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Does Watching Porn Affect Intimate Relationships? (Part Two: Women)


Last week, the topic at hand was on adult male porn use. This week, we’ll explore the other side of the spectrum – spousal/partner interest and adult female porn use…

How should women determine how comfortable they are experimenting in the bedroom and when does healthy experimentation become a vehicle for his porn fantasies?

The rule of thumb for the woman is – TRUST YOUR FEELINGS! Most healthy women know if they are doing something sexual just to please a guy – even when it is not their favorite thing (which is not always a bad thing unless it is abusive – if you love someone you may surrender yourself to the will of your spouse and visa versa). But healthy women also know when they are being used by a guy who just wants them to consistently be an object, when is not connected to them at all.

For example – I used to have a client who would have sex with his spouse in the missionary position with a porn mag next to her head. He was flipping the pages and arousing himself to the porn while inside her. This is an extreme form of the kind of emotionally abusive experience that most women would feel bad about and should. But maybe dressing a certain way or using certain words that mirror the “porn experience” – which is okay if she doesn’t feel used – but it FEELS TO HER LIKE more a part of a playful experience.

On the other side of the spectrum, there has been a tremendous increase in the use of online porn not only with men but for women as well – not to mention hooking up via GPS locator, smartphones and Ashley Madison etc. over the past few years. As access has dramatically increased to sexual content and sexual activity – so has involvement. This is not a problem for everyone, but certainly for those more emotionally vulnerable and intimacy challenged – who may stray into porn/sex addiction.

Yes, there are more women viewing porn – but most women connect to the porn in a more relational way then men. She is more likely to be musing about who the guy is in the porn and how she relates to him – and for her, that is likely as important as the size of his penis or chest. However, there certainly are some women who are simply into the raw nature of viewing the sex and objectivity. It is more likely that a woman who becomes addicted to porn has had emotional/sexual trauma in the past and uses the porn/masturbation as a means of self-soothing and distraction, whereas a healthier woman will use porn for the occasional sexual high or when feeling lonely, or single, etc.

Some women will try to mimic porn-star behavior in the bedroom in order to keep their boyfriends interested or when they find that their partner is viewing a lot of porn and they feel like they need to compete for his attention. As stated above – for the occasional spice in the bedroom – this could be fun on both parts. But as a regular part of her love life, it is likely going to be degrading. NO LONG-TERM PARTNER WILL EVER BE ABLE TO COMPETE with the multiplicity of endless online images, the youth and beauty (often not real) that is depicted in those images. No loving male partner would ask that of a spouse over the long term. He may imagine it, but understands it is just a fantasy.

SEX BASED ON INTIMACY AND LONG TERM COMMITMENT is not the same as sex based in new experiences and intensity, and healthy sex among long-term partners arises more out of intimate connection than the new stimulus. Those couples that use intensity based experiences like porn, toys; role-plays and porn-like activity to have a “different” occasional experience for fun are on the right track. Those who consistently chose intensity over intimacy, are likely to end up hurting each other over the long-term.

 

Does Watching Porn Affect Intimate Relationships? (Part Two: Women)


Robert Weiss PhD, LCSW

Robert Weiss PhD, LCSW is Chief Clinical Officer of Seeking Integrity Treatment Centers. He is an expert in the treatment of adult intimacy disorders and related addictions, most notably sex/porn/relationship addictions along with co-occurring drug/sex addiction. A clinical sexologist and practicing psychotherapist, Dr. Rob frequently serves as a subject matter expert for major media outlets including CNN, HLN, MSNBC, OWN, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, and NPR, among others.Dr. Rob is the author of Prodependence: Moving Beyond Codependency, Out of the Doghouse, Sex Addiction 101, and Cruise Control, among other books. He blogs regularly for Psychology Today and Psych Central. His podcast, Sex, Love, & Addiction, is rated as a Top 10 Addiction Podcast for 2019. He also hosts a weekly live no-cost Webinar with Q&A on SexandRelationshipHealing.com. A skilled clinical educator, Dr. Rob routinely provides training to therapists, hospitals, psychiatric organizations, and even the US military. Over the years, he has created and overseen nearly a dozen high-end addiction and mental health treatment facilities across the globe. For more information or to reach Dr. Rob, visit SeekingIntegrity.com. You can also follow him on Twitter (@RobWeissMSW), LinkedIn (Robert Weiss LCSW), and Facebook (Rob Weiss MSW).


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APA Reference
Weiss PhD, R. (2015). Does Watching Porn Affect Intimate Relationships? (Part Two: Women). Psych Central. Retrieved on September 22, 2020, from https://blogs.psychcentral.com/sex/2011/05/does-watching-porn-affect-intimate-relationships-part-two-women/

 

Last updated: 9 Jun 2015
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