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Is porn cheating?

About the author: Allison Leigh is a pornographer, producer, polyamorist, and professional kinkster. When sexuality is business, business is fun! 

When it comes to infidelity, where does fantasy cross the line?

Sexuality, while an integral part of the human experience, is something that continues to polarize pundits and plain folks alike. With adult entertainment at the forefront of politics across the US and UK right now, opinions are not in short supply. Something that continues to perplex us is where pornography sits in the scope of our marriages and relationships. Is viewing porn cheating, or is the link between erotic materials and romance more complex than that?

A new study released in February of this year sought to answer that question by comparing opinions on pornography with other cultural attitudes in the United States and Spain. In examining the data gathered from University of Florida and the University of Alicante, researchers found that an overwhelming number of participants (73% in USA and 77% in Spain) believe that viewing erotic materials is not cheating.

In the sample that did find porn use to be infidelity, researchers found strong correlations to their lifestyles, including religiosity, relationship status, and overall attitudes on jealousy and infidelity. A participant from the United States was more likely to view porn as cheating, as was someone who did not use erotic materials themselves, or was single (and therefore perhaps more likely to be idealistically rigid about their attitudes toward relationships). Having low self-esteem was also a factor tied to attitudes on porn and infidelity, but only in participants from the US. Interestingly, there weren’t any gender differences - women were not more likely than men to view porn as cheating.

Church attendance was the strongest predictor of a participant’s attitude toward erotic materials and infidelity. In respondents from the US, being religious predicted the view that porn is cheating, whereas Spanish respondents showed no such effect. About 70% of Spaniards identify as Catholics, but only around 9% of citizens attend church at least monthly. In contrast, as many as 42% of Americans attend church weekly. This suggests that it is attendance of church services, rather than self-identification as religious, that has an impact on one’s views on pornography.

Also worth noting is that Europeans, including Spanish Catholics, tend to be less punitive about sex in general, and also less dogmatic and energized about their religion, compared to many US evangelical churchgoers. These differences may also account for the differentiation between the two countries regarding whether or not low self-esteem played a factor in participants’ opinions on infidelity -  it is hardly a stretch to think that those with a pronounced desire to belong to a group may feel more pressure to conform to church ideologies.

So is the answer to avoiding marital strife a detailed survey of your partner’s demographics? Are our cultural attitudes toward porn immutable? Hardly! Studies have shown that porn use adds more positive things to your relationship than negative, including improved sexual communication - if things are properly discussed. Couples have reported that they perceived porn as being linked to more sexual experimentation and sexual comfort in their relationships. Viewing pornography is also tied to higher levels of arousability, which can keep a sexual relationship alive.

As with all things in a partnership, communication is key - talk to your partner about their attitudes to porn and infidelity. While this is a conversation that many avoid due to fear of ensuing conflict, discussing these things early on can allow couples to navigate potential problems before they occur. Odds are that your partner will be amenable to your viewing habits, and honesty is far preferable to introducing secrecy and deception into your relationship, which is more likely to hurt your partner. Instead of undermining trust, use the conversation as an opportunity to promote understanding and develop your sexuality together. Strong relationships are built upon strong communication - something no amount of porn can damage or replace. We hope SexArt will play a role in that communication.

This post first appeared on MyErotica.com

REFERENCES:

“Dogmatic and Spiritual Religion.” Psychology Today. Accessed March 26, 2018. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/out-the-darkness/201412/dogmatic-and-spiritual-religion

“Is Watching Pornography a Form of Cheating? It Depends.” Psychology Today. Accessed March 26, 2018. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/women-who-stray/201802/is-watching-pornography-form-cheating-it-depends

“Why Secrets Can Ruin Relationships.” Psychology Today. Accessed March 26, 2018. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/love-and-sex-in-the-digital-age/201609/why-secrets-can-ruin-relationships

Stephanie Both, Mark Spiering, Walter Everaerd, and Ellen Laan. “Sexual Behavior and Responsiveness to Sexual Stimuli following Laboratory‐induced Sexual Arousal.” The Journal of Sex Research 41, no. 3 (08 2004): 242–58. doi:10.1080/00224490409552232.

