Addicted to porn? Beware, it can ruin your relationship

Updated on: 13 May 2022, 10:35 am IST

Watching porn may seem like a harmless habit, but porn addiction is real and can impact your relationship with your partner.

porn addiction
Porn addiction can be detrimental to relationships. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
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Pornography isn’t something new, and it isn’t even a novel issue in relationships! The increased penetration of the Internet appears to have boosted porn viewing, and worsened pre-existing tendencies. Many people never consider or think that watching porn will have a detrimental impact on their life, yet it frequently does, affecting the user as well as his or her family, job, and community. Pornography has the greatest damaging consequences on couple relationships in particular.

When it comes to watching porn online, women are slowly bridging the gap. Surveys show that more males than females view porn, yet, a relatively high percentage are female. One study found that 76 percent of females between the ages of 18 to 30 years old watch pornographic material. Some women amongst these become porn viewers because they feel uninformed, while others started watching it to gratify their sexual needs, and so forth. 

porn addiction
Pornographic content is ubiquitous on the internet, drawing young people to it as it is just a few clicks away. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

With this increasing trend, it is also inevitable that this will have negative consequences amongst heterosexual couples, and standards about men will drastically escalate towards new heights, wherein they will be eventually be viewed as sexually inadequate. 

Some clear consequences of watching porn are:

  • Addiction, isolation, increased aggression, distorted beliefs
  •  Perceptions about relationships and sexuality, negative feelings about themselves
  • Neglecting other areas of their lives

Some of the more drastic effects of watching porn on couples are:

  • Viewing pornography on a regular basis also creates a void amongst couples: This void could be filled with insecurity, which then encourages the feeling of inadequacy in a relationship, and a feeling of not being enough.
  • Difficulty in becoming sexually aroused without pornography: Losing interest and engaging in fewer sexual experiences with their partner.
  • Women who resort to porn to gratify their sexual needs might not find their partners adequate enough
  • Furthermore, in some cases, their partner may view pornography use as infidelity and a betrayal to the relationship which could invalidate the entire relationship.
  • The pornographic content on the internet is vast and due its uncensored creation, there is also a large amount of objectionable pornographic content that is easily accessible to almost any and every one. This objectionable content if expected from your significant other could also offend them and make them feel obnoxious.
porn addiction
It’s time to rein in your porn-watching habits. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
  • But the most significant effect of viewing pornography is the affect it has on the emotional binding, trust and mutual respect in a relationship. More than sexual gratification, what makes a relationship secure and inviolable is the emotional connection, trust and love.
  • Pornography can fuel the feelings of inadequacy, insecurity, dishonesty and deception. This could ruin even the best relationships.
  • Moreover, another shocking consequence that porn addiction has on women is lowered self-esteem. Women are more insecure about themselves after consuming porn due to the inaccurate portrayal of bodies and sexuality.

    Research also shows that women who consume porn report feeling more inadequate about their sexual performance. Porn consumers may find that not only do they see their partners in a less than “satisfying” way, but they start to think that they themselves are less attractive as well. They may be more critical of their genitals, or their personal appearance.

    In fact, research shows that the increase of pornography in society is a cause for an increasing number of women seeking plastic surgery to change their bodies. 

When it comes to porn, it can turn an intimate connection into a rehearsed performance that’s less about the emotional bonding that happens when people have sex. Porn fails to emphasize the most real parts of relationships. It doesn’t depict real people with real bodies. In fact, it tries to sell the complete opposite—a photoshop fantasy that reality should never have to compete with. 

porn addiction
Watching too much porn can affect your sex life. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

It only makes sense that those who are exposed to porn can have their perceptions of sex twisted and warped. Soon, real people don’t measure up, and partners are considered less exciting when compared to an exaggerated production on a computer screen. 

The last word

Repeated exposure can lead a woman to develop a tolerance to and, ultimately, a dependence on porn. This may look like needing more and more exposure to pornography to help her feel the same levels of pleasure. Or when they are not viewing porn, they may feel down or depressed, causing them to keep searching for porn. This can escalate and cause them to eventually gravitate toward viewing more extreme erotic material.

Dr Chirag Bhandari Dr Chirag Bhandari

Dr Chirag Bhandari, Founder of Institute of Andrology and Sexual Health

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