Is internet porn acceptable?

Relationship expert Jo Lamble answers many prickly questions in her book, Answers to Everyday Questions about Relationships. This week we publish the answer to whether or not viewing internet porn is acceptable?

Q.

I walked in on my husband looking at internet porn. Is this normal? He was embarrassed and I was mortified. 

A.

People seem to be divided into those who think looking at internet pornography is okay and those who find it abhorrent. And when I refer to pornography, I am not talking about child pornography – which obviously is not in any way acceptable. Adult pornography is a subject that does need to be discussed because it is an issue for so many couples.

Many women are very uncomfortable with their male partners looking at porn. Women tell me that they can feel inadequate compared to the women in pornographic photos or films. Many men and women believe that it is degrading towards women and are morally against it. So it’s understandable it’s such an emotive topic.

In order to give the best advice to women who find out that their male partners are looking at pornography, I spoke to many men. Men told me that they do not compare their wives to the women on the screen. They say they do not look at porn because there is something lacking in their relationship. Most men say that they find looking at porn relaxing, erotic and highly addictive. A lot of men share the names of sites with their mates or colleagues. They are more likely to use it if they are away or alone at home. They are more likely to use it if they are stressed or depressed and in this way it can be a form of self-medication, adding to its addictive nature. Men usually go through stages of using porn a lot and then stay away from it for extended periods. Although there are many couples who look at porn together, most men see it as a private activity and do not want their female partners finding out about it.

If women can try to understand why men look at porn, they might not take it so personally. Forbidding the use of pornography will most probably lead to secrecy. But that doesn’t mean that people shouldn’t talk to their partners about it. It’s important that you let your partner know how you feel and it’s equally important for you to listen to how he feels. The issue is usually resolved with a compromise – the material is hidden from young eyes and the user respects their partner’s views.

Extract from the book Answers to Everyday Questions about Relationships by Jo Lamble?

Published by Penguin?

RRP: $19.95


Is internet porn the root of all evil or should people accept it for what it is?



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