Fed Up With Porn

Photo credit: "i can't breathe with these words in my mouth" by Meredith Farmer on Flickr. http://flic.kr/p/5P2G9C. CC, Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0), Some Rights Reserved.

Update:  I’ve heard back from Fed Up since the posting of this article.  It seems that the simple act of her writing us at Sex Is For Men, Too provided a good first-step for her.  It sounds like it forced her to really verbalize what she was feeling, and gave her a more cohesive stance with which to open up to her husband.  She hadn’t told her husband that she was going to write us but said she plans to tell him so he can read the article and the rest of the site.  Hubby, I hope this is helpful for you and your wife.


What should one do in order to be attractive to a husband who loves porn?

He really enjoys watching porn. Apparently, he’s felt this way towards porn since puberty. I used to enjoy watching porn with him. After the birth of our child, and the changes in my body, I no longer enjoyed watching porn as much, because the gorgeous, perfectly-proportioned women reminded me of my own, pre-pregnancy body, and brought, into the light, my new body. Which made things strained between my husband and I, because after giving birth to our child, he wanted to watch porn all the time, instead of just some of the time, and wasn’t interested in having sex even half of the time (porn or not). I don’t feel as though I have any status, anymore, in respect to my husband’s sexual interests. He is now only interested in me when he can watch porn at the same time (it doesn’t seem to matter when or if I am the one who is interested in sex or even just messing around), or, lacking that, only when sex between us has been absent long enough for his drive to build up to a point where he doesn’t care if he’s watching porn or not – but then he usually just wants a BJ.

I think that I’m doing very well to take care of our child and the physical aspects of my body at the same time.

Why doesn’t he understand this, and what can I do to bring his interest back to me?

—Fed Up With Porn

Ava says:

Dear Fed Up,

Well, there’s definitely a problem here, but I think you’re asking the wrong question in order to solve it. By asking “What should one do in order to be attractive to a husband who loves porn?” you are unnecessarily burdening yourself with the responsibility of competing with pornography. A Mission: IMPOSSIBLE if I ever heard one.

“If you don’t find yourself as sexy as you are, your husband has precious little chance of doing so.”

Porn is fantasy: a sexual panacea designed to provide an instant gratification not found in nature. It can be wonderfully useful—as it was before you got pregnant—but it can also be dangerously addictive because, in many ways, real life simply cannot compete.

The real question is: how are you going to get your sex life back on track? Here are two things YOU can do, regardless of what he does:

First: You are going to need to readjust your own attitude about your post-baby body. If you don’t find yourself as sexy as you are—and your unfair and unflattering self-comparisons to the women you see in porn suggest that you don’t—your husband has precious little chance of doing so. Obviously the fact that you are “doing very well to take care of (your) child and the physical aspects of (your) body at the same time,” isn’t quite enough to make you FEEL desirable.

Only you know what would make you feel sexy again. It could be signing up for a body-shaping Pilates class, and/or a sexy pole dancing lesson at Pole For The Soul. It could mean new lingerie that really fits and flatters your new curves, or it could mean creating your own masturbation ritual. But whatever it is, you need to make a plan and take the first step TODAY.

Second: You need to take control of your sex life. Take the lead for a while. Get creative. Try new things: tantra, toys, costumes, mutual massage, BDSM, etc. If you’ve obviously put energy and thought into it, he really has no excuse not to play along.

Once he’s doing his part to rebuild that broken intimacy, reward him with the occasional (willing, cheerful) sex-in-front-of-the-porn. Balance is key.

As for his part, I’ll leave that to the resident expert on the male psyche.

—Ava

Primus says:

Hi Fed Up,

Hey, can you bring your husband over here; I want to talk to him man-to-man. I’ll wait…

OK listen, buddy, don’t tell your wife this, but I get it. Porn is the ultimate in easy gratification. No pressure, right? No pressure to perform, no judgment of your performance, nothing to worry about apart from getting off and everyone looks impossibly beautiful. I totally get it, man, and I admire the way you are finding an outlet for your own needs. However, spending ALL your sexual energy on masturbation rather than HER is cowardly and unsustainable.

Let’s just assume you’ve slipped into a rut and intend to take this as a wakeup call. Because she really wants things to be better and can’t do it without you. So, don’t worry about guilt or anything; I officially grant you amnesty by the power invested in me as an advice columnist.

From now on you need to realize that you can have all the stuff you want—the porn, even blowjobs while watching porn, whatever. I know this from personal experience. Would you like to know how?

You MUST refocus your sexual energy onto her first. That means using whatever sexual energy you have to make her feel beautiful, loved, and desired. This is basic economics; you are paying forward to your own pleasure later on by taking care of her now when she needs it most.

“Both of you need to state your truth courageously, and listen lovingly.”

Now, hand me back over to her.

OK, Fed Up, please do yourself a favor and get clear in your mind what YOU want. Then please state clearly and explicitly what you want from him. What I noticed was that you didn’t write about having attempted to talk to him directly about this. When you have this conversation, you may be angry. Try your best to stay calm, positive, and assertive. I strongly recommend you go along with my granting of amnesty: it might be hard for him to change when he feels he must defend what he already did. Best to just skip it and start from now.

The goal here is for both of you to tackle the difficult task of making all of your expectations for your marriage totally explicit. Both of you need to state your truth courageously, and listen lovingly. Then both of you need to take responsibility for making sure that those expectations are met.

Give it a few months to make sure you are really working through this. It takes time to rebuild intimacy. But if he continues to prioritize private pleasures over mutual intimacy after months of work, it’s time to bring out the big guns. We’re talking ultimatums here. Let him know exactly what will happen if things continue down this path. If that doesn’t wake him up, I’m afraid it may be time to leave him to his electronic mistress.

—Primus


Featured image photo credit: “i can’t breathe with these words in my mouth” by Meredith Farmer on Flickr. CC, Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0), Some Rights Reserved.

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