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The Real Answer to “Do All Men Watch Porn?”

Last Updated: July 7, 2020

Dan Armstrong

Dan Armstrong has been featured in local and national publications regarding the issue of pornography’s harm on society. He has spoken at several national conferences regarding purity, protecting your children, and being educated on how technology and porn impact the brain. Dan and his wife have five children.

You’ve been lied to. But you’re in good company. In fact, we’ve all been lied to.

We’ve been told that all men watch porn, and most of us have never researched whether that is true. Worse, we can use that unfounded statement as an excuse to justify our own behavior or to encourage others to do so.

Here’s another example. As a young person, I was told that it takes seven years to digest swallowed gum, so I never swallowed it. However, science says the gum goes through the same process and takes the same amount of time to digest as any other food.

I now understand what is true, but I still behave as if it were false. I still refuse to swallow gum and encourage my kids not to as well, because deep down, I still believe it will stay in my stomach for a long time. I justify my behavior based on something proven unscientific and flat-out wrong.

Do All Men Watch Porn?

Do all men watch porn? It’s difficult to answer the question definitively. What is meant by “all men watch porn”?

Does that mean that all men have seen pornography? If that’s the interpretation, then that is most likely true for not only men, but also women. A 2005 study of Danish adults ages 18 to 30 found 98% of the men and 80% of the women had seen pornography. In American culture, in 2018, the likelihood of anyone 18 or older never seeing pornography is nearly impossible. But I don’t think that’s what is meant by the phrase “all men watch porn.”

Does that mean all male adults watch porn daily? That’s certainly not the case. If you’re a man reading this article, you have gone at least one day without watching porn. So that’s not it.

Is the question getting at whether all male adults watch porn regularly? That’s mostly likely the most accurate assumption, but what does “regularly” mean?

A 2014 Barna Group survey revealed 65% of U.S. non-Christian men, and 64% of U.S. Christian men, looked at pornography at least once a month. Here’s the breakdown according to age:

  • 79% of 18- to 30-year-olds
  • 67% of 31- to 49-year-olds
  • 49% of 50- to 68-year-olds

As the timeframes get smaller, so do the percentages of men who view pornography that frequently. When asked about viewing pornography several times a week, 42% of U.S. non-Christian men and 37% of U.S. Christian men admitted to doing that. Here are the breakdowns:

  • 63% of 18- to 30-year-olds
  • 38% of 31- to 49-year-olds
  • 25% of 50- to 68-year-olds

When it comes to this sensitive topic, it may be the case that participants are less likely to be 100% truthful. Even when the survey is confidential, there’s a likelihood of participants who may want to underreport something that they feel is embarrassing or shameful. So the numbers of the survey may be higher.

Based on those statistics, we can say with all certainty, most men look at porn at least once a month. That’s quite a bit different from saying all men look at porn all the time, but statistics show it’s trending more that way than the other direction.

And those numbers produce consequences. Consider this, a 2016 study on Canadian adolescents revealed 45.3% admitting to having erectile dysfunction. A 2015 study showed men (mean age of 36) having erectile dysfunction accompanied with a low desire for sex with a partner is commonly seen in clinical practice among those seeking help for excessive sexual behavior who often “use pornography and masturbate.”

That’s the bad news.

Join the Men Choosing a Life Without Porn

The good news is that many men have realized the devastatingly negative impact pornography has on themselves, their relationships, and society.

Organizations like NoFap, Reboot Nation, Fight the New Drug, and Covenant Eyes, among others, are bringing this topic to light. Because of the work of these organizations and others, many men have found freedom through education and accountability.

So, do all men watch porn? No. However, a majority of men do look at porn at least once a month.

Find the studies that answer “Do all men watch porn?” and more in our recently updated ebook Porn Stats.

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  • Comments on: The Real Answer to “Do All Men Watch Porn?”
    1. Tom G on

      Thanks Dan for being in this battle. Lust outside of porn may be a bigger battle that men face, as it occurs everywhere, not just on a screen. When a man lingers with his eyes or thoughts on a woman, he is taking sexual pleasure in her. It may not be as overt and perverted as viewing porn, but it is nonetheless still sexual impurity; lust, and God equates it to adultery. A man who desires to live in a sexually pure way also needs to confront this battleground.

      Reply
      • Lisa on

        It absolutely is adultery, and thank you for calling it what it is.

