This post was inspired by a few of the blogs that I read Daily. The latest is from the blog To Love Honor and Vacuum. I follow this blog everyday! Check it out!
I tried to think of a catchy title for this post, but decided that simply put I want to talk about Porn. I have been following many blogs recently, and have seen a bunch of posts about how awful porn is to a marriage, and how it sets unrealistic standards. As I looked to the comments on these posts I was shocked to see how many people agreed with these thoughts! I was going to say my piece about how I personally feel about porn, but got embarrassed by the fact that I would be the minority. Therefore, I decided to use my own blog to start up a discussion about this issue.
My View on Porn
Normally, I don’t think about Porn, I know it’s there, I know it’s a successful industry but I myself do not see the draw of porn. I am well aware that men LOVE porn, and that this obsession with naked women starts when they are teenagers (maybe even sooner). But this post isn’t about that. This post is to discuss if porn is really the reason that some marriages break up. My question is, as adults, can’t we separate fact from fiction?
Reality vs Fiction
Ok, as a woman I love to watch romance movies. A movie where a man sweeps his woman off her feet, plans candlelight dinners, and buys flowers. He looks handsome, and says all the right things. To me, this is porn. But you know what? I can separate the fact that this is this a movie…that it’s not real, and that my husband (who I love) is never going to be Brad Pitt, or Hugh Jackman, or Robert Pattinson, or any other man who stars in Romantic movies. Will the fact that he doesn’t always do the things in those movies hurt my marriage? The answer is no! And do you want to know why? Because I know that it’s not real life. It’s a story, and they are characters.
Now back to Porn. Many of the blogs I am reading are saying that because men watch porn, they set unrealistic standards for their wives, and therefore feel that their marriage is lacking. And this is why they go out and cheat. You know what I say to the men who use this as an excuse?? GROW UP! Am I to believe that you think that robot aliens are going to come from outer space just because you watched the movie Transformers? I certainly hope not, and the same goes for porn.
So I open it up to you. My husband thought it was bold of me to post about this topic, but I really did want to throw it out there. Do you believe that porn is the downfall of some marriages? Am I missing something? Can we really blame this industry for the rising divorce rate?
I believe a man’s wife should be his standard of beauty. I believe all men will be tempted and may have the desire to look at other women naked – as this is human nature. However, men also possess self-control and should use it. I simply won’t believe that a man looking at porn, even casually, is healthy and can help a relationship in any way (especially long term.) I believe women tell themselves that can enhance their love lives so they don’t feel hurt when they find out their husband may be doing this (I think they are deceiving themselves which is easier to do than face the truth) I believe adultery can easily start with lust and lust will most definitely come from men looking at porn. Any women whose husband looks at porn – even casually – needs to let him know that it is not OK and SHE should be his standard of beauty not matter how she changes throughout the year.
one more note: porn is not the reason divorce occurs. it is selfishness plain and simple and this can occur by one or both partners. selfishness in my opinion is the root of all broken relationships (not porn….but keep in mind that a man viewing porn is doing it for SELFISH reasons!)
I think pornography can have a healthy place is someone’s life and in marriages…but only if the two people in the marriage are comfortable with it and with its use.
Some women find pornography offensive to women and that objectifies stereotypes that are hurtful to women and relationships as a whole, a woman who feels this way is not going to be comfortable with her husband viewing pornography and she is not going to accept his use of it to be sexually stimulated. Women who share this point of view will have to find men who agree with them and respect their woman’s opinions enough to not view pornography. A tall order in many circles but it is possible.
Women should be open and honest with the men in their lives about this particular topic LONG before they are married. Also men need to open about it as well. You do not want to be married and lying to the women you are with about what you as a man, are doing with your private time. And vice versa. You cannot expect your man to understand if you haven’t talked to him about the way you feel. Nothing quite puts a problem into a relationship like a wife walking in on that moment.
It should be noted that plenty of women have an interest in pornography. There is a big market for porn for women. HUGE. There is also a market now of porn made by Women for Women. Used to be an industry that was solely directed, written and produced by men, not anymore. There is also pornography geared towards couples.
