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18 January 2012

Why many men like porn

So why do many men like watching porn or looking at porno magazines?

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Top TV  will not be broadcasting porn on its paychannel, the High Court has decided. Well, at least not without the permission of the Independent Communications Authority of SA (Icasa).

The issues surrounding porn are many:

  • Is porn harmful?
  • Is it degrading to women?
  • Why do so many men like watching porn?

Take a look at some of our users' questions on porn.

Former Health24 Sexologist Elna Mcintosh takes a look at the third one of these questions.

So why do many men like watching porn or looking at porno magazines?

I once asked a man about this and he said that most men who look at porno magazines or watch a movie every now and then do so because it's like a little slice of something they cannot have.

He drew a parallel between men looking at porn and men looking longingly at exotic or top-of-the-line cars and trucks. "You know you can't have it, but you still like looking and fantasising about it."

Porn interest stems from childhood
Another aspect of some men's interest in pornography stems from childhood - looking at girlie magazines is something boys are usually forbidden to do from the word go by their parents, teachers, and society in general.

"Men like to push the envelope," another close male friend said. "We looked at these things before we knew we had penises, but knew well enough we weren't supposed to be looking." That's where it starts for a lot of men, and they never seem to outgrow it.

Then, of course, there's the sexual arousal aspect of pornography. A lot of men (and women) are turned on by looking at nude pictures and sexually explicit movies.

This doesn't mean that's the only thing that turns them on, and it may not even be in the same way in which they are aroused by their partners. It's just one facet of a person's sexuality, as are fetishes and other fantasies. Perhaps you could think about exploring your own fantasy world (if you haven't already).

A good place to start might be with Nancy Friday's book, My Secret Garden.

Men don't want to offend their partners
Many men don't realise that their partners would be offended and hurt by their actions. Yet, many women wonder what the attraction is.

The answer lies somewhere in the middle - your husband's curiosity is probably just that, a curiosity, and not a reflection on how he feels about you. Your feelings are certainly valid and need to be respected. On the other hand, his feelings deserve respect, too. Maybe there's some way you could incorporate this pornography thing into your relationship; of course, only if that is something that you'd like to try.

- (Dr Elna McIntosh, former Health24 sexologist)

Ask the current Sexologist a question.

 
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