Should Men Give Up on Pornography Entirely?

Should men give up on pornography entirely

I’ll admit, I’ve avoided putting this post up for a few weeks.

It’s gotten a lot of internet air play because it’s a juicy subject: man lays out, in a logical (and researched) manner, the six reasons why men must give up pornography.

I can already hear the collective “amen” from a lot of women, and I don’t entirely blame them. Pornography is a problem for men.

Many people drink socially without becoming alcoholics; for most, booze is a source of pleasure, not pain. So it goes with porn.

It can hurt men’s sexual desire and performance.
It can create an unrealistic set of expectations about real-life sex with a real live woman with real-life emotions.
It can become a serious addiction that cripples a man’s ability to be in a committed sexual relationship.

And if you’re a woman who has lost a partner to porn addiction, this isn’t just some abstract concept, but reality. You’ve seen upfront the devastation of the guy who spends lavishly on sex phone numbers, runs up credit card bills unbeknownst to you, stays late at work to feed his addiction to webcams, or to browse Craigslist for something exciting and new. You’ve had a loving partner who didn’t feel up to having sex but would go downstairs in the middle of the night to take care of himself and feed his fantasies.

That’s bad news and I’m highly sympathetic to anyone who has been through some version of that.

But that’s no reason for all men to put down their porn simultaneously. In that regard, it’s a vice like any other vice – fun in moderation, dangerous when addicted. Many people drink socially without becoming alcoholics; for most, booze is a source of pleasure, not pain. So it goes with porn. If a guy does it when he’s single and hasn’t had sex in awhile, it’s normal. If a guy does it when his girlfriend is out of town, it’s normal. If a guy does it within the context of a committed relationship because it’s exciting and kinky and gives him new ideas, it’s normal. If a guy does it during marriage because everyone has the right to maintain a little bit of a fantasy life without actually being unfaithful (that is viewing videos, not interacting with another person), it’s normal. Where it flips over, of course, is when it becomes an addiction that actually impacts his life or his partner’s life. Just like alcohol.

You may not like porn, but you can’t ban it. You just have to trust that your guy can handle it in moderation.

To me, the answer is not prohibition, but moderation and self-awareness. Who should put porn down entirely? Men who are prone to addiction to it. Who can consume it socially? In my opinion? Pretty much everybody else.

Remember, you may not like porn, but you can’t ban it. You just have to trust that your guy can handle it in moderation.

Have you had a relationship derailed by porn use? Do you assume that because of the addicted guy that no man can use it in healthy moderation? Please, share your thoughts below, for a respectful debate.

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Comments:

  1. 1
    SAL9000

    I don’t think it’s good in any measure (i.e., even long before becoming an “addiction”). The human mind just isn’t used to the stimulation and the industry behind it is abhorrent. Men should put it down entirely.

    1. 1.1
      Alex Lanz

      I have to agree. The thought of pornography didn’t even phase me before. But now it really really does. I am afraid it can affect my relationship, that he won’t find me attractive, that I won’t be good enough sexually, that our sex life can become corrupt…etc. I am not saying he is addicted to porn, but I do know (and he has admitted) to having an addictive personality. He has been addicted to medications before. 

      Its just scary, I don’t nag him or anything,this is all just in my deep emotions and head.  

      1. 1.1.1
        woah woah

        “I am afraid it can affect my relationship, that he won’t find me attractive,”
        If you just get rid of proan, I’m sure this fundamnetal aspect of the human condition will just dissipate, and in the future being found attractive will be a guarantee for everybody!

        Real women aren’t any less attractive than porn stars or other celebrities, what’re you even talking about.

        “but I do know (and he has admitted) to having an addictive personality.”
        You should really blow off your cozy movie weekends in that case! 

        “this is all just in my deep emotions and head.” 😮 

    2. 1.2
      woah woah

      “The human mind just isn’t used to the stimulation”
      But then if it never gets used to stimulation, how can it ever *be* used to stimulation?
      I’ve no idea what you’re talking about – “porn” has existed since the stone age, and they were probably watching others fuck every once in a while, so it’s reasonable to say that it’s even HARDWIRED.

      “and the industry behind it is abhorrent”
      Say the anti-pron activists. Funny how they’re the only ones saying it. 

      1. 1.2.1
        kim

        stone age drawings are nothing even close to porn of today.

      2. 1.2.2
        Horrifed

        No, porn has never existed the way it is now.  What used to be soft porn in the early stages of Playboy is basically now moved into the mainstream pop culture.  Now all porn is basically hard core porn where women are never called ‘women’ or ‘ladies’, the acts are totally based on male satisfaction to the exclusion of any focus on female satisfaction and the acts are often just plain abusive to women.  The availability of this material online has taken the porn industry to a level that makes more money than the whole entertainment industry combined.  The desensitizing that has taken place from exposure to sexualized images has created a demand for harder and harder porn to satisfy the regular user.  It’s a huge money making business.  Not to mention the use and abuse of the porn stars.  Nobody ever hears about how they are used and spit out with sexually transmitted diseases, etc.  It is not as benign as mainstream culture would like to say it is.  As a man, do you want to be a part of this???

         

    3. 1.3
      Lee

      TOTALLY disagree that in moderation, self-awareness and in certain circumstances, pornography can be normal.

      NORMAL? SEX DON’T BEGIN IN THE BEDROOM, IT BEGINS IN THE MIND. Ladies,  Evan is speaking from a man’s point of view. He has not, and will NEVER walk a mile in a woman’s shoes who have suffered severely in relationship and marital breakdown due to the vices/porn of the mind. Evan is not a Christian and is speaking from his own ideas and perceptions. He is marching to the beat of his own drum and giving advice from his own believes. “Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your minds that you will be able to prove what is the acceptable and PERFECT will of God.” You cannot do God’s will walking in the flesh and pron is the will/lust of the flesh. If you have looked upon another’s woman’s body and lust you have sinned to your own soul. Walk in the spirit and NOT in the flesh lest you be a cast away. Pornography affects the whole mind – it is a sin listing of the flesh!

      1. 1.3.1
        Bs

        You started off right but then you go and say something like ‘Evan is not a christian’ well well, i would have rather all those priests had watched porn instead of abusing children in their care – oh – and they are christians! You are a bigot. And probably using loads of porn, such is the irony of you hypocrites.

  2. 2
    Sunflower

    Don’t agree with SAL9000 and yes, it has touched my life in an unhealthy way.  Any substance can cross the line and become a problem behavior….alcohol, gambling, smoking and yes, even food.  You HAVE to be dialed-in with anything in life.  It’s a responsibility to yourself.  There are a  lot of people who walk around with their heads up their a**   Run into them everyday on my commute to and from work.  In my opinion, there is nothing wrong with porn.  It’s healthy when interacted appropriately.   Just like the legalization of marijuana (live in WA state).  I was one of the biggest potheads in high school, but I graduated and went on to college and earned a degree.  Did it keep me down?  No.  Would I do it now?  Hell no!  But what someone does in the privacy of their own home, responsibly, is their own business…..Peace, love and rock n’roll!  

    1. 2.1
      SAL9000

      I wouldn’t use pot, legal or otherwise as a successful, proxy. Cigarettes to this day kill 400,000+ Americans/year and suck billions $$$/year of lost value (esp. health care resources) out of the economy. Alcohol is just as bad what with 30,000,000+ alcoholics beating wives, crashing cars, and also sucking billions $$$/year out of the economy. Prescription pills not as bad but getting there.
       
      Can we outlaw these things, or other similar destructive behaviors? Probably not, nor would I advocate it, but that doesn’t mean we should endorse them or think that they’re not catastrophic.

      1. 2.1.1
        Androgynous

        How about those men who are unable to attract women due to lack of social skills or some physical deficiency ? Should they be shamed into denying themselves this one little outlet because women who do not want these men nor want sex with them, think porn is morally wrong ?

        1. SAL9000

          Pretty much, such that they can fix themselves to the point they can get a lover – there’s no excuse to ever call uncle. Porn is a HUGE cop-out mechanism for “those” men.

      2. 2.1.2
        DLake

        In response to SAL9000  –  moderation is the key – if it enhances your relationship then go for it.  Understand the puritanical ways of the past are gone and if you are not putting positive energy into a relationship then it is going backwards versus forward.  

        What a guy does not want is some lady who puts no energy into the relationship in all facets  – understand it is all the pieces of the pie that make it work – so if you are not open to ideas, fun, commitment, and true communication without judgement then you are living in the dark ages 

        1. Lee

          If it enhances your relationship go for it….. I’ve had a friend whom she and her hubby decided that to enhance their relationship, they would allow another trusting couple into their bedroom. So be dam…eventually her husband cheated on her with one of these women and it destroyed their marriage. Men and women, if you play with fire you WILL BE BURNED. Porn is the lust of the flesh and playing with fire. Many have entered with good intentions and have been burned to the point where it destroyed many good marriages and the children are the ones let to suffer the consequences and they themselves afterwards broken homes after mommy and daddy examples.

           

    2. 2.2
      woah woah

      “that they’re not catastrophic.”
      LOL!

      “Pretty much, such that they can fix themselves to the point they can get a lover”
      What about introverts who don’t want no lover, should they force themselves to have one? 😉 

  3. 3
    Fusee

    What about women? Should they give up on it entirely too? : )

    1. 3.1
      Joe

      What’s good for the gander is good for the goose.

  4. 4
    BillB

    I’ve always been confused by the claim that “porn gives men unrealistic expectations of women”.

    From the porn I’ve seen, it’s more likely to give women unrealistic expectations of men!
         

    1. 4.1
      Kathy

      Well BillB, Porn has broken my boyfriend and I up! He admitted it gave him unrealistic expectations.. He was looking at naked pictures of 28-29 yr old women  on a site that was actually fake and thought he was messaging these girls.  He got all excited because he though these girls were messaging him back and interested in him.. When in reality it was a fake site and the people behind the computer were probably 400 lbs. I am a very attractive woman in good shape. But my fool boyfriend got all excited about the prospect of these women possibly wanting him..
      I found out, broke up with him and now he wants me back.. Too late buddy.. I’ve moved on and have found someone much better.. What a fool he was!
      This all started with a communication problem we were having and instead of communicating with me about what the problem was, he went to fantasyland with porn. Many men are bad communicators of relationship problems and I bet many of them go to porn instead of trying to learn how to solve problems in their relationship.

      1. 4.1.1
        Karl S

        That sounds like a sex-meetup site, which may involve porn but isn’t really about porn per se. He was using it to try and hookup rather than as a visual aid for his own relief. Different issue. 

      2. 4.1.2
        ScottH

        Moderate use where nobody gets hurt.  Your ex-bf’s use was not moderate or innocent and somebody got hurt.  This is not the case being advocated in this article.  Sorry you had that problem but better you got out.

      3. 4.1.3
        twinkle

        Kathy,
        I’m so happy that you’re now with someone better. There’s always a silver cloud in every lining!

    2. 4.2
      Gina

      Agreed!  The men want the skinny with mince butt and boobs!  Lets face it girls we want the guy with the nice slong!  I guess in the end we settle for reality and love each other for just they way we/they are.

    3. 4.3
      Horrifed

      Because it’s predominately a man’s world.  But…yes, men, why torture yourself by viewing images that would make you feel less than.  Also,  as a 50 + year old woman, it’s always consoling to know that my partner is watching porn (sarcasm)…no one is over 30 in porn and the younger they look the better, the more money in the industry.  Isn’t it kind of creepy to think that men are watching porn stars that are often the same age as their daughters???

       

       

  5. 5
    ScottH

    Evan- you better upgrade your servers after this posting.  It’s bound to be a hot one.
    I definitely agree with you.  Porn used in moderation by someone who is not prone to addiction shouldn’t be a problem.  When it is an addiction, like an addiction to anything else, it will be devastating.  But based on things I’ve read, the addiction rate to porn is very very small even though those few cases get a lot of airtime.  The guy who wrote that article was clearly addicted to porn.
    Porn was one more straw on the camel’s back with my insecure ex-gf.  Oh well.  It was ok for her to indulge in alcohol nearly every night but it wasn’t ok for me to indulge in porn every once in a while (and it never reduced my desire for her).
    I just think the root of most women’s aversion to porn is that their man is looking at another woman’s private parts and they just don’t like that. 
    I think the analogy to alcohol is a very good one but arguing by analogy is the weakest form of argument.   

    1. 5.1
      Lee

      @ Scott. Not all porn additions is mentioned or aired. Since you and a male, you are marching to the beat of your own drum. Men in their 30 – 60 watch pron involving women in their 16 and 20 and then expect their women/wives in their 30 – 60 to live-up to that expectations. porn is fleeting. Most of it is fake anyway.

    2. 5.2
      worried about nothin

      It’s true.  I have a hard time with my bf watching porn.  My mind tells me he would rather watch the younger girls show their privates than be with me.  This is not the case.  If anything, he reminds me of all the points that he does care for me and they aren’t real and it’s only when he’s away from me when he uses porn.  My bf  has never hidden the fact that he watches porn or looks at girls on the beach.  He is very responsive to our time together also.  I still have fears and really trying to forget about them

  6. 6
    Chance

    Women should love that men look at porn.  It has largely replaced mistresses – keeps men from cheating.

    1. 6.1
      Chance

      I should also add that, as many benefits there are to watching porn for most men, the benefits are the greatest college-aged guys because they need minimal unnecessary distractions from studying.  These benefits are listed below:

      1.)   You can’t get a girl pregnant.  Since men have no reproductive rights, bright young men should avoid this hazard by watching porn.  Your entire future could be derailed if a girl that you slept with gets pregnant.   

      2.). You don’t spend any money.  College guys are poor, and you’ll usually walk away from a sexual encounter feeling like it wasn’t worth the money spent on the date/entertainment together.

      3.)  You won’t have to worry about false rape accusations.  This is something that young college men should be very cautious of at parties/gatherings.  In fact, I would advise that you never have sex with a girl that you weren’t dating for a while and who has been drinking.  

      4.). You can’t catch anything.  Pretty self-explanatory.  If a girl you just met at a party is willing to have sex with you, she’s probably screwed lots of dudes.

      5.). You don’t have to deal with the issues/baggage/drama that often comes with bedding a girl in college.  You don’t need those distractions during these crucial years of your development.  

      Of course, abstaining isn’t really an option because men are hard-wired to get their sex from somewhere.  So, porn would be a logical solution.

    2. 6.2
      pat

      That’s a little ridiculous. Should men “love” vibrators for “keeping women from cheating.” If your partner has to find a substitute for you to prevent them from deceiving you and doing it with someone else, there’s really no silver lining.

      1. 6.2.1
        woah woah

        “Should men “love” vibrators for “keeping women from cheating.””
        I find it hot when a woman uses a vibrator to “keep herself from cheating”, if you doth take my meaning 🙂

        1. Briana

          If she used that vibrator while uploading her nude pics to other guys, would you still feel the same?

    3. 6.3
      Briana

      Everything I have read says the opposite. Porn users of both genders are nearly 4x more likely to cheat.

  7. 7
    Julia

    I don’t really care about men watching porn, I know I have. My boyfriend watches it occasionally, especially on down weeks (when I’m on my womanly time, etc) its natural for men to masturbate, its natural for women to masturbate, who cares.

    I can see it as a problem when men expect the things they see in porn to be the normal sexual desires of women. Ever hear of the term “Porn Educated?” There are men out there that think women want to partake in very demeaning or physically painful/uncomfortable acts because they regularly see them in porn. I think that’s when it become a problem. 

    1. 7.1
      Karl S

      Mind you, there are ladies who have asked me to do things/ told me about voluntary experiences that I thought only happened in porn. I don’t think its just because they’ve been brainwashed to assume its expected of them either. There are some kinky folks out there and they will surprise you. 

      Of course, your point stand when it comes to anyone expecting anything of their partners that they don’t feel comfortable with. Still, the idea of “normal sexual desires” becomes less and less clear cut as one meets new people. 

      1. 7.1.1
        Julia

        I know people who like having group sex, I know people who love being tied up in crazy rope knots. I think there is a broad range of sexual desires. But when men assume that all women must love anal or that all women must really enjoy a man ejaculating on their face, can you see how this might get uncomfortable for all the women who don’t want those things?

        And I agree that negotiation is important in all sexual relationships but both partners must understand consent and constantly harassing a partner to do something they find uncomfortable or painful, its no longer a negotiation.  

    2. 7.2
      Karl S

      Following up on my other comment, you’re right in the sense that young men see acts and behaviors in porn without witnessing the level of negotiation, communication and care required before and afterwards when it comes to things like power relationships and roughhousing. Men definitely need to be educated in the nuances of active consent, because its not that certain things are actually wrong or cruel to do to your partner, but rather that there’s a whole lot more to it than what they see on the screen.

    3. 7.3
      Horrifed

      Well, tell me…WHY do men find it stimulating to watch demeaning or physically painful/uncomfortable acts performed on women??  And…don’t you think it’s a bit naïve to think that there are not thousands and thousands of very young (though barely legal) women out there in the porn industry that are having these acts performed on them?  And somehow…it’s ok for men to like this and support this industry?? Who are we as a society?  Somehow it’s OK that they watch it even if they’d never do it to a real woman?  Well, they fantasize about it.  What’s that all about?  If someone was fantasizing about murdering people, you would be concerned, right?  Well, fantasy is fantasy and what’s the difference?

       

  8. 8
    jeremy

    Smile.
    Are we asking teenage boys to give up on pornography?  Cause, good luck with enforcing that, whatever you decide.
     
    Are we asking those same boys, when they enter their twenties, to give up on the porn they enjoy because they have started dating women?  Cause, good luck enforcing that, whatever you decide.
     
    Are we asking those same boys, when they enter their thirties, to give up on the porn they enjoy because they are married?  Cause, good luck enforcing that, whatever you decide.
     
      Are we discussing whether men should look at porn, or are we discussing how women should feel about it?  If the former, I don’t see the point of the discussion.  If the latter, women will feel how they feel.  It is one thing to tell a woman she should not feel upset because, logically, porn should not interfere in her relationship (unless the man is an addict).  But that argument presumes a thought-primary, emotion-secondary process, which is not the case for the majority of women.  Because most women are emotion-primary (“Feelers” in the Myers-Briggs terminology), they will feel however they feel.
     
