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Really struggling - porn

(32 Posts)
VEmbarassed Tue 17-Oct-17 22:39:28

When my DH and I got together he admitted he watched a lot of porn. I absolutely hate porn and told him so, but it wasn't too much of an issue because we were having regular sex so he wasn't needing to use it. He started to question the industry and what he was watching and started having quite a lot of guilt about it.

Then I got really really ill, was on powerful medications that completely eliminated my sex drive to the point I couldn't stand any physical contact. It caused huge issues for us understandably. Inevitably he went back to the porn and was using it every day. I knew I had no right to argue because he wasn't getting anything else so I basically decided to block it out, let him get on with it and not think about it. This sadly went on for a long time but eventually it improved and we went back to having a fantastic sex life. After a year or so I got pregnant with twins - sex stopped by the third trimester as I was in a lot of pain. I had a traumatic birth, months in nicu, pumping every two hours - I was broken mentally and physically, my hormones were screwed and my sex drive was gone again. He was spending an hour and a half in the bathroom every morning, obviously I knew what he was doing but again I blocked it out. I definitely didn't want to think about what he was watching because what I imagined was hideous and I'm 100% sure that the reality is worse.

It's taken me until now for my sex drive to come back, and it's come back with full force. We've had sex every day for nearly a week and it's been great. He hasn't looked at any porn since he's had no need (he works from home so I'm well aware of what he's doing or not doing).

Earlier on we were half jokingly looking at an adult online shop and making jokes about buying this or that. He accidentally flippantly referred to some crazy, horrific device that I didn't know existed and then was quite clearly remembering something he'd seen and laughing. It was like a switch flipped in my brain and 8 years of upset has come flooding out.

I want to be clear - I don't blame him at all for looking at it, he has a high sex drive and he was taking care of it, and stayed with me through a long period of abstinence and he is a wonderful husband and father. But honestly thinking of all the stuff he must have seen, knowing that stuff he likes to do and wants to do with me come from what I know would be really grotty and exploitative porn, it has all just overwhelmed me and I feel physically sick. I really didn't ever want to think about and feel all this stuff but I can't switch my brain off now, the floodgates have opened and I have been in tears all night, and really trying not to be.

I know that porn isn't a big deal for some women and that's fine, that's your prerogative. Personally I find it misogynistic and exploitative and I know he's not watching any softcore nonsense, from the way he is I know he's watching stuff that would sicken me if I saw the reality of it. Once when I was working away he called me drunk one night and was in tears about how ashamed he was by the stuff he was into. I asked him outright whether he meant stuff where people were not consenting as I would have a massive problem with that and he said categorically no. Beyond that I haven't asked and don't want to know, but I have a good idea.

We have such an amazing relationship otherwise but I am really struggling with this. I need to get past it - I know that my problems have pushed him back into it and I do not blame him at all, I don't want to feel like this but what do I do? I don't want to start talking to him about it, we generally can talk about anything but I don't think I can talk about this. There's just too much stuff caught up in it.

hellejuice91 Tue 17-Oct-17 22:49:04

I personally feel that what someone does in their private sex life (by that I mean when it is just then) is their business and is separate to any relationship they are having. My Husband watches porn it isn't something we regularly talk about but I know he does and he knows that I do. This has happened throughout our relationship not just when we've had a dip in our sex life . Not all porn is exploitative with a number of women earning huge sums of money for being in the industry and doing the job as a choice. You need to decide if you either:

A can live with the fact he watches it and let him do so - if this is the case he should be doing this in a way that is private and discreet. Disappearing to the bathroom for 90 minutes is not acceptable, He knows how your feel and should respect that.

Or

B you can't handle it at all and in which case maybe you need to be with someone with a different sexual outlook

hellejuice91 Tue 17-Oct-17 22:49:05

I personally feel that what someone does in their private sex life (by that I mean when it is just then) is their business and is separate to any relationship they are having. My Husband watches porn it isn't something we regularly talk about but I know he does and he knows that I do. This has happened throughout our relationship not just when we've had a dip in our sex life . Not all porn is exploitative with a number of women earning huge sums of money for being in the industry and doing the job as a choice. You need to decide if you either:

A can live with the fact he watches it and let him do so - if this is the case he should be doing this in a way that is private and discreet. Disappearing to the bathroom for 90 minutes is not acceptable, He knows how your feel and should respect that.

Or

B you can't handle it at all and in which case maybe you need to be with someone with a different sexual outlook

BadHatter Tue 17-Oct-17 22:58:17

If you can’t talk to your husband (without guilt tripping him into feeling like he’s done something wrong), then talk to a professional.

