BY LUCY VONNE
There have been many studies done on how porn can affect a relationship. The only ones I have read talk about the negative effects it has - how porn can destroy a relationship and tear people apart. I have never seen anything done on the positive effects it can have on a relationship.
I can agree that in some instances porn can be harmful to a relationship, but I equal it to someone who has a problem with alcohol or drugs or even someone who works too much. There are many types of excess in the world that can harm a relationship and porn is always made an example because of its subject matter. Sure there are many websites about how porn destroys people and has caused so many breakups. But where are the websites about how someone being a workaholic can destroy a relationship, or someone who is obsessed with video games? I just hate how porn gets singled out as the most scandalous thing to harm a relationship.
But porn can do damage to a relationship. There are many extremes to how bad it can get including porn addiction which can be very destructive. But usually there are more deep-rooted issues and the porn is just what the outside world sees as the culprit. Porn is just aiding the issue, but isn’t real issue that needs to be fixed.
You should be careful how much you let porn infiltrate your real life lovemaking. It’s never good when you compare your partner to the person that you are seeing on the screen. It may make them feel uncomfortable and insecure. If you say something like “why can’t you be more like so and so?” you might get smacked up side the head!
One negative side effect of porn is that sometimes people believe everything that happens in porn should happen in real life - that porn is the only way one should have sex. If you read my piece “I Am Not A Porn Star” you will know what I am talking about. I feel there are two sides to learning from porn. I have learned so many fun new things to try out with my boyfriend from watching porn - it has really opened up my eyes to new things I might like and would really be into. But I also remember that not everyone will be into that. When you start pressuring your partner to try something you saw in the movies or believe that whatever happens on the screen is what everyone wants you may run into some roadblocks.
Porn can make someone more adventurous. It can open your eyes to all sorts of new moves and tricks. Lots of times I have helped couples pick out a porn movie to spice things up. They want to try something new to liven up their boring sex life. Why not watch a porn movie where all sorts of fun stuff happens? They might see something they had never thought of and open up a whole new world for their sex lives. They might be freakier than they thought.
It can also help introduce toys into a relationship. Not all couples know how to use a sex toy together. There are so many things you can do with sex toys and sex, but hey, not everyone is as creative as me. People need some visual aid sometimes and by watching a movie that has toys in it, they can learn how to add some extra fun to their sexy times. Particularly with guys who don’t want to use toys, porn can show them how it works, helping them become more open to the idea.
No matter what your age and experience, people still need to learn how to do certain things, and there are many educational porn movies out there. There aren’t really a lot of sex classes available, but one can now watch a “How To” movie about different sexual techniques and ideas. You can learn all about blow jobs and positions and how to make a girl squirt. You can watch in the comfort of your own home and become an expert.
Porn lets someone live out his or her fantasy. They can see what they most desire on screen. Now this can be done together or alone. It’s been said by watching porn people can live out their fantasies and not have to stray from the relationship. They don’t need to leave home to find what they really want when they are not getting it with their partner. Maybe they are too scared to share what they like and only want to do it alone. By watching porn they can do that without looking for another person. But it can also help a person share his or her fantasies with their partner. By showing other people experiencing it, it might make the other party more comfortable in trying it out.
In the end it just matters what you and your partner think of porn. Thankfully my boyfriend loves watching porn as much as I do! If you aren’t sure, talk to the other person. You may be surprised at what you find out!
BY BRITSY NICOLE
It’s been about fifteen years since the Internet became mainstream and, if you’re old enough to remember that far back, you probably don’t need me to tell you that we are now living in a very different world. Everyone and their grandma is switching up to the iPhone 4, which means we all have 24/7 access to online encyclopedias, kittens doing adorable things and (most importantly)…porn!
It used to be that, if you wished to partake in the joy of watching a stranger have sex in positions you didn’t even know existed, you had to go to a dimly lit adult store filled with homeless men and sift through sticky videos while trying not to acknowledge the sneaking suspicion in your brain that the homeless men and the sticky boxes may be related. Needless to say, many people chose to abstain from porn, rather than put themselves through that. These days, with porn so easily accessible, it’s become much more acceptable for not only men but also for women to enjoy adult videos (sometimes together!).
Despite the fact that the porn industry is one of the highest grossing industries in the United States, we as a society have not been able to let go of many of the negative stigmas associated with pornography. One very common misconception is that pornography is a relationship killer. Many people believe that watching porn can lead to jealousy in a relationship, create unrealistic expectations and even lead to porn addiction.
Women who view pornography as a threat to their relationship often allow their negative thoughts to become a self-fulfilling prophecy. So how do you know if you really have a problem or if you’re just creating a problem? The best way to figure it out is to tackle each insecurity head on.
1. Jealousy is natural. It’s understandable that you might not be fond of the 110 lb blonde girl with perky double D boobs that your boyfriend likes to look at naked (especially because she swallows 12 inches like it’s Tylenol) but what you need to remember about pornography is that it’s creating a fantasy. She is not a tangible figure in reach (like a new secretary at work) but a fictional character on his favorite movie. She’s an actress. She’s no more of a threat to you than George Clooney is to him. What’s more is that he’s perfectly aware of this. He is not trying to replace or even supplement you with her. I think Psycho Mike from Love Line with Dr. Drew puts it best. He describes having a sexual relationship and watching pornography like eating food and drinking water. Even though they are similar functions, they still serve completely different needs.
2. Pornography doesn’t create unrealistic expectations in real life relationships. Again, it is fantasy. It does allow us to explore our interests and plants ideas about sexual concepts that we are curious about exploring. The key to not letting this become awkward is to be open with each other about these ideas and communicate with one another. The idea of talking with your partner about your desires may be scary (“Hey hunny, I’ve been thinking lately that I’d really like you to give me a rim job!”) but trying something different without warning your partner can be even more catastrophic! Remember that you have already exposed your vulnerabilities to each other by developing the relationship that you have. If you’re not open to the suggestion, just politely explain that it’s not something that you feel comfortable with. Your partner will understand.
3. It’s true that viewing pornography can become addictive to certain people. Like any addiction, it will naturally interfere with relationships and everyday life. This doesn’t mean that porn should be feared or shunned. You probably don’t fear exercise, video games or food. Behavioral addictions like these cannot be predicted before they occur and there is very little means to preventing someone who is predisposed to this behavior from becoming addicted. Just remember: all things in moderation. If you notice that pornography is beginning to interfere with you or your loved one’s everyday activities, seek help immediately. Otherwise, don’t live your life in fear of possibilities.
All in all, pornography can be a wonderful tool for couples to use together. I see more couples every day come into my work on date night to pick out sexy lingerie, romantic massage oils and an adult video. Watching porn with your partner can help set the mood or help to open the gates to discussion about exploring each other in new ways. So when it comes to porn, as Hustler would say, “Relax, it’s just sex.”