The fantasy alternative leads to real-world cheating:
In another study, Andrea Mariea Gwinn, Nathaniel Lambert, and others further explored the nature of the other alternatives imaginatively offered up by pornography. They suggested two possibilities: First, that seeing physically attractive and sexually available partners on screen may heighten a person’s perceptions of his own possible partners. And second, that porn may make the idea of multiple sexual partners more appealing—another wound to a committed relationship.
And that’s exactly what they found.
In one study, the researchers found that people who thought about porn they’d watched reported having better alternatives to their current relationship than those who didn’t. A second study showed that, over time, exposure to porn was a robust predictor of infidelity.
More strikingly, the team found that both thinking about possible partners and acting on the impulse to find those alternatives operated separately from dissatisfaction with one’s current relationship and partner. In other words, even though one’s own pasture may be plenty green enough, just the thought of a greener one can be enough to send one roving.
You might want to keep that in mind if you’ve been watching the hard stuff or if you’ve become inured to seeing your partner just flip open his laptop “just for fun.”
Pornography is not as benign as you think, especially when it comes to romantic relationships.