Josuk Tue 17-Oct-17 23:17:48

OP - you sound like you are really struggling with something but I don’t really think it’s porn per se.
But there is a sense of some insecurity that I can’t put my finger on.
Regardless of what your thoughts are on porn - you have some other issues with sex, it seems.

Whatever the device was that you were looking at - mind you - on a legal website - try to imagine that here are people that engage in consenting sex that purchase and use it. So, even if it is not YOUR thing - calling whatever that was ‘crazy & horrific’ and immediately connecting it to exploitative porn - only shows that deep inside you have issues that you are not willing yet to recognise.
Plenty of people are into all kind of kink - and it’s their choice. No one needs to be judged.

You seem to have a loving husband and is talking it all in strides. (Although, morning 1.5hr sessions in a bath are a little 😳..just the duration....lol)

Your sex drive is back. Enjoy it!!!!!
Really.

VEmbarassed Tue 17-Oct-17 23:32:23

As I've said, if you watch porn and you're happy for your husband to watch porn, that's fine - that's your business. I haven't really had any choice - what's happened has been difficult for us both, that's the way he has had to handle it and I have never given him shit about it. That's why I'm struggling now because I'm dealing with years of suppressing it.

I realise there is ethical porn, non-exploitative porn. I don't believe for a second that's what he's watching based on the few discussions we have had about it in the past, and the amount of guilt he associates with what he's watching (not a result of me, I have literally not mentioned the word porn for the last 7 years).

Yes, people all have their kinks and if people want to use whatever device they can conjure up consensually, that's wonderful, genuinely. Do whatever you want in my opinion. But let's not pretend that the women in the majority of porn are thrilled to bits about what's being done to them, especially in porn where the entire focal point is to be degrading and humiliating. I don't class that as consenting, and I have a big issue with that. And yes, I have a big issue with my husband getting off to it.

Sure I have insecurities, I think most people do. We have a great and very satisfying sex life outside of those periods where my drive has been eradicated by medications and hormones.

Please don't make out like every woman should be fine with her husband getting off to other women being degraded (sure, not all porn, not all men, etc). Men must find it hilarious that they can get away with this and have women defend their rights to do so. i am deeply offended by misogyny, and I've tried to ignore the fact that my husband who is generally a supporter of women's rights in daily life is getting off to it.

And yes, 90 minutes is a long time - that's what happens when you crush the life out of your penis every day I guess.

NotTheFordType Tue 17-Oct-17 23:41:04

So you got with someone who was honest about watching porn, coerced him into suppressing his sexual needs, and now you're complaining about it.

Yawn. No wonder I have so many clients.

Bluerosethorns Tue 17-Oct-17 23:45:11

I find it hard to believe that any man feels 'guilt' for watching porn and i honestly think it's disturbing how many women on mn try to police their dps sexuality by going bizerk and being "hurt" when their dp watches it. It's not your call because it's not your body or your sexuality! Also, grow up. Or your dp mind find a real life other woman to 'crush the life out of his penis' - sounds like something most men would enjoy 🤷🏻‍♀️

FritzDonovan Tue 17-Oct-17 23:58:41

Yawn. No wonder I have so many clients.
Christ, that's a bitchy comment when OP is talking through her upset at dp's watching of degrading and exploitative porn, ford.
I usually respect your posts (even though I find prostitution with married men thoroughly repulsive, and I know you have no problem with that), but this is a bit unnecessary.

MillicentFawcett Wed 18-Oct-17 00:05:42

Wow the cool girls are out in force tonight. hmm

Yeah all women should totally be okay with their husbands getting their rocks off watching women being humiliated and degraded.

OP - men survived for centuries without watching porn. Men survive without sex too. That's what men in loving mutually respectful relationships do.

I'm sorry there have been so many posters saying that is a high bar. It really isn't.

Dustbunny1900 Wed 18-Oct-17 00:17:32

I'm a little fuzzy on the type of porn or these sex contraptions you're referring to..I don't mind my DH watching porn in and of itself (I prefer to read it/look at drawing vs real people who I know aren't enjoying it) but I'd also be disturbed if it were snuff films/rape porn/torture porn/violent/obviously depicting underage etc. my friend had an ex who only enjoyed porn where the woman was being violently gagged with a dick and tears were streaming down her face. That bothered me a good deal.
Is this what you're referring to?

VEmbarassed Wed 18-Oct-17 00:40:13

How have I suppressed it? He's been wanking for over an hour to it every day, I haven't mentioned it because I fully accept that due to my illness I haven't been able to give him what he needs. I haven't told him he can't, haven't made him feel bad about it. Yes I married someone who previously used a lot of porn but didn't much when we were together because we were having a lot of sex. That changed, he went back to it. At no point have I blamed him for this, as I've stated multiple times.

