Porn Affects Our View of Sex, Says Portland Marriage Counselor

May 28, 2013 by

As a Portland marriage counselor for several decades, I know that our society has a complicated relationship with sex in general and pornography specifically. In recent years there has been a veritable explosion of the porn industry, with a huge increase in the number of men and boys using it, and even an uptick in women and girls.

Some have argued that viewing pornography isn’t harmful in and of itself, and that many couples find that it adds something to their relationship. Perhaps that is true in some instances, but I can also tell you that I’ve seen more and more couples recently because of problems either directly or tangentially related to watching porn.

Even for those who don’t become addicted to the “high” associated with consuming pornography, there is a more insidious force at work: porn makes us think about sex – and our partners – in a different light.

Portland Marriage Counselor: Porn is Sexist

Obviously this isn’t true about all pornography, but even I was shocked to read statistics on how pervasive it is. A 2010 study found that of the 50 most-rented porn movies of the past decade, an astounding 88 percent of scenes including physical aggression against women, and almost half featured a man calling a woman a derogatory name or another form of verbal aggression.

Pornography isn’t about sex; it’s about dominance and submission, with women almost always in the subordinate role. How can watching hours and hours of this not affect your view of sex and relationships? And I’m not just speaking about men here. I think women watching other women be degraded is at least as harmful.

Porn Can End Relationships, Says Portland Marriage Counselor When men and women fall into the black hole of pornography, it’s quite common for one or both of them to pull away from the relationship. Many men will also seek to recreate what they’ve seen by asking their partners to engage in acts that may be shaming, which many women find hurtful. Worse, reports show that a number of the men know this, but they don’t know how to stop.

If you have a problem with pornography, don’t just ignore it or assume that it isn’t a big deal. Left unchecked, it can develop into a serious addiction and may even destroy your relationship. Talk openly and honestly with your partner about how you feel, and if you can’t deal with it on your own, seek the help of a Portland marriage counselor who has experience dealing with relationship problems related to this issue.