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Hey everyone,
I have been reading this website for quite some time now – it has so many different viewpoints on so many different issues that it sort of has become a thing for me to do when bored. Then again I also wanted to post about some issues that are presenting itself in my relationship/life which I find difficult to put them at rest. I do not expect answers or solutions but I know it helps to get things of your chest once in a while instead of bottling it all up.

The topic of my thread is porn – endlessly discussed and debated with many different points of view ranging from outright condemnation to approval. I’ve seen them all, been reading about the topic for ages and seen how much problems apparently arise from this particular form of media. My story is probably quite identical yet hopefully there are some elements that make it different. However I will just start telling the story of my now almost 4-year relationship and try to tell all the important aspects.

It started when my girlfriend broke up with her ex-boyfriend due to them being totally incompatible. We were good friends and we started to increasingly hang around each other. I’ve never been into a relationship with any girl whatsoever at that point and I was not really hoping anything would happen as I thought we were “just friends”. But just a month after the break-up she brought that she liked me more as a friend after we almost decided to call it a night after a fun evening. Needless to say I was kind of baffled as I had not seen that coming at all. I had turned 20 some months ago and decided why not give it a shot. You need to start somewhere, right? Anyhow we kept it quiet for a while as she lived in the same house as her ex (not as living together but student residence) until she found a new place to stay. Then we became officially bf/gf. In the beginning everything in a new relationship goes fine and this was no exception. I knew there were going to be problems in the future because that’s something every relationship will have to face. Hopefully we would be able to tackle problems as they came along and if things took for the worse it could always be decided that things would not work out. My gf was delighted to be in a relationship with someone with the same interests and mindset as her (well not identical of course but at least not opposite). We liked the same music, games, shared a lot of friends, went to the same bar etc. For nine months I could not remember anything difficult to handle until I got invited to join a certain student body, I’m not sure what the proper term is for it in English. Happy as I was that I got the invitation, my gf was not very happy with it because her ex kind of used to shield her from his personal life. The damage which had been done in the previous relationship started to shimmer through and in the short period between break-up and our relationship there was no time to put things at rest. For the rest I will not waste more space and time to go into this subject but it marked the beginning of a more downhill part of the relationship that lasted almost two years.
As we tried to work things out with this social dilemma life went on and 2-3 months later I started to become interested in porn again. I’ve found the stuff since I was 15 or so and always used it whenever I felt like till I got into a relationship. Initially being in a relationship was so new that I forgot about the stuff for the first nine months of it but eventually I let myself give in to the old masturbatory aid. We had discussed porn very briefly somewhere in the beginning of the relationship and I already knew she did not watch it nor would like it if I watch it. Hence I decided to just directly tell her that I viewed it. Initially she responded well but somewhat later the issue was discussed with anger, tears, hurt etc. She felt what a lot of partners of the porn-user feel: not measuring up to standards, not enough, like I’m cheating. And I think that’s a valid opinion to have although I do not agree. But objectively talking about it from the outside is a lot easier than trying to rationally discuss when you’re in the middle of it. And due to her reaction I felt very crappy about myself, like I did her wrong. I had a new “forbidden fruit” which makes it all the more alluring and before I knew it I was secretly watching porn when my gf was not around. Not very much, maybe once every three days for a quick mb session when I did it a lot and sometimes 2-3 week breaks when I did not feel the need. But essentially I did not stop watching it secretive for quite some time. It did not really coincidence with our sex live as I do not use when I knew we’re going to be together for some time.

Meanwhile the relationship deteriorated more and more. My gf had trouble keeping focused on the study, still had issues with my social circle, became rather clingy and dependent and led a rather unhealthy life-style regarding food and MMORPG’s. As a response I became more apathetic, distant and eventually sexually disinterested in the whole relationship. In hindsight I realize that I would have to be there to support her when she was obviously not doing good to her own life and try to be a helping hand but I already felt so bad about myself with the whole porn issue. Either way this negative trend continued for almost 1.5 or maybe even a little more before there came some light at the end of the tunnel.

