3 minute read

5 Reasons Guys Watch Porn (besides the naked women)

Last Updated: September 14, 2020

Peter Kleponis

Dr. Peter Kleponis is a Licensed Clinical Therapist and Assistant Director of Comprehensive Counseling Services in Conshohocken, PA.  He holds an M.A. in Clinical-Counseling Psychology from LaSalle University in Philadelphia, PA, and a Ph.D. in General Psychology from Capella University in Minneapolis, MN. Dr. Kleponis specializes in marriage & family therapy, pastoral counseling, resolving anger, men’s issues, and pornography addiction recovery. He is the author of Integrity Restored: Helping Catholic Families Win the Battle Against Pornography.

Many people, especially women, wonder why men are so attracted to pornography. They have difficulty understanding how certain photographs and videos can have such a hold on men’s attention. Men’s attraction to pornography is due to a complex combination of biological, psychological and sociological processes, but they can be condensed into five popular reasons.

1. They enjoy the physical effects of pornography.

Men are wired to be visually stimulated. When they encounter an erotic image, they automatically look! This launches a series of chemical reactions in the brain and body that lead to great emotional and physical pleasure and excitement.

The images also trigger sexual arousal, which leads to masturbation.  The resulting orgasm reinforces the whole process making him want to go back for more!

2. It’s a “guy thing.”

For decades our society has told men that “real men view porn.” We can see this in all the jokes about men and pornography seen in the media. In many circles, a young man will encounter teasing and ridicule if he admits he doesn’t use pornography. If he has never seen it, he is viewed by his peers as naive and unsophisticated–a wimp.  Because of this, men often feel pressured to view pornography and when they do they somehow believe they are “real men” and can measure up to their peers.

Unfortunately, this sense of manliness and maturity is an illusion. It doesn’t make him a real man. If anything, it makes him act more like an adolescent.

3. It’s a means for male bonding.

Male bonding is crucial for healthy development. Countless studies point to the importance of men and boys bonding with their fathers and male peers. Healthy avenues for bonding include sports, camping, fishing, and travel. However, in today’s pornified culture, men have used viewing pornography as a way of bonding.

Many young men will admit that their conversation around the cafeteria table often deteriorates into discussions about pornography. In order to fit in and bond with one’s peers, a young man must view pornography and be able to discuss it.

While this does help them bond with one another, it is not a healthy bonding. Instead of encouraging each other to be strong men of valor that respect women, they are encouraging each other to view women as little more than sex objects.

4. They believe they are learning how to be great lovers.

It’s no secret most men in America receive very poor sexual educations at home, at school, and at church.  Instead of learning about the true meaning of sex in regard to relationships, they are simply learning the mechanics of sex and how not to get a woman pregnant. Even that education is substandard.

Because young men naturally want to learn all they can about sex and relationships, and they are not getting adequate answers at home, school or church, they go to the Internet. This invariably leads them into pornography.

Instead of learning about healthy sex and intimacy, they learn how to use women sexually in ways that are most often degrading and physically dangerous. Yet because this is what they see on the Internet, they believe they are learning about healthy sexuality and what women want.

5. They get “love” without responsibility.

With pornography, men can enjoy the thrill of sex without the responsibility of a relationship. There is no need to give of one’s self with pornography.

The women in porn are available all the time. They love sex and never say no. Any type of sex desired can be found on the Internet. This leads men to believe that fantasy is better than real love. They come to believe sex should be exciting beyond compare and the ultimate goal is personal physical pleasure.

While this may initially seem like paradise, it ultimately leaves a man alone and unfulfilled. Without the loving relationship found in marriage, sex can never satisfy. Thus men are constantly in a futile search for the cybersex encounter that will satisfy.

As you can see, these five reasons keep men going back to pornography over and over again.  Unfortunately, they ultimately lead to great disappointment. Men need to realize they ultimately desire real intimacy. This can only come from a healthy relationship with a real woman–filled with mutual love and respect.  It requires a lot of giving and self-sacrifice for both parties; however, the result is a life filled with authentic love and joy that leads to true satisfaction and fulfillment!

  • Comments on: 5 Reasons Guys Watch Porn (besides the naked women)
    1. Greg on

      Some reasons/excuses here I had not been aware of! Men share the core appeal of the female form, but vary in many other ways.

