Porn Induced Committment Problems? Should I start watching porn again?

Submitted by confusedius on
Printer-friendly version

Hi Everyone,

This is my first post, which I have been meaning to post since I became member just over 2 weeks ago. But in order to make my post really concise, I have been putting off posting it.

Today, I have decided to get started by posting at least little. I will provide more information as and when someone asks or in future posts. I really appreciate everyone, especially Marnia, who set up the site, and has given us space to discuss. And in reading many forum topics, I have seen Marnia's personal responses, and it is wonderful.

I am from an Asian country, where the culture and society is very different from the Western countries, especially in terms of relationships, marriages etc. This cultural context will be an important factor.

To begin with
* I first discovered masturbation at the age of 12, when rubbing my morning wood made me feel good.
* I first watched XXX-rated, completely hardcore video, when I was 14. I have been watching those videos on and off, until mid of October of 2010. That's about 16 years of porn usage.
* BUT, havne't watched porn over two months, after learning its effect on me and relationships.
* Have significantly reduced mb(masturbation) frequency .
* Have avoided orgasm since 17-Dec-2010 (This is from that article on how a guy overcame porn related ED.)
* I am in relationship with this girl since Sep 2004, but I was in the US, while she was at home in different country.

* I left my country in Aug of 2005, and we met after 5 years in October of 2010. In this time, we did not look for anyone else. We stayed in the relationship despite ups and down, and a very long distance. While I liked some girls externally, I never felt for them. Actually, I purposely avoided coming in contact with other girls. Because if I maintain the distance then I won't have to deal with any possible wrong consequences.

* I had not been fantasizing about any other women, since I met my girl, including her. Yes including her, because I haven't been able to combine love and lust. This has to do with some of my childhood experience and beliefs. I discovered that male-female relationship and that rubbing down there feels good at early age. But I had not discovered the physical process of having sex, until 10th grade or after. I just knew that rubbing down there feels good. Having bitten by the pleasure worm, I used to seek out getting physical pleasure from any girls in contact. And there were a couple of girls with whom I had done the simulated sex by rubbing mine with theirs. many many times. This was the first time, when I learned to just follow my impulse to pleasure myself without commitment. During 7th and 8th grade, this happened with two of my male friends as well(now I find it so disgusting to even think about that). I just wanted a hole. I did not matter, whose it was. Fortunately, during no interaction, I had the penetration. In fact, at 31 I am still a virgin in terms of penetration.

* When my girl came over, first few days I could NOT get physical (was not properly erect or was not getting stimulated because no visual stimuli like porn..we were doing it in the dark..she's too shy..and we kissed, hugged etc), and she felt that I was not physically attracted towards her. And it is/was true, because we had some serious problems with regard to some of my past, which she could not accept and I could not undo. Because of that, I had not really looked at her in the lustful or sexual ways. After several years though, those problems got resolved to large extent and she started to feel for me sexually. And when she would be in the mood, I wouldn't be because I was so much used to watching porn and m'bate. In fact, a couple of times, when I consciously put effort to m'bate while fantasizing about her, I could not really. I used to lose my erection.

* But a few days after her arrival, and after I let go worrying about the problems about the sexual performance, and I started to feel better and more normal. I was getting erections easily but they were hard to maintain. Also, because of her presence, I was not watching the porn. And it was only after her arrival and after having sexual problems, I, for the first time, researched the effect of porn.

* She was here with me for over a month, and as the days went by without porn and with her, I started to notice that I was watching other girls more. I was finding every other girl interesting. I felt like I wanted to jump from girl to girl. I actually still feel that way. And first I was completely sure of marrying my girl, but towards the end of her stay I became sort of unsure. It felt like suddenly I fell out of love with her! And it hurt. And since then (from Nov 2010), I am in constant stress.

* It feels like after stopping the porn (and almost all erotica), I have become over sensitive towards good looking girls, especially attractive white girls. I have always liked white girls but not to an extent that I'd leave my girl aside.

* The best part is there is not one particular girl that I like. When I see an attractive girl, I just feel like I want to fuck (sorry for the word) her, and then when I see other I want to fuck her too.