Even though the relationship was crappy during that period I never made serious work of a break-up. She still meant a lot to me and it hurts to see someone you care for not care about themselves anymore. She sure was not happy and it almost appeared as if I was the last thing she had. Combined with my perceived guilt of watching porn behind her back I really could not bring it up to quit on the relationship when she was obviously in the bottom of a dark pit. Anyway at some point she got offered an internship and from that moment on things slowly started to turn around. Not a second to late as I was really losing all hope in the relationship and preparing for the ultimate moment when I could no longer take it. We went sporting, going out more, listening to music together, playing different games etc. We both got on top of our studies and have had excellent results and both of us got into better shape physically. But bottomline: we started to work together as a team instead of playing against each other. In hindsight we both acknowledge what a crappy period in the relationship the former 1.5 years were and promised to do our best to not let it escalate again. After she confessed some stuff up I decided to make a big leap and confess my use of porn during that period. This time her reaction was much more supportive and understanding – and miraculously I found more strength to actually not watch it than by being felt miserable and guilty. I confessed after I did not use porn for 2 months or so and up till today I have used porn only once a couple of months back. Together that makes for a year of abstaining except for that single time which I have told her about directly after.
She told me she’s very likely never going to be ok with me using it and as I really can’t live with doing it behind her back I took the only option of simply not doing it anymore. Yet I still miss it a lot – I can handle things in moderation but I hate the fact that I have to cut it from my life completely. I just have a different view on the issue than her I guess. Internally I’m still a bit divided: I have my period when I feel weaker and start to feel the desire to find some online excitement. I usually communicate this with my gf to prevent things going into secrecy again but yeah - it’s already a year ago and I still feel tempted to do it. And when I’m actually being strong and can easily resist it I feel somewhat compromised that I practically have to give it all up with no form of compromise at all. It’s a complicated thing. I was wondering if there’s more people that have experienced something similar as me? I mostly see people complaining about their partners use of porn who have no intention of giving it up at all or people that cut the stuff out of their life for their partner and are happy doing that. I was hoping someone would recognize this situation and shed some hope that there’s a point where I will not care about porn anymore. I’ve come a long way and I’m definitely in a better place than I was but I’m still not entirely happy.

Sorry for the long read

Have a nice day
 

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There really no easy answer to this. Some people say abstain. Some say moderation. At this point I am abstaining. I have looked at porn since I was a teenager. I had 3 older brothers who had their stash I would raid. I even found my Dads secret porn stash. It was hidden and it was almost like a drug to stumble upon. As a young adult I would have various relationships and when the woman wasn't around I would get magazines or VCR tapes. All my friends were the same way. We would trade them like baseball cards.
Then came DVDs and those are very easy to hide. I would have a small collection. It was my secret world only my guy friends knew and could relate to. When I met my future wife there would be Maxim and FHM magazines in the bathroom. She never said she minded that I looked at images of half naked women. I still kept my stash of DVDs. Then the internet world really opened the flood gates. One click away. Didn't have to go to the store and buy DVDs. We got busy with our lives after we got married and my wife chose work and school over being home with her new husband. Sex was scheduled once a week on Sundays when she pencilled me in. I don't believe in affairs so I turned to my old friend porn more than ever. I took care of myself. I felt hey I am not cheating, you can't cheat with a image.
Things really changed when my wife became pregnant with our children. She was home now. After 7 years of school / work my wife finally found what I was up to. My skeletons in the closet were exposed. I was defensive and embarrassed. It truly hurt her and her self esteem. While I will defend myself with only I only did what I always did. It was my way of survival. I wish I was more honest with her. I should have sat her down and said " listen if your not home and our sex life is near extinct" these are the type of things I am going to do to get by. I didn't do that. My marriage has suffered deeply. My wife is hurt to know what she did to me in those years of her putting everything ahead of me. I have hurt her cause she didn't know this about me.
We are working things out. My advice is just tell the person this is what I am doing, have a conversation, see if its a deal breaker. For me abstinence is my best route. Our sex life is great. But the trust is still not where it should be.
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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the reply - I see what you mean as during that dark phase of my relationship I used to watch pornography in secret as sexual outlet alongside my sexual relationship with my girlfriend. Needless to say because the relationship was not very good at that time the sex suffered as a result. I've never let porn replace my gf though.

Nowadays she knows that I used it in the past, that I still like it and am abstaining for her as I've told her all a year ago. Vica versa I know that she's not going to throw a hissy fit if I fail once in a while and try to be supportive. Yet I can't help but see this as a temporary solution, better than secrecy, shame and guilt, but still no final answer. We've thought about taking it to a professional or something but honestly I have no clue what to do.

