Your sexual behaviors have an enormous impact on your intimate relationships. How you and your significant other view sex can foster or strain your intimacy.

With the advent of the Internet, we’re seeing a rise in access to sexually explicit material, and our views subsequently altered.

Children just hitting their pubescent years can stumble across pornography after an innocent Google search. This readily abundant amount of pornography has started to leech into the psyche of men, and some women, everywhere.

Men are visual creatures, and porn provides visual stimuli while also satisfying the urge to reproduce.

Imagine scratching an itch (if you’re a man you don’t have to imagine) that you can’t reach. Suddenly you can scratch that itch whenever you want.

It’s how people succumb to pornography addiction. Biological impulse control isn’t something that’s easily acquired.

Pornography Addiction Creates Unattainable Standards

Pornography goes hand-in-hand with the airbrushed generation of models that have shifted the standards of beauty from sky high to unattainable.

Constant consumption of pornography trains the mind to accept nothing less than physical perfection. The problem being, “physical perfection” is a standard created by the pornographic industry using smoke and mirrors.

Women with blemish free skin and unrealistic physical attributes become fetishized, despite the fact that they don’t exist. This can cause men to subconsciously project their beauty standards onto their significant other.

When those unrealistic expectations aren’t met, sexual attraction may diminish. The pornography’s “beauty” might end up more appealing than real life intimacy.

Further Physical and Psychological Effects

Science classifies porn as a “supranormal” stimulus, or something that activates our brain’s reward centers at abnormally high levels.

Instead of the usual pleasurable feeling from a stimulus, porn essentially overloads our brains. The only way to combat that overload is to engage in even more novel stimuli that release even more pleasure chemicals.

It’s hypothesized that this desensitization to stimuli may have links to erectile dysfunction among younger men. The theory being that porn creates a cycle where men need extremely high levels of supranormal stimuli to create a sexual response.

In either case, requiring increasingly perverse stimuli to achieve significant sexual arousal is not healthy for your relationship.

At best normal sex won’t suffice, and at worst your partner could feel pressured into acts they’re not comfortable with.

Impact On The Non-Addicted Partner

Pornography addiction goes beyond the addict’s behavior and resulting physical/psychological problems.

Erectile disfunction and unreasonable expectations of beauty affect both partners, however, those are indirect impacts on the non-addicted partner.

The non-addicted partner can also experience direct psychological impacts from the pornography, even if he or she isn’t viewing it.

A study in the scientific journal, “Sex Roles,” found that male frequency of pornography use negatively affects relationship quality.

This stemmed from pornography causing the non-addicted partner to have low self-esteem and perceive (from the addicted partner) sexual dissatisfaction. Sexual dissatisfaction increased with long-term pornograph use over the course of the relationship.

Pornography addiction, while innocent sounding, can bring your relationship to its knees. Both partners feel its effects, even only one party has an addiction.

If your sex life starts to fail because of pornography addiction, get in contact with us.

We have experience treating the underlying causes of many addictions, and understand there is no one-size-fits-all cure.

Don’t fight addiction alone. We’re here to help.

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