Why Porn Is NOT About You

Let me tell you a little secret about male sexuality: being aroused feels good*.

I’m not talking about the pleasure of having sex or the pleasure of orgasm; just being aroused is an enjoyable thing. Even if it doesn’t lead to anything more right then, getting “turned on” is a nice thing.

Why Porn Is NOT About You

This is why men can enjoy things like going to strip clubs, looking at porn, or lusting after women in public, in magazines, or on TV or movies. Doing these things causes arousal, which is enjoyable.

Morality and decency aside, men have a huge array of arousing things at their disposal. Some are more arousing than others, but any of them will bring him enjoyment. Making use of any of those options doesn’t mean it’s his top choice, and it doesn’t mean he thinks that woman is the best looking or most arousing woman or type of woman. At it’s worst male culture tells us we are men and we have a right to be turned on by anything we like. Women are things, not people, and they exist for our pleasure. 

I said “morality and decency aside” in the last paragraph. But no one is totally lacking in morality, so few men are actively seeking to be aroused by every opportunity they have. With a very few sociopathic exceptions, men see women as more than things and they limit themselves accordingly. The struggle then is between their morality/decency and their desire to be aroused. Using a good, decent woman in this way is unacceptable. But a woman who gets up on stage and takes off her clothes is not a good, decent woman. Likewise for a woman who does porn. Some men extend this to women who dress immodestly (and these men will swear those women know what they are doing and do it intentionally). Clearly, there’s a lot of justifying going on.

Now before you decide all men are total pigs, please understand I’ve been talking about the worst case thinking here. Most men are far better than this. Even apart from Godly morality, many men realise how wrong all this is. The idea of using a woman for sexual arousal, even if she is on board with it, bothers many men. Some base part of us wants it, but our better self is offended by the idea. This creates an inner battle not unlike the battle most of us have with not eating everything we feel like eating. You may see that as a bad example, but as someone who has struggled with both, I can assure you it’s dead on. And just as being tempted to eat something doesn’t mean we like it more than any other food, looking at porn doesn’t mean a man has no desire for or interest in his wife.

None of this is an attempt to excuse a man looking at porn, or going to strip clubs, or lusting after women he sees. Those things are wrong. My primary goal here is to help you understand that those wrong choices don’t mean what you may assume they mean about you and how your husband feels about you or how you look. I would also point out this is why being his eye candy is helpful if he is trying to curb looking at other women. When you feed his desire to enjoy being turned on you take away the “hunger”. Of course, this only works if you regularly follow up with sex.

~ Paul – I’m XY, and my wife is my only eye candy.

* I know some women enjoy being aroused. But some don’t enjoy arousal at all, and others don’t want to be aroused unless it’s leading to sex. Women are also more likely to want to limit their arousal to individuals for whom they have romantic feelings. Much of this is probably about cultural learning, but some of it is because sex and emotional intimacy are more closely tied for women.

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65 Comments on “Why Porn Is NOT About You

  1. Thanks for the clarification. I always assumed that if a man was aroused, he felt a need to take of it asap. I always wondered why my husband could have an erection hugging me, but then not pursue sex for days.

    If I get aroused, it can turn from dopamine to cortisol pretty quickly if left unrequited. Not sure if this is physiology or psychology since my sex life isn’t near where I would call it satisfying, so arousal can be annoying and frustrating because it can lead down the no man’s land path.

    • @Libl – I think women significantly overestimate the minimum level of arousal an erection indicates. A stray thought about the last time we had sex or her getting out of the show is enough to get a noticeable bulge, but it’s not enough to make him have to have sex right then. (Unless he’s not having nearly enough sex, in which case he already needed it and the erection is just an annoying reminder of that!)
      Paul Byerly recently posted…The Past: The Good Ol’ DaysMy Profile

      • Funny, though, because it seems to take a concentrated effort for hubby to get an erection. Passing sexuality isn’t enough. Even me being erotic won’t do it unless he wants it to.

        Age, perhaps. Familiarity, maybe, because he was more spontaneous in his arousal years ago.

  2. I don’t watch porn, but I can say as a husband that when a sex scene comes on the movies or TV, a woman might be tempted to think the man wants that body that he sees. To some extent, he does, but I am quite certain that what the man wants more than that is for his wife to have that kind of passion for him. A man would rather have a plain Jane with a lot of passion for him than to have a supermodel with no passion for him.
    Nick Peters recently posted…Deeper Waters Podcast 9/23/2017: Kevin SchutMy Profile

    • I always wondered if there are fleeting thoughts in men’s heads during sex scenes of desiring HER…the actress or character. Or, if it is just arousal at the illicit and explicit. The latter, to me, is more palatable than the former.

      I get being aroused by sexual situations.
      I get finding someone attractive, even alluring.
      But to go to that place of actually desiring that person is going way too far.

