Pornography and Heterosexual Women’s Intimate Experiences with a Partner


Johnson, Jennifer A.; Ezzell, Matthew B.; Bridges, Ana J.; and Sun, Chyng F.


2019 in Journal of Women's Health

  • This study found that women who more frequently consume pornography are more likely to rely on pornographic images or scripts to become aroused, and are more likely to conjure images of porn during sex, which in turn is associated with more insecurity about their appearance and less enjoyment of sex.
Background: Pornographic media characterized by discordant images of sexual pleasure and aggression are increasingly formulating young heterosexual women's sexual scripts. Yet there has been little work done on the downstream role of pornography consumption; how does pornography use relate to heterosexual women's thoughts and feelings during sexual experiences with a partner?

Methods: We surveyed 706 heterosexual women (18–29 years of age) in the United States, associating consumption of pornography with sexual
  • "Women with higher rates of viewing pornography were more likely to experience thoughts about pornography during sex with a partner, rely on those thoughts to obtain or maintain excitement, or report a preference for pornography over sex with a partner."
  • "Pornography use for women is associated with increased thoughts of pornography during sexual encounters, and pornography thoughts, but not pornography use in and of itself, is associated with increased appearance insecurity and decreased enjoyment of intimate acts during sex."
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