the study of marriage

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Does pornography affect marriage?

I was going to post this evening a follow-up on how to spend your 15 hours of quality together time with your spouse, but I admit I've gotten pornography.

No, I haven't been looking at it online. But I have been listening to some podcasts at, in particular the latest episode of their weekly radio show, "Dirty Little Secrets," where they interview Pamela Paul, the author of Pornified: How the Culture of Pornography is Transforming Our Lives, Our Relationships and Our Families. Warning, if you decide to listen to the radio show, it's fairly graphic and disturbing.

To quote from the podcast, Pamela Paul interviewed a number of men who use pornography during the research for her book, and she reports that many of them were
A lot of men who, again, would never think of themselves as addicts, did say that they were trying to cut back on their pornography use and having trouble doing it...[They] reported even when they cut back on pornography, they were still seeing a lot of the negative effects...trouble maintaining an erection during intercourse, trouble achieving orgasm while inside a woman's body, trouble enjoying sex without watching pornography at the same time or without conjuring images from pornography in their mind while they were with a woman.

From my own personal experience, I know that pornography does dramatically and negatively affect marriage. And I haven't gotten to read Pamela Paul's book yet, but she clearly believes that porn has negative effects. What do you think?


  • At January 27, 2006 5:57 AM, Blogger FTN said…

    I've listened to a couple of xxxchurch's podcasts, but I haven't heard that one yet. I do think it can affect marriage (as I've also written about it extensively), and I'm surprised how many people don't think it has adverse affects. "It's no worse than anything else." Or "It's expressing a healthy sexuality."

    As to how much of a difference there is between a man that uses pornography in secret from his spouse, vs. couples that use pornography together in the bedroom and both enjoy it... that one, I can't say. I've been surprised to hear how many couples enjoy using it together, and I often wonder if pornography works entirely differently in most female minds than in male minds. There was a Time magazine article I wrote about awhile back that had a lot of interesting statistics. (Sorry, can't find the link to the article right now.)

  • At January 27, 2006 6:50 AM, Blogger Sarah Leon said…

    FTN, I'm definitely going to be linking to your stuff on porn in the near future...I just haven't done so yet because I think it deserves the proper treatment which I haven't had time for yet :)

    As a woman who has used pornography in the context of relationships with men, I can testify to the fact that pornography damages marriage. Porn was a competitor for attention that my partner(s) should have been giving to me. I will write more about that sometime, too. But I am inclined now to disbelieve it when a woman says, "it works for us."

  • At May 06, 2006 6:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I have recently found out that my husband of twelve years has been an avid user of pornographic material since almost the beginning of marriage. I am not sure how I am supposed to feel, but do feel incredibly betrayed, lied to and cheated on. Many have told me It has absolutely nothing to do with me and what I represent to him. But considering the type of pornography and the deviant way he strove to hide this disception I do indeed feel lied to, betrayed and cheated on. If there was nothing wrong with what he was doing why did he pursue this behavior behind my back??? I am far from a prude in the bedroom but have discussed my very strong views on pornography on an ongoing basis with my husband. The worst is that he has pretended to support my views and actually told me on a repetitive basis that he was not the sort of person to ever go there which has exemplified the totality of the continuous lies. I am totally disillusioned and empty at the moment.

  • At May 21, 2006 12:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Having a husband that is addicted to pornography is one of the most painful situations that you can imagine. Every porn magazine, porn sight, movie, strip bar are a woman’s competition; she is competing with his drug of choice. It consumes a man, it is an addiction, and it was my ex-husbands drug of choice.

    Because I was computer illiterate and knew nothing about the internet and what was on it for the first 12 years of our marriage he could easily spend his time with his drug. He spent hours on the computer; I did not know what he was doing. I finally learned to use the computer, I wanted to go onto the internet and I asked him how to get on. He told me that he opened an e-mail account for me and my screen name was blank. He told me he had a different screen name and his password is secret for “security reasons”. The red flags went up.

    That week my sons were on the computer and up popped nude women, I was mad because they were very young and I did not want them exposed to degrading pictures of women. I started to investigate, to make a long story short; he was heavily into the porn. The nights he was up late he was on web sites watching movies, in chat rooms looking for women to have sex with.

    Our marriage was already in trouble because he had an affair and I am positive it was one of many. He lied about the porn and made every effort to cover his tracts, but he could not fool me any longer. It hurt me, I felt inadequate, unloved, I was, and he did not care. The final hurt was finding out that he was going to the strip bars and spending hundreds of dollars at them. I divorced him in 2002.

    He will always have a distorted view of women; he is a very sick man. He is on his 4th marriage and he lies about what he did. I am sure that pornography is still a major part of his life. The funniest thing is that he found religion and it teaching Sunday school.

  • At September 16, 2006 2:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I am thirty-somthing, male, single and live alone.

    I am a user of porn on weekend nights - friday and saturday especially.

    I find it tough to stay away when bored. It has become a mood altering drug for me.

    The tempattion to watch TV (softporn) or go to work and use the computer to surf for free porn videos when nothing else to do or noone to be with is real.

    I used to be very dusgusted with myself and feel guilty.
    But now, I have resolved to stop. I am not sure how yet as it's not something people talk about openly.

    The bad effects it has on me:
    * I want to sleep in mornings and work off the late nights.
    * I masturbate more than usual after porn.
    * I get a sore back and neck from the tv or computer monitor.
    * I have even lonelier weekends, cause I do not make an effort to be with people in groups or with friends when feeling down the next day(s)

    So ya, it effects my sleep, my relationships.


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