Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Porn and Relationships

How women see porn

There has always been a difference between men and women where porn is concerned.
Men tend to be turned on by things they can see, while women seem to prefer the images and fantasies they have in their heads.

For this reason, women often don't enjoy the sort of porn that men usually like. If the people on the screen don't appeal to them, they don't get turned on.
Women can also feel uneasy and inferior about the bodily 'perfection' of the women in porn. This can put them off sex, rather than turn them on to it.
A woman can feel threatened by her man's enjoyment of these images and quickly feel that if a man is enthusiastic about porn, he must be losing interest in her. This is often not the case at all.
Whether women like it or not, because porn is so available, a lot of men are going to view it.

How men see porn

Statistics indicate that many men like porn of some sort or another. Their arousal is linked to images, and from their teens they are likely to masturbate while looking at pictures of female bodies.
Lots of men use porn for quick masturbation – and this can happen even if they are in a sexually satisfying relationship. Some women have a problem with a man seeking solo relief, but huge numbers of normally-sexed men do this routinely.
Men will often say that porn-assisted masturbation is intense, uncomplicated – and relaxing.
They also put it in a separate compartment: porn is just an 'extra' that has no impact on their feelings for their partner or relationship.
Men in general do not view porn or solo sex as a sign of infidelity.

Can porn be part of a normal relationship?

Our answer to that question would be a qualified 'yes'.
There is no doubt that many couples experiment with the use of porn as an aid to perking up their sex lives, for example by sometimes watching an explicit DVD together. And sex education videos are often arousing as well as informative.
Also, a lot of women like erotic stories. Some females prefer to read alone to get themselves turned on. Others like their man to read to them in bed.
So for some couples, using pornography and erotica works well.

Are relationship problems because of porn common?

We would say that a problem with porn is almost exclusively a male thing.
In our practice we have never seen a woman who was addicted to porn or who preferred it to having sex with a partner.
But we have received a lot of complaints from women who are distressed that their male partners no longer want to make love to them, preferring to spend hours wanking in front of porn.
This is a worrying trend, and we are not alone in our concerns. Various experts fromRelate and the College of Sexual and Relationship Therapy (COSRT), formerly the British Association of Sexual and Relationship Therapy, have reported that solitary use of porn is a huge factor in relationship breakdown and that it is 'spiralling out of control'.

What to do if porn is a problem

It is a good idea if couples discuss their attitude to porn early on in their relationship and agree some house rules about how much porn is viewed and of what type. People often find this difficult, but communication is generally the key to keeping the habit within normal bounds.
If it is discussed before it becomes a huge problem, then the conversation can be calm and a woman can explain what works for her and what she might object to.
Such a conversation could also include the sexual relationship in general and could include the question of whether either party would like more variety – and if so, what.
Sometimes, women may know their man uses porn to masturbate, but they will decide not to broach the subject. This is understandable, but if you avoid discussing it until it becomes a problem, talking may no longer be effective.
A man who is addicted to porn may promise to change and to stop viewing internet images, but he probably won't.
He may assure his partner that he loves her, but he won't stop accessing porn. He may even break down and cry and swear that he longs to give up all the porn, but it's unlikely he will manage this without professional help.

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