Into the Arms of My Lover…..Sweet, Sweet Porn

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About Dan Griffin

Dan Griffin, M.A., has worked in the mental health and addictions field for over sixteen years. He lives in Minnesota with his beautiful wife and two-year old daughter and has been in recovery for 17 years. He wrote A Man’s Way Through the Twelve Steps (Hazelden) and co-authored Helping Men Recover. Do you want to read more of Dan’s writing and learn more about his work? You can go to: www.dangriffin.com.

Comments

  1. Terence Manuel says:

    “If we, men, could be honest with each other the kinds of conversations described above would be happening every day all over the world. But it seems hard for men to talk openly and honestly about sex without the bravado and the sixth-grade humor.”

    And women can? You must be nuts! Seriously! How often do you read of women complaining about being unable to speak up about what they want in bed? A lot. There are so many non-orgasmic women because they just refuse to speak up. They think the man should read their minds!

    So we men get blamed for being unable to provide women with “good” sex. Often when men do try to be open and honest with their female partner about sex, we are dismissed. How er men feel about sex just does not matter with a lot of women, especially married women.

    As for porn I personally feel it is just wrong . But that is MY view. But, I can see why it is a growing business along with prostitution. We have overly complicated sex in America. It has caused a lot of men to become involuntarily celibate. America is one of the sexually repressed and sexually dysfunctional countries among all advanced industrialized nations of the world.

    T

  2. Copyleft says:

    You’ve sold me, Dan. Porn is definitely superior to relationships. I never saw anyone spell out the benefits and advantages so clearly before!

  3. Hi Terence – obviously the post hit a nerve with you. I didn’t write about women. I didn’t say how they do or do not talk about sex and frankly, I don’t care. It wasn’t the point. I am focused on men and men’s experiences. For whatever reason you read a lot into it that wasn’t there. Thanks for the comment, nonetheless.

  4. If we, men, could be honest with each other the kinds of conversations described above would be happening every day all over the world. But it seems hard for men to talk openly and honestly about sex without the bravado and the sixth-grade humor.
    Then let’s talk about why that bravado and sixth grade humor is there in the first place. As men we are raised to believe that its an essential part male sexuality. And its being reinforceded on nearly every side. I know I’m skating what is commonly known as Nice Guy territory but there is truth to guys who don’t buy into that stuff getting tossed to the side because they don’t buy into that stuff (but of course this gets lost in acting like when it comes to Nice Guys everything is their fault).

    But anyway probably one of the best things that could happen for guys to get out ot this behavior is to quit rewarding the guys that engage in it (while complaining how bad it is) and punishing the ones that don’t (while saying that they are the problem for no doing it).

  5. Is it common for men to have trouble asking for what they want sexually? because honestly, most men I’ve been with in my life have been quite assertive (in a good way) or in some cases pushy (in a bad way) about asking for what they want, whether it ‘s more frequent sex or more blow jobs or trying anal sex or asking me to do whatever particular thing turns them on. Feeling pressured to do things I don’t want has been an issue in some relationships, never the opposite, that I can think of.

    • From the other side says:

      I’m one of those pushy (I hope in a good way) guys and I’ve got to agree with you. I don’t think the asking is the problem, at least for some of us.

      I think this is the key point: “Porn is always there for you…” I mean, it’s easy, when you need easy.

      Most days, I’m going to be horny, whatever else may be going on in my relationship. Just like I’m going to be hungry, or thirsty, or need to deal with any other bodily functions. And if we had a big fight and I’m starving I’m not going to wade back into an argument and clear it up so I can go make myself a (literal) sandwich with a clear conscience. Because I don’t need to. Likewise with sex. My wife and I share some meals and we share some orgasms. She has no right to lay claim all of either of those. And obviously she has the same right to privacy when she wants it.

    • I think a lot of it has to with a woman’s overall receptiveness to sex and her attitude, her approach, and expression of her sexuality. It is much easier for a man to express his desires with a woman who is open and sexual, whereas some women who are more reserved may make a man feel afraid to open up for fear of offending or shocking their partner. And running the risk of putting her off, making her confidence even more non-existent, and making sex even less free from the burden of shame.

      • I agree Jon but for me, bottomline it is about communication and compromise. If it dos not work to sort through it on your own then a couples counselor. I think a lot of men use the difference ideas and/or sexual needs as an excuse to look at porn.

