Love Ruined My Porn Habit: A Woman's Story

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A porn-loving woman finds that, after falling in love, her libido just isn't that into porn.

But maybe the same principle makes us especially defended against porn. With its big-muscled, square-jawed guys and large-breasted, hourglass women, porn is a caveman's paradise. Read: What Does His Porn Collection Say About Him?

The study would explain why my in-love brain's defense mechanisms go into overhaul and practically shut down when such perfect-looking people come up on my computer screen. I asked Gonzaga if he thinks it's possible for these defense mechanisms to kick in when a person in love watches pornography. After stammering he bit, he told me, "I've never thought about it that way. I would have to think about that more carefully, but it certainly would make sense. If you're trying suppress your attention to a photograph, it should work for pornography too, but I'd obviously like to see that study."

Maltz has yet another explanation: "Porn is a dissociative experience," she says. "When we interact with porn, we're in a fantasy world where we don't see the reality of what were doing." It's true that the first few times I watched porn, it made me feel very strange and disgusted, and stoked my feminist rage—feelings I admit do not stray far from the ones I have experienced years later while surfing youporn.com in love.

What Maltz is getting at is that it takes most of us a certain amount of repeated exposure to porn for us to be able to enter into its fantasy world. But when we fall in love, we often take a break of a week or even months from porn, and that is long enough to lose that ability, and to be reminded of the alienating reality of it all. "When you see porn in contrast to a live experience, maybe you're able to break through the dissociative experience," says Maltz.Read: Does Porn Make The Man?

Well, despite all these barriers, it still seems like there's hope for my furtive little habit. Over time, I've noticed my interest in porn beginning to return. And from what the experts have told me, this is what we'd expect. As Dr. Fisher says, love has three stages, and it's in the first one (the "attachment" phase) when we experience most of the intense hormones and chemistry. Read: The Chemistry of Love

All of those biological protections that keep our eyes from wandering eventually lessen and lose their grip—that's when we're supposed to start trusting our partners on a more rational level. I'd like that to be the case—and I'd like him to earn it—but just in case, I don't mind browsing now and then for a little backup.