Pornography Can Destroy Relationships — And Save Them

Sexologist Michael Perelman says pornography is proactive.

Topic: The Popularity of Internet Porn

Michael Perelman: I think, number one, erotica and pornography has always driven technological change in our society, so the more ubiquitous, the more common place the technology, the easier it is for people to be reached by it. But one of the main things about pornography on the internet, it’s really one of the first times in our history where the information is coming at you rather than you having to go out to get it. So if you wanted to see naked pictures of people having a sexual experience, you had to go get that somehow in ways that were somewhat inconvenient and time consuming and frequently expensive. Now it’s more of a problem of how do you keep that spam off of your computer, so that is one thing. The other thing is, there is no question, we were talking before about the role of fantasy, so you can take a look at pornography on the internet that is conveniently available whenever you choose, and that kind of sexual stimulation is right there whenever you want it, and that plus self-stimulation reduces results in an orgasm which reduces anxiety and provides pleasure and all kinds of nice feelings and, quote, unquote, many people talk about that being less work. And there’s no question that excessive use of pornography can be detrimental to an individual’s mental health and to a relationship, but the flip side of that is sexual fantasy, in some cases, pornography, can help facilitate monogamy. So how can I say such a stupid thing? Because one of the places that gets sold a lot, for instance, is in a hotel room, so if you have a man on a business trip who has to decide about going down to the bar and having a drink, which will provide opportunity for him to have a potential liaison with someone else, not that he should, but he might, that has really been part of the history of what happens, verses he stays in his hotel room and he is feeling a little horny and turns on some erotica on the television set, masturbates and goes to sleep, while some women would consider that a violation of their marital sanctity, that he is thinking about somebody other than her, and masturbating, and some people even consider masturbation a form of non-monogamous behavior, I don’t. I think that is just one of many ways, just like some people engage in phone sex, they will call home and they will both self-stimulate. This is not commonplace in our society, but it’s a personal reasonable thing for a couple to do. So there are many different angles to this, it is not so simple as there is all that bad stuff out there. Having said that, there are plenty of problems that this causes and I have seen an upsurge in that and that is something I frequently need to treat in my office, the damaging affects of excessive pornography and self-stimulation in ways that isolate people from having more meaningful human interactions in relationships with others.

 


 

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