Gay Porn And Relationships

Effects Of Gay Porn In Relationships | How Gay Porn Can Benefit Couples

Benefits Of Porn For Gay Couples | Gay Couples Watching Porn

If you were to read a couple of articles on the effects of pornography and relationships, you’d most likely quickly come to the consensus that all pornography is bad. You would read that it creates unrealistic expectations on relationships, that it is harmful to young individuals, and that it creates an environment, within young men in particular, where individuals feel that dominating their partner is an acceptable sexual practice. Oh, and let’s not forget that pornography proliferates unsafe sexual practices in all sexual relationships. Is pornography really that pervasive though, and does it have such a strong grip on our society as the doom and gloom sociology reports make out?

 

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The digital age is partially responsible for the rapid proliferation of pornographic content being accessible on the internet. Indeed, according to various statistics anywhere between 6% and 25% of all search engine searches relate to pornographic material online, which equates to roughly 70 million search requests every single day. From this, researchers have deduced that every second almost 30,000 people are watching pornographic content. It’s no wonder then that internet pornography was the first big button topic to be associated with internet security, and for the most part it has remained out of favour with the media ever since. Indeed, populist media outlets have capitalised on these statistics and are continually providing cautionary tales regarding porn addiction, and have attributed violent acts between partners as a result of pornography, video games with explicit sexual content such as GTA and a variety of other explanations. However, studies have confirmed in college students across the United States that the majority of young men, and almost half of women, believe that watching pornographic content and sexually explicit material is okay.

The questions, asked by Spencer B. Olmstead and colleagues specifically focused on the use of pornography in relationships with surprising results: 71% of men, and 46% of women thought that they would watch pornography with a partner in a romantic relationship. In contrast to these figures, around 25% of men and women thought that sexually explicit content had no role in a romantic relationship. With these figures, why then is the media so intent on tearing apart pornographic content and labelling it as bad.

From analysing various articles, reports and a myriad of studies – a couple of primary concerns keep coming up:

  • The ease of accessibility of pornographic content for children, and emerging adults.
  • The proliferation of violence, and sexual abuse towards women
  • The creation of unrealistic expectations when it comes to sexual performance and sexual behaviour.

The protection of children is a theme which is continually raised and is arguably the most cited reason against sexually explicit content. The argument is that when children and emerging adults access pornography it teaches them unrealistic expectations towards sex and proliferates the rate of violent and degrading acts through which they engage in sexual behaviour with a partner. There are a few ways in which we can respond to this. Firstly, we can use the argument that children engage in pornographic content as a way of exploration, and as a development of their sexual identity. I agree, in part, with the statement of Stefanie Carnes, PhD. President of the International Institute for Trauma and Addiction Professionals, who is also a clinical consultant for sexual addiction programs across the United States, when she states that children are being exposed to extreme sex acts such as fisting, golden showers and that they’re often struggling to understand that. What I disagree with is the insinuation of the statement which suggests that there are a lot of children accessing this kind of content, in comparison to the softer core content that they would view previously, and before the digital age.

 

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Children do not understand necessarily understand this content, but arguably that’s because they are not provided with enough information, and education in regards to sex and sexuality during formative years, and the idea that yes, pornography exists but that it is a construction. This idea of pornographic content being a construction is often ignored by researchers and studies and for the most part, I believe that if the message was akin to saying ‘Hey, porn exists but it is a film, it’s not real and it’s fake’ then there would be a profound shift in the engagement of pornography. Yes, there are a few individuals within the world where sex and sexual addiction have interrupted their day to day lives and needs to be dealt with accordingly, but this select small group should not be used to tarnish the entirety of people who choose to engage in watching explicit material.

Studies have shown both sides of this camp. Numerous studies (Journal of Sex and Martial Therapy by Kevin Alderson; Melinda Wenner Mover; Dr. Donald Ardell) suggest that the watching of explicit material can benefit relationships by spicing up their sexual repertoire, help with the engagement of intimacy and romance, as well as provide a new avenue within the relationship to explore their sexual fantasies. Conversely, other studies have made the suggestion that porn free relationships have a lower rate of infidelity (Amanda Maddox), that watching porn can diminish commitment within the relationship (SesenNegash), and that fantasy leads to real-world cheating (Nathaniel Lambert).

The nature of relationships have changed, and the issues from the majority of these relationship studies, is that they only really deal with monogamous relationships, without the consideration of other forms of relationships. Porn consumption, in excess, can be damaging and harmful when the consumption over rules basic day to day functions. Porn consumption, with an open and honest communication between partners, with the acknowledgement of pornography as a fantasy can be beneficial in opening up new lines of communication. They key, in this point, according to Dr Fran Walfish is that the engagement of pornographic material is done in an open and honest environment. It is only when pornography is hidden that it can raise feelings of betrayal, and mistrust.

From there the response to pornography is simple. Sexually explicit content should not be viewed as being taboo. It is a way to explore sex and sexuality with the understanding that porn is a construction. Whilst it can be harmful to children, it is only harmful in the way that they do not necessarily have the capacity to understand that it is a construction with willing participants. By embarking on a sex positive relationship towards sex and sexuality for all people we can begin to move beyond the idea that pornography is bad for the development and maintaining of relationships, and instead focus on the benefits that it can have with couples.

 

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