Intimacy and/or degradation: Heterosexual images of togetherness and women's embracement of pornography

Orly Benjamin, Dmitry Tlusten

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations

Abstract

Previous studies on women's experiences with sexually explicit material used by their long-term partners indicate that women's responses were complex. Neutrality and acceptance were the dominant responses even though some women continued to report negative emotions and experiences. This complexity has not yet been explored from the perspective of maintaining intimacy and the meanings of togetherness. On the basis of semi-structured interviews with 20 Israeli Jewish women, we identified a process in women who expect to have passionate and sexually active relationships. Apparently, embracing pornography and using it as a guiding resource for developing couples' sexuality is characteristic of women for whom togetherness implies the need to nurture mutual passion. We also examine how pornographic images of intimacy in heterosexual relationships can lead to the development of alienated and hierarchical sexuality in the lives of married women who feel entitled to fulfill their sexuality.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)599-623
Number of pages25
JournalSexualities
Volume13
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2010

Keywords

  • heterosexual relationships
  • intimacy
  • passion
  • pornography
  • sexuality

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