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Is Your Partner Addicted to Porn?

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If he clears his search history, it's a bad sign.

Pamela Anderson once called porn a public hazard. A killer of intimacy. In an essay for the Wall Street Journal (co-authored with Rabbi Shmuley,) she said, "Simply put, we must educate ourselves and our children to understand that porn is for losers -- a boring, wasteful and dead-end outlet for people too lazy to reap the ample rewards of healthy sexuality." She's also made and released a sex tape, so her opinion might be a controversial one.

I don't know if I agree. I think watching porn can be totally healthy. Personally, I don't love it. It doesn't turn me on. But I know plenty of people--men AND women--who like it, watch it, and maintain perfectly healthy sex lives all the while.

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Here are some pornography statistics..

40 million adults in the U.S. visit internet pornography sites on a regular basis.

1 in 5 internet searches on a mobile device are for pornography.

Men who are happily married are 61% less likely to look at porn.

20% of men admit to viewing pornography at work.

88% of porn scenes contain physical aggression. 49% contain verbal aggression.

How do you know if your casual viewing of porn has crossed over from entertainment to a full fledged addiction? Do you think it's possible your boyfriend or significant other might be a porn addict?

If so, here are some tell tale signs, and solutions.

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YOUR SIG OTHER NO LONGER WANTS TO DO THE DEED

Is your boyfriend opting out of sex a lot lately? Tired after work? Headache? Or when he wants sex, does he want it IMMEDIATELY and on his terms, or else he gets frustrated, angry, and needs alone time? Is your partner sexually and emotionally withdrawn, but increasingly personally aggressive and/or dominant? These might be some beginning warning signs.

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BONER ISSUES

Men with porn addictions can begin to experience erectile dysfunction I-R-L. Why? It's not a problem with their actual...member. It's all in the mind. Once men depend on an Internet server for most of their sexual stimulus and not from their significant other, it can become difficult for them to become aroused by their partner. A porn addict might be preoccupied with sexual thoughts throughout the day yet feel guilt and shame when it comes to actual fornication, or actually no longer feel physically aroused by their partner due to the unrealistic expectations they've come accustomed to through watching porn. Impotence and premature ejaculation could be warning signs.

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WOAH, THAT WAS A NEW SEX MOVE!

Conversely, some men try to bring porn into the bedroom. If all the sudden your man expects you to compete for a gold medal in gymnastics in the bedroom, or he's human pretzel-ing you and expecting things from you you've never even heard of before, he might be watching too much porn and getting unrealistic expectations for his actual sex life. Additionally, men who watch porn in excess might normalize sexual violence and degradation.

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INTERNET HISTORY IS CLEARED

Warning! Warning! Warning! Warning! Warning! Warning! A clear Internet History is always a sign of a previous weird google search.

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YOUR BF IS SECRETIVE, WITHDRAWN, DISTANT

Have you walked in on your boyfriend using the computer and he freaks out? Does he take his phone into the bathroom and disappear in there for like, an hour and a half? (That one might be kind of normal actually.) Will he not let you use any of his devices? When you ask him what's up, does he get defensive? The more men become dependent on porn, the more they lose interest in real world relationships. And, like any addiction, they'll find ways to retreat from the real world in order to find some private time to get their fix. They might lie, take longer hours at the office, or get angry when they can't find time alone. Does this sound familiar?

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HE'S ALL THE SUDDEN CRITICAL OF YOUR APPEARANCE/HAS UNREALISTIC EXPECTATIONS

Porn places unrealistic standards on women. Does your boyfriend expect you to suddenly be 90lbs, a DD, and have hair down to your ass? Does he want you to come every time you have sex and marvel and squeal at the very sight of him? The excessive watching of porn can lead to degradation and objectification of women in your real life.

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SO, WHAT SHOULD I DO?

If you think your partner might have a porn addiction, set time to have a conversation and bring it up calmly and without judgement to your partner. Remember, his addiction doesn't have to do with a dissatisfaction with you. Suggest counseling. Decide if you want to continue your relationship. If you do, make it a safe space. In the transition period, shit might get weird for a while. Learn to reframe how your partner thinks about sex. Allow it to become something intimate and meaningful between two people. That doesn't mean it has to be boring. Many kinks and fetishes involve a lot of intimacy and trust. That might be a good place to explore. Typically men retreat into porn due to a fear of real life intimacy or because they have a negative impression of sex in real life. If you're able to help them reverse that stigma, you can help banish that porn addiction for good.


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