  6. So they have a fight and he uses a common stress reliever with the aid of porn, yeah….she might want to ask herself why he’s looking at it. The reality of why men or women look at porn is probably much better than what some of their partners assume, sometimes people just wanna look at sex and get off. Does she ever retreat into fantasy-mediums, romance novels or romantic movies, fantasizing about relationships with others?

    What’s with all the hostility towards porn on this site anyway, are good men those who refrain from porn?

    • If you read my post as anti-porn or hostile toward porn you projected onto it something that is not there or certainly not what I wanted to communicate. My point is that porn can become an easy substitute and avoidance – and even that is a person’s prerogative – but if you can’t have an open and honest conversation with your partner about it then it would be hard to say that does not hurt the relationship.

  7. Random_Stranger says:

    Is this really specific to porn though? Couldn’t golf, reading or staying late at the office also count -if indulged with the unspoken intent to separate one from his/her partner?

    I’m troubled with the focus on porn as uniquely culpable to the decline of relationships (and society at large as some might argue) as porn is a highly gendered indulgence. Vastly more men than women consume porn and with greatly frequency; it simply appeals to us in a way that accesses the hard wiring deep in the recesses of the id. When we talk about porn as a destructive force in society, in relationships or on a person’s psyche are we by extension commenting on masculinity as a destructive force? Are we shaming ourselves for being men? Are we really damaged goods?

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  8. You are so right – the secretiveness is the issue – not the porn itself. My husband and i are very open with his need to utilise porn. If I’m ‘out of action’ for whatever reason, and i am at home, he just says to me “Honey, I’m just going to TCB (Take Care of Business)” and i’m fine with that I don’t have an issue because i recognise that it is a conduit to a physical need (provided its on sanctioned websites that are virus free – boy was i unimpressed when his old porn sites required me to get a whole new computer!). If we argue, we sort it out and make up – he would never use porn as a substitute to our relationship. Its use is a simple releif tool when he needs it, and when I physically cannot participate. More than once, I’ve relented and helped out mid way, but having that honesty and him being able to be comfortable is more important than the simple fact that he may use porn.

    • Thanks Laura – yes, that is the thrust of my point. I am not anti-porn. Nor do I think porn is the only thing that can get in the way of relationship. I do believe that Kevin and many other men, including me at one point, do a great disservice to our relationships if we are not mature enough to talk about our use of porn with our partners.

  9. I do understand why some women hate porn and dislike it when their men admit to watching it and masturbating to it. In this situation, a man should not choose the path of least resistance, that is, saying he won’t watch it then hiding it later and lying about it hoping not to get caught, just to keep things smooth. Men should talk about it openly and if they intend to continue watching porn despite their partner’s objections, that should be made clear so that it doesn’t shift the focus of the issue from the porn over to the lying about it. If it truly is a dealbreaker then the relationship won’t work. It’s like when one person wants kids and the other doesn’t, you can’t just compromise that issue if you truly don’t want kids, like ever, and your partner definitely does want kids, at some point, maybe not now, but eventually. Soon enough that will resurface and one person will make a decision for the sake of “the relationship” that will make them deeply unhappy. Either you capitulate to your partners wishes to have kids and regret it, or you give up your dream of having kids and live forever feeling like you have some emptiness inside.
    The point is, be honest about what you want and don’t want and if you do something your partner doesn’t like, but are not willing to totally stop doing that, you need to stop lying about it and just admit that you will still watch porn, or drink, or smoke, or go the clubs with your friends. IF that person can’t deal with that, then that person is not right for you.

    • Copyleft says:

      That’s a sensible solution, but it will never work. It doesn’t feed into the “men shouldn’t want that” theme, which is the real point of the anti-porn crusaders.

      • A man who watches porn and does not want to enter into a relationship with a woman who is staunchly against it and wishes to forbid her partner to watch it, should be honest about what he wants and it doesn’t matter if she believes “men shouldn’t want that” . That man does want that, and he is free to watch it so he is free to choose not to be in a relationship with a woman who disagrees.
        People shouldn’t want to smoke cigarettes either but they do. If I am staunchly anti-smoking and I meet a woman who smokes, I won’t ask her to stop smoking or even expect her to, and she should not feel the need to stop because of me if she doesn’t want to herself.
        There can be various reasons why a woman hates porn and does not want her man to watch it. That warrants further discussion to see if it is an issue that can be worked out. The problem is with lying about it just to avoid the discussion about it because it is potentially a deal breaker for the relationship. I guess I’m saying this is kind of like most “big ticket” items in relationships. Failure to deal with them simply to avoid a disagreement is self-destructive on it’s own, whether the issue at hand winds up being a deal breaker or not.

