Does Porn Use Lead to Cheating?

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Using pornography may lead to infidelity in committed relationships, according to more than one study on the subject. Porn weakens relationships by cutting through intimacy. When you’re distracted by porn, you have less time and attention for your partner. Then there is also the issue of creating and living in a fantasy world, which can lead to cravings for alternatives to your partner. If you are into using pornography, or you partner is, understand how it puts your relationship at risk.

Porn and the Urge to Mess Around

We all have urges. We all have fantasies. It’s normal to admire another person outside of your relationship or even to give a passing thought to what it would be like to be intimate with that person. If we are in committed relationships, though, we resist those urges and we spend minimal time in those fantasies. For a healthy relationship, time and attention to sexual needs are given to one’s partner, not a third person. In one study, from the University of Florida, researchers found that men who regularly used pornography were more likely to cheat on their partners.

The study was published in the journal Social, Psychological and Personality Science and it cited earlier research that found similar results. Different studies show the results from different angles. When investigating men who cheat, studies find that they are more likely to be regular users of pornography. The more recent study looked at men who used porn. The more often they used pornographic materials, the more likely they were to cheat.

There is a clear and definite connection between porn use and infidelity. For most men who enjoy pornography, it offers them a form of sex with no strings attached and with attractive partners. Although logically men know that this is a fantasy world, regular use of porn increases the urge to cheat because it makes them feel as though there are attractive and willing alternatives to their partners out in the real world.

Porn and a Weakened Relationship

Another way in which pornography use may lead to cheating is through a general weakening of the relationship. Studies have found that porn use by one person weakens his or her commitment to a partner. The researchers questioned people in relationships about porn use and commitment. The relationships ranged in length from a few months to a few years. They found that regular porn use lessened commitment in both men and women, but the effect was stronger in men.

The study also involved an experiment with the regular porn users only. Half were asked to give up using pornography for three weeks, while the other half had to give up a favorite food. Those who gave up porn use showed greater commitment to their partners at the end of the three weeks. Those who had to give up food but could still use porn showed no significant change in commitment. Clearly there is a link between porn use and relationship strength. That giving up porn can re-strengthen a commitment is promising for anyone who fears the loss of a partner to pornography and infidelity.

If you or your partner are using pornography and are troubled by it, try giving it a break for a few weeks and see what happens. You may just find that your intimacy grows, that your sexual satisfaction is more complete and that you feel more committed to each other than ever.

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