      If it helps, my reasons/excuses were:

      1. They find the female form to be very beautiful, desirable, arousing–but also very enviable. This isn’t mentioned much, but it is true for some men. Women have a sensual beauty that men will never have; a fact that’s hard to live with.
      2. They are curious about—and fascinated by—female anatomy and the physical act of sex.
      3. They long to be found as sexually desirable to women in real life as the females on-screen may appear to be conveying to them (and for many men, not for the sake of pride, but for affirmation/validation and value). The allure and power women have over men through visual appeal and sexuality is /drastically/ underestimated. Starting at puberty, males have testosterone levels 15 times that of women. It’s very frustrating without a means for expression, and the sinful misuse of that frustration is what fuels the pornography industry.
      4. If single, they are frustrated and angry at not having the opportunity to experience sexual and emotional intimacy, while plenty of other people (even decades younger) have and are—or at least appear to be. Refusing to take “no” as an answer, they turn to pornography.

      Other reasons/excuses I’ve heard from other men are:

      1. They have either been—or still feel—rejected by women; including disparaging comments and views made about men.
      2. It is used as an attempt to ‘medicate’ the painful, challenging aspects of life, lack of worth, and failure(s) whether real or perceived.
      3. If married, they may be angry and resentful toward their wife for refusing them sexually. One honest man’s statement from a blog post: “You want to know the true appeal of porn for married men? It shows women who act like they really enjoy having sex with their partners…something that many, many married men desperately want from their wives, but never get.”

      This last line may be hard to accept–and it doesn’t justify sin–but from what I have read on many blog posts/forums, it is a very real, deep, and painful wound men have when refusal of sexual intimacy (read: even /decades/ of refusal) by the wife toward her husband.

      Reply
      • Sean on

        Damn that is really good commentary Greg. Hard to admit it but you’re absolutely right…so right that it hurts.

      • Frost on

        I’m 24 years old. Single. I had one relationship with a girl in high school, but it lasted a month and she became a Christian (I grew up one) before we could really do anything. I’ve been addicted to porn for about 9-10 years now, and I’ve masturbated at least twice a day for 7 of those years. In high school, it wasn’t about getting off, it was about the illusion of what I was missing out on by not having a girlfriend.

        Once out of high school, I literally felt my stresses from each day being released along with my sperm. It was literally therapeutic when I had no other ways to relieve stress. I hated exercising, sports, and doing all the typical things men did to relieve stress. I loved video games and occasionally reading, and that was my life.

        I’ve been working in retail for 3 years now, and every day the 100 or so girls I work with remind me of how lonely I am. I am not a handsome man. I have acne scars, and what woman wants to date a man with acne scars? Add to that how many women are either control freaks or too career-focused to be interested, or they’re already in relationships anyway. Regardless of my approach, anything even remotely Alpha Male could be reported as sexual harassment, so I have to be my natural Beta Male. And what woman is interested a man who behaves like a butler?

        I use porn because not only am I looking for that ONE satisfying moment, but also because it’s literally the only form of romantic contact I am allowed to have in modern America. Our culture is so saturated with feminism and sexual harassment, the only “safe” method is letting the women come to us, like a male peacocks strutting his stuff. Recently I bought a gym membership and I’ve built up a lot of muscle, but I’m still lonely. Reading my Bible every day is like climbing a slippery slope in bare feet and hands.

        I’m dead inside thanks to porn. I don’t feel natural emotions like normal people. I laugh at other’s misery and avoid situations that place me in proximity to children. When passing behind women, I hold my arm closest to them across the small of my back like a butler would do–so I don’t accidentally touch their “area”. I’m damaged and scarred from porn, but I keep doing it because I don’t see any way out. The few other men I’ve talked to (all non-Christians) have said not to tell anyone about my problem, because it damages my reputation as a Christian, and the other one said I’ll just lose interest in porn once I get a girl.

        I know that if I read my Bible every day and pray to God for help, it’ll come. But I feel like I’m staring up at the peak of Mt. Everest, it’s all covered with ice and I have to climb it all alone with no one to help me. With Christian culture demonizing people like me and judgement in everyone’s eyes when I ask for help, I’m all alone out here. And then I go back to porn.

      • Heather on

        Did it ever dawn on a man that viewing porn is a turn off and when my husband refused to stop after 30 years of marriage I divorced him. Had he just took the time to learn about my body maybe we could of actually had a relationship but instead he was learning all about his own body and how to be aroused in a “fake way” I detest porn and how it ruined my whole life.

      • Mike on

        I agree with Greg, men use porn for affirmation, validation, value and envy as well, now envy might be a very personal thing to somebody , I think some men maybe when they were younger or maybe as an adult feel that they might even want to have a female body, as I look at porn, maybe it’s not a gender dysphoria , but a sexual thing, I wish I can pure healthy thoughts of sex and intimacy. Im a single guy that has been struggling with this issue of porn since I was in my late teens and now I’m almost 40 and straight as an arrow but still have fetishes .

