Relationship Issues: When Does Porn Use Become a Problem?

Relationship Issues: When Does Porn Use Become a Problem?

As a kid, you might remember searching for your dad’s stack of Playboy magazines in the garage or the adult section of the video store hidden behind a velvet curtain.

Today, however, porn is much more readily accessible with online sites just a click away.

Because of this increase in availability, the potential for porn to interfere in a relationship is also becoming more frequent.

This is not to say that porn cannot be a positive addition to some relationship. But how can you tell when porn becomes a problem?

Porn Is Not Always Bad

There are many couples who don’t find porn to have a harmful effect on their relationship at all. In fact, these couples might use porn to spice up things in the bedroom.

Porn only becomes a problem when a couple does not agree on how to use it. For example, when one partner is watching excessive amounts or significantly more than the other, or when a partner is more interested in watching porn than participating in sex with their partner.

What might also occur is one partner encouraging or pressuring the other to perform certain sexual acts observed in pornography. These acts can make their partner feel uncomfortable or insecure. Consent, here, becomes an issue that only consistent and effective communication can prevent.

When Is Porn a Problem?

Porn can have several negative effects on a relationship. These outcomes can range in both degree and severity, but any negative effect on your relationship should be noted.

Some of the most common side effects are:

Breakdown of trust

When you are intimate with someone, you are allowing yourself to be vulnerable in a way you don’t normally consent to with just any other person. Healthy relationships have a mutual respect for this type of vulnerability.

Therefore, if your partner does not like porn, considers porn a form of cheating, or feels that you are bringing it into the bedroom, that trust can be broken.

Obstruction of emotional intimacy

Our relationships need both sexual and emotional intimacy. When you consume porn frequently, you might think that sex is the glue in a happy relationship.

However, this kind of thinking can have the potential to cause you to neglect the emotional intimacy that produces feelings of trust, respect, and care.

Unrealistic expectations

The problem with porn is that we sometimes take our sexual cues from it, creating unrealistic expectations for our partners to meet. Not only do bodies in pornography set unrealistic guidelines, so too do the sexual acts.

When you begin expecting your partner to look or perform the same way as the porn stars, you might find that they become more insecure or uncomfortable being intimate. Additionally, types of porn that show violence or physical dominance over women can instill abusive behaviors in real life.

How to Tell When Your Porn Viewing Habits Have Gone too Far

Effective communication is the key to guaranteeing your porn viewing does not prove to be an issue. Asking your partner what they are and are not okay with when it comes to porn will help set boundaries and retain trust in the relationship. (You can also refer to this article to determine whether or not your relationship is showing signs of any negative side effects from porn.)

Porn does not have to be a dirty secret kept in the garage or behind a velvet curtain. For some couples, porn can enrich their relationship. For others, an effective mode of communication can keep it from becoming a problem.

No matter how porn plays a role in your relationship, it is important not to keep it out of the conversation.

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