We're actually considering moving in together the next year (were 24 and 25 so rather young) and I'm a bit hesistant with letting this issue whither uncared for as that did not really help in the past. My gf does realize this as well but obviously she has no clue what to do about it either.

Proofs all the more that it's not a bad idea to discuss sexual compatibility, ideas and morals before entering into a serious relationship. But what the hell did I know :scratchhead: Never even kissed a girl before we became a couple.
 

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Your talking open and honestly is a step in the right direction. You seem mature about the situation.
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Porn can affect the brain just like addictive drugs. It's possible you are addicted and could benefit from therapy or something. Have you done much reading about the subject of porn addiction?
 
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Discussion Starter #6
Well, not the really technical details considering newly formed neuroreceptor paths etc but I know the basics. I know about the dopamine rush when a user is getting ready for his next session, about how it can strongly bond porn to sexual relief and how this habit can be "burned' in the neural pathways of the brain.

Then again I'm not sure if I'm addicted. Sure I don't like not doing it, but to a certain extent I can control not doing it. Where do we draw the line? I could also conclude I'm addicted to sex with my gf because I eventually get cranky if we don't do it (not that there's a problem in that department currently but just saying). But yeah, it does affect me to say in the least.
 

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Your talking open and honestly is a step in the right direction. You seem mature about the situation.
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:iagree:

Here's a link "feedtherighrwolf.org" you can explore. It should explain quite a bit how it effects your thinking, relationship inter action with women and what you can do about it. You've already taken the first steps. "Believe you can and you're halfway there"

How to Stop Porn Addiction - Free Help Overcoming Pornography

May I also suggest a book for your relationship, Home - The 5 Love Languages®
 

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I know, I hesitate to label it an addiction either. But perhaps some of the things that help true addicts would also help you. It's a fuzzy area and right now it's in vogue to be 'addicted' because it provides an 'excuse', and I am glad to see you aren't doing that.

Have you ever discussed using porn together? That's where my husband and I are at. Porn got him into HUGE trouble. We also differentiate between internet porn and magazine/DVD porn, because the internet stuff is full of temptations that led him into the world of chats and webcams and online sex and sex sites and all that crap. Magazines and DVD's don't - there's no link there just a click away.
 
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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Yup, my gf gold me that she was open to the idea of watching it together if I thought that would help me. But I am afraid that it will just make resisting porn harder when I'm alone as I'm moving my barriers. Besides that I have to admit that I'm not sure if I can still enjoy it with her as it has brought quite some stressful situations in the past between us - not sure if I'm still open for this if that makes any sense.
I'm sure that if this was not such a charged subject it would be no problem to watch it together.

I've never been tempted by live webcam stuff or dating links etc. Did not do that when single and did not do it in my relationship. I used to get my stuff from other sources.

Ill Check out the links later as I'm typing from ky phone

[It's a =1]Posted via Mobile Device[/size]
 

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I think that porn can be like a drug or alcohol, but some people can handle their alcohol better than others. Most of the "self help" around porn assume that an addiction leads to escalating levels of perversion which ultimately leads to illegal activity. Before porn was readily available on the Internet (back in the OLD days), I could still look at magazines and use my imagination to reach the exact same result. So I don't blame porn for anything. Porn doesn't kill people, people kill people :p (old gun joke)
In my case, I have been viewing porn for 30 years. My viewing habits are probably more tame now than they were when I was in my 20s. I like what I like, and I don't feel the need to watch more raunchy or sensational stuff. I don't feel the need to escalate to webchats or dating sites, or worse. I watch some stuff with my wife, but I also watch most of it alone. I tell her that since she has very specific requirements for porn, I need to preview scenes and pick out the stuff that she will like. Nothing kills the mood like porn that your wife finds disgusting.
Mainly I use porn to fill in the gaps because I am HD and my wife has become LD over the years. I will admit that sometimes porn is just easier than spending time being romantic, and foreplay, etc. I don't need a lot of foreplay. But without porn, I would just use my imagination if I wanted quick relief and she wasn't in the mood.
The OP is young and he obvious likes porn. It's like a having a beer or two in the evening. You don't "need" it, but you enjoy it. He can try and abstain, but as soon as he has a major argument with his gf/wife or things are going well, he will fall back into porn because he is just ignoring his desires. Its like comfort food.
So the key is, you should be able to control your porn, don't let it control you. Don't deny it, but use it cautiously. It is best to tell your gf/wife, but if she absolutely thinks you are "cheating", you have a decision to make. My wife accused me of cheating with porn before early in our marriage. I apologized for a while, but then I got mad and put my foot down. I said that "I absolutely was not cheating, and I would never cheat. I made a vow and I will keep it. But I am a grown man and I will decide what I watch and what I don't watch." That was the last time that she likened porn to cheating.
 
