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My boyfriend is addicted to porn, what should I do?
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My boyfriend is addicted to porn, what should I do?

I just found out my boyfriend is addicted to porn. I am 23 year, and he is 26.The other day I told him my feelings about pornography and how I am against it, and it makes me feel inadequate and that I am not satisfying him enough. We see each other almost everyday, and we usually have sex every time we see each other, if not twice. He GETS it often, I don't understand why he still needs to watch porn regularly. After we had this talk, he told me that he was going to try and not do it,THEN the next night I was on his internet, and noticed that he was at porn sites earlier that morning. I had told him how I felt about it, 8 HOURS later from when I told him how I felt about it,and AFTER him telling me that he was going to try and not do it so often, he goes and does it. It makes me feel insignificant, it makes me feel bad about myself and I am not sure what I am supposed to do to help. He wants to try and stop, and he WANTS to do this and WANTS to do that - but then he doesn't do any of it! He says he feels guilty after he watches it and feels guilty about the whole process, but then continues to do it anyways. I do not want to be with someone that is addicted to porn and continues with it. I know he said that he is going to stop, and he is going to try and get help this time. He has already called and talked to some friends about it and he is meeting with someone tonight to get advice. He was thinking about setting up a system so his computer can be monitored or something, that way it will help him not do it frequently because then whoever will be able to tell. But, this is tearing me up inside because I told him I was disgusted with the fact that he watches that, and he continues to do it, what should I do?
Tags: porn, boyfriends, boyfriend, addicted, sex
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523042_tn?1212181495
Hello.

Your question is quite complex and not easily answered within the brief format of this forum, so my answers may seem a bit abrupt.

You ask what you “should do.” As an adult, you have to decide that for yourself. Here’s some perspective:

You may have some unrealistic expectations about relationships. Between women’s romantic ideals and men’s sexual scripts, there are bound to be conflicts. Most men don't seek erotica online because anything is wrong in the relationship, but because men are usually much more visually stimulated than women, and erotica turns them on in ways that are different (but not “better than”) partner sex. Some women think that if a man likes erotica, it means he’s not turned on to them. However, sex research has shown that this is not necessarily the case.

It also sounds to me like you feel if your partner self-pleasures, he’s “unfaithful” or doesn’t want you. Many women think that once they’re in a relationship the partner will only want to have sex with them, eschewing self-pleasuring. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, people self-pleasure from birth to death, whether partnered or not. It’s just a part of the sexual personality. Most of us like variety. When your partner is self-pleasuring, he’s not necessarily doing it because of anything you lack, but because it’s a different experience for him than sex with you. Not better; just different, like pizza and steak. If this is a problem for you, you need to discuss it with him. If you’re never going to be comfortable with a partner who self-pleasures, then you’re going to spend a lot of your life "hurt and confused," because it's very unlikely you'll find a man (or woman) who is willing to ignore this important part of his sexuality.

Some couples feel that if they don’t do everything together, there’s something amiss; however, most of us need variety and need alone time in order to develop our own perspectives, etc. Here’s an example:

I have a friend who calls herself a “golf widow.” She’s been married for over 10 years, in a very happy and loving relationship. In fact, she and her husband adore each other. AND whenever he has enough free time, he’s at the golf course, playing golf and hanging out with his friends. Why? Not because he doesn’t love her and want to be with her, but because golf fulfills something for him, and he needs to be his own person from time to time—away and apart from her. There’s nothing wrong with the marriage; he just needs alone time, as does she.

This is quite different than the man who spends all of his time at the golf course in order to AVOID going home because he’s unhappy in his marriage.

It sounds to me like your boyfriend is just expressing his need to be separate and apart from you. If you try to regulate this by setting yourself up as his supervisor, that’s the fastest way I can think of to destroy your sexual relationship. After all, who wants to have sex with their mother?

Please don’t fall into the trap of labeling someone’s behavior an “addiction.” Some substances can be addictive (e.g., heroin), while some peoples’ behaviors can be compulsive (e.g., constantly washing hands because of germ phobia), other behaviors are merely habits or dependencies. There is no way of telling whether this is the case with your boyfriend because he can’t be here to discuss his feelings in his own words.

Which brings me to my last point. You need to get some perspective and insight about your own feelings of self-worth. Clearly, his activities are triggering some insecurity in you. And the two of you need to talk with each other about what each of your expectations is of the relationship. If he truly feels that looking at erotica is a problem for him (not because of you, but because of his own feelings), then he should see a therapist who is trained to help people with sexual issues. You cannot be involved in that process; it has to be his own. The worst mistake some women make is to set themselves up as “behavior sheriffs” because their partners then inevitably begin to feel guilty if they screw up, and guilt is the enemy of sexual attraction. Best of luck to you. Dr. J
5 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
hi there looks like you have a problem on your hands and my question is why are you against pornography? have you tryied it? it increases pleasure and can make you both very much more creative... it sounds weird i know but theres the saying dont hate it till you try it :)
its a natural thing for guys and even wen they do get SOME" " They still would like to be more creative and you should ask him why does he do it and if would try any new ideas to spice things up :)
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Avatar_n_tn
I know you posted this over a month ago so this may or may not be helpful to you anymore.  I would like to say, even though I respect what Janice had to say I am going to have to politely disagree with her.  Granted, she has a Ph.D. and I do not so technically speaking, she has better credentials than me.  However, I have been and currently am in a very similar position as you and I can see things from your point of view; Not only where you are at now but I can probably tell you where you will be at a few years from now should you stay in this situation.  

