Talk About Marriage banner
Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My husband and I have been together for nearly 4 years. Our sex life during the first year was fantastic (of course), and the next year things gradually simmered down. This is normal, you can't maintain that "new love" heightened sex drive forever. I get that. Neither of us has changed much in the last four years, so whatever attracted him to me in the first place hasn't really changed. By that I mean I haven't gained weight, I still take just as much care with my appearance, etc.

My husband presents as a very sexual person. He is an avid porn fan and views porn or "art nudes" every day. He reads erotica. He is a photographer who shoots glamour/nudes. I believe that he masturbates to porn daily or at least several times per week.

Our sex life has shriveled over the last 2 years to be dry, mechanical and pretty much barely there. My husband (40) has what I suspect is erectile dysfunction. When we are intimate, he has trouble achieving and maintaining an erection. I feel very much like sex is a chore that isn't much fun for him, and as a result it's not much fun for me either. I haven't had an orgasm in over a year (that wasn't self-induced), and he pretty much skips over any sort of foreplay of kissing, stroking, etc., that is important for me. As a result I feel pressured to "get there" quickly and end up faking it to keep everyone's frustration to a minimum.

I suspect that his erection problems have a lot to do with his porn/masturbation habit. I've broached the subject with him a few times and his response is that he doesn't have a problem, that sometimes he just needs to get off quickly and that it doesn't diminish his desire for me. He also says that it doesn't happen as often as I think, but it's pretty obvious to me that it happens a lot more frequently than he admits.

When we are being sexual he doesn't get completely hard, and if he does it's very late in the game. Kissing/normal foreplay doesn't arouse him at all, and it's a lot of work to get him there. Even oral sex takes a long time to get him hard. The only time it isn't that way is during "morning erections" where he will wake up with a pretty major erection which makes me believe that the problem isn't physiological. I have never asked, but I expect he has no problems with erections when he's looking at porn.

Since my attempts to talk about it haven't gotten us anywhere I wonder where to go next. He says there is no problem, so if I'm the only one perceiving a problem I'm not even sure there's a solution except for me to change my expectations. I'm at the point that I don't even want to have sex ever, and I try to avoid it as much as possible both because it's uncomfortable and not fun for me but to save him the embarrassment of erection problems. I don't know that I can live like this forever, though, and my fear is that I will end up living a sexless life -- something I really DON'T want.

Your thoughts and ideas are very much appreciated!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,166 Posts
I'm sorry that I don't have any answers for you. All I can do is say that I know how you feel, and here are the ideas I am contemplating for resolving my similar situation:

1. Let him have his porn and just walk away.
2. Post a picture of a large and beautiful [email protected] on my desktop and turn him down for sex as often as possible -- essentially treat him the same way he treats me so that he knows how it feel. (This will be difficult, though, as he doesn't seem to care about me anymore).
3. Try and find some positive spin to help him to realize what he is missing and how our relationship is lacking. (So far, I've had no luck with this, as he either sees no problem, or lies and gets all defensive about what is happening)
4. Get all crazy and sexy on him in an attempt to distract him from the computer. (Nice in theory, but humiliating when you get turned down repeatedly.)

Sorry that I can't be more help, but I hope you can make it work out for you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
472 Posts
Definitely sounds like he has become conditioned to only be aroused by porn. This is pretty common in heavy porn users especially if there are married. They come to prefer the more intense orgasmic experience and unlimited sexual variety that porn offers. These men often suffer from sexual dysfunctions such as the inability to ejaculate or get and keep an erection during sex with a partner but not when masturbating alone. Not much can be done unless he quits the porn.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
67 Posts
What you have described is the classic result of male porn/masturbation addiction. He has become desensitized to your touch (or any one else’s). There are plenty of studies that are on line that explain in great detail the progression that your husband has experienced. Print them out for him to read – coming from a reputable third party will make him acknowledge the problem. Once you get him to agree to work on resolving this condition you can take the following steps. First install software on the computer that prevents all xxx sites from loading. Next get him to promise you that he will refrain from masturbating without your permission. I can tell you that this is extremely difficult and he will have trouble keeping his promise. You need to stress that you are there for him to help him go through this process. You also will want to reward him as he slowly makes progress (think unexpected BJ’s for his ‘good behavior). Working together you can get back your husband and enjoy the mutual loving sex that you are now missing. Good Luck!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks to each of you for your responses.

Since his perception is that there is no problem, he doesn't feel like a solution is required. it may ultimately become a situation where I demand that we seek counseling or we just call it a day. I don't think he realizes that reducing sex to a frustrating act of friction is basically eroding intimacy in all aspects of our marriage -- not just those moments when we're naked. And now that I've put two and two together and have realized that when we *are* intimate he requires porn to "get ready" for me, it further erodes my willingness to participate. It's a blow to my self esteem that I can't cause arousal all by myself.

I especially appreciate your perspective, always_alone. I go back and forth. Sometimes I want to fix this in any way I can. Be loving and supportive, hope he begins to understand my POV and this huge issue that is weighing on our marriage. I have tried amping up the sexy and coming on strong but I've been rejected enough times that I don't even try it anymore.

In my less proud moments, I fantasize about going to my own (home!) office and making sure porn is on the screen whenever he walks in, or looking disdainfully at his flacid penis and saying "Sorry, not interested."

