I know that there are some counselors and therapists who recommend to couples. the use of porn, in an effort to spice up their flagging love-lives but can porn really be considered a valuable tool in relationships?
Pornography is sexually stimulating; I will not argue with that. It is designed to be arousing and it most definitely works. We are all sensory creatures and most of us will be affected by graphic sexual content that is either seen or heard. Again, our sexual histories and experiences will influence our initial responses to porn. Some may find it more arousing than others. Some without prior exposure may be sickened and “turned-off” by the explicitness of it. Still others, especially those plagued by over-exposure, may become bored or desensitized by it and long for still more graphic or violent content to get them going. Whatever the case; our brains which act like sponges, will soak up all of the graphic, sexual content that we see and hear when using pornography. What impact is this likely to have on our sexual relationships
It is likely to encourage sexual fantasy which involves others and disengagement from our partners. This is inherently dangerous as it removes us from the act in which we should be involved at the levels of both body and soul. Because it will guarantee a quick erection or increase vaginal lubrication, is no excuse to use it as a “quick-fix”. Pornography in fact encourages laziness and is a demonstration of a lack of inventiveness and creativity on the part of sexual partners who should be going out of their way to spice up the act without involving a “third party”. Yes, this is how we should view porn; as an intrusive third man or woman, who has the power to steal our spouse’s favour.
I am completely amazed at how some liberal academics, have rebranded hard-core porn by referring to its use as the “democratization of sexual expression”. When people attempt to link a lofty ideal such as “freedom” or “democracy” with the idea of sexual expression without boundaries, no matter how debased, dehumanizing or damaging it is, then, we have another social problem on our hands. We do not live in a limitless society without boundaries, never mind what these proponents of porn would have us believe. As human beings, we are called upon daily to be discriminating in our choices, or face the consequences. Why else would we obey traffic laws or at least try to follow the rules of good health? Assessing the impact of porn on a relationship is no different; we have to look at the consequences. Yes, we have the right to free choice and we can choose to ignore the rules of good health but we will suffer the consequences; the same is true of porn and its impact on our relationships. Studies confirm that over time, several men are unable to maintain normal erections or arousal levels because they become desensitized through the over-stimulation which porn provides; in other words, they are unable to function normally in their relationships without it.
One acquaintance admitted that his fixation on porn contributed significantly to his sexual dissatisfaction with his wife. He found that he would compare his wife with the impossible perfection of the women in porn magazines or videos and of course his wife was often found sadly lacking. While this acknowledgement reflected his analysis of the situation, his wife also registered an underlying feeling of inadequacy, of never being good enough. His marriage relationship suffered the negative consequences of his obsession with pornography.
Because porn focusses on the objectification of body parts, partners can begin to feel inadequate about basic things like breast-size or penis-size, which in pornographic videos always appears to be much larger than life. Male partners may begin to feel self-conscious or inadequate, when they recognize that their own endowment falls way below the mark. This feeling of inadequacy can be inherently damaging to any relationship.
Some may argue about porn’s harmlessness because it is perceived that the men and women in magazines and film are out of reach or unattainable and hence fixation on them isn’t “real adultery” nor is it “really dangerous”. But honestly, which one of us is happy with our partner humping us enthusiastically while really thinking of Sexy Sue who was featured in the porn movie he just watched? The power of the mind is phenomenal, and what a man or woman for that matter, fixates on for arousal purposes, will continue to dominate his or her mind during the act of sex. This spells disconnection and disengagement.
Does this mean that I think that everyone who fantasizes will act on their fantasy? No I don’t necessarily believe that, but just think how much a relationship could be improved if the effort and energy exerted through fantasizing about someone else, were fixed on our spouses instead? When we play with adultery in our minds, even if we think we may never act on it, we steadily erode our own defenses and we make ourselves vulnerable to inappropriate sexual behaviour. It is important to remember that, inherently, much fantasy is self-focused, even when it involves others; it is not first relational. While at one level this may appear harmless, an overt focus on self-gratification has the potential to erode an intimate relationship.
If we do decide to use our God-given imaginations to spice up our love lives, let all of that creative flow be fixed on the one we have committed ourselves to in both body and soul. There is absolutely nothing wrong with using imaginative and creative ways to add spice to our love lives when such is focused on our spouse. If we do want to bring a live fantasy scenario to the bedroom, let’s ensure that we are the stars of our own show.
Adapted from “How To Have Mind Blowing Sex Without Losing Your Brain!” by Denise J Charles © 2011