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4 Ways Porn Kills Great Sex in Marriage

Last Updated: March 16, 2020

Sam Black

Sam Black 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. Sam is the author of The Porn Circuit, and he creates partnerships with like-minded organizations to strengthen the worldwide fight against pornography.

Porn makes promises it can’t keep, especially when it comes to hot sex in marriage.

Porn won’t spice up your sex life, and it won’t make you a better lover. Science and psychology show that sharing porn with your spouse or having a secret affair with porn will mess up hot nights of passion, especially for the long haul.

What will make sex better can be summed up in one word: intimacy. And no, sex does not equal intimacy.

So here are four (brief) ways porn kills great sex. To learn four ways to take intimacy to the next level, check out our article “The Path to True Intimacy and Better Sex.

Killer No. 1: Porn Hijacks Your Focus

The producers of porn and portions of pop culture tout that pornography leads to more fun, more pleasure, exciting new moves, and mind-blowing orgasms. Instead, porn’s path is disappointing at best and debilitating at worst.

“Pornographers promise healthy pleasure and relief from sexual tension, but what they often deliver is an addiction, tolerance, and an eventual decrease in pleasure. Paradoxically, the male patients I worked with often craved pornography but didn’t like it,” writes Dr. Norman Doidge in The Brain That Changes Itself.

Great sex means a husband and wife focus on each other. The Bible describes it as “one flesh.”

But porn teaches the brain to focus on multiple images, body types, partners and scenarios. The focus on one’s spouse is lost, and repeated use of pornography takes precedence. A habit or an addiction to porn is an obvious killer to marital and sexual oneness, because true focus is singular not plural.

Killer No. 2: Porn Creates Neural Pathways for More Porn

Doidge explains that “human beings exhibit an extraordinary degree of sexual plasticity compared with other creatures.” By “plasticity” he means that our brains and our sexuality are molded by our experiences, interactions, and other means of learning, which is why people vary in what they say is attractive or what turns them on. The brain actually creates neural pathways that label a specific type of person or activity as arousing.

Neurologists repeat a mantra: Neurons that fire together wire together. Simply put, repeating an activity makes it easier to do. But it also means that the human brain learns to associate specific activities with neurological rewards.

Unlike many other activities, porn and masturbation release such a firestorm of neurochemical and hormonal rewards that the brain can map out neural pathways for porn use quickly. That’s why porn use is so addictive.

Using porn to spice up marital sex is self-defeating. Instead of being more attracted to and engaged with one’s spouse, the porn user will actually become more engrossed with porn. Your Brain on Porn reviews a study showing that when men and women were exposed to porn, they were less likely to be pleased with their partner’s physical appearance, affection, and sexual performance. The researchers concluded that porn consumers eventually compare their spouse with images of porn models.

Another study appearing in the Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy in 2002 found similar results. When men and women were exposed to pictures of female centerfold models from Playboy and Penthouse, this significantly lowered their judgments about the attractiveness of “average” people.

Killer No. 3: Porn Creates a Neurochemical Imbalance

Brain chemistry plays a major role in creating neural pathways that establish patterns of behavior and triggers that spark a person to engage in specific behavior. Porn, sex, and masturbation release considerably more neural chemicals than most other activities (discussed in the ebook, The Porn Circuit).

For example, here are two brain chemicals of note:

Dopamine

The brain releases dopamine in response to nearly all drugs of addiction. Dopamine is its own reward, but it also helps focus one’s attention, and it motivates one forward for an activity.

The brain releases dopamine when sexual cues are picked up. More dopamine is released when engaging in a sexual activity, and even more is released with orgasm (along with a cascade of other feel-good chemicals, such as serotonin).

With the repeated use of porn, the brain recognizes that too much dopamine is being released. In response, the production of dopamine and receptors for dopamine are reduced, but that produces a craving. To fulfill that craving the porn user often needs to increase the amount of pornography used or the intensity or the novelty of porn.

Dopamine loves novelty. A couple has many ways to create novelty physically, mentally, and spiritually, but porn and masturbation are genitally focused. The way to increase dopamine with porn is to up the dosage with more porn or more intense or more shocking porn. This often leads the porn-using spouse to request or introduce sexual activities that their partner may find degrading, uncomfortable, or inappropriate.