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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Sorry for the late reply,

I reckognise myself in what you're describing. I don't think I classify as having a full-blown addiction; I do never spend significant amount of time on watching porn, I don't escalate in my tastes, I don't neglect my partners needs and pretty much don't watch porn for about a year or so as I've decided that in order to work things out I can better be the better man and give ky gf what she needs. Then again I have no moral or natural aversion for porn and therefore I still miss it from time to time. I can be blunt about it but it just gives me a kick. Like with other non-essential joys in life, for me casual drinking, videogaming, music, history, watching movies, I can choose to give them up - but I'm certainly not going to be content with it.

Then again I respect my girlfriends feelings on the issue and hence I decided to not use porn. I can't just do something which I know makes her unhappy if the the request is reasonable. Im still divided on porn and whether its okay to demand your partner to give it up completely. I'm afraid if ill give in completely to her I might harbour resentment in the long run. Is this normal or are people generally feeling happy to do something that makes their partner happy although at their own cost?

Edited stupid typo that changed the meaning of the sentence.
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I've checked out the links that anchorwatch posted - thanks for taking effort in posting some resources. Then I feel somewhat disconnected from the message that feedtherightwolf is trying to get across. You are right that even if my use of porn is rather incomparable to spending your complete life on watching it I can still learn a thing or two from it. One example I came across is that the writer of the course explains that at a certain point he started to watch horror movies obsessively. It more the less replaced the porn habit yet it did not really solve the underlying issues. Interestingly I do this to a certain extent with reading websites such as these, playing games, music, general reading or other hobbies. Though not to unhealthy quantities, I priorize my studies, my social life, my girlfriend above my hobbies. But there is some truth in it that even how small or great habits are one should always be careful to not reach the point of obsession.

But feedtherightwold sort of treats porn and erotic material as something which is to be terminated completely. Believe me or not I have tried this in the past as I've tried to find help with the problem earlier online. One specific community of recovering porn addicts which I've posted casually is rather clear on it: you will be dealing every day of the rest of your life battling temptations. Always keeping your mind clear, never wandering of the path of sobriety. I'm not sure if I want to go that far. Earlier in the relationship my gf used to ask me "do you ever think of other women?" I did not dare to tell the truth (ofcourse I do) out of fear of bringing my porn habits up. Once I eventually fessed it all up I also made clear that - yes I am going to think/fantasize about other women... I've tried not to do it but in all honesty it just makes me depressed to play my own mental police all the time. My gf understands it now and I'm happy that she can deal with that aspect. In all honesty if she would have a problem with what goes in my head I'd think she would have to find a guy that only thinks about her but we've moved on from that.

But what was I talking about? Oh, feedtherightwolf, I do appreciate the effort but I don't think I can fully subscribe to an anti-porn stance without feeling hypocritical that I still have sexual fantasies in my mind etc. That does not mean I'm going to watch porn regardless of my gf's feelings - that would work very counterproductive. I will give it time, hopefully as long as it needs, to get to a healthy solution.

The five languages of love - interesting but I'm not sure how it applies here. I think we have learned to communicate very well during the last part of the relationship. We've picked openness and honesty as things we don't want to let go of again. It's just that we both really don't know what to do with this issue without letting either one of us feel like they get a bad deal.

Would like guys suggest maybe some psycologist or 3rd party to involve in the issue? Like a professional? I've sometimes talked with friends about it but either they're not really completely comfortable talking about it or they're also not sure what to do with porn in their relationship. I live in Europe so I'm not sure if counseling or therapy considering these issues are the same as in the US.
 

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What is the source of your guilt regarding porn?

If you feel the need to confess, there must be some offense.