      • @Nick Peters @Libl – How a woman looks really is just wrapping paper, and the best wrap job in the world doesn’t make an empty box a good gift!
        Porn offers (or fakes offering) a lot more than just wrapping paper. The women seem to want sex, crave it, are crazy for it. Even when porn was still images they communicated their hunger for sex. THAT is what gets men. (I remember some of the early full nudity, legs spread porn, and many of the women were not that pretty. But they convinced you they were desperate for sex.)
        As for wanting that woman, if he does it’s because he believes her act of being so sexually hungry and the promise of being active and responsive.
        Paul Byerly recently posted…The Past: The Good Ol’ DaysMy Profile

        • Then, how do you explain a husband who had a wife just as desirous of sex as those porn girls appear to be, yet he refused her? What of a husband who avoided sex porn in favor of just seeing nude women of specific qualities, or looking up lesbianism, or movie sex (which is different from the grab and bang of porn sex)?

          I can be a “porn star” in our bedroom, but he didn’t want that.

          I cannot be the physical characteristics of the women he looked up.

          I cannot be a lesbian.

          Nor can I easily orgasm in a short amount of time as movie sex portrays women to be able to.

          • @Libl – Ther are a number of possibilities. Your final comment is one common one -some men don’t want to take the time and effort needed to have real sex with a real woman. I don’t get that, but I know it happens. It’s even more common when men are stressed.
            Men can also develop what amounts to a fetish where they can’t have or don’t want to have sex without whatever it is they have fixated on.
            Porn does so many horrible things to us and messes us up in so many ways.
            Paul Byerly recently posted…The Past: The Good Ol’ DaysMy Profile

      • Being addicted to porn and now struggling to be free I can tell you that I rarely wanted the women. I never desired these women as a romantic partner. I’m ashamed to say it but they are just things. It may sound weird but I am sometimes more afraid about my feelings when I meet a girl I know I could fall in love with. There was a girl at my job. A regular girl. No pornstar look. No pornstar body but I had to keep my distance because i noticed there was something there when we spoke. So when it comes to porn the women are just things which is awful in itself but at least for me I wouldn’t want a pornstar as a wife. Regular girls are a more danger for me then

  3. I’m in that minority, I guess. My husband chose porn and masturbation explicitly over me, for years before I found out. I was literally trying to beg for sex just to get pregnant (and it would happen once) and then he confessed that he was pleasuring himself “maybe a couple of times a week” (which probably means daily or most days). As for being eye candy, my husband told me to quit wearing lingerie or trying to initiate because it made him uncomfortable. (He made a comment a month or so ago that I had some really “hot” lingerie, and I didn’t know how to respond, because I threw everything I had away two years ago and hadn’t worn anything since he asked me to stop, 3 1/2 years ago.)

    But then again, I really believe my husband wasn’t romantically or sexually attracted to me when we married, so that’s a really different position than people who were presumably “in love” when they got married.

    • Oh, also, I should say, in some ways it wasn’t like my husband was comparing me to porn or something. He was using porn way before we met. But when I was expressing need — at times when I felt like I was starving for affection and had no idea why he had even married someone he so clearly despised — it turned out he was using porn. It wasn’t (like he told me) that he wasn’t interested in sex. It was only that he wasn’t interested in sex WITH ME. So the porn thing isn’t about me, but it affects me. I feel like when someone says, “but this isn’t about you,” that it minimizes the fact that it still takes something away from me.

      • @sunny-dee – I wonder if he isn’t interested in sex with you, or isn’t interested in sex with a real flesh and blood woman.
        The truth is many men would take sex with any willing woman over porn and masturbation. But there are a growing number of men who choose an image, a fantasy, and their own hand over any woman.
        Paul Byerly recently posted…The Past: The Good Ol’ DaysMy Profile

  4. I’m a porn addict that recently confessed to my wife about my addiction. I agree that the addiction doesn’t have to do with my wife not being beautiful. In that case I would say that it can have more to do with the emotional connection. What for a long time” justified” my addiction was her lack of intimacy both sexually and emotionally. With little kisses, little hugs and no desire to have sex it was easy to feel, well if I watch porn I won’t disturb her. This is not an excuse . My addiction is a sin that needs to be dealt with in a biblical manner: confession, repentence and accountability but it can help. I really started my journey to be free when my wife suddenly wanted sex. Passionate sex. It revealed what porn had done to me. I couldn’t perform like before. For me that became a wake up call. I didn’t want these women anymore. I want my wife. I want a wonderful sex life with her. The passionate sex disappeared(turns out she was pregnant and the hormones were raging) we haven’t had sex in a while now but I felt that I wanted to confess. I guess I am/was one of those person who only saw objects. It became very clear to me when I noticed that avoided “romantic” porn. It was still pornography but mixed with romantic things. I avoided that because I felt that I only wanted that with my wife(yeah it’s really disturbing what porn does to you) so I just wanted to see porn were the women were just objects for my satisfaction. As soon as they became “people with feelings” I would avoid it. There is porn where the girl practicly is talking directly to you as she is your girlfriend. I didn’t want that , I didn’t want an emotional relationship with these people I only wanted lust. I could be loving towards my wife and wanted to be romantic but I used porn for lust, to fulfill my sexual craving. It’s not an excuse and it’s horrible, that’s why I confessed. I needed help. Anyways I agree. There are men who finally can’t get aroused by their spouses and I noticed that sometimes and that’s made me even more eager to stop it because I want my wife. It’s been a short time since I confessed but I am happy to say that my sexual fantasies are all about my wife. And I want to be free so I can be the best husband I can. She is a wonderful woman. I have hurt her and there are things that are hard for her to understand. I wanted to buy a kitchen safe where I could put my phone at nights because that’s when I’m most tempted and get a dumb phone but she got angry. She said I needed to be strong. I understand her hurt. Her husband can’t control himself. But I hope she will help me when she feels that she can. She has at least started to hug me and be affectionate. Not with sex but just hugging which is what I have longed for , for a long time.