    But, as a final thought, if a woman “feels” that her husband should not watch pornography and tells him so, the likely result is that he will watch it covertly, not that he will stop watching.  If he makes the effort to be covert, do yourself and him a favour and don’t try to be a detective (unless he displays signs of addiction).

    1. 8.1
      Briana

      Most women are sleeping with other men prior to marriage. Many of these men are good looking, young, and are chosen as the bad boys — the type you have steamy romps with, not the men you get commitment from. Do you expect women to give up humping those alphas once they date or marry? Smile. Good luck with that. (Insulting, hey? That’s the point. I had to give up my hottie fwb when I went exclusive with my bf because…we were exclusive. Porn is the same.)

      We restrict antisocial vices, like hard drugs and theft, for good reason. Stealing is wonderfully empowering for the thief — not so much for the victims. So, we control that. The urge to be violent is natural, and so is committing murder, but it’s bad for society. We ban that too. Slavery? Great for slave owners, and good for the economy, but stinks for slaves. Same thing. Most societies control porn and prostitution for the same reason.  Of course, the punters, pimps, and some high end pros like it. But it’s terrible for women and children, and for everyone who has to deal with the fallout of raunch culture. Ban it.

  9. 9
    Tom10

    I have mixed thoughts on this.

    From a philosophical/political point of view I don’t think adults “should” or “shouldn’t” do anything; as long they’re not affecting anyone else (for the sake of argument let’s assume that the consumption of porn isn’t affecting porn actors). Therefore, this question is ultimately up to every individual to answer for themselves: there is no right or wrong.

    However, from the point of view of how an individual should live a healthy life I think the cons (mentioned in the article) of consuming porn probably outweigh the pros; therefore men would probably be better off cutting down on porn/giving it up altogether.

    That said, I must admit that reading that article was like reading my diary as a teenager (and as a grown adult ha ha).

    1. 9.1
      woah woah

      I’m sure you’ve come to realize the cons of it better once you reached your wise, grown adult age.

  10. 10
    Jennifer

    I agree that it is neither realistic nor fair to expect men or women to give up on porn.  However, it does bother me that many men receive their sexual ‘education’ from porn, and then their female partners are left with the extremely difficult task of re-educating them in what women find pleasurable, and do and don’t like.  Example: most porn films (those aimed at men) have show little to no clitoral stimulation for the female to achieve orgasm, the guy just pumps away.  Fact, most women must have clitoral stimulation to achieve orgasm.   Example many men in porn films will hold the female’s head while she is giving oral sex.  Fact, many women find a man holding her head to be unpleasant and sometimes a bit scary.  I could go on.  Porn films are not about how to pleasure a woman.
    I, like many other women, have been with men who have sex like they’ve seen in porn and it is not fun.  My wish is for the men of the world who know that porn is FANTASY, educate their younger brothers in what real, pleasurable for women, love making entails  and everybody’s sex lives will improve.

    1. 10.1
      JoeK

      “However, it does bother me that many men receive their sexual ‘education’ from porn”

      Really? According to what study? 

      “Porn films are not about how to pleasure a woman”…oh, yea, because we all thought they were when the Discovery Channel logo showed up at the beginning, and it was hosted by a serious commentator. /sarcasm

      Is there a risk of young men/teenagers getting an inaccurate perspective of sex from porn – sure. The level of risk, the scope, etc could only be known via studies. Blanket statements such as this aren’t useful, and assume a problem definition.

      As an adult, MY experience has been that women get their sex education from magazines for teenage girls . But there’s no way for me to say that women in general get their sex ed that way.

    2. 10.2
      woah woah

      “and then their female partners are left with the extremely difficult task of re-educating them”
      So difficult, extremely so even, that they find themselves breathing heavily in exasperation, sweat covering their hot (from the effort) bodies? At least, even though the task requires extreme excertion and full mental conventration from start to finish, it is said the sense of achievement and relief in the immediate aftermath has served as a small consolation within the sea of hardship for many known athletes…

      “in what women find pleasurable, and do and don’t like”
      That sounds like one of the harder tasks, generally speaking. The organic, fluid dynamics of it have caused a good many brains neural exhaustion in trying to put the pieces together…

      “have show little to no clitoral stimulation for the female to achieve orgasm, the guy just pumps away.”
      One could almost wonder what the point in introducing an eager, already fairly muscular youth into the secrets of love if this requires the most demanding quest to teach him the joys of clitoral stimulation to achieve explosive yet most sensual orgasm?

      “Fact, many women find a man holding her head to be unpleasant and sometimes a bit scary.” 
      And when his strong arms envelop her entire body in a passionate embrace, they probably find it even scarier.

      “Porn films are not about how to pleasure a woman.”
      Not accounting for all the female commenters under those porn videos, reliably delivering the breaking reports of having been pleasured.

      “My wish is for the men of the world who know that porn is FANTASY, educate their younger brothers”
      Hm… that sounds quite promising, as well. For greatest possible efficiency, I would suggest for those men and their younger brothers’ most experienced girlfriends to combine their efforts in equipping the young lad with all the required skills and knowledge – sensibly alternating between 3rd person demonstration and assisted participation, as is tradition in most good mentoring.

  11. 11
    jessy

    People who say yeah for porn in moderation, would also say yeah for a little bit of deadly poison? That is how  much they love life!! Evan and others you want to watch porn, go right ahead that is your choice but there is no logical sane answer for a little porn. It is destructive on every level and DOES NOT ENHANCE INTIMACY. It leads to shame and degradation and alienates spouses. Please don’t argue for it. It is a horrible monster!!

    1. 11.1
      Jeremy

      “People who say yeah for porn in moderation, would also say yeah for a little bit of deadly poison?”

      Deadly poison like sugar?  Fat?  Alcohol?  I guess that, yes, lots of people would say yeah to a bit of those things, because in small/moderate amounts they are not deadly poison.

      “it is destructive on every level and DOES NOT ENHANCE INTIMACY” 

      Porn is not used (by most people) to enhance intimacy.  It is a masturbatory aid.  Your statement is like saying that people should not eat pie because it does not contribute significant nutritional value.  People don’t eat pie for its nutritional value.  They eat it because it tastes good.  

      Now, we shouldn’t eat too much pie because it wouldn’t be good for us.  But a little once in a while makes life sweeter.  Many view porn in the same way, if that analogy helps you at all.

      1. 11.1.1
        woah woah

        “it is destructive on every level and DOES NOT ENHANCE INTIMACY” 
        Conveys it, though 🙂

        “Porn is not used (by most people) to enhance intimacy.”
        It can be used to enhance that of which “intimacy” is a mere aspect of 🙂

        “It is a masturbatory aid.”
        An enhancement, really.

        Careful though… if the poarn is permitted to become too good, the master becomes the slave, and the masturbation becomes the enhancement! 

    2. 11.2
      Karl R

      jessy asked:
      “People who say yeah for porn in moderation, would also say yeah for a little bit of deadly poison?” 

      Absolutely. I’m sipping my morning cup of toxin right now.

      Caffeine is a poison.
      http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002579.htm

      My wife fixes me a cup of coffee in the morning. I have another when I get to work. I usually have a cup of green tea in the late morning. One more cup of coffee after lunch…

      I switch toxins in the evening.
      http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/alcohol-poisoning/basics/definition/con-20029020

      Usually a glass of wine after I get home. Or I may have a shot of bourbon or brandy instead.

      I’m in favor of caffeine in moderation. I’m in favor of alcohol in moderation. I’m in favor of gambling in moderation. If people want to smoke marijuana or gamble in moderation, I’m okay with that too. (I won’t touch either of those, but that’s my personal preference.)

  12. 12
    Bday

    This is a highly unrealistic proposition.  I am a woman who watches hardcore S&M porn  I wouldn’t be happy if my partner asked me to stop watching it. I can make the distinction between fantasy and reality, but I like having both.  I don’t want my boyfriend in hardcore bondage or other unprintable actions necessarily (i.e. I don’t expect the fantasy of porn to work in the reality of an actual relationship) but I find it stimulating.

  13. 13
    Siren

    My thoughts, my concerns:

    Nothing wrong with porn in theory however yes, it can have an adverse affect on a relationship if not in moderation. It can also be fun to watch porn together. There’s no blanket answer per couple/relationship. You have to see what works.

    My problem with porn is the fact that many of these young ladies are in fact sex trafficked. No one likes to talk about and everyone wants to say that these women are adults. The fact is: they are not.

    For me, that supersedes any pleasure I can get from porn. Knowing that a girl, woman or even young men are performing against their will…..that’s the problem with porn. It’s real, it does happen. Just because it appears not to be happening is no reason to turn a blind eye. 

    1. 13.1
      JoeK

      “My problem with porn is the fact that many of these young ladies are in fact sex trafficked.”

      I’ve addressed this before on this site, and NO, this is not true. (Do you have any idea the amount of oversight in the porn production world?)

      Do the research before making these bogus claims. In porn there are practically no trafficked women. In prostitution…that’s something else.

      Personally I don’t care what other adults do in their own home…not my concern. I would only be concerned about something a partner was doing IF it were causing a problem.

      Boy, it’s scary the amount of unexamined puritanism in society today.

      No offense Evan, but has traffic been down lately? Didn’t you cover this about a year ago, and Karl R and I both posted some significant facts/data/research (I always look for his comments first…)? 

      1. 13.1.1
        Evan Marc Katz

        Nope, traffic is up to over 1 million/month. I share articles that I find interesting. Sometimes they overlap.

        1. JoeK

          My apologies Evan – I think that came across kind of critical or snarky, when I really meant it humorously. Guess I shoulda used a laughing smiley.
           
          As a semi-regular visitor I probably notice the unavoidable rehash/overlap a bit more.

  14. 14
    still-looking

    Julia stated, “I can see it as a problem when men expect the things they see in porn to be the normal sexual desires of women. Ever hear of the term “Porn Educated?” There are men out there that think women want to partake in very demeaning or physically painful/uncomfortable acts because they regularly see them in porn. I think that’s when it become a problem.”
    I’ve been with quite a few women over the last 5 years.  Some just want soft, gentle, missionary position love-making.  I was quite surprised by the percentage who wanted anal (at least 50%) and light BDSM.  I was very surprised by a few who were into heavy BDSM.
    Just wanted to enlighten the women who believe that most women’s sexual activities mirror theirs. 

  15. 15
    Garret

    Clearly there are some men who have a problem, but I also wonder how many times an angry wife or girlfriend contributes.

    1. Guy has mild interest in porn, and partakes.
    2. wife/girlfriend catches him and flips out.
    3. 1,000 different scenarios could take place, but core components are that he may deny it is a problem, she insists it is, then she catches him again and it continues to escalate into a vicious cycle of her getting angry and pulling back, sex is reduced, or she forces it in a manner that is obvious that she is trying to make him quit the porn by competing with it. He still watches and she catches him, but as the cycle continues, he may go more to the porn for one reason or another. Resentment grows on both sides.
    4. Eventually she pulls back hard. Divorce is inevitable.

    I’m sure this has happened many times. And what I wonder is how often it had to actually come to that.

    1. 15.1
      Julia

      For once Garrett, I agree with you. I know women who ban their husbands from watching porn, then they catch them watching porn. They flip out, consider divorce but they do not compete for time. They pull back sexually, refusing their husbands sex because they feel so disgusted. All of this could be prevented by just understand that most men and even a significant amount of women, masturbate.

      1. 15.1.1
        jeremy

        @ Julia, agreed.
        What I find most interesting is that some women believe they actually can/should “ban” their husbands from doing anything.  An amazing entitlement mentality, especially given that any man who tried to ban his wife from doing anything would be considered abusive!
         
        My wife was once talking to a female friend of hers, explaining how I like to spend some time each day working on my saltwater aquarium (it is a hobby of mine).  The friend asked her “You let him do that every day?”  As if to imply that my wife had the right to “not let” me do as I please.  When that woman left my house, I told my wife that I pity this woman’s husband.
        Being married does not entitle one spouse to tell another what they should or should not do.  If regular, healthy behavior by one spouse (and I consider masturbation and occasional porn viewing to be such) makes the other feel insecure, the onus is on the insecure one to deal with their insecurity (unless, of course, the activity is producing tangible problems in the relationship, such as a decline in sex life).

        1. ScottH

          Jeremy said-  the onus is on the insecure one to deal with their insecurity”
          I happen to agree with you but an insecure person isn’t going to deal with their insecurity, that’s part of their issue.  Topic for another blog I suppose.
           

        2. Julia

          I would consider controlling behavior abuse by a man or a woman. Whenever we feel we have the right to demand or control another’s live its unhealthy and abusive. I notice this behavior a lot from women who desperately married anyone by their late twenties because they were so terrified of being single at 30. I’m really in the camp that believes no one should marry before 30. I know my generation, we take longer to mature.

        3. pat

          I agree with you, but could you fathom that some women are uncomfortable with the idea of their husbands getting off to videos featuring close-ups of other women’s genitalia and intimate acts? Men need to deal with these issues with a modicum of sensitivity and compassion, not the self righteous entitlement of “it’s my right to watch porrrrrrrrrn!”

      2. 15.1.2
        Buck25

        Julia,

        Are you actually asserting that most women don’t masturbate?  Please! Of all the women I’ve known intimately enough to know (that’s been quite a few over my 68 years), I’ve never known even ONE woman who didn’t! I feel certain you are aware that women have their own soft core version of porn (you can find it on amazon and other outlets under books (and some films) labeled as “erotica” (a euphemism for the sort of bodice-ripper romance novels and films that effectively function as  erotic fantasy material for females). I might add that the sex therein is about as realistic as that found in the more hardcore male oriented version, which is to say, it isn’t. I do find it more than a little hypocritical for women to avidly consume (and frequently masturbate to) this stuff themselves(regardless of how they label it) while decrying male use of the more male-0oriented porn that is clearly labeled as such. If women like it it’s “erotica”; if men like it, it’s “porn”. One more example of the “men bad, women good” school of feminist thought (if one can dignify that emotional claptrap as “thought” at all). By the way, America is still ( in spite of the efforts of some of you) a free country, NOT the dictatorial matriarchy third wave feminism hopes for, and I, (and most other men, I suspect), will continue to watch whatever we damn well please, no matter how women feel about it. No matter what you think, women do not have the some special right to control everything a man sees, thinks, feels, says or does. Please, all of you women, get off the “holier than thou” pedestal you’ve placed yourselves on! End of discussion. You may now go back to your vibrator, and the latest book in the “Fifty Shades” trilogy -a series written by a female, and overwhelmingly consumed, (to the tune of some 50 million copies and counting, yet!) by (I am so shocked!) female readers. What a surprise! Of course, if women are consuming it, that’s different, “it’s not really porn”…or is it? This little emotion-driven crusade against unapologetic male sexuality reeks of hypocrisy and double standards!

    2. 15.2
      Jenn

      Garret,
       
      Your perspective is an interesting one, but what I find most interesting about it is that nowhere in your assessment of what happens when a wife asks her husband to stop his porn use, do you say anything about what the man can do to try to reach a compromise to make his wife happy. It’s all about what HE wants and because HE doesn’t see it as a big deal, he’s just going to completely ignore her feelings, thereby disrespecting her point of view completely. It’s the whole attitude of, “Well I’m going to do what I want, and YOU can’t stop me. So THERE!”, that is wrong with this situation. He is not trying to be understanding of her feelings one bit, and by continuing to use porn behind her back he is choosing to lie to her AND put his own selfish desires first. A man who is truly invested in honoring his marriage will respect his wife’s feelings and put action to the commitment to her that he promised in his wedding vows, To Forsake ALL Others. She is not asking him to stop fantasizing and masturbating, she’s simply asking him to stop his porn use.
       
      To put the shoe on the other foot, say the guy is insecure because he thinks he is not that attractive, and he has a beautiful wife who is friendly to the point of flirting with other men. When he sees her doing it, he asks her to stop even though she assures him that it’s no big thing. Will she choose to honor his wishes, the way a good wife would, or will she continue to flirt, knowing that it bothers him? Even if it is harmless, his feelings should matter more to her than any thrill she might get out of being overly friendly with other men.

      1. 15.2.1
        Evan Marc Katz

        I don’t agree with Garret much, but I still think you’re missing it. Insecurities are the problem of the person who is insecure. If a man can’t tell the difference between his wife being friendly with other men and hitting on other men, that’s HIS problem. She doesn’t have to change. This is why I tell people to marry SECURE people, because INSECURE people are always the ones demanding that you change for them.

        1. Jenn

          It’s not about changing anything that’s fundamental to you being you, it’s about choosing to respect and honor your partner. For instance, if a man is against the use of artificial birth control and I’m not, I’d never expect him to change his stance on it for me, but I would expect him to stop the bad behavior of flushing my pills if he did that. It’s the behavior that’s disturbing, not the intent behind it.

      2. 15.2.2
        Garret

        Jenn, I gathered that you are Christian. So am I. It is a personal thing. But you remind me of some women who are Christian whom I would not want to be married to, ever. Why? they are hypocrites. Always reciting the Bible when it is to their advantage, but often not following it when it conflicts with their natural inclinations, or the culture in which they were raised. That is a huge growing problem in churches.

        For instance, your zeal in this seems driven by your Christian beliefs. I’ve seen you reference your beliefs a number of times. Fine, but read the Bible. A man was suspicious of his wife’s infidelities, so he did what he was required by Jewish law in order to legally divorce her. He hired someone to follow her and get proof. At a minimum, he could have divorced her. At the worst, he could have had her stoned. But what did he do when he had the proof in his hands? He threw it in the fireplace. It was said that because he forgave her, he too would be forgiven. Women these days don’t seem to be very forgiving. More like selfish hurt feelings. It’s all about their feelings, never about what’s best. Have you ever considered that. So the guy sits in his bedroom, when he thinks you aren’t home, looks at some hotties and jerks off. Otherwise, he is a good husband and good father, but the butt hurt woman gets angry and ends up destroying the family over it.

        Yes, it’s so much better for a divorce to happen, right? Better for children to taken through the turmoil of divorce, right? Better to enrich the lawyers, right?