* Why do I find it easy to think about having sex other women easily, especially physically attractive, without being committed into relationship?

* I remember in 2004, I saw a European porn, and I saw some amazingly naturally beautiful girls. Since, then I have always wanted to taste some of those girls. And as I watched more porn, I sought more such European porn. And I have this impression that Eastern European girls are very beautiful. So I wanna go out there, and fuck a few of such girls to see how it feels.

* Also, because I have been watching porn for such a long time, I have become very selective, and I want only particular type of body, particular type vagina etc!

And I feel like a part of my mind is rebelling because of this desire will remain unfulfilled in a monogamous relationship. I feel like I won't be able to be with her completely. I am ready and willing to let go of this desire, but every now and then I suddenly feel like I have lost interest in my girl! I hate when that happens, but also when the anxiety goes away and when I start feeling like I am going to be with her, it feels very calming. She's a gem of girl, and I would be the world's biggest moron to lose her. I have decided to marry her no matter what.

Please help me understand if this oversensitivity to attractive girls that I am feeling, this desire that I have to jump from one girl to another(just like how I used to switch porn vids from one to another) is because of stopping to watch porn.

Also, after stopping the porn, I have been easily been able to fantasize about her, and also reach orgasm. I saw that as my first victory.

I don't seem to have any porn withdrawal symptoms or I haven't noticed any. I sleep well. Pay attention to work. But I stay in thinking mode all the time, and that may be causing my acid reflux.

I want to release my desire to jump from one girl to another, and do it happily. I know there are so many monogamous people in the world. I am 31, and she's 33, and we both are virgin. And I am really looking forward to have this first time experience with her. But this thought that I want to go around the world sampling the beautiful girls is really bugging me.

Also, why do I find this idea of having sex without commitment so enticing? My girl is completely opposite of it - no sex without marriage!

Everyone, especially Marnia, please take your time to read my story and please let me know your thoughts, ideas. I really want to overcome these thoughts and be completely dedicated to her.

Thank you very very much.

Your timing is amazing

Gary and I are working on an article for an online magazine on this very subject. One of the points in it is how supranormal stimulation (hot ladies) can erode desire for a pair bond.

Gary also found some interesting research from 2010 about monogamous voles. Blast their D2 dopamine receptors with amphetamines, and they stop bonding with each other. We think the chances are excellent that today's extreme Internet porn (like overeating and gambling) also drops D2 receptors...quite possibly eroding OUR (human) desire to pair up. Ugh. This could explain what has happened to you. The good news is that you should be less affected by it as you give your brain time to return to normal.

Your taste for women unlike yourself is normal. Lots of men here think Asian women are particularly hot. Wink The more porn one uses, the more one seeks something novel, different, exotic, and these obsessions can become very demanding. Psychiatrist Norman Doidge records that the sexual tastes of one of his patients went through phases. (p.95) He was only attracted to Asian sex partners in one phase, and only to African partners in another. In each case, he was sure his happiness depended upon sex with that racial group. Yet eventually he couldn't stomach sex with either. (One wonders where the poor guy's tastes shifted once he exhausted his sexual desire for all five races.)

My point in sharing that story is that if you gave free rein to your desires, your brain would likely get fed up with your obsession...and propose a new one.

I'm no expert in a situation like yours, where the two of you cannot be together most of the time. I think that would be very difficult for anyone. I do know that the strongest medicine for long lasting relationships seems to be daily affection:

If you're Chinese, you also have a rich history of ancient sexology texts that emphasize careful lovemaking to keep partners contented. Check out the Daoists' works.

My bottom line is to encourage you to continue avoiding today's hyperstimulating porn. Think about trying some of these tools to help you cope.

And then just see how you feel next time you see each other. Your perception may shift. Here's a story to inspire you:

Let us know how it goes. It sounds like a tough situation, but not hopeless.


Here's an article about a study you might find interesting:

From the study:

pornography users increasingly see the institution of marriage as
sexually confining, have diminished belief in the importance of marital
faithfulness, and have increasing doubts about the value of marriage as an
essential social institution and further doubts about its future viability.


