T Nation

Relationship/Marriage and Pornography

Firstly hey!

Been MIA for a while, but it’s always nice to talk to you guys about life stuff.

Most of you guys know I’m married. A handful of you guys know the personal struggles my husband and I have been through. For
Those that don’t, I don’t mind questions.

Since my being away, my husband and I have overcome quite a bit of intimacy/marriage issues that seemingly were triggered by the previous traumas we had faced. (failed pregnancy, etc.) One of these things we’ve both seen change involves porn. Both him and I used to watch porn rather frequently. And we usually always did it in secrecy/privacy.

While I understand that porn is quite normal in relationships. Sometimes it can break one, and sometimes either partner just doesn’t care.

Personally, I’m not bothered by it, because I too used to watch porn almost daily. However…

For us at least, it kinda made these expectations or molds that neither of us fit in. By that I mean it translated into us both questioning our abilities to please one another, and poking holes in how we view our bodies.

Keeping it modest, we’re both 27 and quite sexually active. My husband has dropped a whopping 70lbs, and while I’ve been in relative shape for some years now, I’ve gone down from 187ish to low 170-171 give or take. I do think we both noticed our weight kinda killed the mood more often than not sometimes, but I’ve also noticed being active, AND being active together helped facilitate…the mood. So to speak. Not necessarily directly, but emotional associations with looking and feeling better and looking and feeling better to one another.

I say all this because tonight my curiosity got the better of me, and also because I still have a habit of….well…frankly…self pleasuring in the middle of the night. At first I thought I needed to voice some needs I hadn’t spoken of in the bedroom, but as of late and for quite some time my husband has taken the time and effort to make sure my needs are met. Whatever they are. So I go to…browse, and I just couldn’t get any arousal out of anything. Even my favorited stuff.

Rewind about a month ago, and my husband voiced a situation somewhat similar. He still watches the occasional video here and there. I do make it a point to let him know it’s okay to share these things with me without fear of judgment on my behalf.

But to continue, he told me he just doesn’t find much arousal. If he does, it’s the exact same video(s) usually.

At this moment, I’m actually quite glad we’ve been focusing on each other a lot more. I realize sometimes pornography can kind of cloud things we see. Or skew perceptions we have. Personally, I’ve always had a slight disconnect with positions. In my head I feel weird in certain ones, but just these last couple of months I’ve come to realize that different viewpoints just look….normal. Like it’s okay if I look squishy sometimes in certain positions. Ya know…things like that.

My husband even told me that he personally doesn’t even pay attention to things I’m self conscious about, and if he does notice such things he doesn’t even view them the way I do. He just says that I’m myself, and loves me as I am. Another example is my whole gripe with stretch marks. Particularly the ones near my armpit, and on my bum. My husband has straight up just said yea he sees them. He sees them quite clearly, but he sees literally everything else and stretch marks just exist. They don’t take away from anything. And it’s mildly irritating because I’m super quick to tell my husband that I love every inch of him, imperfections and all, but will tear myself apart over normal human body stuff.

In essence, I’m just wanting to put this topic out here to connect. And to talk about it. Have any of you married or relationship folks had issues, or maybe even overcome issues surrounding this topic? What are you or your partner’s stances on these types of things?

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I think that the libido resides in the mind but intimacy is in the heart. My wife and I went through similar habits in our first five or so years together, and they tapered down considerably after that. Or, I should say, her needs changed and I didn’t.

She has gained a significant amount of weight since we met, coming up on 18 years ago, and has become very self conscious. I’ve gained some too, and have a few lumps where I didn’t used to, and missing a couple where they should be. The main difference is that I’m not nearly as self conscious about it. So that has driven a big wedge between us and our previous physical activities/relationship.

So we’ve had to connect at a more emotionally intimate level than we used to do physically. Thats a lot harder because we used to substitute the intimate emotional connection with the physical activities (mutual and self pleasure). This requires a lot more communication on both parts than I’ve ever cared to engage in, and at times am even capable of.

