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 arouse prior to sexual activity with a partner. People have different opinions about pornography and its accessibility and it can be a contentious topic. Pornography can be used as part of a healthy relationship with consenting adults to aid stimulation.
However, some pornography is considered ‘extreme’ and depicts sexual activities that are not considered mainstream. These may include depictions of violence and assault. Some people may become desensitised to what they view and will put themselves in a situation where they require more extreme images to become aroused. Habitual pornography use increases your risk of becoming desensitised and can make maintaining normal sexual arousal with a partner difficult. This can negatively impact relationships. People often do not want to engage in the sort of activities depicted in pornographic content.
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. Once the person is able to realise they have an addiction they can then obtain help from professionals to assist with managing the addiction. Linked below are some useful services and information sources.
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. It is important that if you use toys while viewing pornography that they are cleaned after use.