        • who knows? says:

          Is watching porn really a “big ticket item” in most relationships?

          • I would say not in most relationships. But in the cases where it is, when one person has a major problem with it, lying about it to avoid discussing it will only serve to kick the can down the road and eventually those issues around it will return, just more intense because he lied about it.

            • I think it is bigger than we think. A lot of men feel shame around it and it is a secret. Pull 100 men randomly into a room and make it safe enough for them to talk about their use or porn and the numbers would be high. I have no idea how high. I think it occurs on a continuum as well – for some it is watching porn and it is relatively harmless while for others it is a problem in their relationship/s while for still others it is a serious problem.

  10. Transhuman says:

    Porn is an easily available stimulation substitute for sex with a person; in that sense it is valuable. I believe there is opposition to porn because it is easily obtainable. Consider, when a partner withholds sex as a tactic during a dispute, porn nullifies the tactic. When a partner doesn’t want sex because of waning interest, porn provides an alternative. When a partner wants to use sex as a reward, porn nullifies the importance of the reward.

    Essentially, porn “devalues” sex with another person when sex is used by that person as a commodity. I believe there are direct parallels with opposition to legalised prostitution.

    • I don’t really think that’s it, Tanshuman…Although I’m pro-porn, I do have fears over it. My biggest fear, if a little irrational, is that my man would watch so much porn that he’s not be able to get an erection or orgasm from sex with me because a real woman wouldn’t be enough stimulation. That’s what terrifies me, not some weird commodity thing. At that point though, I’d feel more than justified for cheating or exiting the relationship. Regular sex and feeling desirable are extremely important to me in a relationship.

      The other part of it is the communication thing discussed above. If a man has porn, he might get lazy and not make his sexual needs known to me, which will lead to bitterness and a poor sex life. Or get so engrossed in one thing that I’ll never be able to provide it (for example, change my age, race, or be involved in an activity so violent that it makes me uncomfortable).

      I understand the need for variety, though. I have the same issue. A man can be a great sexual partner and quite attractive, but I will still find myself occasionally craving something a bit different, new, exciting.

      • ” If a man has porn, he might get lazy and not make his sexual needs known to me, which will lead to bitterness and a poor sex life. Or get so engrossed in one thing that I’ll never be able to provide it..”

        This is a reasonable concern and one that I have identified within myself. I have made an effort to scale back on my porn consumption because I began to notice changes in my arousal, in my sexual relationship with my wife, and it was because of exactly what you outline here. I had been focusing on porn, specific things that were very exciting and arousing to me, and I had let my sexual focus on my wife slide into a complacent routine that lacked passion. We both noticed and talked it out. I did not think porn was a problem, I still watch it from time to time, but I do it less and try to make more of an effort to involve my wife in my fantasies, my desires and engage her in the exploration of my sexuality. I had grown bitter because I felt there was something lacking in my sex life, and I attributed that to my wife, which was wrong. The absence of excitement was not her fault and the quality of our sex was not bad. I had just been overstimulated by porn and come expect something that doesn’t exist because it’s fantasy. I decided to take things into my own hands and make it better, and to talk to her about it.

      • Copyleft says:

        I wonder if it’s worth exploring the concept of porn an alternative sexuality all its own–”pornosexual,” perhaps. One who prefers images to physical contact.

        Because I know several guys who are emphatic about preferring porn over the hassle of relationships, and I’m hesitant to lazily label that some sort of sickness when it might simply be a preference.

        • wellokaythen says:

          Just label porn as a “sex toy” and it’s all good. Sex toys are presumed to be supplements to one’s sex life and symbols of independence and self-actualization. Furthermore, with sex toys a jealous partner is simply insecure to feel jealous of a little toy like that. To deny one’s partner the solo use of a sex toy is to be an insensitive sexual dictator. (Which is great if you consent to be dictated to, but bad if you don’t.)

        • This seems like a very reasonable thing that men (society?) could consider moving forward. With porn’s prevalence getting higher and higher, we may find that, frankly, there are more men who prefer a fantasy-style, non-real relationship to a real one. Lest this sound like a blanket admonishment of porn, it’s not. But if the porn is preferred over real sex (when there is a willing and sexual female/partner present) then really, that person has a very different sexual preference than what is the norm in a relationship.

