Women may turn to fiction but 76 percent of men surveyed said they had watched pornography online compared with 36 percent of the opposite sex. Photo: ANDREW INGRAM

Research shows that men who look at porn are making their partners miserable.

A study found that when their partners turned to X-rated films for pleasure it had a corrosive effect on a woman’s self-confidence.

Women’s sex lives were also damaged if their partners preferred virtual ways of arousing themselves instead of sleeping with them.

Destin Stewart, a clinical psychology intern at the University of Florida, looked at the problem after one of her patients explained she was having difficulty with her porn-addicted partner.

She asked 308 students aged 18 to 29 to complete online questionnaires about how often their partners viewed porn. They were also asked about how sexually satisfied they were, how much self-esteem they had and how they rated the quality of their relationships. All the women were heterosexual.

The results showed a strong statistical link between men viewing porn and women becoming unhappy.

When a women thought that her partner was a heavy porn user or a porn addict, it also had a negative impact on her self-esteem and general sexual satisfaction.

Stewart said that the key to solving the issue was to get couples to talk frankly about what they wanted, even though it could be tough.

She said: “It's just about trying to do some education about what is realistic and unrealistic, and trying to get couples to be honest about what their wants and needs and desires are.” – Daily Mail