22 July 2020
By Renee Yam
Intimacy is not merely created by the sexual chemistry or the sexual energy between you two. Intimacy in your relationship is intentionally cultivated. Its built when two people are present, "invested in" to the moment, and each other.
But one thing that can rob your intimacy as a couple is pornography.
Pornography is accessible, anonymous, and everywhere—websites, online chat rooms, sexually-explicit television shows, explicit games and erotic literature, amateur videos with real couples involved in sexual activities. Defined as ‘sexually explicit media intended to sexually excite and arouse the audience. This includes images of nudity, semi-nudity, implied and actual sexual activity.’ The goal of pornography is to engage the viewer in a sexual relationship.
Although most people have been exposed to pornography at some stage in their lives, we need to understand its influence on framing how we understand sex.
Pornography creates unhealthy beliefs, gives inaccurate depictions of the type of sex people enjoy, and misrepresents how partners like to be treated in sex. It displays pleasurable sex as hard, fast, and intense, women experiencing orgasm instantly, simultaneously and are always ready and turned on by every sexual act! These messages are false and unrealistic.
What pornography fails to do is model communication, compassion, vulnerability, patience, and of course, intimacy.
Even if we no longer view pornography, it influences our views, beliefs, and sex expectations. We need to be careful that we don’t bring these unhealthy mindsets into our intimate relationship with our spouse.
Pornography is an intimacy stealer.
God designed sex, intimacy, and relationship to go together.
Pornography use is something that couples often hide from partners or don’t talk about when dating, engaged, or married. It can be a solo struggle and one that we can hope getting married or having sex will solve. But often the problem doesn’t go away and continues to be a problem many years into marriage.
As difficult as it may be, be open with your partner. It is scary to tell them something that you worry may hurt them, but being transparent builds trust. Honesty builds respect. And trust and respect are core values that make a healthy relationship.
 M Flood, ‘Youth, Sex, and the Internet,’ Counselling, Psychotherapy, and Health, Vol. 5 No. 1, 2009, pp.131-147.
Photo by John Schnobrich on Unsplash