And yes, he does feel guilty. He's a lot more clued up now on the industry than he was. He has a moral issue with it which he had not considered when he was younger, but fundamentally what he calls a habit is really an addiction.

And yes dustbunny, I'm sure he watches that sort of thing, and honestly that's probably at the tamer end of it to be honest. Hence the guilt.

I'm with my husband because I love him. I'm disturbed by this because in every other aspect of his life he's respectful, and I personally find this at odds with that. He's not watching tame amateur porn filmed by two consenting adults. He insists he doesn't watch rape stuff, but again I don't believe that women who are essentially having torture implements used on their vaginas (not bdsm stuff, that's different again) for money are fully consenting adults. It's their job, I'm sure they don't like everything they have to do to make a living.

VEmbarassed Wed 18-Oct-17 00:44:07

Christ, there's quite the bitch quotient out tonight eh?

I'm not a real woman? Fuck you. I hope you never have to go through the pain I've been through that has led to the dry spells in our relationship, or the physical agony I've chosen to put myself through by refusing certain medications until the issue has resolved. You have absolutely no idea what you're talking about.

Yes, I have a problem with my otherwise respectful husband spending over an hour a day wanking to images of women being degraded. What a prude I am.

VEmbarassed Wed 18-Oct-17 00:46:45

And yes, I'm sure every man's dream is a penis so desensitised from wanking that they can't climax any other way. Living the dream! 🙄

AdultHumanFemale Wed 18-Oct-17 00:51:58

Yikes, you are getting some stick here, OP. I'd forgotten there are people on MN who are so deliberately unkind. Empathy deficit, urgh. Feminist Chat is a much nicer place.
You have nothing to feel guilty about, this is maddening! You sound like you have been through a lot, and a waning sex drive is perfectly natural. You don't have to make your DH's use of porn OK as a consequence. I totally get your reservations about porn, it IS predominantly exploitative, as is all commercialisation of women's sexuality, and it is massively problematic on a societal level, contributing to the normalisation of male violence toward women, and the deterioration of mental health in young women and girls ( not preaching at you, by the way, just making the point to the porn apologists out there ). It is grim, you know it, and your feelings are nothing to be ashamed of. There is a cognitive dissonance, and it appears your partner is actually struggling with it too. The content is degrading, what does it say about the person viewing it?
I wrestled with this too when an ex was plumbing ever grimier depths with his porn addiction. In the end, I decided that ironically, despite his apparently voracious appetite, he was unable to ever find genuine or lasting satisfaction, whereas I, despite having decidedly vanilla preferences by comparison, am able to find deep fulfilment in the intimacy of ordinary, every-day samey-samey sex with partners who prize a real, life-affirming connection with a live and present woman.
I wish you luck, and FWIW, I don't think you have any 'issues' either.

Bluerosethorns Wed 18-Oct-17 00:52:37

@vemb you've driven your husband to calling you 'in tears' because you time how much porn he watches, maintain it's an addiction and can't understand that he might want to watch it even while he is also having sex with you. All sounds very dramatic and very naive. Have you considered counselling? To discuss the trauma of it all? Or the fact that you're probably traumatising your husband? How do you know he doesn't watch basic porn and tell you it's an extreme porn issue just to shut you up nagging?

Bluerosethorns Wed 18-Oct-17 00:55:35

@vemb wanking does not 'desensitise' a penis. It's not an illness. 🙄Fucking hell i feel so sorry for your husband.

Aquamarine1029 Wed 18-Oct-17 01:03:15

If you don't talk about it how do you know what kind of porn he is watching?

Mustang27 Wed 18-Oct-17 01:51:42

Blue are you mental or sleep deprived and grumpy.

No man on earth would say yeah I watch proper hardcore filth to shut his partner up. Actually fuck it you are clearly on glue hmm.

Bluerosethorns Wed 18-Oct-17 02:17:56

@mustang that's not what i meant, i meant: how does she know he doesn't tell her he agrees it's a huge issue to watch porn generally and how does she know it is 'extreme porn'. Whatever the problem, i think his biggest problem is her. No wonder he locks himself in the bathroom for hours. Ouch!

Butterymuffin Wed 18-Oct-17 02:28:28

Blue none of what you're saying makes any sense, so I hope OP ignores it.

I would have a big problem with this too, OP. Watching women get hurt with torture implements? No way could I cheerfully then sleep with someone getting off on that. Not sure what the way forward is but I wanted to at least say I understand your distaste.

Somerville Wed 18-Oct-17 02:44:12

Your pain over this is obvious, even through the screen, OP. I really feel for you.

