Why some women think watching porn is “cheating”

  i-hate-porn-mainAll of you have heard this idea somewhere. Some of you might even believe it –that your spouse watching porn, or masturbating to porn, or just plain fantasizing about anyone but you somehow constitutes “cheating” and “infidelity.”  But does it?

I was stunned the other morning while driving to work and listening to one of those radio shrink shows.  And a woman calls, says that she herself enjoys watching porn sometimes, but she finds herself resenting that her husband does the same!  That somehow this was ‘cheating’!  Of course the feminist radio shrink didn’t actually call this woman on this ridiculously blatant hypocrisy, but instead answered a different question.   I’ve heard similar things said here on my blog and others by a few females.  One even assured me that not only was porn “definitely cheating” but that her husband should not even THINK of anyone else in his head but her!!

So to the question:   Would you be “hurt” and consider it “cheating” if  you walked in on her spouse masturbating to porn?   Or found evidence on the computer of your spouse having looked at porn sites?

But let’s be frank, first:  Opposition to porn is largely a gender-specific issue.    I can’t ever recall hearing or reading about a man who thought his wife watching porn constituted cheating.  But just like all other guys, if I ever caught my wife sneakily watching porn after dark, I’d be instantly excited instead of feeling two-timed and violated.  I’d be thrilled to realize she was that visual and that curious and that she got a pop out of watching a little porn.  Seriously.   In fact, when she finally decided that looking at porn was ok — either alone or as a couple, I was glad!  I could finally not have to feel like an errant child, hiding something “bad from Mommy.”  That I had crossed some line, which to me, would not make logical sense.

And I’m not a hypocrite on the issue.  In fact, I actually downloaded some female-oriented porn movies and back issues of Playgirl for her to look at on her own time.  To let her see men younger than me, better looking than me, and mostly built better than me.  Bothers me not a bit! How many married men would believe their wife would do this for them?  Few.

Research indicates that opposition to porn is largely based in female insecurity and female competitiveness, not just misunderstanding male sexuality.    As one researcher said, “Women feel insecure about other attractive women. They might see a good-looking woman (in a porn movie) and think, “How could I compete with her?”  All you have to do is read numerous studies, numerous articles and it comes up over and over:  A lot of women hate their men looking at porn because they are insecure about themselves — their bodies and their sexuality.  They resent and feel intimidated by their partners having any “sex life” that they aren’t involved in, even if it’s only in their head and, privately, with themselves.

I think this is a mistake and a misunderstanding not only of male, but human sexuality.  There is nothing wrong with masturbation — it’s a normal adult activity and can add to the quality of your life and your relationship and your partner should not be intimidated by it.  And whatever it takes to get yourself off, assuming it’s legal, you shouldn’t judge it. Whether it’s porn.  Or fantasizing about a celebrity or a stranger. Or reading “50 Shades of Grey”.  It’s all good.

SO, is it cheating or is calling it cheating merely a sign of extreme insecurity?

The knee jerk reaction is, porn is bad…If he’s watching it then he’s not satisfied with me. Same thing with strip clubs. You have these nice looking women to look at, and women are scared that you’ll look at your partners and judge them badly for not looking like strippers or porn stars, or have to fantasize about some other girl when you have sex with them in order to get off.

In fact, I lot of women simply cannot understand why men seem to like porn.   I think that may be at the root of this.  A basic misunderstanding of male sexuality by females.  So let’s deal with that first.  Know this, ladies:  There is a fundamental difference between the genders in how we approach sex.

man2So why do men like porn?

Men like porn for a lot of reasons. Here are a few that could help you understand his interest in things naked on his computer screen.

1.  Men are different than women in the approach to sex and it’s biologically based.  Men are extremely “visual” when it comes to sex.   As much as you ladies like to think that somehow men are nothing more than “women with penises”, we aren’t. We are very different.  We are wired in our brains differently.  And therefore, although it’s tempting, you can’t view (and judge) men through your female prism. Instead, you need to understand that we are very different from women, including our approach to sex.

But especially in this way — we are more visual.  It’s been proven in numerous scientific studies.   Why are we so visual compared to you ladies?   We just are.  We get more turned on by visuals than women do.  And porn feeds very much into that.    As one study said:

“Evolutionary psychologists argue that ancestral men, to spread their genes, had much to gain from having sex with as many women as possible. In contrast, given the biological limitations on the number of children women could have and raise, they would benefit from being selective — choosing mates with the best genes.

Thus, men evolved a sexual psychology that makes sex with new women exciting both to imagine and to engage in, and this made men especially responsive to visual signals of sex.