Testosterone

In men, testosterone dramatically increases sexual arousal and desire. It is a hormone that is released in men throughout the day, but when sexual cues are picked up by the brain the testes increase production.

Pornography (and the mental fantasizing that it enables) crafts a brain that constantly generates testosterone and heightens sexual desire. Because testosterone is slow to dissipate, men who habitually view pornography cause their own chemical imbalance. This high testosterone level increases their sexual awareness far above normal. Sexual fantasies are sparked by everyday objects, and even modestly dressed women are seen as provocative.

These and other chemical imbalances created by porn use fail to bring greater intimacy between a husband and wife. Instead, it encourages personal sexual gratification, whether in the marriage bed or elsewhere.

Killer No. 4: Porn Gets People Stuck in a Rut

Because porn provides a state of arousal, the brain also creates pathways that make initial arousal easier. Suddenly, porn and sex with a partner aren’t the only experiences that are arousing. As the porn pathways deepen, people in everyday life become objects of sexualized fantasy, and inanimate objects, clothing, and situations not designed for sex become sexually charged.

To better understand the porn rut, it’s important to explore scenarios common to porn use and even addiction.

Sensitization

A person who uses a pornographic image or story and masturbates for the first time begins a learning process of how to respond to porn in the future. With repetition the brain responds not only to the initial stimulus, but also to related stimuli. After a person becomes sensitized, very little is needed to trigger a response; a superhighway is connected to the rewards circuitry. This superhighway has many entrance ramps; sexual cues are seen everywhere and sexual fantasizing comes easy.

Triggers

Triggers are sensitization cues that can vary greatly from person to person depending on their gender, marital status, environment, and the types of porn and activities they use. Simply being home alone is enough to prompt many people to rush to their computer in search of porn. Some people lie awake at night, taunted with thoughts of getting up to view porn online and masturbate while the family sleeps. Why? Because they hold not only memories of using the computer for porn, but also of opportunities for secrecy, and even of getting up or staying up for a late night fix.

These compulsive feelings are ingrained from repetitive and powerful experiences. Dopamine flows easily in response to the learned pornographic trigger driving a person to act out, and the sensitized neural pathway leads easily to the rewards circuitry where opiates fire.

Desensitization

Though not true for everyone, many porn users find they need a greater amount or more intense porn to activate a state of arousal. The brain has decided after multiple porn excursions that this amount of dopamine is excessive. So it has reduced the amount of dopamine in response to porn, and it has reduced the number of dopamine receptors for the neural circuits associated with porn use.

To escape this desensitization, people, and men especially, expand their pornographic tastes to more novel stimuli. What was once considered hardcore—a heterosexual couple engaged in intercourse—is now considered mundane, Dr. Doidge says. Varied forms of sex mixed with force, violence, and humiliation are now fused into today’s pornographic scripts.

Hypofrontality

Compulsiveness is a good descriptor of hypofrontality. Many porn users feel focused on getting to porn and masturbating even when a big part of them is saying, “Don’t do this.” Even when negative consequences seem imminent, impulse control is too weak to battle the cravings.

Porn Hurts a Good Love Life

Porn offers the promise of a quick fix. But really great sex requires an intimate investment, and the rewards of intimacy have built-in multipliers. That’s right, real intimacy has a plural impact on a marital relationship. Unfortunately, our instant gratification society encourages people to invest less and get it now, even if a little time and work would yield much greater rewards.

Most guys (and some gals) misspell intimacy as S-E-X, said Dr. Dan Erickson, an author, counselor, and speaker. Instead, intimacy should be seen as in-to-me-see.

The word intimacy is born out of the Latin word intima, which means “innermost, most secret.” Each person carries within them an intima, and when that deep and vulnerable core is shared with another, a profound connection can be built.

A couple can have sex without intimacy, and it often leads to dissatisfaction and less sex within a relationship, Erickson said. But when sex becomes a part of overall expressions of intimacy, then magic happens.

  • Comments on: 4 Ways Porn Kills Great Sex in Marriage
    1. Scott St. Onge on

      Terrific article, Sam. This hits it on all cylinders.

      Reply
      • Manny on

        Your blessed with god

      • No dof on

        After reading all of these comments, there are such fascinating perspectives. The one thing I can sum up after all of this is: Deny yourself, pick up your cross, and follow me.