Possible infractions:
Offense to God (apparently not an issue for you)
Offense to women in general (objectification)
Offense to the specific women in the porn (exploitation)
Offense to your partner (withholding affection, not necessarily cheating)
Offense to yourself (dependancy/addiction)

Once you identify the source of your guilt, you can decide if the cause is worthy enough for you to change your behavior.

I personally believe that indulging my mental fantasies is much more damaging to my relationships than simply seeing naked bodies or sex acts.
 
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Discussion Starter #14
Eh, I don't experience guilt over having used porn in the past or still feeling the desire to look it up at the moment. All the facets you named I understand though.

As to God, I am theistic and I have always identified myself as Christian. Although I have trouble with a very specific type of belief such as christianity I have no very strict beliefs or morals that originate from that. Let alone the idea that God cares about what I do or do not watch on the internet - so far I'm still lingering on whether I do or do not belief in a personal god.

I don't see it as an offense to women in general - that's just too broad of a viewpoint to stand for. Sure there's countless of women that are very opposed to what is depicted in porn and that's a valid stance, yet there are many that are the complete opposite of that idea and many, many many more that have some viewpoint somewhere in between. Specific women I can relate to - I think the porn industry as it is of now is a vile business that a lot of people that become involved in the industry are easily exploited by the top that only wants to see as much money as possible. And I also think that our "shame" or whatever you want to call it to debate these things openly and honesty due to ages of repressed sexuality contributes to what this has become. I honestly think that this whole business needs to be dragged out of the underground and being treated like any other. Make sure that everyone knows what they're doing and if they're ok with it. Regulation instead of pretending it does not exist. Sure there will be less extreme porn, and less cheap free porn but I don't think these things should ever be favored over basic quality of human life. We'll have to learn to live with less than we were used to.

Back on track, guilt to my partner: I only felt guilt when I watched it and did not tell (i.e. lying, obscuring). I don't really feel guilty for wanting to watch it and she knows that. Then again I do not care if she would watch it to reinforce that statement. I have no objections against porn in relationships as long as there's mutual agreement on what's happening. It's just that my gf is currently still not ok with me doing it and leaving me with no other option than to suck it up for the time being. I would feel guilty if I start viewing behind her back and that's imo much worse then abstaining and having a bit of the "bad deal" so to say.

Offense to yourself - No, not really. I've never had the chance to use porn in relationship in a mutually agreeable way so I'm not sure how that would unfold. But using the experience I have pre-relationship I have no reason to assume I would get out of hand or addicted. There were multiple reasons for why my porn went underground during my relationship for a while some of which were: not good communication about the subject, general dissatisfaction with the relationship, shame, guilt, anger from my partner and feelings of inferiority etc. But then again we've buried those issues and even if porn comes back then were bound to not handle it with such a negative attitude. I think nothing good comes from hiding and sneaking/peaking from both parties in the relationship.

Thanks for the reply, I was just curious why do you think mental fantasies are much more damaging to relationships than virtual booty?
 

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To start with your question, I am coming from what many would consider an extreme religious viewpoint. I find that the line between imagined porn (fantasy) and tangible porn is very permeable. One influences the other and they can feed off of each other (an adult kink traced to some early porn exposure, for example).

I would not have a problem seeing a couple having sex in a secluded park, or a streaker, or a windblown upskirt. I would feel guilty if I stayed to watch or move to get a better view. But I would have a bigger problem if I would go on my way but create an "alternate ending" to the encounter in my bathroom later. The fantasy is a bigger problem because I would have created an "alternate reality" in which I don't have to consider any of the relationship infractions I listed in my previous post. I do feel that to play "god" in my mind and apply whatever rules I desire is a dangerous practice. I have no problem with fantasy or imagination in general, however, I seek to apply the same rules to my thoughts that I follow in real life.

My concern regarding God is primarily because I do believe that he wants us to care about others and he is the one who has revealed what that care should look like.
 

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any chance you just dont have a girlfriend that turns you on and pleases you enough?

if that isn't it.
Try making your own porn with your girlfriend. Then you can watch porn of her and it isnt anything like cheating. you are watching her. :D
 
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Discussion Starter #17
To start with your question, I am coming from what many would consider an extreme religious viewpoint. I find that the line between imagined porn (fantasy) and tangible porn is very permeable. One influences the other and they can feed off of each other (an adult kink traced to some early porn exposure, for example).

