Today, I am going to be addressing people who have trouble meeting potential partners and those who have trouble keeping potential partners. What does porn have to do with this? A lot. If you are single and constantly seeking out porn, it diminishes the desire that you have to seek out a romantic/sexual partner. Why is that the case? Because you are fulfilling a need through other means. Your brain sees the images and words that you peruse and sees them as real people, so your brain thinks that you are conquering all of these people, and it lowers the want to go out and meet people to fulfill that need.
Fight the New Drug, a website that is known for being against pornography and advocating for knowledge on fighting the “new drug”, has an article featuring testimonials from seven guys who dealt with porn and beat the addiction. The article makes a good point:
While we know that pornography is a problem that definitely affects girls as well as guys, the fact remains that men are the ones who are most expected in our society to watch porn. If they don’t, they are seen as weird or unmanly.
I’m not going to post every male’s testimony, but I will post Nathan’s testimony because he addresses both the stigma and the negative affects that pornography can bring to young men. Here is Nathan’s testimony:
“Pornography taught me that men and women were simply objects to be used for my own fantasies. This caused me to stray from the truth that people are real human beings with real emotions, and dynamic personalities. Young guys like me, must hold to a higher standard of living to break out of the stereotype that demands all guys are avid porn viewers. Porn left me with a void of loneliness, depression, low self-esteem, and anxiety, but that void has since been filled with a strong love for those who have impacted my life most.”
It is true: men and women today need to be held to a higher standard. No more “boys will be boys,” “he/she can’t help it,” “it’s just sex, what’s the big deal?” “Girls, you either accept that your man will watch porn and essentially cheat on you with his eyes and mind, or leave and become a lesbian.”
Stephanie Pappas’ article talks about how men’s use of porn in their relationship lowers the happiness of their partners. Studies rank women’s views of pornography to be “scathing to mildly positive,” and in one 1999 study, a woman said “These men look at these pictures and say, ‘Look at her. She’s just beautiful. Why can’t you be like that?'” This is precisely how every woman who dislikes her partner looking at porn feels. Another study:
…Stewart recruited 308 college women, ages 18 to 29 years old, to fill out online questionnaires about their current partner’s porn use as well as their relationship quality, sexual satisfaction and self-esteem. All of the women were heterosexual and most were white.
The results showed that women who reported that their boyfriends or husbands looked at more pornography were less likely to be happy in their relationships than women who said their partners didn’t look at pornography very often. When women were bothered by their partner’s porn use, saying, for example, that they believed he was a porn addict or that he used porn more than a “normal” amount, they were also more likely to have low self-esteem and to be less satisfied with both their relationship and their sex life.
Addicts, many of you initially sought out porn to be better lovers and be exposed to a variety of material. But your partners don’t see it that way and don’t get that effect from you. Female partners of male porn addicts rank their satisfaction with happiness and sex lower than those who have partners who don’t watch it. To those who don’t like porn, porn isn’t sexy. It feels just as bad as you being with someone else, because you are inviting other people into the relationship. Girls who post pictures of themselves and porn actors are real people. You are bringing real people into the relationship. Your partner feels betrayed and not very sexy, and your actions are causing her self-esteem to plummet. It’s not her problem, it’s both of your problems.
You want a better sex life with your partner, want your partner to be happy, and want your partner to feel good about themselves? Quit looking at other people! Regardless of the airbrushing and plastic surgery (we all know that there’s filters and editing to the pictures/scenes), you are seeking out beautiful people and that crushes your partner!
Melissa Orlov’s 9 Reasons Porn Hurts addresses this issue from a marriage perspective, and has a male and female author. “To quote the Supreme Court, “I know it when I see it.” If your wife thinks it’s porn, you need to consider her opinion, even if you don’t agree. The issue is whether or not she’s distressed by it…so don’t get into an argument about whether or not something you’ve been viewing is all that bad.”
I will summarize the 9 Reasons:
- Sex is when a woman makes herself more vulnerable to a man, and allows him to penetrate her body, mind and soul. When she realizes that he gets aroused by other people, it tarnishes the meaning and emotions attached to sex.
- Women see porn as degrading primarily because it degrades them. While it is degrading to men, men often don’t see it that way and particularly like being used to pleasure women.
- Many women see porn as “the perfect other woman,” as a mistress. You’re using a variety of women, whether it’s pictures or videos, to stimulate your mind or to sexually arouse you, and porn will never tell your SO what you’ve been doing!
- Because porn is readily available, the constant worrying nags at women all the time. You never know if/when your SO will go back to it, and it makes a woman feel she is not in control of her life/relationship.
- Porn use in a relationship is insulting. It tells your SO that you would rather take an easy way out than talk to her about what your relationship needs. That you can’t wait for her and would rather look at pictures/videos behind her back.
- Now you’re a liar. You’ve likely lied about looking at it to cover your tracks, or because you’re trying to stop and messed up. Trust me, we want to hear the truth! We’d rather hear you slipped up so we can help. We can’t help if you constantly lie to us.
- Porn makes you feel that you don’t know your SO at all. You think your partner is fully satisfied with loving sex and a loving relationship with you. You think that you’re special, porn tells you that you’re not all that special. Porn tells you that porn and/or masturbation is more important than a loving sexual relationship.
- A typical response from men is that “it’s not a big deal, it’s just pictures/videos.” That reinforces the idea to your wife that you chose something meaningless over her! Those statements also invalidate your wife’s feelings. Your wife needs to know that this is a big deal to you, that if it is difficult to quit you will still try and will keep her in the loop.
- This quote sums it up: “The first time I could say that you didn’t understand how porn would hurt me. But now I’ve explained it and you’re still using it! How hurtful is that? Don’t you care about me at ALL???” When a partner slips up and doesn’t tell you, it hurts. The first time that issue comes up, the addict partner can use the excuse that they didn’t know it was hurtful, but the second+ time they do so it hurts more.
Another article I will link to is a woman’s painful experience with pornography in her own marriage. As I’ve said previously, whether or not it is “cheating” is semantics, because every couple defines cheating differently. G says cheating is doing something alone that you would’t do with your partner there. To me, pornography is not as bad as physically being with another person, but it is as bad as masturbating in a room with a naked woman, sleeping naked with another woman next to you, being around strippers/prostitutes, or asking a prostitute to be your personal porn star (e.g., asking a prostitute to do certain things, do stuff with other people). To me it doesn’t matter if it is “as bad” as physically cheatig, it is still bad, hurtful and makes you question your sexuality/femininity/ and the loyalty of your partner. Addicts, next time your partner talks to you about porn, please don’t say it’s not as bad as cheating. We want you to validate our feelings and work with us. We want you and love you. We forsake everybody else.
For people like me who give their virginities to their partners, it hurts unbelievably because you choose to forsake all others both online and in person, and it hurts when someone invalidates your feelings by saying at least they’re not cheating, that it’s not a big deal, that it’s just pictures. Addicts and partners, come together and understand each other. Don’t make the love of your life feel small or like their best efforts aren’t good enough. When you choose someone, especially in marriage, you agree to forsake all others. So before you get into a serious relationship/marriage, ask yourself if you’re ready to go the rest of your life without porn, strippers, etc., if you aren’t then you need to talk to your partner.