      • I have a friend who became an exotic dancer in order to provide for her severely handicapped child. She developed a drinking problem because she would take a drink to have to go on the stage, she hated it and herself so much. Drinking became a way of coping with the job.
        Every one of her friends who workef with her were in similar situations-fleeing abusive relationships, lacking education, wanting to provide for their children and exhausting all alternatives.
        My friend decided when her child was very young she would dance till she could secure her child’s future. He needs 24 hr care, and she worried about what will happen when she dies and he has no one fighting for him.
        She did just that. She went back to school to train to be what she has wanted to be since childhood, and has been working in her field ever since. She never wants to return to dancing, and has a lot of emotional healing to go through because of it. Her choices were out of love for her son.

  5. “Some base part of us wants it, but our better self is offended by the idea”. So, a good many men have a Love Hate relationship with their own sexuality?

    And men think women are confusing.

    • @BitterSweet – Yeah, love/hate is a good way to explain it. We enjoy it, but we hate the way it pulls us places we don’t want to go. Some then take the next step, which is blame “immodest women” for being pulled in directions they don’t want to go. It’s no longer about his desire, it’s about her immortality. The step after that is deciding if a woman shows it, then we have every right to look.
      Paul Byerly recently posted…The Past: SexMy Profile

  6. “But a woman who gets up on stage and takes off her clothes is not a good, decent woman. Likewise for a woman who does porn.”

    Wait a second there fella. That porn star is somebody’s daughter! (http://www.shessomebodysdaughter.com/somebodys-daughter-dvd) How dare you suggest that she is at all morally culpable for what she does. She is just expressing her artistic talent or she was molested as a child by a man or she is trying to make a living raising a child in a difficult world. Who are we to judge?

    Now, of course, the guys in porn may be some momma’s son, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t total dirtbags. And the guys who watch porn are even worse. The women who watch porn, on the other hand, are just victims of exploitation or of society’s exaggerated standards of beauty or probably of an abusive father.

    • @DougK – I know no one wants to hear this, but the idea that porn stars et. al. were all abused or are strung out on drugs is no longer valid. It may have been in the past, but several recent well-done studies have found women in porn have the same (or slightly lower) rates of past sexual abuse as women in general. As a group, they have more past problems with alcohol (as teens), but the only drug they use more than other women as adults is marijuana. They became sexual earlier in life, and have had more partners, but both those things were their choice, not a result of force or coercion. Looking at mental health the porn women scored slightly better in terms of greater mental health, self-esteem, and positive feelings about their lives. Not significantly better, but not worse.
      The only significant differences between the women of porn and women in general are the porn women are much more sexual (number of partners, frequency, variety, and reported enjoyment) and they are more “spiritual”.
      There are of course former porn stars who have written tell-all books about their horrible life leading up to and then being involved in porn. These get a lot of media attention, but they are a few among many. Plenty of women who never did porn have similar stories about being abused.
      As I said, no one wants to hear this, But it’s the truth, and I think we do better when we deal with the truth. We have a better chance of reaching the sex industry with the gospel if we know the reality of their lives.
      Some have used the “those women are all abused” mantra to try to get men to stop looking at porn. Aside from the morality of using a lie to get right behaviour, it doesn’t work. I’ve talked to men who felt bad about using “all those abused women” AFTER they got out of porn, but I’ve never talked to a man who stopped because he felt bad about the fact his objects of lust were supposedly victims of all manner of abuse.
      The sad truth is women go into porn because it seems like a good way to make money. It is the fastest easiest way for many of these women to make the kind of money they are making, but most of them have no morality pushing them away from it. I see this as a result of how much our society has devalued sex. It’s not special and private, it’s common and no different than anything else we do with our bodies.
      Paul Byerly recently posted…The Past: SexMy Profile

        • @Libl – Sex trafficking is very real and a horrible thing. But it’s not the source of most porn.
          And yes, I would agree porn use is part of the problem, it numbs men (and women) to the horror of sex trafficking. I am in no way defending porn, I’ve been very clear I hate it!

      • I think no one wants to hear it because it’s not exactly true. Like with the self-esteem — they could be reporting that they feel great or that they really love it, but that may not be accurate. (Random example, Denmark scores higher as a happier country than the US, yet it has a suicide rate more than triple that of the US. Happy people don’t kill themselves.) “Well adjusted” women don’t become promiscuous early, abuse alcohol as teens or continue to use pot well into adulthood. And that’s just with their reported info — there are other studies that show certain groups serious under-report their drug use when it’s correlated against urine or hair drug testing.