Porn, a largely visual medium, parades many youthful and attractive partners, and provides physical gratification without commitment or encumbering relationships. There are other social-historical explanations for the gender discrepancy, however, including the fact that, until recently, porn has not been created with the intention of appealing to women.”

This is largely why the porn industry thrives worldwide, across generations and time. Not because it’s controlled by men, but because men’s visual instincts provide it a HUGE market in a way that women’s sexuality does not.  Playboy is going strong for going for more the 50 years now, and is joined by hundreds and hundreds of other publications catering to the nude female form for men.  Women?  Playgirl went out of print in the last decade and was barely kept afloat by reportedly subscribers who were up to 40% gay men!

While some male strip clubs exist, they are dwarfed by the number of female strip clubs.  You have Hooters and Tilted Kilt, which are about female beauty among the servers (along with buffalo wings), but as far as I know, there is no Peckers or some similar thing catering to women.  Why?  If there was a market for it, I assure you that a chain of restaurants staffed by servers who were exclusively good looking and buff men would exist.  And frankly it would be invented and franchised by men! — we will make a buck any way we can.   It’s not a conspiracy that this type of franchise doesn’t exist, ladies — you just aren’t as interested in nude men and watching sex the way men are interested in nude women and watching sex!  Some of you are, yes, but in general, you are not anywhere near as interested as men are in looking and leering at the opposite sex.

We aren’t just visual on our computer screens, but also in real life.  If a man sees an attractive and desirable woman, one of the first things he does is wonder how she looks beneath her clothes. With so much curiosity, it’s easy to imagine why men can’t wait to see and learn about different women’s body parts. And another thing that most men do, each time they see a sexy celebrity on the tv or in a movie, many men will go online and look for a few nude movie clips of that girl to see how she looks naked.  It’s how we are wired. Do women do this? Probably rarely.

I once read that it takes a man  less than 4 seconds to decide if a woman is attractive and if he would ever be interested in her.  We use looks more like “triage” — we separate women immediately between those we know we will never be interested in from those we might be interested in, then we move in and find out what they are all about. Women don’t do this in the same way.  Have you ever heard a woman say that initially she wasn’t attracted to a man, but the  more she got to know him, the more sexually desirable she found him?  Yes. You hear it all the time. You will almost never hear a man say that because it isn’t how we think about looks.  Looks to us are more like a “floor” — you must be above the floor. If you are HIGH above the floor, so much the better, but you can’t be below it, because if you are, we will never think of you as anything more than a friend.

In general, men are visual in a sexual way far more than you are, ladies.  It’s just a fact. Reality.

2.  Men are more interested in sex than women.  Sorry, but it’s true, as much as some of you would like to argue.  Study after study illustrates that men’s sex drives are not only stronger than women’s, but much more straightforward.   As one study said,

“Porn as we know it is used predominantly by men. That is not to say that women do not use it, but simply that men are the main consumers of this “pleasure technology.” Why men? It may not come as a surprise, but research suggests that most men are more interested in sex than most women are. More men than women masturbate, and they do so more frequently. More men experience orgasms (than women), and do so more consistently (than women).”

Roy F Baumeister at Florida State University, Kathleen Catanese at a Midwestern college and Kathleen Vohs, a professor of marketing, set out to find the truth about which gender had a stronger sex drive, reports Oxford University Press, and concluded that the answer was clear:

There is a substantial difference and men have a much stronger sex drive than women.   To be sure, there are some women who have frequent, intense desires for sex, and there are some men who don’t, but on average the men want it more.

Every marker pointed to the same conclusion: Men think about sex more often than women do. Men have more sexual fantasies, and these encompass more different acts and more different partners.

Men masturbate more than women (see below)– much more. Masturbation is considered by sex researchers to be one of the purest measures of sex drive, because it is not much constrained by external factors (such as the need to find a partner, or the risk of pregnancy or disease).

Men take more risks and incur more costs for sex. They want sex more often than women, whether one is talking about young couples or people who have been married to the same person for forty years.

Men also want more different partners than women want, and men like a greater variety of sex acts than women do.

Men initiate sex often and refuse it rarely. Women initiate it much more rarely and refuse it much more often than men. Given an opportunity for sex, men leap at it, while women say no.”