        Maybe instead of running off and whining to every friend and family member that the woman knows, hoping that one of them will save her from this, it would be better if she kept her mouth closed. If unable to do that, seek counseling. Airing dirty laundry is never a good idea. If the husband is an otherwise good man, other than his porn use, is it going to help anything to have all of the women in the family looking at him like he’s Satan? And they will, because like the wife, they too are insecure, and so an example to all the other men in the family must be shown. But it never turns out good. Even if he were to give up his porn use, huge damage has been done. He will never feel comfortable around these women. They will never feel comfortable around him.

        Now, I know you and some other women will want to put all back on him, because he looked at porn. Again, I point out that if that is all he is doing, just looking at porn, if he is an otherwise good man, is the destruction worth it? I say no. If he is an otherwise good man, is he still worth loving, respecting? I say yes.

        You know what else causes a lot of divorces? Facebook. What would you do if your husband banned you from Facebook? Is he not equally justified in doing so? Isn’t your family worth more than letting friends know what you bought at the store, or where you went on vacation? You will, I am sure, try to say that it is different. Yes it is, and yet there is still the fact that Facebook does cause a lot of divorces. And why is that? Emotional affairs that come between a wife and her husband. Is that really much different than a man looking at a hot body and getting turned on, then going back to his family and being a good father and husband? I might argue that Facebook is worse, because you can actually meet up with the men you talk to on Facebook. Women in porn are like stuff in National Geographic. Beautiful places you are never going to experience.

        Now here’s the thing Jenn, I am not going to say that porn is right. I will call it a weakness. It plays to the biology of men. Men in a biological sense at not designed for monogamy. But many men would like to be. And, while porn may be a problem, the bigger problem is the butt hurt way in which women react to it and destroy their families over it.

        1. Jenn

          ” It’s all about their feelings, never about what’s best. Have you ever considered that. So the guy sits in his bedroom, when he thinks you aren’t home, looks at some hotties and jerks off. Otherwise, he is a good husband and good father, but the butt hurt woman gets angry and ends up destroying the family over it.”
           
          How is using porn “what’s best”? Her hurt feelings are the direct result of his selfish refusal to put their marriage first. He is the one destroying the family, not her. Regardless of why she has these feelings, if he is more interested in carrying on his porn use, even though he knows it is something that hurts her deeply, he is not being a good husband. And as far as being a good father, a man who abstains from porn will, by example, be helping to shield his children from premature exposure to porn because he will not have it in the house or on the computer. It’s not that this one thing makes or breaks his ability to be a good husband and father. It’s that if he chooses to put his own desires ahead of the good of his family, he is not being the best man he can be.
           
          I would never give my husband any reason not to trust me. Being spiritually, emotionally AND physically faithful are all important elements of a good marriage. But most people seem to think that only the last one is important. God calls people to rise above their weaknesses so that they can better serve Him, their families and their communities. He never says we are wrong for having certain human impulses. It’s how we respond to them that matters most. It’s always easier to throw up your hands and say, “Well, this is how it is, so ya better suck it up and get used to it, babe!”. But that isn’t going to make either partner truly happy in the long run.

        2. Evan Marc Katz

          Sorry, Jenn, but there is no evidence that a man who jerks off refuses to put his family first. If your feelings tell you otherwise, perhaps they are mistaken. You’re really on the wrong blog to crusade against what most men consider normal. Nor should you be surprised when normal men who masturbate occasionally to porn take it personally when you suggest that they are somehow deviant.

        3. Garret

          @Jenn

          “Her hurt feelings are the direct result of his selfish refusal to put their marriage first. He is the one destroying the family, not her. Regardless of why she has these feelings, if he is more interested in carrying on his porn use, even though he knows it is something that hurts her deeply, he is not being a good husband.”

          http://www.thealabamabaptist.org/print-edition-article-detail.php?id_art=21603&pricat_art=6
          Survey shows 40 percent of Christian pastors struggle with pornography

          You are wrong. 100% wrong. Read your Bible. The woman destroys the marriage when she makes this a deal breaker. When SHE allows it to become a “my way or the highway” issue. I have news for you Jenn, in this day and age, your kids are going to see porn no matter what you do. Their friends will have it on their phones and they will be sitting all google eyed as they and several friends watch it. That’s even if you send them to a Christian school.

          I am not saying that a woman has to just accept that the man uses it, but the way women do handle it is all wrong. Divorce is not the answer for every time the woman has hurt feelings and that is what has happened in this country. It’s their whiny baby my way or the highway attitude. I’ve never seen women think it was OK if the man dictates what she can or can’t watch, or who she can or can’t have on her facebook friends list, or if she can even have a facebook account.

          As Evan said, if it is not a problem, then the woman is the one making it into a problem. You mentioned the man making a compromise earlier. Well here’s a compromise. She stops making an issue of it, and he agrees to certain restrictions, especially where time is concerned. Amount of time he views it, and times of day he views it. In other words, he only does it in his locked bedroom, or locked office/computer room when the kids are either asleep or not at home. Maybe he even agrees to never do it when the wife is in the house. But then, she could also give him a heads up that she is on the way home.

          Somehow, i don’t think that reasonable compromise would be enough, because it still boils down to, Miss Insecure, having hurt feelings that her man could actually find another woman sexually attractive enough to fantasize over.

          Now, I linked that article above because I want you to realize that it IS in your mind where the issue is at, and no place else. You could walk into ten churches and there is a good bet that 4 of those pastors use porn somewhat regularly. The crazy thing is that you could also walk into ten churches and just happen to do so where all ten struggle with porn. And yet if you do not know about it, you would think these are great men. You would see all of the great things they do, the ministries that help people that they run, and the charity that they do, and you would accept that these are good men. But if you caught your husband looking at porn, you would instantly allow your mind to place him in this dog house where you disrespect him as a man, until he agrees to your demands. Even then, your extreme sensitivity to it may cause you to look at him differently forever.

          My advice to you, marry Jesus. Become a servant of the church. I feel pretty certain that there is a very good chance that if you marry a mortal man, he will disappoint you. One day, your shiny won’t be shiny because you will discover in some manner that he is looking at porn. And when you do, you will have to make a choice. You either allow it to alter the way you see him, or you do not. If you do, you might as well get divorced, because the odds are that if he looks at it, he will again. And the truth is Jenn, many many men in the church do use porn. Why? who knows, but they do, and they are still good men. The problem is that you are part of the mob of wives who think that they don’t sin, or that their sins are somehow more benign. Yes, the self righteous mob of Christian women all too ready to cast the first stone. And right beside them will be more women who in fact use porn themselves. Yes Jenn, do some research. Even a significant amount of Christian women are using porn.

        4. Jenn

          Garret,

          One of Evan’s sayings is that in relationships, women have a need to feel SAFE, HEARD and UNDERSTOOD. A woman does not feel SAFE when her man actively chooses to lust after other women and seeks sexual release with them (even if it is just a “fantasy”). She needs to feel secure in the knowledge that her man will never seek sexual release from anyone besides herself. When she tells him how his actions make her feel, she does not feel HEARD when he chooses to ignore the hurt that he is causing with his porn use, and continues to direct his sexual energy away from his partner. She certainly can’t be expected to feel UNDERSTOOD when he stubbornly refuses to acknowledge that his actions are what is causing her to be upset, and on top of that, he insists that she just deal with it because he’s just going to keep doing whatever he wants, regardless of how it makes her feel. Does that sound like a loving man to you? 

          Now let’s put the shoe on the other foot. Most men who are proponents of porn use say that it is a harmless activity in which they occasionally indulge when they either can’t or don’t want to have sex. They rationalize that since they’re not actually interacting, just watching videos, that there’s nothing wrong with it. But say they decide to log on to their favorite site one day and suddenly, in all her naked glory, lying spread-eagle on HIS marital bed, is his wife, clad in the sexy lingerie that he bought her for their tenth anniversary, masturbating and talking dirty to the camera (or in reality, the hundreds of other men watching). I wonder what that would feel like for a man who thinks pornography is no big deal. I’m betting it would become a pret-ty big deal for him after that! But according to the logic of the typical porn user, she’s not actually cheating so there’s no reason for him to get upset that what should be for his eyes only is now being wanked to by EVERY guy who clicks on her. Chew on that food for thought. 

        5. Evan Marc Katz

          Once again, Jenn, you’re making a false equivalent. Man #1 masturbates to “mainstream” free video porn on occasion. His wife knows. No one gets hurt. Woman #1 is a live webcam porn actress (unbeknownst to her husband of 10 years). And you’re saying that these are equivalent? Chew on this: man watches porn for stimulation. His wife also watches porn for stimulation. Those are equivalent. Your attempts at arguing this point only make you sound more out-of-touch and desperate to prove your point. There’s no logic; only emotion because you want to be right. As everyone here has been telling you: YOU can get angry at a man who looks at porn on occasion. You will just be angry at a vast majority of the population. YOU can hold out for a man who is okay with not having sex until marriage. You will just ignore the vast majority of the population. You seem okay with that. What you STILL don’t get, however, is that people who disagree with you – and watch porn and have premarital sex – aren’t wrong. They’re not immoral. They only thing they are is “not your husband”. So stop moralizing and telling 90% of the population that it’s “wrong”. We’re not. And it’s getting pretty tiresome to hear you say otherwise. My wife feels “safe, heard, and understood” by me, as do millions of other wives who indulge in premarital sex and porn themselves.

          In other words, just give it a rest already.

        6. Garret

          “Don’t assume that porn isn’t a problem in the church. One evangelical leader was skeptical of survey findings that said 50 percent of Christian men have looked at porn recently. So he surveyed his own congregation. He found that 60 percent had done so within the past year, and 25 percent within the past 30 days. Other surveys reveal that one in three visitors to adult websites are women.”

          That is from the web. Jenn, I suggest you stay single. The odds are very high that your future husband will be viewing porn in the time period, before you tow even get married. Of course, if you two fall in love, he isn’t going to tell you he watches it. He’ll do like any other Christian and totally agree with you about how horrible it is. If I were sitting in a singles group in a church with you, I too would agree with everything you say. I wouldn’t have a choice if I wanted to remain a member in good faith. But here I can tell you the truth. Now, add in that the man who falls in love with you will also have an extra reason to deny it.

          OK, so what do you do Jenn? Do you start doing the sleuth thing? You know, always keeping your radar up for a sniff of something wrong? Do you take that into looking through his computer for a trace of impropriety? Do you search his phone? Just how far will you go to spy on him?

          More importantly, what do you do when you do catch him? That is the real question. If you believe it is a problem, what kind of problem. Most professionals classify a porn problem as an addiction. An addiction is a mental illness. Biblical wedding vows, “in sickness and in health.”

          Now ask yourself, how would you act with a husband who had cancer? Or a husband who had contracted some other long term disease? Would you still love him and respect him just as much as you did before he got sick? Or do you let it affect you also? You say that he would be responsible for destroying his family. Is that what you would say about a husband who had cancer? What if his problem was a mental illness? Not one that leave him incapacitated. Maybe something like bipolar disorder? What would you say about a woman who divorced her husband because he was sick? Because if you believe that porn is a problem, it is a sickness. Chew on that. Even if your husband turns out to look at porn, he is still your husband, and he still deserves your love and respect.

        7. Jenn

          “OK, so what do you do Jenn? Do you start doing the sleuth thing? You know, always keeping your radar up for a sniff of something wrong? Do you take that into looking through his computer for a trace of impropriety? Do you search his phone? Just how far will you go to spy on him?”
           
          Of course not. I would trust him implicitly unless and until he gave me a reason not to. I am not the type to go purposely snooping through web histories, but if I Google something on his smartphone and a dozen porn-centered words pop up in the search suggestion box, I might be suspicious. If I use his laptop and accidentally close the page I’m on, and go to the History tab to find it only to come across 20 porn pages in Today’s History, then that would not be snooping. And yes, it would bother me.
           
          “More importantly, what do you do when you do catch him? That is the real question. If you believe it is a problem, what kind of problem. Most professionals classify a porn problem as an addiction. An addiction is a mental illness. Biblical wedding vows, “in sickness and in health.”
           
          But that’s the issue, isn’t it? If I believe it’s a problem. If he doesn’t think it is, he wouldn’t bother to seek help, will he? That’s how most addicts start off, right? By thinking they can control themselves? But that’s assuming that it is a true addiction, and true sex addiction is very rare.
           
          “Now ask yourself, how would you act with a husband who had cancer? Or a husband who had contracted some other long term disease? Would you still love him and respect him just as much as you did before he got sick? Or do you let it affect you also? You say that he would be responsible for destroying his family. Is that what you would say about a husband who had cancer? What if his problem was a mental illness? Not one that leave him incapacitated. Maybe something like bipolar disorder? What would you say about a woman who divorced her husband because he was sick?”


          I’d say she’s an imbecile. But to your other point, cancer and habitual porn use are two very different things.  But all right, let’s assume for the sake of argument that he is suffering from porn addiction. Yes, I would absolutely stay with him if he agreed to seek help. I am not a deserter! Recovering addicts need help and support to overcome their afflictions. Addiction is a disease like anything else, and I am also not the kind of person who would hightail it at the first sign of trouble. When I marry it will be for life, in good times and in bad.
           
          “Because if you believe that porn is a problem, it is a sickness. Chew on that.”


          Except in extreme cases of sex addiction, porn use is a compulsion (much like overeating), it’s not a true sickness. It may take a lot of effort to break the porn habit, but it comes down to this: who do you love more? Your wife or the porn?


            “Even if your husband turns out to look at porn, he is still your husband, and he still deserves your love and respect.”


          Not if he chooses to use porn when he knows it upsets me, he doesn’t. Love and respect are earned, not granted unconditionally. That’s the problem with this notion of “unconditional” love that people seem to cling to: that no matter what you do, or how your actions affect others, they should just continue to love you back “just because”. You want that level of devotion? Get a dog. But be warned, he’s still going to need to be fed, exercised, fully vetted and socialized in order be able to give you the love and affection you’d expect from him. So you see, even dogs don’t give people unconditional love, so how can you expect it from a person? But to answer your question, I would still love and respect him, but my respect would likely be diminished. At least until I saw him taking steps to rid himself of the porn completely. Any step a person takes toward improving themselves is always worthy of respect.
           
                      I would never be the kind of wife who stands over her husband wagging her finger while he sits guiltily in his chair, shrinking back from me like a little boy. If I got upset, I’d want us to sit together and discuss problems in a loving, non-confrontational way, where we both get to explain our side of things.
           

        8. Clare

          All I can think of, Jenn, is how desperately unhappy your marriage will be, when you choose to turn something into a fight and a battle of wills, that could simply be let go.

      3. 15.2.3
        starthrower68

        I don’t believe that porn has any socially or spiritually redeeming value, but if a man and wife believe it’s a problem and the marriage is at risk, there are ways to deal with it. Steve Arteburn has the Every Man’s Battle workshops.  There are men who struggle with an addiction to it who are still good men who love their families.

      4. 15.2.4
        Simone

        Jenn, you are GOOD!!!

      5. 15.2.5
        Karmic Equation

        If this is such a big issue for you Jenn, the solution is very simple. On your first date with a man, find a gentle way to say you are 100% against porn. “On a blog I like to contribute to, there was a discussion about porn use. I am SOOO against it. I could never date or marry a man who ever looks a porn.” Then tilt your head quizzically. “Umm, do you think we should end the date now?”
         
        If he ends it, you’ve done both him and you a favor.
         
        If he continues, you’ve found someone compatible on this issue.
         
        I’ll lay odds, you’re not going to get many 2nd dates.

        1. jeremy

          I don’t know, Karmic.  Most men don’t believe that the women they are with will ever find out about it.  Kind of like how most teenage boys believe their parents don’t know they are masturbating.
          Many women that I know make occasional statements that they are against porn when the subject comes up.  My bet is that most of their husbands look at it.  So I bet that even if Jen made a statement like you describe, it would be ignored by most men, and they would still ask her for a second date if they found her attractive.  And if she said no, they would find other ways to amuse themselves while alone.

        2. Karmic Equation

          Well, Jenn did say she’s a busty blond. So you’re probably right that men will just ignore her statement.
           
          But just like the guy who says, “He’s not looking for anything serious.” — If/when she discovers her guy looking at porn–if she really is against porn as she states–she should break up with him or file for divorce on spot. No negotiations. Why no negotiations? Because she stated “at the beginning” that she was 100% against porn and his looking at it after that is disrespecting her. While I think women should accept porn, women should NOT accept blatant disrespect.
           
          And by walking away from such blatant disrespect, Jenn demonstrates her self-esteem. If she negotiates, she’s demonstrating she doesn’t have any.

        3. jeremy

          Ok, I’ll bite.
           
          A woman (or man) can break up or file for divorce on the spot for pretty much any reason they want.  Why do you perceive this as being any different?  I could flip the argument – the woman finds the man looking at porn and masturbating and she berates him for it.  He should break up with/divorce her immediately because she presumes to tell him what to do with his own body on his own time.  What he does with his own body is his own business…..if he acquiesces to her demands on the subject he would be demonstrating low self-esteem 🙂
           
          But I liked your earlier comment.  Women must understand that men are different than them (I would flip it and say that men should understand the same, but thing is that most do already).  Men do things for their own reasons, and do not approach life from the same perspective as women.  And women (and men) would be far happier in relationships if they took the time to understand the opposite sex as they ARE, not as they think they should be.

        4. starthrower68

          I agree with that one Karmic. A deal breaker is a deal breaker. Don’t nag, negotiate, cajole, coerce, or otherwise attempt to persuade.  If porn is a deal breaker, then a woman has to make her peace with walking away. If you’re already married, that changes the game. I would say in marriage you either pretend you don’t know and pray for him, or, in a spirit of love, ask if he would consider attending a workshop such as Every Man’s Battle, if he’s open. But you don’t nag, throw tantrums, etc.  I never asked my step mom how she deals with it regarding my dad’s habit, but my guess would be she chalks it up to boys being boys.  It works for them and it’s not my business.  

        5. Karmic Equation

          Hi Jeremy,
           
          This is a little different only because (in our hypothetical situation) – Jenn stated she was 100% against porn. And the guy KNEW he consumed porn and didn’t end the date when she indirectly asked him about HIS use of porn, which was, in essence, LYING to her. So the LYING is the blatant disrespect I was referring to.
           
