Picture:
Picture:
iStock/Getty images

Porn is reportedly leading young men to develop severe health problems, yet you should also apparently consider watching porn on a first date.

No wonder we're all confused.

But a study from the Journal of Sexual Medicine may have cleared things up a little after identifying three types of porn viewer - only one of which it found to be healthy.

The researchers quizzed 830 participants, who were mixed in terms of relationship status, on their porn use.

Specifically, how compulsively they watched it, how much their need to watch porn disrupted daily life and their emotional reactions to watching porn, such as shame.

Participants were also asked about their sexual satisfaction and their tendency to avoid sex.

Recreational viewers

This is the only type of viewer that is deemed healthy: they are sexually satisfied, have a low sexual compulsivity and low sexual avoidance.

Making up 75.5 per cent of study participants, this kind of porn consumer watches 24 minutes of porn a week.

These viewers are typically women or people in relationships.

Sexually compulsive viewers

At 110 minutes a week on average, the compulsive profile spends the most time watching porn out of the three groups and were more likely to watch it alone.

Consisting of a larger proportion of men, this group had higher emotional distress associated with porn use, underwent more intense efforts to access porn and reported the highest level of compulsivity.

Distressed non-compulsive viewers

If you use porn to self-medicate or feel better, you might be a distressed viewer. 

The 12.7 per cent of participants who fall into this category had a lower sexual satisfaction, higher sexual compulsivity, and higher sexual avoidance.

On average, they spent 17 minutes watching porn a week, suggesting that the frequency of porn use is not the key to finding watching porn emotionally distressing and shameful. 

In conclusion, the researchers noted:

Recreational users reported more positive sexual outcomes than the two other groups, with highly distressed non-compulsive users reporting more sexual dysfunction and users with a compulsive profile being more generally sexually compulsive.

Women and dyadic users were more prevalent in the recreational profile, whereas men were over-represented in the compulsive profile and solitary users were over-represented in the highly distressed non-compulsive profile.

It might be worth taking the findings with pinch of salt though, as the sample was bias towards some groups: 70 per cent were women, 80 per cent were heterosexual and the average age was 25.

Keep reading...Show less
Please log in or register to upvote this article
The Conversation (0)