This Just In: Men Watch Porn (An Antithetical)

By Kim Saeed | Contemplating No Contact

Sep 28

One of my favorite sites, The Good Men Project, featured an article a couple of days ago titled, “This Just In:  Men Watch Porn”

My first reaction was, “Well, no duh.  This has been a societal issue for decades now.  You’d have to be a caveman living on Tristan da Cunha in the South Atlantic Ocean to not know that.”

All joking aside, I typically enjoy the articles published on Goodmenproject.com because they encourage men to stand up and be, well…men.  Decent, honest, and compassionate men.

But when I saw the article about which I write today, it gave me pause.

It’s yet another article of thousands bent on normalizing porn viewing.  While watching porn in itself isn’t really my beef, it generally doesn’t have a place inside of committed relationships unless it’s something that each party has agreed upon beforehand.

Ms.  Arianna Jaret’s article, which is jet-packed with numbers from clinical studies, included the following statements

“The numbers seem large enough to me to normalize porn viewing, as well as to make the notion of porn as a cause of sex addiction a non-starter.”

and

“In plain English, men don’t watch porn because they are sex addicts. Men watch porn because they are genetically wired to do so.
And guess what? Women kinda like it too.”

While those statements may have poll- and study-based data to substantiate her claims, so do studies highlighting the very real effects of porn-watching inside of committed relationships when one partner discovers the other taking part in it.

Further, she included this statement to strengthen her argument:

The American Psychological Association (APA) made a decision not to recognize sex addiction in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition: DSM-V. 

Neither is codependency listed in the DSM-V, but it is a very real condition, nonetheless.

Below, I offer my counter (which I posted in the comments section under the article and am waiting for it to be approved):

Religion aside- I am a relationship coach and many of the people I work with have partners who engage in watching porn.

Unless the couple watches it together or have made an agreement between themselves that watching porn alone is okay, then typically, watching porn inside of a relationship only leads to feelings of betrayal, not to mention the frustration of the person whose partner isn’t there for them sexually because they’re getting their own sexual urges satisfied through watching porn and masturbating.

(And let us not ignore the very real issue of human sex trafficking.)

In the same way it was suggested that all the written material saying watching porn is bad is what MAKES it bad, the same goes for saying it’s okay.  I would bet that some of your readers who’ve been caught watching porn are showing this particular article to their hurt partner and exclaiming, “See honey, almost everyone does it” and trying to justify their porn habit.

Additionally, men who watch porn on a regular basis are at risk of developing porn-induced erectile dysfunction, which makes it difficult for them to maintain an erection when they are in the company of a flesh-and-blood woman (or same-sex partner).  Women who masturbate and use sex toys also develop a form of this, but it’s not as difficult for them to engage in the act of sex because they can perform whether aroused or not.

We can find all sorts of evidence claiming that watching porn doesn’t cause problems, isn’t addictive, there’s nothing wrong with it, and what’s the big deal, anyway?  But usually, such evidence is sought out by those who want to continue watching porn after their partner has disclosed that they don’t agree with it and/or is hurt by it – which then typically motivates the betrayed partner to find evidence pointing to why porn IS bad.

We can find evidence to support either argument.

Whether watching porn is okay is specific to each relationship.  If it’s something you have to hide, then you shouldn’t be doing it – sex or otherwise.  Anything else only leads to the breakdown of intimacy, trust, and connection.

This is an area that both parties should get out in the open before getting into a long-term, committed relationship and why it’s important to be honest about it before committing to someone.

If someone is watching porn to satisfy their sexual urges at the cost of their relationship, then they should consider whether or not they really need to be in a relationship.  On the flip side, if one discovers their partner has a porn habit and shows no signs of stopping, then they might want to consider whether or not staying in the relationship is worth it.

Humans are genetically wired to do many things, but that doesn’t mean we should always give in to our primal urges.  That’s why we, as a race, have evolved to develop foresight, empathy, and self-control.

Does that mean masturbation is wrong?  That’s up to us as individuals to decide.  Does it mean porn is wrong? That depends upon the context and whether watching it is hurting someone else.

And for those who still support the clandestine viewing of porn and masturbation inside of a committed relationship, what should your betrayed and frustrated partner be allowed to do to have their own needs satisfied ?  What if they don’t want to watch porn and, instead, prefer sex with a real human?  Should they be allowed to take a partner for such matters – and what’s the difference in the big scheme of things?

It IS something we’re genetically wired for, after all.

Copyright © 2015 Kim Saeed. All Rights Reserved

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