And of course, our increased sex drive + our visual sexual nature = (TA DA!! our interest in porn)

3.  Men masturbate more than women.    This dove-tails from the previous point.  We are more interested in sex more frequently (on average).  So heck yeah, we take care of ourselves more than women.  There was a whole Seinfeld episode about it, pointing out the differences in how men and women view, and use, masturbation:

ir8Uq5p7slx-_-seinfeld-the-contest.pngJERRY: It’s easier for a woman not to do it than a man.

ELAINE: (Sarcastic) Oh.

JERRY: We have to do it. It’s part of our lifestyle. It’s like, uh.. shaving.

ELAINE: Oh, that is such baloney! I shave my legs.

KRAMER: (Making a point) Not everyday.

And the statistics bear this out.  One study found that less than 1% of men had never masturbated in their lives. For women, this was 20%!!   Read that again:  one out of five adult women has never masturbated even once!!  Studies show that about 7 out of 10 adult men masturbate at least once a month, but only 5 out of 10 adult women masturbate at that frequency or more.

ni3So why do men masturbate more? Again, it’s our biology at work.  But it’s also other reasons — sometimes we just want the “O”.  Without the foreplay. Without all the fanfare. Without the cuddling  and pillow-talk after. The expectations that follow sex with someone else. Without having to be responsible for your female partner’s orgasm. You just want one.  It relieves stress. It feels good.  And sometimes it’s better and more intense than with your partner (who knows your own body better than yourself?  nobody).

In masturbation, men can escape into their fantasies. They do not have to worry that their woman will criticize them. She’s not able to say, honey, do it this way, or honey do it that way. She can’t suggest that they do something differently.   It’s the easy, guaranteed, uncomplicated way to get pleasure. That may not be what you wanted to hear but it is what men sometimes think.   It’s not a knock on our partners. Sometimes, we just would rather take care of it ourselves and in a different way. Don’t be intimidated or insulted by this. It’s really not about you.

And for many men porn definitely becomes the visual stimuli that gets their sexual machines running and can heighten the excitement of the self-love experience, and therefore, the intensity of the orgasm. And I’m sure women would agree — wouldn’t you rather have a really intense orgasm than just a “blah” one?  Yes, even for men, the intensity of orgasms can vary greatly.

 woman321So why don’t more women like porn? It’s a good question.  Because, except for a small minority, it apparently doesn’t really turn them on!  One study stated that less than 5% of women reported to regularly viewing porn.    Women’s sexuality tends to be more mental and contextual than visual.  It just doesn’t interest most of you ladies. Ok.  Not a problem. But don’t use your distaste or disinterest as a reason to bludgeon your partner over their interest in it.

So then will your guy watching porn affect your relationship?  Nope, his interest in watching porn has nothing to do with the relationship status. He probably used to watch it when he was single, and now he watches it when you’re sleeping or not home.   To a man, porn isn’t his way of cheating on you. It’s just one of his favorite pastimes when he’s feeling restless, bored, or stressed.

But will he ever compare you to a porn star he likes?  It’s obvious he will. Has he ever asked you to try something new or kinky in bed all of a sudden? It’s probably an inspiration from his computer. But whether he compares you or not, a man’s mind is developed enough to realize that what he sees on his computer isn’t real, at least to him. It’s just a fantasy girl stripping herself off and moaning at everything she sees. And men like it!

Will he love you less because he sees other naked women?  No, somehow watching porn doesn’t seem to affect most men, unless they’re addicted to it and can’t live without it.  As pointed out, our brains are wired visually for sexual stimulation more than women’s. It’s just biology. We like seeing (attractive and desirable) naked women.  It really has not much to do with you (unless your partner, due to changes and time, no longer finds you physically attractive.  Then it will have something to do with you).  If you trust your partner, assume that they find you attractive, but don’t egotistically assume that they think you are the only attractive woman in the world either, and don’t be bothered by this fact.

Should a woman be bothered by his curiosity?  Don’t be.  Few men think their interest in porn qualifies as cheating.  See above.  It’s just who we are — curious sexual creatures who are turned on visually.  So instead of feeling insecure and threatened, why not instead, cuddle up with him and watch a few movies yourself?

manDon’t judge our eyes and we won’t judge your interest in hot romance novels or “50 Shades of Grey”.  Many women love romantic movies and get a little turned on by them.  Or get turned on by various types of female-oriented novels.   And she would definitely be able to relate to the feelings of love and affection the actors share on screen. A woman may enjoy the movie, but does that mean she’s falling for the actor in the movie because she felt all those emotions?  Heck, she may even wish her man was more like the romantic actor in the movie. But does that really change anything in real life? No!

And that’s the same thing with men and porn. They may watch women flaunting their assets on their computer, but once their date with their little friend is over, they forget all about it.

