Pornography: Good or Bad for Your Mental and Sexual Health?

Pornography Good or Bad for Your Mental and Sexual Health?-Photo2

Pornography Good or Bad for Your Mental and Sexual Health?-Photo2

In the age of the Internet, pornography is everywhere, and it seems like you get an eyeful once in a while, like it or not. The experience might be shocking, alluring, or perhaps laughable, but when it comes to your health, is watching porn good or bad for you?

To shed some light on the subject, we dove into the topic of the health effects of watching pornography with the help of several experts including: Dr. Adi Jaffe, executive director of Alternatives Behavioral Health; New York City sex therapist Stephen Snyder MD; and Joanne Bagshaw, PhD, a psychology and women’s studies professor at Montgomery College.

The Mental Health Effects of Watching Pornography

When it comes to whether or not watching pornography is bad for you, many people want to look at the mental health aspect of the debate. Surely, because some of society views watching pornographic content as a negative thing, it must negatively affect us on all levels…right?

Well, that’s not necessarily the case. In moderation (and this appears to be key when talking about this topic), watching porn may be actually good for you.

“Yes, there are benefits to watching porn,” explains Joanne Bagshaw, PhD.

“For example, a 2008 study surveyed Danish women and men between the ages of 18 and 30 on the effects that watching porn had on their personality.”

Both men and women, Bagshaw says, reported that watching pornography had positive effects on some aspects of their lives, including:

  • attitudes about sex
  • sexual knowledge
  • sex life
  • quality of life in general

“Even when in a relationship, there are benefits to watching porn, either alone or together, which is why I often recommend it for couples who would like to rev up their sex life, or who have mismatched desire – one partner wants sex more often, for example – to integrate pornography into their sex lives.”

Bagshaw also notes that couples who communicate honestly with each other about their pornography-watching habits tend to have higher levels of satisfaction and lower levels of distress, and couples that watch porn together tend to have lower levels of distress in their relationships. 

In these ways, Bagshaw states, watching porn is good for your health.

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