Some points really hit home


Thanks a lot for taking time to write and providing some really useful information. I re-read your response a couple of times, and been thinking about them.

At this very moment, I don't seem to be depressed or anxious. My feeling of "falling out of love" with her seems to be going away gradually. As I mentioned before, towards the end of her stay it was feeling like I had enough of her. Actually, it was very weird that I was feeling that way after being in a relationship for 6 years. But this could be the effect of stopping to watch porn.

[quote ]Gary and I are working on an article for an online magazine on this very subject. One of the points in it is how supranormal stimulation (hot ladies) can erode desire for a pair bond. [/quote]
Is there anything I can help you with in terms of interview or something in your research? I read the article and I did not find the conclusions to be very surprising. I always thought that males usually find good responses from sexually-attractive females to be very enticing, and which eventually leads to dissatisfaction in their relationship and in their mates. This is one reason, why I was not really being friends with most females I came across(after meeting my gf), in fact I have not even stayed in touch with my normal female-friends from the past(probably, I was being too hard, but I wanted to win her trust, which I have).

I was trying to maintain distance. In fact, before she came to the US, she knew that I enjoy watching and admiring beautiful white girls, and I only had told her. At that time, I was clear that I am going to find a girl more attractive than the other at every corner of the city, and that means I shouldn't be chasing the beauty. When she'd get unhappy about my seeing other girls, I'd tell her that she was special (later I had become doubtful about that too!), and that it was like appreciating a rose and a daisy. Both are flowers and both are beautiful, and both can be enjoyed.

But all this was happening at a distance, and I was a regular user of the porn. I think I was emotionally attached to my girlfriend, but was finding physical satisfaction through the girls they show in porn. It was almost like I had a sexual relationship with porn. And I did not figure this out until we met in-person, and I went through the lack-of-attraction between us problem.

At this point I have a question for you, from beginning(Sep 2004), I have not found my current gf sexually very attractive, but I have always loved her personality, and I have loved being with her. May be over a period, we could have easily gotten physical but we had a big upset about my physical interactions with other girls in the past. So the sex and physical closeness had become a sort of a taboo between us. And more than porn that could have led to problem between us. What do you think about this?

• Do you think that a marriage will survive, if two partners have more of matching personalities and emotional attachment than sexual attraction? So far I haven't felt the lust for her that I feel for some of the other women. Also, I had become pretty shape oriented. She's quite over-weight and needs to lose weight. I am pretty skinny , and she's heavy, so I can't even hold her and take into my arms easily. I am not even thinking porn like physique.

monogamous voles I had to look up what a vole is. Sometimes it amazes me that even in the animal kingdom there are certain animals, who form the pairs for a lifetime. I wonder, why can't we humans be like that?

• How does porn affect the D2 receptors?

• I too have experienced something similar to what Norman Doidge's patient has during my porn views. For a period of time, I'd find regular heterosex very attractive, then I'd go look for lesbian porn, then back to hetero. But I was hunter more of a situations than race. In my course of hunting, I have found certain Asian women, olive skinned women and many other types of women hot, but I'd mostly go for a body that's well-shaped and athletic looking than skin. At the moment, I feel that the more we analyze this situation, the more I lose interest in sampling the girls.

• In my 16 years of porn watching, I have never become interested more than regular sex, and regular fantasies like sexy secretary, or sexy teacher or fast alseep girls, even regular couple sex. Somehow I find casual sex with many different partners very enticing. I haven't become interested in even anal porn (let alone all other weird type of stuff people do), and I never even seek one. Do you think that this, in a way, is an indication that I was not really a porn addict? I took the test here, and found that for many of the question my answer was yes. In particular, YES to 1, 3, 5, 6, 7, 12, 13, 14, 17, 18 (sort of), 20 and remaining ones were NO. Because of this test, I thought I probably had problem with porn. And oh yeah, I was suffering from HOCD, which is going away after stopping the porn.

I have been more of an eye-candy hunter, and I always used to seek the best looking girl, and best skin tone etc. But after realizing that I will be with my girl, who's the same race I am, I started to look for more such porn, which would feature girls like her, so I will start enjoy that too and later I won't have problems with her.

