About the author, Sam Black

Sam Black

Sam Black is an Internet Safety Consultant and a manager at Covenant Eyes. He joined the Covenant Eyes team in 2007 after 18 years as a journalist, serving as a reporter and editor for newspapers and magazines in six states. He has been married for 17 years and is a father of two.

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The Porn Circuit

The Porn Circuit Ebook Cover

Science shows us why porn is highly addictive. Learn how our neurochemistry is easily hijacked by porn to create compulsive behaviors, and discover how the brain can be rewired to escape porn's allure.

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18 thoughts on “4 Ways Porn Kills Great Sex in Marriage

  1. Just kind of a weird article. Why would a person think that porn would help their sex life other than give them a few new ideas on sexual technique or to stimulate desire in those with low libido? I don’t think porn “promises” anything stated here, other than to attempt to arouse sexual desire in some written or photographed portrayal.

    RE: Point 1, I suppose some people watch porn while they have sex, but I suspect it’s just background noise. The sounds might excite them, or they might use it to help overcome the man’s recovery period faster. It’s probably better as article says to focus on each other. I’ve read of one man who let’s his wife use it to get her in the mood.

    RE: Point 2: Lots of truth here, so it’s important to realize the potential addictive power of pornography and not over do it or be dependent upon it. It’s silly to suggest that people who look at porn reject their mates as a result… there is just too much variety to make such a claim.

    RE: Point 3: Agreed to an extent. I’m certain that porn stimulates these chemicals, over-stimulates them ( a type of surfeiting perhaps) so, it sets up the user for a “high” and desire to continue experiencing that high, esp. if they misuse a sexual high to medicate negatives in their own life. The same brain chemicals that are intended to bond us to our spouses end up bonding us to porn if we’re not careful. The keys to the addiction though, I think are twofold: 1) Endless “shots” of dopamine from porn due to the variety and novelty 2) If masturbation is the result, endless dissatisfaction with one’s experience and oneself, due to the lack of prolactin released by masturbation versus by vaginal sex. (25% as much) This hormone is said to balance out the dopamine and provide a sense of contentment or satisfaction. Porn and masturbation is an endless round of arousal and dissatisfaction, cemented by oxytocin (bonding hormone) and cultivated in absolute secrecy (usually) which creates a secondary addiction to the adrenaline rush that encompasses a lot of these rituals.

    RE: Point 4 The first portion seemed to discuss more the negative effects of porn addiction rather than it’s harm to sex in marriage. The second half proposed that porn being a “quick fix” whereas intimacy takes time and gives reward to marital sex. Intimacy is rather subjective and different couples are going to vary as to their degree of ability to be intimate. Many, many wives for years, centuries simply let their husbands “do his business” and weren’t expecting much more than a kiss now and then and getting pregnant. Of course, some fared far worse than them. I don’t think we can deny such women the pleasure of their own imaginations or erotic writings that give them outlet for things that they may never be able to obtain personally. I also believe that porn isn’t always a quick fix, but that men train themselves not to get prematurely exciting by sexual stimuli, learning to control their urge to climax, which is an aid to better sex. So, I’d just say the jury is out cause a lot of couples still look at porn and like it.

  2. Another thing about porn is that it normalizes the abnormal, and sets the stage for completely unrealistic expectations. In addition, it paints a very false picture of human beings always clean, shaved, and ready for sex without any pretense of relationship or communication.

    Thank you for this article – very, very insightful.

  3. Great article on how Porn kills sex for the husband or wife with the porn addiction, but not for the one who was betrayed.

    Killer #5 – Porn breaks trust in the marriage relationship. When a woman cannot trust her husband, she will go through, and may even enjoy. the physical act of sex, but the broken trust and heartache of her husband’s addiction will steal her joy and intimacy and the emotional closeness of sexual intercourse. Sex will become unsatisfying to her, as well.

    Being that I am a woman, this is the perspective that I have. I would assume it is similar for a husband who was/is betrayed by a wife with a porn addiction.

    • I agree. I know that he wouldn’t like it if she were masterbating to every and all types of men on the web, including under age. This has been awful and he continuously assumes that his bad deeds weren’t that bad…
      I on the other hand feel betrayed and super insecure all the time when were out, even when I am not with I’m I fear other women he might be seeing or interacting with and that they may be turning him on or he will fantasize about them later :(
      please help!

