Does Exposure to Frequent Adult Content Negatively Impact Your Mental Health and Sexual Behavior? 

The post is developed in partnership with BetterHelp.

Pornography has become more and more popular with the rise of the internet and social media. There are more ways than ever for people to advertise sex work online or even share videos with anyone they want. With the increase in access to pornography, more and more people are learning about sex from online paid actors.

Whether you’re getting it on with your significant other to sexy house music or meeting up with someone for a hookup for the first time, you might find that pornography has more of an impact on your relationship than you thought.

Let’s take a look at the top six negative impacts on your mental health and sexual behavior that frequent exposure to pornography can cause. We’ll also delve into some ways you can get help if you think you might be experiencing a porn addiction.

It Creates Unrealistic Expectations

It is worth noting off the bat that most pornography is created with a certain audience in mind and isn’t a realistic portrayal of what sex is like. Even though the actors are having sex, they’re often in full makeup, are in positions that aren’t comfortable, and make sounds that aren’t real. The bodies of the actors may also look fake, have plastic surgery, or even be photoshopped or edited.

The people in the videos are often paid to make them, and they want to do a good job of doing what viewers want to see. However, that doesn’t mean that the people in the videos are experiencing pleasure or are showcasing what sex should be like.

For example, many women won’t want to have sex in a position that hurts them, and the majority of women don’t like to be slapped or hurt during sex. However, you’ll see a lot of that in pornography.

It Can Hurt Your Romantic and Sex Life

On top of the fact that porn is unrealistic, it can also hurt your sex life with your partner. If you’re getting off to porn quite often, it’s actually possible to become desensitized to sexual intercourse, and it can make it harder to orgasm when you’re with your partner.

On top of that, many people consider watching porn while in a relationship to be cheating. Whether you do or not, you may want to have that conversation with your partner before it causes a rut between you. There are ways to create your own pornography or ask for photos and videos from your partner so that you don’t feel like you have to watch unrealistic videos of other people online.

You May Feel More Depressed

Porn can also make you feel depressed and anxious. It may be the constant exposure to material that could be potentially disturbing, and it can also be the lack of realness and connection that exists in porn. Whatever it is, it’s normal to feel that way after watching something erotic online. If you find yourself feeling guilty or shameful, it may have something to do with trauma.

It Exposes You to Violence Towards Women

One of the worst parts of the online and offline porn industry is the violence against women that is promoted. Some of the most popular online pornographic videos include women being physically abused and forced into sexual acts, which appear non-consensual and often disturbing.

Although there is a niche for people who enjoy rougher intercourse, such as BDSM, there is a lot of abuse that does happen in the porn industry, and many women who have left the industry speak up about it to this day. Many women do not even gain the money they made, and their videos are posted without credit and without pay around the web.

Seeing these types of things online is not good for your mental health, and it’s also not good for young people to see. Anyone who thinks that sex should naturally be that way is learning to promote violence against women sexually, which is something to unlearn.

Consensual kinks and BDSM are a different story, but pornography is not an accurate portrayal of either one.

It Can Be Addictive

Porn addiction is a strong chemical and mental addiction to watching porn and often masturbation. It is quite common in men.

If you watch porn frequently, you may feel that you have to do it daily and often multiple times a day. Porn addiction can get in the way of being able to orgasm during sex, have deep relationships, and can even make you feel depressed.

If you’re experiencing this type of addiction, it’s important to get help as soon as possible. We’ve added some resources in the last section of this article.

It Isn’t Trustworthy (And Is Sometimes Unethical or Illegal)

Finally, pornography is not trustworthy. Even paid sites that advertise something specific aren’t trustworthy. Since paid sex is illegal in many countries and states, a lot of pornography is also illegal. You do not know the actual ages of the actors, nor do you know where they come from and if they’re mentally well or if they’re being coerced.

Many videos have been found on free and paid porn sites that were found to later be minors or women being forced against their will to partake in the videos. That’s why a lot of pornography is unethical, and it’s not safe to trust the word of the site or the people in the videos.

How To Get Help for a Porn Addiction

If you’re struggling with pornography addiction and need help, there are resources available. A licensed addiction counselor can help. Although this is a stigmatized addiction, many people go through the same thing each day, and the only way to make a change is by taking the first step. Find a therapist that you feel comfortable with who doesn’t judge you.

If you prefer to speak to someone on the phone or over chat for anonymity, you can do so. There are plenty of online therapists available with experience in the subject.

If you want to learn more about pornography in relation to mental health, check out BetterHelp today at this link: https://www.betterhelp.com/advice/pornography/.

BetterHelp is one of the leading online providers of mental health care, and they’ve got tons of advice columns to help you get mentally healthy and informed.