Sometimes, I also thought watching only really fat girls, so that my reference point would shift, and I'd start finding my girl more attractive, because with ref to those really fat girls, she'd be in shape.

• I am from India, where Kamasutra was written. I was just wondering from where, I can buy an authentic version of Kamasutra. Marnia, have you seen or heard of Khajuraho temples? If you haven't then you must definitely check out the sculptures on the outer sides of the temple walls. You wouldn't believe that what we see in today's porn is already there, hammered in statues. Just do a quick Google image search for "Khajuraho".

• [quote]My bottom line is to encourage you to continue avoiding today's hyperstimulating porn. Think about trying some of these tools to help you cope.[/quote]
Thanks a lot for the encouragement, I need a lot of this. And of course, the solo tools.

• I believe in hypnosis and I was really looking into such hypnosis script, but at one point I was wondering, am I rewiring my brain and losing my individuality? But now it is clear that that individuality has formed due to the exposure to porn. From Hinduism, I also believe that we can easily fight the sexual desire with spirituality. Yoga is one way, I am looking into. I love exercising, esp running, so will do vigorous exercises too.

• My perception about her is already changing. First, when I'd be horny, I would think of porn, but now the first thought comes to my head is of her. I feel that it is a great progress. May be I will find her more attractive, if I allow myself to look at her in those ways.

• Also, can you please point me to why should we avoid orgasm?

• Mega thanks for this excerpt. [quote] pornography users increasingly see the institution of marriage as
sexually confining, have diminished belief in the importance of marital
faithfulness, and have increasing doubts about the value of marriage as an
essential social institution and further doubts about its future viability.[/quote]
This almost exactly what I have been feeling! I am yet to read the study. And since this message has, once again, become so long that I should stop and let you respond.

You might find it interesting to know that, just because she did not like me take alcohol, I haven't had alcohol in last 5 years. I would like to; but never got tempted enough to break that promise. Actually, she said its okay now to drink, but I don't feel like. Right now, I have a bottle of wine lying next to my table that my dad left, but still no temptation.

The bottom-line is whether I watch porn or not, but I want to make sure that I really maker happy sexually, and we really lose ourselves into each other on consistent basis. When that's achieved, my work is done. And I will heed to all of your advice.

Thanks, Marnia. God Bless!
PS: Let me know if I can be of help in your research.

2 Months Sober from porn and enjoying every minute of that.
No M'bation since 17-Dec-2010 - First time in 16 years!

That's a lot :-)

I don't have time to answer all your questions thoroughly.

I don't know what a porn addict is, and I wouldn't worry to much about arbitrary definitions. It's definitely true that watching abnormal acts makes porn more of a problem. So you've been lucky.

Yes I have seen pictures of those temples. However, I think their makers would still find some of today's porn shocking. Smile

Glad to hear your perception of your sweetheart is already healing. Did the two of you overheat yourselves sexually when she visited?

Orgasm, for some, seems to cause a subtle neurochemical hangover, which, when projected onto a lover, can make that lover less attractive. For more on the "hangover," see

I think your marriage will have a lot going for it because you come from a culture that supports it in so many ways.

Thanks for your offer of help. We aren't actually researchers. We *analyze* existing research...quite a bit differently from the mainstream. Wink

Shoud've kept the post shorter :-D

Hi Marina,

I should have kept the post shorter!! Biggrin But I wanted to give you and other readers detailed background! From your responses, however short they are, I can see that you at least had time to read my post.

Felt pretty good when you said "you've been pretty lucky". Coming from you, as someone who has a lot more experience than I do, it is very calming and satisfying. Thanks. Smile

[quote]Did the two of you overheat yourselves sexually when she visited?[/quote]

You know what..we actually did..while we didn't have sex, I reached orgasm almost everyday! Do you think that might have caused that falling out of love feeling, just like that rat in the "Your brain on porn" video series?

I didn't get the "lot going for it", when you said "your marriage will have a lot going for it " . You mean the marriage will be better supported, due to cultural influence?


