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 potentially 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.

Recent posts on Pornography

Religious Conflict Makes Porn Bad for Relationships

By David J Ley Ph.D. on April 17, 2017 in Women Who Stray
A new research study finds more evidence that the alleged harms from porn are actually caused by religious conflict, shame, and the "porn addict" identity.

The Happy Healthy Pornosexual

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on April 13, 2017 in Ambigamy
Apparently, some can watch porn without it getting out of hand.
K. Ramsland

Erotica for Serial Killers

By Katherine Ramsland Ph.D. on April 10, 2017 in Shadow Boxing
Despite debates over whether salacious imagery causes people to become violent, in some cases, it is clearly influential.

Simple Steps to Porn/Sex Addiction Recovery

By Sam Louie MA, LMHC on April 03, 2017 in Minority Report
What do you do if you're not ready for therapy but need "action steps" to help you with sex addiction recovery? This recovery "packet of information" can be a great start...
Wikimedia Commons

Is Using Profanity a Sign of Honesty?

A recent paper suggests that profanity may be a reflection of emotional honesty and candor. However, closer examination of the studies' results casts doubt on this idea.

Why Men Post Revenge Porn Pictures

By David J Ley Ph.D. on March 17, 2017 in Women Who Stray
The culture has been rocked by more nude photo scandals, and they won't stop until we have thoughtful, nuanced conversations about why they happen.

Readers' Views About Porn and Relationships

In 2012, I began asking Psychology Today readers about how pornography is influencing their relationships. You might be surprised by what they shared.

HOCD: a Clinical Disorder vs. Pseudoscience

By David J Ley Ph.D. on March 02, 2017 in Women Who Stray
Homosexual Obsessive Compulsive Disorder sounds scary, but isn't caused by porn, and has nothing to do with straight people who get turned on by homosexual stimuli.

Psychoanalyst Karen Morris Asks, “Where Is the Slave in Me?”

By Gayil Nalls Ph.D. on February 28, 2017 in Sensoria
“If I'm not free, no one can be free.”

Born Into Porn

By Sam Louie MA, LMHC on January 28, 2017 in Minority Report
With children being exposed to iPad's, Computers, and Smartphones at an early age, it's no wonder they are also stumbling and fixated onto images of pornography.

Sex Offender Laws: Fair for Some, Draconian for Others

Why do people think that every sex offender should rot in prison?

Lack of Regulation in Porn Industry Leaves Women Unprotected

Not only can pornography be uncomfortable, but due to the lack of regulation in the industry, the work can also have a negative impact on performers’ health.

President Trump: Here Are Actual Facts About Sex

By Marty Klein PhD on January 25, 2017 in Sexual Intelligence
There are opinions about sex, and facts about sex. Here are some facts to help Mr. Trump govern us.

Attention Men: Three Keys to Becoming a Better Lover

By Michael Castleman M.A. on January 15, 2017 in All About Sex
Men, make sex great again for both of you by adopting 3 easy precepts.

Porn, A Reflection of Our Culture

By Deborah J. Cohan, Ph.D. on January 14, 2017 in Social Lights
Should we be worried?

10 Ways to Have a Better Sex Life

By Marty Klein PhD on December 30, 2016 in Sexual Intelligence
Want to enjoy sex more? Don't get more exotic—get more real.

Is It OK To Automatically Hate Sex Offenders?

What does it mean when our culture unilaterally deems any particular group of people to be the worst of the worst?

"You're an Addict!"

By Sam Louie MA, LMHC on December 21, 2016 in Minority Report
The term "addict" conjures up many negative connotations yet it can also be the most useful term to break one's denial in their journey towards recovery.

Sex Addiction's Diversity Problem

By David J Ley Ph.D. on December 15, 2016 in Women Who Stray
An overwhelming majority of the people receiving, treating or arguing about sex addiction are white. What does this lack of diversity mean?

From Client to Counselor

By Sam Louie MA, LMHC on December 09, 2016 in Minority Report
I grew up in a traditional Chinese immigrant household which stressed the virtues of collectivism, harmony, and honor. In a way, my upbringing shaped my own addictions.

Does Porn Really Destroy Love?

By David J Ley Ph.D. on November 28, 2016 in Women Who Stray
A 1989 study found that porn made men love their wives less, but these findings could not be replicated in more recent research.

What Might Research Ethics Teach Us About Effect Size?

By Jesse Marczyk Ph.D. on November 07, 2016 in Pop Psych
The curious world in which our complex minds are passive and acted upon by information probably doesn't exist, but people sometimes say it does.

6 Ways to Develop Sexual Integrity

By David J Ley Ph.D. on November 04, 2016 in Women Who Stray
There ARE ways to help people develop sexual integrity, and to resolve the conflicts between their values and their sexual desires and behaviors.

Dueling Statistics: How Much of the Internet Is Porn?

By Michael Castleman M.A. on November 03, 2016 in All About Sex
Social conservatives say that the Internet is awash in porn. Academic researchers disagree. Who's right?

Kids Need Porn Literacy

By Marty Klein PhD on October 30, 2016 in Sexual Intelligence
Concerned that your children are accessing porn--and getting wrong ideas about sex? Help them develop Porn Literacy.

This Is What Pornography Really Does to a Relationship

By Robert Burriss Ph.D. on October 25, 2016 in Attraction, Evolved
Two new studies go beyond the simple assumption that pornography is bad for relationships.

Cheating? But It Was Just a Webcam!

As our lives have become increasingly digital, the once-clear line between monogamy and infidelity has blurred.

Bring on the "Inspiration Porn"

By Amy S.F. Lutz on October 19, 2016 in Inspectrum
Do stories of compassion and consideration objectify the disabled? In fact, we celebrate connection between different people all the time, as we should.

The Decline of Trust

By Robert L. Leahy Ph.D. on October 18, 2016 in Anxiety Files
In almost all areas of our lives trust has declined—and it has been on the decline for decades.

Online Pornography and Young Minds

By Shimi Kang M.D. on October 12, 2016 in The Dolphin Way
How pornography and sexual imagery may be affecting your kids, and what to do about it.