Pornography and its consumption is as real and commonplace in Nigeria as the sun shining bright and hot as these words are being threaded together.
There's no point still trying to live in denial. We can all cut the crap now. According to Google stats, in 2014, the popularity of Nigerian searches for pornography, as compared to other searches, on a scale of 0 to 100 was above 80.
In December 2016, Pornhub, the site with possibly the vastest collection of xxx videos, released their annual statistics and it showed that Nigeria leads in Africa for consumption of pornography on mobile. And even though South Africa has now wrested that crown from us, the point remains that we consume porn way more than anyone in this pious society would like to admit.
Hey, even our own dedicated sex page, Hot Pulse still gets a whole lot of views daily. These are facts and they prove that people from different age grades and walks of life love to view adult content. Single men and women, people in relationships watch, married people... the behaviour spreads across them all.
While single people could have some sort of 'free pass' to enjoy these things despite all the religious and moral prohibitions placed on it, things are a little more complicated for those in relationships and marriages.
Enter, Kevin Hart
The American comedian was recently a guest on Jimmy Kimmel's late night show where he opened up about his wife, Eniko's porn habits. At first surprised that she watched at all, he was double shook when he discovered that her preferences actually look nothing like him.
“That was a tough time for me,” he joked when explaining to Jimmy Kimmel. “That was a tough time, that was a tough situation in my household. We were just having a conversation.
"It was a random conversation, and through the random conversation I was like, ‘Do you watch porn?’ She was like, ‘Yeah, I watch porn from time to time.’ I was like, ‘Get out of here! Really? Like what? What you watch?’ She was like, ‘Porn. Stuff.'”
“‘Let me see, let me see the stuff you watch. Let me see what your stuff is,'” he continued.
“And the shit that she showed me…it really hurt me. It did a number. It did a hell of a number on me because it’s so different from what I am. It was so…everything was big. Everything. Everything. Tall, everybody was tall. I got mad! ‘What is this? What is this?!’ She was like, ‘What? I like that stuff?’ [Laughs]”
Popular reactions to porn
Kevin is, of course, not alone. There are only few people who have no qualms with their partner viewing pornographic content. There are so many who are flat out against the idea.
And this is not without reason.
According to Psychology Today, porn has a way of making people objectify their partners. It creates unrealistic expectations and ideas in their minds.
In his comedy special on Netflix, "Irresponsible," Kevin spoke of an awkward moment that happened after he found out that his wife watches porn. During sex, he tried to do one of the things he found on the adult content his wife likes.
“Out of nowhere I spit on my wife,” he said in "Irresponsible."
“It was quick. Right in her f–king forehead. A loogie right on her godd-–n forehead. There was an awkward beat of silence. Nobody said nothing. It was quiet. Out of nowhere she was like, ‘You just f–-king spit on me!’ The complete opposite reaction from the lady in the porn. The lady in the porn went crazy when it happened… I had to go downstairs and get a baby wipe, clean her head off. That was embarrassing.”
Right there, is one of the problems porn could create in a couple's sex life, and their relationship in general.
Everyone who has watched at least 10 minutes of a porn flick knows how exaggerated the actions are. From the loud moans, well sculpted physiques of the actors, to the time spent on each round of sex. Getting too stuck up in that world surely has an effect on one's relationship, especially if you are hoping to replicate those things in your sex life with your partner.
And even though it is usually said that not every addiction is a bad thing, surely that can't be in reference to pornography, especially when you have a partner you are meant to be exclusive with.
And more worryingly, it could become an addiction.
More opinions associated with pornography in relationships
Viewing sexually-explicit content while in a relationship is viewed as so bad that many people have placed it on the same pedestal of 'badness' as literally sleeping with other people. And it is hard to imagine this behaviour ending anywhere else than in an amicable breakup at best.
In other, more likely circumstances, you could be called out on social media as a f***boy on top of losing your partner in an ugly, embarrassing breakup.
It is obvious that public opinion is against porn and its consumption especially by people in relationships, but there is evidence that it still has a place in some relationships. Some married partners enjoy pornographic materials individually and even together regardless of the apparent disadvantages.
We may never truly understand why, but one logical explanation for this is the inherent differences in human behaviour. One man's meat is another's poison and as they say, different strokes for different folks.
In an article published on Women's Health Magazine [Online] in 2014, it is said that viewing porn as a couple could be advantageous as it could lead to a better sexual experience between partners.
It could inspire you to be more vocal in bed about your needs, and it could also help you discover your partner's sexual fantasies among other advantages.
Huffington Post has a similar 2013 article, explaining how viewing porn as a couple could help partners' sexual lives, and by extension, their relationship/marriages as a whole.
If partners enjoy watching porn, like explicit educative videos together, or if their sex improves directly as a result of this, would the effect of porn on that relationship be seen as negative?
In the end, the truth remains that everyone has the right to own their narrative, to shape and mould their relationships the way they deem fit.
Even in the larger picture, it has been rightly said that it is best to live your life on your own terms and to do what's best for you.
So, depending on who you are and the specifics of your relationship, the effects of pornography on it could either be good or bad.