          I used to feel morally righteous about this–like somehow, a man preferring the porn over a real relationship was “bad.” now I’m at the point where I just wish that this could be expressed openly, and accepted within our culture. People who prefer this style of sex should really not be getting married. I’m not judging them, but saying that maybe life for them is better as a single person.

          • “But if the porn is preferred over real sex (when there is a willing and sexual female/partner present) then really, that person has a very different sexual preference than what is the norm in a relationship.”

            There aren’t men who prefer porn to a woman. Actually it makes me kind of angry to hear this. It would be like telling a poor person that they are poor because they just like the lifestyle. There are men who can’t get women. In that case porn is their only alternative. I know many men who consume porn and even prostitutes. All of them want a girlfriend. Porn is a incredibly bad substitute. You can’t hug or kiss porn.

            And no man wants a fantasy relationship. I don’t know where this stuff comes from. Even the weird Japanese Otaku who have relationships with pillows only do it because they are so fed up with not having girlfriend that they don’t know what else to do. The porn, prostitutes, pillows, Real Dolls, Fleshlights, threats of Sex-Bots all come from men who are bitter, angry, lonely, depressed and have just given up. They feel like they have tried everything and they just don’t know what else to do. When your desires are strong and you have no way to fulfill them you become frustrated and this is what happens to you. I have been there before so I know exactly what they are thinking.

            There is a way for women to understand this. Its basically identical to being well-qualified, applying repeatedly to jobs and never getting anything in large part because you have never been employed before. It can leave you angry, bitter, depressed and plain dejected. Many women can understand this situation.

          • married man says:

            What’s a “non-real relationship”? I’d argue that many men consider many women’s idea of an ideal relationship to be non-real. Or also primarily based in fantasyland.

            I think there are plenty of us who resort to porn because our spouses are either not willing, or not very sexual. I know I get so sick of it that sometimes even when she’s willing, I just think “Fuck it, this has gone on so long. What’s the point? I don’t feel like pretending this is working tonight.”

            I’d very much prefer a real lover over porn. But someone who gets turned on maybe once a week and is never very adventurous is frankly not a real lover. And if that’s the style of sex she prefers I’d like to have known that before getting married.

            • Thta’s interesting thaty ou said that married man. Because when I know my partner is looking at porn, I think the same thing, “Fuck it, nothing I do is ever going to make him stop being interested in porn. What is even the point of trying to make our sex life interesting. Whatever I do, the result wil lbe the same. He will, at some point, go back to his fantasy world that is about 10 times more exciting then anything I could ever be fore him.” So I found myself putting less effort and not wanting to feel as connected to my partner because of his porn use. Especially because I personally think a lot of porn is really demeaning and simply mean toward women. It makes me question exactly what men think about women and how they wish to see women treated. On top of that, the kind of porn men are looking at is usually very limited in how the women look and their ages. IT doesn’t exactly speek of a bright an sexually happy future for a woman. I personally am not left with the impression that men really want or need real women more then fantasy. It seems like what men ideally want is to use fantasy women in conjecture with a real woman and as the real woman, you are expected to be all smiles and positive toward it despite the message I believe men give through their porn use is the exact opposite of something positive. I often wonder how men would feel if women were sitting around masturbating to images of young 20 year old guys with HUGE dicks who made tons of money and gave them money for shopping sprees..and this fantasy world was a billion dollar business. I often wonder what men would think about what women expected of them and how most men would infact fail to meet that level of fantasy.

              So I feel the same way about you…expect it’s on the opposite end of the spectrum. I figure, well if he wants porn, then there is no point me me even trying anymore.

            • Well Erin, I presume quite a few women already are masturbating with the images of the “perfect male” in their mind. I see things a bit differently though, if they want to fantasize about that, go ahead, but if they come back to me and want to spend time with me then that is the special part. Fantasy doesn’t have to be about reality, I fantasize about things I wouldn’t want to do in reality, my partner can fantasize about others if she wishes as long as it doesn’t interfere with our relationship.

              It’s important for couples to draw up boundaries of what is acceptable. I’d ask your partner WHY does he want porn, is it to replace you? is it simply just to see sex and masturbate when you aren’t around? Is it because he feels you wouldn’t take nudes for him/give him some extra visual help for times you’re unable to have sex? There are many possibilities but the only person that will know is him. I hope you have asked about it and tried to understand from his point of view.

              Maybe try make some porn with your partner if you feel ok with it, doesn’t have to be anything degrading, just basic sex starring you both and ask him to use that instead of other women.