        • @sunny-dee – “They’re all lying” is an easy response and one it’s difficult to argue. I was on that bandwagon for years, but the evidence to the contrary is stacking up too high to ignore.
          As to Denmark, that claim is dated and contrived. The current suicide rate for Denmark is below that of the US – see http://bit.ly/2wQbMl2.
          Paul Byerly recently posted…Help Her With Your ChangeMy Profile

          • The sheer amount of “amateur” porn out there kills the idea that women only do it due to coercion.

            • I don’t think they (all) do it for coercion. I do think they do it because they are very broken.

              • @sunny-dee – I agree with you on being broken, but that’s where it gets tricky. By our world-view, of course, they are broken, it’s a given because we say only broken people would do that. Broken or most desperate than most people in a modern country will ever be.
                But there are other world-views. Some see a woman doing porn as an indication she is free of shame and all the restrictions put on women by “the patriarchy”. I read an article by a woman who said EVERY woman should do porn at least once because it was “empowering”.
                I don’t accept those things at face value, but many do. So the question is how can we have an intelligent discussion with them?
                Paul Byerly recently posted…What I’d ChangeMy Profile

                • I actually don’t think you can have an intelligent discussion with people who have gone to that extreme.

                  I do think that a lot of people carry a lot of emotional baggage related to sex. Something like 70% of women regret losing their virginity when they did. That doesn’t mean they’re all full purity movement Christians, but it does mean that, on an individual level, they recognize that they made bad choices at 16 / 17 and wish they had waited or slowed down. But when asked, they would also probably answer that teens are fully sexual beings and should be allowed to explore.

                  If someone thinks everyone should do porn because it’s awesome and empowering, there may be no way to have a constructive conversation. But given that people are (individually) beginning to realize the negative effects of porn, I think it can be constructive to point out that a healthy “normal” woman wouldn’t really engage in it. (Try pointing that out on a movie website where all the guys love teh pron and watch their heads explode with defensiveness … even when they’re discussing a porn star who committed suicide. Obviously, it was the haters that drove her to that, not her totes awesome lifestyle choices.)

      • Paul, I think you are so, so wrong about this. I really would like to see the studies you’re referring to. It may be true that porn stars aren’t all strung out on substances, but that isn’t the sole determining factor of whether or not women are decent or, more importantly, whether they chose their line of work out of their own free will.

        You say that we have a better chance of reaching the sexu industry with the gospel if we know the reality of your lives. I agree, and I want to ask: How many women have you known who have worked in the sex industry? I have, mostly in my career in higher education. I’ve known women who have stripped, women who’ve been lap dancers, and women who have walked the streets to keep their electricity on. I once knew a woman who had sex with her mom’s boyfriend to keep her mom’s electricity on during a heat wave. I knew another woman who had run away from a sexually abusive step-father. She ended up dancing–on stages and on laps–and moving from one sugar daddy to another. By the age of 19, she already had developed a need to be spanked, hard, in order to experience sexual pleasure. 19 years old. When she talked about it, most of the time she presented it all as her choice, like she was in control of her career. But you know, she kind of had to do that in order to have the illusion that she wasn’t as exploited as she was.

        Not a single one of these women did what they did as the result of much choice. When you make a blanket statement that most women in the sex industry want to be there, you add to the problem. It becomes that much easier for a man to justify viewing porn because you’ve said that it’s bad in only one way, not two. His viewing then adds to the exploitation of these women.

        I want to respond specifically to several of your comments.

        “They became sexual earlier in life, and have had more partners, but both those things were their choice, not a result of force or coercion.”

        Have you considered what actually causes women to have been sexual earlier in life and to have more partners in the first place? Some factors include abuse, parental conflict, low self-esteem, and insecurity. I would venture to say that in many cases, adolescent girls who choose to be sexual are not doing so as a result of a healthy emotional state. It frequently is a choice based on lies and damage, not a choice based on a clear and full slate of options. For some women, it is the very fact that they were sexual earlier that leads them to the sex industry in the first place. They feel they are damaged goods already. Choice? Technically, yes. But not a choice in the way you might make a choice in the cereal aisle at the grocery store. It’s more like the choice you make when a man says, “Give me your wallet or I’ll shoot you.”

        “The sad truth is women go into porn because it seems like a good way to make money.”

        I would say that this is true, at least to an extent. And that is absolutely heart-breaking to think that we have a society where the most economically effective option for some women is to expose and exploit their bodies and their sexuality. As I said, I’ve known quite a few young women who’ve worked in the sex industry. Some of them have talked with me about not just their own views of what they do, but also of what their colleagues said. They felt they had no other options. Not a single one *wanted* sex work as a profession. It was more like they resigned themselves to it. None of them felt good about herself when starting into the industry. Even if she’d already felt like damaged goods, “making it official,” as one woman told me, made them feel even worse. One young woman said, “Men are going to take advantage of me anyway. I might as well get something for it.” When they choose porn or other sex work, they do so because they don’t see other options for themselves.