    2. Michael O'Neal on

      The question may be better phrased: Do men, in and out if the church, have sexually immoral behavior? i.e. Fantasies, masturbation whether married or not, marital infidelity, amoral activities/relationships (homosexuality), visit massage parlors and/or topless bars, or watch porn. Any sexual activity out of a God ordained marriage between a man and a woman is considered sexual immorality by God as expressed in His Word.

      So, with that being said, what is the church/society at large doing to help men and women trapped in sexual bondage and who have been wounded by some past trauma, neglect or abandonment. Kingdomworks Conquer Series has created a tool that will “help” deliver men and women from sexual bondage.

      Reply
    3. BanPorn on

      Its pretty sick the statistics.
      It’s not right this filth is legal.

      We should NOT have to “protect” ourselves and our families from this perverse, twisted, abnormal, twisted, filth. Magazines carelessly tossed out in garbage cans for little children to find, a 5 year old being subjected to explicit, abnormal images…close ups of threesomes, large dildos in rectums, dolled up women who resemble made up teen plastic untealistic bodies, abnormal and traumatizing images viewed by children due to perverted, irresponsible, brainwashed, self centered adults who are careless and see nothing wrong with this twisted stuff.

      it starts then. men think its cool or funny their little 5 year old finds porn.
      The internet – worst, most irresponsible, twisted thing to have pirn all over the place like this.

      SOCIETY IS RUINED! WOMEN are treated as nothing more than things to fuc* and to provide housekeeping and maid service. no respect. PORN NEEDS TO BE BANNED IMMEDIATELY!
      IT IS far more problenatic than anyone can imagine.

      Reply
      • Richard on

        I 100% agree !!!! It IS EVIL !!! It IS FILTH !!! It ruins relationships!! It ruins minds !!! It can dirty up one’s soul !!!

    4. Ariel on

      I still don’t understand why they feel such a strong desire to do this. My husband and I have only been married 9 months. I would never turn him away. It had been awhile since we had been together and I wanted him as well as to please him. So we he came home from work and got into the shower I waited a min and came in to surprise him. Well we were both surprised. I knew what he was doing and he knew that I knew as well. Of course this makes me feel insecure I am 15 weeks pregnant and I want to be the one pleasing him. He says he’s still attracted to me and that it’s just stupidity. I’ve heard of men being uncomfortable with sleeping with a pregnant woman but this is my husband and I want to believe him. I don’t believe it’s okay to lust over other women. It feels like he cheated on me. Also I heard when a man does it they just need to release pressure. But then why not call me into the bathroom with you. It just doesn’t make sense. I keep coming back to this place in my mind that tells me he’s just not that into right now. Any input would be appreciated. Thank you for reading.

      Reply
      • Chris McKenna on

        Hello, ok, so as a guy, I’m definitely not in tune with all of the emotional complexities of being a caring wife who catches her husband masturbating and carries the insecurities that might come with also being pregnant (sounds like for the first time?). So, with all of that as context and “I’ll do my best,” here we go. It is possible for him to be masturbating simply to masturbate and not while fantasizing about other women. It’s an action that produces a desired result and it’s not always necessary to do anything more than touch and go (not think). This is a big difference between most male brains and most female brains, particularly when it comes to sex and sexual arousal. We (men) can sometimes see it strictly as a behavior. In my married experience, that’s almost never possible with my wife. There’s always a “thinking” or “feeling” that goes along with it.

        I believe that there are also some personal insecurities that you are dealing with by being pregnant. I also hear something very noble and loving in that you truly do want to be the source for his satisfaction and so when you found him looking for satisfaction somewhere else, it hurt in a place that you feel very strongly about.

        All of this to say that I have great hope that through a good, honest dose of talking, that both of you can share and resolve this. For him, he needs to really fess up to the masturbation. Is this something he does often? If so, when? If so, what is he thinking about? He needs to be really, really honest. Because, if he is attaching fantasies to the sexual release, and there’s a baby on the way (meaning life is going to get more complicated with less time for each other, e.g., intimacy might go right out the door for a season!), then, he will find himself on a very slippery path. A path that includes porn and a neurological attachment to arousal from pixels instead of from you. I’ve been there.