        I believe I could go the rest of my life without having a sexual release. Porn is NEVER something to do, even if it seems it can be positive. But!, forgiveness of infinite failures is necessary for all who are married, whether addicts or not. A marriage is broken when one refuses to deny themselves and the other refuses to forgive.

      • Merrill Farmer on

        How about also addressing the issue that porn leads to the use of prostitutes, which has a devastating effect on a marriage, potentially to the point of no return? This is my experience

    2. Rocky on

      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.

      Reply
      • JeremiahP on

        If you don’t believe in sin, Rocky, you’ll never get it. Sin is missing the mark of doing things God’s way, which is sacrifice through love. If a relationship is not sacrificial, it is missing the mark. But that doesn’t justify continuing to miss the mark by filling your fantasy life with a diet of twinkies and ho-hos. It will gradually wear away at your manhood and erode at your soul. Porn and other fantasies wear away at your ability to seek normal relationships, and they objectify people’s bodies to the point of losing respect for the opposite sex, certain toward your spouse that you are around all the time. It is only in loving people at their core that you can find true intimacy, and anything else is just going to miss the mark, and it’s wrong in God’s eyes. It certainly doesn’t justify a second wrong of filling the void with meaningless entertainment and stimulation that in the end will just wear you out. Certainly two wrongs will never make a right, nor will the void in your life be filled by more emptiness.

      • Pamela Arrington on

        I think, for the most part, you just agreed with most of what the article stated but wanted to word it differently to seem intelligent. The entire first paragraph and your response to point 1 did not help that cause. This was one of the most informative articles on porn addiction that I have read yet. Reading it, it answered so many questions that I have had for quite a few years, since I learned of my husband’s addiction. I was able to interject him, myself and our marriage into each point and see exactly how all of these things had affected and played out in our day to day lives, our relationship and our marriage bed. I do not know if you have ever experienced porn addiction for yourself, a mate, your relationship, but I most certainly have. I can more than assure you; this article is dead on the money and hits the nail right on the head.

    3. Elizabeth on

      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.

      Reply
    4. Kare on

      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.

      Reply
      • Luke Gilkerson on

        Absolutely. The article was written primarily to the struggler, not the spouse. If you want to read some of our most read articles for spouses, you can click here.

      • Betrayed female on

        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!

      • Ingrid Bryant on

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

      • Ingrid Bryant on

        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.

      • Pamela Arrington on

        Yes! This is so very true! Thank you for putting into words what I was thinking!

    5. Jane on

      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.

      Reply
      • Pamela Arrington on

        I know I’m commenting 6 years to late and I pray my reply finds you and yours doing well, but I just had to tell you…. congratulations! I may not know you, but I’m so proud of you and for you. I will be lifting you and your husband up in my prayers. May your faith continue to grow and strengthen your walk. God
        bless!

    6. Timothy on

      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.

      Reply
    7. DonnyO on

      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.

      Reply
      • Luke Gilkerson on

        Hey DonnyO,

        What do you see as the major contributors to your sexless marriage? Why do you think things have deteriorated?

      • jessica on

        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.

      • D.t. on

        I disagree donnyo. You being in a sexless marriage is still no excuse for porn. Those are the times were us men need to step up, be a man, and have some self- control. We can be in a sexless marriage and not sin, we just have to embody Christ, there are other natural ways for our bodies to relieve the physical pressure of not having sex ( nocturnal emissions, and overflow into the urine). And yes, viewing porn and masterbation is a sin, it says so in the Bible, ” but tell you now that if you look on another woman with lust in your eyes, you have already committed adultery with her in your heart.” Granted it is a hard addiction to overcome, it can be done with God’s grace and love. I know, because it’s a struggle that I’m in too, but it is a sin, but I know with God’s help I can overcome it. I pray God will help you in your situation, it cannot be an easy way to live.

    8. Terri Simmons on

      Amen, Thank you

      Reply
      • Michael Z on

        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.

      • Luke Gilkerson on

        Thanks for the comment, Michael!

      • eze on

        Jessy. Nothing prayer cannot do. Just keep on believing in God for a total change. And don’t bother again for the pains because its not ordinary. Also make sure you are teaching your children the right things irrespective of their father’s porn addiction and remember if you can do your job very well here, you children shall not inherit that evil act….. Keep on kicking for its well.