      • Mary Jane on

        Here’s what I’ve been told … a man looks at porn because he wishes his wife/girlfriend/fiancee looked like the porn models, and since they don’t, the man resorts to his true desire of having that sexy woman with that perfect model-figure.

    2. Roger on

      Thank you the article. I am a bit saddened. I quit watching porn 2 years ago. I don’t need porn I don’t want it but damn recovery is a long road. This ” real intimacy” you speak of is still a mystery.

      Reply
    3. Bob on

      To the man with the name Frost. Your response broke my heart. I am sorry for the counsel you recieved to hide in shame. I agree we don’t need to tell everyone but we do need to talk to someone. By the grace of God you can win this. Praying for you and hope that somehow you see this message.

      Reply
      • Sherri on

        Please tell Frost to reach out to Pure Desire Ministry. It’s not hopeless, if you want to be free bad enough.

    4. MJ on

      Fantastic post! I totally relate to #4 & #5! But clean since 2001. FREEDOM IS REAL!

      Reply
      • Thomas on

        Hey I’m not making any excuses myself but women out there.. ya need to show love to your husband’s and maybe it will save your marriages.

        Step #1 Both needs a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
        Step #2 Both need to spend quilty time with each other.
        Step #3 Men needs to respect and do things for their wives.
        Step #4 Women needs to show men back the love by having sexual bondage with each other.
        All this needs to be applied to all marriages and I know men would definitely be free from porn. (Especially Christian Men)

    5. Chuck on

      “You want to know the true appeal of porn for married men? It shows women who act like they really enjoy having sex with their partners…something that many, many married men desperately want from their wives, but never get.”

      This comment is spot on. It’s become a substitute for the sex I WANT to be having with my wife. When we were dating and first married the sex was great, but now it’s maybe once every 3 or 4 or 5 months. She doesn’t want to, nor does she show any non-sexual intimacy. When it does happen it’s always the same dull routine, unlike it used to be. She doesn’t want to try anything different anymore. It is also over very quickly as it has become painful for her, but she won’t talk to her doctor about it to try to resolve it. She sometimes says it’s because of her blood sugar, but she won’t get serious about controlling her diabetes. It might be different if she actually expressed an interest in me and was actually trying to do something about her issues. I have tried talking to her about it but it just becomes a fight. I don’t know how to talk to anyone else about it, but at least here I can anonymously get it off my chest.

      Reply
    6. Mike on

      I would like feedback on what I shared, thank you everyone!

      Reply
    7. BWilde on

      I have a problem with #1 – I don’t understand why people think only men are visually stimulated. I think its a line so men can “be men” meaning I believe its an excuse for men not to have to change their “scientific nature”
      I call BS. I, a woman, am very visually stimulated. As are many of my female friends. I however, CHOOSE to try and remember that objectifying anyone is degrading. And once you learn why most people are in the industry, it is so heartbreaking I dont know how anyone can be turned on by it.

      Reply
      • Kay Bruner on

        Thank you. I agree. The real issue is that men are trained to objectify.

    8. J on

      I love how men think that only they are “visually stimulated”. I think they live in this dream world because they feel bad about their bodies. If you think for one second that a woman can look at the gorgeous, hot, muscular, manly, sexy upper body of a man and not be turned on… then I feel sorry for you. Trust me on this one. We are as visual as you. Trust me.

      Reply
    9. P. Peck on

      My husband is struggling with looking at women provocative. Even in my presence.
      Hes trying to deal with this but falls short alot. Hes been to a counselor but he considered her a monster because she got to the truth. He didn’t want to hear the truth.He did really well for 8 months but valentine’s day in a hamburger joint he was weak.

      Girls turned him down in high school before going out. Hes son of a pastor and both parents were. Sad but he is too!!
      Im second marriage and he kept from me. 8 yrs married. Our sex life is good. I feel he has issues from past of put downs somehow. Just not sure.
      My heart breaks.

      It breaks my heart to see him do this.

      How and how long did you get past porn? Im thinking me catching him on computer caused him to look provocative in open. He had a sexless first marriage. He tells me that his weakness has nothing to do with me.

      Please help@

      Reply
      • Kay Bruner on

        Well, his problem is his to resolve. You can’t do this work for him. If he is willing to do his own work, he can find a therapist through the CSAT directory. It sounds like a trauma-informed approach would be better for him than a 12-step orientation.

        If, however, he’s already tried counseling and hated it because it revealed truths he wasn’t willing to face, then you have to accept the reality of his choices and consider your own boundaries. You can only be responsible for yourself. Here, here, and here are some articles on boundaries that should be helpful for you.

        You might want to find a therapist just for you, someone who can help you process the reality of your situation and support you in your healthy boundaries. And you may also appreciate the online resources at Bloom for Women.

        Peace,
        Kay

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