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Brett McCann: sexologist

Brett McCann specialises in male sexual difficulties and has over 20 years experience in human sexuality counselling. Brett is the CEO of Impotence Australia and also co-authored Too fast? Learn to last longer. in 2009. ASK ME A QUESTION QUESTION

Masturbation and pornography

Thursday, July 1, 2010
"The "Australian Study of Health and Relationships" found 37 percent of men and 16 percent of women had viewed an X-rated video, and 17 percent of men and 2 percent of women had visited a sex website in the last year."
Topics:
sex

Question:

What can you tell me about masturbation and porn? It is a concern of my wife. She does not like the fact that when I masturbate I like to look at porn or if I read porn while on my own. Secondly, she feels that she is not doing it for me and that is upsetting for both of us, as we have an active sex life and I do feel fulfilled.

Response:

A lot of people feel negative towards porn, yet research shows that many men and women also enjoy using porn either by themselves or as a couple. Some couples can work out an "agree to disagree approach"; for others the use of porn may further weaken their relationship.

Your partner is telling you that this is affecting her self-esteem, so we know which way your relationship is heading. It can be very difficult for couples when their sexualities differ. What one person finds a turn-on another finds a turn-off. Let your partner know that you are concerned about her self-esteem and you trying to also express your sexuality.

You might be able to come to a compromise where you are both winners. However if porn is a definite no-go for your partner then you will have to decide where you stand — relationship or porn?

I've included part of a report I had put together a few years ago below, which might be useful for you:

Adult men and women in Australia commonly view porn. The "Australian Study of Health and Relationships" found 37 percent of men and 16 percent of women had viewed an X-rated video, and 17 percent of men and 2 percent of women had visited a sex website in the last year.

A 1999 survey revealed that 21.8 percent of Australians had watched at least part of a non-violent erotic film or video and 19.8 had read or looked at a non-violent erotic magazine, book or other publication. This common phenomenon is not restricted to Australia and is experienced worldwide.

Research published as The Port Report and led by the Queensland University of Technology's Professor Alan McKee, found that "people who are exposed to pornography are usually more relaxed about their sexuality, and have healthier marriages". They were also more likely to be less sexually anxious and have a more favourable attitude towards sexuality and had an improvement in their intimate relationships.

Research identified that most pornography consumers reported a benefit to their relationship, their sexual knowledge but also acknowledge that some people reported a negative effect from watching pornography. Overall most pornography consumers said that porn could be damaging to the young, vulnerable, insecure and promote unrealistic sexual and body stereotypes.

Most pornography consumers stated that they perceived pornography as fantasy and it did not relate to reality. Common reasons given for viewing pornography were to enhance relationships, entertainment, learn more sexually, have a laugh, to spice things up, obtain helpful information often lacking in many people's sex education.

Research indicates that pornography consumers are made up of all classes and ages of people — single, married and divorce. This was confirmed by personal communication with adult shop staff and sex therapists. They stated that all types of people use pornography magazines and videos — including homosexual, heterosexual, singles/couples, young/old, widower/widow and disabled people.

Because some of these people have difficulty with partnering, reading or watching erotic material maybe their only way of gaining sexual satisfaction. Pornography consumers also perceived that they didn't belong to any particular group.

For more information please visit the Impotence Australia website.


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