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5 Ways Sex Gets Better After Giving Up Porn

Last Updated: April 3, 2023

Everyone wants to have better sex, right?

No one explained to me before marriage how pornography use would affect my sex life. Everyone said it was bad, but no one really said why. As far as I could tell as a young man in my twenties, everyone else used pornography and later got married and seemed to do fine. So I made no real effort to stop myself.

My first surprise was that my desire to use pornography did not go away after I got married. It did for a few weeks, but it came back with a vengeance after that. Why did I want what was artificial when I now had the real thing?

Related: Myth Busters– “I’ll stop looking at porn when I get married”

I wanted to stop. I even tried to stop. Maybe I just didn’t have enough motivation. I really didn’t have much of a before and after comparison of my life when it came to pornography use, since it had always been lurking around in the shadows since I first developed any interest in sex.

I finally did seek out help and eventually stopped looking at pornography. Only afterward did I finally experience what it was like to live without it. I was amazed at how differently I felt, almost all the time.

Related: Why Can’t I Stop Watching Porn? 3 Reasons It’s Hard to Quit

The best surprise was how the lack of pornography enhanced my sex life. Why had no one told me about this? Here are five ways my sex life improved after giving up porn.

My spouse became more arousing to me.

With pornography out of the picture, my sexual interest no longer had so many outside distractions. When my wife was the only thing I was focusing on sexually, the power behind that focus increased significantly. When the pornography was gone, I noticed my wife more and she started looking better and better to me (not that she ever looked bad, mind you).

Another thing I noticed, as I focused all my sexual energy only on my wife, my interest in her increased rather than decreased. It is completely untrue that sex with one person becomes boring, at least in my experience.

I feel joy after sex, not shame.

Since I had started using pornography as a boy, any pleasure that came as a result of it always ended with feelings of shame. After I married, it was hard to keep pornographic images out of my head during sex, which left me feeling like a fraud. I knew my wife didn’t really know who she was sleeping with. I have to admit that I often had a lingering feeling of guilt and “dirtiness” after sex.

After leaving pornography, I learned to focus on my wife during sex. It felt amazing to be so present and to know my wife was interacting with a part of me I was not ashamed of. It was an amazing new experience to lay with my wife after sex and feel true peace and joy instead of shame.

Sex connected us more.

I should be clear that sex was never bad before, but it certainly got better after. Sex became something more than just a way to feel good. Once outside influences like pornography were gone, sex drew my wife and I together, as it is supposed to. I began to feel much more connected to my wife. We were able to start talking about our sex life and making positive changes.

More sex.

My wife apparently liked who I was a lot more after I gave up pornography. The first year after I got help was tough because we both had a lot to work through. But, once we both had some healing, she wanted sex more often.

Related: Should Married Couples Fast from Sex During Porn-Detox?

Now, that is something you won’t hear from the porn industry: “Give up pornography and you’ll have more sex.” It seems to be true for most men I know who give up pornography.

Sex itself became more exciting.

I had heard old people tell me when I was 20 that they had better sex in old age than when they were first married. The idea repulsed me at the time more than it gave me hope. However, I have found their words to be true. By focusing all my sexual energy in one direction it became more powerful. It’s like constricting the water from a garden hose into the tight stream of a pressure washer causes it to be more powerful. Sex is actually more powerful now as an older and more sexually focused man than it was when I was younger and less focused.

Another reason marital sex is more exciting than pornography is that it is real. My wife can interact in unexpected ways, which is much more exciting than the predictability of pornography.

It is true that whether a person is married or single, pornography use will do nothing but mess up their current or future sex life. However, if someone would have shared this with me in my twenties, I probably would have listened more if they talked about how not using porn makes sex better, rather than how it messes it up. I’ve found it more effective to move toward a positive goal than move away from something I want to stop. God made sex for us, and sex is good. I want to do all I can to keep it that way.

  1. NS

    Pornography stole all sex from our marriage and any desire for sex on my part as the wife. I feel betrayed and cannot get the images I found on his computer out of my mind thinking how he preferred that over me. It’s been 10 years without any sexual intimacy between us. I feel so betrayed.

    • Kay Bruner

      It’s really common for women in marriage betrayal to meet the clinical criteria for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). It’s also really common for women to get zero help for the trauma of marriage betrayal. So I’d start there. Get help, just for you. Find a therapist who can help you process your experiences and emotions; I would suggest filtering search results for someone who is experienced in trauma treatment, maybe is EMDR-EMDRIA certified. EMDR therapy can help you put the past in the past so that you don’t feel like you are re-experiencing it all the time. Find a group that’s a trauma-informed support group. Check out the online resources at Bloom for Women.

      The other piece of the puzzle I’d say is the restoration of emotional trust to the relationship. Here’s an article I wrote a while back on the difference between behavioral and emotional trust. If you’d like to explore that idea further, I recommend a couple of books: The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work by John Gottman and Hold Me Tight by Sue Johnson.

      Of course, all this assumes that your husband has done his work in recovery and is no longer looking at porn? If he is still in porn, then you’re still being traumatized and there’s no way to rebuild a trusting relationship. He has to do his work. Here, here, and here are some articles on boundaries that are helpful as well.

      Peace,
      Kay

  2. Joe Blow

    This is all great if your wife actually wants to have sex. Some of us saved ourselves for marriage only to find ourselves having sex once or twice a year. If you’re not going to cheat, the temptation to succumb to the images thrown at you becomes overwhelming. :-(

    • Virginia

      Try indulging your WIFE’S needs and preferences for a change. This involves wooing, pursuing in a way that appeals to her, gentle foreplay, etc. Women get turned on in more of a “slow burn” fashion. Observe what turns HER on and DO it consistently, and see what happens. I know. I am a wife who had had a selfish, self centered husband who didn’t care less what I wanted/needed, and it was offputting.

  3. Mike Benedeck

    Thank you for sharing this. I have found this to be true in my marriage as well.

  4. Kenneth

    SO VERY THANKFUL FOR YOUR MINISTRY!

  5. Kenneth

    Please keep teaching what you are teaching!!! It is SO important in this day and age. Porn ruined my husbands ability to “make love” and have an erection for YEARS!!!! SAD, JUST VERY, VERY SAD!

    • rebecca

      I feel the same way right now

  6. MACK

    Thank you for your sharing. I like to read the real feeling, the real story. This story encourage me to overcome to stop looking at porn.

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