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Does pornography diminish the desire for our partner?

Does pornography diminish the desire for our partner?

May 24, 2022

The world of pornography moves millions , being one of the most profitable industries globally. Although in the past it was considered something shameful, nowadays there are few people who have never seen any type of pornographic material. But since its inception has generated controversy and debate regarding the effects that its consumption can have, especially in the field of the couple.

Some people think it is a betrayal similar to an infidelity that their partner sentimental pornographic videos or see that they believe they do because they are already loved / as for that. Is this true? Does pornography destroy the quality of relationships? Let's start by defining what we are talking about, which is often confused.


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What do we mean by pornography?

As most people already know, porn or ponography is that set of works or representations of explicit sexual content that are generated with the purpose of exciting or satisfying their viewers or spectators.

Although at present the consumption of pornography is mostly through the network and is based on audiovisual content in the form of videos . Any type of stimulus that meets the characteristics described above is also considered as such. Thus, we can find photographs or pornographic magazines or even written accounts.


But you have to distinguish pornography from eroticism. While Eroticism is also partly to provoke the attraction of the user Through the innuendo (may or may not include full nudes and sexual attitudes) and may be linked to the artistic, in the case of pornography is shown in its entirety with the basic goal of obtaining sexual gratification. It is also important to bear in mind that what is considered pornographic can vary enormously between cultures, between subjects of the same culture or even at different times for the same subject.

Once visualized the concept of pornography, we can see what effects porn has on the couple's world.

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Effects of porn on relationships

Since the emergence of pornography and the study of its effects on the population that consumes it, The controversy has arisen about how it can affect the functioning of a couple .


The answer to how the consumption of pornography can affect a relationship depends largely on the characteristics and considerations of each of its components. There are people who they continue to see the consumption of pornography as a betrayal or something worrisome that translates into lack of desire towards one's own person. The reason for this conflict is usually insecurity, fear of losing the partner or not being wanted.

In this sense, a study carried out in 1989 affirmed that the male consumers of these products ended up feeling less sexual and affective interest by their partners, considering them less attractive in comparison. However, although this study had wide repercussions, it was carried out with a very small sample that did not allow the generalization of the results.

A more recent conclusion

More recently, this study has been replicated with a much larger sample. Through several essays, it has been tried to evaluate the impact of pornography viewing and its effect on the attraction and feelings of those analyzed with respect to their partners.

The results have shown that there is no relationship between both factors. In this way it can be considered that no, the consumption of pornography (as long as there are no factors such as addiction or is used as a way of avoidance and escape from reality on a frequent basis) does not generate a decrease in desire or esteem for the couple .

It should also be borne in mind that the consideration given to sex and sexuality in general have evolved throughout history, there is increasing information and presence of elements of a sexual nature in our day to day. This makes that, over time, things like the consumption of pornography have become something much more widespread and normalized, so that the idea that one of the members of the couple sees porn is not so strange and is less inclined to live in a negative.

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Beneficial effects of its consumption

In fact, currently the consumption of pornography can even be beneficial for many couples.

And is that unless it is used as the only means of sexual learning, porn can provide many ideas regarding ways to enjoy sexuality in ways other than usual. There are couples who see these types of materials together, using a way to stimulate and increase libido At the same time it provides them with ideas regarding different games and ways of enjoying their sexuality together. On an individual level it can stimulate imagination and desire.

Likewise, pornography generally integrates aspects and people from different backgrounds and orientations. It can help break certain taboos, as well as in some cases can help some people know their own body (for example in aspects such as female masturbation, which still today supposes a certain taboo in some people) and ways to stimulate it.

It can also be used as a tool to make explicit and communicate wishes and fantasies that would not normally be expressed. In fact, it is sometimes recommended in some marital therapies, since it helps to learn and share moments of physical and mental stimulation together.

Situations where it can be harmful

While the consumption of pornography is not negative and does not have to cause damage to the relationship, as with most things can be negative if used dysfunctionally or excessively .

It is what happens in those people who go to porn as an escape route of problems with the couple, using it to get away and not face conflicts. The same applies to people who are very withdrawn and have poor social skills who can use these materials as a compensation mechanism, limiting their interaction. In these cases, the existence of low mood and self-esteem can be registered and the use of pornography only g There will be a temporary relief to subsequently reduce the mood .

Also, in some people, pornography can generate addiction. And is that as with any addiction, we find a frequent and prolonged consumption of a stimulus over time, which over time will require more and more to obtain the same effects. The subject can spend an excessive amount of time and limit their interactions with the environment (including the couple) and set aside other responsibilities and activities. Likewise, the withdrawal or absence of this can cause a high anxiety, irritability and hostility that can end up causing serious damage to the relationship.

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Other adverse effects

Another case in which it can be harmful is when you use porn as the only means of sexual learning. It must be borne in mind that in the world of pornography sexual relationships are reflected between actors and actresses who tend to stand out for their physical and sexual attributes, relationships that also have specific characteristics (high duration and intensity, roles and attitudes determined during relationships ...) and that they focus on genitality .

In this way, certain stimuli and ways of proceeding are normalized that can provoke expectations of what a satisfactory sexual relationship entails that can later be difficult to fulfill in reality. You also run the risk of obviate and trivialize the affective aspects and it may be that only penetration is identified with obtaining satisfaction, without taking into account other activities that can be erotic and pleasurable such as massages, kisses, games or caresses.

Bibliographic references:

  • Balzarini, R.N .; Dobson, K .; Chin, K. & Campbell, L. (2017). Does exposure to erotic reduces attraction and love for romantic partners in men? Independent replications of Kenrick, Gutierres, and Goldberg (1989) study 2. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 70; 191-197.

Ask A Monk: Taming One's Sexual Desires (May 2022).


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