    • You obviously haven’t been a porn addict or married one. All the points they stated are scientifically proven.

    • Sorry, I was trying to reply to another comment. I am also married to an addict for 17 years. Ladies, have your husband check out Mark and Debbie Laaser from Faithful and True. They are the leading porn addict therapists in the world and have written many great books on the subject. I am currently separated from my husband for the third time and last time. If he doesn’t stop the addiction and remain in therapy the marriage will have to be over. My 12 year old son is now into porn as well, just like his dad. We are all Christians and it is devastating, so I know how you ladies feel. I encourage you women to get help for yourselves. Go read Debbie Laasers books and get therapy as well. The best thing I have learned through this process is that he is not the only one with sin and child hood trauma that has led to his addiction. There is a reason I picked an addict to marry. I have been working through my issues too and it is so eye opening. Tough Love is also another excellent book by Dr. Dobson. Don’t give up ladies. Get help and perhaps your husband will follow your lead.

  4. I as a woman used to watch pornography up until my first encounter with intercourse. I had fought with lust most of my teens-20s all because of our faith and partly due to the frightening warnings given by my mother about sex. (I don’t think this was necessary) I reached a late age in my 20s, was not married yet, slept with a guy who had other addictions (alcoholism and previous drug user) and that was the moment my flirtation with lust came to the light.

    This was the first time I got on my knees and properly reached out to God with my problem. I had confessed to several people all the way but I still fell back to old ways. At this point, I never looked back at porn. Something about this sexual encounter dispelled my expectations about sex.

    Less than a year later, I met my husband who also had played with sex, prostitution,pornography, alcohol. He had come to his own point of confession within the same time frame as I did. The past is truly the past. We praise Jesus.

    We love Christ however we are still learning how to be upright walkers in our faith and avoiding doorways to the enemy esp. in relation to sex and other demonic doorways.

    It has occurred to me that not only are our characters right for each other, but having shared a similar battle, we can support each other if the other falls short or is finding a particular situation hard.

  5. One of the best articles I have ever read on the subject. As someone who overcame 12 years ago and has happily been married ever since without going back, I can testify that the lure still lingers in the mind and can create a horrible trap. The biggest one I think is that you come to believe that there are women out there who are just that sexualized, and that even faithful monogamous women can be like that with their husbands, and that is so far from the norm and the truth. You have to let the love of Christ reign in your heart for your wife, because even the subject of “lusting after your spouse” is perverted in many Christian settings these days, where porn is “welcome” in a monogamous relationship to spice it up. There are many dangers there, beware.

  6. I actually credit porn for keeping me in my marriage and under the same roof as my kids. My married sex life died 15 years ago and despite visits to a number of therapists the problem couldn’t be fixed. Rather than getting a divorce or cheating on my wife by having an affair or paying for sex I masturbate while looking at porn. It isn’t perfect but it is worth being able to live with my kids and be part of a family. Other than the sex my wife and I get along just fine so porn has been an effective and simple solution.

    I have come across many stories like mine online over the years. Men in sexless marriages who use porn as their only sexual outlet rather than seeking sex outside the home. I think porn has perhaps kept as many marriages together, if not more, than it has split them apart.

