The majority of research on pornography use within committed relationships has found such use to be associated with negative outcomes. Actor-partner-interdependence models revealed that for men who are more anxiously attached, more pornography use is associated with higher relationship satisfaction; whereas for women who are more anxiously attached, more pornography use is associated with less relationship satisfaction. For men who are more accepting of pornography, more pornography use is associated with more relationship satisfaction; however, for men who are less accepting of pornography, more pornography use is associated with less relationship satisfaction. There was little difference in relationship satisfaction at differing levels of pornography use for women who are high in pornography acceptance; whereas for women who are low in pornography acceptance, pornography use is associated with less relationship satisfaction. Results are discussed and recommendations for practitioners are made through the lens of Symbolic Interaction Theory. The predominate application of these theories posits that individuals learn about sex via observation in pornography.
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Maybe you've just learned your partner watches porn, and now you're upset and wondering how to deal with it. Or maybe you're the one watching porn, and you're wondering if watching porn in a relationship is unhealthy. Here's what scientific research and sex therapists tell us about how porn affects relationships and why people watch porn when they're in happy relationships. Porn is not necessarily bad for relationships. It can be bad for some people and for some couples, depending on how it's used and how each person feels about porn use. Watching ethically produced porn and masturbating to it can be a healthy, harm-free part of a person's sex life, whether they're single or in a relationship. In the context of a monogamous relationship, however, you're dealing with two people who may have different views about porn and different opinions about what's appropriate behavior in a relationship, and that can sometimes cause tension.
Regardless of whether or not you consider porn to be an addiction, the use of porn has an ever increasing number of well-researched effects on the brain. One of the most prominent effects is that the use of porn is actually linked to changes within the structure of the brain. Needing to look for rewards externally is a dangerous path to wander down, and the same is true when it comes to the supposed rewards of porn use. External triggers that cause dopamine release need to be increased as use becomes more regular, and what was once satisfying is no longer enough.
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