It isn’t a one size fits all category.
I think the problems are introduced when a man/woman uses the porn as an escape from their lives for more than just fancy/fantasy. When it encroaches on a marriage by taking personal time away from a relationship. Just as video games, partying, gambling, etc. can also become an issue. Some men & women are stressed, may have marital problems already, the porn creeps in and plays to the insecurities of men and women. If the couple communicates and discusses their sexual inhibitions and so forth it will be healthier for them. Many people fail to do this and that creates issues that perpetuate the underlying problems which may have nothing to do with porn.
Then there of course those men/women who do become addicted. Any addiction is going to put stress on a marriage. As with any addiction the person needs to recognize it is a problem to begin with. A whole can of worms on its own.
So is pornography a reason for the increase in divorce? I don’t think so. I think that divorce happens because people do not stick it through. I imagine there are many couples who could’ve made it if they had considered the newly formed marriages and problems and gone for some counseling. They have this fairytale image of what a marriage is going to be and then give up all too soon when that image becomes difficult to maintain. States have made it incredibly easy to get divorced, used to be a heck of a lot harder. It used to be people took their vows seriously and would only consider divorce in the most dire of circumstances . The institution of marriage is being attacked by societal standards, not by the objectification of women.
Women have the right to feel that pornography is immoral and that it has no place in THEIR marriage. Many tenants of different faiths agree with the latter. The woman you marry is supposed to be the only woman you view naked. She is the only woman you should lust after. You are to respect her above all else and vice versa. That is fine and dandy if that is what you believe.
What irks me is when these women feel they have a right to encroach on my rights to find porn perfectly acceptable. To each her own. Your marriage works for you because you and your husband believe that it has no place in your relationship. But guess what? That isn’t everyone’s marriage. Just because you believe what you believe is right does not make the next person wrong and immoral.
Sol, those are some really excellent points.
I am getting married next week and I guess it is because my fiance and I are so open with each other that I am OK with porn. Because we ARE open about these things, I know that porn is not something he partakes in very often. He would rather be with me over porn any day. if we were separated for weeks or even months I would just sort of expect that he would use it in the meantime to get through.
I think sometimes when women are very adamantly against something like porn, strip clubs, etc., it might tempt a man to do it even more and keep it a secret, especially if the communication is not open and honest in the relationship. it’s sort of like like when I was in college and the kids who always went the craziest with partying were the ones whose parents were extremely strict in high school.
Also….I think it’s great to experiment with your husband and keep things fresh in the bedroom. I think the monotony of always doing the same thing in the bedroom can sometimes lead to a porn addiction for husbands because they’re seeking out something more exciting.
Wow Jen! I love this. I personally don’t have a problem with porn. I know my boyfriend watches it occasionally because we’re really open about everything :). I have a lot of guy friends who watch it and hide it from their wives and girlfriends because they know/think they will freak out. I think hiding stuff and lying is the downfall of a relationship. These guys tell me that ALL guys watch porn (even if it’s a little). I don’t know if that’s true. I would rather know, than them hide it from me.
On a personal note, I was married and am now divorced. It is not because of porn. I have always been open about that kind of stuff and really don’t have a problem with it as long as it’s not an addiction (as stated above). As far as I know, my ex-husband never watched porn. He did, however cheat and have other addiction problems that I never knew about.
I guess what I’m getting at is porn is not the issue. Dishonesty is. Deceit is. Growing apart and not working to get back together is. I loved your comparison, Jen, to the romantic movies. It’s a fantasy, it’s entertainment. I don’t look like those women because I don’t want to! And my boyfriend wouldn’t want me to be a porn star—he’s with me because he wants to be with me and if he wanted to be with a porn star, he’d go be with someone all porn-like. When you really step back and think about it, it’s silly. The biggest thing I’ve learned is to not get upset about the small things and this is small! Love each other, respect each other, don’t nag each other, and look through the eyes of your partner. Step back and look at the big picture. It’s pretty incredible when you do 🙂
I agree with you on this one. I don’t think it’s a guy simply watching porn that can break apart a marriage …. in fact, I think it can enhance a marriage if it is used properly! I think a lot of women are too insecure, care too much about what others think, and sometimes are sort of frigid…just get over it! Why not watch it with him? Or just know that he’s going to look at it occasionally.
