What You See Is What You Get: Acting Out Porn in the Bedroom

While scrolling my Facebook newsfeed, I came across a status update from a woman that read “I like porn!”

Curious to read the comments to this bold statement, I quickly clicked the post and to my surprise, there were absolutely no comments. No “me too,” no “TMI,” not even a single “like” to acknowledge her proclamation. Just digital silence.

I suspect this woman is not the only person in her Facebook network that watches porn, but no one else was willing to publically admit their consumption or agree with her statement. Porn is the secret that many people are engaged in but few will admit to. What You See Is What You Get_ Acting Out Porn in the Bedroom

When we develop a pattern of watching pornography, we’re exposed not only to unrealistic images of sexual intercourse, but also to themes that promote infidelity and de-emphasize love and commitment. These ideas, when viewed frequently, can become more familiar and acceptable, causing us to act out in real life what is seen when watching porn.

The popular book series Fifty Shades of Grey has reportedly influenced the sexual behavior of its wide fan base. Handcuff mishaps, for those new to the book’s B&D genre, and increased sales of the book’s sex toys are just a couple behaviors women are emulating. However, for some, the activities they ingest from Shades are not harmless. In a study conducted by Michigan State University, researchers found some correlation between young adult women who read the book and their likelihood of engaging with a verbally abusive partner much like the lead character in the Fifty Shades saga.

Related: Should Porn Be Used to Spice Up the Bedroom?

Continuous porn consumption often leads us to adopt radically warped concepts about sex, some of which include the idea that:

  • Marriage is sexually restrictive
  • Abstinence and sexual inactivity are abnormal
  • Overly accentuated bodies are the norm and more desirable; and
  • Everyone enjoys kinky, aggressive sex

There’s a serious risk in allowing strong sexual content to become part of your everyday life. In many pornographic films, characters do not practice safe sex—nor do they contract AIDS, STDs, or get pregnant. Casual and indiscriminate sex generally has no consequences in such portrayals, and this is a huge misconception that porn consumers ingest.

Because repeated exposure to the same sexual explicit material causes the initial “thrill” to eventually fade, a common response, therefore, is to watch more porn for longer periods of time, or graduate to hard-core images to duplicate the original sensation. If you’ve experienced this progression, this may signal that your pornography viewing has shifted beyond casual entertainment to compulsive behavior.

So where do you fall when it comes to viewing pornography?

  • Have your tastes expanded over time demanding more explicit material?
  • Do you find it difficult to resist the temptation to read erotica?
  • Do you find yourself preoccupied with thoughts of pornography?
  • Have you stopped consuming porn altogether, only to fall right back into it?
  • Perhaps you’re so consumed with viewing porn or reading erotic stories that it negatively impacts how you feel and respond to your partner.
  • Or do you find yourself masturbating to pornography in lieu of cultivating a healthy, sustainable relationship with your spouse?
  • Have you attempted to emulate the sexual activities you read about?
  • Have you looked, or are you hooked?

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Dana Brown SmithDana Brown Smith is the author of Girls Watch Too! Female Fascination with Porn: Why You Should Care and What You Can Do About It. Drawing on her own personal involvement with porn and her professional experience as an expert in investigating and responding to sexual harassment claims in the workplace, she brings an in-depth and well-rounded perspective to the conversation on the effect of pornography, especially as it relates to women. Dana is a frequent blogger on Huffington Post.

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