      • Wendy on

        Jessica- I lived your story for 18 years before my husband finally admitted he had a problem. I was always available and tried so hard to get his attention. We have now been married almost 31 years. The last 13 years have been a struggle. I believe he has kicked his habit but the damage has been done. He struggles with rehabilitation – having a normal sex life with me. I love him and I am still working through forgiveness and trust. It has destroyed my confidence and self worth. I am a Christian and I know my value lies in the fact I am God’s creation but I still struggle. I struggle with a hate for men and I hear your anger because I struggle with that too.Thank you for sharing!! Please seek help now! I should have confronted my doubts years ago. You are young and resilient! Get help now and confront your spouse to get help.My prayers are with you.

      • Joanna on

        Your reply wasas if you got in my head and took my thoughts and pain and put them down for me. I want to die every day. I feel so ugly and hideous! Thank you for standing up for us. Sending you love and prayers!

      • Kay Bruner on

        Oh, this just breaks my heart. You can’t possibly be ugly and hideous; you are a divine image-bearer of Love. If other people treat you badly, that is about them. That is NOT about you. Their poor treatment of you reflects their problems. Their bad choices don’t make you bad.

        Please find help right away. A therapist, a group, an online community. Get with some people who will treat you as you deserve to be treated: with love, care, and the utmost respect.

        And be sure that you are treating yourself that same way, exactly as you would a friend who found themselves in a situation like this.

        Peace to you, Kay

      • Whitney Marie on

        Wow! I thought I must’ve been the only person in this world who has these same exact feelings on this subject. My boyfriend of 6 long years now tells me I’m crazy for the fact that I get upset over this. Never would I ever have the courage to tell him this entire truth of the way I feel. He wonders & asks why & when I’m going to marry him so, my response, when i feel comfortable enough to b able to trust him when I’m NOT around. Considering hes done countless shady things with me right beside him, yet, he doesn’t see any kind of disrespect on his part & always makes up some kind of excuse for the behavior I witness. I’m ALWAYS the crazy one.. I love him, I do but, we barely have a sex life now & isn’t really even worth mentioning & I’m only 30. I have wants, needs, desires also which can & will never b met because I can’t relax & enjoy myself with him anymore. It truly breaks my heart & I try because I do love him but, I dnt feel that I could ever be anything like what he wants. I found a secret fb account last year of his talking to all these bitches, read every one of his convo’s, which was a complete mistake, & on my way to better things he reals me back in again. Completely Heartbroken. So, here I sit on this site writing this in the middle of the night when I should b peacefully lying next to him asleep… I feel you, chickie. I’m terribly sry you have to feel the pain, self-doubt, unworthiness this brings when all you’ve shown him is unconditional devoted loyalty & love to someone who never deserved your time or affection from the beginning…

      • Kay Bruner on

        I hope you can find the courage to live according to the truth of your true value and worth, even if that means leaving a relationship that’s meant a lot to you in the past. When you say “he tells me I’m crazy for feeling this way”–that is gaslighting, a form of mental abuse where the truth is twisted, spun, and reinterpreted so that you won’t trust yourself and do what’s healthy for you. I would encourage you instead to trust what you’re experiencing, and to believe the behavior he’s showing you. You deserve to be respected and valued, not told that you’re crazy. Courage to you, Kay

    9. Alicia on

      Wonderful article. Makes so much sense. I sent this to my husband and he got mad at me and told me to never aend this sh!t ti him again. He disagrees with all of this. I can only pray that God opens his eyes amd his heart.

      Reply
      • Kay Bruner on

        It’s really hard to challenge an addict. One of the things that keeps the addiction working is a whole system of emotional defense mechanisms that keeps the addict from feeling the pain of the addiction. When you find yourself in that kind of situation, the best thing you can do is consider your boundaries and what is healthy for you. Blessings! Kay

    10. Jeff on

      Not withstanding the scientific explanations for what happens with extreme porn use, I find this article to be subjective in many parts. People may use porn for different reasons. One may be a single person, and introverted. Not feeling able to relate to others socially, they yet have sexual needs. Some may have turned to porn for that reason. Others may use it to enhance their sexual experience with their partner(s). There are many scenarios, but more importantly, human sexuality is very complex. What really doesn’t help is that most people need sex emotionally, and biologically, but some have baggage that challenges their perceptions about sex, including being an adult that is a child sexual abuse survivor; which comes with exponential complications. This article does not address these types of issues when giving its’ “remedies” for increasing intimacy in one’s marriage.

