The effect of pornography on sexual response is understudied, particularly among women. A multinational, community-based sample of 2433 women at least 18 years of age completed a 42-item, opt-in questionnaire collecting information on demographic and sexual history characteristics, use of pornography during masturbation, frequency of pornography use, and sexual response parameters. Pornography use and average frequency were compared across demographic variables. We also examined how pornography frequency predicted differences in self-reported arousal difficulty; orgasmic difficulty, latency, and pleasure; and the percent of sexual activities ending in orgasm during both masturbation and partnered sex. On average, women using pornography were younger, and reported more interest in sex. Pornography frequency differed significantly by menopausal status, sexual orientation, anxiety/depression status, number of sexual partners, and origin of data collection. During masturbation, more frequent pornography use predicted lower arousal difficulty and orgasmic difficulty, greater pleasure, and a higher percentage of masturbatory events leading to orgasm. Frequency of pornography use predicted only lower arousal difficulty and longer orgasmic latencies during partnered sex, having no effect on the other outcome variables. Pornography use frequency did not predict overall relationship satisfaction or sexual relationship satisfaction. Overall, more frequent pornography use was generally associated with more favorable sexual response outcomes during masturbation, while not affecting most partnered sex parameters. Several demographic and relationship covariates appear to more consistently and strongly predict orgasmic problems during partnered sexual activity than pornography use.
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