In fact, your romance novels and chick-flicks are essentially YOUR porn — and how many men feel threatened and intimidated by that?  Few.

Where do you draw the line with monogamy? Exactly what does and does not constitute cheating as far as you are concerned?  Personally, I believe  there is nothing wrong with porn as long as it isn’t compulsive and done as a substitute for normal sexual relationships.  If you have this much of a problem with a partner/spouse watching porn, then find a partner that agrees with you that porn is wrong!  Find out right up front in a new relationship what constitutes “cheating”.   Discuss it openly.  And if you can’t agree on these boundaries, including porn usage, then find someone else instead of trying to impose your morality on your spouse and force them into a situation where porn is doing secretly, with shame and forcing them into a place of dishonesty!

So is porn cheating? Of course it isn’t.   Watching pornography as a visual fantasy is not anywhere near the same level as having an emotional or physical affair.  If a couple is secure, trusting, and open about it, porn can actually increase the intimacy in a relationship! It allows for partners to explore new fantasies, try different positions, and test each other to see how they can keep their hands off each other!

Can it still be destructive? It can be if it becomes obsessive and is used, not as an additive to a normal sex life, but instead of a normal sex life.  But it is not “cheating.”  Anyone that uses porn compulsively is also at risk getting a very warped and unrealistic view of what sex should be like, or how their partner should look, and this could undermine a relationship. I agree.  Moderation in porn, as with many things in life such as cake, pizza and beer, is the key.  But be careful of labeling watching porn as an “addiction” merely because you don’t like your partner doing it.  There are porn addicts out there.  But I don’t think this applies to a very high percentage of men.

I would caution any of you to not set up unrealistic expectations of your partner. You could lose your relationship over it.  It’s an absurd expectation to think that your partner shall, and must, think of you and only YOU in their heads when they think about sex.   That they will never notice anyone else that is attractive or never will have a sexual fantasy that doesn’t involve you.  Seriously.   It’s a standard that almost anyone would fail. And do you really want to put your partner in the position of “cheating” on you in their head and having to lie about it?  It’s silly. It’s self-destructive. It’s pointless. It’s ground largely in your own insecurities.  I wouldn’t suggest trying to set this sort of standard for your partner. These types of controls would drive most people away.  Expressing deep-seeded insecurities about your body and sexuality is not going to exactly endear a man to you. Quite the opposite.  Extreme insecurity, especially when expressed with angry, controlling demands, is an incredible turn-off.  Insecurity, and its expression, is one of the biggest sabotagers of relationships.

wwp3You don’t have to like porn yourself to accept that your spouse might like it.  You might find it distasteful and exploitative, but it doesn’t make it fundamentally “wrong” or “immoral” for your spouse to enjoy it.   As a spouse, do we have to agree with everything our spouse does and likes?  Are we their equal partner, or their parent and Parole Officer?  Having a sex partner does not mean that you’re never going to masturbate again.  Or fantasize.  Why would anyone rationally expect that?

I’ve heard this many times and I believe it — “It doesn’t matter where you get your appetite, as long as you eat at home.”   So true.  Instead of fighting it, why not embrace it?  You might find that you like it too! Lots of women do and it can be great fun to watch as a couple! It will open you up to new things and ideas and heighten your sexual response.

nakedatpcBottom line?  Almost all men look at porn at least sometimes– men with hot girlfriends or wives, men with dumpy girlfriends or wives, men with 10 girlfriends, men with no girlfriends or wives.  Tearful discussions about your insecurities or your feminist principles will not stop a man from looking at porn.   Embrace something that is biologically wired into us instead of fighting it. Incorporate it into your sex life instead of treating it like the enemy.

Or marry a blind man.  Or at least only marry one that agrees with your stance against porn and mental fantasies.

It’s pretty simple.

 

© COPYRIGHT 2014 Recovering Wayward Enterprises, LLC

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16 thoughts on “Why some women think watching porn is “cheating”

  1. Based on all of that, it’s safe to say I’m a man, lol.

    IDK, maybe I hang out with a “liberal” group or something, but I have never heard one of my female friends complain about porn (most watch); Masturbation is something we all do (hello favorite sex toy shop); and…get this…our sex drives in our mid-30’s are dwarfing our husbands’. THAT is the number one thing we talk about – how our dear husbands can’t keep up with our raging, teen-age boy like hormones.

