Few staples of popular culture have had such a long-lasting effect on society (and been as controversial) as pornography. Increases in both the speed and the availability of internet service have only amplified pornography’s influence on modern society. Aside from the ethical questions posed by pornography, many researchers believe there to be a negative, enduring effect on relationships in general. Due to the aforementioned increase in the availability of internet service, people (especially men) are being exposed to pornography at an increasingly younger age than in the past. This further exacerbates the effect that pornography has on individuals, so we set out to quantify the effect that it has on relationships. We surveyed over 1,200 men and women and asked them a series of questions, including when they first viewed porn, how their preferences have changed over time, and which types of pornography they considered to be the most extreme. We then asked them questions about their sex lives to determine how much of an influence pornography has over that area and, therefore, relationships as a whole.
While opponents of pornography cite many reasons why they find it to be detrimental, their biggest issue appears to be the influence that it has over young, impressionable minds. In response to the question about when respondents first viewed pornography, our survey found that males were being exposed to it far younger than females on average. In fact, almost 4 in 10 men claimed to have been introduced to pornography between the ages of 11 and 15. Responses from women were quite different; just 15 percent of women claim to have first viewed pornography within that same age range, and only 14 percent say they were introduced between the ages of 16 and 20. This is a big factor in many researchers suggesting that pornography implants negative attitudes about women in young boys. They assert that these negative attitudes lead to unrealistic expectations, creating a negative impact on relationships. However, our survey suggests that may not always be the case.
One of the things our survey determined to discover is the preference of certain pornography genres within different age ranges. What we found in the responses was a pretty significant overlap between the preferences of men and women. Male respondents of all ages cited amateur pornography as their favorite genre, as did women between the ages of 18 and 34. Furthermore, amateur pornography finished in the top 3 for ALL demographics (both male and female) in our survey. This suggests a couple of things. For one, the preferences and expectations of males may not be as warped as some studies suggest. A quarter of men did say that they would prefer to have sex with the stars in the pornography that they were watching as opposed to their partner. While that number may be significant, it still means that a vast majority (75 percent) of men still prefer the idea of having sex with their actual partners. This is further supported by the fact that the second most popular genre among males between the ages of 55 and 64 is MILF pornography, where the subjects of the film are closer to their own age. The other thing that these overlaps suggest is that both men and women are looking for authenticity in their pornography. While men are more susceptible than women to having their attitudes and expectations negatively altered by pornography, these responses to our survey do appear to suggest that the majority of men (like most women) do at least have their genre preferences grounded in reality.
This common ground opens the door for couples to achieve some level of intimacy, which contradicts the enduring stigma that pornography is mostly consumed by people who are single. In fact, 60 percent of our survey participants claim to watch pornography with their partner. This correlates with assertions from sex therapists that the key to a healthy sexual relationship is open communication. Being in-tune with your partner’s needs (and them being in-tune with yours) increases the possibility of having a healthy sexual relationship. It’s also safe to say that increased intimacy is not only good for a healthy sex life, but for maintaining healthy relationships as well.
Another key aspect of achieving intimacy is feeling your best. It’s hard to make deep connections when you don’t feel healthy. At BodylogicMD, this is just one of many areas that the practitioners within our focus on to achieve a sense of health and well-being. By evaluating your hormone levels, BodylogicMD-affiliated practitioners can not only prescribe bioidentical hormones to balance those levels, but they can also start you on a sexual health program that may help you achieve a greater intimacy with your partner. Couples don’t have to just wait and hope for these things to develop. Contact BodyLogicMD today, and start improving your relationships by feeling better!