          If a guy says he’s not looking for anything serious, and the girl dates him hoping to change his mind, then it’s on her if she “gets her heart broken” — he didn’t string her along. He was upfront. She just didn’t listen.
           
          So, unless the guy discloses to Jenn that he masturbates to porn occasionally and he could never date or marry someone who doesn’t accept that — and she dates and marries him anyway — but later changes her mind, then yeah, the guy should break up or divorce her on the spot.
           
          @ST
          I don’t think it should matter whether they’re married or not. A deal-breaker is a deal-breaker. If you think marriage changes the deal-breaker, then it wasn’t really a deal-breaker, but a “preference” in the first place.
           
          I would agree if there are young children involved, that they should try to work things out. But in my hypothetical situation, I would say the guy has to STOP his porn use altogether, not that Jenn would have to accept it. Because she stated from the beginning that she wouldn’t date or marry a guy who uses porn, so their marriage was based on a lie. HIS. We would have to assume that if he had disclosed it, she would never have married him. So if HE wants to save the marriage, HE is the one that has to change. Still no negotiation.

        6. jeremy

          @ Karmic, let’s use a different hypothetical situation to demonstrate a point – and please forgive the irreverence of the topic:
           
          Man and woman are on a date.  Man brings up, in conversation, that he finds nose-picking disgusting, and would not want to be with a woman who ever picked her nose.  Now, the question of this man’s sanity aside, let’s say that everything else on the date went well, and the relationship somehow progressed.  The woman never overtly responded to his nose-picking comment – not because she necessarily agreed, but because she found the topic distasteful, and frankly, it is not a topic about which he has the right to an opinion.  Her own hygiene practices are her own business, and if she chooses to covertly pick her nose in the privacy of her own bathroom, that is her business.
           
          Our hypothetical man would certainly have the right to an opinion about whether he picks his own nose, or whether he finds nose-picking attractive if done in front of him, but he does not have the right to dictate to others regarding their private hygiene practices.
           
          After a few years, our hypothetical man walks into the bathroom and catches the woman picking her nose when she thought she was alone, and accuses the woman of “lying”.  After all, didn’t she covertly agree with his anti-nose-picking tirade by continuing the relationship with him after he made his opinion clear? 
           
          Does he have moral high ground to break up with her/divorce her over this issue?  Sure, he made his opinion on the matter clear, but does he have the right to an opinion on this matter?  I would posit that, no, he does not.  And the same is true for the issue we are discussing here.
           
          A man who hides/lies about his use of porn/masturbation from a judgmental wife is very different from the case of a hopeful woman with a man who states that he never wants marriage/kids.  Both the man’s and the woman’s opinion on marriage and kids is VERY relevant, since it impacts both of them directly.  It is of great importance to her relationship with him.  Whether or not a man looks at porn and masturbates in private does not affect her at all, nor does it affect their relationship – in the same way that her private nose-picking does not (unless, of course, it becomes a nose-picking addiction and begins to affect her public life).
           
          This is the point I’ve been trying to make on several of my comments here, including the one above where I stated that a woman berating a man for looking at porn and masturbating is, in fact, VIOLATING his personal autonomy.  She does not have the right to an opinion on his own private activities – or, at least, she should not expect her own opinion on the matter to dictate his actions, even if she made her opinion on the matter clear from the get-go.  She can divorce him if she wants, but I don’t think she would be empowered by doing so.  I think she would be pretty immature.
           

        7. EmeraldDust

          Jeremy @ 15.2.5 something or other . . .
          “Man and woman are on a date.  Man brings up, in conversation, that he finds nose-picking disgusting, and would not want to be with a woman who ever picked her nose.” . . .
           
          Thanks for bringing this up.  I was in a very new r’ship about 1 year and a half ago.  I told this person that pot smoking was a deal breaker for me.  He basically said nothing.   As the r’ship progressed, he told me that he is an “occasional” smoker of pot.  I felt like I had been lied to.  I asked him why he didn’t tell me, or not ask me out again knowing how he felt, and his answer was that it was un-important because “it’s not a big part of who he was”.  While I was mulling it over, he started questioning me about when was I going to finalize my divorce.  What followed was a very weird convo, where I was questioning his pot habits,and why he didn’t tell me, and he questioning my separation status that I had told him about from DAY 1.  (My status was listed as “separated” on the website)  Well, as I was deciding “should I stay or should I go”, HE said he couldn’t handle being with me due to me not being legally separated and not even having filed the papers for divorce.  (He knew that from the beginning)  I was pretty relieved, because I was grappling with indecision over the pot issue, and it was a weak attraction r’ship to begin with.  (A guy who I initially wasn’t attracted to, that I gave a chance, and ended up really liking his personal characteristics, but still the chemistry was a tad weak) 
           
          I really thought he brought up the pot issue to get me to break up with him.  But then when my divorce became final, he contacted me through the OLD site where we met, and said now that I was divorced, he would like to try again.  Well we did go out once after that, and he explained why he felt threatened by the separation, but he still felt like he was justified in withholding the pot info from me.  I just felt like he was being a tad of a hypocrit.  He was still involved with his ex wife (whom he married TWICE) due to their child, and of course, my ex and I will always be involved due to our sharing of a son. But somehow, my “involvment” with my ex was an issue for him, while his “involvement” with his ex shouldn’t be an issue for me (and it wasn’t)    And the weak attraction was now even weaker due to the months we had been apart.  So we parted ways after that one “let’s try again” date.
          Anyway, the ONLY reason pot smoking is a deal breaker for me, is because it is ILLEGAL and I don’t want to risk any ramifications. With it now legalized in my state for medical issues, and in some other states for recreational use, I’m not sure if it’s a deal breaker for me any more.  Cigarettes are still a deal breaker for me because I HATE the smell.  I can’t STAND kissing a stinky mouth, and I HATE that smokers always have to light up right after sex. And cigarettes killed my mother and disabled my brother, so one more reason I HATE them.    But I might take pot off my “deal breaker” list, if I could get the other person to agree to NEVER have it with them when we are together in order to protect me legally.  I’m not really opposed to that habit.  In fact, I wish it were legal in all states.  
           
          But in retro-spect, I still feel “less lied to” about the whole thing, because he did say it was very occasional, and that he would never partake in my presence to protect me legally, but at the time, it seemed like a huge red flag. 

        8. jeremy

          Hmmm, pot…..not really apples to apples, I think.
           
          I’m not surprised he didn’t fess up to you right away.  After all, how many people confess their dark secrets on a first (or even tenth) date?  He knew you were against it, but liked you and probably hoped that you’d come to like him enough to not hold his occasional pot smoking against him.  After all, it isn’t a big deal to him, so why is it a big deal to you, right?

          But in this case, I think you were justified.  Illegal pot smoking is not an innocuous personal activity.  It is illegal to buy, and runs the risk of arrest.  It produces an unpleasant smell.  It makes the user high, and therefore affects their actions/behaviour for a length of time.  And if you stated, from the get-go that you find it offensive because of the legal risk, the smell, and the changes in behaviour that it produces, your complaints would be justified because these are all things that have the potential to affect YOU. 
          And so I would not equate it with a legal, un-offensive vice such as a glass of alcoholic wine with dinner or occasional private masturbation.

        9. starthrower68

          I listen occasionally to New Life Live radio: for men who otherwise love their wives and families, and treat them well, they generally advise counseling for the couple. Yes, it’s a Christian program, and no, I’m not going to rehash all the previous discussion. Obviously, not all men will see it as an issue or be open to that course of action. As long as the man is a good, loving husband, father, etc. Then I would not divorce. I might be hurt and disappointed, and do an awful lot of praying to have an attitude of forgiveness. But the prayers of the righteous availeth much. We cannot, nor should we want to control our spouse. Something we do have to just let go in faith. I also recognize that despite our best attempts, we can’t always screen for everything before we get involved with someone but in a relationship, the option to walk away is much more feasible if a woman decides to do that.

        10. EmeraldDust

          Hi again Jeremy @ Jeremy @ 15.2.5 something or other . . .
          Thanks for your response – I really only object to pot smoking on legal grounds, and if it became legal tomorrow I would be fine with it, and would even OCCASIONALLY indulge. I think it’s patently stupid that it is illegal.  Except for the ILLEGALITY of it, I regard it the same way as I regard alcohol.  As long as it doesn’t become and addiction or cause problems, I would be fine with it.  I am a social drinker, I would be OK with a social drinker, but not a non-recovering alcoholic. 
          Yeah, I understand now why he hid it from me, because he liked me.  I guess I can’t be upset at someone for liking me.  But it was a weak attraction.  I was more upset that he made a big deal over my lack of a legal divorce when I told him about that from the git go. 
          I don’t get upset with guys who lie about their height any more either.  (It is SO common)  I know that short guys get short changed a lot due to their height, so I understand.  I don’t really care about height anyway.  (I’m of average height myself)  I used to care that they lied about that, but considering how difficult it is for short men to get dates, I really cut some slack in that dept.
          I still am brutally honest about everything in my profile (except for OBVIOUS fun fiction)  because I don’t want to get attached to someone after lying about my age (which is really the only thing I would even consider lying about)  and then have them dump me for being old, or lying about my age. 
           

      6. 15.2.6
        woah woah

        “She is not asking him to stop fantasizing and masturbating, she’s simply asking him to stop his porn use.”
        You’re saying it as if there was some qualitative difference.

        When you find yourself in a relationship filled with incompatible interests and it doesn’t work, go separate ways be done with it. 

    3. 15.3
      Briana

      If the woman says it’s a dealbreaker, it seems more controlling to lie about it and violate her boundary. Why not be an honest man, state that you will not give up porn/sex workers for any reason, and then break up?

       

  16. 16
    kdr

    Reading happily along, “yup, heard this all before. Maybe it’s true or partly true or . . .” SREECH!
    6) When we watch porn, we support human trafficking, slavery, rape, and blackmail of women all over the world.
    And  if you do not make sure the clothing you buy isn’t made in ol’ US of A then you are promoting horrific child exploitation. And if you smoke a joint you are supporting the vicious, murderous drug cartels.
    I don’t believe this is just hyperbole; I think it is deliberate and written by someone with an agenda.
     
     

  17. 17
    kdr

    Oh, and I am a woman.

  18. 18
    flonie

    Glad you posted this on here…because I was racking my head searching for this on here before…
    I have to admit, I am a prue when porn is concerned.  It makes me feel as if I’m not enough for my guy that he has to seek naked women to get off.  I don’t like to watch porn either.
    I recently got involved in a new situation with a guy, he’s not really my type but over time I find him attractive and he turns me on. Call me old fashion but I don’t really look at other men now because I have eyes for him only…I know this isn’t typical of everyone nor am I expecting the same from him.
    Here’s the thing…at teh beginning, he told me that he masturbates and for some people they think it’s unethical…I thought ok, no big deal I guess…after some persistent asking, he admitted that he watched porn but as of lately it didn’t have the same effect that it used to have (I presumed it was because we were slowly getting somewhat serious)…so stupid me, I thought he had abandoned his porny ways…was I wrong…
    We are in a long distance relationship, so when I noticed during skype sex that he didn’t look as large as usual…I knew something was up…turns out…he was back to porn…
    I try not to let it bother me too much and I know everyone says that all men watch porn…it doesn’t help though…he tried to tell me that for men…it has something to do with…I can’t remembre it’s called, but basically men are wired to seek pleasure elsewhere…
    So then I looked it up and apparently it says that men are incapable of being monogamous because they get bored eventually…I found a few sites which also pointed to that as the reason why men cheat or leave relationships…
    Well, when I read that I just about flipped…relationships are too stressful for me…

    1. 18.1
      starthrower68

      On the one hand, Flonie, I hear you.  I see a lot of comments on here about “well if you don’t get on board with this and so, you will end up alone with cats.” While I get the spirit with which that is intended, to us risk-averse types, it’s not our worst possible outcome by a long shot.  That having been said, we only grow by going through.  I don’t like that rule and I didn’t make it up but it is what it is, I suppose. 😉

    2. 18.2
      woah woah

      “It makes me feel as if I’m not enough for my guy that he has to seek naked women to get off.”
      It’s not about something not being enough – generally speaking and to put it overly simple, if those naked women were enough for him, he wouldn’t be with you.

      That’s like saying he eats fish because all the beef is not enough for him… … no wait 😮

      “I thought ok, no big deal I guess”
      But if he were your type you’d find it hawt? Nah just kidding…
      Well, it could be.. 

      “I thought ok, no big deal I guess”
      Ah, I see 🙂

      “that he didn’t look as large as usual”
      Hm.

      “relationships are too stressful for me…”
      I know just the right substitute… you know, nothing groundbreaking, but it’s quite, it’s decent you know?

      🙂 

      PS: Relationship are conditional, and people may enter agreements when in that particular entanglement. In terms of general principles, on the other hand, discussing this topic is absolutely laughable. 

  19. 19
    Noquay

    This post is very timely in a sad way. While sorting through my late fathers belongings last week, I found a large stash of porn and (ahem) related items. The mags featured young women, young enough to be his grand daughters. My first reaction was utter revulsion, my second, gratitude that it was me, not my friends
    helping me that found this. Thinking further, this was an old man, once very handsome but now ravaged by poor health, with poor social skills in a virtual ghost town. He had zero chance of a relationship with anyone ever again. Who the heck am I to judge?
    What was harmful with this kind of thing was that it made having sex with young women/girls seem as though it’s acceptable behavior. Thinking back after the end of his marriage #3, his life since had been characterised by inappropriate relationships with
    married/not quite separated women, usually much younger than he.  Maybe porn contributed to this, maybe not. Porn addiction was not what did him in; twas addiction to other poisons such as excess eating, alcoholism, coupled with the inability to face and heal from his own past abuse, an explosive temper, an 18 year journey of surgeries, emergencies, crises, that ended badly. Yep, porn is exploitative. However, as a society, obesity, alcoholism, combinations thereof cost us far more in medical costs, anguish, often severe physical pain, plus lost productivity, quality of life of patients AND their caregivers. I too fantasize sexually about hot guys I meet at races, forbidden colleagues. In an area where the older male population is truly undateable for a huge radius, until I can leave, that’s an only option. So yeah folks, have your porn, your fantasies, so long as you understand this is only fantasy but don’t leave anything for someone else to find and have to deal with, eh?

    1. 19.1
      woah woah

      “What was harmful with this kind of thing was that it made having sex with young women/girls seem as though it’s acceptable behavior”
      It is acceptable behavior. It may not be very pleasant to think about if he’s particularly old, or has a generally unerotic aura 🙂 

      “don’t leave anything for someone else to find and have to deal with, eh?” 
      Living with sex-negatives, this shoud be done 🙂 

  20. 20
    Erin

    I am a woman who can get into watching porn, especially with my partner. It can be a fun and inspirational fantasy that ignites a spark between us that can be amazing. 

    I don’t believe all porn is bad porn. Sure, the porn featuring violent rape, children, and themes that are degrading to humans in general is disgusting. I do not support those types of porn, and I would never be able to watch it and get aroused with or without a partner. But I’m a pretty kinky woman, and a well matched partner can give into my kinks as well as bring his own. 

    That said, porn is obviously a slippery slope – it can feature under age people, it can glorify rape and demeaning roles of both sexes. It is also highly addictive. I have not been touched by a partner’s porn addiction, and I can’t imagine how that would make me feel (inadequate? stupid? I have no idea).

    But to say that all porn is bad and degrades the role the role of the female gender is thin at best.  Just FYI my perspective is as a woman with a masters in anthropology and a concentration in women’s studies. 

    1. 20.1
      woah woah

      “Sure, the porn featuring violent rape,”
      What does featuring mean? You mean depicting? An expansion of your sexual practices might lead to the set of pron you find inacceptable being dramatically reduced…

      “children”
      Uh, ain’t that totally illegal or something? You won’t find that where you find “porn”. 

      “nd I would never be able to watch it and get aroused with or without a partner.”
      Weird…

      “nd I would never be able to watch it and get aroused with or without a partner. But I’m a pretty kinky woman ”
      Hm, I can imagine several ways in which this isn’t a self-contradiction, so I won’t pretend like it is. 

      “it can glorify rape and demeaning roles of both sexes.” 
      On the other hand, tying up because it feels nice, and some hot candle wax because it’s neat, hardly counts as kink – it’s more like a transitional fossil between vanilla and kink. 

  21. 21
    Jenn

    Porn is not normal, it is common; there’s a huge difference there. There are so many things that are wrong with porn that it’s hard to imagine there being anything right about it. Even with that said, I will admit that I use it about once a week or so. Clearly, I have mixed feelings! But I have zero interest in the hardcore stuff. When I do watch it, what I watch is very tame (one-on-one, intimate “couples” stuff). I’m also really only watching it at all because as I’m waiting till marriage, I have no other sexual outlet. I’m sure a lot of single guys probably watch it for that reason too, and maybe don’t care to watch it once they’re in a relationship or married.
     
    My problem is that I worry that porn will have a different significance for my future husband. I worry that while I’m saving myself for him and will likely give up the porn once I’m married and having sex in real life, he won’t feel compelled to do the same. I know the man I marry will likely not be a virgin, and that’s perfectly acceptable. But I don’t know if I can accept a man’s regular porn use. It would feel too much like he’s cheating, even if not in the physical sense. It would be cheating more in a mental sense. Even the Bible says that a man who looks with lust upon a woman who is not his wife, has already committed adultery with her in his heart. It would also be mentally damaging to me to have a husband who might not be able to fully connect with ME, in all my imperfect glory, during the act of sex itself. I worry that he’ll be closing his eyes and imagining some hot Brazilian babe instead of reveling in having the experience with ME. I don’t want to be just a hole to stuff it in, a place to put it while he has sex in his mind with the women he really desires.
     
    Also I think that it’s kind of selfish in a way. I’d be ready to ravage this guy at any time, dreaming about him when we’re not together, my whole sexual desire being consumed with thoughts of him, and he’s busy siphoning off his desires into a computer. That would be so unfair and a huge disappointment. I may be a virgin but I have a high sex drive and I cringe at the thought that my husband’s libido would be deadened because he’s too busy rubbing one out every time he gets excited rather than waiting, letting the desire build until he sees me.
     