        “I see this as a result of how much our society has devalued sex.”

        It is also a result of how much our society has devalued women. When women find themselves sexually active at an early age, with economic options that keep them down rather than lift them up and move them forward, with their bodies and sexuality valued for what it does for others rather than for themselves, we have failed.

        Aren’t we called to invite all these women to a better life?

        And let me ask this, too. Let’s say that most women in porn are there because they really want to be. Aren’t they just as deserving of our compassion as the women who didn’t feel they had any choice?

        #sorrynotsorry for the very long comment

        • There are probably as many stories and reasons women go into porn as there are porn actresses. But, everyone of them is still someone’s daughter.

          Are we trying to say that it’s the porn actresses fault that pornography is so popular?
          Or are we saying it’s OK to objectify these women if they voluntarily entered the business?

          The true problem with porn is the users. They supply the demand. They have created a multimillion dollar industry. Without the demand, the industry would dwindle.

          There is a huge segment of our population that sees nothing wrong with porn.
          Seems controlling or redirecting sexual urges and temptations has gone out of vogue.

          Once again, technology is growing faster than our morals and ethics can keep up with.

        • @Chris Taylor – I almost didn’t say anything because I was afraid the (justified) emotion over all this would make it impossible for me to be heard. A decade ago I’d have been saying all the same things I’m now saying are not true. In truth, I’d like them to be true. But what I’ve read makes it clear they are not true, and my ONLY goal here is to share what seems to be true because I think truth is important even when I don’t like the truth. I will make a single try at this, I don’t want to argue it for days and days. I know there is a LOT of stuff out there that supports what everyone wants to be true, and I’m not going to wade through all of that because most of it is statistically irrelevant. It pulls at the heart strings, but it says nothing about the average woman in porn.

          First, let’s be clear what I’m addressing. I’m not talking but prostitution, stripping, or other forms of sex trafficking. I’m talking about porn and on-line video sex where a woman is basically doing live porn.

          I have no idea how true these claims were in the past. I suspect there was far more truth in them up till a few decades ago, but there is no way to prove or disprove that. The reality is virtually all of the “studies” done in the past we are farce. They cherry-picked to get the answers they wanted. Additionally, because of the general public’s negative feelings about porn, those women who had good things to say about it were less likely to speak up – especially openly.

          Finally, I don’t think this is a good thing, and I’m sure doing porn hurts the women in the long run. Porn is done by young women – 18 to early 20’s. None of us were very wise at that age, and we all did some stupid things we went on to regret. I have no doubt many will regret it when they are 30, and I suspect it will do all kinds of damage to their self-image and their sexuality. In another ten or fifteen years we may have studies that prove that, but we don’t yet.

          So to your post:

          I didn’t say they were “decent women”. As to choosing, there was an article several years ago about a study that found almost half of the teenage girls in the UK where were asked though being an exotic dancer would be a good job choice. (I can not find the story now).

          I’ve known a few women from the industry, but it’s 20 years ago now, and it was striping, not porn. From what you said, your contacts are not from porn, which is the only thing I was addressing.

          As to earlier sex, of course, some is a result of being abused. But much of it is not. Again I think this has changed in the last few decades. Sadly society as a whole is all for teenage girls having sex, and we tell them that in a myriad of ways. They see porn at an early age (which I would call abuse, actually) and that pushes them to have sex. I have no doubt peer pressure is as much a facto as curiosity, but a great many teenage girls decide to have sex without any abuse in their past. I’m as upset about that as anyone here, but it’s still a reality. And by the way, one of the top reasons women give for going into porn is that they like sex. I can’t imagine porn is anything like sex, but if this is valid then it makes sense that girls who choose to have sex earlier would be more likely to go into porn.

          Your last question is excellent, and I agree with you. If I said anything that seems to the contrary, I’m sorry. I want to see all those women get out of porn, and even more than that I want them to find Jesus. But if they entered porn of their own choice, a ministry founded on them being abused and exploited isn’t going to get any traction. They will laugh at how clueless the ministry is, and that’s not conducive to hearing what they say. And that is why I bothered to bring this all up in the first place. I think our well-intentioned efforts are missing it by a mile. I’d like more than good intentions, I’d like a tactic that has a real chance to bring about change.

          Finally, major point, I said porn, and what you addressed is the sex industry as a whole. Please don’t extend what I said about porn to the industry as a whole. I didn’t say it, and I don’t think it applies.

          A few links:
          http://bit.ly/2wPXs0R
          http://bit.ly/2whbHHG
          http://dailym.ai/2wfMg9d
          http://bit.ly/2wQmrkm (This one discusses some of the difficulties in doing good studies on this issue)
          http://bit.ly/2yCtiuX – (Purely anecdotal claim from a woman who chose it and keeps doing it by choice despite having a degree that would give her a good job. I threw this in because most of what we are given to “prove” how women are forced into porn is anecdotal.)
          Paul Byerly recently posted…Light Up Her LifeMy Profile

          • Thanks for posting the links. I don’t want to debate, either. I had intended to address the porn vs. sex-trade-as-a-whole distinction in my initial post. I’ll do that now.