I could be wrong but I think you've perhaps internalised some guilt about being unwell/unable to have sex with your husband. I've been on the other side of that issue and I cannot see any reason for you to feel guilty. (Nor, in my opinion, is it justification for your husband to watch things that he had already decided were morally objectional, though this is ultimately for you to decide.)

In terms of where you go from here... the right answer is never not to talk. You know that. But it will need to be in the right time and place. Possibly writing him a letter. Or going to counselling together. Aside from anything else, your babies will get older and these issues will become more pressing. Partly for practical
reasons like opting for your ISP's porn blocking, as is recommended when kids are going online. And perhaps more importantly, in how you parent them and the messages you're teaching them together. Children pick up on hypocrisy very quickly.

GirlInASwirl Wed 18-Oct-17 02:49:26

I'm not going to pass any comments on whether I think porn is right or wrong OP. In reality most men do dabble regularly with porn in addition to their sexual lives with their partners. When it becomes a problem is when too much time is spent in front of the computer or the lines between reality and fantasy become blurred.

You decide what level of experimentation you are comfortable with. Just because your DH has specific tastes does not mean that he will act on them and/or find them satisfying. Some men have very morbid fantasies and just accept that sort of behaviour would not be welcomed externally.

What I am concerned about though is that (tell me if I am wrong); your DH mainly abstains from porn when you are having regular sex. And ramps up the frequency when you unable to reciprocate. This creates a manipulative dynamic. In effect ' if you don't put out. I'll use porn (knowing you despise it).

The other alternative could have been that he accepted that sex wasn't on tonight and dealt with his urges in a more discrete (and gentle way).

If I had anything that I hated. I would not welcome it so regularly in my face either.

VEmbarassed Wed 18-Oct-17 03:16:53

Thanks to those of you who've replied with at least some degree of empathy, it's much appreciated. I do feel slightly better after a couple of hours sleep and talking to my husband briefly before that.

I am highly amused by some of the naive responses here - but apparently I'm the naive one. Yes, porn is always just a lovely bit of fun isn't it? No one ever develops a more serious problem with it, ever. No one has a porn addiction. There are definitely no women in it who would rather not be, and all those that are there unwillingly wear a big sign around their neck so you know to avoid those videos - you know like "I had to take enough Valium to kill a horse to do this scene", or "this is the only way I can afford to eat" or "I'm trafficked". Isn't that lucky?

Pfft. What a load of apologist nonsense.

Blue, that's some seriously projecting nonsense you've written there. Can't help wondering what your issues are to be honest.

You think I drove him to call me in tears about his porn habit? Yeah, I'm sure that's feasible. Sure, in the early days we had a few discussions about it - yes, I told him I had ethical issues with porn, it was never much of a big deal though because he wasn't really using it and our sex life was regular. And then bam, eight years after that discussion, he phones me drunk and in tears - not because he's"d blatantly been bingeing on particularly nasty porn while I was away and feeling gross, but because I once told him it was misogynistic. God, what a shrew of a wife!

I know what kind of porn he watches for a couple of reasons - it came up in discussion early on (he was a young man in his 20s and I would say it was a point of pride for him and his friends, they would talk about certain things and if it weren't for the fact that he was otherwise very respectful of women and of me, that would have stopped things in their track alone). I know from passing comments and that phone call. I also know from his sexual interests - he gradually became a lot more open about what he was into after the first long sex free period, and it doesn't take a genius to work out that a man who watches porn every day for at least an hour might be looking at the sort of things that turn him on. Yes, I'm sure he told me he was into really extreme porn to "shut me up" 🙄 give me a break.

I never said he wouldn't want to watch it while we are having regular sex - I said he doesn't know. I'm not naive. We share a small house together with our twins, he works from home and I'm at home all day. Given he's physically incapable of finishing in a few minutes, I know when he is and isn't watching porn.

VEmbarassed Wed 18-Oct-17 03:23:55

I realise it could sound like his use is manipulative but it's really not like that. He has a high sex drive and could go a few days if he had to, but it affects his concentration and moods so he takes care of it. I have no issues with this whatsoever, whether we are having regular sex or not. I definitely don't feel pressured into having sex I don't want to stop the porn use. To be completely honest, I don't acknowledge that it's happening which I guess is why it's all coming out now.

Couldn't help but laugh at the "death grip isn't real" comment - have you seen how many posts there are about this on the sex board, or any forum about sex? If you read boards for people with a porn habit / addiction, many concur. Of course vigorous masturbation with a tight grip can make you less sensitive to gentler sensations.

And not an addiction? Give over. If you use something every day, it makes you late for work, it makes you make excuses to be in by yourself, i would say it's more than a habit. He has admitted this himself in the past, but I guess it's understandable that he wants to minimise it.

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