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Pornography and Romantic Relationships: A Qualitative Examination of Individual Experiences

25 May 2021

Publication Date
25 May 2021

Original Abstract

Using a qualitative design, the current study explored the perceived effects of pornography use on romantic relationships. Thematic analysis was conducted on 588 participants’ open ended responses to a question about the effect of pornography use on their relationship and sexual satisfaction within a larger survey assessing aspects of couples media use and relationship dynamics. Participant responses were categorized into three overarching themes; beneficial, detrimental, and neither entirely beneficial or detrimental effects of pornography use. The most common responses indicated that the participants reported no effects of pornography use on their relationship. Among those indicating a positive effect, the emergent themes centered on increased diversity of sexual experiences, increased sexual gratification, increased satisfaction with a partner, and increased erotic climate in a relationship. Among responses indicating a negative experience with pornography, identified themes included increased feelings of inadequacy, decreased sexual satisfaction in a relationship, a feeling of unrealistic expectations, and feelings of betrayal. Implications for more nuanced research and clinical applications are discussed.

Shuler, J., Brosi, M., Spencer, T. & Hubler, D. (2021). Pornography and Romantic Relationships: A Qualitative Examination of Individual Experiences. Journal of Sex & Marital Therapyhttps://doi.org/10.1080/0092623X.2021.1930308

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pornography, romantic relationship, qualitative study, individual experience


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