Daniel Dowling wants to share his experience with porn and pose some questions for you
Porn. Porn. Poooooorn.
There. Now that I’ve let the scary porn monster out of the box, we can talk about it honestly, like adults. I’m a funny guy, so I like to take the edge off serious subjects with a little humor. But my point is that porn isn’t funny. Porn seriously impacts how men relate with women, and vice versa. It also shapes behaviors that determine your outcome in a relationship. And porn directly affects your capacity for intimacy, as you’ll soon discover.
Since I know myself best, I’ll start the conversation with my personal experience.
My struggle with pornography
As a young man, I was so steeped in pornography that I can’t recall many days without it. When my Dad found the porn stash on my iPod, he joked to my mom, “Is Dan preparing to be a gynecologist?”
I was scared to be in a relationship with a real, live, breathing woman.
When I broke that fear, I still viewed women pornographically. I couldn’t connect meaningfully as friends, and all of my intimate relationships crumbled as I became bored, even with insanely gorgeous women. That’s how porn trained me.
Relationships require individuals to give freely and selflessly to create something bigger and more meaningful. This means relationships are based on mutuality and two-way exchanges—not the unilateral use of another person that happens with porn.
Since I had practiced that unhealthy and selfish dynamic with porn, all my relationships failed and I was left alone, confused, and resentful. What was I doing wrong? Why couldn’t I just be happy with another person? Why was I failing miserably at something I felt should come naturally?
I didn’t realize until much later that I was subconsciously sabotaging my relationships porn. Every day I did porn was a day that I used women, regardless of their feelings, for passing pleasure. I used them up and tossed them away with the click of a mouse. Is it any surprise that I displayed the same behaviors in my relationships with real women?
I quit porn the day I learned that many of the actresses are graduates of child sex slavery. No matter how difficult it was to quit cold turkey, I could not rationalize it any longer. I couldn’t enable that kind of evil through my want for pleasure.
After that point, I was forced to deepen my approach to living. I rewired my brain and connect my sexuality with love and my future. I endeavored to become a man capable of true intimacy.
I’ve now been free of pornography without a second thought for three years. I have since devoted my life to helping other men overcome pornography more intelligently, and to helping women vocalize their needs—especially for intimacy—in relationships.
Now I have some questions for you. I’d like to engage you with facts about the porn industry and on how it adversely affects your relationships.
Do you think porn is a healthy or good thing?
Would it surprise you that the foremost divorce attorneys estimate 500,000 divorces a year are attributed to pornography? Why do you think that is?
When a person associates his or her sexual desire with a lifeless screen, they are training themselves to connect with something that can’t connect back. It’s a dead end that kills potential for intimacy between two real people.
In a marriage, your husband or wife depends on you to be sensitive to their wants, needs and desires in order to experience intimacy. If you practice associating your desire with digital pixels, you will not be able to connect meaningfully with your partner in real life.
Think of your daughters
Would you be ok with your daughter performing in a pornographic film? What makes you think it is respectful, decent, or even permissible to watch other men’s daughters do the same? Could you call porn use courageous, wise, selfless, generous, faithful, or any other virtue?
As men, we are called to support and celebrate women, not objectify and degrade. Vir means “man” in latin, so to be a man is to be virtuous. Does porn have any room for virtue? When we step into our role as men we help other men and women find lasting success in their relationships while supporting our own happiness.
When we act out of virtue, we pave the way for our own daughters to be treated with the respect, dignity, and honor that they deserve. When we support and celebrate women, our daughters can look up to us, trust us, and use us as examples for their future husbands. If, on the other hand, we objectify and degrade women in any way, we are consenting for our daughters to be treated similarly.
Do you feel like it’s OK for your boyfriends and husbands to watch porn? If so, why?
Do you think a man who watches porn will be attuned to and concerned about the porn actresses emotions, needs, and desires as he’s watching her? In what ways would porn enhance a man’s respect and appreciation of you? In what ways would porn support unconditional love?
When a man watches porn, he is using another women as a virtual slave to satisfy his desire for pleasure–regardless of how she feels. His pleasure—not her feelings—is what matters. This is not how you want him to be practicing for a breathing woman in the flesh—you! Nor is it a good way to practice for the new life that comes through your love: selflessness is a requirement that porn cannot satisfy.
You are subtle, complex, emotional, being. And you deserve a level of intimacy and attentiveness in a relationship that men who abuse porn are simply have not practiced.
Many reports suggest that women who perform in pornographic videos and films abuse drugs to tolerate their onscreen humiliation. They do this with drugs, painkillers, and alcohol to numb themselves of the pain and emptiness that they experience. Male sex workers also use drugs and injections to maintain their endless erections. The pain isn’t just emotional; it is also common for porn actresses to suffer anal and vaginal tears. What a job?! All to present an unreal fantasy experience to viewers.
Clearly a man watching porn is not factoring in a woman’s emotions, well-being, or needs. She is only there to provide him with pleasure.
If you’re with that man, how do you think that impacts you and your relationships?
We play like we practice. If a man practices fulfilling his desire for pleasure regardless of how a woman feels, he will likely not be able to connect with her in the ways she deserves. You need to be able to connect intimately with a man if you expect to last with him.
If he practices porn, don’t be surprised if he uses you for your pleasure, only to throw you away when he’s finished. Just like all of the insanely gorgeous women in the videos. That’s exactly what I did with my girlfriends, albeit, unaware of the process. We play like we practice, because practice wires the way we play.
Did you know it has been scientifically proven that men rate their partners as less attractive after watching porn? You are a woman. You are beautiful and worthy beyond your comprehension. You are infinitely deserving of a man who can honor you, cherish you, uphold your inherent dignity, and respect you. A good and honest man would never dream of compromising his ability to love you, but that nightmare happens unconsciously with porn.
Life is precious, and far too valuable to degrade in any way. Men and women are called to build each other up with virtue, and I don’t believe this is possible with pornography. What do you think?
Did you know it is common for women to suffer anal, vaginal, and throat tears that sometimes require surgery to recover? How sexy and awesome is that? Also, did you know that porn actors commonly acquire multiple STDs and bacterial infections throughout their careers?
If you don’t believe me, allow ex porn star Vanessa Belmond to tell you about it.
Originally published on DowlingWriter.com.