    I actually think the true issue here is that many women (and men) aren’t raised to be sex-positiive (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sex-positive_movement). They have very little understanding of their own sexuality, let alone a man’s. And really, how can you even begin to try to understand someone elses sexuality if you are terrified of you own. Porn scares women because they believe it makes their husband 1. view them as an object; 2. creates standards that can’t be acheived; and 3. means they don’t measure up or are somehow lacking. All BS, IMO.

    Good post, BTW.

    • thanks. it was a hard one to write. I had so many thoughts. I wrote it in bits over the last 3-4 weeks. trying to organize my ideas was a challenge

    • Dawn, I guess I’m a guy, too! Hahaha. I do like the link you provided, and I think you’re very right about many women being afraid or embarrassed about embracing sexuality.

    • To add to it — You (and your friends) are a bit unique in that way, I guess.

      I wish I had saved the comment a month ago that got me started on this. From a Betrayed known as “Momof6”. She flat-out stated that watching porn was “cheating” and that her husband shouldn’t even fantasize about other women in his head or he would be cheating again. It was very bizarre, but not an atypical response from some.

      • I think living in San Francisco has something to do with my experience. Not exactly a sheltered, religious city – KWIM?

        I do want to add one thing – I read a piece on Huffington Post last week (I think) that said women actually want & think about sex as much, if not more, than men. It was a new study. I’d link, but I’m on my phone, but it’s worth a read.

        I also remember hearing women’s hormones go crazy around the mid-30’s to early 40’s which is how old my group is. So maybe it’s a specific age + environment.

        As for belief that porn is cheating – I like Momof6. Since I can’t read the original comment, I can’t speak to it, but I do disagree that fantasy & healthy porn are cheating.

      • well that report in Huffington goes against all the other ones which overwhelming show that men are in general interested in sex more than women.

        But hey, whatever. What really matters is whether two people have at least compatible sex drives, approaches to sex and general desires. Its when there is a mismatch that there can be problems.

  2. “Men initiate sex often and refuse it rarely.” Gosh, how I wish that was true in my experience. Sometimes being the exception to the rule sucks. Although I wouldn’t trade my high sex drive for anything… rather, I’ll trade for a partner who shares one, too.

    “Personally, I believe there is nothing wrong with porn as long as it isn’t compulsive and done as a substitute for normal sexual relationships.” Bingo. Couldn’t agree more, actually. I enjoy porn (and masturbate much more than once a month, for the record). It can be a healthy part of a couple’s sex life.

    My ex was actually quite intimidated by that. I asked and offered for us to share porn viewing. Still, he hid and lied and used porn in a secretive way that was a substitute for real intimacy. Let me ask you, what do YOU personally think would constitute compulsive behavior?

    I know without a doubt it was present in my marriage due to the first thing I quoted above (what younger, attractive woman usually has to beg her husband for sex and still gets turned down with the whole “I’m tired” BS?). He was also diagnosed as a porn addict and had so many other deep-seated issues. How do you recommend a woman be able to tell where the healthy vs. unhealthy line is?

    • As was stated in the blog entry,

      “There is a substantial difference and men have a much stronger sex drive than women. To be sure, there are some women who have frequent, intense desires for sex, and there are some men who don’t, but on average the men want it more.”

      We are talking about generalities, which may or may not apply to specific, individual situations, such as yours. You might be a statistical outlier. Your ex was very unusual in this way, or there is something else going on — for whatever reason, he wasn’t interested in you. That happens too.

      I think I would caution anyone to assume that because their spouse is seemingly uninterested in sex with them, that they are necessarily not interested in sex whatsoever or have a “low sex drive.” Maybe, maybe not. I’ve certainly had commenters here tell me — female ones — that their spouses are very uninterested in sex with them. But it’s hard to know why. Men are visual. We established that. So if their partner’s appearance very much degrades over time, for example, if she puts on significant weight, they may lose interest in sex with them. I hear about that scenario a lot on the radio. Even had a close male friend tell me how his wife’s weight gain was “a real turn-off” and how it hurt his sex drive with her. Unfair? Maybe. But it’s reality.

      Or if sex with your partner becomes too predictable, dull, repetitive, a man can lose interest. Or if the woman will have sex with you, but seems only semi-interested at best, you can lose interest. Or worse, a man is frequently rejected by his spouse for sex, it can cause a man to no longer try. Or lose interest. Or find his sex life elsewhere, even if it’s just with his own hand. One can be very sexual and not seek sex with their long-term partner too. But sure, some men are in general uninterested in sex, but again IN GENERAL, studies show men are more interested in sex than women.