            Porn is part of the larger sex work industry. When discussing the conditions in which porn is made, I prefer to discuss it within the context of all sex work–because for so many of the women doing porn, it is still sex work and many issues are the same. Everything I said about the sex industry applies to porn. I think much of what you said about porn applies to sex work, too.

            However, I was responding more to some comments than to your original post. I didn’t intend to drag things so far off-track. I do think you are right that a man’s porn use is usually not about his wife. It seems to be a combination of his God-designed sex drive, his sinful nature as a human, and often an issue (not an erection) that needs soothing.

            I apologize for ruffling feathers.
            Chris Taylor recently posted…Experience GodMy Profile

      • Paul, I agree with Chris’s comment below. But I also want to say that your response to “all abused” sets up a straw man. Who ever said ALL of these women were abused in the past? No one I know. But are many of them broken? Yes. Are they mistreated in the porn industry? You bet. Are even amateur porn stars dealing with emotional damage? I’d give that an emphatic yes.

        When you argue that these are perfectly well-adjusted, just-wanting-to-make-money women, you add to the rationalization that it’s okay to watch this stuff. I know that’s not your position, but if a man believes that he’s not hurting anyone, he’s more likely to continue watching porn. Yet supporting porn is hurting those women, as well as himself.

        Whether or not these women faced abuse before, they’re being abused now. Abuse is defined as “use (something) to bad effect or for a bad purpose; misuse. and “treat (a person or an animal) with cruelty or violence, especially regularly or repeatedly.” So yeah, treating women like sex objects who often do pretty extreme sex acts for someone else’s selfish pleasure is abusive. That should be yet another reason to stop using porn…today.
        J. Parker recently posted…Role Play, Movie Sex, and More Questions…AnsweredMy Profile

        • Too many times I hear men justify their enjoyment of lewdness with, “if she’s showing, I’m looking,” or “well, she’s making good money,” or “she says it is ok.”

          “The woman you gave me told me to eat….” Sound familiar?

          Too many men use women as their moral compass.

        • @J. Parker – I didn’t set up the straw man, there are those who have said all women in porn were abused as children. The statistics show their rate of abuse is the same as the general public. (A rate that is atrocious, BTW.)
          I didn’t say perfectly well-adjusted. I suspect some who have studied it would, but I don’t agree.
          I disagree men are more likely to watch if they think they are hurting no one. I don’t think men who look at porn care about that. I wish they did, but I don’t think they do. Or at least they don’t care enough to stop. Regardless of that, I will not accept an ends-justifies-the-means approach and lie about it!
          As for hurting the women, I agree it is, but not in the ways most are saying. I think it does horrible things to them emotionally and spiritually, which is far more horrible in the long term.
          And finally, let’s not make this all about men. A third of women use porn too. And that is just as wrong and just as harmful to them and to those they watch.
          Paul Byerly recently posted…Light Up Her LifeMy Profile

  7. This post has brought some feelings bubbling up inside.
    First, I have a wonderful husband and I love him with all my heart.
    But, over the years I have come to realize his sexuality is pretty much as described above.
    He has watched porn and told me it has nothing to do with me.
    He has “eyed” pretty women and has told me it has nothing to do with me.
    He has gone to strip clubs (prior to marriage) with the guys and found it to be fun.
    Of course, it had nothing to do with me. As the article explains, many men enjoy arousal, plain and simple.

    I don’t know if other women feel the same way, but over the years of noticing that my husband’s sexuality isn’t always about me, I have found myself gradually (subconsciously) separating his sexuality from him as a person. There’s my husband and then there is his sexuality…..which isn’t always about me.

    This makes things a little confusing because, even though his sexuality isn’t always about me, his sexuality IS always about him. He defines himself through his sexuality. So, if I’m not up for sex at one point in time, in my mind, I’m rejecting sex not him. But, on the other hand, if I’m not up for sex at one point in time, he feels I’m rejecting him not the sex.

    How can men have it both ways and expect us to always be understanding?

    • The thing is you shouldn’t be understanding. I don’t want my wife to be understanding about my porn use. I want her to call me out on it. And in the way she can , help me or if she wants to, leave me. But never accept it or just understand it. You should expect your husband not to look and not to lust. And you shouldn’t be understanding if he still does it. He must understand it’s wrong. I think what Paul wants to say with this post is that women shouldn’t feel like there is something wrong with them and that’s why their husbands watch porn or lust after other women. As I wrote in a comment about my own struggles with lust many men can have sex without having an emotional connection with the person they have sex with. Not everyone but many men can. That’s why some men can sleep with other women and be very loving to their wife. They can watch porn and still be loving to their wife’s because they don’t automatically connect sex with love. You can read my comment and see what I mean. But this doesn’t mean it’s right. It doesn’t justify anything. It’s a product of the fall of man. It’s a sinful thing and every attempt to excuse is wrong. So your husband must show that his sexuality is only for you. It’s understandable that you reject him if this is the case and then he has to find a way to fix this. So you shouldn’t be understanding , you should call this out

      • @Pornaddict
        “The thing is you shouldn’t be understanding”.

