News

Couples who watch porn together, stay together, says new study

According to a recent article published in Frontiers in Psychology, heterosexual couples who watch porn together have stronger relationships and better sex lives.

Can we have a round of applause for the researchers working to make love even… lovelier? According to new research, mutually viewing porn was found to be an indicating factor in stronger hetero relationships.

Academic Taylor Kohut of the University of Louvain and Western University in Belgium and Canada respectively, was inspired to research the issue to provide a broader, less-biased view of pornography on relationships.

Couple watch porn
Photo: Don Mason/Getty Images

“[It’s] the culmination of several lines of thinking that my colleagues and I have been developing over the years,” Kohut said when speaking to PsyPost.

“The first concerns … how much can we really learn if we don’t collect data from both relationship partners? While the number of dyadic studies is not zero, and may even be increasing, most research that is published continues to collect data from only one person in the relationship.”

“Another issue that played a role in shaping this paper is the general academic obsession with framing pornography use as a causal agent of harm in correlational research.”

“[While pornography may be harmful to relationships] our narrow-minded focus on that specific mechanism of action is so limiting and it has prevented us from considering some interesting alternative explanations for correlations between pornography use and poor relationship quality.”

The study involved collating three sets of data procured by “three independent laboratories”. Together, it represented 761 heterosexual couples.

It looked at the situation from a variety of angles, such as people’s usage of porn on their own, or their “gender and attitudes toward porn and sexuality”.

The data was analysed and showed that couples who watch pornography together have a stronger relationship and a more satisfying sex life compared to couples who don’t. Why? Because porn has the potential to improve “sexual communication” between both parties.

At the same time, it also proved a commonly held belief – that couples who watch pornography separately have a lower quality relationship, especially if one party has a negative view of porn, or they don’t watch it at all.

“[W]e found consistent evidence indicating that the well-established negative association between pornography and sexual satisfaction was limited to cases where partners were very dissimilar in their solitary pornography use,” the article reads.

At the same time, the researchers also acknowledged that one study did have evidence to suggest that this may not be the case, so long as both parties watch and enjoy porn separately.

Couple watching porn
Photo: fightthenewdrug.org

While Kohut stands by the results of his research, he also stated that more studies need to be conducted to provide a clearer view.

“We should, for example, test the proposition that the associations we uncovered reflect causal paths (which I personally doubt) by assigning couples homework in which porn users desist from solitary use, non-users increase their solitary use, or both partners experiment with shared pornography use, all of which should improve relationship quality if there are causal links.”

The researcher also said that a similar study should be done with same-sex couples.

Read the full research article via Frontiers in Psychology.