Watching Porn is Cheating

Watching Porn is Cheating

by Vanessa Palencia

I don’t care what your significant other says. Watching porn is cheating. They may argue that masturbation is within the same realms, but I can assure you that it’s not.

Yes, it is a solo act --it’s them and the screen-- but who are we really fooling here? If your partner becomes addicted to watching porn and finds more satisfaction in getting off while watching other people have sex, then they develop an attraction to that way of being and no longer to you. If your partner would rather have that quality time than fulfill that desire with you, then there is something wrong in your relationship. There is a process that happens when one watches porn. In the same way that you must be “in the moment,” the partner watching porn must enter a state of mind where they become focused on the screen in front of them and lose themselves in the embraces of another person - the person that is on the screen. It creates a false reality that ruins the foundations of the relationship because the user is usually less satisfied or no longer satisfied with their partner.

In the process of watching porn, the feel-good drug oxytocin gets released into your brain and is the reason for some people’s addiction to porn. Oxytocin is responsible for the feeling you get when you fall in love and leads to you developing trust and attachment to another person; so when someone starts watching porn on a daily basis and continually experiences the effects of the oxytocin, they can develop an attachment to porn. Thus, as New York magazine writer Davy Rothbart puts it, “They can, in essence, date porn.”

According to a study done by Amanda Maddox and a few colleagues, “people who didn’t view any porn had lower levels of negative communication, were more committed to the relationship, and had higher sexual satisfaction and relationship adjustment.” The infidelity rate was also cut in half. Another study done by Nathaniel Lambert and a few other researchers, found that “people who watched porn were more likely to engage in flirting (and more) outside their relationships…” and were more likely to “cheat and hook-up.” Porn misleads users to believe that their relationships can be like those on-screen.

As found by the organization Fight the New Drug, watching porn facilitates sex trafficking and the objectification of other people, so why bring something like that into your relationship? If you can’t be in the same room as another couple having sex, then why do the exact same thing on your screen? The only difference is that because it’s online, the activity becomes more passive, which creates less guilt, but you are still engaging in the world of pornography and promoting the idea that it’s okay to seek sexual gratification elsewhere.

Harboring an addiction to porn creates tension within your relationship. Most people who watch porn do so in secret (God forbid your partner go through your history browser and find porn). We all know that the keys to a successful relationship are communication and trust, but when one person starts keeping things from the other partner, they run the risk of deteriorating it, especially when it involves something as intimate as sex. Sex is supposed to be an activity shared between partners as a way to create a healthy connection and attachment, but if your partner is partaking in porn, then they are connecting to something that isn’t you. I don’t know about you, but if my partner was seeking satisfaction elsewhere rather than with me, I would feel cheated. The definition for cheating isn’t always cut and dry since it can happen both physically and emotionally, but watching porn can easily be both. So the person who chooses to watch porn chooses to build a purely physical relationship built than build one with more meaning and fulfillment with you.

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