Dear Readers - Here are some of your questions from my March 16 live online chat about the impact of pornography on your relationships:
I'm a male, and I log into chat websites and pretend that I'm my girlfriend and talk to strangers. I send them photos of me (her) and reveal my (her) secrets about her sexuality. I can't stop.
You'll stop fast enough if she ever finds out and reports you to the police.... something she should do based on being publicly embarrassed, and open to harassment. This is smarmy behaviour that demeans you as well as her.
Ever since I was a young boy flipping through my uncle's old Playboy magazines, I've been fascinated (addicted?) to nude photos. Now, at 35 I have a "healthy" collection of nudie magazines hidden in a sealed box.
My fiancée is against "porn" in any form... so, I download and save images on my phone... just nice, tasteful pictures of beautiful naked women. I've never cheated on my fiancée.
I know this could be destructive to my relationship... but I can't seem to stop. I hate that I need to hide my "collecting."
Time to grow up and respect your relationship more than your "collection." Unless you can get your girlfriend to see it as "tasteful" art, it's too potentially destructive and also deceitful in this case. Make your choice - the photos of nude strangers, or the woman you love.
I was married for many years. I considered watching porn to be natural. Our marriage dissolved - my wife simply wouldn't tolerate this. Subsequently, I met a new woman. My interest in porn evaporated - we have a fantastic sex life and porn is irrelevant.
If you're saying that a poor sex life warrants watching others have sex, I'd suggest that a better option is to get sex therapy within the marriage, or divorce a lot sooner, since the issue was ruining the marriage anyway.
How can we curb this addiction? Is it a good idea to tell this to my wife if she doesn't suspect it?
If your addiction's interfering with intimacy with your wife, it's better to deal with it as a couple. Otherwise, she's likely feeling isolated, hurt, insecure, unloved, etc. She may not like your porn obsession, but she'll appreciate that you're no longer hiding the problem, and that it's not a rejection of her.
After years of commitment, our relationship was getting dull, and pornography spiced up our sex life and rekindled our love for each other.
In the privacy of your relationship, whatever is mutually acceptable, legal, and within the bounds of safety, is nobody else's business.
I have a strong drive at 41 and my girlfriend dislikes my turning to porn. Could this have harmful effects on our relationship?
Yes. Consider other potential solutions together... reading self-help books on libido divide, more romance/intimacy before sex, sexual counseling, etc.
Pornography saved our marriage. When our children were small, our sex-life slowed to less than once per month. Without my discreet use of pornography, I would've been tempted to have an affair or visit a sex-worker. Now, our kids are older, our sex-life has improved and our marriage is intact.
Great. One curious thought: Would you have considered it just as possible that your wife would have an affair (whenever she could get a babysitter) to escape the constant energy-sapping responsibilities of caring for young children? Just wondering....
My wife isn't interested in having sex with me any more. I am sick of trying and getting rejected. Porn fills a physical need that I have. I don't see anything wrong with this. I'm happy, she's happy.
If it works for you two, that's your business. Whenever I hear from a spouse who says that their partner refuses to have sex any more, I wonder what led to this and if any pro-active and thoughtful recourse was tried... e.g. medical check-ups to see if a hormone change/problem was involved (it can happen to both men and women).
Or if there was honest discussion on different approaches to the emotional side of the relationship, not just the physical. Or a needed change of lifestyle, stress management, and of course, whether marital counseling was sought.
If none of that helped resolve the sexual impasse, then whatever other course you choose that's legal, is understandable.
Tip of the day:
Pornography is a complex issue because it's easily accessible, but also easily divisive to couples.