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.

Join our conversation (383 Comments).
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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?

       

      1. 7.3.1
        Barb

        You’re naive if you think women don’t like rough treatment during sex. And you’re even more naive if you think women don’t know what they’re doing when they go into the industry. By thinking this way you might as well call women dumb and incapable of making there own choices.

  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. 

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