Study finds couples who watch porn together have happier relationships

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Couples who watch porn together are generally more satisfied with their sex life, according to a new study.

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The research, published in the journal Frontiers in Psychology , also questions the claim – from radical feminist activists or conservative religious organizations – that being exposed to pornography is a public health crisis or moral panic that has a negative impact on romantic relationships.

Study lead author Taylor Kohut, a lecturer at the University of Louvain in Belgium and an adjunct research professor at Western University in London, Ont., told PsyPost – a psychology and neuroscience news website – this research was “the culmination of several lines of thinking that my colleagues and I have been developing over the years.”

The researchers examined datasets that were collected by three laboratories, which included information about 761 heterosexual couples.

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“Across these samples, we found consistent evidence that partners who watch pornography together report higher relationship and sexual satisfaction than partners who do not, and notably, this association was not moderated by gender,” researchers wrote.

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The research also indicated the same satisfaction when both partners do not regularly consume pornography.

However, when one partner views porn frequently and the other rarely does, there was less relational and sexual fulfillment.

“I think the most important thing that we have found here is that the connection between pornography use and relationship quality is not as simple as some academics, activists, and politicians would have you believe,” Kohut said. “Our research suggests that the more a person uses pornography alone, the worse the quality of their relationship tends to be, but only when their romantic partner rarely or never uses pornography alone.”

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Kohut points out the study’s findings show porn doesn’t specifically hurt or help people’s relationships.

One explanation for couples who are dissatisfied with their sex life may be attributed to a partner having a stronger sex drive than the other.

“So it’s possible, for example, that partner differences in sex drive directly undermines sexual satisfaction in the relationships and independently drives differences in pornography use,” Kohut said.

However, it is still unknown if lone pornography use causes or is the cause of unhappier relationships.

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