Pornography viewing has increased in recent years. This we know. Increased internet access has directly increased pornography access. But how much is the world really watching? The proof is in the numbers…..numbers that the popular site Porn Hub has just released. Their statistics for 2016 reveal that over 91 billion videos have been viewed in 2016, with 23 billion visits to Porn Hub alone. Breaking the numbers down even further show 64 million visits per day, 2.6 million per hour, and 44,000 per minute world-wide. Not surprising, is the fact that the United States holds the largest viewership by a large margin. If you would like to see more of the numbers, Porn Hub offers other details such as popular searches in their year in review article found here http://www.pornhub.com/insights/2016-year-in-review.
So what do these numbers mean? Well, for one they demonstrate that pornography is part of many households in our country. Responsible porn viewing is a real thing, that many people are capable of enjoying. However, there are many others for whom pornography use causes problems individually or within their relationships. Some people are spending too much time watching porn instead of interacting with other people, or choosing to be sexually intimate with their partners. Others are logging an extreme amount of time with porn that may prevent them from fulfilling other responsibilities or even getting to work. Watching porn at work or on company devices can also problematic, possibly resulting in job loss.
What I see in my practice is that porn is most often problematic for the relationship. Often there is a feeling of betrayal that exists when one discovers the partner’s use. Many times, clients come in feeling concerned with the type of porn that their partners are watching, wondering what it means about them, their sexuality and the relationship. Pornography can also be a trigger to someone who has suffered sexual trauma. Couple therapy where porn use is an issue is often centered on answering these questions, or making meaning of how pornography has affected the relationship. Coming to terms with what role porn will or will not play is also usually discussed in my room as part of the therapy process. Effective solutions are often discovered when couples are willing to look at the underlying issues surrounding problematic pornography use.