When it comes right down to it, I don’t listen. I do stuff. You’re hurt or sick? I get you some Tylenol, etc. You want to tell me about the minutae of how you feel about being sick? I don’t fucking care. I’m horny. Now let’s do something or shut up. Either way I’m happy. I guess you could say that’s my love language. I do stuff for people I care about. But only to the extent that I’m willing to rather than to the extent that they need. In this regard, I’m very self centered. So I’m working on that, among other things, with a therapist.

So now when we communicate I try to listen to her and understand her needs and what she’s trying to express rather than make sure that she’s factually correct. That has helped tremendously toward us connecting at a more emotionally intimate level, which results in more expression of affection rather than just satisfying the libido.

I hope I didn’t take too long of a way around that subject.

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Why do you often delete posts? I sometime agree, sometime disagree, with you, but I like hearing your thoughts.

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@BrickHead that was very appreciated to read. In the event you bring your post back I don’t mind talking about it more.

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@planetcybertron Thank you. I will bring it back later and will likely expand on it. I was on a brief tea break and after reading it, thought it was detracting from your statements.

@jshaving I do not sort to directly or inadvertently insult people and sometimes I think the latter might occur (especially in this case because I literally hate porn) although in this case I did repeat that I don’t blame people for engaging in some things, including what I used to do.

This is one of those topics that interests me greatly but puts me in opposition to nearly everyone on this board, likely most message boards, that is. Many people, perhaps most people on message boards are moral relativists, modernists, liberals, and/or libertarians. I’m none of these, though I will peacefully accept opposing views.

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I can definitely understand that. But I’m sure she’s still a lovely lady.

I used to operate like that kind of. I was mainly focused on the physical and then would just carry on with my usual stuff until I felt I’m the mood again.

A main reason I didn’t really like to focus on the emotional was because I didn’t really know how to voice my needs. Especially before I met my husband.

But my husband is kinda the opposite of you, granted y’all are both Tauruses too lol :laughing:. He’s very sensitive and will try to talk or communicate in some way, and then bring in more physical stuff. He’s a question asker so I’m at least glad he’s like that because it taught me to answer questions honestly instead of just saying what I think he wants to hear.

I’m quite hedonistic though, and will treat sex like sweet foods and have waaaaaaay too much to the point where I get desensitized to it, so it was nice to kind of limit exposure to videos and stuff because i kind of spiral.

Before I met my husband, I’ll be honest, I was extremely promiscuous and often went out of my way, well into the late nights just finding people for casual encounters. So I can definitely empathize with the focus mostly being on self pleasure, and that being that.

As kinda screwed up as it is, I’m glad we’ve got through some things, and I’m glad at heart, I’m someone who craves communication and connection. I’m also thankful that I’m articulate and can express my thoughts and needs clearly and concisely. I think we kinda went backwards and went through the emotional/mental stuff, myself in particular, so I kinda pushed the physical stuff aside, as did my husband, so we now have a more positive and more healthy approach to intimate things.

As true as that is, I do think these things are great opportunities for reciprocity as far as understanding and respect goes. Ya know? At least for me, you don’t have to worry about censoring yourself. I always enjoy hearing your viewpoints. Even if they’re different from mine.

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I agree with this message.

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Oh yeah! She is an angel.

It’s interesting. When we took our vows, they were the usual “in sickness and in health…” .

Well that one came due a lot sooner than anybody expected, and she has been stellar throughout.

I’ll try to address more of this later or more likely tomorrow because I’m whooped now. It was a tough day of cold and difficult work stuff, and my tolerance for cold and difficult ain’t what it used to be.

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Can understand.

Therapy has been using up all my metaphorical “spoons”. Therapy days are leave me alone, and let me sleep myself into my happy place lol.

I have really intense therapy twice a week and it really takes a lot of energy being present and putting in mental work.

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Mark Bell’s YT channel has done some recent podcasts about pornography. I only watched a few minutes of one of them because they weren’t relevant to me personally. But the addictive/negative effects of porn were mentioned, so perhaps you’d find them interesting or helpful.

