The Consequences of Porn Use

On our way to my birthday dinner, my wife and I decided to do some “Love Maps,” a term used by Dr. John Gottman to continue to increase our knowledge of each other’s inner and outer psychological world. A question on pornography came up. My wife and I had a good conversation on this topic. Being trained in addictions, I shared the devastating cons of pornography with the wife. I would like to want to share them with you now.

Our conversation started with telling my wife that the internet and technology have made pornography a lot more accessible, affordable, and anonymous than 20 years ago. I also shared that technology gives the illusion that we are more connected to people than we are. 

In my counseling practice, I noticed that pornography gives this false sense of connection/intimacy to those who watch it. Most individuals don’t realize the negative consequences of pornography in his or her life. Here are the three I mentioned to my wife on our drive to dinner. 

First: Pornography use decreases sexual satisfaction.

Many published articles shed light that pornography leads to a decrease in marital sexual satisfaction. Many individuals believe that pornography leads to higher enjoyment of sex and (multiple) orgasms. Pornography leads to false assumptions or interpretations of how men or women will reach orgasm. Recent research has shown that young men are experiencing porn-induced erectile dysfunction in increasing measure, which means that due to the amount of porn they are watching, they cannot maintain an erection without it. Overall, In the main effects, porn consumption is negatively related to marital satisfaction, due to an increased in Unrealistic Expectations, Decreased Interest in Sex, Personal Insecurity, etc.

Second: Pornography increases feelings of loneliness.

There appears to be an association between Internet pornography usage and loneliness. The study finds a vicious cycle with porn use: pornography leaves people feeling lonely, and feeling alone leads people to use pornography. There is inherent loneliness associated with pornography, and much of that is tied up in feelings of shame (i.e., what’s wrong with me, is people knew my struggle no one would accept me). Results suggest that viewing to avoid unwanted emotions might account for both frequent viewing and its negative consequences. It could be because those who viewed pornography were more likely to experience loneliness, and those who were lonely were more likely to view pornography. These findings are consistent with research linking pornography use to loneliness. 

Third: Pornography Use Increases Divorce Rates

Within the growing body of research on pornography use and romantic relationship outcomes, the majority of studies have found, on the whole, that pornography use is negatively associated with relationship quality, both for those in dating and cohabitating relationships, as well as married couples. Due to the decreased sexual satisfaction, and increased feelings of isolation and loneliness, intimate relationships struggle to survive. Individuals who view pornography regularly may subtly endorse and or enact their sexual script, thereby straining any prospective or current pair-bond relationship. Viewing pornography is a better indicator of relational disruption and disconnection than a tool for marital enrichment. Research suggests that the probability of divorce roughly doubled for married Americans who began pornography.

The truth of the matter is that our bodies, minds, and relationships were made for pornography. Paul reminds us of this in his writings to the Corinthians. Our bodies are not made for porneia (1 Cor 6:13), we should run from it (1 Cor 6:18), we should not seek it out (1 Cor 7:12), and we should atone if we fall victim to it (2 Cor 12:21). 

Seek Help!

If pornography is destroying your most meaningful relationships, if it feeds in you a deep and inescapable sense of loneliness, consider setting a goal of reducing your porn consumption. If you find cutting back or eliminating pornography more complicated than you predicted, you may be becoming addiction to porn. You can get help from a licensed counselor, or from a group focused on sexual addiction, and learn tools for coping with stress and understanding the hole that pornography has filled in your life.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.