How Pornography and Sexual Abuse Can Affect Intimate Relationships

To date even the courts with their immense potential are not in a position to define what pornography is. For this reason, different persons and groups have found their ways of describing acts that comprise porn. It is widely accepted, however, that pornography is portraying sexual subject matter with the purpose of arousing or satisfying one’s sexual desires. It can be in the form of print media or online material, amongst many other forms. Almost similarly, sexual abuse, refers to the undesired sexual behavior or sexual molestation that one person performs to the other with an element of unwillingness. This kind of molestation can either be short term or frequent depending on the period taken by the abuser.

It is true that exposure to a pornographic material may result in sexual abuse especially when the involved partner wants to try out the styles they have learned from their interaction with porn. It is psychologically proven that people would always want to try out new tricks they have learned. Activating the arousal sequence in humans will most likely influence their sexual behavior. When the exposure series continues, it becomes a preferred habit and may sometimes have far reaching impacts on the persons involved. Engagement with pornography has become one of the most rampant behaviors in the world today. That which was good and right about sex has been replaced with lust and covetousness. Even the Bible agrees that this lust can only be the first step to a very rough road in life. It only starts with porn but with time the people get involved with other kinds of sexual immorality.

The Holy Book compares it to drug abuse since pornography can also be very addictive as the concerned partner wants more of it to fulfill their sexual desires. The Bible recognizes that the three kinds of sin are the yearning for the flesh, the desire of the eyes and the arrogance of life. Pornography is what characteristically fits into the three types sins talked about by the scripture. Apart from porn just being addictive, it is also very destructive especially when it comes to families. This paper looks to analyze how porn has resulted in destroying intimate relationships. When people get devoted to pornographic material for some time without seeking or getting any help, they are likely to destroy their lives and families.

For this reason, people should learn to keep their bodies holy and understand the proper meaning of sex. By knowing this, they will understand that sex, of whatever kind, is only to be performed with one spouse who should be enough to meet their needs.

[2: Romans 6:19] [3: Ibid] [4: (1 John 2:16] [5: Slattery, Juli. No More Headaches: Enjoying Sex & Intimacy in Marriage. Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., 2011.] [6: Ibid ]

Pornography and sexual abuse have impacted significantly on the intimacy of relationships for a long time now. Many people both men and women in the world today have turned to engaging pornography. It is estimated that about 40 million Americans, a third of whom are female visit internet sites regularly to view pornographic content.

Meaning that the previous notion that pornography is only prevalent only among the male gender is wrong. It is a habit that continues to erode not only the physical aspect of intimate relationships but also the emotional bit. When one partner discovers that their partner is involved in any way with sexually explicit material, it is so much saddening to them.

[7: Olmstead, Spencer B., Sesen Negash, Kay Pasley, and Frank D. Fincham. “”Emerging adults expectations for pornography use in the context of future committed romantic relationships: A qualitative study.”” Archives of Sexual Behavior 42, no. 4 (2013): 625-635.]

In the wake the technological advancement, most people especially the youth have resorted to finding their answers online. Social media has become the order of the day. The young people both boys and girls are deriving examples from the media. Studies show that people in marriage have accused their partners of objectifying them during sex so as to behave like porn stars. This is one of the habits picked from engagements with porn. Still, some partners have been forced to perform acts they do not think are a fair way of doing sex. They are forced to comply only because they want to please their partners even though they might be experiencing pain and suffering. This example shows how the viewing of pornography translates into sexual abuse on sexual partners.

[8: ] [9: 7 Gwinn, Andrea Marlea, Nathaniel M. Lambert, Frank D. Fincham, and Jon K. Maner. “”Pornography, relationship alternatives, and intimate extradyadic behavior.”” Social Psychological and Personality Science 4, no. 6 (2013): 699-704Ibid]

The thought of having another partner, albeit in fantasy translates into actual cheating with time. At first, a partner may just be exposed to sexually implicit material for pleasure, but with time, they are likely to find themselves engaging in serious dishonest behaviors like cheating to fulfill their desire.[footnoteRef:10] Dishonesty in relationships may lead to break up regardless of how close the two partners are to each other. The desire to look for another sexual partner may be amplified by the fact that in porn materials, the actors find more pleasure by engaging in sexual acts with either many partners or using some styles that are not so traditional. Some people are appealed more by multiple sexual partners. Research indicates that people who report watching porn regularly are highly likely to have alternative sexual partners than those who do not engage in porn.

However, this is not to mean that everyone who cheats in a relationship is not satisfied sexually. Rather, such persons may just be tempted because they want to try out things they have watched online. Therefore, it is arguably true to say that exposure to pornography is a great indicator of infidelity.

[10: Staley, Cameron, and Nicole Prause. “”Erotica viewing effects on intimate relationships and self/partner evaluations.”” Archives of sexual behavior 42, no. 4 (2013): 615-624.] [11: Staley, Cameron, and Nicole Prause. “”Erotica viewing effects on intimate relationships and self/partner evaluations.”” Archives of sexual behavior 42, no. 4 (2013): 615-624.] [12: Slattery, Juli. No More Headaches: Enjoying Sex & Intimacy in Marriage. Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., 2011.] [13: Ibid ]

According to marriage counselors, real relationships are built on trust. To be intimate with somebody means that one becomes very susceptible. Thus, it is only trust that can give a guarantee that one’s intimate partner can stay respectful and honest albeit the susceptibility.

Inviting other people into one’s life despite the fact that they already have a partner breaks the trust. The invitation whether in real life or through imaginations can send one to view pornographic material. It means that a stranger has been invited into the realm that is otherwise supposed to be reserved exclusively for intimate partners. It is a violation of the relationship considering the fact that broken trust takes a lot of time to rebuild. Nonetheless, in other instances the trust may not even be rebuilt at all.

