What is normal porn usage?

Submitted by merryhill on
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Several months ago, I stumbled upon what seemed to be excessive youporn usage in the internet history. At first I thought it was my son, but by the times, I knew it was my husband. He had been looking at porn each morning while I was commuting to work. When he and I first met, we would watch it together occasionally, but this morning usage was keeping us from having sex. If we did have sex, he made no effort with me. He basically spit on his hand to get it a little wet and sticks it in, which is fine occasionally, but nor for the norm. I confronted him and he said that ALL men watch porn with the frequency that he watches it and that I'm being crazy. I tell him I need more intimacy (he translates that to oral) and he tells me I pressure him, so he doesn't want to have sex. He also says he doesn't want to spoil me. Well, since the confrontation, I'm not sure what is different. We have been having sex more and he has made a little more effort, but he will still get on the laptop, watch youporn, then wants to go directly to bed to get off. I am 100% sure that he loves me by other ways he shows me, so I am wondering if I'm just being ridiculous. If I'm not being ridiculous and I've already confronted him to no avail, what else can I do? I love my husband and want to restore the intimacy.


I do not know what normal porn use is among married males. For some it is zero, for others it is a chunk of their day. Depends on the internal dynamics. They want something that they are not getting out of life. Notice I said life, not marriage. Many women blame themselves for their husbands' porn addictions. I would recommend counseling to help clarify both of your issues on porn, but it is very difficult to find a therapist who does not show favoritism AND who can park their prejudices regarding porn. By your description, it sounds like his porn use is a Substitute for intimacy with you. I'll wager that his description will be as a Suppliment to intimacy with you. Both words begin with S and have ten letters but have entirely different meanings. The quickest short term cure is to spend a couples' intimacy building workshop together. I can't recommend any , you will have to research that in your region. Many churches, in their new found freedom from shame, offer some pretty interesting and healthy approaches too.

Then once you establish a safe dialog between you, I highly recommend Marnia's book for continued play and practice. For the low price, the rewards are worth several multihundred dollar weekend workshops. Then once you are open to the sustained non-orgasmic practice recommended, just think of it as no risk. Trying it is only passing on a few orgasms out of thousands in a lifetime.

This seems to be the go-to website for porn addiction now. Several of the gentlemen registered on this website have been paying attention to their internal dialog while defeating porn. Maybe they have some insights.

I don't know how to answer the question you pose,

but I think maybe we all need to be asking a *different* question - something along the lines of "does porn distort the user's thinking such that he places less value on intimacy and more attention on getting off and *also* on coping with uncomfortable feelings of withdrawal (which tend to affect his values, clarity, defensiveness, etc.)?"

Running this website has taught me that porn is not harmless. This is because it is a powerful "learning reinforcer." That is, the brain is designed to give it lots of attention - because the primitive part of the brain associates it with our "mating opportunity? GO FOR IT!" program. Our brains evolved when we weren't flooded with erotica, so our brains haven't adjusted to the quantity of it...same thing with sugar. See "Mind-benders: When 'Natural' Is Risky" http://www.reuniting.info/science/natural_reinforcers_sex_food_mind_bend...

Your instincts are right. Porn is having a drug-like effect on your husband's brain, and he can't see it (or can easily deny it) because all he knows is that an orgasm instantly makes him feel better (eases his withdrawal discomfort - see this page for some of the withdrawal symptoms men report as they give up this addiction: http://www.reuniting.info/node/745)

He probably thinks he's just a really sexy guy,;-) but he's actually medicating himself for withdrawal discomfort with the "hit" of brain chemicals that accompany orgasm. Unfortunately he's also condemning himself to the continued discomfort of withdrawal...so he'll need another hit sooner (and sooner).

What can you do? Sounds like you already recognize that this is not a question of a character weakness, or lack of love for you. Very wise. If he's open to it, have him read this material, just as a way to gain perspective.

"Three Myths about Porn"

"Mind-benders: When 'Natural' Is Risky" (This is the first part of the article cited above) http://www.reuniting.info/science/natural_reinforcers_sex_food_mind_bend...)

"Help Porn Addiction in Progress"

Remember, porn is not harmless because many men (and boys) use it frequently. It is harmless only *until* it sets up the drug-like pattern in the brain of highs and lows, which drive the addiction. At that point porn can be VERY hard to give up, and can turn users into zombies. And no one can say when a learning -reinforcer like porn, drugs or gambling will transition from "harmless entertainment" to "fix." That point is different for everyone. This is why porn is risky.

Good luck, and let us know how you get on. (Contact me if you want to start your own blog.) Like Luke (great advice, Luke!), I hope some of the men who have been struggling with this challenge will tell us if there's anything you could do to help your husband regain his freedom. Truth is, the addict usually has to take the first step.