BUT, If a guy gets addicted to porn I think it can be different. Just like how people get addicted to their Crackberries, to the Internet, to caffeine, to alcohol, to drugs…porn can be an addiction too. Apparently that was David Duchovny’s problem.
let me first state that i’m NOT uncomfortable talking about this–so there will be no censoring.
simply stated–i love my husband. i love him for many reasons. one of the big reasons is because, well, he’s one of the most intelligent people i’ve ever met, if not the most intelligent. given this, i hope with all my heart that some day i don’t find out that he thinks i’m ‘the only beautiful woman on the earth’–because that would lower my opinion of his intelligence greatly. the human body is beautiful–and i’m just going to say it, some are more beautiful than others. and that’s why some people get paid to take their clothing off, and others get paid to teach language arts (guess which one i do for a living? hint–i’m a huge fan of pants and i also know what a gerund is!)
Wow! I am so excited to get these responses. I think hearing about everyones experiences is wonderful!I am so happy to hear about both sides of this issue. I know it’s a taboo topic for some, but I think open communication is important. I’m pretty outspoken when it comes to most things, so I am happy there are others out there that feel the same!
As a wife…if my husband were looking at porn then it would make me feel worthless. If I do not feel good enough for him…then I am more likely to look for someone else that will think that I am good enough. Mind you that I do not suffer with poor self worth issues typically…but if he is looking at “her” then he is not thinking about me (no matter what he says).
I also think that it is totally insensitive to call women frigid if they do not enjoy porn. I think that I would be one of the last women that could ever be called frigid…however…I do not agree with porn at all. It is a moral issue for me and that is it.
I think obsessions with something can ruin a marriage. If a person watches porn, big deal. It’s when they start taking the obsession out of context and into their marriage that can ruin it or think that their obsession is the only thing in life that is right.
a lot of couples seem to be okay with it..let alone enjoy it.. i guess to each is own, and some people feel that so long as ur on the same page w/ur spouse that it’s okay – but as for us? dh & i keep it out of out bedroom, and out of our house. There are a TON of underlying issues besides just “being okay with it” – and if u do some research, the stats will probably shock u..not only about how it can gradually deteriorate ur marraige w/out u even realizing, but even just the sex industry in general…u may think i’m crazy lol – but i can’t look at anything in the sex industry without feeling horrible for the girls.. it is a very VERY dark world that’s masked by something that people find so alluring.. and it makes me sad. It’s just the way i feel..but it’s something i feel very strongly about. I’m not judging ANYONE that doesn’t find it a big deal – so please don’t take it that way – but it’s something that i think is a very real, very dangerous thing that slides into a lot of homes these days..it can start off as something so “once in a while” and before u know it…there’s problems..
Shelley Lubben speaks a LOT of truth when it comes to porn….and the best part?? SHE’S A FORMER PORN STAR!!
I posted her myspace page above..
it has a TON of info..and she shares an amazing story & has really interesting facts & such..she goes around the country & actually talks to men, women, etc… she even goes to the huge porn conventions every year & shares her story!
Anyway, her story is just something worth reading – she also has her website which is thepinkcross.org – but her myspace i find to have a TON of stuff..
