520 – Clear Thinking about Pornography

Deciding When It’s Really the Issue
Marty Klein

Pornography use is a complex topic about which almost everyone has opinions. While many people fear and misunderstand porn, it’s important for therapists and clients alike to know the facts about its actual content, how it’s made, why people use it, and what the typical effects of its use are. When does porn use undermine genuine intimacy, and when is it part of healthy sexual expression? In this workshop, you’ll explore:

  • How to assess when porn is a problem (and when it’s not) and how to avoid therapeutic traps, such as getting too involved in the content of the porn, overlooking people’s feelings about masturbation, or assuming that porn preferences reflect actual desires
  • Why “porn addiction” is not a helpful diagnosis and how to apply a model that’s more clinically effective
  • The relationship deficits and conflicts—such as desire discrepancies, unresolved infidelity, and emotional isolation—that couples avoid by making porn the issue


Marty Klein, PhD, has been an MFT and certified sex therapist for 34 years. A founding editorial board member of the Journal of Porn Studies, his new book is His Porn, Her Pain: Confronting America’s PornPanic With Honest Talk About Sex. He’s also a state, federal, and international forensic expert in this subject.

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