Does porn make you cheat?
Researchers say don’t let your habit get out of hand.
Watching porn may increase your urge to fool around, according to a new study in "Social, Psychological and Personality Science."
Researchers found that the more a guy looked at smut, the more likely he was to stray from his partner. That fits in line with previous research that shows men who cheat are more than three times as likely to watch porn regularly.
What’s the kink link? Porn offers men access to no-strings-attached sex, often with multiple highly attractive partners, said study co-author A. Marlea Gwinn, of the University of Central Florida. And even though you recognize it’s all make-believe, those erotic images reinforce the idea that there are many willing and attractive alternatives to your current squeeze, Gwinn said.
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Dirty images also focus your mind on reproduction, and your instinct to reproduce values multiple sex partners over a loving, steady relationship, Gwinn adds.
Now, the science on porn is controversial and ever-evolving. (Check out our 2012 report, “Is Porn Harmful?” for the breakdown.)
But if you feel as though you’re spending more time on PornHub than usual, it’s time to cut back, said Rob Weiss, a certified sex addiction therapist and the director of sex and intimacy disorder services for Elements Behavioral Health.
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First, set a goal. Try to go two weeks without porn, Weiss recommends. Before you start, write down three reasons why you want to scale back, and tape these where you’ll see them often — like the back of your phone or by your computer.
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After the two weeks are up, set specific targets for your habit, whether that’s once a week or once a month, Weiss says. If you find yourself struggling to stay with it, he recommends computer tracking software from companies like Spytech ($70, spytech-web.com), which can block certain sites or even notify one of your buddies if you break down.
Photo: Does porn make you more likely to cheat? / Nicolas Hansen/Getty Images
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