Five Ways to Keep Porn from Damaging Your Relationship

Couple
Love, Heartbreak

Porn in committed relationships has to be used carefully if at all, and this article will guide you.

Today, I will list the 5 ways to keep porn from damaging your relationship.  First, I want to include much of what I wrote in last week’s blog as a prelude to my list.

I am a sex therapist, and I do not believe that we should demonize the shadowy sides of our psyche including our collective desire to view porn.  The porn industry is doing just fabulous and probably will continue to flourish.  Here is the problem with porn.  Life and committed relationships in particular beckons us to grow up.  Growing up involves discriminating- including what we focus on and what we put in front of our eyes.  I am all for enjoying porn with your partner if it is a mutually agreed upon venture.  Being a prude does not make for a good sex therapist or a good lover.

However, let’s put our relationship first.  Let’s do the harder thing and share our fantasies with our partner.  Let’s decide to be big people who can discuss the tough, uncomfortable subjects and decide as a couple WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT.  Secret porn leads to shame, a parent/child dysfunctional pattern and even porn addiction.                In addition to putting your relationship first, put your emotional wellbeing first.  If one let’s porn pull him in, what he is focusing on is not leading to the emotional and spiritual development that one can achieve in life.

If porn is used by the couple as dessert, that is fine.  When porn becomes the sexual entrée that is problematic especially when done in secrecy.  Discriminate what you put in front of your eyes and be careful with porn if you do utilize it in your sexual relationship with your intimate partner.   Here are the 5 ways to prevent porn from damaging your relationship:

1) Treat porn like getting food at McDonalds or Jack in the Box.

It is easy, convenient and quick; however, it can fill up your stomach with non-nutritious food and make healthier food (that also can taste real good), less desired.  Personally, I eat at those places if I am in Banning on the way to Las Vegas or if I am in a real pinch for time.  Otherwise, I will take Whole Foods any day!

2) Appreciate the way your neurobiology works.  If you continually expose yourself to porn, your neural pathways in the brain will get accustomed to that stimulation and possibly could make your ability to enjoy natural sex with your intimate partner decrease.

3) Make your connection to your partner more important than immediate gratification. 

As long as this is your priority, porn will not be the damaging influence if this were not your priority.  What we decide to value, we put our energy, focus and attention on. 

4) Find creative pursuits.

Make sure that these pursuits (or your work) are something that feels compelling to you. I have seen over and over again that when people find their life’s passion and go after it, they are less likely to delve into addictive type behaviors including compulsive porn watching and masturbating. Boring lives can be a risk factor for going after this type of instant gratification. You do not need have an addictive type personality in other areas to get hooked on porn. It's easy access and powerful neurochemistry effects can hook a person who does not have an overall addictive nature.

5) Understand, accept and embrace the flawed human sexuality we all have. 

Most if not all porn depicts the sexual characters as amazingly easy to arouse, to have orgasm and to do “it” for hours on end. In real life, sex can be a beautiful way to focus on the inner and outer beauty of ourselves and our partner with all our flaws- pimples, cellulite along with a whole lot to learn about sex.  Myths of sexuality that lead people to feel very judgmental, a need to perform well and feel inadequate can be supported by porn. 

Challenge this societal ignorance by reading about what healthy sexual attitudes, expectations and behavior are out there.  One of my favorite books I recommend to men is “The New Male Sexuality” by Bernie Zilbergeld.  There is a lot of other excellent material out there as well.  Also, check out some relevant blog articles on my website- www.toddcreager.com. 

This article was originally published at Todd Creager's blog. Reprinted with permission from the author.

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