The Benefits of Watching Porn in a Relationship

Everything you’ve ever wanted to know about the benefits of watching porn and the importance of representation for your well-being is right here.

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The Benefits / Importance Of Watching Porn Together In A Relationship

Along with the obvious visual stimulation, watching porn together in a relationship can be a fantastic way to:

Spark desire in people who experience responsive desire. 75% of women, 25% of men experience responsive desire more than spontaneous desire, this is often mistaken for having a low libido. It means you normally experience desire when you are experiencing something sexually relevant e.g. the thought doesn’t even cross your mind, but when you get going you’re into it. This may be your partner kissing your neck, already having sex or watching an erotic movie together.

Watching real couples, and real sex is a very different experience. This can build a sense of confidence and security that couples having sex doesn’t look like the extreme, disconnected performative interactions that you see on the free porn sites.

There is also a level of taboo to watching porn together, anything that is considered a little naughty in itself can be a turn on, and going on a sexy adventure together can create closer connection and bonding.

The Benefits / Importance Of Watching Porn As A Single Person

Along with the obvious visual stimulation, watching porn as a single person be a fantastic way to:

Spark desire in people who experience responsive desire. 75% of women, 25% of men experience responsive desire more than spontaneous desire, this is often mistaken for having a low libido. It means you normally experience desire when you are experiencing something sexually relevant e.g.the thought doesn’t even cross your mind, but when you get going you’re into it.

Watching erotic videos to spark that desire means you can get all the delicious benefits of masturbation; reduce stress, help you sleep better, improve your body image, and more.

Seeing real couples, and real sex is a very different experience. This can build a sense of confidence and security sex doesn’t look like the extreme, disconnected performative interactions that you see on the free porn sites.

It’s fun, healthy and as a bonus, there’s no chance of contracting STIs, unwanted pregnancy, or any of the other risks involved in partnered sex.

The Importance Of Representation In Pornography

Fair representation in porn is crucial. Often skin colour, sexual orientation, body types and abilities are categorised and fetishized, meaning that aspect of a person is used for sexual gratification alone. This can have a huge impact on how individuals see themselves, and how other people view and approach them. Fair representation means that all people can feel seen and heard, and of course turned on in a way that doesn’t involve objectification. 

How Porn Can Contribute To A Positive Mental Well-being

Real bodies, normalising sex, and seeing healthy people enjoying sex can help dramatically reduce the shame and fear that is still so present in our culture today. The more we normalise and educate people, the easier the conversations around sexual health, contraception and what we really enjoy are. This leads to epic sexual experiences, deep connection and happiness in relationships and body confidence. Who doesn’t want that?

What Can We Do For Our Overall Sexual Wellness?

Understanding that sex (solo and with others) has huge wellness benefits, helps shift the shame and fear around our bodies, how they look, feel, smell, what we enjoy and sex helps shift the shame and fear, which leads to stress and anxiety in many people.

To boost our own sexual wellness sex education is key, the procreation only model most of the western world has received misses out so much, particularly around how female bodies really work e.g. it takes a person with a vulva 15-45mins to reach orgasm, this is normal and leathly. This creates a belief that there is something wrong with our bodies, that we just don’t work like other people, and then impacts our confidence, our sex lives and our relationships.

Start with books such as Come As You Are by Emily Nagoski and She Comes First by Ian Kerne, online sex ed classes on CHEEX and watching porn that includes real life people.

Tips And Activities On How To Feel More Sexually Liberated/Open

Sexual liberation is the opposite of oppression, and oppression comes from handing your power away. Whether that is to your partner, family expectations or culture, liberation can only come from yourself by taking responsibility for your body, your sex education, and the people you surround yourself with.

Sexual liberation starts with sex education. The western world has been studying sex since Masters and Johnson pioneered research into the nature of human sexual response in the 1950s, but the majority of people still don’t understand the basics.

Exploring the vast array of work out there from amazing sex educators such as Jaya, Justin J Lehmiller, Emily Nagoski and myself,there is no escaping the environment you are in, you are a combination of the five people you spend the most time with, so surround yourself with sex positive people. If you don’t know anyone, you can start by regularly reading blogs and articles on CHEEX, following people on social media.

What Are The Benefits Of Watching Real Sex On Screen?

Compared to real bodies, real connection and real arousal, watching performed sex trains your brain and your body to get turned on by something that is fake; actors going through the motions (because it’s their job), augmented bodies (surgery such as labiaplasty, implants and skin bleaching are often paid for by the porn companies), and acted arousal, noises and orgasms. This means that in real life experiences are not as exciting to your brain, and over long term can lead to erectile dysfunction or premature ejaculation in male bodies, and problems with libido and orgasm in female bodies.

