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- Effects Of Watching Porn
- 8 Reasons Why Men Watch Porn
- How Important Is Knowing "Why"?
- Reader Comments (1,000+)
Why do men watch porn? Seems like a pretty straightforward question that must have an obvious answer, right?
Men watch porn because they like sex and watching attractive women have sex is a turn on. Sounds reasonable, doesn’t it?
The answer just isn’t that simple, however. Although most people immediately think men watch porn because they like, want, or are "obsessed" with sex, those are only the reasons they're drawn to porn - not the real reasons why men watch it.
It's common for women to think the reason why their man watches porn has something to do with them. They may assume they’re not attractive enough, good enough in bed, or that he doesn't love them anymore.
Those concerns typically have nothing to do with a man’s real motivation. As you’ll see as we examine the real reasons men look at porn below.
Effects Of Men Watching Porn
As we discuss why men watch porn it’s important to keep in mind the negative effects looking at porn can have on both a man and on his partner. In fact, understanding the reasons a man watches porn really isn’t as important as recognizing the problems porn viewing can create.
Both men and women often believe that "all guys watch porn"(not true), and therefore it must be okay (it's not). Watching porn has profoundly negative effects on the guy watching it, as well as on his partner.
- A man watching porn can severely damage the connection and emotional intimacy a couple needs to have in order to keep their relationship healthy.
- It’s not uncommon for a woman to feel inadequate and devalued by her partner when he views porn (Find out what women really think about porn).
- Porn can also amplify a woman’s insecurities, causing her to pull away from her partner and disengage from their sex life.
And although men look at porn far more often than women, there are women who watch porn routinely as well. The type of porn and reasons for watching may differ for women, but the negative effects of watching it on their relationship and partners can be the same.
Before we dive further into the effects, let's first get back to understanding why men watch porn.
Below are some examples and reasons from the article, Why Men Use Porn: 8 Simple, Yet Surprising, Reasons, by my colleague, Jed Diamond, Ph.D. Here's some of what he had to say:
As a therapist I talk to many men and women where pornography has become a problem in their lives. For some it creates a moral dilemma. If we've agreed to be true to each other does having ‘virtual sex' in an online chat room constitute being unfaithful? One of my clients, Sarah, thinks it is.
"I know if I did something like that, it would be the end of the marriage", she told me. "I know men are different and have different sexual drives, but if I can't trust him to be honest where will it end? Is it OK if he goes to a sex club and gets a lap dance? We had to deal with that for awhile. We've all got our desires. I don't see why we can't control them. Why do men need porn?"
What do you think of what Sarah said? Is watching porn cheating? This is a common and hotly debated question between men and women.
I say, yes, it is cheating. You can learn more about why I say so and what others, women and men, think about men looking at porn by reading this article I wrote about porn and cheating.
Here’s another couple's experience from Dr. Diamond where the negative effect of porn can begin to be seen:
For others it creates anger and distance in the relationship. Monica was furious with Ed when the couple came to see me.
"I just don't get it. I like sex. I'm available whenever Ed is interested. Why should he be going after pornographic bimbos? I guess an occasional look see doesn't hurt, but he seems to be on the computer all the time. It's wrecking our marriage. Why does he need to do this?"
Reasons Why Men Watch Porn
From the two examples above, it’s clear that porn creates problems, many damaging enough to put a couple’s relationship in jeopardy.
Since this is the case, why would a man risk his relationship in order to watch porn?
There are a number of reasons ranging from ignorance (it’s a harmless pastime, right?) to outright addiction to porn. After all, with the internet now such an integral part of our everyday lives and accessible with a couple of taps on a phone, the pleasure of viewing porn is available everywhere.
But why else do men want to watch porn?
Here are 8 common reasons Dr. Diamond identified. As you read them, notice that of these 8 reasons, only 4 really have to do with sex.
- They enjoy sexual excitement and release, and porn delivers.
- They like sexual variety and porn has an endless selection to choose from.
- In real life the sexual practices that men like might not be those that their partners would like to engage in. In the world of porn, our sex partner will do anything we want them to do. And they will enjoy it. And they never get tired. And they are always ready for more.
- The real world has a lot of stress and uncertainty. The world of porn is predictable and controllable.
- Even when our sexual partner is available and interested most of the time (which can be a problem at any age, but particularly as we get older), there are always those times when we're hot to trot but our partner is tired tonight. A quick visit to the home office and a harem of available playmates awaits our commands.
- Though many have overcome the Madonna/Whore complex where we find it difficult to get aroused with our motherly wives but go wild for the wanton woman we work with, for many its still easier to have "regular sex" with our partner and let our minds run wild with the things we might do if we let ourselves go.
- In a world where we are all so busy with work, home, and family, a pornographic affair may seem like some small comfort for those who are cut-off and lonely.
- "Instant gratification isn't fast enough for me," one client told me. In our speeded up world where we want everything served up fast and hot, pornography may be the perfect solution for our times.
If you're a man who watches porn, which of these reasons best describes you?
Take a minute and think about what other reasons there could be. I often hear men tell me that #2, the variety and endless options, and #3, being able to explore fantasies that their partner would reject, make watching porn appealing and can cause it to become addicting.
How Important Is Knowing "Why"?
I've discovered some other significant reasons why men watch porn in my counseling with men who are struggling with porn. One of the things I’ve learned is that porn is much more complicated than people think.
However, knowing why men watch porn isn’t the most important thing. As I mentioned earlier, understanding the negative effects of looking at porn and doing something about it is so much more important than knowing the whys.
Whether you're a man watching porn or their partner wanting to understand why, don't make the mistake of minimizing or ignoring what it does to you and your relationship.
Join the conversation and please share your thoughts about why men watch porn in a comment. There are more than 1,000 comments from other readers - check them out below and see what others have to say.
Editor's Note: This post was originally published February 27, 2010, updated on June 17, 2014 and September 27, 2017, and has been updated again with new information for accuracy and comprehensiveness.
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