New evidence that porn use destroys your ability to have real, loving relationships

It’s only April, and three major peer-reviewed studies highlighting the damage of digital porn have already been released. The largest study of online porn to date confirmed the prevalence of sexual violence in mainstream content; another study just released in Spain details how porn encourages and creates a predilection for sexual violence.

Now, Human Communication Research has published a study titled “Pornography and Sexual Dissatisfaction: The Role of Pornographic Arousal, Upward Pornographic Comparisons, and Preference for Pornographic Masturbation” by Paul Wright, Bryant Paul, Debby Herbenick, and Robert Tokunaga. Their findings are not ground-breaking, but once again confirm an enormous body of research detailing how porn use destroys real relationships. From the abstract:

Research finding that pornography use is associated with lower sexual satisfaction is common; evaluation of the mechanisms hypothesized as underlying the association is not. Informed by multiple theoretical perspectives, the present study tested a conceptual model positing that (a) regularly consuming pornography conditions the user’s arousal template to be particularly responsive to pornographic depictions, (b) this amplified arousal to pornography increases both (c) upward comparisons between one’s own sex life and sex as it is represented in pornography and (d) a preference for masturbation to pornography over partnered sex, which in turn (e) weaken perceptions of how satisfying it is to have sex with one’s partner, and ultimately (f) decreases perceptions of how satisfying one’s relationship is with one’s partner. Path-analytic results were supportive of the hypothesized linkages for both men and women. Discussion focuses on the implications of the present study’s findings for current debates in the literature and theoretical development.

That sums up the findings—you can find the entire study here if you doubt the conclusion. In short: If you use porn, you are destroying your ability to have a healthy, happy relationship with a real person. I could tell you dozens of personal stories that illustrate this point; I’m sure most of you could, too.

Again, for anyone who wants to quit porn, visit Covenant Eyes. For anyone who wants more information, check out Fight the New Drug.

For some practical tips on quitting, check out my conversation with therapist Paul Lavergne, who helps porn addicts get free:

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