This might be a matter of personal opinion, but I want to see what some of you think about the subject.
I am a 28 year old BS, my WH is 26. We are in R currently, and really trying to change things and repair our relationship.
I have seen a few posts where people talk about porn like it's the affair itself, and I guess if someone has a porn addiction then yes, it can become like an affair.
But what about the occasional watching of porn? I actually don't have a problem with my WH watching porn, and it's probably because I like to watch it sometimes too. Is this a no no? Or is it specific to the relationship?
I have never felt that his occasional porn watching has affected us, but it's certainly not an obsession of his either.
What do you think? ( keep in mind I am not from a super conservative background, and I even used to sell sex toys, so sexuality to me is sacred ( ie with my loving partner) but it's certainly not something I'm embarrassed or ashamed of. Just wanting to get the "Healthy relationship" opinion of how porn can, or can't be included in the relationship.
D-Day May 1 2013
D-Day#2 Aug. 7th 2013
in R and working at it
If a certain amount of porn viewing (pictures or videos) has been agreed upon then it fine for that relationship. But that's the key part, the discussion.
So people are not comfortable at all with it being present in the relationship and that's fine for them, as well.
I hope I made some sense.
I completely respect the fact that for some people, it's just not welcome in their relationship, completely understandable.
And that makes more sense now that the issue would arise when it's watched in secret.
Thanks for your reply!
The problem with porn is when it's done in secret and lied about. Basically having all the characteristics of an affair. They are hiding it from their spouse and getting their sex outside the marriage.
My H and I enjoy watching some porn - "we" being the keyword. He has absolutely zero interest in watching without me and vice versa. When you've been married as long as we have, it's fun to try something different without really "trying something different" KWIM?
If you guys are okay with each other watching separately, you're not hiding anything...so it's not "cheating"...
Another thing that bothers me is seems porn has changed. When we've ever watched it together, its been quite a few yrs, it was a msn and and women having a good time. What I've seen that my ws looks at is really vile...its some 20yr girl that's made to look younger, with cameras zeroed in on their goods so close its disgusting . Looks more like a proctology exam to me.
[This message edited by Ostrich80 at 2:45 PM, August 27th (Tuesday)]
Before I was able to connect all the dots to see how porn played such a significant role in my husband's betrayal and fantasies, I probably didn't feel as strongly as I do now.
It comes down to the secrets. Decide what boundaries are reasonable for the two of you, and then expect each other to honor them.
Crossing boundaries is crossing boundaries no matter how you sugar coat it.
Over time, my husband's secrecy led to mind games and, ultimately, loss of self control.
I think he's been shocked to find that he's had a seductive wife all along. A wife who actually loves to have sex with *him*, and couldn't fathom another man meeting those needs.
It's a shame it took so much damage for him to start purging the imprinted crap porn has imbedded in his mind, and giving his wife the attention she craves.
I was upset by porn. I became aware of my husband's use of it in Feb or March 2011. I had given birth to our son at the end of 2010, the doctor had had us wait several weeks to resume intimacy, and we were given the green light. *Before* my H started using porn.
For almost a month I wondered why he was rejecting me. Then, one day, he handed me his phone to download photos of our son from it. Imagine my surprise when all his dated and timestamped cookies also downloaded. I decided to play a sideshow for him of all the photos. He was drinking a soda. When the first porn photo came up, he spat out his drink and tried desperately to make the screen stop. Then the excuses started. "It's normal!" "It's what men need to do!" Stuff like that. No questions about how I was feeling. No concerns about how his hiding it made me feel. No reassurances that I was pretty enough for him.
And he continued watching it and frequently rejecting me for another 10 months afterward. Oh sure, he wasn't an addict. According to a website whose name I can't remember, they're not an addict if it's less than 11 hours in one week, and H was only watching four times a week or so, if his cookies were any indicator. Of course, we were only intimate once every two weeks, so...
I went nuts during this time. Said things that I should not have said. Took it way too personally. And grew to feel deeply insecure that my husband was watching other women have sex - one of the most intimate things you can ever see - and lusting over their bodies instead of mine. I asked him what he liked about me sexually - his answer: "we had a baby." I asked what he liked about the porn girls - after days of getting angry and defensive for me just asking the question, he finally said that their French nails were a turn-on. There were other things that happened during this period with real women, not porn related, that just heightened everything. I tried a couple of times to ask if we could watch it together - figured that maybe I'd see what turned him on, or maybe we would even enjoy it together if it were shared. He acted like I hadn't even spoken. Ignored me completely. I bought him a Penthouse Calendar and some Playboy magazines as an apology after he got angry with me. He put the calendar on his bedroom dresser, wrapping still on, and rolled marijuana joints on top of this naked woman's body. He didn't even have a picture of me or our son on his dresser. Instead he could see her naked body every time he smoked - several times a day. I was furious. I was stupid. What did I expect?
It also didn't help that he locked the baby and I out of our bedroom for the first 7 months, claiming he couldn't sleep if the baby cried because it freaked him out. Of course, it helped that he would watch porn in peace. And sometimes, if I could get the baby to rest, I'd come into the room to try to see if we could have sex. No, he would reject me. And he'd lock me out after I failed. Yet the cat was allowed to sleep in there with him.
At this point, I still dislike porn. But now I'm the one who watches it. I'm the one who decided that my self-esteem cannot measure up. I watch the girls to see what I could never be. I shut down the screen when an actor or actress has a wedding ring on and feel sick. Or if a girl looks even remotely uncomfortable in the video - I shut down the screen. She doesn't deserve that, she deserves better, and I will not support her abuse.
