Is It Healthy To Watch Porn With Your Partner?

A reader submitted the following question:

“My partner and I have watched porn together in the past and have recently gotten a hentai video game together. After playing it, we had fun sex like we hadn't had in a long time. I worry that we may become dependent on porn to spice up our sex life. Should we be careful, or is this healthy for our relationship?”

Thanks for this very interesting question! First, let me say that you aren’t alone in finding that shared porn use can be sexually exciting. In fact, research has found that people who report watching pornography with their partners tend be more sexually satisfied overall [1].

Why is that? In part, it’s likely because porn offers a cheap and easy way to interject novelty into your sex life.

It is well known that both men and women are titillated by sexual novelty—something known scientifically as the Coolidge Effect (read more about this idea here). As a result, it shouldn’t be surprising that people tend to be happier with their sex lives when they continually engage in things that keep sex fresh and interesting, rather than allowing it to become routine.

As a result, you probably don’t need to worry too much about shared porn use hurting your relationship. In fact, as long as this continues to be something that’s mutually desired, it may very well be good for your sex life.

However, I would advise against making porn the only way that you try to spice things up sexually. What research shows is that the couples who are most successful at keeping passion alive in their relationships are the ones who engage in the most acts of sexual variety [1].

Beyond shared porn use, we’re talking about things like trying new sexual acts and positions, giving each other massages, wearing sexy underwear or lingerie, establishing “date nights” or taking romantic getaways, using vibrators or other sex toys, incorporating food with sex (e.g., whipped cream), showering or taking a bath together, and so forth.

In short, instead of making porn a regular part of your sexual routine, mix it up and alternate between different forms of sexual novelty because research suggests that this may be one of the key factors involved in maintaining a passionate sex life.

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[1] Frederick, D., Lever, J., Gillespie, B.J., & Garcia, J.R. (2016). What keeps passion alive? Sexual satisfaction is associated with sexual communication, mood setting, sexual variety, oral sex, orgasm, and sex frequency in a national US study. Journal of Sex Research.

Image Source: 123RF.com/Igor Mojzes

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