              For me personally I wouldn’t be bothered by my partner fantasizing about other random folk, what would bother me is when they start to prefer the other, if I was ready n able to have sex and she would rather go watch porn that would bother me.

              “I often wonder what men would think about what women expected of them and how most men would infact fail to meet that level of fantasy. ”

              Read the comments more on this website, there are plenty of men detailign how they fail to live up to standards that they think women desire. Not enough money, not tall enough, not thin/toned enough, too hairy, too this, too that, not romantic enough, penis not big enough, hell just comparing yourself to the men in romantic comedies leaves many of us men failing miserably. I see in your comments you talk of how women are feeling inadequate a lot from men, but you should also realize this happens a lot in reverse, there are a lot of men feeling inadequate, insecure from how women treat them or how they perceive what women want. Do you know how many of us feel at times that women just want us for our utility, our ability to provide them with shiney diamonds and fancy clothing, to protect them from harm and sacrifice our own lives for them?

            • Archy says: “I fantasize about things I wouldn’t want to do in reality”

              I have seen similar comments given for why women should not be concerned when their partners use porn, that just because a man is fantasizing about another woman does not mean he wants to be with her. I don’t understand because I fantasize only about what I am unable to have and wish that I could.

            • Ever heard of a popular fantasy where women fantasize about being raped? Sometimes, some people just fantasize about various subjects without actually wanting them. I fantasize about being James Bond, living a life on the edge with beautiful women but no way do I want that because that means living a life where my partners will probably die, my life is at risk and I couldn’t settle n feel safe anywhere. There are hetero men who fantasize about homosexual acts, doesn’t mean they want to have sex with men, sometimes just the IDEA of something can turn a person on, without actually doing it.

              It’s strange but sex is complex, not all fantasies are yearning for reality.

            • Archy, I am sure there are plenty of women masturbating with the images of the perfect male. But I am not one of them and I don’t date other women that do. If you are fine with your partner fantasizing about anything they want and they are on the same page as you regarding this, then you don’t have an issue. It is however an issue I struggle with concerning personal relationships.

              Sorry, if I see my guy looking at breast implanted 18 year olds, a part of me is going to naturally conclude that at least a part of him likes and wants that. Especially if it sexually excites him. My aging 30 year old body can’t complete with 18 year olds, (plenty of men and male media have made that clear) and since I am not sitting around masturbating to images of 18 year boys, I don’t think it’s asking for much for my partner not to do the same. I do not want to be with a man that continues to looks at teenagers as both me and him age. It is disturbingly sad the kind of message men can send to women about where they feel female worth and beauty lies vs their own partners. The fact that these are “fantasies”, doesn’t change the potential to give very clear commentary on the opposite gender. Fantasies, like anything else, are easily a type of communication that a partner is sharing a part of themselves. Saying that someone has fantasies doesn’t justify enough the complexity of our real relationships with real people. Saying something is a “fantasy”, doesn’t take the sting out of seeing your male hungrily hunt for any woman that isn’t you sexually.

              Sometimes I feel like I got to apologize to men because I age and do other annoying female human things like not have perfect sized breasts or fit into the caricature of perfect physical excitement and rapture whenever he’s ready to have sex. Do you know how many times I’ve heard guys talk about how much they like porn because the women are so sexually expressive and how they’d like to see real women like that? I’m not a caricature of physical female expression. I’m a real person. Maybe my responses are not as “in your face” or dramatic, does that mean they are less exciting? Do men want women to be more like porn women or more like themselves? Maybe that’s the real question that needs to be asked. What do men really want? Do they want fantasies or do they want real women who act like themselves OR do they want real women who act like their fantasies at least some of the time? And if that’s the case, how do men feel when women want them to act out their own, lets say non sexual, fantasies. It really makes me wonder exactly what men want. I don’t think men have it all figured out because I know I don’t either. And you and other men really have to understand that your actions and words are both important. What you say, how you act are going to have an equal impact on how a woman determines what makes you, you. Saying things are, “just fantasy” or that you “may” not really want to do them, does little to take away the sting someone can feel knowing that their partner wants and likes all this crazy stuff you simply won’t ever fit into. And it goes a long way from making a woman, at least for me, feel like I am even capable of giving a man what he needs. It actually discourages me. You know how men want to be able to “win” with their partners? And if there is too much arguing and anger and he feels like he can’t “win”, he gives up? Women aren’t that much different in that regard with their partners. I want to be able to “win” with my guy. Not just be the thing he uses in conjecture with his fantasies to appease his own desires.

