Is Porn Healthy Or Is It Simply Bad For You?

Updated August 28, 2020

Medically Reviewed By: Natalie Feinblatt

Pornography is something that many people watch on a regular or semi-regular basis. The porn industry is something that has been a prevalent part of society for a long time now. Although pornography has been a big moneymaker for some, it’s always been looked down upon as something that is taboo or wrong in some way. Many religious tenets outright forbid the viewing of pornographic materials and even those who aren’t religious are often hesitant to want to admit that they watch it even if they do.

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You might have heard news reports about pornography being bad for you as of late. Many politicians in America have outright called porn a “public health crisis” and spoken at length on its ills. They often say that watching porn has the potential to sexually desensitize individuals which will make them less capable of properly forming meaningful relationships. The data does show that porn could potentially be harmful in some ways, but calling it a public health crisis might be going overboard.

There is another side to this story that sheds a different light on the porn industry. Some mention that having access to pornography can help certain lonely individuals to get enjoyment out of life. It can also be a type of entertainment that allows a person to escape reality even if just for a moment. This isn’t too different from other forms of entertainment and it is possible for people to watch porn without it having a negative impact on their lives. In this article, you’ll be able to explore both sides of the topic to find the answer to the question “is porn healthy?”

When Pornography Becomes a Bad Thing

Some people have had their lives turned upside down because of pornography. Porn is very alluring because it shows people an idealized version of sexual encounters. Most porn films are highly edited and they feature people who are incredibly fit having sexual intercourse. If you watch porn films, then you likely know just how engaging they can be. A person might enjoy porn so much that normal sexual encounters just won’t feel all that exciting when compared to porn films. Can you ever have sex that is as athletic or theatrical as the sex in the porn movies?

This could be an example of a type of sexual desensitization that could harm someone’s sex life. They might become more interested in watching porn than they are with actually developing meaningful sexual relationships. When someone gets like this, it’s hard for them to enjoy life to the fullest. Not everyone gets like this because they watch porn, but there are those that become addicted to it. Porn addiction is real and it can consume some people’s lives.

Getting addicted to porn can cause several things to happen. You might not be able to control your urges to watch porn and this could lead to you losing your job. If you try to watch porn videos on your phone while at work and get caught, then you’re going to face consequences. Porn addiction can also hurt people’s romantic relationships and some people have ruined marriages due to becoming addicted to pornography. Addiction to porn works similarly to other types of addictions and professional help could be necessary in order to get things under control.

Objectifying Women

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Internet porn also objectifies women in various ways. You know that many people are already morally against porn, but you should also understand that many people find porn offensive because of the way that women are portrayed as sexual objects. Young men, in particular, might learn to objectify women because of watching too much porn from a young age. This could cause them to not respect female figures in their lives as they should. If impressionable minds watch women being treated as objects or playthings in videos, then they might start to think that it’s okay to treat women like that in real life.

Of course, women aren’t the only gender being objectified in pornography. Watching pornography will show you that there are a wide variety of different videos that cater to various tastes. Internet porn presents a skewed view of the world in many ways. People who aren’t capable of distinguishing fiction from reality might wind up damaging their world view because of watching too much internet porn. However, the same could also be said for many other forms of entertainment media and this isn’t necessarily a prevalent problem.

Potential Positives of Porn

Now that you have examined why porn can be bad for you, it’s going to make sense to try to think about the other side of the coin. There are people who speak about the potential benefits of pornography and how it has made their lives better. In fact, a large-scale study was performed that looked at pornography consumption without the normal bias that is associated with it. This study found that many men felt that pornography had helped their lives in some way. Porn was seen as a normal thing for the men who participated in the study and it was something that they merely watched when they had free time.

When porn is consumed responsibly, it might be easier for it to become a healthy part of a person’s life. For example, someone could simply use porn as a way to unwind before going to sleep on some nights. It could be used as a masturbation aid when someone isn’t able to be with a romantic partner. Some men also note that watching porn has increased given them increased sexual confidence and this has led to better sexual performance. Internet porn is something that people have easy access to and some individuals use it to research so that they can try to become better lovers.

It’s also important to know that women and all other genders also watch internet porn. The potential benefits of watching porn can apply to any gender but the study mentioned above focused on men. Internet porn has a wide appeal and there are many different types of videos available. People often turn to porn as a way to fulfill some type of fantasy that is lacking in their lives. Sometimes it might feel safer to watch porn to explore a fantasy than it would to attempt something in real life when you don’t have the sexual confidence.

You could watch porn as a way to satisfy a sexual urge that you aren’t able to in real life. Porn might be seen as taboo by many, but it can provide entertainment and sexual satisfaction to people in need. If you find value in that and it doesn’t negatively impact your life in any way, then you shouldn’t have to worry about whether porn is healthy for you. If watching porn doesn’t hurt your sex life or your work life, then it could just be another activity that you enjoy from time to time.

Taking the time to watch porn doesn’t have to interfere with your life and you don’t have to let it prevent you from forming meaningful relationships. It’s really about balance and how you choose to use your time. There will likely always be a negative stigma that surrounds porn and whether it’s moral to watch it is up to you to decide. Regardless, you can see that some people feel that porn has value and certain studies do back up those claims. Some people struggle with porn addiction and being able to recognize unhealthy behaviors versus normal actions will lead you to your answer.

Help is Available for Those with Porn Addictions

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It is possible to get help for porn addiction if you or someone you know is struggling. Not everyone can watch porn normally and some become addicted to it. Luckily, there are several ways to deal with the addiction that will be practical for you. You could consider going to a therapist and talking about your experiences. Perhaps he or she can help you get through what is going on in your life. Many have found a Cognitive Behavioral Therapy approach to be very good at helping people to get away from watching porn too much.

Therapists often work with people who are dealing with sexual addictions of all sorts. Porn addiction is just one of the cases that they can help you with. Sometimes it’s as simple as recognizing that too much of anything can be bad for you. Other times, you might need to address specific psychological problems that could be causing you to watch porn excessively. It might be a coping mechanism for some and for others, it could be an outright replacement for real-world relationships due to fears of inadequacy. It’s up to a therapist to determine what is going on in your situation so that you can get well.

Some individuals wind up shying away from therapy due to feeling embarrassed about the subject matter. If you feel like seeing a therapist in person would be difficult for you, then you should know that online therapy is a very convenient way to get the help that you need from home. The therapists at BetterHelp can work with you to help you overcome porn addiction so that you can start living your life the way that you want to again. Online therapy is convenient since you’ll be able to reach out to a licensed professional whenever you have the time.

Just understand that you’re not alone and that help is available no matter what you choose. You could turn to therapy if you feel that you need help. Some people look for the support of loved ones and religious leaders when they’re struggling with addictions. If porn has become a problem for you, then you will be able to overcome it with the assistance of others who care about your well-being.


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