      Reply
      • Luke Gilkerson on

        Help me understand what you’re saying here. I know the article doesn’t mention singles, but why would it when it is clearly written for married people? I know the article doesn’t mention those who use porn to enhance their sexual experience with their partner, but the same observations in this article apply to that scenario—not just the scenario where one partner is watching it all alone (we have another article all about that).

    11. Harry on

      Great article. Small typo on “Sentization” heading. Should read Sensitization. Thanks for sharing.

      Reply
      • Chris McKenna on

        Thank you for noticing! I’ve corrected that.

    12. Benjamin on

      This article has really been helpful. I’ve fallen victim to this attitude and it seems am now an addict. I think this article proves to be the best among all the articles I’ve personally gone through to help me quit this addiction. Thanks also to those who replied positively to this article to show you are in support. I will keep fighting and fighting till in finally emerge triumphant.

      Pornography is indeed ” A SILENT KILLER” .Hard work and total abstinence is what I’ve learnt. Hope a struggler might also find it useful

      Jehovah God help us all

      Reply
    13. Karina Jones on

      My only experience with pornography was that my ex-husband was addicted. I had no idea. He was the only man I have ever had sex with. I was 19 when we started dating and I’d known him since 4th grade. I did not have any sexual experience to go back on, so I thought his sexual advances were just “typical guy stuff”. I did feel he was sexually aggressive but having no comparison, I wasn’t sure. Only that he would not listen to the words, “No or stop”. In the summer of 2000 I asked him to stop trying to take my clothes off and he didn’t listen. I remember trying to push him off of me. He raped me and I got pregnant with our son. I did not go to police as he apologized after. He said he had just gotten “carried away”. Had I not gotten pregnant I may have committed suicide the depression was so bad after the rape. I just felt numb. When our son was 20 months old I finally married him. He claimed he was different and had committed to God.
      He hadn’t. We had 2 more children. He was never happy, always complaining about everything. He would be gone at 2 in the morning sometimes but always had an excuse why he took the car and left the house. I bought every lie he told. He used to sneak in while I was showering and take pictures of me naked. Scared me to death to see him peering over the shower curtain. He would laugh about it later.
      More than 7 years ago God forced him to tell me. My Father in Heaven literally said, “You are going to tell her and you are going to tell her NOW”. He did. he told me about all the men he was having sex with, the few women, prostitutes, the hard core porn since he was 16. He told me he had sexually abused our dogs and our precious daughter as a toddler.

      It was reported to CPS and a police detective. Shockingly, nothing happened as we had moved to another state so it had no jurisdiction and the other state thought there was not enough evidence. We divorced and I took 100% sole custody of our kids. He is now attempting to get visitation. Our daughter he abused developed severe psychological disorder and has to be homeschooled (difficult when you are a single mom!). I cannot even begin to tell you the nightmare this man has imposed on my life and the stress he has caused. And to think I wanted to marry a missionary and live in Africa years and years ago. But he was smooth. He went to youth group every week and drove himself to church as a teen. It was a great cover for him. He told me that after watching porn on several occasions, he became temporarily paralyzed and would see little demons around the room. Sometimes a few would enter his abdomen after which he said he would be able to move again. My pastor and I witnessed demonic possession in him after he admitted everything. Porn does not only mess up ones’ mind, but the spirit. It is selling your soul to the one who wants to destroy you!

      Reply
    14. B.Mendel on

      This article is very helpful to me,even though i am still single.Porn is indeed a sin to God and humanity my prayers are with all those under porn addiction and demonic possession.

      Reply
    15. Ella on

      Sex with your partner is an act that takes time, time you need to build Intimacy. Porn is just a quick fix.

      Reply
    16. Peter on

      I agree with everything except the part about pornography use increasing testosterone. At our practice, we find the opposite. Most men with habitual use have a shockingly low level of testosterone and begin losing muscle mass and various male characteristics. If you think about this, it makes sense.

      Reply
    17. Steven Kaufman on

      What are suggested ways to fight hypofrontality?

      Reply

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