2 Months Sober from porn and enjoying every minute of that.
No M'bation since 17-Dec-2010 - First time in 16 years!


in my experience, too much orgasm can definitely put people off each other, and make novelty look really good. Did you ever read, "What If She Were Always In the Mood?" It's about the Coolidge Effect. It's a very sneaky problem.

Yes, I mean your culture will help support the marriage. But also consider learning more about tantra. Sex without orgasm is a great middle ground. All the benefits of intimacy without kicking in the Coolidge Effect.

Oh, and I forgot to mention that even the monogamous voles sometimes fool around on the side. No pair-bonding species is 100% sexually monogamous. Same with us, alas.

Damn the limbic brain

Read the article and I was like hmmmmm.... I think I am beginning to understand, why I felt like I fell out of love with her..but was not really... For me, it is definitely novelty seeking....that's what I used to do when watching porn.. I rarely went back to my collection, which I would think was the best, when I would download it.

But knowing that limbic brain is programmed seek more and more partners does not feel like a great help at the moment. The real question is how do I reduce this novelty seeking behavior. I could try bonding behavior, when she comes over.

My goal would be to satisfy her, when she's in mood, at least on some regular interval (4-5 times a week), if not too frequently (2-3 times a day!).

Do you reckon that after stopping to watch porn, the novelty seeking behavior will be reduced? Man, I gotta rewire my brain.

2 Months Sober from porn and enjoying every minute of that.
No M'bation since 17-Dec-2010 - First time in 16 years!

Acid Reflux

All that and this is my offering....hah!
Papaya Enzyme
Cut out alcohol and chiles in the evening
I've had almost 30 sex partners (28 or 29). The desire for variety is enhanced by porn, and is over-rated. Coming into a sexual encounter from that "variety seeking/porn" point of view ultimately brings you to the conclusion that pussy is pussy. Sure, there is some novelty with each new beauty but half (50%!!!!) of the deal is always you. "No matter where you go, here you are."
Don't start using porn again. Don't undo the amazing work you've done.
Thanks for the depth of your sharing


Thanks for the message, the remedy, and the encouraging words. Smile

Coming from someone, who has experienced so much variety, I definitely take your words seriously. I can relate too. In 2004, I was desperately looking for a gf. I would try to become friends with anyone and everyone, including a divorcee who was 15 years elder to me (oh boy, her eyes were full of lust). And I'd get emotionally attached to every one of them. But after say 4-5 encounters(meeting and being friends only, no sex), I was like, I am done, this sucks.Then I gave up. And right after 1-2 months of that, I came in touch with my current gf. And I really fell in love with her personality, and I had some physical attraction. Anyways, what I am trying to say is, having experienced it those 4-5 encounters, it was easy for me to settle for one.

The same thing happened with alcohol, for a couple of years, I drank on and off. But then after coming to the US, since my gf does not like me drink, I stopped. So no alcohol for 5 years, but I have already had the taste of it, so it is not that novel for me now. Though I'd love to drink, but not until she drinks with me.

In the same fashion, sometimes I wonder, if I have sexual encounter with a couple of beautiful white girls, may be I will get over it easily ( or not..dunno..) I don't want to get emotionally involved them. But clearly, with my current relationship, I don't think that's going to happen (or it may..). And I think that's where I am faltering in my steps to a committed relationship.

I wonder how do I remain interested sexually in my girl, when my brain is constantly seeking novelty. When I look back at my porn habits, I think my usage had seriously increase in last two years, especially after getting the job(not the stress), my own place, and complete freedom.

One thing I have noticed is that porn has made me very objective. I tend to look at women as a piece of meat first then later personality. I guess that ought to change.

Lemme know..
2 Months Sober from porn and enjoying every minute of that.
No M'bation since 17-Dec-2010 - First time in 16 years!

It's Difficult

when your love is so far away.[quote]I wonder how do I remain interested sexually in my girl, when my brain is constantly seeking novelty.[/quote]2 months without porn has got to help. BUT you've got biology (procreation) and (if we believe the Richardson's) a spiritual desire for the penis to reside in a vagina; two mighty forces that will keep you seeking. You've tagged your desire as the novelty of having a white woman. I encourage you to open your thinking about that.