The fact that I'm turning to a forum rather than having this discussion with him (again) is probably the biggest red flag I can see. I kind of think I'm done trying.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
472 Posts
What you have described is the classic result of male porn/masturbation addiction. He has become desensitized to your touch (or any one else’s). There are plenty of studies that are on line that explain in great detail the progression that your husband has experienced. Print them out for him to read – coming from a reputable third party will make him acknowledge the problem. Once you get him to agree to work on resolving this condition you can take the following steps. First install software on the computer that prevents all xxx sites from loading. Next get him to promise you that he will refrain from masturbating without your permission. I can tell you that this is extremely difficult and he will have trouble keeping his promise. You need to stress that you are there for him to help him go through this process. You also will want to reward him as he slowly makes progress (think unexpected BJ’s for his ‘good behavior). Working together you can get back your husband and enjoy the mutual loving sex that you are now missing. Good Luck!
This is mostly true unless the man stopped having sex and turned to porn because he no longer finds his wife sexually attractive. If this is the case the porn is a symptom of another, more serious problem and quitting porn may mean he starts seeking sex outside the home. Because the original problem has not been dealt with nothing changes and it could get worse.

In many marriages where this is the case the porn actually holds the marriage together because the man doesn't feel the need for affairs or paid sex outside the home.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Mr. B, you have a valid point. When we've talked about this issue, I have asked him what I can do to turn him on, and whether he still finds me attractive. He assures me that there is nothing I can do differently and is still attracted to me. Maybe he's afraid of hurting my feelings, but at least if he said he wasn't attracted to me anymore I could survive it and move on.

I do not believe that my marriage has to be saved at all costs. Sex isn't the only important thing but it's one of them. Since this has been going on for over a year, I don't believe that it's part of the normal up-and-down cycle that couples have.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
472 Posts
Same thing happened to me. Because I didn't know what was wrong I thought I couldn't perform because I wasn't attracted to my wife sexually. But every time she asked what was wrong I said I didn't know rather than hurt her feelings. After many years in therapy I found out the problem went deeper than just a lack of attraction but I still don't want to hurt her so I say nothing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Ill be honest let him have his porn. Rather a man watch porn and fulfill his weird desires there. Then to have him wonder off to find something else. Or be the weird one watch it him and ask him questions about how does he do that how does she do that you might learn something new and he might get turned on for the first few times then get bored of it and focus on you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,301 Posts
My suggestion is, since he feels the porn is not a problem, for your sake he particpate in an experiment to abstain (from porn) for a period of time...say 3 or 6 months. See if that has any impact on your sex life. If it doesn't...you both know porn is not the issue. If it does...well then you both know it is an issue. If he's unwilling to abstain for that period of time in the interest of your marriage...then you know you have an even bigger issue.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
69 Posts
JaneQ, I hope you are still monitoring this thread. My thoughts are a little different than the other’s I’ve read in this tread.

If he’s 40, then he may be experiencing a drop in testosterone, which can cause ED problems. Porn may offer a safe sexual outlet where there is no performance anxiety. Also, a drop in testosterone tends to make men reluctant to do anything that requires them to exert physical activity. It seems to be a common problem in other forums, that aging men develop a “lazy lover” syndrome, were they sometimes have a tendency to choose porn over real sex. Often, then men have ED problems. It’s not necessarily an addiction problem for all cases.

You could ask your husband to get his testosterone levels checked. How fit is he? Has his waist line expanded? With regards to his ED problem, do you feel that he is uneasy when he has an ED problem when you two attempt to have sex? Does he seem to have anxiety about the subject or feel humiliation? Do he feel pressure from you to perform?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Same thing happened to me. Because I didn't know what was wrong I thought I couldn't perform because I wasn't attracted to my wife sexually. But every time she asked what was wrong I said I didn't know rather than hurt her feelings. After many years in therapy I found out the problem went deeper than just a lack of attraction but I still don't want to hurt her so I say nothing.
I wonder if you're hurting her more by not saying how you really feel. Just a thought.

Even though I know it would hurt for him to say that he wasn't attracted to me, at least I would then know and could decide what was best for me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
My suggestion is, since he feels the porn is not a problem, for your sake he particpate in an experiment to abstain (from porn) for a period of time...say 3 or 6 months. See if that has any impact on your sex life. If it doesn't...you both know porn is not the issue. If it does...well then you both know it is an issue. If he's unwilling to abstain for that period of time in the interest of your marriage...then you know you have an even bigger issue.
Great idea. I think I will use it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
JaneQ, I hope you are still monitoring this thread. My thoughts are a little different than the other’s I’ve read in this tread.

If he’s 40, then he may be experiencing a drop in testosterone, which can cause ED problems. Porn may offer a safe sexual outlet where there is no performance anxiety. Also, a drop in testosterone tends to make men reluctant to do anything that requires them to exert physical activity. It seems to be a common problem in other forums, that aging men develop a “lazy lover” syndrome, were they sometimes have a tendency to choose porn over real sex. Often, then men have ED problems. It’s not necessarily an addiction problem for all cases.

You could ask your husband to get his testosterone levels checked. How fit is he? Has his waist line expanded? With regards to his ED problem, do you feel that he is uneasy when he has an ED problem when you two attempt to have sex? Does he seem to have anxiety about the subject or feel humiliation? Do he feel pressure from you to perform?
I don't *think* I pressure him to perform, and it doesn't seem like he's uneasy. My impression is that this he feels this is normal and it takes longer to get going.

What you say makes sense, and of course it's easier to masturbate than spend time on kissing, foreplay, etc. And let me state for the record that if there was more balance I would not be upset.

He says he's looked at porn since he was 15, and it's not a problem. I guess I could say (but never have) if 99% of your sex life occurs by yourself in front of a computer screen, and that's satisfactory then I guess there's not a problem with you, but there's definitely a resetting of expectations that needs to happen with me.
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top