I would not have a problem seeing a couple having sex in a secluded park, or a streaker, or a windblown upskirt. I would feel guilty if I stayed to watch or move to get a better view. But I would have a bigger problem if I would go on my way but create an "alternate ending" to the encounter in my bathroom later. The fantasy is a bigger problem because I would have created an "alternate reality" in which I don't have to consider any of the relationship infractions I listed in my previous post. I do feel that to play "god" in my mind and apply whatever rules I desire is a dangerous practice. I have no problem with fantasy or imagination in general, however, I seek to apply the same rules to my thoughts that I follow in real life.
Wow, that's some pretty hefty thoughts for early in the morning (as it is here at time of writing). I very much agree about what you say about the permeability of mental and physical erotic stimulation, the physical one can easily seep into the mental one. I certainly experience that - it's just that this pretty much applies to everything out there in the real world. Most of my mental thoughts, imaginations are usually somewhat based on what I have experienced in the physical world because that's simply my reference point. It would be rather strange to have sexual thoughts that are not in some way related to this world?

I can see about boundaries in your thought world - I have them myself. There are things which I utterly detest (sexual and non-sexual) which I either never fantasize/think about or when it accidentally pops up on a blue moon something triggers "hey, that's wrong dude". The problem with for example memories of porn or other sexual fantasies that are eh, not about my girlfriend so to say, do not fall beyond that line. It is difficult to keep enforcing that control over thoughts and fantasies if it is not naturally already happening. I'd have to rewire my entire way of thinking and to be honest I'm not sure how far I want to go with that. At a certain point I think one can sacrifice to much of him/herself,

I like the religious debate but I think it would be better to not go into detail into this specific thread. I have no religious objection against porn so there's not going to come any resolutions (yet) from that point of view. Interesting sidetrack though.

any chance you just dont have a girlfriend that turns you on and pleases you enough?

if that isn't it.
Try making your own porn with your girlfriend. Then you can watch porn of her and it isnt anything like cheating. you are watching her. :D
Haha, I understand what you mean but I don't think that's the case. I don't watch porn because I think my gf is too unattractive, or because my sex-life is boring (I dare to say she's more adventurous than me), or because I don't get enough, to escape from real life, to fullfill some fetishes or whatever reason we can think of. I'm just honest about it; I like it and it gives me a kick :scratchhead: - if that makes me a pervert than so be it. Always has been that way. It's not constant either, I have days or weeks where it doesn't interest at all and then there's weeks where we have lots of sex and I still sometimes help myself in between. I'm pretty sure that I am the HD partner.

We actually have already planned something like describe for the near future. It's a fun thing to do but its not a real solution to the porn problem. By watching a home-made video Í'm not going to eradicate my desire for normal porn. Sure it might temporary give some relief but in the long run it's just as effective as saying: "here's one picture or one video that you can only use". I'm not sure how to explain it but I think it's not going to seal the deal - at all.

I hope I'm not being a hardass, I've just given the subject a lot of thought and needless to say I haven't come to a solution. I just want the best for me and my gf.. :confused:
 

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I've had problems with porn and picture saving with my second husband. My first husband it was never a problem. We indulged together or alone and it never hurt me at all.

My second husband cheated early in our relationship and in my mistrust and snooping, I found lots of pictures on his pc and found he could watch porn for hours at night. To me it felt like he was cheating...it was devastating to me. The pictures seemed to hurt me the most. It caused a lot of problems. A woman can feel like she can't compete with those perfect images..I remember asking my husband, "how can you look at those perfect images then get turned on looking at me?" I'm an average woman and it seems like by looking at perfect bodies so frequently, looking at my body would be a disappointment.

After a while, I started to think about how I'd feel if my husband told me I couldn't watch porn because it hurt him. It wouldn't be as hard for me because I think females are not so visually stimulated as males (most situational/auditory) but I wouldn't like it. Then I realized when I do watch it alone and masturbate, it doesn't make me think my average husband doesn't look as good as the male porn star I just watched. The only thing it does do is make me not as sexually aroused because I'm having a release of sexual tension. And that makes for less intense orgasms when we do have sex. I like to build up the tension and wait to have sex with my husband.