    I guess the important thing for me to do is to suss out early on whether a guy regards porn much the same way I do, as something to casually “fill in the gap” while single. And it would also be important to discuss the type of porn he likes – if his tastes deviate too far from mine, maybe that’s something to be concerned about. I don’t know. I guess I won’t be able to really deal with it until I’m in a position to. Right now this is all just supposition, but I admit that I do worry a lot about it.

    1. 21.1
      Julia

      I don’t think you have a bad attitude about porn. I think you are almost there. I do think you have slightly unrealistic expectations about sex, your own libido, etc. I love having sex, my boyfriend and I have it about 4-5 times a week. Despite that, there are times when we just don’t have sex. Periods are the obvious time but things will happen in life that will effect your sex drive. One of my best friends died last month. I was simply not there enough to have sex for about 5 days, then we had sex once and didn’t have sex again for about a week. I understand that in those times (and likely right after giving birth) my partner will still need a sexual outlet. 

      I think most men, if they are having regular sex won’t look at porn much but its unrealistic to expect that they will never do so. 

    2. 21.2
      ScottH

      Apparently porn is normal and it’s common too.   The two are not necessarily mutually exclusive or inclusive.  
      And if porn isn’t normal, are romance novels normal?  Are chick flicks normal?  Is The Notebook normal?  Are hot models in tv commercials normal?   Are the Simpsons normal?  Are hot dogs normal?
      I’d say it’s not common to wait for marriage to have sex.  And I guess I don’t care whether it’s normal or not.  Just semantics.   What works for you might not work for someone else.  Sure as hell it doesn’t work for me.
      It sounds like you have a lot of worries and anxieties that, in my book, aren’t normal.

      1. 21.2.1
        Jenn

        ScottH,
         
        Porn is not normal, it has been normalized by society. Over time, it has crept up on us so that we are constantly bombarded with nude or semi-nude, sexualized images of people (mostly women). You can’t watch a TV show or a movie without some reference to sex either popping up in the script or in the ads that play in the interim. You can’t read a magazine without a barely-clothed model jumping off the page somewhere. You can’t even walk down the mall corridor without being visually confronted with sex in the form of 8-foot tall Victoria’s Secret posters. This is the reason why people accept it. It’s because they can’t get away from it even if they tried.
         
        And I’d also like to point out that watching a film like The Notebook, which centers on a love relationship between two people, is quite different than masturbating to “Suzy Swallows It Whole!”. When you’re watching a film, it is a passive event. It may evoke certain emotions, but it doesn’t have the same addictive effect that porn use can have because you’re not actively pleasuring yourself at the same time.

        1. Cat5

          I would disagree that porn has been normalized by society. It’s been normalized by the media and entertainment industries telling us it’s normal, and we have just accepted it because it’s easier than fighting the system.  Just look at how people who have a concerns about porn are treated here…everyone questioning what is wrong with them.

          My issues with porn have always been about the sex trades in general and the impact it has on the individuals involved in it from the other side, not the viewing side.  I’ve even said that I don’t think the sex trade will go away, but we can try to lessen the impact on those involved…but it always gets turned around about how I’m insecure and/or a prude.

          I asked in another post if anyone had any personal experience in the sex trades…personal or professional and I did not see one person say yes.  Well I have.  I did some modeling in my youth and I was offered a lot of money to do a “tasteful” nude photoshoot.  In my early 40s I was offered a lot of money to do a porn movie.  For the record, it’s not as flattering as you might think.  It’s creepy and demeaning.  I choose to do neither because of what I witnessed happen to people who became involved in that world.  What I saw of it, it was a horrible, degrading, and often involuntary  place to be…not sunshine and roses where everyone got rich while having consensual sex.

          In addition, my work as a child advocate has inevitably led to several cases with minors who have been forced and/or coerced into sex trades, including porn.  Now you might say, oh Cat5 you are overreacting there’s only a few cases of minors being forced and/or coerced into the sex trades.  That’s not the norm or what I look at.  Too which I’d say…really?  Don’t you think one child is too many?  Are you sure? You are naive if you think it’s only a few cases, and that you haven’t watched porn or strippers involving minors.

        2. woah woah

          “Over time, it has crept up on us”
          Wow, that sounds like some surreal horror film!

          Both the ideal you’ve got there (no or hardly any sex stuff in the public forum, hawt built-up passion behind closed doors) and the one we’ve got right now (:) are “normal” in any reasonable sense of the word – they’re on the opposite sides of the spectrum of normalcy. 

          “It’s because they can’t get away from it even if they tried.” 
          Your assumption is that they do try. It’s not like they like it or anything.

          Also, you want more wholesome movies? FREE MARKET, go for it. Some of the most popular, iconic films are wholesome, by the way (Star Wars minus the Jabba segment, for instance), so it’s not that much of a stretch. 

          “When you’re watching a film, it is a passive event. It may evoke certain emotions, but it doesn’t have the same addictive effect that porn use can have because you’re not actively pleasuring yourself at the same time.”
          You can pleasure yourself to a romantic movie like the Notebook (providing it’s erotic, I’ve never heard of it), and not pleasure yourself to Suzy Swallows. Also, the addictive effect, even with “passive” activities, can be giant. I’ve never been addicted to the former – whereas addiction to passive computer activities is an ever-present threat.
          Well, not threat really – the shorter the time I let it go, the easier to get out of it again – so just generally speaking. Arguing on the internet is the most addictive thing there is 😉 

    3. 21.3
      Fusee

      Jenn: I understand your feelings and I think I felt the same way before reading more about people’s experience with porn, and experiencing myself with it. If it worries you it’s a good idea to discuss the topic with your future partner when such discussions become appropriate. Since you’re waiting til marriage, you’ll have time to have several conversations about sex and you can bring up the use of porn at some point. Like a lot of things, it’s about making sure you have compatible views and expectations so that you do not find yourself reacting negatively to something you could have known before hand, or trying to change him after marriage. In the meantime, I’d suggest to continue educating yourself about the topic, and work at being more flexible with it.
       
      Regarding sex in a relationship, I think it’s unrealistic to expect it to be deep meaningful love making 100% of the time, or to never have any other person/fantasy cross your mind during sex, or to wish for your partner to only masturbate by thinking of you. Maybe at the beginning yes, but years in it becomes a bit different and it does not mean anything negative about the health of the relationship in my opinion.
       
      I think this is in this area that I matured the most in the last few years (when I had time to think when I was single actually!), having developed more realistic expectations and stoped equating sex to always being a declaration of love and devotion. A lot of the sex my husband and I have is either solo or a good f*ck. We express our love in many other ways. 
       
      And two more cents: sex does not have to always include penetration. Ladies, if your vagina is closed for maintenance or your libido is down for a bit remember that you still have a mouth and two hands : ) Taking good care of your guy even when we don’t *need* it for ourselves is quite important to keep him happy and satiated, and in less need of porn : )

      1. 21.3.1
        Evan Marc Katz

        Jenn – you have very strong feelings about a subject about which you know very little. Once you have sex, you realize that it’s not that big a deal. I mean, it’s a big deal in that if you’re in a monogamous relationship, you’ll be having sex with only one person at a time. And it’s a big deal in that sex is what separates friends from lovers. But the sheer variety of what makes people tick sexually is so much greater than you can – or want to – acknowledge. As Fusee said: sex doesn’t have to be about sensual lovemaking every time. Men and women can look at porn to fulfill their fantasies – it’s quick, it’s free, and it doesn’t argue with you for having kinky tastes. The only way you’re going to survive your marriage is if you and your husband (who, you know, is cool with not having sex until marriage) are both equally vanilla…OR if your sexual tastes are EXACTLY the same. Don’t you think that’s a bit unlikely? The same way I like spicy food and my wife likes mild food, and she likes white creamy sauces and I pass on them…2 compatible people can have different sexual tastes. Which means that you may like being spanked, but he doesn’t feel comfortable with it. Or he may love blow jobs and you may not like giving them. Or he may like anal sex and you refuse to try. But the point is that your differences don’t make him “wrong” or “bad”; the second you start to pass judgment about what he “should” like is the second he’s going to LIE to you about what he really likes – because you can’t handle the truth. This is the LAST thing you want in a husband. You’ll blame him for watching cumshot porn on the internet at night, when really all he wants is to cum on YOU, but he can’t because you’re shaming him about it. You with me?

        And if it’s not really obvious at this juncture, the fact that you have no sexual experience whatsoever prior to your marriage is going to mean you’ve got ONE chance to figure out how to navigate this with a partner who will certainly not think exactly like you. More reasons to have sex before you get married.

        1. Jenn

          Evan and Fusee,
           
          I definitely agree with you that sex is not always going to be this big romantic, all-encompassing, passionate endeavor. I will not always want it that way. I definitely am open to experimentation – to a point – and you’re right that there are certain things that I can only guess on because of my lack of experience. I generally tend to be a try-anything-once type though, so experimentation with sex is something I’m definitely looking forward to. I do agree that communicating about sex and porn use is paramount and I’ve already been thinking of ways to handle those discussions. It is healthy for couples to talk about their expectations and not just expect that their partner will think or act in exactly the same way. And I know that I will still find other men attractive, and I wouldn’t expect my husband to exist in a bubble so I know he’s going to occasionally find other women attractive. I would just hate that I might not be enough to get (or keep) him going on my own. A husband should be crazy about his wife, and she should take center stage in his fantasies. Maybe there are some supporting characters thrown in once in a while! But what woman really wants to have sex with someone who’s thoughts are always caught up in some fantasy with random chicks, that’s playing out in his head instead of him being in the moment? A lot of this worry just comes from my own insecurities, I know, and that’s something I’ll have to work on. But I know I’m far from alone in this. There are tons of women who feel exactly the same way.

        2. Evan Marc Katz

          Jenn, you had me until here:

          “A husband should be crazy about his wife, and she should take center stage in his fantasies”

          Nope. She should take center stage in his LIFE. What he does in his fantasies is his business, presuming that it doesn’t impact the relationship itself. Once you accept that having fantasies about other people, watching porn with other people is normal, then maybe you can enjoy your relationship. I’d be shocked if there were too many married men fantasizing about their wives – even if they’re crazy about their wives.

        3. Simone

          I notice that none of the sex examples you give are about things that women typically enjoy–like the man giving her oral or having her nipples stimulated. The examples are her getting spanked, giving him blow jobs, getting anal, and having cum on her face. None of these activities is going to lead to a female orgasm, but three are about male orgasm. I think this kind of oversight is why women don’t like porn. Believe me, we’d be all for it if the main event was a woman getting off. Where is that missing plotline?    

        4. Evan Marc Katz

          Men watch porn to see things that men want to see so that they can achieve orgasm. Why should men watch porn that doesn’t appeal to them? If there is a market for porn oriented to the female gaze, it will succeed organically. No point in telling men what “should” turn them on.

        5. Chance

          Simone, if there is a market something, someone will eventually fill the niche.  It’s the same thing why there aren’t many dating coaches for men.  Please stop trying to pass basic capitalism off as sexism.  Thanks.

        6. Simone

          EMK, the examples you give are not of what people like in PORN but of things that people like/don’t like to do IN REAL LIFE. The point you were making is that IN REAL LIFE one partner will like one thing and the other partner might not and vice versa. Funny, though, how you are conflating REAL LIFE with PORN. Exactly the point that many of the posters on here are making. The point I was making was that none of the REAL LIFE examples of sex that you give will lead to a female orgasm.

        7. Evan Marc Katz

          Surely, you jest, Simone. You’re conflating what you want to be true with what IS true.

          Male porn doesn’t exist to give women orgasms, and, as such, any bold statement about how “in real life, none of this leads to female orgasm” is irrelevant.

          This statement, therefore, is inane: “EMK, the examples you give are not of what people like in PORN but of things that people like/don’t like to do IN REAL LIFE.”

          I can assure you, if a guy is looking for it online (Google “anal sex” for 23 million hits or “cumshot” of 78 million hits), then evidently it’s something that someone wants or does in real life. You make the fallacy of assuming that everyone is like you. They’re not. Most men watch porn, are turned on by it, masturbate to it, and indulge in their fantasies (which they may be embarrassed to admit to a judgmental girlfriend). Is the industry built on what men want? Of course. That’s the entire point. Instead of arguing with it, why don’t you understand it, accept it, and incorporate a reality-based worldview in which porn exists, men consume it, and you realize that it is, in fact, “normal.” Just because you don’t want something to be true doesn’t make it untrue.

        8. Simone

          EMK: In my comments I am referring to your comments to Jenn, in which you are talking about what people like in real live sex. The discussion is not about what men like in porn. You said to her that her expectations about sex in real life are unrealistic because he will like [insert male porn fantasy that does not lead to female orgasm here, e.g., blow jobs] and she will like [insert male porn fantasy that does not lead to female orgasm here, e.g., being slapped]. My point: Real women do not have orgasms from [insert male porn fantasy that does not lead to female orgasm here, e.g., blow jobs, slapping, and in most cases anal sex]. Why can’t you find real life examples of sexual incompatibility between two people where both are talking honestly about what they like/don’t like and have an investment in mutual satisfaction? I doubt very much that Jenn is going to get caught up in a non-mutual relationship.

    4. 21.4
      Gabri'el

      Jenn I understand where you are coming from, I was raised in a very religious environment as well, I still struggle with should I continue to wait until marriage or should I have sex, lots and lots of it (^_^). Because of all the sports I’ve played and the modeling I’ve done, and the fact that I’m in medical school to be a surgeon, most people wouldn’t guess I was a virgin waiting until marriage. Evan’s Blog on the subject of virgins waiting is one that I re-read constantly, because he is right, finding someone who is willing to wait for me is both selfish and hard. I continually ask myself after all the woman I’ve lost because of not having sex with them, is it worth it to continue to wait until marriage? Especially since in this day and age the person I marry will most likely not be a virgin.
       
       
      I personally don’t watch porn (because of it’s side effects not because of spiritual reasons), but I don’t care what my partner does as long as she treats me good like Garret said.  Jenn have you considered if you are going to date a guy and not have sex with him for possibly 18 to 24 months until you two are married, that not only will you expect this man who is use to receiving sex to not seek it outside of your relationship, but you will also expect him to not watch porn for 2 years while you are denying him sex, and as Evan just said, you may force him to lie to you because you’ll make him feel guilty for watching porn while dating you. Just something you should think about Jenn

      1. 21.4.1
        Jenn

        Waiting until marriage is hard, but it’s not selfish in the least. I’d hope my future husband would be understanding and respectful of my decision to wait. I’d also hope he would realize that I’m not doing it out of some selfish desire to make him suffer through years of celibacy. I made a commitment to God, my future husband and myself and I intend to honor it. I can’t control what he does, nor would I want to if I could. But I won’t pretend that it wouldn’t bother me to come across dozens of smutty pictures on his laptop, or try to Google something on his phone and have 16 dirty porn site words pop up in the search suggestions. The truth is, I can’t predict exactly how I’ll feel or what I’ll do if and when that happens. But that’s why I’m trying to sort out my feelings about it now, before (or if) it ever becomes a problem. I think a lot of guys who hear that women don’t like them watching porn are hearing “You can’t do it, because I don’t like it and what I say goes!”, but that’s not what most of us are saying. We’re saying that when our man watches porn, it makes us feel like we’re not enough for him. Like he’s with us because he can’t do any better but he’s always going to wish he could have the hot girl. We spend our entire adult lives trying to live up to this impossible ideal of not only being the best person we can be (nice, smart, funny, grounded, and morally sound), but we are also confronted with the reality that guys don’t care about that one bit unless we’re hot. Even if a woman is doing her best to be all of those things, she still has to deal with the thought that her man is not only always going to be fantasizing about other women instead of her, but he’ll also, however infrequently, be wacking off to live videos of them. Look, I’m aware that people get bored when they’re married. I’ve seen it happen. I also know that it isn’t just men who fantasize about being with someone else, somebody better looking, more romantic, better in bed, etc. I know that both partners sometimes feel the urge to merge with others. I think a big reason porn use hurts is because it’s one thing to know your partner has fantasies. It’s quite another to come face to face with the physical proof. 
         

        1. Garret

          “I think a lot of guys who hear that women don’t like them watching porn are hearing “You can’t do it, because I don’t like it and what I say goes!”, but that’s not what most of us are saying. We’re saying that when our man watches porn, it makes us feel like we’re not enough for him.”

          And this is the real bottom line. It’s always about how the woman feels. Maybe you should learn to just accept things as they are. He is with you. If you are worried about losing him, becoming his mother, his grade school principal, the angry woman in his life, which will surely push him away, just be kind, sweet and loving. Be the woman he has to think twice about before her giving up.

          “Like he’s with us because he can’t do any better but he’s always going to wish he could have the hot girl.”

          Well now there’s the rub. I will tell you the real truth. The complete truth. Question is, can you handle it? Let me use the example of my truck. It’s a Chevy Silverado. I really like my truck. It serves me well. It’s a very nice truck. But let’s bring in a very sexy car. A very exotic car. A Lamborghini Veneno. It’s an incredibly sexy car. When I see it, I want it. I want to drive it. I want to own it. But you know what else goes through my mind? I can’t afford it. Even if it were given to me, I couldn’t afford the maintenance or insurance costs. Plus, something so exotic requires a lot effort to protect from theft. There would be no shortage of men willing to relieve me of it given half a chance. In short, there is a very high cost for that beauty. But I can always look at it in a magazine and imagine driving it.

          Such is the way of looking at porn. I can indulge in fantasies of making love to a woman I would never have a chance with. But even if I could have her, would I really want her? She may be beautiful on the outside, which is the only thing I am interested in when I am looking at her, but inside she may be a total wreck. She may be as ugly on the inside as she is beautiful on the outside. Actually being with her might be too costly.

          The point is, it is human nature to see a beautiful person and sometimes fantasize about sex with them. And sometimes we indulge those fantasies in our mind. You can’t alter that. You are a woman. Stop trying to tell men how to act. You aren’t a man, you don’t know what it is like to be a man. Doesn’t the Bible say an awful lot about not judging others? I believe it also talks an awful lot about not divorcing unbelievers, etc… Vows such as for in sickness and in health, for better or worse, etc..

