When pornography gets in the way

Porn is everywhere today, and it’s available on every gadget you own.  Getting into the habit of using porn to make you feel better has ruined marriages and relationships, but another problem with porn is how it impacts the mind. Porn changes brain chemistry, making the user less likely to appreciate and sustain a loving relationship. However, these changes don’t happen overnight, which is why porn advocates continue to dismiss the claims. If you watch porn or live with someone who does, the list below may explain why you feel like you or your partner have changed.

  1. Porn objectifies women. Porn turns women into objects that exist to gratify a man’s sexual urges. It removes any need to connect emotionally with a woman or to respect her individuality and intelligence.
  2. Porn creates unrealistic expectations about sex. Porn stars are airbrushed, have no expectations, and don’t ask you to pick up your end of the chores. The reality of a real relationship is that women don’t want sex all the time. In a real relationship, you have responsibilities and financial issues. In a real relationship, perfection is replaced with messiness. 
  3. Porn reduces confidence and self-esteem. Users turn to porn when they’re depressed and lonely. After the thrill of porn, the user returns to an even lower level of depression and loneliness. This cycle repeats itself, deteriorating the user’s ability to get through the day without the short thrill of porn.
  4. Porn lowers your ability to find sexual pleasure in a real relationship. Porn visuals cause spikes of dopamine in users. With each use, you need even more extreme experiences to become aroused. This causes desensitization in a normal relationship and can even add to loneliness.

Porn negatively affects relationships, including the perceptions of a partner that uses porn and the intimacy of the relationship.

  1. Porn-free relationships are stronger and have a lower rate of infidelity. A study by Amanda Maddox studied men and women, ages 18 to 34, that were involved in romantic relationships. Those who did not watch porn had lower levels of negative communication, were more committed to the relationship, and were more satisfied with their sex life and relationship. Their rate of infidelity was less than half of those who had watched porn alone or with their partner.
  2. Watching porn harms a relationship commitment. Having porn available at any time reminds you of all the potential partners you could have. Committing to one becomes less and less important.
  3. Porn breaks down trust in a relationship. To have a healthy relationship you need to be able to trust your partner. When either partner begins mistrusting another’s integrity or character, the relationship rapidly breaks down.

Porn is insidious, and the damage to your relationship increases with your usage. If you’re using porn and noticing problems in your relationship, the sooner you get help the better your chances are to save your relationship. Denying that porn is a problem is what keeps the porn industry thriving.