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Pornography includes videos, images or written content involving graphic sexual activity and is usually used to sexually arouse the person viewing it. It is widely available online but can include photos, films, magazines and comics.

How is pornography used?

People use pornography either to aid masturbation or to stimulate and excite before having sex with a partner. People have different opinions about pornography and it can be a controversial topic. Pornography can be used as part of a healthy relationship with consenting adults to help stimulation before or during sex if both people are happy to do this.

However, some pornography is considered ‘extreme’ and shows sexual activities that are not considered mainstream. These may include showing violence and harm. Some people may become desensitised to what they view and will put themselves in a situation where they need more extreme images to become aroused. Regular pornography use increases your risk of becoming desensitised and can make normal sexual arousal with a partner difficult. This can negatively impact relationships.  People often do not want to engage in the sort of activities shown in porn.

Porn addiction

Viewing pornography alone is not an STI risk. However, if you have sexual contact with a partner while using pornography then there may be a risk of contracting an STI.

Some people can become addicted to pornography. An addiction is the compulsive need to engage in an activity to obtain a particular feeling or sensation.

If a person realises they have an addiction they can then get help from professionals to assist with managing this. Linked below are some useful services and information sources.

Further information on addiction to pornography – Sex Addicts Anonymous

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