Here's the thing... many people do not believe porn can be an actual addiction (like heroin or cocaine) but I can assure you, many studies have been conducted that will tell you it can be.  Brain scans have been done on people who regularly (daily, or multiple times a day) watch porn.  Their brain functions differently from people who do not but very similarly to drug addict.  Porn addicts tend to think of women and relationships differently... stuff like that.  I believe Burkley just did a big study on this.  Anyway, if your boyfriend just enjoys watching porn every now and then or if he is an addict, I cannot say.  But I will tell you NO ONE!!!!!! should make you feel like your feelings are insignificant!  I really wanted to write to you because I feel like both Janice and AlwaysWondering911 kind of made it seem like it’s not okay that you feel the way you do.  I wanted to tell you it is.  It doesn't matter if it's him watching porn or wearing the color purple.  If it makes you feel a certain way, you are entitled to that feeling.

I am with a porn addict and I can tell you, the longer it goes on, the more intense his porn has to be and the crazier his fantasies get.  I feel like I am not enough and my fear is that one day he will have no "new" porn to satisfy him so he will have to seek out new mates.  If I were to give you advice I would say go with your gut.  If it makes you feel cheap, and like you are not enough, go somewhere else.  There are far too many people in this world that you could give your love to that (no disrespect to Janice) don't need to use porn to keep things exciting.  Does everyone pleasure themselves… duh!  Does everyone have to watch porn to do that? NO!!!

I never heard you say anything that led me to think you have a problem with the “self pleasure”.  I don’t think anyone does.  Yeah, we all know it happens, it’s the porn that we have a problem with.

I will agree with Janice on one thing, do not put yourself in the position of being his police.  That is the quickest way to a break up.  Not to mention if you feel like there is something to “police” about someone, get out!  You are too valuable.  If he can't stop watching porn (or any activity that makes you feel so terrible) then he is not worth your time.  Get out of the relationship before you get permanent strings!  Find someone who doesn’t make you feel bad, or be alone.  Being with the wrong person that makes you feel crappy is worse than being with no one!  :)  Good luck to you.

Should you really want to work things out with this boyfriend, you guys are going to need professional help.  Lots of therapy both seperate and together.  And you have to approach it as you would an alcoholic or drug addict.  Slip ups will happen but you need stong support groups and people to help you keep up the desire to fight.
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784382_tn?1376934640
porn is natural... i agree with the doctor its not so much that he wants "another women" but they do get more sexual and prolly do stuff that your not willing to do in the bedroom, so there fore he watches porn JUST TOO SEE THE OTHER LIFESTYLES..... i dont know i have never been on this side of the fence before, well i have had a bf addicted to porn and self pleasure, but it doesnt bother me. i actually think i might be "addicted: to pron myself, i watch it every single day and self pleasure every night before bed, even sometimes after "getting some"... and i get it often, very often like you. some people are just more sexual then others. i would consider him being a bad bf cause he looks at porn... what if he went to strip clubs all the time? or swingers clubs?... then i would say there was a problem.... best of luck to you
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Avatar_n_tn
There are so  many places that your question can be approached from, the first point that i have to make is. why are you so against pornography in thy first place?
I know that there are all of the politically correct attitudes. It demeans women. It promotes sexual assault. It is immoral, etc. etc.
but the truth is it is none of those things. pornography is one of the few places in today's world where women actually hold all the power. The incidence of sexual assault is actually lower in societies with a liberal attitude towards sex. and as for morality, well that is actually dependant upon each of our own values.
It seems that he may actually just be wired for that sort of thing, all of us have a bit of a voyeuristic streak, otherwise there would be no reality tv shows, his particular tendancy just happens to be porn, it's actually quite common, otherwise the pornography industry wouldn't be among the top money makers worldwide. To him, pornography is as natural at it is for you to watch whatever it is you enjoy, let's just say your soaps. To ask him not to view pornography is just not natural. and is most likely the reason he's sneaking it. of course he feels guilty, he loves you and it bothers you.
So why are you so bothered then? It doesn't sound like he's cheating on you. If anything, it looks like you're reaping the benifits. have you ever tried to watch it with him? You might be surprised at the results.
I'm not trying to put you on the defensive, and I'm really not siding with your boyfriend either. I'm just addressing the issues as you've laid them out, and bottom line, he likes porn, and in all likelihood always will. this puts the ball in your court, and it looks to me like you're either going to have to find some common ground with this, or cut him loose before you allow this issue to make both of you miserable.
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