How Much Porn Is Too Much?

Young girl looks slyly at her laptop

Porn can be a highly sensitive subject that frequently sparks heated debates between opposing viewpoints. Some may find it a source of enjoyment, relaxation, and the exploration of their sexual curiosity. While others report many side effects of watching hot videos, often accompanied by feelings of shame, inadequacy, and guilt. But it’s no secret that the more we avoid topics that make us emotional, the more they become taboo subjects. Because of this, it’s important to have open conversations about our sexual health without judgment and shame and to be interested, open-minded, and willing to ask questions. At the same time, it’s important to properly evaluate the information you hear from the media. If you find yourself watching porn and wondering whether it is unhealthy for you or how it impacts your sexual health and general well-being, keep reading because you might be surprised by the facts you are about to learn.

Is porn inherently bad?

The narrative surrounding porn in recent years has been largely negative, implying that it is to blame for problems with our relationships, mental health, and sex lives. According to some voices, watching porn messes with our brains, can make men experience erectile dysfunction, and can lead to unhappy relationships with partners. However, there are lots of variables that impact these claims therefore, experts are unable to determine conclusively the truth of these statements. Essentially, it is a complicated phenomenon that can affect people differently. Some people may be negatively impacted by it, while the effects on others may be positive or even insignificant.

How porn can have a positive effect on our relationships and health

Young couple touching heads in front of the window

Watching hot movies is commonly used by people while indulging in solo sex activities. It’s important to note that masturbating is an entirely healthy, enjoyable, and fun way to explore and develop your sexuality. Our psychological, emotional, and physical health can all benefit from masturbation in a number of ways. It allows you to explore your body and learn about your sexual preferences, needs, and wants, which can improve your sexual experience, induce more orgasms, and boost your self-esteem. It also decreases stress, eases tension, promotes sleep, and uplifts mood. It can even help prevent depression and anxiety. Undoubtedly, these amazing benefits of masturbating can significantly improve our lives.

Woman is chilling on her sofa

Moreover, on the flip side of the popular opinion that porn is for men and women don’t enjoy it, there have been studies conducted proving its beneficial effect on women. According to Dr. Nicole Prause, an American neuroscientist who studies sexual behavior, women who view more pornography report higher sexual satisfaction with their partner, improved communication about sex with their partner, greater comfort with their own sexual orientation, more frequent and higher quality sex, easier time reaching orgasm, more likely to be sexually active with any partner, and more comfort with their body. That’s a lot of benefits! Women who view porn are also more knowledgeable about their own genital anatomy.

What happens when we watch porn? It can add a passionate spark and a sense of novelty to relationships, boosting the excitement between partners. It is a great way to safely play out some of the fantasies one or both partners may have. For example, there is research that has discovered that couples who are more sexually satisfied tend to use porn as a part of their sex lives.

Why some people may struggle with porn

Young black woman feels uncomfortable while watching porn online
Despite some potential positive effects of porn on some people, we can’t ignore the fact that there are a number of people who do struggle with it. Is watching porn unhealthy? Does the frequency or amount create these side effects of watching hot videos, or is it something else that comes into play? Let us look closer at some of the factors and the side effects of watching porn that might make some people report challenges connected with consuming it. For instance, this study found that religious people are more likely to report the negative effects on their lives due to something called moral incongruence (engaging in an activity that violates one’s sacred beliefs). If you are watching porn and you feel it is morally wrong, it doesn’t matter how much you watch; what matters is that it stirs conflicting emotions, which can result in significant psychological distress. Sex research looks at porn viewing as a sexual variability that could have a stigma associated with it. In most social and cultural areas, erotica and sex are still taboo. Hence, it is no wonder that for some people who use porn, such negative social messages are internalized as set beliefs that sex and porn are bad, dirty, and shameful which awaken feelings of shame and guilt. Often, people are not even aware of these beliefs and they automatically blame porn for ruining their lives, health, and relationships.
Bored woman holding her head

Another factor that may cause discomfort during porn consumption is when you hide the fact that you are watching it from your partner and avoid talking openly with them. That can increase feelings of guilt and overall dissatisfaction with the relationship. Remember, honest communication is an undeniable foundation of healthy intimate relationships.