              I am also not so ready to say all fantasy is healthy or good. Especially in an increasing virtual world. I do think some amount of fantasy is normal for human beings. But lets not confuse ”normal” with automatically meaning “healthy”. It might not always be healthy. Especially if we are engaging in this behavior more then what previous generations may have done. And I am inclined to believe that we are engaging in more fantasy and escapism from our world today then not. Which I also thinks contribute to a lot of our social issues from apathy about politics (such as people not voting) right down to things like debt and our own relationships. But that’s another topic for another day.

              I also am not one to believe that what we think doesn’t affect our relationships. Where my head is at, where my thoughts are, so shall I be. I’ve had to do a lot of work on myself concerning thoughts and beliefs I had about myself, about men, about people. This will be a lifetime process because I still struggle with it a lot. I don’t think that just because someone thinks of something and does or doesn’t get pleasure from it, that it’s all okay.

              Now I agree it’s completely up to each couple to draw boundaries for what is acceptable. Did I claim anything different? Married Man talked about how he uses porn because a partner may not be willing or very sexual. (Who knows if this is really the case or not but that’s what Married Man thinks in the underlining issue.) He gets annoyed that she may not want to do something sexual when he wants that when she does, he figures, “what is the point.” So what does he do? Even when she is willing? He goes for what is easy. Porn. Because women aren’t as easy. But porn is. It’s always there for him and always willing to give him whatever fantasy is in his head. And seriously, there is not a woman alive that is ever going to be able to compete with that and some women, myself included, will feel overwhelmed with those kind of expectations. So I chimed in, in response and thought it might be insightful for him to see that I feel the same way he does, “fuck it, this isn’t working, anything I do is never going to be up to par with porn because I am a real imperfect person and those women aren’t”, and I give up too. You really haven’t actually addressed anything I’ve said regarding this matter. All you’ve reverted to is the same discussion you are always trying to have with me. I get it. You like porn. You are okay with it. You are okay with your partner’s use of fantasy. But that’s not really the extent of the problem for some people.

              I understand that men have their own pressures regarding female expectations. I understand that the media often gives men a lot of ill messages. But this does not explain, justify or make okay what goes on with men concerning porn and the stereotypes that are often set up about women through media that is popular with men. Lets stop saying that because women got their own issues regarding expectations on men that this justifies the expectations men place on women. Each deserves a voice in it’s own right and neither should be explained because the other does it too.

              Sorry, not all things are created equal in this society and porn is one of them. Women don’t have a multi-billion dollar business that treats men exactly like porn does with women. Women don’t have a multi-billion dollar business that promotes the name calling and degradation and agism of the male population for their sexual titillation. I am not belittling the ways men can feel insecure. But I also don’t support or buy into or masturbate to media that supports ideals that give us false ideas about how men should be to please women either. When I see stuff on tv that shucks the roles of Fatherhood and men, I shuck it in response. I don’t want to be part of the problem in supporting male degradation. Now this is where you will most likely argue how a lot of porn is so great and kind toward women. Well I am still waiting to see that kind of porn. Because even in the most tame of porn, it sure still seems like the woman is being objectified in some way. In ways men simply aren’t because the basis of the majority of porn is for male pleasure first and most.

              I agree that sex is complex. But so are emotions and feelings regarding not just sex, but ourselves and our partners. And justifying something as simply being “fantasy”, isn’t enough of a reason to make me feel comforted by the ideas men uphold through fantasy.

              But I like the idea of more open discussions about this happening. I just don’t like that you pretty much ignored my comments to Married Man in favor of your own agenda.

            • The quick answer would be that men all vary in what they want, hence the importance of asking your partner.

              I’ll try answer some of your points but my mind is in la la land atm from medication. I’m not trying to ignore your comments to married man, I tried to address some but I am doing so with a mind that is extremely tired so I am obviously missing parts of the conversation. At the moment large paragraphs are quite scary as I am getting about 4 sentences in before it becomes a large struggle to understand. But I am trying to reply so you don’t feel like I am ignoring your questions, just I have a greatly reduced capacity atm to answer them due to surgery recently.