        I shouldn’t be understanding about his porn use or I shouldn’t be understanding about his sexual desires/urges/enjoyment of arousal that drives him to porn use?

    • @BitterSweet – You expressed that very well, and I suspect many women feel the same. To answer your final sentence, they should not expect her to understand.
      The day I got married I choose to make my sexuality always about my wife. I’ve never been sorry about that. I wish all men would do the same. I understand all the things pulling them to do otherwise, and I know our culture tells them they can and should do otherwise. But if a man wants to bless his wife, and oh, by the way, give himself the best chance for a great sex life, then making it about her and only her is the way to go.
      Paul Byerly recently posted…The Past: SexMy Profile

    • This reminds me of when I confronted my husband (then boyfriend) about his use of Playboy and how it hurt me. He yelled at me, “my sexuality is none of your business.” (Which, in hindsight, explains a LOT about our sexual history and problems in marriage.)

  8. This is all well and good, this post and these comments. But my feeling is (and I’m a woman) is that if a man is happy with his wife, he wouldn’t need to look elsewhere.

    My husband went to a strip club for his bachelor party and for several parties after we’d married. He did not love me. He couldn’t. No man would do those things to a woman he loved. It bothers him now, but I will never believe he loved me when we married. Not when he chose to hurt me. Not when he conciously chose strippers he must have thought were more beautiful and better women than me. He absolutely could not have felt love for me and done such a hurtful thing. No man in love would do that. Any man who does these things cannot honestly say he loves his wife (or wife to be). The two do not go together. Love does not do such cruel things. Happy men do not go looking elsewhere.

    Is it sad? Yep. Is it getting old? Yep. Will I ever believe he loved me? Nope. He made his choice and he chose hot, sexy, better strippers over the woman he must have regretted asking to marry. His choice, not mine.

  9. @Anonymousthistime – You said, “he wouldn’t NEED to look elsewhere.” Need is an interesting word there because we choose to do all kinds of things we don’t need because we want them. As Chris said above, men do this kind of things because of “a combination of his God-designed sex drive, his sinful nature as a human, and often an issue (not an erection) that needs soothing.”
    I would agree a man wouldn’t do that to his wife if he loved her AND IF he understood what it would mean to her. Husbands and wives who really love their spouses do all kinds of hurtful things because they don’t understand how hurtful they are. That doesn’t make it right or less painful, but it does mean it’s not a statement about their love or lack of love.
    But even if you’re right, are you ever going to forgive that and let it go? Does he love you now? Isn’t that enough?
    Paul Byerly recently posted…Who’s the Rude Dude In My Past?My Profile

  10. “It’s not about you” makes for a great soundbite, but it’s a lie that only serves to perpetuate the porn problem. Please hear me out before deciding how you feel about that statement.

    First, your main point is accurate and valid. Your point as I interpret it: Men do not watch porn, visit strip clubs, or lust after other women because of their wife’s looks or personality. And, they don’t do these things because they don’t love their wife. They do it for many other reasons that are completely separate from their wife and their relationship with their wife. They would do these things even if they were married to someone else. Their wife’s looks have nothing to do with the reasons they choose to watch porn, visit strip clubs or lust after other women.

    The problem is the statement “Porn is NOT about you”. YES, IT IS!!! Saying otherwise is a lie and a slap in the face to any woman whose husband has used porn during their marriage. When we marry, we become one with our spouse. Our bodies are no longer ours to do with as we please. EVERYTHING we do with and to our bodies is also about our spouse. If I choose to eat a donut, it is about my husband. If I chose to sit on the couch watching TV for 20 hours straight, it is about my husband. These decisions may have roots in very valid issues that I think are strictly my decisions and have nothing to do with my husband. But, this is just a lie that I tell myself to justify my decisions and actions. The Bible tells us very clearly that once we are married it is no longer ok to make decisions regarding our bodies or minds without considering our spouse. Because we are now joined as One.

    To tell a wife who has been hurt by these things, that “it wasn’t about them” is just a slap in the face. To that woman, it was all about her. Telling her otherwise minimizes her pain and excuses the behavior. I know excusing the behavior IS NOT your intent, but that is what these words do. Oh hey, “it’s really okay because it wasn’t about you”. That’s how this comes off. When men hear that phrase, I’m sure they feel the same. “Yes, it wasn’t about her. It had nothing to do with her.” That’s the problem in a nutshell. It IS ABOUT HER.

    • I accidentally posted that before I was finished. Here’s the rest:

      One thing that might help men think twice before making the decision to watch porn, go to strip clubs, and lust after other women is if they started realizing just how much these things are about their wife.

      I don’t oppose your message. I despise the phrase, “it’s not about you” in regards to porn use. I wish you and others would find a better way to explain this message without using those words because they are just not accurate and don’t serve to benefit wives or husbands struggling with issues from porn use.

      One other caveat: My comments specifically refer to women whose husbands have used porn, gone to strip clubs or lusted after other women because that is specifically what the post was about. I’m in no way suggesting this is just a male problem.

      • K has a point.

