Relationship therapist and clinical sexologist, Leandie Buys weighs in on whether or not porn has a place in relationships.

Does it create unrealistic expectations, or can it add a bit of ‘spice’ to the couple’s usual routine?

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I often get asked if porn has a place in relationships.

Pornography (in the form of blue movies or other visuals) sometimes adds a bit of spice to relationships and increases arousal. BUT both partners need to consent to the porn as part of their loveplay.

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Although porn can play a role in certain relationships, it also poses some dangers. Individuals can become addicted to porn very easily. I have counselled a number of patients who trained their minds and bodies to respond to porn so effectively that they could no longer respond sexually to their partners.

Porn can create unrealistic expectations of partners

Often in relationships where porn is involved, one partner will expect their lover to perform acts that they have seen in pornographic movies.

They may even expect their partner to look like the surgically enhanced actors and actresses in these movies. This leads to disappointment, lack of fulfilment, a decrease in sexual satisfaction and a lack of intimacy as the person continues to live in a fantasy world.

Often, my female patients will feel that they are ‘not enough’ for their partners who watch porn. They take it personally, which leads to low self esteem and a lack of fulfilment in the relationship.

The role of porn in relationships is debatable

While it can enhance sexual desire and add spice and fantasy, it can also lead to the destruction of a relationship.

Couples need to discuss it with each other, and decide on their own values when it comes to porn. If porn is causing conflict in the relationship, and there is no resolution in sight, they should seek the help of a relationship counsellor.