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I’m always open to reading and watching new things/aspects.

I am aware of the implications of pornography though. My husband as well. (Not that you thought I didn’t know or anything like that).

Personally I’d like to be at a place where I don’t watch it at all. We’re both slowly getting there though.

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Here is the deleted post.

“ I cannot remember the last time I viewed porn and I think it is a total derangement of sexuality, but I don’t judge or blame anyone for watching it, especially men, because it exploits their biggest weakness. I stated this in the dating thread.

My wife and I do not watch it considering we both feel the same way about it.

I was exposed to porn far too early in life. I was never addicted but I’d say in my 20’s I watched what I considering enough of it. It now repulses me. There is no redeeming social value in it. I’d like to see it totally done away with.

Towards dropping it completely there was some temptation, and I’d watch it once in awhile, bu eventually it repulsed me. I even know men who say they hate and can’t fully quit it."


What I will add to my early exposure to pornographic films was an early entry to a strip club when I was sixteen years old. Back in the days in the five boroughs of NYC, rules in nightlife were not enforced by many, especially in the more seedy areas of the time. It was 1996, and my friends and I went to Naked City on Queens Boulevard in Long Island City. Let’s just say we saw a show in the lower level involving two women who did something other than dancing. I’ll call it pornography IRL. Another shady place my friends and I would sometimes go to in my 20’s was City Scapes, right under the 159th Street Bridge. I admit these times do bring a smile to my face as I’m writing this because they were filled with laughter and ridiculousness, and there were even in a few cases in which some dancers legitimately liked some of us. But like with porn, as my intellect developed and I started to understand the world, I became hugely turned off to these places. The last time I was in one with a female and male friend, in the late aughts, Gossip in Long Island, I nearly fell asleep on a couch.

I can possibly expand on this when I get a chance and how I came to have a very dim view on all of this.

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For sure! I’m all ears

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This thread has given me Deca Dick.

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I did wanna confide in you on this part though. I remember having access to our family computer around 9-10 years of age, and being in school I was around a lot of kids who were starting to get into more explicit things, and I remember watching my first pornography video, and it was like all my senses felt like someone struck a match.

I can’t even fully remember if I was able to grasp what I was seeing, but from then on out I just struggled with it as I grew up.

For a while I will say it also kinda influenced how I felt about the male and female anatomy. In my head I felt like I HAD to look like the women in the video. Only when I got older and started meeting people who viewed things differently did I understand that bodies are meant to be different. And no one looks the same.

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Honestly I’ve never lived with a girl, so I can’t expand much, but I know that when I’m in a couple, I watch far less porn, sometimes not for weeks. I just don’t have the same desire for it

About the desire and self-consciousness… Well porn never made me self-conscious.

And I never compared a girl with a porn actress. But I most likely compared them at some point with my exes, particularly the most beautiful.

So I can understand how having a high body count can be very detrimental, or porn can be as well for some people.

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I would so love to join in this conversation, but unfortunately I’m struggling to function outside of work because many of my clients are falling apart around the holiday, as well they should given the deaths and other emotional traumas they’re experiencing.

Maybe over the weekend! Really interesting, @planetcybertron.

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Really interesting topic!!!

I’ve only watched “porn” once bc a friend dared me. I use quotations because it was basically a home sex video, nothing close to what’s popular on mainstream sites these days.

It made me MORE insistent on NOT having sex. I did find it informative in that it showed me the actual logistics of how sex works, which I’d been curious about
One thing I never quite understood is how ppl know how to have sex without explicit instructions (ie “put this here, move like that…”)

Back on topic, I’d say that IF I end up with someone, I’d be perfectly okay with him watching porn as long as it isn’t an addiction

I will likely respond to the thread more later or on the weekend. But for now I’ll say you likely know know many women simply have rare beauty and/or have generous makeup, are in their late teens to mid 20’s, and have lives that permit them to have their bodies as primary focuses. They do not retain this after they retire.

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