It feels like accepting my husband's sexuality if I can watch it, watch the porn, even though he never has watched it with me, and he refuses to even talk about it. Porn has become my reality on what sex is to my husband and about what sex he really likes. That's what sweetness looks like to him. I'm ordinary. I turn myself into the actress who sees sex as a performance... BECAUSE IT IS. That is ALL it is. It is about getting my husband's rocks off. It is not about my needs or about connecting emotionally. It's just a release for him. I'm not special. But he'd think I was a typical hysterical girl if I didn't accept porn. He probably still does think that of me.
He got off on it and enjoyed it with no regrets, and sometimes he still does. I can always tell because he's different in bed, more passionate - noticeably so. It's also the only time he tries new moves. Anything I suggest, no - but after porn he does crazy fun positions. It kills the sweetness to realize he's only doing it because he saw some hotter chick doing it on screen earlier. He's probably picturing her. If he goes down on me on any day that isn't my birthday (since he's refused to in the past, though he used to regularly on his exes), I wonder if he's been watching porn or cheating. I shouldn't be wondering that! I should be happy for him that he's watching, thinking about, and having sex that he's enjoying. Shouldn't I be happy for him?
[This message edited by silverhopes at 6:23 PM, August 27th (Tuesday)]
I have a very good friend whose significant other fell down the slippery slope of free internet porn to downloading and file sharing of pornographic images. The problem is that the images he downloaded contained a significant amount of teenage girls being molested and abused. It was a ONE-TIME deal, he did it ONCE (the actual downloading of files). The computer history proves it but it's irrelevant. He didn't even know the files he was downloading were of those specific things. It doesn't matter. He's going to the federal pen for 14 months now. I've known these people for 13 years, my kids spent time at their house. The industry they work in has MASSIVE amounts of children in it and NOT ONE complaint has ever been filed against him because he just isn't the type of person to do something like that. I'd bet my left arm on it.
However, it IS a slippery slope and he fell down it. Do I think he ever, even once, molested a kid? NO WAY IN HELL. But he did download those files and they were on his computer. They were woken up at 4 a.m., the whole family, and held at gunpoint by the feds and the local sheriff's department. About $10,000 in legal fees later, he's now a convicted felon and their family is destroyed.
As for me, I was brutally raped by my then-spousal unit after he spent about an hour looking at hard-core porn. So, NO, I don't think it's acceptable behavior.
[This message edited by EasyDoesIt at 6:28 PM, August 27th (Tuesday)]
I don't believe porn had anything to do with his affair, so had we R'd, I would have continued to be fine with it...
And suddenly I see...what I lost ain't no loss.
-Richie Kotzen, "What I Lost"
**The cruelest lies are often told in silence- Robert Louis Stevenson
I have mixed feelings about porn. I have never known a guy who didn't admit to watching it at times (and I know a lot of very kind, sensitive, healthy, good guys.) That said, I also took my women's studies classes in a college, was raised by an avid feminist, and know objectification and degradation of women is rampant in fashion, media...and especially porn. Maybe it promotes sexual deviance and blurred lines, I don't know.
But, I'm also in touch with my sexuality, enjoy trying new things, and as long as no one is being hurt, everyone is of age, and the relationship of the people/person watching the porn is loving and healthy and safe, I don't know that's it's something to feel ashamed of.
Just my 2 cents.
[This message edited by NWfleur at 2:26 AM, August 28th (Wednesday)]
That said, for some, it's like a "gateway drug," and can be really problematic.
I developed a problem with it in my marriage when my husband used it to replace our sex life. He "graduated" from it (though still used it frequently) to anonymous phone sex, strip clubs, SEX with strippers, online hookup sites, etc.
So, for him, it meant removing intimacy from sex. It was a HUGE symptom of the intimacy/attachment issues associated with his personality disorder.
That it was kept secret from me for a very, very long time (I knew only of porn use and strip club visits--but not the extent of either) left me wondering what was so very wrong with me (and this, I really shouldered for many, many years) that he no longer wanted sex with me.
When the extent of the porn and stripper addiction became clear, he was pretty far gone. (Again, I did not know this.) The usual approach---IC, etc.--didn't touch the problem, because he was not honest. Instead, he seethed at my new "rules" (you know, like, no sex with other people and hey! maybe some with me! He'd exploited a real physical illness to avoid sex for years), and went on to have a full-blown affair. With someone he "loved" (but really had no attachment to; he's incapable), and with whom he was not able to achieve satisfying sex because, well---he was numb an inured to real sensations with real people. And the "last" OW was too real.
He continues, even separated, to prefer porn and anonymous sex with strangers or near-strangers. And I guess now that's just fine. But it was not, in the context of a marriage.
For him, porn is incompatible with real relationships. It was the first bricks in the wall he built to protect him from real intimacy.
Not everyone has this kind of problem. I happen to think that the porn industry can be really exploitative of its workers, and have some issues with that, as well as with the exploitation of women in general and especially those too young to make wise decisions (even if they're legal), or whose addictions are being exploited to elicit performance (drugs for work). The astronomical rate of HIV and other STDs in the industry concerns me as well.
BUT, all that aside, I do not think that viewing porn is generally infidelity, if a couple is comfortable with it. I was not always uncomfortable; I don't think I'd be uncomfortable in a new relationship, if my partner were able to be emotionally and physically intimate with me. It's when it becomes a barrier that I have real issues with it.