          I don’t care how you want to twist it, women are dead wrong, especially Christian women, for divorcing their husbands over porn. But then, it isn’t about the Bible, is it? It’s all about the woman’s hurt feelings.

        2. Jenn

          Garret, 

          It isn’t enough that a person be with their spouse in body. True devotion comes from making the colossal effort of saving yourself, your love, your desire, for one person. People forget about that when they have had multiple partners and developed a habit of using porn over time. But what the hell do I know? According to everyone here, I’m just am ignorant virgin who should accept that no one is capable of rising above their limitations and striving for something better. I really wonder what relationships were like before pornography became the the scourge that it has become. What was it like when faithful men had no other outlet for sexual release than their wives? As a society, we’ve become so plugged in that we’re forgetting what it means to really relate to the people we love. Progress, my patoot. 

  22. 22
    Chance

    Jenn,  you need to prepare yourself for the reality that your future husband will very likely enjoy looking at porn.  However, I wouldn’t view it as cheating (hell, I think it reduces the odds that he’ll cheat), and I certainly wouldn’t consider it to be competition.  These women serve a very narrow purpose.  They are on the computer, and that is where most men would want them to stay.   I think I would want to gouge my eyes out if I had to spend more than five minutes in the presence of your typical pornographic actress.

  23. 23
    Karmic Equation

    I don’t know about other women. I’m hyper-heterosexual, meaning I get grossed out thinking of getting intimate with another woman.
     
    However, given a choice between looking at a beautiful (e.g., fit not fat woman) and a handsome, fit naked man, I’d rather look at the curves of a beautiful woman than at the naked man. I just think a man’s nudity is for my eyes alone, while a woman’s nudity can be for all, because curves are so much more beautiful than angles (and dangles, haha).
     
    That doesn’t mean I want to have sex with a woman. It just means I admire beauty.
     
    Obviously, men do lust after beautiful women. It really doesn’t matter what the GUY thinks or lusts after. If the object of that lust isn’t accessible or doesn’t lust back, YOU (the gf/the wife) benefits from that extra charge of lust if he’s a good guy that doesn’t ever dream of cheating. Be thankful that there’s porn to “fluff” him up when you’re too tired for foreplay, but unwilling to do the deed. I don’t know how many times I’ve sent a bf off with a porn mag and told him to come back when he was ready. Frankly, I’m not always up for fellating but it’s pretty easy to get me into the mood for sex, which we both enjoy.
     
    Porn is a godsend for those times. And your sending him off with a mag and a knowing smirk does more to bond you two together than the porn mag or video will ever do to drive you apart.

    1. 23.1
      Chance

      I don’t think men use porn as a back-up plan for when their girlfriends or wives don’t feel like having sex.  They like to view it regardless.  Men need variety, and it serves as a good outlet to fulfill that need without any harm done to the relationship.

      1. 23.1.1
        Jenn

        Chance,
         
        Porn does harm relationships. More and more, young men are facing issues like erectile dysfunction, a problem that typically doesn’t start until later in life. Women often feel like porn is the “other woman” that they must tolerate because their husband refuses to put the good of the relationship above his own selfish desire for vice. And men can (and do) learn to survive and to thrive without it. There are many Reddit threads popping up now in which men are posting about successfully swearing off porn.
         
        It is a destructive industry which is corrupt from top to bottom. There is no OSHA, no worker’s rights, no unions, heck, a lot of the workers aren’t even paid. Or they’re forced to work 15 hour days for peanuts. A lot of the women who are attracted to the porn lifestyle have come from broken homes where they were neglected, abused or even cast out on their own, so they don’t often see that they have a choice not to do it. To many of them, it’s all they know how to do. They might start stripping in a bar only to move to porn, or even prostitution. These are the facts. Think about it next time you decide to sit down at your computer for a good, long fapping. Even as a light user of soft-core porn, I know (and feel very guilty) that by clicking on a free porn site, I am contributing advertising revenue to an industry which is responsible for the abuse of the men, women and children it features in its films. It also contributes greatly to the spread of STIs, human sex trafficking (which is not just a third world issue, it happens right here at home), drug abuse, prostitution and the perpetuation of rape culture.
        But nobody thinks about that while Jenna Jameson (one of the very few women in porn who managed to thrive in the business) is on the screen getting vaginally pummeled by some larger-than-life stud.

        1. Evan Marc Katz

          Jenn – you’re repeating what the original article said. I will therefore repeat myself. Porn is only a problem if it’s a PROBLEM. It can be consumed in low doses without any negative side effects – which is, in fact, the way most people consume it. The issue here isn’t whether porn is the “other woman” for most men; it’s not. It’s a tool to get off. The issue here is how strongly you feel about male consumption of it; your fears and judgment and jealousy about something that, again, for most men, is relatively benign. No one is telling you to marry a porn addict. We’re all telling you to accept the fact that the vast majority of men use it, the same way the vast majority of men have sex before marriage. Your stances may be authentic, but they’re going to leave you very few men from which to choose. And then, as I just said, you’re going to be forced to discover after you’re married whether you are, in fact, sexually compatible. What happens if you’re not?

        2. Jenn

          Honestly, I think that way too much emphasis is placed on sexual compatibility. You guys say it all the time: once you’ve had it, sex really isn’t that big of a deal. But then in the same breath, you insist that you’d die before saving sex for marriage because you wouldn’t want to chance having a crappy sex life. So which is it? Either sex is such a big thing that you yourselves would never risk marrying someone without having it first, or it’s not such a big thing because the mechanics are not all that different from person to person; insert part A into slot B, pump, repeat. It’s the intensity of the feelings you have for the person that makes the difference. I may not have personal experience with it, but that doesn’t mean I’m blind, deaf and dumb. I’ve observed things in my own life which caused me to come to that conclusion.
           
          Sure, I’ll acknowledge that some couples have a hard time matching up their sexual tastes and drive – one partner wants it more, one likes it when you do this, one doesn’t want to try that. But that’s why you talk to each other, and figure out the best possible solution for both of you. And for the record, the percentage of people who wait to have sex before they marry may be low, but statistics show that those folks have as much of a chance at a long, happy, fulfilling marriage (and sex life!)  as those who choose not to wait. And judging by the many personal accounts I’ve read from happy couples who chose to wait, there is definitely hope for me. I don’t really care that there aren’t hundreds of men I can date who abstain from sex and porn use. In the end, all it takes is one.

        3. Evan Marc Katz

          Once again, Jenn, the reason everyone is adamant about this is that they know more than you do.

          Sex itself isn’t a big deal, in that virginity is a distant memory for most of us. Once you have sex, it’s like you’ve been doing it forever.
          Sex IS a big deal in that – if you get married – there’s only ONE person you’re gonna do it with for the rest of your life. And if you can’t figure that piece out – even if it’s only 5% of your marriage – you don’t really have a marriage any longer.

        4. Clare

          Jenn,

          You said: ” Honestly, I think that way too much emphasis is placed on sexual compatibility. ”

          And: “he mechanics are not all that different from person to person”

          Sex does actually vary a great deal from person to person. It varies in many ways, and not just your kinks and preferences. The most significant ways it can vary from one partner to another is in your sex drives. The best way to be happy in your marriage is to marry someone with a similar sex drive to you, and the surest way to be miserable is to marry someone whose sex drive does not remotely match yours.

          Also, some men are more thoughtful lovers. For some it’s over quickly. Some love lots of kissing and foreplay. Some don’t. Some instinctively seem to know what you like and be in tune with you. Some men see sex as more perfunctory. Some revel in it and put a lot of time and effort in. Some need lots of kinky experimentation, some are more conservative. From my own experience, being sexually compatible makes you much, MUCH happier in a relationship than constantly being out of sync.

          Sex is a big deal in a relationship. 

        5. Jenn

          Clare,
           
          That’s why you compromise. You work on it. Just like anything else in a relationship, if there are problems, you talk about it. You figure out ways to give each other what you each want. If you love each other and you are committed to making your spouse happy, then you should be able to work it out. And from what I’ve learned through my own observations and through reading about others’ experiences extensively, I’ve come to the conclusion that things are rarely completely perfect in any relationship. Yet people seem to have this expectation that as long as your sex life is good, nothing else really matters. They seem to think that sex shouldn’t take any effort, that you should always be perfectly in sync with your partner, otherwise the relationship is doomed. But from what I’ve gleaned, that just isn’t a realistic expectation to have. Sex takes work. Relationships take work. If you’re not committed to making it work in all aspects of your marriage, you will have problems. Yes, I’m sure it’s nice when you and your partner are in sync sexually. But that’s not the most important part of a relationship. My friend and her husband had a very healthy sex life. Then he up and left her. Right after he told her he cheated on her twice during their marriage, when he was away in the Navy. Their good sex life didn’t prevent him from cheating, nor from leaving. There are other things that matter far more in a relationship than whether or not two people are exactly in sync sexually.

        6. Karl R

          Jenn said:
          “Just like anything else in a relationship, if there are problems, you talk about it. You figure out ways to give each other what you each want. If you love each other and you are committed to making your spouse happy, then you should be able to work it out.” 

          Spoken like someone who has minimal relationship experience. 

          I dated a woman who wanted sex twice a month. I wanted to have sex every other day. There was no happy medium. There was a mid-point between those two points that neither of us was happy with.

          Jenn said:
          “Yet people seem to have this expectation that as long as your sex life is good, nothing else really matters.” 

          You’ve got it backwards.

          If the sex is bad, everything else matters. The little things that both partners should let slide become points of contention.

          Sex won’t solve any of the big problems in a relationship. It just smooths most of the small problems out of the relationship. For most of us (in healthy relationships), big problems are few and far between. Small problems can crop up almost every day.

          Jenn said:
          “Sex takes work.” 

          Sex takes effort. If that effort feels like work, the relationship is probably not going to last.

          Jenn said:
          “Relationships take work.” 

          Relationships take effort. If the relationship takes work on a regular basis, then why bother getting married?

        7. Jenn

          Seriously, I wish you guys would stop harping on my lack of experience as a way to attempt to poke holes into every single good point that I make! “Work”, “effort”, what in God’s name is the freaking difference? Semantics, that’s all it is! It is not unrealistic to expect that a relationship that has been built on sexual chemistry alone will self-destruct and it is not unrealistic to expect that in a healthy, loving, passionate and committed marriage, a couple might still have an imperfect sex life. The point that I was trying to make is that if there are problems, in ANY aspect of the relationship, if you and your partner have a bond that is based on trust and good communication, then you should be able to work through them. Who says that just because I don’t want to have sex before marriage that I would never want to talk about it? I’ll talk about it until the cows come home! Why? Because it is such an issue if things are so wildly out of whack. I’d discuss my expectations with anyone I’m in a relationship with. While I agree that there are some things you just need to experience to know for sure how you feel, if you develop the ability to talk and RELATE to your partner, that is what is going to keep your relationship strong in the long run. Not just a hot sex life. 
           

    2. 23.2
      Jenn

      Karmic,
       
      LOL Angles and dangles, I love it! I’m totally going to steal that. I agree, I think women (of all shapes and sizes) are much more beautiful than men to look at naked. But it does matter that men are actively lusting after women. It’s one thing to appreciate the vision of a beautiful woman, but it is a sin to engage in fantasizing about doing her six different ways to Sunday. That’s not me saying that, either. That’s God.
      Truth to tell, I know there will be times when I’m married that I won’t feel much like doing the deed. There will be times when he doesn’t either. But when it does happen, I’d rather that it’s the thought or sight of me that gets my guy going, not some random chick he saw on a porn site. Call me selfish, but I want my man’s thoughts to be first and foremost, centered on me as the object of his desire, which is how it should be. So the sight of some random chick in some porn clip gets him randy, and now he needs an outlet, and I just oh-so-conveniently happen to have the right equipment for him to satisfy his craving? Yeah, that’s not really what I’m thinking of when I think of good sex. Sure, there’ll be times when you both just want to “git ‘er done!”. I’m not unaware that things can become routine and boring after a while. I just want my guy’s thoughts of me to be what gets him going and sustains him, not some clip from “Busty Anal Babes 6”. I honestly don’t think it’s that much to ask.

      1. 23.2.1
        Fusee

        Jenn: It’s reasonable to wish to be the center of your partner’s sexual attention most of the time. It’s not reasonable to expect it 100% of the time. Thinking that way will lead you onto a path of suffering, especially when you realize that you occasionally fantasize on someone else than your spouse. And I’m not even talking about porn, just old-fashioned homemade fantasy. Don’t get me wrong, I’d prefer it if my husband would only think of me when we have sex and when he masturbates (I’m a little possessive like that : ), but I’m not fooling myself by expecting it. Actually I’m refraining from asking him any question on that topic because no good would come from the answer. However I pay attention to our sex life, his sex drive, how he looks at me/treats me during the deed, so that I can identify potential issues in time. The thing is, it looks like I’m the less vanilla one of the pair and I might have a richer/kinkier fantasy life than he does, so he might be the one not liking the answers if he were to ask : ) As Evan said, that part (the occasional fantasy) of your sexual life is personal and allows partners to differ slightly while still remaining monogamous and sexually satisfied together. It does not mean that they are using each other, or loving each other any less.

  24. 24
    Cat5

    I hesitate to comment because I’ll get the same old comments about being a prude and secure, but what the hell.

    Strong feelings about porn and male consumption of it -I don’t discriminate I — have strong feelings about anyone’s consumption of it…male or female, adult or child.  It is not a male issue, it is a people issue.

    It is a benign issue for most men — maybe it is a benign issue for most viewers or porn.  It is not a benign issue for most participants in the porn or sex trade industry.  In fact, is is very damaging to most participants.  Watching porn to get off is more analogous to the Romans cheering while gladiators kill each other or watching christians be fed to lions, except now you can do it for free in the privacy or your own home or on your smartphone rather than having to make the trek to your local coliseum and paying for it.

    Sexual pleasure at the expense of others may be fine for many people, but some people choose not to participate in it.  Remember the old saying that evil triumphs when good people doing nothing.  Well, you can choose to do something to help others, or you can  choose to get off.

    Saying Jenn’s stance may be authentic but she’ll have few men to choose from — really?  Why? Because so many men & woman are selfish creatures that care more about their own sexual pleasure than the harm caused to other people in the making of porn?  That is really sad if true.  I hope not and despite what we are being spoon fed by the media and enterainment industry, I don’t believe that.   In the last year or so, I have met more and more men and women becoming involved in working/volunteering for organizations that investgate, prosecute, and help people in human trafficking around the world, including the United States, a major player in the human trafficking business.  Most of them have had it touch their lives in a very really way through a child or family member involved in the sex trades or making of porn.  They have seen first hand the damage it does and can no long sit by and get off to porn without care or concern for those involved in making it.

    To the comments about watching porn is common — so what?  You can choose to be common and follow the crowd, but you can also choose not to be common and stand up for others.  Some people choose not to allow the media and entertainment industry to continue to push our boundaries further and further and go along with it…and choose to stand up for something they know is harmful to others.  Why should those people not be praised for having the courage of their convictions instead of ridiculed as insecure and prudish.

    How many of you commenting and talking about the benefits of the porn or sex trade industry have actually had any experience with it in a personal or professional capacity?  I’m mean other than watching it and getting off to it.  I mean had or been offered jobs in the sex trade? Had jobs where you are dealing with children and adults in the industry or used to be in the industry? Had a family member in the industry?  Porn may be all the rage and romanticized by the media and entertainment industry, but unless you have seen how the industry works up close and personal…the arguments for porn appear to be rationalizations for behavior that causes significant harm to other people in the making of it so others can get off.  But what do they care, it’s not hurting them or anybody they know or care about.   They may choose getting off to porn, telling themselves it’s fine because nobody gets hurt and anyone who has an objection to it is insecure and prude, but many people know different.  

    Hopefully, more and more people take off the blinders they have on, and start to see and understand the difference also.  Although I don’t believe porn or the sex trades will ever go away, at least maybe we start to decrease the damage it causes if more and more people understand and acknowledge the damage it does to others.

    1. 24.1
      Jenn

      Cat5,
       
      That’s kind of where I’m at. Because I’m a curious person by nature, I tend to do a lot of personal research on topics that interest me. Things most people wouldn’t really think about or care to dig deeper into, such as our corrupt food system, the vast influence of the media on culture, and other things. As you can see from my posts above, porn does affect me negatively, even though I am not personally involved in it. I’ve done a lot of my own research into what goes on behind the scenes in porn, especially hardcore porn. While there are a couple production companies which more strictly regulate themselves, most Internet porn is produced by independent entities. This means any slob with a modem and a video camera can find some girls and start producing their own videos. Because there is very little real regulation in this industry, very few producers of porn even have an incentive to self-regulate, but a few do. There are a few laws in place, such as mandatory use of condoms, but it’s rare that those laws are actually followed or enforced. What I’ve found through my own digging would sicken most people, and maybe turn more people off from it if they were confronted with the cold, hard facts. What would people do if they sat down to masturbate to porn only to have their clips be suddenly intercut with images of the women retching after being forced to deep throat to the point of gagging because the guy wouldn’t stop pummeling their face? Or what if instead of a close-up anal penetration, they were to show the woman’s rectum bleeding and prolapsed after too much sodomy had sent her to the hospital? How would they react if a sidebar suddenly popped up in the middle of their favorite clip announcing the list of STI’s each performer had contracted during the filming of the sequence because no protection was used?
       
      If people were able to think about these things instead of just letting themselves get lost in the fantasy of it all, I wonder how it might shape the general attitude toward porn? Would it still be seen as an innocent, harmless vice if more people cared to find out the facts behind what they watch?

      1. 24.1.1
        Simone

        Jenn, you are my hero!!!

      2. 24.1.2
        Jeremy

        Jen, I’ve read all your comments (and those of others) and understand your feelings.  But what I think you need to understand is that they are just your feelings.  They are not necessarily rational (and frankly, Evan and others have done a more than adequate job of disproving the rationality of your arguments).  If feelings are not based on rationality but rather are purely based on emotion, then a person is quite entitled to their feelings but not to try to impose them on others – including her future husband.

