Is It Bad For Him To Watch Porn? No, And Here's Why

While only eight percent of women and 25 percent of men admitted to watching online porn in a 2013 Pew Research Center Report, it's probably safe to say that a lot more people do and just aren't admitting it. And for heterosexual couples, porn seems to be a big issue. But is porn bad for relationships? In a day and age when pornography is not only insurmountably plentiful, but free, I can confidently say as a guy that if you have a male partner, he probably has visited PornHub in search for some bizarre-by-anybody's-standards clip during your relationship – even if he’s managed to wipe your computer’s history prior to your not-so-secret background checks.

Being in a relationship myself, I’ve admitted to watching porn early, and – for some reason ­– had no problem telling my girlfriend this fact. Though I’m not exactly sure why, when I asked her this, I had a feeling she’d be OK with it. And as it turned out, she was. She simply countered “If I’m OK with you doing it, you have to be OK with me doing the same.” Which, I was.

I understand this isn’t how most partners would react when confronted with the porn issue, and like most things, I blame this on my profession as a sex and relationships journalist; but since there’s a good chance you can’t blame your job like I can, I spoke with a professional sex therapist and consulted reputable research on whether it’s “bad” that a partner watches porn.

Sometimes It's Just Easier

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“Men generally experience ‘spontaneous desire,’ which means that it takes a mere sexual cue for the arousal process to kick into gear,” Ian Kerner, sex therapist and author of She Comes First says. “In other words, men often masturbate opportunistically, and without proximity to a sexual partner.” Which may sound selfish, but it’s true. If a girlfriend or partner isn’t nearby when said desire hits, he’s going to turn to the next best thing: porn. And here’s why. “Porn offers men a chance to experience taboos and fantasies that they wouldn’t normally get to experience in their actual sex lives.”

But why do so people choose porn when they can very easily get intimate with their partner? “Sometimes, it’s just easier,” Kerner says. “Some men enjoy the friction and pressure they can apply with their own hands more than the physical experience of penis-vagina intercourse.” Another reason? a man’s hand will never turn him down. “Some men are tired of pursuing sex, and would rather turn to porn than try to convert willingness into desire.” However, when a man has too healthy of a solo sex life that it hinders yours as a couple, this is where things could get ugly. Real ugly.

If It's An Issue, You Have to Talk About It

If this ever becomes the case, multiple medical journals agree that the best remedy is to talk about the porn problem together – communicate. A study published in the Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy found that couples who honestly disclosed their fondness for porn tended to be much more satisfied in their relationships opposed to couples who kept it a secret. Ultimately, that’s because most women assume their man watches porn, and when he said he didn’t, she assumed he was lying and was therefore keeping other secrets from her.

It Can Benefit Your Relationship

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Another study published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior discovered a whopping 71 per cent of men consider pornography acceptable in a relationship based on circumstance, compared to only 46 per cent of women — which is something I understand, but only to an extent. People have been watching porn for decades. Except the idea of women watching porn has been much more frowned upon than men. As a result, women were less likely to indulge. However, more recent statistics have found that women are more than warming up to the idea. Research from PornHub claims 23 per cent of their porn viewers are female. Meaning with this welcomed trend, it can be assumed that porn will become generally accepted in hetero relationships further down the road. And that’s a very good thing, considering Kerner believes porn can benefit a relationship. “With its intense variety, it may be easier for a man to get aroused via porn than via partner sex, especially if a degree of familiarity has settled in.” Meaning, of course, that porn could become a fantastic means of foreplay for some couples, which is a much safer alternative to other methods.

So to answer the thematic question in this here article: no, it isn’t “bad” that your partner watches porn – it would almost be weird if they didn’t. Just know that when they log onto porn websites that they're not sexually dissatisfied with you. In most cases, it has absolutely nothing to do with you or any shortcomings you believe to have as a partner. It’s that porn is a completely different entity to us, but it's one that lacks both intimacy and contact. Porn is fantasy.

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