Use of pornography in a random sample of Norwegian heterosexual couples (2009)

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COMMENTS: Porn use was correlated with more sexual dysfunctions in the man and negative self perception in the female.The couples who did not use porn had no sexual dysfunctions.  A few excerpts from the study:

Regarding the use of online pornography, 36% of the men and 6% of the women reported use. A total of 62% of the couples reported no experience with online pornography. In 4% of the couples, both had watched pornography on the internet; in 32% of the couples, the man had watched pornography on the internet; and in 2% of the couples, the woman had done this.

In those couples where one partner used pornography there was a permissive erotic climate. At the same time, these couples seemed to have more dysfunctions. Perhaps pornography is used in these couple relationships to overcome or compensate for the problematic aspects. However, the opposite could be true as well; that the use of pornography is the source of their problems despite a liberal erotic climate.

The couples who did not use pornography were found to have a less permissive erotic climate within their relationships and may be considered more traditional in relation to the theory of sexual scripts. At the same time, they did not seem to have any dysfunctions.

Couples who both reported pornography use grouped to the positive pole on the ‘‘Erotic climate’’ function and somewhat to the negative pole on the ‘‘Dysfunctions’’ function. 


Arch Sex Behav. 2009 Oct;38(5):746-53. doi: 10.1007/s10508-008-9314-4.

Daneback K1, Traeen B, Månsson SA.


This study examined the use of pornography in couple relationships to enhance the sex-life. The study contained a representative sample of 398 heterosexual couples aged 22-67 years. Data collection was carried out by self-administered postal questionnaires. The majority (77%) of the couples did not report any kind of pornography use to enhance the sex-life. In 15% of the couples, both had used pornography; in 3% of the couples, only the female partner had used pornography; and, in 5% of the couples, only the male partner had used pornography for this purpose. Based on the results of a discriminant function analysis, it is suggested that couples where one or both used pornography had a more permissive erotic climate compared to the couples who did not use pornography. In couples where only one partner used pornography, we found more problems related to arousal (male) and negative (female) self-perception. These findings could be of importance for clinicians who work with couples.