        That is, frankly, my problem with this whole thread.  Evan asked the question “Should men….give up porn.”  The only person who can answer that question is the individual man being asked.   NOT society, NOT this blog, and NOT that man’s wife!  His solo habits, the habits he has had long before he ever met his wife, are his business and no one else’s.  They do not constitute adultery (obviously), they do not constitute thought crimes, and do not reflect on a man’s ability to be an excellent husband or father.

        Jen, forgive me but you sound very young.  In my experience (and frankly, that of just about everyone I know and have read about), the chances of a perfect libido match in marriage is non existent.  Thus, there will always be a higher and lower libido spouse – and statistically the higher one is usually (though not always) male.  Do YOU believe that the lower libido spouse should put herself at her husband’s perpetual disposal?  If he is feeling horny first thing in the morning and she is busy doing something else, should she be obligated to drop what she is doing to service him?  Most women would disagree with you if you did suggest that.

        Ahh, perhaps you mean that if the man is feeling horny but his wife isn’t, he should exercise self-restraint and wait for her to be ready, whenever that may be?  He should deny himself his needs and pleasures because his wife isn’t in the mood?  Because, I think most men would agree that that is ridiculous.

        Masturbation is the happy medium.  It keeps husbands off their wives’ back while allowing them some modicum of pleasure and relief.  Porn makes that masturbation more enjoyable.  So unless you believe that women should be at their husbands disposal, or that men should live in a perpetual state of frustration, you need to rethink your views.  And if you say that your ideal of marriage wouldn’t be as I described, speak to some real-life married people and realize that life is not fantasy.

        1. Jenn

          Jeremy, 

          Should the husband and wife be required to submit to sex even though they might not be in the mood? With a few exceptions, such as illness or temporary injury, the short answer is: yes. You might be surprised by this revelation, but it is actually mandated by God that sex in a marriage is actually required. The most obvious reason is of course reproduction, but the other reasons are; because it reduces the chances of infidelity occurring (any type of infidelity, by both spouses), and because it brings spouses together emotionally. But masturbating to porn is inherently a selfish act. What it tends to do is cause people to put their own pleasure first, which is totally against God’s design for sex. His vision of sex is such that the man and the woman give themselves without reserve, and the husband’s body belongs to the wife, and the wife’s body belongs to her husband. This doesn’t mean they have the right to take their spouse against his or her will. It means they give themselves freely to each other because that’s what is required of them.  Your argument that a guy should be able to go wack off to porn anytime his wife isn’t in the mood is evidence of the attitude that most people hold about sex: that it’s first about the pleasure of the individual, and then about the pleasure between the two people.

           So he expects instant gratification and if he doesn’t get it, well why should he wait when he could just go to his favorite porn star? What he doesn’t stop to consider is that maybe waiting a few days, abstaining from porn in the meantime, will increase his desire for his wife and cause him to amp up his efforts to get her in the mood so that she will be more receptive to his advances. Women can’t always just turn desire on like men can – sometimes you gotta preheat the oven before you stick in the turkey! But the availability of porn has stunted men’s desire to put in the effort to woo their wives. The logic is, why should they bother trying to flirt and do nice things to increase her desire when it’s easier to take their smartphone into the bathroom for ten minutes? Are you saying that people are completely incapable of compromising when there is a mismatch in libido? I tend to think that masturbating is a pretty poor substitute for sex, and if people were smart they’d be more willing to accept waiting, delaying gratification a bit to experience a bigger payoff. Why settle for a McDonald’s hamburger when you can get a nice, juicy steak cooking?

          But that’s the culture we’re living in, I guess. “I want it right NOW.” Apparently so much so that you’re convinced that masturbating to porn is a great way to have the sex life you really want.  

        2. jeremy

          Jenn, I just read your reply and wanted to respond.
           
            First of all, let us please leave your concept of God out of the conversation – realize that you are arguing with people who do not necessarily share your religious beliefs, and that, again, your beliefs are only beliefs – important to you, but not rational reasons for others who do not share your beliefs to do anything.  Let us please focus on rationality.
           
            Second, you state that spouses should submit to sex even when not in the mood.  Excellent.  Fact is, that beyond the first few weeks/months of marriage that doesn’t happen often.  Don’t believe me?  That’s your prerogative…..but ask some real-life married people – especially ones with kids.  Think that other people may fail at this, but YOU will be different?  That’s what everyone thinks.
           
             You believe that men should deny their wants/needs because that would encourage them to better consider their wives and “amp up” their ability to serve?  Listen to yourself!  Entitled much?  So men should deny their basic wants, the wants and needs that they have indulged for their own sanity and peace of mind/body since adolescence, so that they can better serve their wives???  Is that what men are for now?
           
               You seem to have a very romanticized vision of what sex is.  Sex IS about meeting our own needs, and also about meeting the needs of our partner.  A generous and giving person spends a great deal of attention on his/her partner’s needs…..but at the end of the day our own needs are of primary importance.  Your entire second paragraph proves your ignorance, because the answer to the questions you ask are a resounding YES.  YES, if the wife is not in the mood the husband should go into the bathroom for 10 minutes with his smartphone.  Did you think he should deny himself, wracking his mind for better ways to serve her so that she will eventually relent?  Jenn, I guarantee you that if this is your idea of marriage, it won’t last long.
           
          Given the tone of your remarks, I doubt that I will be able to convince you of anything.  Life will have to do that.  For whatever it’s worth, my views of what marriage SHOULD be were quite different from what I now view as realistic expectations of marriage in hindsight.  And I’ve never met anyone who is or has been married who felt differently.

        3. Jenn

          Jeremy, 

          I’ll thank you to allow me the freedom of expression to which this country entitles me. You’re entitled to your non-beliefs just as I am to my faith, and please take note of the fact that I am not rebuking anyone for not believing. You can believe what you want but that doesn’t change the facts. Also notice that nowhere in my post did I say a word about a husband denying himself sexual gratification. I said that DELAYING it in favor of waiting for sex with his wife would be more satisfying in the end than a ten-minute wank in the bathroom. And yes, delaying their own release in favor of putting more of a focus on sex with their wives is exactly what men can do, because it will heighten the experience for BOTH spouses. In this way, he can better serve his wife and she will, through his attentions, be able to more fully give pleasure back to him. 

          I do have a romanticized vision of marriage. And I am sick of people here telling me that I’m an ignorant fool for believing that human beings can rise above “reality” and strive for something better. I have allowed the negative nancies here to continually drag me down with their derisive, patronizing, and self-centered world views to the point where I could be convinced that pursuing the kind of devoted marriage and generous sex life that I would want is not possible. If it was not for my faith in God’s plan for my life, I might believe that. But I don’t. And I’m able to maintain this positive attitude precisely because I have not been jaded by the experiences that many people who don’t wait for marriage have had. If the idea of a man who attempts to build a better connection with his wife by abstaining from pornography offends you, I am truly sorry. But you don’t need to listen to me. Just read the many, many articles and forums which are now popping up on the Web in which men are exhaulting in their newfound freedom from porn and masturbating. There, you will get it straight from the horse’s mouth that pornography did nothing to help their sex life, and did everything to drain them of their natural desire for real women. Even so-called casual users report that swearing off porn and masturbating has improved their relationships with the women in their lives. But I’m done debating this. Choose to educate yourself. I won’t be here anymore because I’m sick of trying. 

        4. twinkle

          Jenn,
          Respectfully, I think this shows we all have blind spots. You say ‘negative nancies’ are dragging you down and patronizing you, but I think most of us pro-porn readers are not judging you, we feel judged by you. (And feel like we can’t debate, we’re just automatically Wrong because the Bible says so. ) Which is also the way you feel about other readers. Just something to think about. (& something for everyone to think about, really, because we’re all prone to this. ) Peace.
           

    2. 24.2
      Simone

      BRAVO, Cat5!!! I agree with you and Jenn wholeheartedly. It needs to be said.
      But even for people who just watch porn selfishly it’s a losing proposition: 1) Wives, rather than husbands, initiate most divorces, and the man’s porn use factors into a high number of these divorces. 2) Women are gaining more power in the world and are using their influence to push back against rape, harassment, and sexual exploitation, which porn glorifies and yes, “normalizes.” These women and some men are educating the world about what these things are, and mass consciousness about these things shifting rapidly. People who apologize for or condone certain behaviors are losing in the public sphere, and in the private sphere women are finding the right words and actions to condemn those behaviors. 3) As time goes on, women are going to gain more and more influence in the world. They will demand more egalitarian marriages and if men don’t rise to the challenge, these women will opt not to marry or will not to stay married. If men are not able to negotiate private spaces with women whose careers and orgasms demand as much consideration as those of their male partners, men are not going to be able to have those women. Which means, men will have to foot the financial and emotional bills that come with having a traditional woman.

      1. 24.2.1
        Evan Marc Katz

        1) Wives, rather than husbands, initiate most divorces, and the man’s porn use factors into a high number of these divorces.

        Wrong. Wives initiate most divorces, but where is the statistic that indicates that a “high number” of them stem from his excessive porn use? I’ll wait.

        2) People who apologize for or condone certain behaviors are losing in the public sphere, and in the private sphere women are finding the right words and actions to condemn those behaviors.

        Another fallacy. Condoning moderate porn use isn’t condoning rape. You only weaken your argument when you suggest that men who like to masturbate (ie all of us) are therefore more likely to think rape is okay. I rarely watch porn, but I’m forced into defending it because of your holier than thou purtanical attitude towards it. Porn is 30% of the internet. Tell me when the public sphere eradicates it.

        3) If men are not able to negotiate private spaces with women whose careers and orgasms demand as much consideration as those of their male partners, men are not going to be able to have those women.

        Who said a woman’s orgasm didn’t matter? I only said that in porn that is designed for HIS pleasure, her orgasm doesn’t matter. In the context of a marriage, of course her pleasure matters.

        The article was about whether men should quit porn or if it could be consumed in moderation. Your argument is that porn is wrong, women are powerful, men don’t care about orgasms, and men who masturbate will not be able to marry. Huh?

        1. Simone

          EMK: Shame on you for twisting what I said.
          1) If you don’t believe that husbands’ porn use factors into a high number of divorces that’s OK with me. I’m not going to do your research for you.
          2) Referring here to a) the tremendous backlash against Republican politicians’ ignorance about sexual harassment, birth control, abortion, and rape; b) websites like Jezebel and Huffington Post that call out male ignorance in general on same; c) Congresswomen using their authority to filibuster anti-abortion legislation or to confront the military and government leaders on sexual assault in the military; d) CDC’s recent findings on the prevalence of rape; e) lawsuits against the Catholic Church for protecting rapist priests; f) Anonymous in Steubenville; g) new laws against stalking, cyber-voyerism, and public knowledge about same are growing; etc. etc. etc. Fifteen years ago these mass movements against sexual crimes–almost all of which are committed by men and which heretofore have been silently condoned or ignored–were not happening. Now they are.
          3) My argument is not at all that porn is wrong, women are powerful, men don’t care about orgasms, and men who masturbate will not be able to marry. My argument is that porn is male-centric and a poor education for anyone interested in women’s actual sexual response; that women are a rising force politically and socially at this time in history and are asserting the truth about their bodies and their experience of  sexual abuse–much of which seems to stem from the same sense of entitlement that male-centric porn promotes; that the majority of men in general either don’t care about the female orgasm or are clueless about how to give one; and that young women in general are saying that they want egalitarian marriages and would rather do without marriage than be under a man’s thumb–a statement that has big implications for men who are found lacking in their knowledge of how the female body works or who think that male pleasure is more important than female pleasure.       

        2. Evan Marc Katz

          And any woman who finds that her man doesn’t care about the female orgasm has a right to dump that man. That doesn’t mean that men can’t watch porn from time to time. Stop with the black and white shit, okay?

        3. Simone

          EMK: First of all, people watch porn. All sorts of people watch porn. Not just men. From your statement I could conclude that your understanding of porn as a male-centric form of arousal and entertainment is more limited (black/white) than mine. Second, I very much appreciate your appreciation of the female orgasm, and it’s very clear that you keep your wife happy. So I’ve no problem with you. It’s the weekend, and I hope you and your adorable family have a great one. (I know, it’s very hard with little ones, but they are the cutest, aren’t they?)

    3. 24.3
      starthrower68

      The culture does out a great deal of hope in sex.  Sex is a good, wonderful, necessary thing. But it has become THE thing.  I am not so naive as to think that will change and people are going to do what they’re going to do.  I kinda like being part of the counterculture though. 😃

    4. 24.4
      Lola

      I have been in porn. And while I won’t tell you it is all champagne and roses, I will strongly disagree with you that it is harmful to everyone involved. (Some maybe, and many girls in the industry may need counselling afterwards, but my experience was that it was a temporary exchange). There were quite a few hoops to jump through to do it. Proof of my age, signing model release forms, even taxes on the income.

      I live in a country where prostitution is legal. The only thing that is illegal is negotiating the terms of the trade in public. I can tell you this based on my porn experience, I’d much prefer my daughter to be an escort to a pornstar. Why? Because I can find the online evidence of my 23 year old self spread eagle with a huge grin on my face. It’s not something I want out there forever and ever.

      Now for the reason I did it. I made $2ooo for 4 hours of work. I couldn’t afford to get into debt at the time, I wasn’t getting enough hours in my minimum wage job, and it was a small trade for the financial security that money offered me for a few months.

      Was I exploited? Yes, but I allowed myself to be. I’d argue that the vast majority of porn you see is consensual, even when it’s a really brutal blowjob scene and tears are streaming from her eyes from gagging so hard. We could argue whether $600 is really enough to do that, but wages are pretty consistent across the industry, and I think it’s very fair for unskilled labor. There aren’t a lot of things you can do as a young woman to make comparable wages.

      1. 24.4.1
        Adrian

        Hi Lola,

        You said, “Was I exploited? Yes, but I allowed myself to be. I’d argue that the vast majority of porn you see is consensual, even when it’s a really brutal blowjob scene and tears are streaming from her eyes from gagging so hard. 

        I agree with everything you are saying but remember that the majority of women who condemn porn are basing their arguments off of emotion not just facts.

        Everything is centered on how her boyfriend/husband’s “personal” pleasure makes her feel.

        Many don’t see a difference between a man who doesn’t have sex with her but loves getting off on porn and the man who only watches it occasionally when his wife is not in the mood for sex or is away on trip.

        To women who are against porn, it is all evil regardless of the reasons. You can’t fight emotions with facts.

  25. 25
    Still-looking

    Simone stated, “I notice that none of the sex examples you give are about things that women typically enjoy–like the man giving her oral or having her nipples stimulated. The examples are her getting spanked, giving him blow jobs, getting anal, and having cum on her face. None of these activities is going to lead to a female orgasm, but three are about male orgasm. I think this kind of oversight is why women don’t like porn. Believe me, we’d be all for it if the main event was a woman getting off. Where is that missing plotline?  ”

    Simone – I’m going to assume I’ve been with quite a few more women than you so I’m speaking from experience.  I’ve been w women who have their most intense orgasm w anal sex, women who only orgasm w rough sex, women who orgasm from giving a BJ, and one who would orgasm just from me talking dirty in public while gently pulling her hair.  Different strokes …..

    1. 25.1
      Simone

      Any women on this board have orgasms in the way that Still-looking describes? Haaa!!! Based on what you’ve just told us I believe that “Deep Throat” is due for an update.
      No, seriously. All of us women who have female orgasms obviously have no clue about what really turns us on and makes us come. Oh, and we never ever discuss it and no biologist or doctor or sociologist has ever studied it or written about it or anything like that. Thanks for filling us in.

      1. 25.1.1
        Karl S

        Why is everyone so focused on the orgasm? It’s not just about physical stimulation remember. People do these different things for the psychological effects and sense of power play it gives them. To dominate or be dominated, to be a giver or receiver. We see things in porn that people do enjoy in life, but porn only shows us the action whereas life has (and needs) the conversation that precedes it. And since it’s a mastabatory aid, why wouldnt it just be action? 

        1. Simone

          Karl S: You don’t have orgasms when you have sex because you prefer the psychological effects and the sense of power play? Personally, I like having orgasms when I have sex. I don’t like to watch of have sex that’s all about the guy’s orgasm. Seems kind of one-sided and selfish of the guy, don’t you think?

        2. Simone

          Karl: Love ya, but I doubt that the majority of women are BDSM. I wish people (OK, men) would stop using these outliers as exemplars of the female population, Fifty Shades notwithstanding. I mean, to paraphrase Freud, what do men want? Women who come from hair-stroking or fellatio just don’t exist (sorry, Still-looking). If a man wants a good sexual relationship with a woman it has to be equal, unless he wants to take care of that discrepancy in other parts of the relationship (e.g., by being rich). Again, as with Evan, I don’t put you, Karl, in that douche-guy basket. You both break the entitled white male stereotype. But sometimes you defend the male-centric status quo, as if you’re going to benefit from it. This is a public forum, sort of. You might want to consider being on the right side of history.

        3. Simone

          Oops. Freudian slip. Ha!! Most women are NOT BDSM!! (That was a good one–sometimes I amuse myself!)

      2. 25.1.2
        Karl S

        Simone,

        I’m pretty vanilla myself, but I’m telling you now that I’ve met a number of ladies in and out of the BDSM community who are definitely interested in things beyond stimulation to orgasm.

        It seems to me that most women are at least slightly submissive, in that they’re attracted to a man who is bigger and stronger than them – someone who could potentially overpower them. But a lot of women also like to take it a step further. Remember, sex is often a place to get weird and freaky; to unleash your inner child or your darker self. People in high powered jobs ask to get tied up and hit with riding crops. Others like to drip hot candle wax on themselves or their partner. Some want you to pin them down or even choke them a little bit while you have sex. People are weirder than we give them credit for. You have no idea what your friends and co-workers are really into. Someone who seems ultra conventional during the day might well be swinging from the chandeliers at night.

        Evan makes a good point about porn being mostly male-centric, but my point is that the activities you see in porn aren’t purely made up by men to satisfy men. You think women haven’t explicitly asked me to spank them, to give them anal and yes, even to cum on their face? They have. And these were highly intelligent, socially aware feminists. They weren’t just doing what they thought was expected of them, they were doing what they wanted in their sex lives. It might seem baffling to you, but you have to remember it takes all kinds to make a world.

