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

Agreeing About Porn

By Ari Tuckman PsyD, MBA on October 19, 2017 in Sex Matters
Despite all the controversy, most people use porn responsibly, but romantic partners still need to agree about how it fits into their sex life.

Don't Call Harvey Weinstein a Sex Addict

All too often everything from having extramarital affairs to watching porn to desiring different sexual experiences with a reluctant partner is lumped together as sex addiction.

When Your Spouse Is Addicted

How do you cope if your spouse is struggling with addiction? Learn how to be honest, but not enabling.

The Rise of Uninvited Sexual Images

By Sue Scheff on October 12, 2017 in Shame Nation
Are you receiving unsolicited sexual content? A new survey says unwanted sexual images are becoming the norm among millennials. Protect yourself from sextortion.

"Pornography Addiction" in 2017

When does porn use become problematic? Once per day? Ten or more times per month? And what exactly does "problematic porn use" mean anyway? Research doesn't offer answers.

Pitfalls of Not Being a Sexually Informed Therapist

By Joe Kort Ph.D. on September 29, 2017 in Understanding the Erotic Code
As therapists we know a lot about sexual pathology, but what about sexual pleasure?

Sex Researcher Turned Journalist Challenges Sexual Dogmas

By Michael Aaron, Ph.D. on September 25, 2017 in Standard Deviations
Sex researcher Debra Soh's work shines a light on a variety of issues, including gender feminism, political correctness, sex robots, and virtual reality.

Watching Porn in Public: Is It Ever Okay?

Seriously, kid? Do you watch porn in class and then watch the professor’s lectures at home by yourself?

What Is It Like to Be a Sex Addict?

Sex addiction is not a joke, and it’s not enjoyable.

How Much Gender Inequality Is There in Internet Pornography?

How are men and women represented in online porn? New research suggests that there continue to be pervasive inequalities in the way women are depicted.

Husbands Watch Porn, Wives Despair—But Why?

When couples argue about porn, they're usually arguing about something else.

Pornography and Broken Relationships

People who view pornography are much more likely to experience a romantic relationship breakup. We look at research data supporting this expectation and discuss pivotal factors.
Pixabay

Law Enforcement's Most Challenging Assignment

By Ellen Kirschman Ph.D. on July 14, 2017 in Cop Doc
There are a number of reasons why investigating Internet crimes against children is deeply emotionally trying. Here's what psychologists can and should do to help.

More Porn, Less Rape? The Controversy Revisited

By Michael Castleman M.A. on July 02, 2017 in All About Sex
Does pornography contribute to sexual assault. Retrospective trials says yes, but prospective trials say no. Prospective trials are much more credible. So, more porn, less rape.

When Spirituality and Sexuality Clash

Are sexuality and spirituality naturally antagonistic? Recent research suggests that sexual thoughts can weaken spiritual motivations. Can the two be reconciled?

Performance Anxiety Is Often Transition Anxiety

By Michael Castleman M.A. on June 14, 2017 in All About Sex
Masturbation is easy, but partner sex is more challenging. When young lovers move from the former to the latter, their "performance anxiety" is often transition anxiety.

Child Porn Redux

By Karen Franklin Ph.D. on June 11, 2017 in Witness
An explosion of online pornography is leading to welcome research and debate on its social and psychological effects.

People Watch Porn That Turns Them On

By David J Ley Ph.D. on June 07, 2017 in Women Who Stray
No, the explosion of Internet porn is not changing people's sexual arousals. Instead, it's revealing what their sexual arousal actually is.
labeled for reuse, Pixabay

Sex Work IS Work: a Documentarian Gives Sex Workers a Voice

A documentary filmmaker dispels myths about sex workers through their own words.

Why Are These Men Downloading Child Pornography?

By Karen Franklin Ph.D. on May 30, 2017 in Witness
Porn videos have only streamed over tube channels for a single decade. In that brief time, they've wrought unprecedented changes in sexuality.

Is Porn Use Really Harmful to Relationships?

By David Ludden Ph.D. on May 29, 2017 in Talking Apes
New research on porn and relationships: Despite the strident claims that scientists have proven porn use is harmful to relationships, there is in fact no such evidence.

The Personal Erotic Myth and the Rise of Fetishsexuality

A new sexual concept paves the way in understanding the role of the unconscious and psyche in exploring authentic sexuality.

Masturbation and Marriage

By David J Ley Ph.D. on May 17, 2017 in Women Who Stray
Why do men and women masturbate within a relationship? Is it about more sex or not enough?

Who Writes (and Reads) Sexually Explicit Fanfic?

Psychologists in Canada have investigated how and why we lust after sexy fan-created works of fiction.

Sex Work and Higher Education: A Mix of Disparate Identities

Recent research on student sex workers shatters societal misconceptions about sex work as connected with pathology and criminality/trafficking.

Sex and Darth Sidious

Carrie Fisher hated that bikini. But Darth Sidious should have been sexier than Jabba the Hutt.

Do People in Couples Have the Right to Masturbate?

Some coupled women object to their men masturbating, believing they should meet all their partners' sexual needs. But a marriage license confers no right to prohibit solo sex.

Does Watching Porn Promote Submissiveness in Women?

A study suggests that women who watch more porn, engage are more sexually submissive. Does this reflect the influence of porn on their behavior? Or just their pre-existing taste?

Mommy Nearest

Mother and son incest: Are deep-seated cultural taboos against recognizing it hindering therapy?

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.