How does porn use before marriage affect marriage afterwards?

I wrote a big post on how porn hurts your sex life earlier this week, and I felt like it was such an important subject (and we got so many comments) that I thought it was important to expand on it a bit and use it as the topic for this week’s To Love, Honor and Vacuum podcast. 

But first, here’s the podcast.

 

We need to stop telling wives that if they just have more sex, their husbands won’t watch porn.

As I explained in my post this week, that completely ignores the fact that, if you’ve been married for 20-25 years or less, chances are a porn habit pre-dated the marriage. That means that it likely changed how the guy copes with stress; how he sees sex; how he gets aroused; how he functions sexually; how he views intimacy; and so much more.

All of this came about because a reader wrote to me very concerned about a Focus on the Family broadcast that aired last week when, at the 16:21 mark, the host said that maybe the reason guys turn to porn is that wives don’t give them sex. I think it’s time to deconstruct that argument.

Here are some extra links that you may find helpful:

Other posts on porn that can help:

 

Posts on What Sex is Supposed to Be Like:

I also talked about understanding the complete picture of how God made sex, and these can help:

How to Have These Conversations Before Marriage

If you’re engaged and getting married soon, it’s important to talk about porn use before you get married, and to deal with its effects. It’s not enough to just quit porn; we also have to be open about how porn has reshaped our sex drive and expectations, and we have to be open to learning from scratch, from the beginning.

My honeymoon course is a great resource for that, with videos and discussion questions to help guide that discussion in a safe way before marriage–while also making sure that the discussion DOES happen. It matters. Plus it helps couples get ready for sex once they’re married, so that it can be a truly intimate experience from the get-go! Take a look at it here. 

Are you ready for the honeymoon you always dreamed of?

HC solo promotional squre - The Porn Habits Podcast: How Porn Affects Marriage

The Honeymoon Course is here to help you plan the perfect honeymoon and start your marriage (and your sex life!) off with laughter, joy and fun!

Don’t make the same mistakes other couples have–get it right from the beginning! 

Finally, a personal note.

This has been a hard week for me as I’ve processed all this.  As I shared in the podcast, back in 2005 or 2006, if you had asked me, “will having sex a lot stop a man from watching porn?”, I would have likely agreed. Why would a guy go for an imitation if he could have the real thing with his wife?

But that’s largely a generational view. I got married before the epidemic of internet porn hit. And the world I grew up in is a very different world.

As I started getting email after email of wives married to men with no sex drives; with horrible sexual dysfunction; who demanded selfish things in bed; who were angry if wives didn’t like being used; I started to realize that something was very, very wrong. And so I read a ton, and learned a lot, and changed my views.

Unfortunately, that hasn’t seemed to have happened in the larger Christian world, and so many women are still getting this message–his porn use is your fault.

This pains me. It’s hurting so many women, and frankly, I just want that to matter. I don’t know why it doesn’t seem to. I don’t know why we’re so quick to blame women for this.

And here’s another thought: If we talked more about the effects of porn on your sex life, don’t you think it would be easier to help young men fight porn use? Instead, we tend to just talk about it as a sin (which it is as well). But if we gave guys the whole picture, I’d think it would be empowering.

Also, by blaming it on women not having sex, then we’re framing marriage as something that can cure a porn addiction! And that’s not true. But it makes men feel as if they don’t need to confess it before marriage; they don’t need to be free of it; it’s the wife’s job to get him over it. That’s not how it works. 

Incidentally, women are watching porn in greater numbers as well, and I’d like to do a podcast soon on that, too. But for today, just know that I’m sad, and I’m hoping that by speaking out, we can make a difference and help people to see that this issue is not the same as it was 30 years ago. And we need to get real about it.

Pass the podcast along if you appreciated it! I think it’s one that may help a lot of people.

Podcast: How His Porn Use Before Marriage Affects Marriage Today

I know we’ve already discussed the main part of this podcast already this week, but here’s another question I’ll throw out: Why do you think Christian organizations haven’t caught up to the secular world when it comes to understanding the dynamics of porn on relationships? What can we do to help and speed up this process?

Tags: , ,