In Monday’s Porn: It’s Not What You Think post I said porn was not about sex. I explained how porn use is a way of self-medicating pain because porn gives the viewer a hit of dopamine. As with any self-medicating, the user will deny they have a problem and/or blame someone else. Husbands caught using porn often blame it on their wife. If she just gave them more sex or more variety, they would have no need to look at porn. There are several problems with this:

  1. You’d be hard pressed to find a married man who never looked at porn before he was married. Most men have seen thousands of porn images by the time they say “I do”.
  2. While sex with one’s spouse does release dopamine, partner sex is rarely as immediately available as porn. Sex is a great way to enjoy and get closer to your spouse, but it’s not a good way to get a fast, easy dopamine hit.

I'm way better than porn! © |

This is why some men who have plenty of sex with their wife still use porn often. They want sex with their wife for a variety of reasons, including some good, healthy, right reasons. They turn to porn to dull their pain. In their minds the two things are unrelated. If such a man satisfies the arousal caused by porn with his wife he may tell himself the porn isn’t a problem because he still wants, has, and enjoys sex with her.

While there are all kinds of problems with this thinking, it may be helpful for you to see his porn use and your sex life with him as two separate but entangled things. Porn is his drug. 

Porn is like high-fructose corn syrup. Starch is extracted from corn, then it’s processed with several enzymes to convert some of its glucose into fructose. The process includes being demineralized and purified with activated carbon two different times. The end product has almost nothing in common with the corn it came from. Porn is extracted from real sex, and then modified, and filtered. The end result has almost nothing in common with real sex.

Because porn is not sex, you don’t want to compete with it. If you were able to repackage yourself and twist your sexuality to be like porn, you wouldn’t be having sex with your husband. You would be having porn with him, and that’s not what God intended or what either of you need. Just as trying to live on high-fructose corn syrup would end badly, so does trying to replace sex with porn.

You are not porn, you are a beautiful daughter of God. Becoming porn would require removing most of what you are and converting the rest to something other than God intended it to be. Doing this would be destructive to you, harmful to your marriage, and an insult to God. 

You don’t have to compete with porn, porn has to compete with you! If your husband is looking for sexual intimacy, rather than a fix, porn can’t hold a candle to you. If he’s not happy with what you have to offer it’s not about you, it’s about him. The problem isn’t how you look or what you’re willing to do sexually; the problem is he’s looking for a high, not sexual intimacy.

The idea a man turns to porn because his wife is “failing” sexually is a lie. It would be like turning to used motor oil because there was no water! Porn can’t provide what real sex with another person provides, so a lack of sexual intimacy will never cause a desire for porn. I say this from personal experience. Even though I had used porn heavily a decade before, I was NEVER tempted to go to porn when Lori and I were having sexual difficulties. What I wanted was intimacy with my wife, and I knew from experience porn couldn’t provide what I so desperately craved. 

That said, if a lack of sex causes a man to experience anger, depression, or one of the other triggers I mentioned, then he might choose porn as a way of dulling said pain. He wouldn’t be using porn beause of a lack of sex, he’d be using porn to self-medicate the pain he felt because of a lack of sex. Of course he could easily ignore this distinction and blame his wife, but he’d just lying to himself about his problem.

Bottom Line: Porn use is never, ever, about a man’s wife. He may tell her it is to manipulate her, or he may tell himself it is to feel better, but it’s a lie.

~ Paul – I’m XY and I want sexual intimacy, not porn.

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Porn: It’s Not What You Think

June 27, 2016

Let me start this three-part series by making it clear I hate porn. More specifically, I hate how porn corrupts and ruins God’s gift of sex, and the damage porn use can do to a marriage. Nothing I say the next few days should be taken as an excuse of porn use or minimalising how harmful […]

17 comments Read the full article →

The Sex Lies Hurting Our Marriages

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I am increasingly convinced our sexuality is based on lies upon lies. Even when we seek the truth about sex I fear we are doomed to fail because we end up choosing from competing lies. Some of the lies are less horrible than others, but they’re still lies and they still keep us from the […]

28 comments Read the full article →

What You Put Up With…

June 22, 2016

When we get a chance to talk to newly or soonly weds, we warn them to be honest about what bothers them FROM THE BEGINNING! Far too many folks think it’s loving to not mention things that drive them crazy. They think it will go away without them saying anything (it won’t) or it will […]

10 comments Read the full article →

Who’s Writing Your Life Story?

June 20, 2016

Your life is a story in progress. You can change the story at any time, but doing so can be difficult. The first step is seeing you have control over how the story is written. I realise all manner of things you don’t want happen to you, but these don’t write your story. What you do with those things is […]

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What it Takes to Satisfy Him Sexually

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When we speak, Lori and I often do an “ask me anything” in which I go to one room with the men while she’s in another room with the women. Then we switch rooms, so I’m with the women and she’s with the men. One of the common questions during this time is about sexual […]

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June 15, 2016

We live in a world that thinks the way to make children happy is to tell them how wonderful they are – even if they’re not. Kid’s sports don’t keep score or limit how far ahead one side can get. In some events everyone gets an award. This is supposedly about building a child’s self-confidence, but […]

4 comments Read the full article →

It’s Me, Not You

June 13, 2016

“It’s not you, it’s me” is a common phrase used by women* trying to get out of a relationship without a fight. If it’s not him, then he can’t do anything to change or fix it. He has to just let go because she’s said it’s all her. Of course, many who say this actually […]

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