      Men aren’t really different than women in this way. most of us are no longer 17. We don’t wish sex with just anyone. We don’t get excited merely because it’s offered to us. We have to be interested in a woman to want sex too. We’re not THAT simple. Just having a naked woman around won’t sufficiently motivate the average male — especially if he’s seen her naked 20,000 times already. It’s not enough. We too need to be mentally motivated.

      But again, we’re talking about averages, and the point still holds: Men are more interested in sex ON AVERAGE than are women.

      What do I consider “compulsive” behavior? I’m not a psychologist so I couldn’t comment on that. But I think that many spouses love to say “my spouse is addicted to porn” as a why to gain sympathy for themselves and as a put-down, when in actuality, their spouse’s use of porn is probably average or even less.

      but I’ll bite – I assume you really mean “porn addiction” and what is it? I’ll let a definition speak to it:

      Pornography addiction is diagnosed when an individual engages in the overuse or abuse of pornography to the extent that they experience negative consequences. In 1990 Aviel Goodman proposed a general definition of all types of addictions in order to extend the specific disorders included in the DSM-III-R. While not explicitly in the context of pornography, Goodman explains his criteria for addiction as a “process whereby a behavior, that can function both to produce pain and to provide escape from internal discomfort, [and] is employed in a pattern characterized by (1) failure to control the behavior (powerlessness) and (2) continuation of the behavior despite significant negative consequences (unmanageability).”[2]

      Pornography addiction is defined, as a dependence upon pornography characterized by obsessive viewing, reading, and thinking about pornography and sexual themes to the detriment of other areas of life.

      To some people, looking at porn two times, I guess, would be considered “compulsive behavior” and “addiction.”
      I”m just not one of them. I don’t think the average person can throw out diagnoses like these and expect any real accuracy. I don’t think the vast vast majority of people who view porn meet the above definition or even come close. It’s just an activity done out of curiosity and meant to stimulate ourselves, sometimes as a precursor to masturbation, but not always. I think there are people who use porn a lot and it certainly CAN be a detriment to their life. There are some people whose spouses have lost all or most interest in sex and as a result, they masturbate to relieve sexual tension and might use porn to get themselves in the proper state of mind. That in and of itself doesn’t make it a psychological problem.

      • None of those common problems were the issue at all. If anything, I lost weight and spent more time on my appearance after I met my husband because I became active in a few things, like yoga and softball, that I wasn’t doing before I met him and got a more high powered position that required me to dress up quite often. I am also absolutely not a boring or unenthusiastic sexual partner. I was the one losing interest in his “standard” moves and asking for more spice and variety in out sex life. I also understand the “generalities” you were putting out there… that’s why I said it sucks to be the statistical outlier sometimes. I have only found one man who could ever keep up with my sex drive.

        In the case of my husband, he was diagnosed by a psychologist who was specifically trained in addiction. He had all of those things you quoted. His compulsion controlled his life ton the point where he lost a job over it and put himself and others in physical danger (going so far as to watch porn while driving and meet random hookups for unprotected sex). His addiction was out of control, but addicts can be very adept at hiding those things until you get so far in that their backwards thinking and justifications overcome you.

        I think a lot of it comes down to whether someone has an addictive personality. Like any healthy thing – food, alcohol in moderation, etc. – pornography use can get out of hand. However, I absolutely agree that it is normal and can even be extremely good for a marriage.

      • Wasn’t suggesting you were fat! LOL. Or even that your ex was or wasn’t an addict. I was speaking in generalities! I don’t really know you or your story.

        I’m just saying — in general, people are quick to dismiss the lack of sex in their relationship as their partner having a “low sex drive”. Sometimes it’s true, sometimes it’s not. I think more often however it’s that they aren’t into YOU for whatever reason and that’s harder to deal with.

        I know this — as my marriage deteriorated and I felt more and more disconnected from my wife, and her approach to sex showed, at best, only semi-interest if that, I certainly started to find more and more reasons to not initiate sex. I wasn’t getting anything out of it. It was dull and predictable. I didn’t feel wanted or desired. I don’t think she did either. Did I have a low sex drive? Nope. I have a real good one. Still. Is our sex better now that we have emotionally connected again? Leagues better. Better than probably at any time in our marriage. So much of sex IS between the ears, even for men. What’s going on in the relationship can be such a factor in that, even for men. We have to feel motivated too.

      • Oh, absolutely!!! I agree 100%. I have a stellar sex drive, but have dealt with periods of not desiring my partner because of the things you mentioned. Sex really does start in the mind the majority of the time.

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