I think romance movies are somewhat different that porn movies. Women are already tackled by society to look perfect, be thin, to have purky boobs and to look flawless. Now, I don’t mind a little porn every now and again. I’m sure a small dose could spice up a relationship but with any addiction, you can only take so much. When your husband would rather watch a 20 year old, size 4 with purky breast than have sex or make love with you, it starts to damage who you are and your self-esteem. You start to wonder what’s wrong with you. You then proceed to take it personal because why on earth would he want to spend several hours watching porn when he could be with me? Porn leaves most women feeling unwanted, unloved and ashamed. Again, romance movies and porn are not even comparable. Now, if the dudes in the movies had their wang wangs hanging out through the entire movie, then that would be a different story. 🙂 I’m sure most women would not mind if it was an occasional thing but I think we are talking about a full blown addiction. Imagine how any sort of addiction can affect a marriage. You would mind if your husband had a few drinks every now and again but when it starts to turn into a drink every day, it starts to get bothersome..the same with gambling, sex, drugs, religion, and any other addiciton you can imagine.
Loved Lynn’s posts…I personally agree that porn has no place in marriage. How can you have mutual love and respect when he (or she) is lusting after someone else. I think that most women and men who make such movies are in a sad place. And if you are married, then you are married to the person you willing forsake all others for. Yes, human nature creeps in. But there is such thing as self-control. I suppose many men just allow themselves to be controlled by testosterone. It just seems so immature and selfish, but I know many men who have self-control because they love and respect their wives. I am a former model and still look good in and out of clothes, but that is not the point. My estranged husband and I had a great, hot sex life, but he still looked at porn (even though we talked about this before our marriage and both agreed that it would not be present). What woman wants to cuddle up with her husband on the couch knowing he just lusted after some 21 y/o on a porn site. How selfish. Because I was married, I never gave in with even a smile to the come-ons I experience from men. And because most of the men were married, it makes me sick when they look me up and down yet still proudly wore that wedding ring.
Wow! Well done with opening up a conversation on this topic. There’s no right answer. Everyone is so different. My new thing is making sure I feel comfortable exploring new things – not because I have to but because I want to push out my edges or extend my boundaries. The answer for me is it just depends on my mood.
I don’t think Porn has a role in marriage or anyone’s life. I am a believer in Christ and as a believer I would not want to watch anything that exploits not only women but men as well and would want my money to go to better places like what Shelly is doing.
I love what Shelly is doing.
She has turned her life around and reaches out to others that are where she once was. She knows first hand how the industry can destroy people. The only reason people are in it for the most part is for the money not because they love their job. Even if they say they do, they usually are saving face because no human can love to be abused and used.
Also I want to add that porn is very addicting which is not healthy for anyone.
porn is not the downfall of a marriage; poor communication is.
Porn used by a husband and wife to enhance their sex life is a personal issue. I’m not a prude and have found its occasional viewing (note, the operative word “occasional”) actually adds some excitement and naughtiness in the bedroom. But as a married couple, it should only be viewed as a tool.
Common sense has to step in and if it reaches a point where you say, “hey, he’s really imagining having sex with her”, and it usually does, then the porn will usually take on a life of its own. It is addictive and free of commitment.
Unlike masturbating and or even using sex toys, it involves an actual human being albeit “fake”, but an actual human being who does stuff and has real private parts… very different from a vibrator or even our own imaginations. Eventually these porn stars will forever reside under the sheets between you and your hubby.
Human nature will then creep in and the surface issues of damaged self-esteem, fear of addiction and obsession of its frequency, quantity and quality will eventually consume you. It is here that it will negatively impact communication and the trust and respect you hold for your partner. It’s just human nature.
The real issue is when it crosses that line. When it goes from being fun and entertaining to it being an act of selfish and uncaring behavior used only for the gratification of one partner at the expense of the other. One crosses marital boundaries, the other doesn’t.
Everyone wants to simplify porn as either you’re cool with it or you’re a prude. It is a very thin line, but still a line that gets easily crossed.
I am on my second marriage and in both cases, porn took on a life of its own, with the lines getting crossed frequently and always at the expense of me, the love and respect I held for my husband, and our marriage. So be careful if this is an area you choose to adventurous in.
Thank you for the well thought out comment. I”m sorry that porn took on a life of it’s own with both marriages. but like you said, it’s a fine line and I don’t think it can be ONLY to blame for the downfall of any marriage…