All About Pornography

Pornography, more commonly referred to as porn, consists of sexually explicit material intended to sexually arouse. Today porn is viewable at the click of a button by anyone with an Internet connection, though it also comes in the forms of literature, audio, magazines, and more. What effect has the ubiquity of porn had on us? Is it a harmless pastime or a pernicious addiction? A fun way to add spice to a couple's life, a relationship destroyer, or the potential to be both?

The debate continues over whether pornography is detrimental to our sexual development and mental health. Detractors say it damages our intimacy and relationships. Proponents say it may help stem sexual offenses and promote a greater understanding of sexual diversity. Regardless of the final verdict, pornography continues to be a sensitive subject for most.

Recent posts on Pornography

How Much Sex Is Too Much Sex?

By Jon E. Grant, JD, MD, MPH, Brian L. Odlaug, PhD, MPH, and Samuel R. Chamberlain, MD, PhD on August 30, 2016 in Why Can't I Stop?
Normal sexual behavior may be overpathologized (that is, treated as disordered when it is not) if a clinician fails to recognize the wide range of normal human sexual expression...

Repairing the Damage of Abstinence-Based Sex Education

By David J Ley Ph.D. on August 17, 2016 in Women Who Stray
Only through good, real-world, holistic sex education can our country recover from the damage we've done to teens by promoting abstinence.

Mars, Venus, and Infidelity 


Do men and women agree on the definition of infidelity?

Diagnosing Compulsive Sexual Behavior

By Jon E. Grant, JD, MD, MPH, Brian L. Odlaug, PhD, MPH, and Samuel R. Chamberlain, MD, PhD on August 08, 2016 in Why Can't I Stop?
Is compulsive sexual behavior a new disorder?

Compulsive Sexual Behavior

By Jon E. Grant, JD, MD, MPH, Brian L. Odlaug, PhD, MPH, and Samuel R. Chamberlain, MD, PhD on August 05, 2016 in Why Can't I Stop?
Why should we be concerned about compulsive sexual behavior? Pornography, which is just one part of compulsive sexual behavior, is a huge business, and as such, it is here to stay.

Dammed if You Do, Damned if You Don't

By Mark Borigini M.D. on July 31, 2016 in Overcoming Pain
When actor Michael Douglas announced that he suffered from HPV-related throat cancer in 2013, he alerted the world that HPV poses a threat to both women and men.

How Common Are Sex-Related Injuries?

By David J Ley Ph.D. on July 24, 2016 in Women Who Stray
People often report sex-related injuries, from masturbation or vigorous passion. How common are these experiences, and are they evidence of people being "out of control"?

New Research Asks, “Does Why You Look at Porn Matter?”

A new study links “escapist porn use” to negative life consequences.

The GOP Anti-Porn Platform

What is surprising is that the Republican rightwingers see a “crisis” in the vast new interest in porn, now that sexual images can be streamed on smartphones.

GOP Declares War on Modern Sexuality

By David J Ley Ph.D. on July 11, 2016 in Women Who Stray
The 2016 GOP convention is contemplating strident stances that express opposition to our society's sweeping changes to sexual values and behaviors.

The Powerful Psychology Behind Cleanliness

Organization is a topic that's sweeping the internet. What is it about cleanliness that makes us feel so good? Here's a look at the science behind our need to be tidy.

Sacrificing Reality to Sexual Politics

By Marty Klein PhD on June 30, 2016 in Sexual Intelligence
Exaggerating or inventing stories to bolster social justice movements will eventually undermine social justice.

How Much of Porn Depicts Violence Against Women?

By Michael Castleman M.A. on June 15, 2016 in All About Sex
One study says 88% of porn videos show violence against women. Another says 2%. What explains this huge difference?

National Men’s Health Week

By Marty Klein PhD on June 15, 2016 in Sexual Intelligence
Let's talk about sexual health--without focussing on STDs

Gambling, Sex, And Gaming In Virtual Reality

By Mark D. Griffiths Ph.D. on June 15, 2016 in In Excess
There is little scientific evidence (as yet) that individuals have become addicted to virtual reality (VR) applications. However, could the new VR applications be addictive?

How Homosexual Attraction Can Lead to Violence Against Gays

If Mateen was perhaps more accepting of his own homosexual desires, perhaps none of this would've happened.

Why Are Boys Now Less Motivated Than Girls?

By Leonard Sax M.D., Ph.D. on June 13, 2016 in Sax on Sex
Why are boys falling behind?

Porn vs. Religion

By David J Ley Ph.D. on June 08, 2016 in Women Who Stray
People are struggling over porn use—but their problems are consistently related to a conflict between their religious values and their sexual behaviors, not to porn itself.

Religious Disapproval of Porn

By Temma Ehrenfeld on June 07, 2016 in Open Gently
Using porn more than once a week seems tied to shame.

Predictors of Online Sex and Porn Consumption

By Gordon Hodson Ph.D. on June 05, 2016 in Without Prejudice
US states with greater religiosity or conservatism conduct more searches for sexual content. Yet religious people consider porn addiction more problematic than racism or guns.

Delayed Ejaculation Revisited

This is a condition that's often accompanied by anger and blame. Most couples approach it in the wrong way.

Crush Fetishism And 'Animal Torture Porn'

By Mark D. Griffiths Ph.D. on May 25, 2016 in In Excess
A crush fetish is where individuals derive sexual arousal from watching someone of the opposite sex crushing things (including animals). But can people really be turned on by this?

Is Pornography Helping or Hurting in the Bedroom?

Pornography continues to be a hot topic in society. Even well known experts are now entering the discussion. What are they saying?

Teens and Sexting: Lifting Legal Sanctions

Should laws allow consensual sexting among minors?

Are You Having Enough Sex?

By Ryan Anderson on April 25, 2016 in The Mating Game
People often wonder what other people do in the bedroom. The evidence might surprise you.

Political Values and Sex Research

By David J Ley Ph.D. on April 21, 2016 in Women Who Stray
Most people conducting sex research and therapy tend to be liberal. What are the implications of this, for the field, and its impact in media and society?

Losing a Loved One to Porn (and What You Can Do About It)

By Sue Johnson on April 21, 2016 in Hold Me Tight
When is the line crossed from porn use to porn addiction? When is porn eroding your connection with your partner?

Shaming Men Doesn't Build Healthy Sexuality

By David J Ley Ph.D. on April 09, 2016 in Women Who Stray
Fear and panic-based dialogues about pornography are isolating men, shaming them and preventing conversations about how to help men be sexually healthy.

Is Porn Really the Problem?

By Joanne Bagshaw Ph.D. on April 07, 2016 in The Third Wave
Does watching porn affect young men's virility?