    • Good gosh. You are sick. You are sick. Obviously you have manipulated yourself to agree with this discusting and twisted point of view. You need help you selfish pig. You can’t give up your stupid selfish desire to quickly jack off. Your wife deserves a real man that can see her for the beauty she is inside and out. She needs to know her worth and get put of a marriage that is a lie. Life is not all about you and your “quick fix” what a loser. Get a life and let your wife find real love. What a great roll model you are for your kids!? Do you not get that they will follow in your footsteps and they look up to you as a “roll model” …..what’s even more discussing pigs like you look at girls their daughters age. Making you a pedophile. Some of those girls were raped and forced into that. My husbands sister was raped by her older brother and is so screwed up prostituting herself and trying to find love. She thinks being a stripper is a professional job and if she runs her mouth she deserves to get the crap beat out of her. She also is a swinger and she does this so she doesn’t lose her pimp/bf. Wake up dude! You have no idea how porn affects a woman. It is degrading and makes you fill worthless like your not good enough. You always feel like you have to look a certain way but you know you’ll never measure up. You cringe at the grocery store when your inline with your husband and there are magazines plastered with girls. Of course…you don’t want to react because you know your husband will only find you less desirable and look more….cause of course…..his life has become all about him and your just the b$%&# he comes home to so you can please him….you know in your heart he is probably fantasizing while your just wishing he would make love to you. You men don’t even realize when your wife is crying as you have sex in the dark wishing we were beautiful and sexy to our husbands. We try to hide our emotions but we are breaking on the inside. Man, I would love if my husband would learn to love God so he could learn to love me. I wish when he said I was his everything and he loves me for me that I could get those pictures out of my head that I found on his phone. Somedays I just want to die. I gave my husband a beautiful little girl but he looks at girls with no stretch marks and perfect bodies. I am pregnant with our second little girl and I’m so happy because we lost 4 babies and I thought id never be able to conceive again. The horrible thing is that I wonder if when we created her if he was fantasizing about someone else. I would give anything to know that we were making love. He has been doing this in secret for 3 1/2 years that we’ve been married. I always wondered why I always felt like I was never enough. I thought I was crazy and he would tell me I was a phsyco for thinking there was something going on. Porn is cheating. The sad thing is that I have been more than available to have sex with him and please him orally. Whenever he wants wherever. I have always kept it exciting. His girlfriends were all very unatractive and his family told me he has never had better… I know I’m not hideous …but I also know that I am real and don’t have plastic surgery. All I can think about is “if only I had money to get this and this done” he would only look at me…or maybe if I acted like them but then I realize how much I just want to be me but be excepted with all my flaws like I except him and love him. I am so faithful and I make a point of ignoring guys and not looking at them. I just want the same love and respect.

    • DonnyO I can completely relate to your situation. My wife of 22 years has always had low libido, and about eight years ago low libido went to no libido. I turned to porn for “help” just like you. I justified porn use for 15 years for the same reasons you are giving.

      But I finally came to realize that God calls all men to holiness and purity, not just married men with gorgeous wives and a hot sex life. I realized that porn commits the sins of lust, adultery (see what Christ says of lust in Matthew) and idolatry (sex was my god). I confessed my sins to God and to my wife. I asked her forgiveness. Then I started the Covenant Eyes 40-day Porn Free Challenge. I committed to a life without porn and masturbation.

      I’m on day 23 of the challenge. It has been such a blessing seeking freedom from Satan’s grip. Sure there have been hard days of temptation, but each victorious day strengthens me for the next. I also committed to seeking genuine intimacy with my wife. We snuggle, walk, hold hands, pray together before bed, have kid-free talks, share our deepest struggles, hug and kiss. My wife said just a week ago, “I feel like I have a new husband.” I had no idea how many other areas of my life porn was affecting.

      Twelve days into the challenge, my wife wanted sex. I cannot tell you the last time she wanted sex. Two days later she wanted sex again! I certainly cannot tell you the last time she wanted sex 48 hours after the previous time. We just finished her cycle, and she wanted sex again. Amazing!

      While I cannot guarantee the same results, I would urge you to fall on your face before God and confess your sins to him. Ask him to deliver you from porn and sin and take the 40-day Porn Free Challenge. Ask your wife to forgive you for adultery and lust. Take the time you would use for porn to seek genuine unconditional intimacy with your wife. Love her like you have never loved her before, not to get sex, but to enjoy true intimacy with your wife (no porn star can give you that). Show your precious children what genuine unconditional love is instead of a mediocre just-to-stay-home “love.”

      My children, though they do not know what I was doing or that I have committed to change, have responded remarkably to the “new me” as my wife calls it. My 14 year old daughter had stopped hugging me or allowing me to kiss her. No touching was her rule, and her 10 year old sister was following her lead. In the last 23 days since I started the challenge, both daughters let me hug them, kiss their sweet foreheads, rub/scratch their backs, and just last Sunday at church, my 14 year old daughter scooted over next to me placing her head on my shoulder. I was stunned.

      Honoring God has brought so much joy, healing and closeness to our whole family. It seems that there wasn’t really anything wrong with my daughters or my wife, the problem was me. Maybe what your wife needs, like mine, is a new husband. No, not the postman, I’m talking about you!

      Pray you will seek Him and find as much fulfillment as I have in pursuing purity.

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