Pornography Use in Adult Mixed-Sex Romantic Relationships: Context and Correlates

  • Marie-Pier Vaillancourt-MorelEmail author
  • Marie-Ève Daspe
  • Véronique Charbonneau-Lefebvre
  • Myriam Bosisio
  • Sophie Bergeron
Clinical Therapeutics (B McCarthy and R Segraves, Section Editors)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Clinical Therapeutics
  2. Topical Collection on Clinical Therapeutics


Purpose of Review

Pornography use is a common sexual activity for men and women engaged in a romantic relationship. The objective of this literature review was to highlight the current state of research on the associations between pornography use and relational and sexual well-being in mixed-sex couples, with a particular focus on the context of use.

Recent Findings

Overall, findings are mixed, and studies are plagued by methodological shortcomings precluding causal assertions. Nevertheless, research indicates that men’s pornography use is negatively associated with relational well-being and sexual satisfaction, whereas women’s use is unrelated to relational indicators and unrelated to, or positively associated with, sexual satisfaction. The context in which pornography is used (e.g., alone or with the partner) moderates these associations.


This review suggests that pornography use may be positively related, negatively related, or unrelated to couples’ well-being. The sex of the user and the context of use may in part explain this variability in correlates of pornography use.


Pornography Romantic relationship Context of use Sexual well-being Relationship well-being 



This work was supported by a postdoctoral fellowship from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) awarded to Marie-Pier Vaillancourt-Morel.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

Human and Animal Rights

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marie-Pier Vaillancourt-Morel
    • 1
    Email author
  • Marie-Ève Daspe
    • 1
  • Véronique Charbonneau-Lefebvre
    • 1
  • Myriam Bosisio
    • 1
  • Sophie Bergeron
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversité de MontréalMontréalCanada

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