For many people, sex and pornography are very sensitive subjects. Sex is a very private subject in general for many people.
* Please see update below for case history that has been shared *
Pornography is a very secretive topic for many, especially those who hide it from their spouse or partner either out of shame or knowing their partner would be hurt or leave the relationship if found out. Pornography can ruin marriages and intimate trusting relationships, and it can break up families. Pornography can cause depression in both the viewer and the person that finds out their spouse has been using porn.
Extensive research has been done on the effects of pornography on a person emotionally and physically. It has been discovered that many people’s first exposure to pornography was very young at 4 or 5 years old.
One of my daughter’s was first exposed to pornography at the age of about 6 or 7. She was at a friends house in the neighborhood. She came home very upset and crying. She was afraid to talk about what she had seen and was frightened and disgusted. Once she was able to explain the details, I had to explain to her that what she saw was not what sex between two loving consenting adults actually was. It was at that point that I was forced to have “the talk” with her. I quickly purchased the book that I remembered seeing when I was little, “Where Did I Come From?”. We had a girls night and we read the book together. She asked a few questions and and we have had an open relationship to talk about private things openly ever since.
One Professional Opinion
A few years ago, I had an opportunity to talk with a psychologist who specialized in family counseling and they revealed to me that in over 20 years in practice had they ever found a situation where pornography benefited a marriage positively and in most cases even with therapy, when the pornography addiction was discovered, the marriage ended in divorce.
How Can Pornography Affect Women Who Discover Their Husband Using Porn?
Can the use of pornography cause PTSD symptoms?
One of my very first Self Love Intensive Program participants was a woman who discovered her husbands pornography use after returning home unexpectedly one day. She said she had wondered why her husband didn’t seem all that interested in her sexually which made her feel invalid and unwanted. She could only recall they had been intimate twice in the past year or so, one of those times was that very morning. The horror she felt struck her powerfully emotionally and physically. She began to shake and cry and could not speak. Admitting that is was one of the most severe traumas she ever experienced, she recounted it as if it were yesterday, how she felt such betrayal as if she just walked in on him having an extra marital affair right before her eyes. Since they had just been intimate that morning, she felt that she was not good enough, and that he was now using porn to wash the memory of their love making out of his mind, as if the porn had something better to offer.
She told me that as the days and weeks and months went by, she began to silently question her identity, her marriage, her sexuality, her womanhood and femininity. She felt disgusting in her own skin. She felt worthless. She began questioning everything. She wondered what other secrets there might be. She quickly fell into a deep dark depression crying every day alone where no one else could see her and trying to put on a happy face for others to see. She found it difficult to just get out of bed and function normally. She said she felt completely alone and embarrassed that this had happened. She felt inadequate and completely undesirable as a woman. She felt she was no competition for the porn he watched. She discovered that there were support groups for this but was too embarrassed to ask for help anyway. She thought there was something wrong with her. She didn’t realize other women felt the same way when they discovered their husband or boyfriend had been secretly using pornography. It has taken her years to recover on her own, to discover her own self worth and discover self love and in turn made a conscious choice to do everything in her power to heal the relationship with her husband. She revealed at some point she decided this would not break her, she was worth more and that after researching the affects that porn normally has on a marriage, she made a decision that she would not be a statistic, and that she would make every attempt to heal herself and her marriage. Even though it was difficult to talk about, she openly admitted to her husband it was still a deal breaker for her as it always had been which he knew from the beginning. She chose to rebuild herself and work on rebuilding her marriage to something better than it ever was before despite the odds.
* IMPORTANT Update 2021: The woman in this case spent the better part of 5-6 years with in-depth self healing and realized her own self worth and discovered a self love that she did not know was possible. She opened her eyes to other relationship issues that she had once been avoiding or trying to heal on her own without the support of her husband to fully heal the relationship. Not only did she realize negative behavior which included severe verbal abuse at times to both herself and children, but she also recognized the trust could not be restored since he knowingly and selfishly broke the vow he had made to her and had broken her trust in many other ways knowing full well it was one of only very a few deal breakers in their marriage, and so she chose to leave the relationship in a much more empowered and healthy manner. This has allowed her to move toward a much healthier relationship with mutual alignment and Joy and open communication. *
What happens when you watch pornography?
