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Effects of Pornography In Relationships

  • Published Mar 22, 2024

    2 mins read
  • Written by:Lauren Mollica, LMFT
Effects of Pornography In Relationships


Every Friday, we open our Instagram to the Ours community and let couples submit questions to our team of couples therapists. We pick the most interesting ones and write our thoughts here. This week’s question is: “I’m in a relationship and want to stop watching porn, how can I do that?”

First and foremost, even asking this question requires self-awareness, vulnerability, and honesty. I often find that couples feel shame and regret coming to the surface when they talk about this and I want you to know I hear that, and that although it’s a super tough feeling, we all go through shame in our lives. 

Pornography’s Effect on Relationships and Intimacy

Intimacy is more complicated than ever because of how easy it is to access all types of content. Many people are surprised and unaware at how easy it is to become addicted to pornographic material, and then desensitized to physical intimacy with our real life partners. Think about it, it’s something that creates instant gratification (similar to gambling, or eating really great food).

In the real world, when having physical intimacy with a partner, the gratification isn’t always instant. It requires emotional intimacy to be in place so physical intimacy can happen, or you have to adapt to your partner’s preferences for them to enjoy themselves too. Porn sometimes is the quicker and easier thing, but I’m sure you realize that nothing beats the connection and intimacy that you create with your partner in real life. 

How to get help

A good place to start might be this well-researched article. I would also recommend perhaps trying counseling for yourself. Sex therapists are experts on helping you figure out if this is a problematic area for you, or if it’s communication skills that you can learn and share with your partner to have shared physically intimate experiences that are enjoyable for you both. If it’s the latter, on our platform we have really great card decks that foster healthy conversations about physical intimacy and preferences that may help!

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