        1. Karl S

          I will concede that porn too often neglects to show people giving their express consent before submitting to certain acts. There is definitely a callous attitude towards women that runs through porn that I don’t like. But I maintain that the activities themselves are something real people indulge in. Even the degrading ones.

        2. Simone

          Meh. Take away the porn and who is going to think that stuff up themselves. Plain vanilla is more reliable, probably. I’m sure your wife is happy. But I think that men seriously underestimate how strong the conditioning to please men is.  Women, too, use porn as a primer for what is “normal.” From the day you’re born as a female, it seems, you are given all sorts of messages about what your sexuality is supposed to be. Believe me, it isn’t about YOUR pleasure. There’s this funny video that modernizes the behavior of  fairy tale princes (Buzzfeed, maybe?). Sums it up. To Jenn’s earlier points, these fairy tales are about normalizing abuse, slavery, and rape. Blech.     

  26. 26
    Chance

    This thread discussion is starting to go down the road that I originally expected:  by trying to squash porn consumption by trying to tie the problem of human trafficking to porn consumption.  Obviously, no one condones human trafficking.  I am very interested in this.  Could people please provide articles that demonstrate that human trafficking is pervasive in the porn industry?  

  27. 27
    twinkle

    I’m a little tired of how women sometimes discourage porn by saying porn actresses are basically pitiful exploited people. I’m not convinced that that’s a big reason why so many women don’t like porn, I think it’s more insecurity–which is a human thing and isn’t horrible per se. (This is why my older male friend told me, ‘Never marry a man who u love more than he loves you’. I think one is less likely to be insecure this way. Lol)
     
    Porn actresses are more likely to have had problems with alcohol and abuse drugs and marijuana, but “The porn stars were no more likely to have been victims of childhood sex abuse than the control group, the study found. What’s more, the porn actresses reported significantly higher sexual satisfaction, positive feelings, social support and spirituality.” (Journal of Sex Research, 2012).
     
    The porn stars are fine, ladies. Problems exist in every industry and of course their job isn’t perfect. Are you not buying goods made in developing countries because some of their workers work in difficult conditions for very low wages? (Actually we really shouldn’t, now THOSE workers truly have hard lives) Unless you are, it makes no sense from telling men to stop watching porn because some women apparently only turned to porn to escape poverty.
     
     

    1. 27.1
      Cat5

      “The porn stars are fine, ladies. Problems exist in every industry and of course their job isn’t perfect. Are you not buying goods made in developing countries because some of their workers work in difficult conditions for very low wages? (Actually we really shouldn’t, now THOSE workers truly have hard lives) Unless you are, it makes no sense from telling men to stop watching porn because some women apparently only turned to porn to escape poverty.”
      Are you kidding with this statement?
      The next time I represent a 13-year-old who’s father forced him with threat of violence to go down on the father’s best friend while his father filmed it to post on a gay porn site, or a 20-year-old whose boyfriend drugged her, took money from four or five men to have sex with her at the same time, and then took pictures to sell and simultaneously threaten to send them to her parents to keep her in line, I will send them to you Twinkle.  You can tell them to suck it up and stop their sniveling and whining…it could be worse.  They could be living in a developing country working in really difficult conditions for very low wages.

      1. 27.1.1
        twinkle

        And are You kidding with this statement? “You can tell them to suck it up and stop their sniveling and whining…it could be worse.  They could be living in a developing country working in really difficult conditions for very low wages.”
        That sounds like you’re trivialising the widespread overwork for shockingly-little pay that goes on in developing countries as some western corporations try to squeeze out every last dollar in profits they can. Foxconn (which produced Apple products in Asian factories) was violating workers’ human rights for years so I hope u’ve been giving an earful to every person u see using Apple products.
         
        Those examples u mention are violations of the LAW, the victims will have to seek help and that will be for the Legal System to handle. It’s not an indictment of Pornography itself. Btw for the 13 year old u mentioned, that’s Child Porn, with vulnerable victims which is why even Watching child porn is a serious legal offence.
         
        For other porn, the actors/actresses are presumed to be willing participants, which is why it’s Fine. U and other anti-porn people are confusing the issues. I notice noone has replied to Chance 26:  “Could people please provide articles that demonstrate that human trafficking is pervasive in the porn industry?  “

        1. Jenn

          Twinkle,
           
          The illegal sex and drug trades are all interrelated with porn. If you did your research, you’d see that there are many third-world young women, especially poor Asians, who are either kidnapped outright or simply lied to and brought into this country through human sex trafficking. Those women are ripped away from their families and stripped of everything they once were. Often they’re forced into prostitution in “massage” parlors, but they are forced into making porn films as well. Why? Because of the market for Asian and other types of porn. Many of those girls are drugged,starved, beaten into submission, given next to no food and forced to sleep in spaces that would make a prisoner in a state penitentiary look like he’s at the freaking Hilton. They don’t see a dime of the money they make for their pimps and have no real means of escape because they know no one on the outside. This is not something that is just happening in some far away place. It’s happening right here, in our own backyard. As to why the girls are mainly being kidnapped instead of choosing to go into these “professions”, it’s because the demand (by OUR men, the main consumers of porn) has far outpaced the supply. Purveyors of porn and prostitution find it easier to just steal the girls and force them into it. Haven’t you ever seen the movie “Taken”? That kind of stuff happens all the time. The girls are kidnapped, their identification, money and often even their clothes are stolen and they are given forged passports and fake IDs so that no one can trace them. They disappear in a matter of days. It’s true that not every woman in porn is really an unwilling participant. But the question is, can you tell the difference? I’m betting no.

        2. Cat5

          Twinkle,
          And I think you are trivializing what happens to people in this country – and by this country I mean the United States of America.  At least in the countries you mentioned they get wages – low though they may be.  In the examples I mentioned above – neither the 13 or the 20 year old got paid.  They just got sexually abused and physically abused if they didn’t comply with the sexual abuse. 
          I’m only one person who can only take on so many things at once.  Currently, I’m taking on the issue I see all the time in this country.  I’d be exhausted and likely wouldn’t have many friends.  Plus, I personally believe we (as in the United States of America) need to clean up our own house before we go telling other countries how to live.  We still have a lot of cleaning to do to get there.  I mean we are supposed to be the greatest nation on earth — I expect a lot more from us.
          But I’m curious Twinkle, what would you tell those people in my examples above? 
          As for Chance’s request at 26, I missed it.  But, I’ll say a couple of things — first, I’ve mentioned a bunch of articles and studies before on this blog, and second I’m not Chance’s freaking research assistant.  It’s call the Google and it’s an amazing thing.  Type in a few search terms and you might actually find what your looking for…but be sure to read both sides of the issues, because there is a lot out there that misleads both ways so you have to gather information, maybe actually go meet some people who have been there, and think for yourself.
          And since I’m feeling benevolent this evening — Hey Chance why don’t you start with looking up the Polaris Project, and go from there.

        3. Cat5

          Darn it!  I accidently hit post comment before I finished.
          And what does the fact that it’s a serious legal offense have to do with anything?  Do you think that means it doesn’t happen? Or that everyone who does it actually gets charged, let alone prosecuted and goes to jail for it?  That’s pretty naïve.  I see cases all the time of parents who beat their children to the point the child has to be hospitalized – what happens?  Sometimes the state takes away their child, sometimes they don’t.  When they do take the child away, they often return them to the parents later.  But, I’ve never seen any of the prosecuted.
          I’ve seen parents who have sexually abused their children – same thing.  Sometimes the state takes away their child, sometimes they don’t, and sometimes they return them home.  But again, I’ve never seen any of them prosecuted.
          In the case of the 13 year old I gave you the example of above…I fought like hell to keep him from having to go back to that hell hole and he never did.  His foster family wanted to adopt him, but the father wouldn’t terminate his parental rights — kept hoping he’d get the child back.  But, they never prosecuted the father either.

        4. twinkle

          @Jenn and Cat5:
          Argh I thought I’d typed a reply earlier, but somehow it wasn’t submitted. I’ll briefly type it again.
           
          I’m sad for these victims of human trafficking and I want justice to be served and the perpetrators punished, but I can’t agree that this means pornography is wrong in general.
          Cat5: “And what does the fact that it’s a serious legal offense have to do with anything?  Do you think that means it doesn’t happen? Or that everyone who does it actually gets charged, let alone prosecuted and goes to jail for it?”
           
          I mean that these are violations of the law that the police should be dealing with, instead of trying to ban porn altogether. It’s like how in 2011, there was an Australian expose of the animal torture/cruelty happening in some Indonesian abbatoirs. I think in response, Australia stopped exporting their cattle to Indonesia.
           
          Some vegetarians have argued that because of cruelty that sometimes happens in some cases, there should not merely be a localised response (dealing with the specific companies or countries involved), but that people should stop eating meat altogether. Majority of us, however, feel eating meat from humanely-killed animals is not wrong, and that the abusers/offenders of animal rights should be punished…I think a similar principle applies here.
           
          In the US, for eg, pple can petition the govt to do more to fight these human trafficking abuses, to devote more funds to the cause. Sadly, some other countries don’t have good law enforcement to devote to the fight vs human trafficking. Perhaps we arguably shouldn’t watch porn produced in developing countries, since there are more likely to involve unwilling victims. (But u’d be depriving those who Do want to earn the money of a much-needed source of income)
           
          Overall, on a utilitarian basis, I can’t agree that all porn is wrong because there are some unwilling participants though. There is a Lot of porn with willing participants, these are big industries which provide jobs to many people. We have to weigh the pros and cons, and porn does provide pros to many many pple worldwide, I agree with Chance that it reduces cheating/affairs. There are also guys who can’t find sexual partners and porn provides an outlet or solace to them.
           
          I hardly even watch porn, maybe once a month, so I don’t really have a horse in this race; I can do without it.

        5. Jenn

          Twinkle,

          Seriously, you really think that porn use is a form of solace for lonely men who somehow can’t get a girlfriend? How would it be for those guys if they were to put their all into meeting women in real life? Or maybe if they took up a hobby or a volunteer activity to fill lonely nights instead of sitting at home, wacking off in self-induced isolation? Sounds more like a surefire way to get depressed rather than find peace. 

          As to your assertion that porn provides many, many jobs – yeah, not so much. It may be a big industry but for most workers,  it’s not a steady stream of work at ALL. Plus,  if a performer catches a disease (which of course, they all do), they’re out the pay for the entire period of the illness. 

          To your other point, the parallel you attempted to draw with the food industry, I will just reiterate my previous point: how do you know? How do you know for sure that your food was raised and processed humanely? Do you know your local animal-raiser (“farmer” is a loose definition by today’s standards) raises the animals with loving care? Do you know where he sends his animals to slaughter? Do you stand over the slaughterhouse worker’s shoulder as he processes your meat? No, I’m guessing you probably don’t and that’s why vegan and vegetarian advocates advise against eating meat. By the same token, you don’t have any way of knowing for sure if the porn you use has been produced legally and humanely. So why take the chance? That’s what I was trying to get at.  

      2. 27.1.2
        Chance

        Cat5,
         
         
        When someone tries to tell other people that they should or shouldn’t do something for a specific reason, and makes supposedly factual claims to support his/her case, it is generally his/her responsibility to provide the evidence to support those claims.  Refusing to do so by claiming that you’re not someone’s research assistant simply makes it look like you don’t have anything to support your claim.  If you cared about these people as much as you act like you care about them, you would be happy to spend a few minutes to provide me with evidence to support your case. 
         
         
        As a courtesy to you, I did go to the Polaris Project website.  However, I couldn’t find anything there demonstrating that human trafficking was pervasive in the porn industry.  Could you please help me out with this, and direct me to the right spot on the website?  This is a very serious offense that you are trying to use as justification for people to stop viewing pornography, and I very much want to give it full consideration, but I need evidence.
         
        Until then, I believe we are back to square one:  you stated that porn is not a benign issue for most people involved in it, and you keep tying the issue of human trafficking to the porn industry as the main justification for why people shouldn’t view it.  You provided some isolated examples, one of which involves child porn, which would not be allowed on mainstream porn websites.  I believe this problem of human trafficking could most effectively be combated with more money and other resources devoted to stomping it out as opposed to making a blanket statement that people should not watch porn at all.  Could you, or anyone else, please provide evidence that human trafficking is prevalent in the porn industry?

        1. Jenn

          Chance,
           
          It shouldn’t matter how prevalent it is. The fact is that trafficking does happen, and you would have virtually no way of knowing for sure whether you are watching porn made with trafficked individuals or fully consenting adults. And even those fully consenting adults can be abused. I’ve seen the behind the scenes footage on Youtube of women begging the men to stop because it hurts, and the men keep going while laughing and making fun of them. Just because someone might consent to be in the video, that doesn’t mean that they’re never harmed. And in some other cases, the female performers aren’t just required to put in a full day’s work on the film, they’re also forced to submit to servicing the crew or they won’t get paid. That kind of forced prostitution is disgusting, and it’s one more reason to abhor pornography.

        2. JoeK

          She can’t support the claims she makes Chance. She argued this with me a year ago, and I quashed all the numbers presented.

          There’s very little evidentiary support that porn supports trafficking.

          I too looked at the Polaris site, and it’s clearly devoted to getting the message out, but not supporting it with accurate data. They tend to come to unfounded conclusions by conflating things like prostitution and porn.
           

  28. 28
    Elle

    Today our local newspaper published an article with the headline “HIV Case Rocks Porn Production” in which an advocacy group for the porn industry has called for an industry-wide production moratorium after another performer tested positive for HIV. Apparently, the AIDS Healthcare Foundation successfully fought to require condoms for porn actors in Los Angeles city and county, but the adult film industry has bitterly battled the condom rules, claiming it will ruin their business. “During the past year, a plethora of porn producers have pulled up stakes from its traditional southern California home and moved production to places like Las Vegas, San Francisco and Miami where the condom rules are not in force.”  It’s interesting how the consumers of porn apparently want the fantasy aspects of it to take precedence over the health of porn performers, thus bolstering the argument that pornography is exploitative. Your thoughts about this, Evan?

     

    1. 28.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      Elle, this isn’t about the consumers of porn. The porn performers themselves don’t want to use condoms. This is a matter of the state trying to protect them from their own choices. And as liberal as I am – a believer in the nanny-state, if you will – there are consequences for forcing people to do things they don’t want to do. And thus, a lucrative Los Angeles industry (however icky it may seem) is leaving town for states that don’t impose such laws. Again, I’m no porn expert…barely even a consumer. I just think I’m an advocate for common sense. As long as porn actors are tested regularly (and they are), they should have the choice of using/not using condoms. If porn is about fantasy, few men’s fantasies involve condoms, you know?

      1. 28.1.1
        Jenn

        I just want to point out that the performers are usually only tested once a month, that is, when they are actually required to get tested (many off-the-radar producers skirt the state’s mandatory-testing laws). HIV has an incubation period of 2 weeks to 6 months. Meaning that a performer who is infected can have up to 5 negative tests before they finally get a positive result. In the interim, that’s a lot of people he or she could be infecting! They might not just spread it to other performers either – people outside the industry who they hook up with or have relationships with are put at risk too, if they also prefer not to use protection with them. And need it be said again that not all incurable STI’s are protected against with condom use (*cough* herpes *cough*). The state isn’t just trying to protect the people who participate in porn, they’re trying to protect the community at large, too.

      2. 28.1.2
        pat

        But isn’t this a public health issue? This wasn’t a law created willy nilly to stifle male fantasy. It was implemented because there was an increase in HIV transmission among actors in the porn industry – clearly regular testing wasn’t enough. There are also problems with relying on testing in high risk populations, such as false negatives and compliance issues (people sliding by without getting tested or not getting tested often enough). Even if the performers are willingly exposing themselves to the risk of HIV, if they contract it, it becomes a public health issues because they can spread it (especially if they don’t know they have it and their livelihoods depend on unprotected sex and also those people have sex outside the workplace). Testing alone doesn’t seem to be effective, actual prevention is needed. Just like your kids have to have their shots to go to school and you need to prove your immunity status and get annual flu shots to work in a hospital. Porn actors need to wear condoms. It’s all about herd immunity and prevention.

        It might be an unpleasant change at first for viewers, but with time condom use could be normalized and people would eventually accept it. It just seems a little petty to be arguing about the threat against male fantasy, when people’s health and lives are at risk. If a subset of the population were willingly or unknowingly exposing themselves to TB or Rubella and driving those transmission rates up, it would also be a public health issue and the state would have to intervene to limit the risk of transmission to the rest of us. I don’t know about you, Evan, but I’m all for it.

        Just wanted to say that otherwise, I love your blog, your posts and everything. 🙂

  29. 29
    Morris

    Wow. This thread took a weird turn. Sorry but porn is here to stay. I think it would be better to understand the role it has and work with it.

    But what DOES worry me is the future. I work a lot with technology companies. And the advances of virtual reality, and other technologies that I won’t mention, does make me worry for the future generation of relationships. What will happen when men/women simply don’t need the other gender for sex?

    Some people think a lot of what is bad in relationships today can be blamed(at least partially) on the relative availability of sex. So what happens when it’s completely on tap? And with the fantasy man/woman of your dream? Scary.

    1. 29.1
      Isa

      Already happened.  See: Vice,
      The Japanese Love Industry

      1. 29.1.1
        Morris

        Just watched it on YouTube. Depressing. I can only image as technology improves it will only get worse .(Or is it better? Since everyone is doing it willingly?)

  30. 30
    Jay

    For something that is merely ‘fantasy’ this subject has certainly inspired an energetic exchange here on this blog.

    I applaud those comments which look at the reality around the culture of the industry and I applaud those who are honest about their own lives. 

    My view is that, coming from the UK, a culture which is historically repressed and ashamed on sexual matters and which therefore as a  kind of backlash has now become culturally obsessed with it, we need to look at the whole subject. We need to ask why women and increasingly men look down from roadside billboards with vacuous facial expressions and bulging torsos to sell products entirely unrelated to their sexualised bodies. How young people might be encouraged to value themselves above the surface gleam of flesh which is waved at them from every music video (which is so powerful to teenagers because great music is powerful). There needs to be a conversation in my country about sex and what it means to us all and what we want young people to really know about its meaning and context in every kind of relationship. Pornography is merely an aspect of that conversation.

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