        I’ve left you a lot to consider! I hope it’s helpful. I admire your desire to honor your husband and figure this out. I wish you all the best!
        Chris

      • Latasha on

        He is being selfish its nothing g with you they never change they only get better at hiding I’m leaving g my hisband of 7 years now I caught him 3 more this ago checked his phone e again found more clue days ago I’m gone have 3 kids you should get out now and remember for the next relationships to demand they dont watch

    5. Ara on

      There are tons of men who don’t look at porn because they are actually sexually satisfied, and are even repulsed by the clownish synthetic enhancements of porn models’ bodies. In my own experience I’ve never been in a serious relationship in which he wasn’t sexually pleased with me enough to resort to porn…possibly because I feel like I have to compete with women depicted in porn anyway just due to how sex and the idea of sexiness is portrayed in society.

      Reply
      • Kayla Wilkins on

        Ariel.. They are addicted

      • Kayla Wilkins on

        Most cases it has nothing to do with “sexual satisfaction” for the person who’s partner is addicted to porn. You can’t compete. Giving them all the wild sex or withholding sex won’t work. Their tiny blown up sin has to be brought on the light by them. They have to want to change. Pray for them. Have compassion. It’s similar to me to the lies we’ve been told as women about how we should be perfect be nice be beautiful… Men have a hard time being intimate. Porn is a cheap way to a false amd temporary intimacy with no strings attached.

    6. Kathi Bischoff on

      Well said. It is the biggest evil in the world and people just seem to accept it. It’s time for women to scream out “Enough!”

      Reply
      • Kayla Wilkins on

        It’s time for men to cry out help! They don’t need to be shamed. Our insecurities are really no different. We give the beast power when it wrecks our world. Pray sisters. Be loving. It is a big deal. It’s the biggest deal for those in the throes of the addiction. Its the biggest deal to the ten year old boy who finds porn then becomes addicted then marries a virgin

        Maybe that’s your story
        Sad, yes. But not the end

      • Craig on

        I appreciate the honesty some are bringing to this discussion. Something I am curious about is why men are turning to porn in the first place? In relationships when there is frequent physical connection and sex is happening on a regular basis, why would porn be needed? If women remove sex from a mans life, for whatever reason, it becomes that much easier for the enemy to slither in and temp us with porn. It becomes an easy fix to very strong desires that are not being met with our partners.

        The better problem to solve is why are women withholding sex? This is something that will require change from me, so definitely not one sided. Men, are you making yourself emotionally available? Are you speaking her specific love language on the regular? Are you making her feel she is worth fighting for? Are you protecting her? These are things I think about where I have fell short in the business of life. I’d imagine there is SOMETHING you are not doing to fully satisfy her in how SHE needs it. I am falling short too.

        But, it is a two way street. Ladies, you have to understand we are wired differently and sexual desires rage within us. At least for me, I want those expressed with my wife not porn! If your man is a good man, a faithful man, provides and protects, you need to look on the mirror and ask yourself why you are withholding sex. Women control sex, whether it happens or not. Men require sex at least once a week, possibly more.

        Sex was meant to be the ultimate celebration for marriage to become “one”. Both men…AND women are to blame on not doing their part.

    7. Richard on

      I’ve got ZERO good to say about it. I’ve done it every so often. I’ve been given countless chances by My wife to stop the B.S. God knows in all truthfulness, I’ve got NO REASON Or RIGHT to bring such FILTH and EVIL into our CHRISTian HOME, and THAT’S EXACTLY what I’ve done. AGAIN. I’ve hurt the KINDEST, MOST CARING , FORGIVING, woman that walks this earth. And she’s BEAUTIFUL in My eyes, And I’m sure in some others eyes as well. And Ive probably lost her this time😔. I DESERVE to.

      Reply
      • Kayla Wilkins on

        Its an addiction! Bring it to the light. Learn to let your walls down and not only sexually

    8. Deborah on

      I am divorced in part because of my husband’s porn addiction. (He also had strong narcissistic traits. ) He said it was not that bad! People think I am beautiful. But I think I am ugly now. I would like to get married again someday but I doubt I will find a good man who does not watch porn. So now I live with terrible fear that I will never get remarried. The trauma was so unbearable that I could not go through that again. I have a very strong sex drive myself. So ,I must exercise self-control. And I do. Lusting after someone is so harmful for all! I feel very alone and extremely sad. I have so much to give to a heathy relationship. I pray that God would allow my path to cross a man who knows how to be faithful and enjoy it.

      Reply
      • Stephanie on

        I am going through the exact same thing right now except we weren’t married but we were taking steps I that direction. I’m struggling with all of the thoughts your struggling with as well and I understand how damaging it is. It has truly been such a traumatic experience for myself also. Be kind to yourself. I’m learning to do the same ❤️

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