Pornography has almost as many supporters as detractors. In this context, you may have wondered what it can contribute and how it can affect relationships. Here we tell you its main positive and negative effects.

Pornography is considered to be the set of written, pictorial or audiovisual representations that show nudity or sexual behavior . Although it has a long history, with the popularization of the internet and technological devices, its use has skyrocketed exponentially, both for individual use and as a couple.

This has aroused great interest among researchers from different disciplines. Among them, one of the lines that has the most repercussion is the study on the effects that the consumption of pornography has on an individual level and also on couple relationships .

Most of these investigations start from the idea that its use negatively affects the relationship . However, more recent studies that try to start from a more neutral point are finding positive results.

Negative effects

Experts have found that couples who do not consume pornography generally have a higher degree of adjustment between members , greater satisfaction and dedication to each other, and more positive communication.

However, this seems to vary depending on whether it’s just one of the members using it or if it’s a shared thing. In the event that it is only one of the members, there are usually lower levels of commitment and a greater probability of flirting with others and infidelity.

When the perception of those who do not use it is negative, self-esteem, quality and sexual satisfaction are affected. In fact, in heterosexual relationships, it has been seen that some women perceive as something traumatic, as much as infidelity, that their partner consumes porn.

In a recent study, its participants have indicated the following negative aspects about its use:

  • Decreased interest in sex . Many indicate that pornography has caused a lower sexual desire towards their partner or a lack of arousal for a later relationship. In other cases, they even tend to desire their partner as a pornographic character.
  • Greater personal insecurity . Participants reported a decrease in their self-esteem or their perceived level of desirability. They think that they are not capable of arousing each other as much as pornographic material could.
  • It contributes to having unrealistic expectations. Specifically, both users and their partners report that porn affects what they can expect in terms of physical appearance, performance in the sexual act and even tastes.


Couples in which one or both of them consume porn may experience higher levels of eroticism and sexual appetite . In addition, they consider that pornography can act as:

  • Source of information. Many allude to the educational value of this type of material. Viewing pornography can bring new ideas and something to enjoy together. In addition, it helps to know what one likes and what one does not like and his colleagues.
  • Opportunity to experiment . It can benefit couples by increasing the sexual repertoire, as well as normalizing variety, inspiring, fostering creativity, and provoking a sexually predisposing state of mind.
  • Improved sexual communication. It is an opportunity to talk openly with the couple about sexuality , tastes and improves confidence. It makes communication easier and promotes understanding and acceptance of another’s sexual desires.
  • source of pleasure Mainly pornography is understood as entertaining, fun, exciting. Thus, it is experienced as a pleasurable activity that makes one, or both, feel good.
  • An exercise for sexual comfort . In many cases, couples perceive that porn promotes comfort or self-acceptance of their own sexuality. Likewise, it helps reduce shame, guilt or anxiety towards certain sexual behaviors, improving one’s own sexuality and that of others.


Most studies refer to the negative effects on heterosexual couples. On the other hand, the users themselves usually perceive that these do not exist. What seems to be more or less clear is that it depends on the perception of the members, their attitudes and whether it is used individually or in pairs, among other variables or factors.

It will also depend on the couple’s level of communication. Thus, those who have a lower quality relationship will tend to experience more negative effects . However others, as indicated above, see an opportunity to increase and improve communication between them. In short, the important thing will always be to maintain a good level of communication in the couple and be able to seek the pleasure of the other and of oneself in the healthiest and most honest way possible.

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