When you watch real sex on screen you’re getting turned on by real experiences which translates into real interactions far more easily.

How To Tell Your Partner You Want To Start Watching Porn

Your partner’s response will be heavily influenced by how you approach the conversation, if you come across as critical or with an underlying assumption that they won’t listen, this will shut off their receptivity, see this as a threat and it’s more likely to end the conversation. 

Instead, I recommend you get really clear on what you want to try, and why it’ll help YOU, and that’ll turn YOU on to do this WITH your partner. Don’t be afraid of being vulnerable as this opens the door to deeper connection. 

This might sound like “I read this article by sexologist and CHEEX expert Caroline D’Arcy, who suggested watching porn together could turn us both on, and help kick start MY libido. I’m so nervous about asking you, but would love to try this with you. What do you think?”. You find more tips on how to communicate sexual needs with your partner(s) here

The Importance Of Having A Healthy Relationship With Porn

Because porn is an external stimulus, it can take you out of your body. The kind of connection and satisfaction most people are craving from sex, solo or partnered, must come from a connection with your body.

One of my favourite practices is watching porn until you’re good and turned on, then bringing your attention to the sensations in yours or your partner’s body, speaking it out loud and flipping your attention between your body and the screen. If you’ve only been able to get off while watching porn or in fantasy, this is an excellent way to start building the connection back with your body.

What you watch when you’re aroused is literally training your body in what turns it on. Watching real couples that are not performing/faking or in a detached ‘going through the motions’ state is crucial for a pleasurable, connected experience – whether that’s a long-term relationship or casual play time.

Why Is There Still A Pleasure Gap Between Men & Women?

One study suggested 39% of women and 91% of men said that they usually or always experienced orgasm in partnered sex.

As a somatic sex educator, I know this gap is completely unnecessary. Women’s bodies are wired for pleasure, the clitoral complex (clit glands, internal clitoris and bulbs) are specifically designed to turn  women on, which is an important part of our reproductive function.

One reason for this is a distinct lack of education around sexuality and how our bodies really work, then blaming your partner for not being able to make you come. If I could teach all people one thing, it is that it’s not your partner’s responsibility to understand how your body works, especially as a female bodied person. There is much more variety in women’s preferences than men’s i.e. what’s super-hot for one woman can be irritating to another, so it’s important to understand your own body and what works for you, before expecting your partner to understand.

How do you close the gap? Understanding that your body and your pleasure is your responsibility. This starts with sex education and using embodied pleasure practices to understand how your body works, and then learning how to communicate your needs without criticising or shutting down your partner.

How Do I Feel Comfortable In My Own Body During Sex?

We live in a world where there are billions of dollars spent in advertising products and lifestyles (that are heavily photoshopped and filtered)teaching you that you and your body are not okay how it is.

Add to this that the only time we see naked bodies and genitals is in porn where most bodies are either not fully developed (women’s bodies keep developing to the age of 23), have been augmented bodies (surgery such as labiaplasty, implants and skin bleaching are often paid for by the porn companies) and men are only employed if they have huge penises. 

It’s easy to see why most of us feel uncomfortable in our own bodies at some point in our lives.

The antidote to this is plenty of loving, self touching practices that engage your whole body, mirror work spending time around real bodies. If hanging out at your local sex club isn’t for you, making sure you watch diverse porn that includes real bodies and real life interactions.

Role Of Shame In Sexuality

How To Overcome Shame

Shame is your body’s cloaking device which protects you from experiencing painful emotions and shame cannot survive empathy. To overcome shame you need to identify how It feels in your body, understand the emotion underneath, and share it with an understanding person. 

This could look like, feeling shame about your partner finding you masturbating. Your initial physical or somatic response maybe getting very hot, sweaty palms and feeling like you want to hide and cry, or shout, this is your body distracting you from what’s underneath.

Once you have moved through the somatic response (not before!) You can ask why you think this makes you a bad person? It may be that you were caught and shouted at as a child, that you believe your partner will be disgusted or feel rejected. Then sharing the truth with your partner, an understanding friend or a sex coach/therapist will help this feeling dissipate.

One of my favourite questions to ask clients is “what aspects of your sex life would you not want to appear on the front page of tomorrows newspaper?”

Where Does It Come From?

Shame is actually a protection mechanism that protects you from experiencing painful emotions/beliefs. These beliefs are often formed in childhood to help us stay safe and connected to our parents but are no longer appropriate as adults. This is why it’s always important to investigate what’s underneath the initial somatic response. It may be that you were caught rubbing your body as a child and shouted out. This installs a belief that pleasure is bad and will lead to rejection, which can lead to a feeling that sex is somehow dirty and wrong – when in reality we know it is so much fun, important for most relationships and crucial for the continuation of the human race!

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