How Porn Kills Great Sex in Marriage

According to Sam Black of Covenant Eyes, there are four fundamental ways that pornography undermines marital sex. Contrary to expectations, porn won’t make you a better lover, it won’t spice things up, it certainly won’t help you deepen your understanding of God’s plan for your sex life. He explains how porn hurts a good sex life thus:

Porn offers the promise of a quick fix. But really great sex requires an intimate investment, and the rewards of intimacy have built-in multipliers. That’s right, real intimacy has a plural impact on a marital relationship. Unfortunately, our instant gratification society encourages people to invest less and get it now, even if a little time and work would yield much greater rewards.

Most guys (and some gals) misspell intimacy as S-E-X, said Dr. Dan Erickson, an author, counselor, and speaker. Instead, intimacy should be seen as in-to-me-see.

The word intimacy is born out of the Latin word intima, which means “innermost, most secret.” Each person carries within them an intima, and when that deep and vulnerable core is shared with another, a profound connection can be built.

A couple can have sex without intimacy, and it often leads to dissatisfaction and less sex within a relationship, Erickson said. But when sex becomes a part of overall expressions of intimacy, then magic happens.

Here’s an excerpt from his article.

4 Ways Porn Kills Great Sex in Marriage

Sam Black | Covenant Eyes | May 6, 2013 | FULL ARTICLE HERE

Porn makes promises it can’t keep, especially when it comes to hot sex in marriage.

Porn won’t spice up your sex life, and it won’t make you a better lover. Science and psychology show that sharing porn with your spouse or having a secret affair with porn will mess up hot nights of passion, especially for the long haul.

What will make sex better can be summed up in one word: intimacy. And no, sex does not equal intimacy.

So here are four (brief) ways porn kills great sex. To learn four ways to take intimacy to the next level, see next month’s issue of Pure Minds Online.

Killer No. 1: Porn Hijacks Your Focus

The producers of porn and portions of pop culture tout that pornography leads to more fun, more pleasure, exciting new moves, and mind-blowing orgasms. Instead, porn’s path is disappointing at best and debilitating at worst.

“Pornographers promise healthy pleasure and relief from sexual tension, but what they often deliver is an addiction, tolerance, and an eventual decrease in pleasure. Paradoxically, the male patients I worked with often craved pornography but didn’t like it,” writes Dr. Norman Doidge in The Brain That Changes Itself.

Great sex means a husband and wife focus on each other. The Bible describes it as “one flesh.”

But porn teaches the brain to focus on multiple images, body types, partners and scenarios. The focus on one’s spouse is lost, and repeated use of pornography takes precedence. A habit or an addiction to porn is an obvious killer to marital and sexual oneness, because true focus is singular not plural.

Killer No. 2: Porn Creates Neural Pathways for More Porn

Doidge explains that “human beings exhibit an extraordinary degree of sexual plasticity compared with other creatures.” By “plasticity” he means that our brains and our sexuality are molded by our experiences, interactions, and other means of learning, which is why people vary in what they say is attractive or what turns them on. The brain actually creates neural pathways that label a specific type of person or activity as arousing.

Neurologists repeat a mantra: Neurons that fire together wire together. Simply put, repeating an activity makes it easier to do. But it also means that the human brain learns to associate specific activities with neurological rewards.

Unlike many other activities, porn and masturbation release such a firestorm of neurochemical and hormonal rewards that the brain can map out neural pathways for porn use quickly. That’s why porn use is so addictive.

Using porn to spice up marital sex is self-defeating. Instead of being more attracted to and engaged with one’s spouse, the porn user will actually become more engrossed with porn. Your Brain on Porn reviews a study showing that when men and women were exposed to porn, they were less likely to be pleased with their partner’s physical appearance, affection, and sexual performance. The researchers concluded that porn consumers eventually compare their spouse with images of porn models.

Another study appearing in the Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy in 2002 found similar results. When men and women were exposed to pictures of female centerfold models from Playboy and Penthouse, this significantly lowered their judgments about the attractiveness of “average” people.

Read 2 more ways porn harms your sex life.

READ MORE
2017-11-24T11:11:07+00:00

About the Author:

Francine & Byron Pirola
Francine & Byron Pirola are the founders and principal authors of the SmartLoving series. They are passionate about living Catholic marriage to the full and helping couples reach their marital potential. They have been married since 1988 and have five children. Their articles may be reproduced for non commercial purposes with appropriate acknowledgement and back links.