One little thing I can tell you....we watch porn together and I know my husband does alone too and I've tried to get over my hurt about it...One thing that helped me a little is this...my husband would save porn that he found when he was watching alone that he thought was really good and he wanted to show me and share it with me...I started to do the same. So, it became something that we could share even when doing it alone. I started to ask him on occassion, "have you found any good stuff lately?" And sometimes he say, "oh yeah! let me show you ...." I figured as long as porn was a tool to enhance sex, add spice, and keep us aroused without replacing each other, it is not a problem.

It took effort, but we got through it. The sharing of "good stuff" helped me a little...maybe at some point, it could help her too.
 
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Discussion Starter #19
Thanks for the reply - always good to hear more from the other side of the issue.

I'm not sure how my gf's ex handled this thing, they've never really fought about it. Either he hid it well or just wasn't into it. But yeah, I am and I've told her that I was. She never was confronted with the issue either so it was kind of new to her. She indeed told me her self-esteem suffers. Additionally she also feels like it's kind of like cheating, although not as bad as real interaction with a real woman.

We've learned to handle the issue over time and nowadays we never have fights about it anymore. But I can assure you that it's only because we both put in effort to help eachother with it! If I would've not cared to stop and be honest about it I doubt she would've been able to be understanding and supportive when I do have trouble with resisting it. And visa versa I've experienced first hand that an angry, insecure, highly-emotional gf weakens my resistance very much and also makes me more distant and apathetic. I think that a lot of couples (from what I've read on the internet) are not really supporting each other with the issue but more trying to impose their own ideals on the other. With all of the bad consequences that follow from such an approach.

My gf never watches and never has watched porn for as far as I know. I've told her I would have no problem if she wanted to see for herself what it is about but I can imagine she doesn't want to without feeling hypocritical. If I ever wanted to do it together I'd have to introduce it someway but I don't see why she wouldn't become insecure or jealous when we do it together. I mean it's still another girl on the screen right? How come some women are able to accept it when it's done together? And then there's the issue of where to start - how am I going to introduce porn into our sex-life if watching it alone is a no-go? :scratchhead:

Anyhow her feelings are her feelings and if she's not okay with it then I'll respect that. I would be delighted if one day she would grow out of it and simply not care about it - I know some people enter a different stage of their life where issues of the past become non-issues. But if she wants to stick to how she feels about her I can't and don't want to change that.
 
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Discussion Starter #20
**Update**

So it's been a while but my girlfriend and I have had a talk about the issues with pornography I've been telling about in this thread. I've been looking forward to this talk for quite some time and was curious to what would come out of it.

We were in a situation where I tried to minimize my use of porn to as little as possible, being honest about when it happens and my girlfriend trying to be understanding about it.

She started out by telling me what really bothered her about the porn, she had to find out for herself and took some time to understand what it was.

Her first issue was low self-esteem. Very common reason as I've come to understand and in the past the idea of me looking at other women as sexually desirable damages her own self worth. My girlfried has always had self-esteem issues that stem from way before our relationship. They jsut got worse in a period of depression and not staying in shape. She started working on these issues almost 1.5 years ago and has improved this for herself tremendously. As a result self-esteem has increased a lot and she's told me this issue is really not that important anymore and it's something she's overcome.

The second one is something in between feeling that it's a bit cheating combined with that it's a bit of jealousy that I'm simply getting off to someone else. It's a bit of a grey topic I guess. I'd never go as far (and neither does she) to say that porn is actual cheating but then again it is getting off to someone else. Personally I don't think images/videos are that much worse then whatever you can conjure in your mind but I do understand that people feel different about different things.

So then we talked a bit about how we would handle the issue in the future and she said she would want to continue on the way we were going (minimal porn, no drama) and she wanted to put more attention into making it less of a deal when it happens. I'm not sure if that changes anything to the situation for me but at least I'm happy she's working on the issue.

Then I want to thank this board for providing interesting discussions concerning the topic and for being a place where I can talk about the issue without any direct ramifications on whats happening in my life. I've certainly read a lot of interesting posts about it and it has broadened my view.

I think I'm going to lay the issue aside for a while and focus on other important stuff. We're actually planning on going to live together after 4 years of living apart (were both students living in the same city - different student apartments). Plus there's a 3 month foreign internship in China lurking around the corner and I heard porn is illegal there ^^ Looking forward to being completely isolated from the problem for a while.
 
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