn may actually even decrease sexual violence as it provides a safe outlet for deviant behaviors. A few users did report experiencing negative feelings after viewing, but this has been linked to views that porn is inherently immoral, rather than anything presented in the porn itself.
Doesn’t it cause promiscuity?
A German study found that rather than having unprotected sex or many sexual partners, porn-users are more likely to try new things in a safe manner with their partners. The difference was most noticeable among female users, where participants reported being more likely to use sex toys or try anal sex than non-users. Porn isn’t always the best instruction manual, however, so if it encourages you to try something new, please read up on how to do it safely.
Can it cause sexual health problems?
There is a “fact” that floats around claiming that watching porn will desensitize men to sexual stimuli, leading to erectile dysfunction. Fortunately, science shows that this is just a myth. Studies have found that if anything, men using porn experience greater sexual arousal than those that don’t.
Watching porn is good for couples, as well. Not only are porn-users more likely to try new things, but watching porn together is in itself a way to experiment together. It can be a helpful way to introduce a partner to a secret fantasy of yours, or simply to experience the fantasy on your own. Studies have shown couples that communicate and engage in a variety of sexual acts experience the highest level of satisfaction with their sex lives. If nothing else, porn can be funny, and you could have a good laugh together!
So if you are interested in watching porn with your partner or just enjoy watching it alone, you can now enjoy yourself knowing that the negative consequences are just myths, and if anything, watching porn will improve your sex life.