Welcome to the forum.


Thank you, Marnia for this link!

I've just ordered it. I can't wait to show it at work and to my kids (don't worry, they're old enough). I'd show it to the b/f, but he's in jail now. The combination of his natural damage, methamphetamine and the addictive power of porn have all contributed to his incarceration. This film will probably contribute to my healing as well as the healing of many others.

Thank you!
Thank you!
Thank you!
Thank you!
Thank you!


Hip to hip, lip to lip.

New to site

I stumbled upon porn on my husbands computer a year ago. I am suprised at the mixed feelings I have experienced because I have never considered myself anti-porn. When I first discovered the porn, I thought I was more upset about the fact he was hiding it, was using it while our nanny was downstairs, had no time for the family but found time for porn and I had noticed the level of imtimacy had dropped off and I wondered if porn might be playing a role. The "collection" of porn on my husbands computer was very large and included videos of past relationships where he had videotaped at least one person he was with. I have only looked at my husbands computer two times since stumbling on the porn and both times I have found porn in his "recent documents" files. We have a two year old that I am usually watching when he is viewing it and it upsets me because I feel taken advantage of, he tells me he is working. He says he is working but needs breaks every once in a while and he watches the porn or downloads the porn when he needs a break. When I confronted him about how many files he looks at he says he usually downloads them for future use and that he doesn't watch many of them because they don't "do it" for him aka get him off. He has gone to great lengths to hide the porn from me (he has removed his recent document icon and deletes his history often)....but he said it has been so long since we have talked about it that he "got sloppy". He also says I send him mixed messages because I was very upset upon first finding the porn but when he offers to stop using it, I tell him I do not want to control what he does and does not do.... I just wish he didn't want to use it and I want him to not hide it. I am not saying I want him to come tell me every time he is going to look at it.....just be open in general that he is using it. What I do know is since seeing the "type of women" my huband likes to look at, I feel self conscious about my body. I feel like our sex life is borderline boring because I realize he likes more intense sex than he ever asks for in bed.

I want to understand this and be fair with my husband. i dont want to demonize him but I feel upset and confused. can anyone out there share your insights.

From the female-side

I have to admit, stroking a male-ego after discovering I've been replaced by porn is the LAST bitter horse-pill I'd want to swallow.

Perhaps men using porn fail to realize how the image of being replaced by an image is very hurtful and demorlaizing for the female expected to help "repair" an intensely insecure and fragile situation. A healthy relationship needs to go both-ways, or it will get stuck. I don't know anyone who wants to feel left-out or left-behind, especially if one is gaining while the other is guessing.

I know for myself, I used porn as a means to please partners and learn techniques... all to benefit a man I couldn't give a real rat's ass care about. Of all the aspects of my past, I would have to say that need-to-please (at the expense of my own self-esteeem and personal value) revolts me the absolutely most.

However, I know those are my own issues from the past...

Perhaps in the marriage-situation you can ask him "What is it that you really like... and would you really want to try it out sometime?" [You of course, have to look into your own sense of willingness to try new & different things that might push your boundaries. Think of it as sexploration that can benefit both of you... but I would warn you: don't think what you see him looking at is what you need to do. Compromise. Offer what feels comfortable for YOU.]

Without open communication, you BOTH will run and hide, seeking other outlets.

Well noonan, That's a tough

Well noonan,

That's a tough question to answer. If you directly confront your husband about it, he's more likely to shut down. I find from personal experience that masturbation is used as a stress-reliever and it can also be used as a substitute for intimacy. The only way you will be able to discuss the issue with him is if he wants to, and you will have to work on his terms. I would say a good first step is to give him a little more affectionate attention. Don't try anything grandiose; just try something simple. The process of talking about it will take probably weeks and maybe even months, but it can be done.


Your partner has an addiction. It doesn't matter that it's like gambling (behavior) rather than alcohol (substance). This is why he can't stop. He has no choice...unless he goes through withdrawal.

Lancer's right that the only thing you can do, other than to realize what's really going on, is to nurture him safely with lots of affectionate touch, that is, without orgasm(!). Otherwise you are contributing to his withdrawal symptoms, and making his cravings worse. This is not a matter of stroking his ego. It's a matter of giving him what can soothe his addiction best...your loving female energy (and lots of oxytocin, a neurochemical that has been shown to reduce addiction and withdrawal symptoms in rats). I'm not saying you SHOULD do this...until you understand why and really want to. I'm just saying that communication techniques combined with conventional sex aren't likely to improve the situation at all.

Learn what he's going through here: http://www.reuniting.info/resources/porn_masturbation_addiction

If possible, share the information with him. Withdrawal is painful, but he can be back to equilibrium and unhooked from porn in 6 weeks, if you are willing to change how you make love.

Good luck.