5 Comments

  1. Kat September 29, 2017 at 10:30 am - Reply

    Is it possible, then, to rebuild a natural sexual relationship in a marriage when a husband has been viewing porn secretly for nearly the entire time? If a husband has been so steeped in it that he’s vastly addicted, can it ever be repaired to a healthy love relationship?
    I consider porn cheating, and I also hate the problems that come along with it–the mistrust from the lies/secrets, and the anger I have toward him and those who advocate for the industry. It’s torn me apart, and I want to know if there is any hope of a restored intimacy.

  2. anonymous December 30, 2016 at 4:45 am - Reply

    Am I correct in believing that even porn is adultery? My husband watches porn at night while I’m sleeping. We have been married almost 19 yrs now and we have always had a very good sex life. But in the last several years, it’s getting less & frequent. One reason, I believe, is due to his drug addiction. Either I’m mad at him, or full of resentment. Over 10 years ago, I cheated on him. He knows about it and I “thought” we got past it. I have vowed to never do that again, and I haven’t. But he still to this day, is always suspicious. I understand I hurt him deeply. But am I going to have to live with this hanging over my head for the rest of my life? I have stood by him through the pure hell he has put me through with his drug use. And is still putting me through. I’ve noticed that when he’s high, he locks himself in the bathroom & watches porn. He masturbates more than he is with me! I love him with all of my being and I know without a doubt that we were meant to be together forever. But he doesn’t seem to realize that what he’s doing is wrong. And when we are together, I’m not feeling the deep connection we used to share anymore. It’s like it’s purely physical to him. He doesn’t even look at me, his eyes are only focused on certain parts. I can’t even remember the last time he kissed me. That hurts. But any time I try to bring it up, I get my past thrown in my face. I just don’t know how to get us past this mess. I’m honestly thinking about going to a therapist. I don’t want to live like this the rest of my life.

    • Francine & Byron Pirola
      Francine & Byron Pirola January 1, 2017 at 12:38 pm - Reply

      Hello Anonymous,
      It sounds like a really difficult and complex situation. We would definitely recommend some professional support, even if it’s only for yourself. Take care though to get a counsellor who understands your Catholic values – unfortunately, many therapists have bought into the myth that porn is harmless and will suggest the partner join the other in using it. More and more studies are showing how damaging it is but it pays to be careful in your choice of therapist so that you can be confident that the advice you are getting is trustworthy. Check out this page for advice on choosing a counsellor https://smartloving.org/getting-help-counsellors/

      You might also find more articles of interest here https://smartloving.org/sos/. You can also get information on our various online options on this page. If you wish continue correspondence, we can take this conversation off the comments to email.

  3. DonnyO October 31, 2014 at 8:31 pm - Reply

    I actually credit porn for keeping me in my marriage and under the same roof as my kids. My married sex life died 15 years ago and despite visits to a number of therapists the problem couldn’t be fixed. Rather than getting a divorce or cheating on my wife by having an affair or paying for sex I masturbate while looking at porn. It isn’t perfect but it is worth being able to live with my kids and be part of a family. Other than the sex my wife and I get along just fine so porn has been an effective and simple solution.

    I have come across many stories like mine online over the years. Men in sexless marriages who use porn as their only sexual outlet rather than seeking sex outside the home. I think porn has perhaps kept as many marriages together, if not more, than it has split them apart.

    • Francine & Byron Pirola
      Francine & Byron Pirola September 10, 2015 at 1:58 pm - Reply

      Hi DonnyO,
      While we applaud your dedication to your children, we would caution against using porn for any reason. We would advise you to seek support in learning how to live contentedly without the need for masturbation or porn as ultimately, both of these practices can only aggravate the situation with your wife. You present your situation as a either/or: either leave the marriage, or have an affair or use porn (both of which is a form of infidelity). But there is an other option – to be in the marriage, faithful to your vows and honouring your manhood with the dignity it deserves. It’s not an easy path – the way to spiritual maturity and personal fulfilment is never easy – but your chosen direction is not eacy either and will ultimately make it harder for you. Praying you will find a better way.

Leave A Comment