Why porn can be good for your relationship

One of the most common complaints from wives/girlfriends that comes to me as a therapist is that their partner watches porn and they have a zillion questions about it.

Prachi S Vaish | Posted on 09 Apr 2017
Why porn can be good for your relationship
Wait, what??? I must be out of my mind right? I know most of you have already rolled your eyes and decided this is a ridiculous article; but I also know that you’re curious as hell too! So why don’t you read on?
 
As a couples therapist I deal with intimacy issues between couples all the time and one of the most common complaints that I get (especially from puzzled and enraged wives and girlfriends) is that “he watches porn!!!” And the common questions that follow are:
 
-Are all men this oversexed?
-Am I not good enough?
-Is he not satisfied with our sex life that he needs to watch porn?
-Does this mean he wants other women?
-Does this mean that he might cheat on me?
-Does he expect me to do the same things that he watches?
 
Admit it, if you’re one of the women who has occasionally caught your boyfriend/husband watching porn, at least one of these questions has definitely crossed your mind. So I thought let me try and put this debate to rest once and for all by drawing on my professional and academic experience.
 
First let me try and explain how your guy thinks.
 
It has nothing to do with you. Yes, as difficult as this might be to digest, his watching porn is nothing personal. It’s not about you. It could have been you or any other girl in his life, and he might have still done it, because it’s not about any kind of emotional intimacy or even physical one. It’s pure and simple entertainment, albeit of a sexual nature. All of us, as human beings crave arousal, excitement and novelty. And things that are forbidden, taboo, or supposed to be behind closed doors are always appealing. That’s where pornography holds its appeal. If you had ready access to such material, wouldn’t you be tempted to look too?
 
It’s about fun. Why sex in pornographic videos and pictures seems so attractive is because it appears so effortless, experimental and fun – how it needs to be in real life but rarely is. It’s not necessary that he isn’t satisfied with the intimacy you two have, but it’s probably that he wants it in a more fun way. It doesn’t always have to be about going through ten steps to “set the mood” or “find the right time”. It just needs to be spontaneous and equally wanted by both partners and that’s what those videos show him.
 
Eventually, he wants it with YOU.  Trust me, there’s nothing more a guy wants than to have a fun, intimate, exciting sexual relationship with the one woman in his life. If he can have that, he will never crave it outside. And just because he looks at other women doesn’t mean he wants it with them all. It’s merely a natural instinct to throw an admirable glance at something good looking…you do it too, right?
 
So, how do you make porn work in the favour of your relationship? It’s all about changing your perspective, that’s all. Let go of all that you’ve been told, all that you believe about it and try to see the whole thing with fresh eyes and you’ll see all the difference it makes to your relationship.
 
It’s a matter of perspective. This is the first cardinal rule you need to remember. Most of the long term couples I talk to, the wives and girlfriends complain “is this the only thing that matters?”, “Does intimacy mean nothing?” “What about all the romantic moments we share?”  Yes they all mean what they are supposed to, but THIS means a lot too. You have to remember two things – one, men and women are biologically wired differently and view sex from different angles and two, it DOES NOT mean that he objectifies you. For men, sex is a way to get closer to you, to feel a deeper connection. To be accepted into a woman’s body is for them the ultimate intimacy, especially if you are a steady long term couple. Just the way you, as a woman, crave cuddles and romance, they crave physical intimacy. They are just different expressions of the same emotion, so how does that make it wrong?
 
Stop looking at it as sleazy. Good sex is not about objectification. It’s about being tuned into each other’s intimate desires and about experiencing pleasure uninhibitedly. Unfortunately, since in all the media around us, all the sexual incidents highlighted are the ones that are ugly, unwanted and criminal activity related, we have become conditioned to view it as same. But while all that news is real and undeniably wrong, we somewhere forget that there’s a positive side to sex too…the one that brings a couple together, that fosters intimacy, that is delicate, and beautiful. It’s not just a means to make babies!
 
So if you find yourself looking at his sexual demands as dirty or sleazy and a way to objectify you, ask yourself, are you really thinking about him or are you succumbing to the skewed picture of sex that has been presented to you and that only shows one side of it? On the flip side, porn is lately the only place where sex appears to be the fun act it’s supposed to be and you need to may be start looking at it that way.
 
Not all porn is over the top and deviant. Yes, there are versions of porn that cater to sexual paraphilia and alternative lifestyles like bondage, multiple simultaneous partners, sado-masochism etc. , but if you’d just keep your biased perceptions aside and open your mind, you’ll find that chances are your guy watches basic, ‘clean’, heterosexual porn that does nothing different from what you might already be doing. Deviant sexual preferences account for only a very small percentage of the population and it might generate curiosity but it doesn’t make everyone want to try it. So it doesn’t have to feel like its scary or criminal material!
 
Enhance your self-image. Be honest – what’s the first thing you think of when you find him looking at women? “Is she more attractive than me?” And psychologically, that creates an instant dislike for those women and whatever they are doing and your close your mind to it. Isn’t it? But doesn’t the same principle apply when you look at say, Milind Soman in his running gear, or the barrage of hot bodied males flaunting themselves in movies or music videos? That doesn’t bring up your dislike, does it? Have you ever thought why not?
 
That’s because when you’re looking at women, you’re going into comparison and defensive mode. We unconsciously berate the things we envy because it’s easier to call them bad than admit that they make us feel insecure. Instead, what you need to try is feel confident in your skin, in your body. You ARE sexy, you ARE beautiful…you just need to learn how to flaunt it to him and believe me, he’ll have eyes only for you. You, with all your little unique things about your body are he loves, and will love even more, if you’re proud of it because there’s nothing sexier than a woman who loves her own body!
 
Start easy, but start. If you want to see the magic the sexuality of porn can infuse into your relationship, just close your eyes (or open them!) , open your mind and take the plunge. You don’t have to start with hardcore stuff. Put on a sexy movie and watch it with him. Don’t look away or feel the need to move away when things get hotter (this will happen and it’s okay, it’s a result of years of conditioning that sexual things are embarrassing, you can get past this hitch); let him get close to you if he wants and for once, bring down your hesitation walls. I mean what’s the worst that can happen? You won’t like it? Well, you will never know unless you try! But don’t go into it with the presumption that you won’t like it. Think, “oh well, let’s see where it goes”…that’s it!
 
The idea of watching other people having sex may sound creepy and voyeuristic, but for couples, especially long term couples, sometimes it can serve as a powerful reminder that people enjoy that, just like you did in the initial stages of your relationship. At that time, it didn’t seem sleazy to want to touch all the time, or to look for opportunities to be alone so you could get down, so when did it turn creepy along the way? And why? Because life happened, and suddenly you thought you were moving on to more important stuff than mundane stuff like sex. But guess what? Intimacy needs to be foremost, the first priority, because that’s what always holds everything together and if you need to watch other people getting intimate to bring the sexy back, well, why not?
 
This article was first published on hopenetwork.in.
Image courtesy: Miguel Pires da Rosa
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