Depression is considered to be yet another significant reason why people might experience porn as detrimental to their mental health. When people are feeling down, they lean on it to alleviate their mood, and even if they succeed, it doesn’t have a lasting effect, so they tend to mischaracterise porn as the problem. In that case, it is essential to treat the root cause of distress, which is depression, but not the symptom, which is porn consumption.

How much is too much?

Young woman feels overwhelmed by watching porn

There is no definitive data about how much porn is too much. Science does not provide us with the universally indicative amount of time that could turn your viewing experience into a problematic one. You need to consider the context of your own limits, values, and beliefs and the actual impact porn watching has on your life and relationships. Therefore, asking yourself the following questions may help you self-reflect and evaluate how much it impacts your life:

  • Why do you watch porn?
  • What feelings do you experience?
  • What are your personal beliefs about watching porn?
  • On a scale from 1 to 10, how comfortable do you feel about the amount of porn you are watching?
  • How often do you watch porn? Is it more or less often than it used to be?
  • On a scale from 1 to 10, how ashamed and distressed do you feel about watching porn?

Going through this short self-evaluation can be a key to separating your own experience from the social narrative and understanding whether you use porn recreationally and treat it as a source of pleasure and fun or whether, for some reason, it makes you feel unhappy and troubled, and maybe you use it as a way to escape your problems.

Red flags of your porn consumption

Young woman wearing glasses looking at her tablet

When self-reflecting, it is important to look out for potential signs or red flags that can help you detect if you have developed unhealthy porn habits. The amount you watch does not necessarily indicate that you have a problem. There can be some other hidden causes – your health status, stress, mental struggles, relationship disagreements, and feelings of loneliness, to name a few – that may fuel impulsive porn behavior. Here are some signs to consider if you’ve started being concerned about your relationships with porn:

  • You neglect your responsibilities. You find yourself diving into the realm of porn to avoid your work tasks, relationships, and other significant life responsibilities.
  • Porn has substituted for real-life sex experiences. You feel a lack of sexual arousal with real people and turn to porn to reach the desired level of excitement and satisfaction.
  • Abandoning your hobbies, activities you used to enjoy, and social interactions in favour of watching porn. You want less and less social interaction and more time in a porn fantasy world.
  • Out of control. You feel unable to control your urge to watch porn.
  • A need to look for more extreme and explicit porn materials to experience the same level of arousal.

If you’ve discovered that your porn consumption hurts your mental and sexual health, please, remember to be kind to yourself and seek professional help and guidance from a therapist or counselor specialising in sexual health who can attend to your issues without shame or judgment.

Balance is the key

Young woman laughing on a bed in her underwear

When it comes to your sexual well-being, it’s vitally important to develop a balanced approach to it, including your consumption of visual stimuli in the form of porn. Understanding your boundaries and limits, realising that it is a fantasy that can be used as an additional spice on your sexual exploration menu but should not substitute real-life encounters and human interaction, suggesting an open and honest conversation with a partner in case porn has become an escapist method to avoid resolving some relationship issues, and making well-informed decisions if you’ve noticed that your consumption has become problematic are the key elements in fostering a healthier approach to porn.

In summary, watching porn can be a pleasurable experience for the majority of people, but for some people, this activity can have some unpleasant side effects. There can be numerous reasons why some people may experience porn negatively. But that doesn’t mean that it is universally bad for everyone. It’s ok to indulge in the visually stimulating realm of erotica if it brings pleasure and fun into your life, allowing you to enjoy your sexuality more, if you don’t struggle with certain health or moral issues that could potentially turn your porn consumption into a harmful experience. But if you’ve noticed that you are struggling with watching porn and that it impacts your sexual, mental, and physical health negatively, then maybe it is time to reassess your porn habits.

Disclaimer: #Dating’s blog posts are for you to view at your discretion, and the sexual health insights presented are for general information only. It is not intended as medical advice and readers should seek professional guidance if appropriate.

READ MORE

Share this post

Join #Dating