[14: Gwinn, Andrea Marlea, Nathaniel M. Lambert, Frank D. Fincham, and Jon K. Maner. “”Pornography, relationship alternatives, and intimate extradyadic behavior.”” Social Psychological and Personality Science 4, no. 6 (2013): 699-704] [15: Staley, Cameron, and Nicole Prause. “”Erotica viewing effects on intimate relationships and self/partner evaluations.”” Archives of sexual behavior 42, no. 4 (2013): 615-624.]

Pornography increases sexual excitement than normal sex and in the process giving room to a sexual partner to engage in sex according to their terms. People who have interacted with porn are well aware that it is always available and tempting for that matter. As long as they want to have intercourse, they do not need to be patient. Neither does such sex require foreplay. This type of intercourse is dependent on and revolves around the immediate sexual demands. A relationship that is built around pornography does not usually look into issues of intimacy as most marital problems are disregarded by the partners since they ae not as attractive. It becomes a bigger problem when one partner has a higher sex drive than the other which is very normal in relationships today. The partner who does not serve to fulfill the sexual desires of their partner feels like a failure thus may have a reduced self-esteem.

Because of the fear of being the loser in such a relationship, that partner may start pulling away from family affairs. Eventually, what began as just a small sexual problem, escalates into a severe marital affair and in some cases may even lead to separation. However such instances should be looked into keenly since problems like low sex drive are unavoidable. To evade setbacks in intimacy, the couple should understand one another without external interference from materials like pornography.

[16: Gwinn, Andrea Marlea, Nathaniel M. Lambert, Frank D. Fincham, and Jon K. Maner. “”Pornography, relationship alternatives, and intimate extradyadic behavior.”” Social Psychological and Personality Science 4, no. 6 (2013).] [17: Slattery, Juli. No More Headaches: Enjoying Sex & Intimacy in Marriage. Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., 2011.] [18: Gwinn, Andrea Marlea, Nathaniel M. Lambert, Frank D. Fincham, and Jon K. Maner. “”Pornography, relationship alternatives, and intimate extradyadic behavior.”” Social Psychological and Personality Science 4, no. 6 (2013)]

Contact with pornographic materials reduces the level of commitment in an intimate relationship. Any interaction with porn may serve to remind one of the ‘amazing’ sexual partners out there. In return, it reduces the dedication they have to their current partners. For instance, every time the two are involved in intercourse, they are tempted to replace the real partner with the fantasy one they watched online. Statistics show that consumption of pornography reduces significantly the level of commitment of people in a relationship in both genders.

It is worrying that some people would be willing to give up food if given the opportunity to choose between food and porn. Also, pornography alters the commitment since it creates a false expectation from the partners. Further, it creates an impression that is not entirely accurate about how the body should behave during sex. Normal sex should be is self-satisfying, but on the contrary, porn is self-gratifying meaning sometimes it may involve abusing another partner sexually. Consuming explicit sexual material also increases massively the chances of one partner flirting outside their relationship. It is from such flirting that cheating is born. Thus, the only best option is to abstain from pornography as the couple stands a great chance of staying committed to one another.

[19: Gwinn, Andrea Marlea, Nathaniel M. Lambert, Frank D. Fincham, and Jon K. Maner. “”Pornography, relationship alternatives, and intimate extradyadic behavior.”” Social Psychological and Personality Science 4, no. 6 (2013).] [20: Staley, Cameron, and Nicole Prause. “”Erotica viewing effects on intimate relationships and self/partner evaluations.”” Archives of sexual behavior 42, no. 4 (2013): 615-624.]

In my conclusion, therefore, it is general knowledge that the rate of pornographic involvement in the world today has risen worryingly. The problem is not just the rising levels but rather the far-reaching consequences that it has on intimate relationships. Engagement in porn is responsible for the breakup or separation of most marriages. ReflectionFrom my understanding, one of the serious repercussions of getting exposed to porn is that it reduces drastically the commitment of a partner in their relationship. Further, I have learned from my studies that porn breeds the idea of dishonesty among sexual partners. The level of trust among them reduces considerably because one partner feels that the other one must have lost interest in them.

Finally and most significant of my research, is that porn has led to sexual abuse of some partners. I realize that since one partner is exposed to porn material, they develop the desire to put into practice what they have learned. Without the knowledge that the porn sex usually gives a false impression of what normal sex is, they end up forcing their partners into uncomfortable sexual intercourse just to meet their demands. I therefore wish to advise that for people to be on the safe side whether in a relationship or not, they should avoid at all cost getting exposed to sexually implicit material.

References

1 John 2:16 The categories of sin as recognized by the bible. Gwinn, Andrea Marlea, Nathaniel M. Lambert, Frank D. Fincham, and Jon K. Maner. “”Pornography, relationship alternatives, and intimate extradyadic behavior.””

Social Psychological and Personality Science 4, no. 6 (2013): 699-704.Olmstead, Spencer B., Sesen Negash, Kay Pasley, and Frank D. Fincham.

“”Emerging adults expectations for pornography use in the context of future committed romantic relationships: A qualitative study.”” Archives of Sexual Behavior 42, no. 4 (2013): 625-635.Romans 6:19

Immorality and bad sexual behaviors.Slattery, Juli. No More Headaches: Enjoying Sex & Intimacy in Marriage.

Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., 2011.Staley, Cameron, and Nicole Prause. “”Erotica viewing effects on intimate relationships and self/partner evaluations.”” Archives of sexual behavior 42, no. 4 (2013): 615-624.”