How good is porn?
Shanica Blair, Gleaner Writer
Many are of the opinion that pornography is as addictive as drugs and is harmful to a relationship.
But according to sex educator Shelly-Ann 'Dr Sexy' Weeks, pornography is just another element that, based on its use, can hurt or help a relationship. "I personally think that couples can watch porn together and use it as a learning tool and find out what the other likes. I encourage partners to masturbate in front of each other. This is very erotic and a great way to improve foreplay between them. However, if persons start using porn to replace sex with their partner or if it becomes a hindrance, then it will have negative effects on the relationship."
But she advises that it is very important that you find someone that you share common interests with, as it can be a very delicate topic, especially if one partner enjoys it and the other doesn't.
Rileytold Flair that he watches a lot of pornography. "I do watch it a lot. Most of the times I watch it by myself, but sometimes I watch it with my girlfriend, but at the end of it she will always get upset and ask what I get out of it, so I don't like to watch it with her."
Riley's reason is simple: "Men just like to see naked women and that is that. It is in them from they were born; a man can never get tired of seeing a woman naked. It's not harmful to relationships because it won't cause you to go out and cheat. My girlfriend thinks that I am a pervert because I watch it."
But according to Weeks, "The great thing about porn is the variety. Most persons who don't like porn have an issue with how graphic some of the material is. For those who want something less graphic, they can use movies that have sexual themes but are not as graphic, or exotic novels and magazines. This is a great place to start because both individuals get to experience something they can enjoy," Weeks explained.
For John, porn is an educational tool. "I get to learn more about the female body and it helps me to learn more about sex in general, like what is more pleasurable to a woman. It can be harmful to a relationship because the sex in the relationship may not be as exciting as pornography. If the sex is exciting, porn will make it more exciting, but most times I won't watch it if I'm having sex."
But others said watching pornography can lead to expectations that are sometimes difficult to fulfil.
"I am sure most women would agree that porn will, in fact, cause more harm than good in a relationship," Monique told Flair.
"About three years ago, I had a partner who was into watching porn. I was very understanding and told him that it would not be a problem since I also watched it sometimes. About six months into the relationship, he suggested that we watch it together, and I agreed. But later that evening while we were in bed, he insisted that I try a few of the tricks we saw earlier. Though very uncomfortable, I attempted to fulfil his request. As I consciously performed one task after the other, the demands kept pouring in as he wanted them to be done exactly as it was in the movie. Clearly, he didn't realise that these in, the film are performed by skilled actors and are also edited to perfection. Frankly, I was not able to do half the things I saw. We did the same about three more times and each time it made me more self-conscious. Sex between us became more of a task than a pleasurable event as I was no longer doing what I know I was good at, but trying to replicate what I saw. My self-esteem decreased and I started questioning my abilities. My unwillingness to have sex caused a major strain on our relationship. Needless to say, it ended faster than it began." Monique divulged.
Karenalso had a similar experience. She told Flair that her boyfriend watching porn is not a problem. What is, are his expectations of her. "My issue is that he expects me to be able to do all these things. However, I do prefer him watching porn than him going out and cheating. That's his way of preventing himself from cheating, especially if I am not there. And I think it definitely improves the relationship, because if he sees something, we try it."
Names changed to protect identity.