              Men saying they like women in porn expressing themselves, I think they usually mean they like the positive, happy emotions of sex. Instead of seeing sex as a chore, a bore, they see sex as fun which means it is probably more enjoyable than having sex with someone who is staring at their watch waiting for it to be over. I don’t think women have to become porn stars to acheive this, but just show some enjoyment in sex if they aren’t already. It might help to take the lead as well at times, I’ve heard quite a few men get annoyed at the starfish women who lie there waiting for him to do the work, who don’t show much enjoyment in sex and so the sex feels like it’s not with a living human partner but just an empty vessel. Of course guys also need to do their best to cater to their partners needs, both genders have to work at it.

              You see what a man “Needs” actually varies man to man, the most common thing I could think of would be to feel loved, intimacy, sex, etc. One man may like blondes, another likes brunettes, but even liking blondes doesn’t mean they don’t like brunettes. You’d have to ask your man what specificially he likes, maybe he just wants to try some costumes in the bedroom and play fireman or other roles.

              I’ll try answer the rest later when I’m not falling asleep. Not trying to have an agenda here.

            • Right well, I wish you a healthy recovery from your surgery but this conversation simply isn’t going anywhere. And frankly, I am tired of being told how much more imiportant men’s sexual needs are over everything else.

            • Thanks, it’s healing up nicely.

              I think the important thing is for couples to decide where the boundaries lay, and to be mindful of each others needs. I myself am not dating atm so my porn viewing atm may change when I do date, I’d have to talk about it with my future partner to see if it bothers her but I’d probably rather just have sex with her than look at porn, or possibly make some our eyes only porn for fun.

              I’m not sure who is saying men’s needs are more or less important, it all needs to be balanced out and everyone to reach a compromise. Your comments have enlightened me about how a woman can feel from the material which many men probably don’t understand, it’s seen quite often as not a big deal.

              Good luck with it all, I’ll continue to cheer on the good porn and hope that the bad stuff becomes very rare, I’ll continue to ask others to communicate their worries, desires and needs so we can all have better relationships.

      • Even with sex toys, if a woman uses them while excluding her partner from her sex life, that’s grounds for a re-evaluation of the relationship. It’s one thing to use them when your man can’t be there or use them together for extra stimulation and variety–it’s another to deny sex in favor of using your toy. Or to make a man feel inadequate because his penis doesn’t vibrate the way that a toy does. Or isn’t the correct size/shape/color.

        As for the ‘pornosexual’ thing. That’s not a bad call. The important thing is to be honest and not to enter into a relationship or sexual relationship with someone who does not feel the same way. If you know that that’s how you feel and the only way you can get off, be ethical and honest about it while doing your best not to hurt people along the way. I’d like to know before I get into a relationship of any kind that there is a possibility that the man will neglect me for porn. It’s a waste of time otherwise.

        • I wonder if people are noticing the porn thing is more of an issue in long term vs short term relationships? Who’s going to leave their new game and willing girl friend to head off for some alone time? Few, I’d guess.

          I’d also guess that it’s less a matter of needing anything in particular than just needing variety and stimulation. In that sense, I think it’s always a possibility.

    • who knows? says:

      I wouldn’t say porn “nullifies” any of those things. But it can sometimes take the edge off a bit.

  11. wellokaythen says:

    Help me label this situation: let’s say I have an argument with my wife, she shuts down the conversation, I feel tense about it, and later I masturbate without porn, using only my imagination. In that case, am I emotionally cheating on her with myself?

    I ask in part because I think our society’s view of porn is entangled with our society’s view of masturbation in general. An unhealthy attitude towards one usually comes with an unhealthy attitude towards the other.

    • My answer would be to ask you (the general you): does this tension relieving activity happen every time there is tension with your wife? Or tension in your life? Are you more eager to destress and disconnect from a loved one, or are you more eager to stay connected through the conflict?
      The activity could be anything-running, drinking, smoking etc. Is it causing a disconnect from the spouse and new loyalty to the activity or is it a “sometimes” kind of deal that helps until you can reconnect.

      • That’s a really stellar question Julie. I would be curious how that question would be answered by guys!

      • Wow, Erin. Great comment. I am not sure a lot of men empathize to the degree that you describe here. Not because they are inconsiderate or assholes. Or can’t. They just don’t tend to think about what it would be like. It could be a helpful exercise. I imagine men’s responses would run the gamut just as women’s do but I do think it’d bring out a lot of insecurities that men have around their sexual relationships. I am pretty sure it would for me, at least.

        • Thanks for the honest and direct response Dan! And thanks for explaining why men may not be able to empathize to the degree I described. I have thrown that comment out before and I usually found it ignored and it always made me feel a little deflated that it got ignored.