2 months of sobriety has

2 months of sobriety has definitely helped. My too much novelty-seeking out has reduced to a large extent. As I had mentioned before, earlier when I used to think of sex; the instinctive reaction was to look at porn, but NOW, I think of her and her only. I don't even fantasize about other women - mental discipline. Am I being too strict here?

Can you please elaborate this one? I don't want to have wrong interpretation.
[quote]You've tagged your desire as the novelty of having a white woman. I encourage you to open your thinking about that.[/quote]

About the white women part, I already thought that it is just skin, and it is the person inside of it matters. Actually, thinking in these terms have helped me reduce my stereotypical thinking about African-American people. But this white women desire, my mind keeps fluctuating. I am over it sometimes, and then I feel like I am going to miss out on it.

2 Months Sober from porn and enjoying every minute of that.
No M'bation since 17-Dec-2010 - First time in 16 years!


I agree with Marnia that the issue is novelty. Porn use increases the desire for something different. I don't think the specific fetish (white women, black men, anal sex, whatever) is the issue that needs to be addressed ("open your thinking"). It is a caution flag at the top of the slippery slope. One trick I used, when I was drawn to porn while seeking sobriety, was to acknowledge the porn desire and reframe it in my thinking as the "Desire to Be United With the Beloved" (thank you Marnia and Thomas Moore) and act on that thought rather than thrill seeking.
You're right, it's not just skin. There is culture. I like the advice (sorry, was it freeman?) who said look at the trigger with compassion (for yourself, the situation, and them) and send them love.

To chela and Marnia

At Barnes & Nobles, I had a quick look that portion of the book where Doidge discusses the sexual themes. I started to read the chapter, but I found it pretty disturbing to read about the story of A. (as given in the book), and his mother's behavior when he was a child (wearing transparent nightwear etc). Then I quickly jumped forward to see, what else is there and I came across Flaggnan(not sure of the name). That too was pretty disturbing. Then I just stopped. It left me wondering how do psychologists and others handle such stories. I guess I gotta figure that out first.

Marnia, how do you handle disturbing psychological stories? And does Doidge's book have action items that can help us?

I like your idea of compassion. I will attempt and see what happens. I haven't had any urge or desire to watch porn since I quit.

Yesterday, for no apparent reason, I was again feeling a lot of separation from her. I was again becoming doubtful about marrying her. I had no clear idea as to what triggered it except that I had a lot less sleep, and watched footage of a psytrance party, 'cause the music was so good. As you can see from the video (if you decide to watch it) that it has some girls in revealing dresses. Plus suddenly this whole idea of being totally carefree, and just sleeping around felt very appealing for a moment. God damn!

I am beginning to wonder if this issue is beyond porn and has to do with my childhood experience. Wanna keep this message short. So if you guys think that I should talk about it, let me know.

Today, however I am feeling better. More and better connected with her.

Thank you

2 Months Sober from porn and enjoying every minute of that.
No M'bation since 17-Dec-2010 - First time in 16 years!

I will read the whole book

Alright Marnia, I will give it a try. Any comments on that sudden loss of interest that I mentioned above.. ?
2 Months Sober from porn and enjoying every minute of that.
No M'bation since 17-Dec-2010 - First time in 16 years!

I think those

feelings are going to flicker on and off for a while. I don't know if you're interested in research, but this study fascinates me.

Scientists took monogamous animals and jacked up their brains on dopamine (using amphetamines). Then they waited until the drug was out of the animal's system. And then they tested to see what happened when they put it with females. NO PAIR BOND.

Today's porn is a constant series of dopamine surges. The hunting, the fantasizing, the novelty, etc. It's a drug trip, in effect. And it seems likely that it interferes with our pair-bonding program too, and for precisely the same reason.

I'm hoping the effects continue to wear off.


at the video (well, a couple of minutes)...lovely scene....reminds me of my youth....don't care for the music.....betcha drugs are (were) involved
glad you're feeling better