The Surprising Effect Porn Has On Relationships

It isn't divorce

The widely accepted truth is that internet porn has a deleterious effect on relationships and contributes to a break down in trust and desire. But evidence suggests that it does not solely have a negative impact on our health and sex lives and a recent study has shown it may actually have a positive effect on how much we love and are attracted to our partners.

Rhonda Balzarini, a PhD student at the University of Western Ontario carried out three trials where married or cohabiting couples who had been in a relationship for an average of nine years where asked to look at naked magazine images of the other sex.

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Couples were also asked to look at abstract art and clothed photographs of the opposite sex and found no recordable difference in how much men or women loved their partners after looking at the images. This was measured by two separate questionnaires after viewing the images, one "regarding how they rate their relationship' and one 'assessing their love'. "We found no effect of exposure to erotica on ratings of partner's attractiveness" the study reported, "and this was true for both men and women."

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Whilst this is far from full proof and "assessing love" sounds suspiciously vague, it is good to have a study in your ammo in case your search history is discovered.

Interestingly whilst for both sexes rated the clothed images of the other gender more highly than nude images, men rated the nude photographs higher than abstract art whilst women rated the art more highly. The study also noted that the longer men had been in a relationship the more pleasing they found the naked images, one of the less surprising findings perhaps.

Whilst this doesn't account for the effect your wife finding hardcore BDSM footage on your laptop might have on your relationship, it is is reassuring that appreciating the form of another doesn't spell the end of the world.