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Can Watching Porn Effect My Sex Life?

Published: 15. April 2012
Dear Can Watching Porn Effect My Sex Life?,

I'm 18 and I'm suddenly a bit interested in Pornography pictures. I heard it can ruin my future sex life and make sex seem less desirable Is that really true? I enjoy looking at pictures of women, but I'm worried how it will effect my health. I masturbate too and I heard that it can ruin your sex life. I masturbate at least once a day. When I have a sexual partner, such as a wife, I feel like I should have a big sex life with her. Can you please help me!


Dear Can Watching Porn Effect My Sex Life?,

Teens and young adults who watch pornography are generally doing it out of curiosity about their bodies and about sex. And teens who masturbate are generally using a safe, normal means of learning about their bodies and what feels good sexually. That said, watching pornography and masturbating are not a guarantee of a ruined sex life. However, there are ways in which it can negatively affect it. To prevent this from happening, consider the following:

  • Pornography generally does not portray what feels good for women – so it can give men who watch it a false impression about what is enjoyable for the opposite sex. If you go into sex with your partner only imitating what you have seen through porn, odds are it is not going to be a pleasurable experience for her. This is where communication between you and your partner will be key – talking with each other about what feels good for each of you.  
  • Pornography is not the best place to take notes on how to make sex better. The positions portrayed in pornography are often used because they highlight the different sex organs – but that does not mean those positions are the best and most desirable. Again, communication is needed between partners to ensure both people are comfortable and finding pleasure in what they are doing.
  • Remember that pornography is appealing to people’s fantasies. If you get too wrapped in porn and the fantasy of it, it might make the reality of sex less appealing. If you come to expect that you and your partner are going to look and act like porn stars in your own sex life, then you are probably setting yourself up for disappointment.
  • Pornography is about sex, not feelings. Being intimate with someone you care about is not just about physical pleasure, but also about being emotionally intimate with someone you care about. This aspect of sex is important in relationships, and if your model of how sex should be is from pornography, you are missing out on an entire aspect of sex – the feelings and emotional connection that can be present between two people.   
  • Pornography and/or masturbation can be an escape for some people. If watching porn and masturbating are taking a priority over being intimate with your partner, then there is reason for concern. You mentioned wanting sex to be a big part of your life with your wife one day. If watching porn or masturbating is taking you away from your sex life with her, or other parts of your life, it would be helpful to examine what is going on for you.
  • How will your partner feel about your watching porn? Some women may feel that their partners are cheating by watching porn, others may take issue with the whole idea of pornography in terms of feeling that it exploits women, and then there are others who may be open to watching it. What are your partner’s values and beliefs when it comes to pornography and masturbation?

 

For more information, read Planned Parenthood’s Myth and Facts About Masturbation, as well as the response to the first question about pornography under their Sex Q&A.

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