While I am not completely convinced that pornography affects a man's ability to get aroused for real sex (though I suspect this is true), it has potential to do something far worse: pornography can become a substitute for real sex. Especially as video quality and accessibility continue to increase, pornography is enhancing the experience of masturbation more and more, making it increasingly possible that a man will retreat to a world of pornography-aided auto-eroticism and cease fucking his wife or girlfriend entirely. I know of at least one instance of this happening and leading to divorce. I have seen signs of it elsewhere, and given the power of the male sex drive, it makes intuitive sense. Of course, no man desires this situation; but faced with a boring sex life, or a partner that has let herself go, or some other "push" factor, a man is increasingly prone to resign himself to a life of jerking off to an endless stream of high-definition internet whores.
While the higher quality of pornography contributes to this phenomenon, it is the accessibility and safety that makes it so prevalent, and dangerous to relationships. Pornography doesn't qualify as cheating (by most definitions of the term), so it is easily justified or excused in most men's minds. More importantly, it can be accessed anonymously, used almost instantly, and covered up completely with a few clicks of the mouse. And now with high-definition video on phones, it is also portable. The sheer volume and variety of free internet pornography is so large that even the horniest man with all the time in the world would have difficulty exhausting the supply. And anyway, by the time this happens (we are talking years or decades, if it happens at all), there is likely to be some new form of pornography or auto-eroticism available to serve as an outlet for his sexual energy.
In a sense, the high availability of pornography could be painted in a good light, since it probably reduces the number of men hiring prostitutes or having affairs. After all, why take that kind of chance when you can just go on the internet for something almost as good and a hell of a lot less risky? But whether your man is knocking one out to a video on his phone in the bathroom at work, or fucking your son's 3rd grade teacher, he still isn't getting it at home anymore, so what can be done?
The obvious ways of preventing this situation are important and should be used: stay in shape for your man, surprise him with new moves in bed, communicate in the relationship, etc. But all of these take huge efforts if the predisposing conditions do not exist. A woman will not try new moves in bed, for example, if she is not comfortable with them. With this in mind, I think the largest efforts towards avoiding or diminishing the effects of pornography need to be made before or at the earliest stages of a relationship:
- Choose a man with whom you are sexually compatible. This does not just mean a man that you bend over for and let do whatever he wants to you - unless that is what you enjoy. Choose a guy that you feel comfortable with in bed. You shouldn't feel awkward doing the things he asks after the first couple times you try them.
- Choose a man that acknowledges the effects of pornography. Some people will find this topic awkward to discuss, but the earlier in a relationship you bring it up, the easier it will be. The conversation can be no more than a few casual comments, but a girl should make sure she has a clear picture of her partner's opinion on the matter, and his opinion should be that porn is bad for a sexual relationship. Because it is, at least in excess, and any honest guy knows this.
- Choose a man that takes concrete actions to improve himself. A guy that works out regularly, or manages a strict diet, or makes efforts to read difficult books, etc. will be far more likely to break or resist developing a pornography habit.
- Make sure you and your partner are having pig sex, at least occasionally. Pig sex is unemotional fucking: dirty, sweaty, pleasure-only sex. It is a sign of a healthy sex life, and a healthy attitude towards sex in general. It should happen naturally if you get number one on this list right. If sex is too contingent on an emotional connection, you won't be able to have it, or at least enjoy it, after the initial "magic" dies, which happens in every relationship not conjured up by Hollywood.