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Many times on here I see people saying that the reason that they watched porn is because they lacked intimacy with their spouses. Sex does not equal intimacy and you cannot replace intimacy with your spouse by watching porn.

I think that this may be one of the reasons that there are so many problems with relationships, intimacy is not sex, nor does sex = intimacy. Maybe this will help:


"The Five Levels of Intimacy

Psychologists have identified 5 levels of emotional intimacy we all move through as we get to know someone. They’ve been given several names, but for our purposes, let’s call them Level one through five, with five being the highest, or most intimate level.

Level One: Safe Communication

Level one is the lowest level of communication. We call it safe because it involves the exchange of facts and information. There are no feelings, opinions or personal vulnerability involved, and therefore no risk of rejection. This is the kind of interaction we have with people we don’t know well. It’s the chitchat we share with the clerk at the grocery store or a stranger at a party. People communicating at this level share minimal intimacy. An example of this level would be, “Lousy weather we’re having,” This is great pizza,” My team won last night.”

Level Two: Others’ Opinions and Beliefs

At level two we start sharing other people’s thoughts, beliefs and opinions. We are beginning to reveal more of ourselves through our associations. We say things like, “My mother always says…” or “One of my favorite authors said…” Such statements test the other person’s reaction to what we’re sharing without offering our own opinions. This is slightly more vulnerable than level one, but because we’re not sharing our own opinions we can distance ourselves from the opinion if we feel threatened by criticism or rejection.

Level Three: Personal Opinions and Beliefs

We start taking small risks at this level because we begin to share our own thoughts, opinions and beliefs. But like the previous level, if we begin feeling too vulnerable, we can say we’ve switched our opinions or changed our mind in order to avoid conflict or pain.

Level Four: My Feelings and Experiences

Sharing feelings and experiences is the next level of vulnerability and intimacy. At this level we talk about our joys, pain, and failures; our mistakes in the past, our dreams, and our goals. What we like or don’t like. What makes us who we are. This level is more vulnerable because we can’t change how we feel about something, the details of our past or current experiences. If we sense we may be rejected or criticized all we can do is try to convince others that we’re no longer impacted by our past. We’re no longer that person. We’re different now.

Level Five: My Needs, Emotions and Desires

Level five is the highest level of intimacy. It is the level where we are known at the deepest core of who we are. Because of that, it is the level that requires the greatest amount of trust. If I can’t trust that you won’t reject me, I’ll never be able to share my deepest self with you. Unlike the other levels, there is no escape at this level. Once I let someone see who I really am, I can no longer convince them otherwise. Communicating at this level means we offer someone the most vulnerable part of ourselves. And the greatest fear is that they could use it against us later. When we share things like, “I’m hurt when you don’t call,” I need to feel respected by you,” or “I want to spend my life with you,” we’re sharing not only our hurts but our desires and needs as well. It’s also the level where we let others see our emotional reaction to things, which if you’re like me, isn’t always a pretty sight. Maybe that’s why we save those for the ones closest to us, like our families.

True Intimacy

It’s important to understand that true intimacy in a relationship happens over time…not in a day, week or even a month.
Think of your best friend…how long did it take before you felt at the highest level of intimacy with them, where you were able to trust them completely, or share your deepest self? It’s the same in romantic relationships…true intimacy develops over time. But another important element is needed for true intimacy…both people in the relationship need to move through the levels together. If I’m sharing at level four with someone (feelings and experiences) but my partner is sharing at level three (opinions and beliefs) we’re not experiencing true intimacy. I may feel closer because I’m sharing at a higher level, but in reality what we have is a false sense of intimacy. In truth, intimacy is measured by the person with the lower level of vulnerability."

The Five Levels of Intimacy « Power to Change
 

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Anon2
This is helpful info. Those men are being inaccurate. The porn only replaces the physical part of sex.

For a male in a ltr, any given sexual encounter with their partner can be emo+phy, or just physical.

While we almost always want both, sometimes we settle for just the physical. And when the physical is lacking many men use porn.

Actually: free porn + super high quality video games = a generation of males to whom women, marriage and the stress of being the lead provider are seen as optional.

I smile and shake my head as I say this:

Most of my mother's generation believed that their responsibility to remain fit ended at the altar. I also remember all their snide comments about girls who were heavy BEFORE marriage.

They felt obligated to perform their 'wifely duties' in exchange for the husbands financial support. I can say this for sure - I can hear my mother howling with laughter at the notion of a wife demanding celibacy from her husband because she didn't like having sex with him. She had a degree from a great college and was smart. And she was no doormat that's for sure. My dad was a good guy. After a full year of awful chemo when he was mid fifties and she was late forties, she casually mentioned that he had been a saint. He was a good role model.

I read about the 'new model' on here every day. You aren't allowed to 'expect' sex any more. As the LD spouse you can and should demand fidelity however. Sex isn't a need its a want. I just shake my head in disbelief because sex is the driver of a man's number one emotional need - but somehow it is merely a 'want'.
As for the generation of young men who are choosing to play WoW and watch porn. I don't want to trade places with them, but I understand their cynicism.

Here is a verbatim quote from a well kept stay at home mom with a loving husband and older kids and a huge disparity in workload with her husband: 'my friends and I talk about how you men don't have a clue about what goes into the vacation prep required for you and I to go away together for a week'.

All these threads twist together into a rope that is a big part of what pulls the porn industry.
 

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anony2....Thank you for this post. Very true. The tendancy for a man to feel he "needs" porn to get off is completely inaccurate and has nothing to do with sex OR intimacy. It is the same as anyone saying they "need" alcohol to enjoy sex. Porn and alcohol are both separate substances that can cause addictions. Using them to feel sexual is purely a choice, not a need.

This doesn't mean I advocate that any man OR woman live with a sexless marriage. But the porn thing is just crazy, lazy and rediculous.

I love the NMMNG book (in part) because it shines a light on this issue. Dr. Glover puts it right out there in print and doesn't back down from it at all....porn messes with a man's ability to function seuxally, period. No matter how a man might enjoy it, doesn't mean it is good for him.
 
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