Taylor Kohut, William A. Fisher, and Lorne Campbell. “Perceived Effects of Pornography on the Couple Relationship: Initial Findings of Open-Ended, Participant-Informed, “Bottom-Up” Research.” Archives of Sexual Behavior 46, no. 2 (07, 2016): 585–602. doi:10.1007/s10508–016–0783–6.

Charles Negy, Diego Plaza, Abilio Reig-Ferrer, and Maria Dolores Fernandez-Pascual. “Is Viewing Sexually Explicit Material Cheating on Your Partner? A Comparison Between the United States and Spain.” Archives of Sexual Behavior 47, no. 3 (02, 2018): 737–45. doi:10.1007/s10508–017–1125-z.

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    ArEm1965 3 hours ago

    Oh, lucky man!

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    Ouchstopit 5 hours ago

    Wow, so many references! I don't know if the author, Allison Leigh, will ever read this, but I greatly appreciate her strong aversion to shame. Shame affects some more than others, and among some it can be severe, and have serious consequences. Shame can ruin lives. It's time that people acknowledge that psychological pain is actual pain, and not something to blow-off as a simple character flaw.

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    Ouchstopit 5 hours ago

    You usually don't go for big boobies? I'm a little shocked and frightened. I've always loved all boobies, and I suppose your newfound admiration for large mammalian protuberances should be applauded. Better late than never. Women's bodies never cease to amaze me, every inch, and I've always wondered how some women can ever avoid being lost in their own reflections. Do you ever fall victim, Rose, to narcissistic tendencies? I don't mean selfishness, I mean like the Roman myth, straight out of Ovid's Metamorphoses.

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    Rose 11 hours ago

    That's funny, Shakau! And your feedback is welcomed, always. The point you make about intimacy after the sex is a valuable and important one – the difference between "erotica" and "porn" :-)

    on Deep Emotion
    S

    Shakau 13 hours ago

    See Rose, that is what I'm talking about. A beautiful masterpiece of erotic cinema, it all comes down to that relationship, that chemistry and ultimately that connection. The most sexual stories are the ones you can relate to, that is what takes it from being mere sex into breathtaking art. Sorry rant over. This is a gorgeous film the chemistry that Christina and Maxmilian had was so very tangible and real, just beautiful expressionism. Keep up the great work SexArt.

    on Backflow
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    Shakau 14 hours ago

    Thank you for your feedback and insight. Sorry I feel like I'm beating a dead horse about the whole cumshot issue. I was under the impression that the performers had some direction, thank you for clearing that misconception up for me. As for creampie endings, thats not really my main argument it is the major disconnect or disengaging after the male performer cums, at least with a creampie it is followed up with some sort of loving embrace. But I suppose I'll have to accept the fact that some women just enjoy being showered with cum. All the women I've been with could not find a tissue fast enough but i guess it is just me and my horrible cum.

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    Rose 20 hours ago

    Christina is damn sexy! Although I don't usually go for big boobies, her body is luscious and the jiggle factor as Max fucks her is pretty hypnotic!

    Speaking of jiggle... For those of you who enjoy my naughty confessions on our free site MyErotica.com, I hope you'll like my latest – it's called "Chasing Ass" :-)

    https://myerotica.com/chasing-ass-6efe67751276

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    Col_JackOneill_SG-1 1 day ago

    She is one incredible lady with a body that is out of this world. For some reason, the new hair style she has now makes her 10,000x more cute in my opinion.

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    Tafi 1 day agoLifetime member

    Lisa Dawn; beauty and sex unrivaled! Gorgeous set, so stunning and arousing! She is so amazing at spreading and opening her beautiful pussy and ass, an invitation to fuck beyond the wildest dreams! Her gaping holes are unbelievably awesome and so seductive! Beautiful, gorgeous, sexy set!

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    Rose 1 day ago

    We chatted about this before, Shakau – some of us girls actually do love cum; and we always let the couple choose how they finish the scene. Once they start, the crew will step back and let them do what comes naturally, rather than spoiling the flow by giving them direction. That said, you know I share your preference for seeing a creampie finish most of the time :-)

    on Deep Emotion