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post #4 of (permalink) Old 01-07-2017, 11:35 AM
Relationship Teacher
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Re: "Til Porn Do Us Part"

Originally Posted by jld View Post
Just saw this. Something to think about.
Thanks, JLD.

I've been doing a lot of work with Male Sexual Dysfunction (MSD) lately, so this post piqued my curiosity. Pornography has a vast amount of detrimental effects on males particularly, but this always poses problems for the relationship, in general. This is just another one of those things that can drive a wedge between partners, exacerbating or maintaining existing relational problems. We never look at one problem and derive our conclusions from it, but rather extend our vision to understand the underlying relational dynamics. For the relationship, in general, one may witness the man's romantic partner dealing with a lack of self-confidence, degraded personal image and lack of trust in the relationship. As it relates to sex, we will probably see conditioning of the male, leading to his inability to perform normally in the bedroom. Any developed anxiety tends to lead to a turtle-like effect, wherein there may be a communication breakdown. Think of it this way, if a man feels very vulnerable to sexual dysfunctions, he may fail to have the confidence to include his romantic partner to work on his problem but also work on the relationship. Besides "conditioning", the greatest empirically evident result is the advent of what is called "spectatoring" or assuming a "spectator role". Identifying with pornography leads the man to assume hardened traditionally masculine beliefs, along with becoming more self-critical. When the critic/spectator role is invoked, the individual is no longer in the first-person POV, but rather spectates their own intimate experiences.

I've yet to be able to validate usage of pornography that would include support from empirical research. That said, there might be room for some type of usage along specific lines with many limitations and exceptions. Until that day possibly comes, it is better to abstain from viewing and using pornography. I do have to mention that many couples report the usage of pornography, claiming it to be beneficial. Again, there might be some narrow room for this, but we have to ensure that we avoid the well-understood pitfalls. For the common couple, pornography may simply exacerbate already existing relational dysfunction. When heightened discord presents itself, individuals often find themselves further polarized, rather than finding the necessary catalyst to improve their relationship fundamentals.

The last word I have on this is that a lot of recent research has exposed exploding rates of male sexual dysfunction. Researchers strongly suspect that easy access to internet pornography to be the culprit. We know that rates of ED rise with age, but we are actually witnessing an explosion of MSD in young males. The takeaway to all of this would be for one to understand that "porn" isn't the cause but a factor that exacerbates and maintains existing dysfunction (relationship and sexual performance). Without accompanying factors like porn usage, many dysfunctions never present themselves when they otherwise would.

"****, I lost my erection!" might be an isolated incident without dysfunctional beliefs and conditioning. With hardened and conditioned beliefs, an individual that loses his erection might instantly resort to self-judgment, comparing himself to the porn pros he so regularly watches:

"He is always hard on-demand."

His romantic partner is often unaware, leaving the partner taking it personally and possibily attacking him, a true snowball effect.
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