        As I said before, I was told by my husband, “my sexuality is none of your business,” concerning his using Playboy.

        When I get upset about him watching graphic TV shows or movies, or when he did look up pornography, he would blow his top at me. He would say that it isn’t about me. I’m just as pretty as those girls, so why am I getting all bent. It isn’t like he is going to cheat on me, he doesn’t watch those shows for that content…yadda yadda…it isn’t about me, I am not part of the equation.

        And therein lies the problem. The wife is not part of the equation. She is a non-entity that doesn’t matter to him at that time.

        I get it. I have justified sinning by telling Christ, “I love you, I want to serve you, but I want this for me right now. This isn’t about you or us. It is about me.” Nevermind that that sin is exactly what nailed Him to the cross.

        “Don’t be so dramatic, Jesus. Get off that cross. My sin isn’t about you. You’re just as good a God as my idol here. I don’t know why you get so jealous and take it so personally. This isn’t about you. I’m not going to skip church to go to strip clubs or watch porn.”

        “Don’t be so dramatic, wife (a covenant relationship that is supposed to mirror Christ and the church). Stop pitching a fit. You’re just as pretty as those girls. I don’t know why you get so jealous and take it personally. This isn’t about you. I’m not going to leave you for another woman.”

        The reason why “porn isn’t about you” is just as hurtful as if it were about you is because it is a complete, unloving, self-centered disregard and elimination of her all together.

        It isn’t that he doesn’t love her, per se, but rather he loves himself and his sin more. Ironically, that in itself is unloving.

        • @Libl – I agree his sexuality is your business – I think the Bible leaves no room to argue that. His choices affect you, but that does not mean you have affected his choices.
          And yes, his choice is unloving and self-centred, and yes that hurts. But it’s the truth, and knowing the truth is better than living a lie.
          Paul Byerly recently posted…What I’d ChangeMy Profile

      • @K – Your second paragraph is spot on, thanks. I want women to understand that, because a lot of women believe he is using porn because of some failing on her part. This is a lie – he’s using porn because of a failing on HIS PART. His reasons and motivation are not about his wife, they are about him.
        Of course, I agree with you on the rest. I would say, however, his choices affect her, not are about her. (It probably comes down to how you and I define and understand the words involved. As I’m sure you’re not the only one who hears it this way, I accept the challenge to find a better way to say it.) The problem I’m fighting is women who don’t get as angry with their husbands as they should because they buy into the lie he’s doing it because of her failing. She gets mad, and she gets hurt, but she doesn’t get in his face as she should because she thinks she is partly to blame. She is not to blame, and she needs to know that.
        I also agree men need to understand how much this affects their wife. I do all I can on that. If a woman gives any hint of “It’s my fault” she makes it easy for her husband to justify his actions because she has agreed he is only doing it because of her failing. Blaming a wife for her husband’s porn us is like blaming a woman for her husband beating her. It’s a lie and we should make sure everyone knows that!
        Paul Byerly recently posted…What I’d ChangeMy Profile

        • @Paul – Thanks for hearing me out on that and for accepting my challenge of finding a better way to express this message. I think if we were discussing any other relationship the distinction of the words affect and about would matter more. However, we are talking about marriage where the spouses are supposed to be One Flesh. As you know, this means much more than sex. In that context, I view these words as synonymous. Also, thoughts and impulses are individual in nature. Actions are something different. When we are one with our spouse, every action we take should have consideration for them at the fore front of our minds. This should be all inclusive of everything in our lives. Maybe the message of what it really means to be one flesh with spouse should be what we start talking about. Then, maybe both sexes would be a lot more considerate of the other before making any decision. My actions are no longer just ABOUT me and they haven’t been for more than 25 years. And, yes, every action I take will AFFECT my spouse.

  11. The draw to use porn, lust, get aroused is caused by sex drive.
    A sex drive has nothing to do with the partner.
    sex drive is energy waiting to be used.
    It can be very a very powerful drive.
    People who use that energy to lust and become aroused do so for a number of reasons:
    Boredom, fun,relaxation,stress relief, the list goes on.
    People also use it as an expression of love.
    If a man with a high sex drive experiences a significant drop in testosterone, they typically have a decrease in sex drive and a decrease need to do something with that excess energy.
    It has nothing to do with the spouse.
    It’s the choice they make in how they use that drive and why that has to do with the partner and how the partner is affected.
    Porn use is not about the spouse, Porn is a choice a person decides to focus their sexual energies toward for some reason.
    My husbands sex drive has nothing to do with me except the fact that it should be directed toward me only if it’s not to affect me.

      • @Jolie – They use it because it’s easy and cheap, and they were introduced to it a very long time ago when they were far less able to process what it meant or the fact it was wrong.
        Not excusing, just explaining.
        Paul Byerly recently posted…What I’d ChangeMy Profile

  12. How am I supposed to think it’s not about me, when he pulls away from all aspects of the relationship for months, tells you that “I’d rather look at porn then have sex with you” and then proceeds to do that?
    Sure I am aware of the great amount of stress we are under at the moment, but how do I not take it personally?

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