Pornography – Does it Help or Hurt a Committed Relationship?

Written by Dave Rich

On October 11, 2012

Some people think of pornography as nothing but smut while some couples use it together to rejuvenate their relationship. Whether you’re a man or a woman, you’ve probably read or watched some kind of porn in your life. So, what’s the big deal? Are sex movies mood enhancers or relationship killers? You decide.

What is Pornography?

Any sexually explicit material, be it printed or visual, can fall into the category of pornography. This means magazines with images of nudity and sexual acts, books or website that feature stories or descriptions of sexual acts, and adult movies that show people engaging in sex.

Types of Pornography

There are many different kinds of pornography. Sex movies are the most commonly thought of when it comes to porn. Adult movies may be considered “hard core” or “softcore”. Hard core porn movies usually have little story and just jump into the sex whereas softcore porn movies tend to build up to the act with plot and dialogue. Adult movies can range from plain “vanilla” sex to full on BDSM bondage material. It may feature a man and women, woman and woman, man and man, threesomes and every other combination in between.

Pornography magazines like Penthouse showcase visual images while printed pornography offers sexual fantasy stories to spark the reader’s imagination. Think: “50 Shades of Grey”.

Why Do Men Watch Porn (While Women Read It?)

Speaking of “50 Shades of Grey”, ever since the book came out last year there’s been an Internet debate about women and pornography. If a man sits and watches it on the Internet, he’s being gross but if a woman lounges leisurely by the pool and takes in an adult novel, she’s cultured. Really? Is there a double standard when it comes to men, women, and porn?

It’s possible. Men and women both enjoy some sexually explicit content in their lives be it an enticing photo in a magazine, a racy sex scene in a rated-R film or a dime-store paperback featuring muscle-bound heroes and heaving bosoms. What is the appeal? Well, our largest sex organ, believe it or not, is not the penis (or the vagina), it’s the brain. Whether straight, gay or bisexual, our eyes first see what we want and that visual stimulation goes to the brain. Sexual fantasy stimulates the brain and causes sexual arousal in the body.

If you can’t picture your boyfriend or husband sitting down to read a romance novel, there’s a reason for that. The material may be just as graphic as what he’s watching online but for him, the stimulation just isn’t direct enough. Men seem to prefer to watch the act, rather than imagine it in their minds. It’s direct, simple fantasy fulfillment. Women, on the other hand, enjoy the foreplay of a romance or erotica story. She wants to become invested in the characters and watch their struggles before they finally fall to bed, no longer able to contain their passions.

When it comes to women and men, it may be as simple as this: Men don’t fantasize about foreplay. They don’t need as much of a buildup when it comes to sex. They’re just looking for the end result. Women, on the other hand, enjoy the mounting sexual tension before the release. It’s part of the turn-on!

Pros of Watching Adult Movies

Sometimes, sex can get routine in a committed relationship. It’s not that you don’t desire each other anymore but life can get in the way. Sexual confidence can drop. He’s losing his hair. She’s gained a few pounds. Sex just isn’t as spontaneous and frequent as it used to be. One of the pros of watching adult movies with your significant other is it can bring back that feeling of raw passion and excitement. It can also feel like you’re doing something a little naughty and forbidden. Plus, watching the movies may give you some ideas for future sexcapades!

Watching sex movies stimulates the brain directly and naturally enhances the libido and arousal response of both men and women. There are many different types of adult films to watch ranging from the intimate erotic to the extreme. You and your partner can browse movies together to decide which would work best both of you.

A note to men: If your significant other is new to pornographic material, pick up a softcore porn film to start with. The kind of get-right-at-it stuff you watch on your own may either turn her off with disgust or make her start laughing.

Cons of Watching Sex Movies

If you’re a man and your primary source of sexual stimulation is from adult films, you might have a rough time getting interested when you’re with your partner. It’s not that she doesn’t do it for you but your arousal expectations are already so high, simpler stimulation may not do the trick. Too much exposure to pornography and excessive masturbation can lead to erectile dysfunction. Also, if you like to watch the really kinky stuff and your girlfriend is into soft romance in the bedroom, you might have a hard time becoming aroused.

Think of porn as a drug. The first time you try it, the high is amazing. You can’t believe how incredible it is. But after a while, you have to use more and more of the drug to get the same effect. The same is true for pornography. The more stimulation you use to achieve sexual satisfaction, the more you’ll need.

If this is an issue for you, you can wean yourself off of sex movies. Switch to sexual prints in magazines or erotic stories to achieve arousal and satisfaction. Over time, you’ll start getting interested with more basic sexual stimuli.

Another con of excessive pornography viewing is jealousy. If your significant other looks and acts nothing like the women in the videos you’re always watching, she may start feeling like she’s not good enough for you.

Sex is a natural part of life and sex sells. Human beings are hard-wired to respond to sexual stimulation so our species can continue. That’s what makes porn so appealing. Sharing a pornography video with your significant other can be a real turn-on but it can also backfire on you. Ultimately, it’s up to each individual couple to decide what works for them.

What do you think? Does pornography help or hurt a committed relationship?

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