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Engaging in kinky sex acts in real life is associated with greater sexual satisfaction — but watching rough or taboo porn seems to have the opposite effect.

A recent study published in The Journal of Sex Research has found an association between porn depicting rough sex, lower levels of sexual satisfaction, and higher incidences of sexual dysfunction.

While doing a larger longitudinal study, author Marie-Chloé Nolin and her colleagues at the Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières polled more than 800 young people between the ages of 17 and 30 about the specifics of their porn habits because, as the PhD student suggests, prior research did not seek to differentiate between genre when it drew its often negative conclusions about porn.

"Pornography use is often blamed in popular media to explain sexual dissatisfactions and sexual dysfunctions," Nolin told PsyPost. "However, results related to the relationship between pornography use and sexuality are mixed."

The 827 respondents were asked a battery of questions relating to the frequency and type of porn they watched, sexual function and satisfaction, their socioeconomic demographics, and how often they masturbated.

The survey found that in particular, cisgender men who watched porn depicting "rough sex" acts, including "dominance, aggression, and sometimes non-consensual acts," had lower levels of sexual satisfaction and higher prevalence of issues with sexual function, including arousal, orgasm, and desire.

"These results could be explained by how using specific pornographic contents creates sexual expectations that can vary in their levels of realism or of how actually satisfying they can be when recreated with a partner," Nolin suggested.

Comparatively, the Quebecois researchers found that those who watched more romantic porn that showed couples engaging in consensual, mutual pleasure had higher sexual satisfaction and function.

While cis men were generally more likely to report watching the non-rough genres of porn, there was only a 10 percentage-point difference between cisgender men and women when it came to consumption of rough sex content. (Interestingly, women were significantly less likely than men to watch romantic porn.)

Moreover, the demographic defined as "gender-/sex-diverse individuals" were more than double as likely to watch rough porn as opposed to cis women.

Naturally, as with all studies of this nature, Nolin cautioned that consumers should not make any "causal inferences" from the findings.

"We do not know if people who use more power, control, and rough sex pornography are less sexually satisfied because of their pornography use," she said, "or if people who are less satisfied turn to this type of content to cope with their dissatisfaction."

More on sex: Scientists Just Found Something Dark About Men Who Want to Have Sex With Robots

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