      • If you have an argument with your wife/husband, would sex be the first thing on your mind to destress? There would be times I’d be too annoyed to want to be with a partner, but I’d still use masturbation to destress. One aspect could be the seeking solitude, running to the mancave behaviour that is put upon men stereotypically, so a method of coping and destressing would be to seek solitude in that mancave and masturbate, or watch tv, play games, etc. This is something I use a lot, infact one of the very best methods of lowering my anxiety is masturbation and the days before my surgery I used this technique as orgasm would kill off my anxiety for about an hour or 2 after.

    • That is an interesting question. I am not sure, quite honestly. I think the points that several people are making – that porn is not the only thing that can cause problems with intimacy and a relationship – are important. I can only say for myself it is not a problem or concern about masturbation or even using porn, per se, but how it affects my relationship. If I was not using porn and still sitting in the basement masturbating and avoiding my partner for whatever reason that could become a problem. One time does not necessarily constitute a problem but if we are honest with ourselves we know when we are masturbating to TCB (as stated above) and when it is part of an avoidance of some kind of intimacy with our partner.

  12. great comments everyone – thanks for engaging in the idea. If you read this as anti-porn that is your own stuff because it was not.

  13. I’m going out on a lim here to state the obvious, porn shouldn’t share the same level of importance as family or companionship. What I’m seeing from this article however is the desire to cure the symptom of a bad relationship:  ”Stop watching porn” rather then solving the real problem: “Woman Give Me Back My Balls”

    The gentleman in this article seems to be using porn to punish his wife for being so domineering. To this I say Dude find a lawyer because I sure she already has.

    • The question for me is that if the problem is who has a man’s balls if it’s not the man, is it really women that have them or is porn that does, Budmin.

  14. Putting aside the use of porn/masturbation as a relationship detachment activity, there is an order of magnitude increase in perceived depravity for imagining men masturbating to young women in their fantasy versus film. It’s just more added evidence for the belief that male sexuality is depraved – a real life slippery slope. Masturbating to fantasies or film of you and your partner would probably be viewed as romantic, by the sexually jealous otherwise. I think the best label for this is sexual jealousy. “Not that there is anything wrong with that….” (Seinfeld reference).

  15. What is a guy supposed to do when there is no love or desire for intimacy in his marriage. Because she became disabled (well after the love was gone) divorce is not possible. Prostitution would be better but that happens to be illegal and very expensive in Nevada. So for some of us porn is all we have.

    • Wow Traveler4444 – i would have never thought of such a scenario. That is a very interesting question. I think whatever comes out of the conversation with your partner – it sounds like couples counseling good be of some help. Of course, I am biased as I believe it can almost always help if you have a good counselor. Not sure what to do but I do believe that anything is possible through communication.

      • Hi Erin( et al) –

        Erin – sounds like you could write a great article (if you haven’t already. If you have please send me the link.) I really appreciate your responses. I know there is no clear answer and these guys are trying to make sense of this the best they can as well. There is a lot of hurt around these issues. Hopefully people heard the compassion I have for the men who find themselves in this situation. It is not easy. A lot of men act like victims around this topic – a lot of men I know. They use any number of reasons why their relationships don’t meet their expectations to excuse using porn. But there are legitimate reasons for the men to feel as though WE have been rejected, abandoned, unfairly expected to carry the weight of the sexual relationship, ETC. However, I have also found that communication makes a difference for my wife and myself. Also, she says that sex is a barometer for our relationship. That makes a lot of sense. I have found that there are a lot of things that I can do that shut her down. Repeated rude and disrespectful behaviors decrease her libido. Same goes for me. However, when I feel hurt and rejected or poorly treated I can get that voice that says, “Fuck it, I’ll just jerk off” – sometimes I give in and most of the time I don’t because I see that mostly unhealthy for me. To complicate things even further when I wrote my book for men in the Twelve Step community I used this little saying, that I have found to be profound and also very frustrating: Women have sex when they feel loved while men feel loved when they have sex. If you read between the lines of a lot of these comments by the men on this particular post as well as hundreds of others is that they are saying they do not feel loved. Sometimes they can say it and othertimes they cannot. So, I go back to my first comment – there is nothing black and white about any of this. It requires communication and being able to be authentic about the hurt. That is hard for us, men, because of how we have been trained to be men. It is always helpful when women can try and hear the hurt behind men’s angry words. Thought that is not easy either. Comunication, communication, commmunication. Thanks everyone for the great comments. I certainly have grown as a result of all of the different viewpoints.

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