It has been discovered that pornography hijacks the pleasure center of your brain and in turn the more you watch, the more difficult it is to quit. When you watch porn, it floods your neuro-network with dopamine. And, the more you watch, the more difficult it is to find joy and pleasure in other activities outside of pornography. It is more difficult to find pleasure in “normal” sex within a monogamous relationship. In turn, this can create less intimacy or sex with your partner as you opt for pornography in order to satisfy you instead of intimacy between you and your partner. Porn provides quick satisfaction vs. taking the time to be with another person and connect physically and emotionally.
Another Testimonial of the Affects of Pornography on a Relationship
I can remember years ago, I knew a young girl, barely 20 years old, who’s boyfriend began using pornography, and she would come in to work and confide in me about the things he asked her to do. He was her first sexual partner. She shared that he could not have normal sex any more, and that he could not climax without the use of pornography or some sort of rough sex with her or strange situation or scenario. At times he would request her to do something dangerous or harmful in order to have sex and in order for him to be aroused and climax during sex with her present.
How Pornography Portrays Sex
In many cases it has been found that pornography depicts sex as mainly one sided in the man’s favor. Usually it is rough or forceful in some way. The woman is usually in a subservient position physically or emotionally. And, it depicts that a man being rough during sex is pleasurable to women. In many cases the woman is shown moaning in pleasure or just laying there as the man is being pleasured or having rough sex with her. It shows that men basically have to do nothing to pleasure a woman other than to show up. Just the sight of him is erotic and arousing and practically brings her to orgasm, which for most women is not normally the case.
Pornography does nothing to show the intimacy between people emotionally or physically. It is robotic and un-emotional. This is in many cases children’s first exposure to what sex is. And, in most cases is frightening. And, they begin to imagine their parents this way or other adults they know. I can only imagine them worrying about growing up and having to experience sex in such fear. It is horrible.
With such free porn everywhere you turn, is it any wonder that many men don’t know how to pleasure a woman which begins with an emotional connection or spiritual connection? Is it any wonder that men get frustrated taking time for intimacy and upset if a woman does not climax within minutes of initiating sex? Is it any wonder that women feel inferior or worthless in the bedroom and outside the bedroom with the expectancy to perform like porn stars? Is it any wonder many women don’t even expect sex to be pleasurable because they have mates that just assume their presence causes them to orgasm repeatedly? Is it any wonder many women go through life without orgasm because they don’t know any better or wonder what is wrong with them because they don’t enjoy sex like a porn star or perform like a porn star on the screen? I have a feeling there are many women who would like to be sensual or erotic with their partner or husband however feel there is no sense in trying. Either they feel unworthy due to the competition of what porn exhibits as normal that their spouse already has been exposed to and expects, or they feel unworthy and ashamed in their body since women in porn don’t have stretch marks or weight gain due to pregnancy but instead portray body perfection and kitten like playfulness and sexiness and a willingness to please at any cost including pain.
How are we as a society suppose to have healthy, enjoyable sexual intimacy or healthy sexual relationships with our partner when this is our introduction to sex as the norm? And there is no real intimacy of any kind and becomes an addiction and a complete misunderstanding of healthy sex before real human sexual contact ever happens?
No wonder sex is taboo or disgusting to many. Sex in a committed relationship should be something beautiful and meaningful with emotional, spiritual and physical connection and trust. Sex should be pleasurable for both men and women. Sex should be consensual. Sex should not be embarrassing or scary. Sex between lovers should be emotionally meaningful, sensual and erotic and bring you closer together. Sex should not hurt anyone emotionally or physically nor feel dirty or shameful.
I appreciate this TEDx video about porn and it’s effects:
Blessings of Optimal Health & Peace,
Yvette, Self Love Coach & Guide to Authentic Living
Yvette is a Comprehensive Energy Healer, Self Love Coach and Guide to Authentic living. Her passion is helping women experience life from a place of power, self love and authenticity so they can move through all stages of life with ease, grace and self appreciation in who they are in this physical body.
When she is not working with clients one on one she spends her time meditating or reading inspirational books or blogging about self Love and empowerment, self healing, the Law of Attraction or holistic health. Or, she can be found in her home studio creating beautiful Spiritual Goddess jewelry.