Groom Duties

Will Marriage Change Your Porn Habits?

The Internet is porn. Click on that porn and a pop-up window jumps out at you, full of more porn. That pop-up window is classic misdirection, diverting you from the pop-under window, which is itself ready to serve up another healthy helping of porn. Any attempt to click out of this porn will only result in more porn. Porn will always be there, whether your single or married. But does porn affect your marriage? Or does marriage affect your porn?

Old Habits Die Hard

Getting married doesn’t necessarily make porn lose its luster. “I’ve talked to lots of men who assumed marriage would end their porn use,” says marriage and sex counselor Paul Byerly. “Most found they avoided it or cut back substantially for six month to a year, then went back to how they were watching before.”

Flirting With Disaster

According to Psychology Today, a relationships in which neither partner watches porn is significantly healthier than one that does, with less instances of infidelity. “Beginning pornography use between survey waves nearly doubled one’s likelihood of being divorced by the next survey period,” says Samuel Perry, author of a University of Oklahoma study charting porn use and its impacts on marriage.

Sharing Is Caring

Franklin Veaux, sex educator and author of More Than Two, validates another finding from Perry’s study: Porn seems to have no negative effects on marriage if both partners are keen on watching it together. “My wife has an enormous library of porn on an external hard drive,” he says. “On one notable occasion, while we were at a BDSM conference, we watched it on her laptop while she practiced bondage techniques on me.”

 Everyone Likes To Watch

In fact, most people we talked to had no qualms about sharing their porn habits with partners. “I use the same amount of porn as before marrying,” says linguist Alice Tsymbarevich. “I prefer privacy, but if my husband wants to stick around, I can watch it in his presence. Marriage has had no effect on my attitude towards porn or sex. I don’t think legal procedures should have that effect, anyway.”

Established Tastes

If you weren’t into porn in the first place, it’s unlikely you’re going to develop an affinity for it after tying the knot. “Getting married did not change my attitude about porn,” says Ilyse Mimoun, an LA-based actress and author of Choose Your Own Love Story: (Mis)Adventures In Love, Lust, and Happy Endings. “I’ve never been a fan. I’m aware that there’s all kinds of non-misogynist, Bay-Area progressive porn out there. It just doesn’t do anything for me.” Does she know if (or what) her husband watches? “I can’t say definitively,” she laughs, “but if he does watch porn, I’d guess it’s that kind of non-hierarchical homemade kind.”

 

 

 

 

Bottom Line

Lose yourself, but don’t get lost.  “Porn is not as much about sex as we’d like to think,” Byerly says. “It taps into our sexuality and sometimes hijacks it. Porn use is more like drinking: we do it because we enjoy it and it makes us feel good. Some are in control of it, and some are controlled by it.

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