How Do You Feel About Porn?

How Do You Feel About Porn? - Dr. Tammy Nelson blog
Photo by Laurenz Kleinheider on Unsplash

 

How do you feel about porn? I don’t mean whether or not you personally consume porn, but rather — do you approve of it? Are you okay if your partner watches it? Masturbates to it? Do you watch it? Is it part of your relationship?

Have your feelings ever undergone a shift in relation to pornography?

For many, porn is a hot-button topic.

You either hate it or you love it. You either approve of it or you think it’s going to ruin marriage. There seems to be no middle-ground.

However, many people find that their perspective has shifted over time. Education and introspection are both responsible for these shifts.

 

Educating Yourself About Porn Can Affect Your Outlook

Rashida Jones admitted to the New York Times that when she came out strongly against pornography in 2013 that she felt totally justified using the word “whore” to describe women who liked v-strings or stripper poles.

She said, “I didn’t even know what “slut shaming” meant at the time, and I have educated myself.”

I am impressed by this woman’s ability to reflect, to educate herself, and to come out and own her prior ignorance about what it means to “slut shame.” Can we accept other women’s choices?

As well as the choices that men make?

Through educating herself (and taking the time to reflect on what she was learning), she experienced an evolution of perspective on the topic of porn.

 

Does Your Partner Watching Porn Affect Your Body Image?

Recently an analysis of studies by Wright and Tokunaga found that even though there has been a shift toward more positive attitudes toward porn viewing, women still had a negative perception of their relationship when their partner was a pornography consumer. They reported less relational, sexual and body satisfaction when they were concerned about their partner watching porn.

It is not clear from these findings if the heterosexual women who didn’t mind their partner viewing porn were still found to have a negative perception of their relationship, their sex lives and their own bodies. The studies also didn’t explore how the women felt about their male partner’s bodies, which I think would have been an interesting question to ask. (Why did no one ask this? Why do studies only explore women’s body image issues and never men’s? Interesting side note.)

 

Have You Reflected On Your Feelings About Porn?

If you are strongly opposed to pornography, have you ever stopped to consider why? Where do those feelings come from – your family, your religion, your friends, the media?

Many people haven’t thought through their own opinion on this controversial topic. They take on the position of their family/religion/peers/media without forming their own ideas.

Unfortunately, this can result in feelings of shame or confusion — if you happen to like (or be aroused by) something you don’t approve of.

It can also be the source of animosity directed toward other people who may embrace porn and like it without feeling shame.

 

Introspection Can Be Empowering

If you explore your own thoughts on porn and separate them from things you’ve been taught or read, you might arrive at your own opinion.

This process can help you see where you’ve been making assumptions. Choose what you believe, rather than just accepting what others tell you to believe.

This can be an empowering experience.  Ask yourself the following questions:

  • What do I feel about pornography?
  • How do I feel about masturbation to pornography?
  • For myself?
  • For my partner?
  • For my children?
  • For other people who I don’t know?
  • How do I feel about these things versus what do I think?
  • How have my personal opinions changed over time?

Of course, this type of introspection can be difficult. Sometimes, for help in your relationship or individually, find a professional to guide you on this journey of self-discovery.

Contact me if you’d like to schedule a session or find a referral in your area.

 

Do Feminists Approve of Pornography?

I am intrigued by Rashida Jone’s evolution of thought about porn, especially because she’s a feminist.

Feminism is about is the power of personal agency. A woman should have the right to choose what’s right for herself in terms of her body and her sexuality.

 

What Do You Think? Please Share…

What does feminism mean to you?

And how do your feelings about feminism intersect with your feelings about pornography?

Are your feelings about porn the same as your feelings about porn made by women, for women?

Has your outlook on pornography changed over the years? What caused that evolution of thought for you?

I’d love to hear from you. Please leave me a comment!

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