Til Porn Do Us Part

I think most people these days would agree that young kids shouldn’t be looking at porn.  There’d be a whole range of views when it comes to teenagers, though, despite the fact that it’s illegal for minors to watch x rated content.

But for adults, most people would say it’s ok.  For many, porn can even be a part of a healthy relationship.  The idea here is that porn can spice up a couple’s sex life by giving a few tips and hints.  The thinking here is that a bit of porn can get a stalling engine running again.  Or for others, porn use by an individual within a relationship is no big deal, as long as it’s not replacing, but simply supplementing intimacy within the relationship.

A new study came out in the last week, called ‘Til Porn Do Us Part, Longitudinal Effects of Pornography Use on Divorcethat may have called some of these ideas into question.  After an extensive study of 2000 couples, researchers found that when married people began to use porn individually it increased the chances of divorce by 200%.  The rate of divorce was even higher when the individual using porn was female.

The study showed that the younger a married person was when they took up porn, the greater the chance of divorce was later on.  Pornography use was most detrimental to marriages where participants considered the marriage healthy.

Porn certainly spices things up, but not in the way that people think.  It seems it less like the good kind of spice in a curry, and more like the time my dad accidentally loaded a spaghetti bolognese with a tonne of cinnamon.

So why might this be the case, particularly when it goes against a dominant line of thought in our culture?

Here are a few suggestions.  Firstly, getting aroused from other people while being intimate with someone else isn’t so intimate.  Porn could have the effect of training people to look elsewhere for sexual fulfillment.

Secondly, porn doesn’t really depict lovemaking.  It’s highly stylised and choreographed.  Porn stars don’t look like most people will ever look, and in general, they are perpetually young, unlike most married people who are slowly getting older.  Porn sets up an unattainable standard that will only leave people dissatisfied.  

Thirdly, most porn is centred on the pleasure of one or more dominant males. But marriage at its best is about the mutual giving between two lovers.  Sex is about two people seeking the pleasure of the other.  Imitating much of the porn produced today would not lead to a healthy sexual relationship.

Lastly, porn is easy and marriage is not.  With porn, a person can get aroused on their own; they don’t need to think or consider anyone else.  But marriages take hard work, sacrifice, and the setting aside of your own preferences.  It’s one of many reasons as to why marriage is worthwhile.  Humans are naturally selfish, and marriage and parenting help people to set aside the self and serve others.

Without porn, ‘til death do us part’ may have a better shot at being a reality.